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Old 04-28-2008, 07:08 AM   #1
ktinkel
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Default Buying on eBay

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(Says she who just placed her first-ever bid on eBay! )
Oh, oh — eBay look out!

I hope you enjoy it. I’ve never sold anything, but buy things there sometimes. I have had no bad experiences, FWIW.

   
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Old 04-28-2008, 07:17 AM   #2
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eBay is a source only if you really, really want the item and can't get it from any other vendor. I consider eBay to be a source of last resort and may choose to forgo an item rather than purchase it on eBay. As a former eBay buyer and seller, I am very dissatisfied and choose to avoid them at all costs. I am hardly alone.

   
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Old 04-28-2008, 09:36 AM   #3
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eBay is a source only if you really, really want the item and can't get it from any other vendor.
Or can get it from another vendor but at a much higher price while you can get it new from ebay for a lot less - and you really can't afford the higher prcie (or... simply think: why pay more than you have to?)

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I consider eBay to be a source of last resort
That's what I started out with (I'm really short of cash atm and I do need some things) but I quickly realized there isn't a very good reason to pay a high price when you can get exactly the same thing at a much lower price. Going only for what I really need for now, but I've made a few mental notes to look for other things.

   
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Old 04-28-2008, 12:44 PM   #4
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Or can get it from another vendor but at a much higher price while you can get it new from ebay for a lot less - and you really can't afford the higher prcie (or... simply think: why pay more than you have to?)

That's what I started out with (I'm really short of cash atm and I do need some things) but I quickly realized there isn't a very good reason to pay a high price when you can get exactly the same thing at a much lower price. Going only for what I really need for now, but I've made a few mental notes to look for other things.
With software, the trick can be working out what's legitimate and what's not. I'd guess that a long history of satisfactory ratings from customers would be a fairly good indicator that a vendor's not selling illegal cloneware.

   
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Old 04-28-2008, 01:36 PM   #5
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Marjolein,

With eBay, there were eBay specific hidden charges and delays that turned me off completely.

You may do as well by price comparing on such sites as pricegrabber.com (a nominal personal favorite), nextag.com or bizrate.com. There are other similar sites as well. So far, I have been satisfied with my transactions thereon.

One caveat: prices are cheaper on weekends that on weekdays! If convenient, save your purchases until a major holiday weekend.

Another caveat: I have found the cheapest source often doesn't have the best service, but other than longer delivery than expected, every purchase eventually arrived in good condition.

   
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Old 04-28-2008, 04:14 PM   #6
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rj: I consider eBay to be a source of last resort and may choose to forgo an item rather than purchase it on eBay. As a former eBay buyer and seller, I am very dissatisfied and choose to avoid them at all costs. I am hardly alone.
While I don't check ebay for many things I do find it useful and generally find things at a better price there.

For example, I recently ordered replacement brush heads for my Sonicare toothbrush and got them at a better price than I would have elsewhere--either online or locally. I also order my hearing aid batteries via ebay and get them at a very good price.

That said, I don't sell much if anything via ebay anymore...

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Old 04-29-2008, 07:27 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by RJ Emery View Post
You may do as well by price comparing on such sites as pricegrabber.com (a nominal personal favorite), nextag.com or bizrate.com. There are other similar sites as well. So far, I have been satisfied with my transactions thereon.

One caveat: prices are cheaper on weekends that on weekdays! If convenient, save your purchases until a major holiday weekend.
Interesting idea... But do they ship to Europe? A lot of vendors on eBay don't (and eBay.nl is useless for my purposes (I searched): I need US-english software), so I went through a long weeding-out exercise. And looking at feedback scores, of course.

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Another caveat: I have found the cheapest source often doesn't have the best service, but other than longer delivery than expected, every purchase eventually arrived in good condition.
Well, I don't need any service from the vendor, other than that the package arrives intact. From then on it will be service from the manufacturer, if needed at all.

Well, we'll see how my first eBay adventure goes. Oh boy - my one bid, still winning this morning, is showing outbid just now. I'll wait till the last possible moment then before trying to bid again. Hehe, this is fun, too. And no, I won't be suckered into paying too much.

   
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Old 04-29-2008, 08:24 AM   #8
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Well, we'll see how my first eBay adventure goes. Oh boy - my one bid, still winning this morning, is showing outbid just now. I'll wait till the last possible moment then before trying to bid again. Hehe, this is fun, too. And no, I won't be suckered into paying too much.
There are programs that enter your final bid automatically when it makes sense to do so, so you don’t have to hover over eBay, watching.

I’ve never used it, but some here have.

   
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Old 04-29-2008, 08:58 AM   #9
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... But do they ship to Europe?
Most of the vendors with which I dealt do international shipping, but you would be paying extra shipping costs. US shoppers generally get "free" delivery.

By way of example, use pricegrabber.com for a software item, find a supplier with a low or lowest price, click on the link and then e-mail the vendor regarding international shipping arrangements and charges. There may also be a currency exchange charge. If you need or want a dummy zip code for use with pricegrabber.com, try 10001 (one of the codes for New York City).

You don't necessarily have to place the order via pricegrabber.com. Most vendors will honor the pricegrabber.com price, accept your money and process your order no matter how you come to them!!!

I had a reverse buying experience. I purchased some specialized books directly from a vendor in the UK. The goods were shipped via International Air Mail. My credit card was billed in US Dollars except for a small additional currency exchange charge.

   
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Old 04-30-2008, 04:08 AM   #10
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Most of the vendors with which I dealt do international shipping, but you would be paying extra shipping costs. US shoppers generally get "free" delivery.
Depends... I see a lot of vendors that don't have free shipping. And a lot that don't ship to Europe, period. I actually looked at all three sites you mentioned, and none have anything suitable (where the price is right) that actually ship to Europe. And prices are (sometimes a lot) higher than on eBay, one I saw that had a good price was actually doing something totally illegal. I haven't seen that on eBay, people guard their feedback scores. Selling software illegally that can't be registered would result in negative feedback as well as a complaint. There's no such system for the vendor I saw at bizrate.com who was openly making an offer that was very obviously illegal.

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By way of example, use pricegrabber.com for a software item, find a supplier with a low or lowest price, click on the link and then e-mail the vendor regarding international shipping arrangements and charges. There may also be a currency exchange charge. If you need or want a dummy zip code for use with pricegrabber.com, try 10001 (one of the codes for New York City).
Isn't that a pretty useless exercise when they don't mention international shipping or even mention specifically on their site that they don't do it?

And I have to dig for this information, which costs a lot of time - with eBay it's right on the item page. If an eBay seller mentions UK or Germany (and are cheaper than other vendors), then yes, I'll contact the vendor asking if they do other countries in the EU. If not, move to the next. If they mention Worldwide or Europe, then there's no problem, all I need to know is actual shipping costs (that has to be calculated in the price as it varies widely - by 100% and more).

   
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