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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So as not to rat-hole a thread elsewhere -

I mentioned buying a piece of cookware at a good price on e-bay.

"" I decided to play the e-bay 'wait, bid low, lose a few and get lucky' game""

I read and hear a lot of negative comments about e-bay but I've learned a few things about it.

First, it's an auction and it's easy to get 'auction fever', where you bid more and more than you wanted to. I suspect it's psychological, a need to 'win'. "That s-o-b ain't getting my knife!"

Now, there are times when a unique item comes up, like a rare bow. If you really want it, it's something you've been looking for a long time, then go for it. Bid what it takes to win.

BUT, if you look at e-bay another way, it's just bargain shopping for good stuff cheap.

I wanted a -good- paring knife. Wusthof or Henckels, German steel. The forged models with the heavy tang. I did -not- want to pay $40 + for one. So I did a search for them on e-bay. Then sorted the results by price, lowest first. A lot of items start at very low prices, like $.99

I bid 5 bucks on several, and lost every time. I bid ten bucks on several more, lost all those.

So what? They come up all the time. The key to bargain hunting is the same as stand hunting for deer - patience. I bid 15 bucks on a few more. Finally won one. About $19 to my door for a $45 knife. Paid about the same for a chef's knife, too ;-)

I've bought used clothes the same way. $12 for a $35 pair of work pants. $30 for a $90 Pendleton wool shirt. The key is to remember that if you lose one, another is coming along.

So, last week, after losing several auctions, I won a great bargain on a top-shelf item. About half price, saved over $100.

E-bay is great if you have the patience to learn the game and play it.
 

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I use ebay fairly often. If it's a unique or vintage specialty item I really need I may throw my shoulders back and wade in. Even then, when the bids start getting stupid I'm out. Sometimes I may just wait til the last few minutes and go sniper but most of the time I decide how much I want to pay, including the sometimes ridiculous shipping costs, and bid automatically.
 

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Ebay was nice till they started charging so much to sell on there. As you mentioned you could get more for your item on there, since people would get caught up in bidding fever. Then I learned there are programs you can set your max bid and it will watch the auction for you and snipe it at the very last second. There are also programs that will search for misspelled items that your looking for(maybe they spelled it Baer recurve). You will also learn real quick that sellers will list a $30 item for $10 and charge $20 shipping. They don't get hit as hard on the fee to sell it and likely get lucky when a newb comes along and runs the bid up to $25 thinking they are saving $5.
 

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Barbarian Tyrant
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I've been out bid at the last second too many times. To manage the stress I put in a max bid while I'm feeling rational and and check in the morning. Not to philosophize but if it's meant to be it will be. And like Dana said, one like it will show up again sometime.
 

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Dana, I've been using e-bay for years, and yes, it's all just as you described. Best sale I ever had, was a fully rigged compound I sold. It brought more than full retail price, that is, what I paid for it locally, and it was a year old. The buyer thought is was a fabulous deal. Her words, not mine. She was either dumb or her boyfriend wanted it awful bad. Now as for buying, in the early days yep, I paid too much, but I learned to control myself, and found lots of deals. I'm waiting right now for 4 broadheads new in package to arrive that I bought for $5.00. There is lots of good stuff out there, if as you say, you learn to play the game.
 

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EastOutfitters
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Bidding and buying of ebay is easy, once a person learns not to get caught up in the bidding fever. When I bid, I already have a maximum amount that I'm willing to spend on an item, inluding shipping. I never enter my bid until the last 15 seconds, some I win, sometimes not.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I figure my long-term goal buying on e-bay is to pay about one third of the retail price on an item. Sometimes up to half on really good items. As I mentioned above, paying 15 bucks for a 40 dollar knife, or $30 for a $90 shirt.

I don't play last-minute 'sniper' games, I'd rather place my max bid and let the automatic bid system work for me. If I lose one I'll up my max bid by a few dollars on the next one. Once in a whole nobody else bids on something and I score a 99-cent home run ;-)

As Kenn1320 says, you have to watch the shipping charges. And Muley40's point about checking seller profile is spot on. I won't bother with anyone who isn't 99.6 % or better.
 

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I buy a lot of regular consumable/wear items on ebay. Use the buy it now with free shipping. I know what they cost in stores and almost always pay less and have them at my door in a few days. I do use the auto bid if I want to play and always factor in shipping when setting my max.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
One useful thing to have handy is a list of 'real world' prices when deciding what to bid - as opposed to the 'manufacturers suggested' price. Often something that 'lists' for X is readily available at a 'street' price of 75% or so of that number.

If you google an item you might find a wholesaler or supplier who lists your item at 'real world' prices. Then base your buying decisions on that. Sometimes a so-called bargain on a use item, plus shipping, isn't much cheaper than buying brand new.

Just for instance, when I'm looking at cook ware, I check prices here -

http://www.chefsarsenal.com/shop-by-brand.html

Then I know what I can save at auction.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Paypal is a part of E-Bay, allows you to use a credit card without the seller seeing your card info. And not just for E-bay purchases.

E-bay spends a -lot- of time and effort keeping it secure. Most complaints I've heard focus on the seller's fees, but since I'm just a buyer it doesn't bother me. ;-)
 

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eBay rocks... sold a fishing collection, vintage lures, bamboo fly rods/reels etc., alot of personal find arrowheads, knives/swords/bayonets and other small antique items.
Over a 3year period, selling just 5 items a week, I made more then my full time work and banked over 250k in "profits".
Using eBay was safe, secure and trouble-free way to sell my collections to a world stage(1/3 of the fishing collection went to japan, where it was put to use). Only two "scams" were tried to be pulled on me... One on a $2000.00 bass lure in the box, buyer claimed it was crushed in shipping, wanted me to refund right away, told him that was why I paid the insurance, he never filed a claim... Another was a 3500.oo flyrod that someone listed for 1 day and for 2000.00 buy-it-now, the flyrod was a custom-made Rod with the date and the guy's name on it, eBay took care of it and pulled the auctions...
There were also a few cases of "buyers remorse", depending on the buyers attitude, I either dropped it and relisted the item, or made a report to eBay and relisted...
I aways listed my items at $9.99 with never a reserve, even on items worth 1000's of $$$...alot of good photos and a simple description listing any flaws and condition, that model seems to work for me quite well...
(My blocked bidders list is small with only a few names on it, but I did have to block the entire country of france, super slow payers, always wanted to change the terms after the auction and just their general attitude hehehe)
 
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