Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Ebay Deal or Steal?

We started using Ebay about 7 years ago to sell Rich's boat.  It was the easiest way to do it and though we got less than we wanted, it worked out and the boat sailed off with its new owner.  Since then we have mostly purchased through Ebay, though I have sold some formula checks a few years back when money was quite tight. Don't judge me, I made $40 an it covered the groceries that week! Ebay is a curious thing though. I liken it to sitting in front of a slot machine.  Before you know it you have dumped all your coins in and  had your last pull. Difference is winning an auction could possibly mean paying $30 for a $20 children's DVD.  You want it so much that you lose track of what you really want to spend.  Their emails declaring you have been outbid and need to hurry up and place a higher bid only coax you into making bad deals.  It is shopping gambling.  If you keep a level head and set parameters though, you can find great deals!

Some tips:
1. Always read all the information about the item you are bidding on.  The other day I came across a bathing suit from a smoker's home.  Not something I would want to buy. 
2.  Make sure the sellers' have a good reputation.
3.  Price compare, how much would the item be new.  Is it really worth it to get it used at this price?
4. See if a seller has other items you would like so you can combine shipping.
5.  Sort by ending soonest.  This way you don't spend 6 days thinking you are getting some great deal on an item only to be beaten out last minute by some other guy out of left field.
6.  Always factor shipping into your purchases.  Sure the bathing suit I was looking at for Cole was only $3, but with $6 shipping I would rather just buy new knowing I could return the item to the store.
7. Think about giving selling a go!

I was thrilled to get Cecily a cute Crazy 8s Easter Dress, Jacket, and matching hair clips shipped for $13.   I missed out on a Little Mermaid DVD, but will keep trying my luck.

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