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Author Topic: Buying on eBay  (Read 846 times)
WA5UHK
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Posts: 131




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« on: March 30, 2005, 05:41:41 AM »

I recently got an eBay account and began bidding and buying.  My expectations have met with mixed results.  I'm interested views on eBay from others.

My positive/negative observations:
Positive-
-It is of great value in finding old, collectable, boat anchor type gear.
-It is another place to confirm what you read here in Product Reviews by noticing the frequency of availability for auction, asking price, selling price, comments during auction, etc.  But there is Product Reviews already.
-The search/sort capabilities aid in locating options for a station idea...its a good research source.

Negative-
-It can be a time burner as the process from location of an item to bidding, buying, shipping can take 2 to 4 weeks.  Not to mention the tube time in front of the pc.
-I don't think its the place to go to get really swell deals; fair maybe.
-It opens up another port hole to fraud; either direct by swindle on an auction or by revealing your email/call and other data to a vast worldwide audience, most wanting to make a buck.

In summary,

The eBay website is a resource.
 
I think the eBay auction is exemplified by a scene in an early Mel Gibson movie where a buyer of bottled water has to check it out with a geiger counter before the purchase.  Or perhaps like a horse auction...  Buyer beware.  

Building a relationship and buying from a local dealer and swapping gear with local hams has a lot of value and reinforces the ham community.
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WB2WIK
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Posts: 20632




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« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2005, 08:15:51 AM »

I ditto your observations.

When eBay was a shiny new penny, I bought a number of items via their auctions.  It was fun and exciting, and most of the stuff was about what I expected.

Now, I'll only sell there, and I won't buy anything.

Every single time I see anything of interest to me, I can find it faster and cheaper locally -- although admittedly, I'm not looking for extremely rare things.  I see Drake 2B receivers going for $300 on eBay, when I can find them in "brand new" condition with original cartons, manuals and shiny chassis at the local ham radio swap meets for $125.

As my XYL and I agreed, we don't need anything so badly we'll buy it without trying it first.  I won't buy a car without a test drive, and same deal goes for anything else.

WB2WIK/6
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W7DJM
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Posts: 1




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« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2005, 09:23:12 AM »

For some of us that can't get out much, it's all we have, other than qrz, qth, and other online boards.

Ebay needs to step up to the plate and take a more active role in solving fraud and Paypal type problems.  Their standoffish "we are only the messenger"  doesn't cut it with me.
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DROLLTROLL
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Posts: 265




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« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2005, 12:24:37 PM »

My experience selling on ebay is positive. Nobody sending you emails trying to grind you down in price, nobody giving you sob stories, and nobody calling you umpteen times after the sale expecting lifetime "tech support".

It's all good.
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WA5UHK
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Posts: 131




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« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2005, 04:35:38 PM »

I think eBay is a seller's market too.
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KE4DRN
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Posts: 3734




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« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2005, 04:44:02 PM »

Hi,

I also have had very positive experiences with ebay, eham, arrl and qth ads.

I like to try different gear, it gets sold off for more stuff.

Just deal with those that have good history and always ask questions.

Remember to ASK QUESTIONS FIRST before BUY IT NOW !

If shipping fees are not listed in the auction or ad, always ask first, save the emails for confirmation.

Check the seller history and see if they just purchased this gotta have it now item that they are selling for big bucks.

Do your research, check similar items for prices,
make sure the photos are the actual item on auction,
if you don't see that mic or amp cable, you may not get it in end.

Get the sellers phone number and give them a call if you can, most are interested is selling the equipment.

Another tip, clean up anything you want to sell, it gets more money if it looks clean and works.  

73 james
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NS6Y_
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Posts: 0




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« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2005, 08:16:29 PM »

I mostly sell but also buy, and because I "feel out" the seller I'm bidding with, I've only had a couple of 'eh" experiences out of many buying experiences going back to 1997.
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KA1MDA
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Posts: 543




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« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2005, 10:43:46 AM »

I think the reason E-bay has taken off is partly due to the fact many hams are so cheap! I had a mint Icom mic I bought new for $60, used it twice. Dragged it to various local hamfests and flea markets for 3 years with an asking price of $20. After 3 years, got 1 offer for $10, which I declined. Thats what drove me to Ebay. Took a pic of mic, placed ad on Ebay, and 7 days later, mic sold for $40 to a very happy buyer in Canada, who also paid for shipping.

