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Author Topic: EBAY, What's Going On?  (Read 509 times)
K2WH
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« on: March 09, 2002, 08:53:01 PM »

I recently got hooked on Ebay.  I have been perusing the sellers ads for HF rigs and have purchased a real nice TS-820s, VFO-820 and an SM-220 monitor scope.  Also purchased Icom attachments.  All items received have been in perfect or close to perfect condition.  Never (so far) have been disappointed.

I did notice though, that many of the descriptions of the items offered are coming from so called "Estate Sales" or people who are on their death beds.  I have seen this many many times.  In addition, the sellers are not hams (usually) and claim no knowledge of how to work the radio and so forth.  My question is, are these people just recycling the same stuff?  Are they buying from each other and then reposting the same stuff to sell at a higher price?  Are there really that many dead and dying hams who are selling their equipment in estate sales?  Has anyone else noticed this?  
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W4TYU
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« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2002, 09:29:20 PM »

It is my opinion that your "estate sales" are legitimate. Many of us older hams are or have been packrats and have accumulated a number of items.  I can say with great certainly that when my gear is disposed of, that neither my spouse nor my children or their spouses will have any idea of how to operate it.  Oh sure there are some wheeler/dealers who purchase anything resale, but I have not run into them.  Many communities do not have amateur radio clubs and offer a very limited means of selling electronic equipment therfore eBay becomes the outlet of choice.  

I have sold three transceivers and several accessories over eBay but all of these have been my personal equipment. The sales were to to active hams.

Ole man JEAN
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AC5E
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« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2002, 10:24:49 PM »

Hi: I know of several E-Bay estate sales myself. And one that was not. We have a group from our ham club  that tries to dispose of an SK's gear but I don't think that's a common practice.

The "I'm not a ham" deal is probably legit also. Many newish hams don't know what to expect out of a boat anchor so they tend to steer clear of classic gear. All in all, I 'spect most ham gear estate sales are legit. But not all!

73  Pete Allen  AC5E
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WA7KPK
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« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2002, 12:19:48 AM »

I can agree with all of that. When I die, hopefully many many years from now, my wife will have no idea what to do with my ham gear and I hope she finds someone to dispose of it properly.

As for the "estate sale" thing I would suspect most of them are exactly what they claim to be. However, I also wouldn't be surprised if some of the "silent keys" involved were CBers rather than hams. If a kindly soul is helping a recent widow dispose of her husband's toys and the kindly soul doesn't know a thing about ham radio, he might also not know the difference between a ham and a CBer. Not that it really matters to anyone concerned, I suppose.

73, Creede
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KC0IEE
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« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2002, 02:20:14 PM »

 Personaly I don't buy euipment from non hams or euipment that the ham hasn't owned and used himself. I'm sure most of the people selling estates are honest people, but it's just one of my safegaurds to protect myself when buying online.

Chris KCØIEE
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KD5QPF
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« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2002, 11:23:27 PM »

One thing I do find interesting about some of the estate sales I see on eBay is the 'I don't know nuthin about this thing' sellers sure seem to have a good idea of what reserve to set.  
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KL7IPV
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« Reply #6 on: March 10, 2002, 11:51:02 PM »

I think you'll find that the "I don't know nothing" types set a reserve based on what they have seen the stuff sell for before. They really "don't know nothing" but they DO know prices. That is what brought them to EBAY to begin with. Still, after selling and buying a lot of stuff there myself; I have found some good deals and made some good sales.
73
Frank
KL7IPV
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KD5QPF
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« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2002, 08:23:11 AM »

Agreed, I know there are those that like to bash eBay but if you watch it pretty close there are occasionally some fine deals to be had.

Caveat Emptor extends beyond the actual item tho. I learned a $600 lesson once that despite the sellers assurance & stellar reputation you must absolutely insist on good packing. Now I won't complete a transaction until I'm 100% positive the item will be packed/shipped to my 'specs' (even if it means a potential negative feedback as a non-buyer). Since there is no assured recourse for a bad deal I've found the Golden Rule of eBay is to communicate with the seller thoroughly, resolve any questions, remove ANY/ALL doubts prior to bidding. And trust your instinct... If you think you should pass on an item do it. It's OK because another one just like it (or better) will show up soon enough anyway.

Mike KD5QPF
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2002, 01:51:59 PM »

I am so UN-hooked on eBay.  Ugh.  It occupies less of my time to get in the car and drive to a swap meet 30 miles away than to go through the aggravation of eBay and the silly auctions.  And the stuff at the swap meet is being sold by people I actually know, face to face.  And I don't have to worry about it getting damaged in shipment.  And even if I have to buy a round-trip airline ticket to Dayton, I'll find everything I could possibly want or use at lower prices than on eBay, and have a much better time as a result.

I don't want to be on the "demand" side of the economic balance, it's a losing proposition.

WB2WIK/6







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KD5QPF
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« Reply #9 on: March 12, 2002, 09:06:53 AM »

Problem is, Dayton comes only once  year, hamfests about once a month around here. And the only store dedicated to amateur radio here in Austin could seem to care less that you even walked in the door and appears to know little about anything they're selling.

Ebay is 7X24 and my experience with dealing with (real) Hams on eBay has been nothing but positive. Ditto with the eHam classifieds.

Another nice thing about eBay is it's a 'reference'... you don't have to buy anything while learning a LOT about what's out there (equipt, parts, features, accessories, etc.). Lots of the time even the gear pics are SO much better than even the ones you find on manufacturers sites. eBay can be quite educational in a literal sense.  

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KE4DRN
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« Reply #10 on: March 12, 2002, 11:38:18 PM »

I have used Ebay, eHam and QTH to purchase several items and sell a few as well.  

Before these sites you had to attend the hamfests or club swaps to obtain your gear.

Since anyone can put up an auction on Ebay, more
gear is getting recycled and in the chain again
instead of at the dump or as a donation to a charity
thrift store. (Yes, some gear should be at the dump
or used as parts only !)

How many hams would stop and tell you what he or she
paid for that used rig under their arm at the local
hamfest ?   With Ebay you can look it up and use it
as a reference.  Now when someone talks about an old
Heathkit, I know what it is.

Some sellers may get one item in a package deal so you
will see some items back up on auction soon.

That radio may look like the one up last week and it
is just the photo being copied and reused on a new ad.

Even with classifed ads, cars, homes, etc., we may pay
more then the next person, get a lemon or just a great deal !





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WA7KPK
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Posts: 129




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« Reply #11 on: March 13, 2002, 04:36:01 PM »

I don't own a car so getting to hamfests is problematic at best.

There don't seem to be that many hamfests in the Seattle area, and I missed the one last week because my ride decided not to go. For all I know there might not be another one here until next March.

Ebay on the other hand is always there, the prices are reasonable as long as you know what you're looking for and what price to pay, and I've met and bought from some incredibly nice people there.

I don't blame anyone for NOT participating on Ebay, especially if they're in a position like Steve where hamfests are plentiful and close. But my experience has so far been quite positive on Ebay. I encourage anyone considering buying on Ebay to do their research, know what their limits are, and work with the seller to make sure what they think they're getting is what they're getting.

73, Creede
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