To eBay or not to eBay, that is the question...

By rv13uk · 17 replies
Jun 21, 2005
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  1. Im sure we all know that by buying things from eBay second hand or even 'new' can save money, its obvious. I was just wondering whether it is worth risking it, anyone had any trouble with fakes or faulty products. Any advice on buying through eBay, or am I now going to get a barrage of 'Worst eBay purchases' :rolleyes: . Either way i'd like to know, and maybe other newbies would to, whether that tantalising 'money off' was worth the gamble for buying on ebay. I know I could save £500, so is it a worthwhile risk? :)
  2. Masque

    Masque TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,058

    You need to be guarded, pay close attention to seller feedback in a big way. If you see negative feedback, look for it and read it. Pay close attention to product descriptions....that is by far the biggest detriment. Pay close attention to prices. I've seen lcd monitors offered for $5.00 with a $400.00 shipping fee.

    I do Ebay....more selling than buying...and it's okay. I'd say if the savings aren't that much better (with shipping) than local, definitely buy local. At least that way, you've an actual person you can club if things go sour. ;)

    Good luck.
  3. IronDuke

    IronDuke TS Rookie Posts: 856

    Feedback can be self-penned.
    If it is too cheap its a scam.
    If it is too good to be true, then it is not true.
  4. AtK SpAdE

    AtK SpAdE TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,495

    Very nicely said IronDuke!

    I always watch the shipping cost. If your buying a 19 inch crt and the shipping is 1.50 i would watch for a scam. Just do what your gut tells you. As far as value, i find that it is alot of hype most of the stuff on there is not much cheaper then it would be retail, but when you find those exceptions, it makes it all worth it.

  5. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 6,503

    I've bought stuff off Ebay for years, never been 'done'. I AM careful though.

    And I should add that I exclusively have used PayPal, without any hitches whatsoever.
  6. IronDuke

    IronDuke TS Rookie Posts: 856

    Caveat emptor. ;)
  7. awsskater892

    awsskater892 TS Rookie Posts: 96

    haha I actually had to look that word up. but recently I was scammed, bought fake software and didnt know it, then tried to sell it, and someone told me it was fake and they would report me....... still in this dispute.
  8. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,002   +15

    I buy and sell all the time. Read the ads CAREFULLY. Read the feedbacks. Pay attention to shipping. 98% of the time, you'll be ok. There are bargains to be had, but you have to be patient. Be aware of scammers. In general avoid sellers who use names that have a "z" in the end like discount sellerz or super bargainz.... or others that have have too good to be true prices. These are liquidators and couldn't care less about feedback. They sell in such high volume that negatives don't affect them. Most of all READ and DON'T overbid. Stick with the maximum bid you think an item is really worth. suckers are impulsive and will get caught up in the auction game. Sooner or later like items will reappear to try again later. Be patient.

    Also go to

    This is a real good website as well and is a blacklist of crappy ebayers.

    You can get good deals on ebay and sometimes a real steal of a deal if you're lucky.

    I've only been burned a few times. ALWAYS pay with a credit card. There is no such thing as all sales final on ebay if purchased with a credit card. You can always charge back a bad purchase if the seller cheated you and you don't get relief from paypal. NEVER pay with cash or a money order or directly from your bank with paypal. Paypal is known to side with sellers.

    Sellers rarely make much profit because fees are so high with ebay and its associated transaction subsidiary, paypal.

    A lot of "make millions on ebay" is hype. You really have to buy your wares at a low price and sell it for at least $20 profit on any transaction in order to make any money at all.
  9. Shizat

    Shizat TS Rookie Posts: 70

    What everyone else said on here is good advise...

    I personally follow most of these methods and haven't gone wrong yet..

    Now the real question is getting into selling and whether or not it's worth it. I have been considering for a long time... still haven't done it, and stood by watching some people make a killing...
  10. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,002   +15

    I've sold for a long time - never made a killing. You have to sell in high volume in order to make a profit. It is difficult. Ebay fees are high.
  11. Shizat

    Shizat TS Rookie Posts: 70

    Well, ok not a killing, but at least a residual income, enough that made it where her nor her husband had to work...
  12. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    I've bought probably 10 or 15 things off ebay, had 2 bad expierences. One was arguably my fault, I hand wrote a letter to send with my money order with my address, and he sent to 705 East 12th rather than 205 East 12th, when the guy at 705 East got it he refused to accept it and it got returned to the seller. The seller then did not want to resend to me OR even refund the money. After some arguing and legal threats (interstate commerce, which I'm sure wouldn't have held up) I got my money back. That was for a stereo reciever.

    The only other time I got screwed was when I paid about $6 for a NES game and when I got it it didn't work, luckily though I had bid on that game in another auction and "accidentally" won that one, and the game worked. So I wasn't too upset.

    I've also gotten at least 1 pretty good deal. I bought a surround sound decoder for my 5.1 ready reciever for $5, in perfect condition, the only thing it was missing is a remote, and I think I can work around that by using the reciever's remote (both same brand). I haven't hooked it up yet. The only downer to that was it cost $17 shipping, but I still came out ahead by quite a bit.
  13. Shizat

    Shizat TS Rookie Posts: 70

    Yeah, I deffinitely agree that the first one was your fault... But its good to hear that the "threats" worked and you got your money back.
    Now that I think about it, I remember getting all upset one time, and it wasn;t really anybody's fault... But They changed me like $15 for S/H on some PC hardware (I dont even remember what it was) but when I got it in, it clearly stated USPS postage of like $4.05 or something. I understand now what I didn't then, and that is, that this is the way they all make their money, or at least cover their Ebay expenses... I was just so frustrated and it's the only time I gave anyone bad feedback... (On Ebay anyways.)

    Another question... Any of you use other Auctioning sites besides Ebay?
    I have personally shopped alot at ( but that's because I like collecting reptiles... But I'm sure many of you have gotten into your own auction sites...

    Rolla Huh? How's the weather? I'm originally from Branson, but am Stuck in Oklahoma for the moment...
  14. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    I've used ubid with pretty decent results.

    Weather is fine now, was pretty damn hot last week, and is supposed to get hotter every day this week - back into the mid 90s before week is over. Hotter in Oklahoma I'm sure though.
  15. Shizat

    Shizat TS Rookie Posts: 70

    Oh yeah, OK is always a miserable hot... Broke quite a few records this year... Of course I am in SW OK too, but here it was 103 deg on March 1st!!!
    All of my family is in Branson, and they keep complaing about the heat, but simply refuse to come visit me :)

    Yeah I have heard of Ubid, but never even looked into it. As far as sales, are they cheaper then Ebay?
  16. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,002   +15

    it makes a few marginal bucks from time to time, especially if I am selling salvage or used goods, but new goods it is hardly worth it - the fees are too high.
  17. Shizat

    Shizat TS Rookie Posts: 70

    Oh I wouldn't dream of new goods in a hundred years, unless I had some connect... if you know what I mean ;)

    But no, the lady I was referring to, only bought her items at yard sales and flea markets. I guess she had a good eye for certain items perhaps... but with my luck if I tried that, I'd end up with empty pockets, and a bunch of junk that not only the original owner didn't want, but I was stupid enough to buy ...LOL
  18. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,002   +15

    well that's the thing. You can make ok money off of used items if you're able to buy it cheap to resell. But new items are hardly worth selling. The profit margin just isn't there most of the time unless you're a high volume seller - and that takes a lot of capital.

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