I love a bargain as much as the next guy, but lets face it- I could put a brand new Icom 7800 on my table at a hamfest with a $200 price tag- and I guarantee the first 4 hams who see it will ask if I'd take $150 for it!

All my used stuff goes on Ebay now. Only things I sell at hamfests are items which are too bulky or too heavy to package and ship. Just a case of simple economics, supply and demand. In selling over 40 items, have only been stiffed once. Bidder never sent money order, so I never sent item.
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N9VO
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Posts: 157




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« Reply #8 on: April 05, 2005, 06:16:15 AM »

Here's a prime example of how it works:

Just ended a day or so ago. Icom HM-36 mic for sale in very good condition. Says it does have a dimple in plastic. sold for $62. Brand new from R&L it's 53.95. Now call it what you want but any ham (or anyone for that matter) that will pay more than retail for an item.........What can you say?
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WA5UHK
Member

Posts: 131




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« Reply #9 on: April 05, 2005, 06:42:59 AM »

I agree.

I've seen IC 718's go for $550.  Many for $485 to $500. You have to pay shipping on top of that.  They can be bought new for under $575.  There are many more examples.

That's why I think eBay is a seller's market.  I don't see how a seller can lose or get swindled unless they are really careless.

Does anyone remember the Yellow Sheet?  I think it was more balanced between buyer and seller.  
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KE4DRN
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Posts: 3734




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« Reply #10 on: April 07, 2005, 04:53:49 PM »

Hi,

If you have limited time to surf ebay,
you can setup searches for the items that interest you.

You can elect to have the results emailed to you and you can modify them anytime.  
See My Favorite section on ebay.

Don't forget to look in the non ham sections,
business/industrial is one of my favorite categories.

A lot of good deals from the larger sellers, high feedbacks,
this is their business and you get the items fast.  
Many have return policies and/or no doa.

Sometimes a good deal is on the other side of the country, so watch out for the shipping fees.  
Fedex ground is about 20-30 % less expensive then UPS or USPS.

I buy a few items and when I get tired of them I turn them over again to fund another purchase.

Remember to wait 90 days the feedbacks to cycle out, otherwise the buyer will know what you paid for the item.

Have fun !

73 james




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WA5UHK
Member

Posts: 131




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« Reply #11 on: April 08, 2005, 06:54:21 AM »


The 90 day cycle is good info.

I've considered a strategy of "buy-to-try" also.  Sounds like the cost is really just the shipping & listing since many items seem to have a predictable value by eBay buyers and resale is just a logistics issue.
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WD9IWC
Member

Posts: 17




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« Reply #12 on: August 03, 2005, 03:31:28 PM »

Three words, "Don't do it." More and more scam artists out there with misleading ads too. Handling and packaging is NOT shipping. Pay CLOSE attention to the wording of the ads....Even hams are screwing other hams. Now as ever,"Buyer beware".
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SCUBA
Member

Posts: 74




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« Reply #13 on: July 08, 2007, 08:44:32 AM »

Hi WA5UHK,
 Yeah, it's mostly a sellers market - Examples.

Used FT817ND selling for as much as $50 to $100 ABOVE full retail.
Used FT897D selling at and as much as 10% above FULL retail.

And Yaesu only allows warranty to be passed if the buyer is a dealer.

These are bidders, running the prices up above full retail.  

I've been keeping an eye out for buddipole deluxe - other bidders are running the price up to full retail or to within 95 to 105% of full retail.

So, I back out; if an item is greater than 75% of full retail, I back off, but other bidders get into a frenzy.  I've seen bidders running the price on used (questionable warranty) MacBook (Powerbook) to 10% above full retail.  

I think it's bidders getting into a frenzy where priority is to beat out other bidders at any cost.  Naturally sellers are smiling.  But, I was told, before I got my tech/gen license, that hams all have high intelligence.  Guess that goes out the window on ebay. 73/Jack
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WA5UHK
Member

Posts: 131




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« Reply #14 on: July 08, 2007, 02:20:41 PM »

I had a friend in Florida tell me that a lot of radio equipment is bought for export to countrys who are under an embargo that forbids them from buying retail.  I thought that was pretty interesting considering the uses ham transceivers can be put to by folks with bad intents.

This could explain the reason much of the used stuff is sold at or above retail.
Tom
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