So far I have only purchased items (never sold) on Ebay,
and so far I have had only good experiences.
Your mileage may, of course, vary.
As you can see above, I have listed an online sniping service.
I have just begun to use this (after having had items sniped out
from under me one too many times). So far it has worked well.
All of the action in Ebay auctions takes place in the last minute,
probably the last 10 seconds.
Ebay is in denial about this being an issue, and they believe that
their automatic bidding feature solves the problem. Clearly they are
wrong, as indicated by the proliferation of services like this, and
the fact that people like me have been frustrated by having been sniped
on numerous occasions. What I believe is true is that Ebay is really
catering to the seller, who is paying the bills after all.
A solution I would like to see adopted is that auction closing times
are extended by say 5 minutes whenever a last minute bid arrives.
Until something like this is put into practice, the savvy bidder is
wise to use a sniping service.
One advantage to sniping is that it lets you set your price in advance,
then go away and forget about it and not get caught up in a bidding frenzy.
Note that I am encouraging the use of a credit card. You have essentially no recourse
when an EFT transfer takes place to paypal, whereas a credit card company gives you lots
of leverage when you tell them you have been ripped off. Note that Paypal really really
tries to force you to do bank transfers. This is good for them I presume because it gets
rid of some charges they have to pay credit card companies. However it is very bad for
you if things go wrong.
- Check the sellers feedback rating.
- Read through the feedback, especially if a big purchase.
- Check the shipping charges.
- Check the sellers location (are they overseas?)
- Always pay with a credit card, especially when using paypal.
- Decide in advance on your top price and stick to it.
Also note that as of 7/2013 you have only 45 days to dispute a paypal transaction.
This is fine in most cases, but I found myself in trouble with one situation where a
fellow was making a custom item for me, made many delays, and then I found myself wanting
to dispute charges after 45 days had gone buy. I was too much of a nice guy --- don't be!
Note also that I urge caution about buying from overseas sellers.
The main thing is to think about it hard.
I buy a lot of small things that ship direct out of China and have had no problems.
I have even purchased a fairly expensive item direct from China,
and although I sweated quite a bit, it worked out just fine.
Here is an example of a
purchase that went kinda bad.
There are some horror stories about Paypal.
Here is one.
Many people are suspicious of Paypal, and maybe they have a point.
I have had not problems with Paypal as a buyer.
Most of my transactions are for low dollar items where it really won't be a big deal
if I get burned (though I still keep my eyes open).
The few purchases I have made for what I would call serious money,
I really scrutinize the buyer.
Have any comments? Questions?
Drop me a line!
Adventures in Computing / email@example.com