EBAY: A good way to buy?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Rockin John, Mar 5, 2002.

  1. Well, I can see the advantage of getting a bass at a good price.

    But I can also see there'd possibly be loads of pitfalls waiting for the experienced buyer, and even more so for newbies to the game like me. I'm tempted to bid but, so far, have held back.

    I'd be obliged for experiences - good or bad - on the concept of buying by this method.


  2. Ive had nothing but good experiences with Ebay, but I am sure about what I want to buy, research the product, spend a couple of weeks watching what similar products are going for on ebay, and when I am sure I've found what I want I watch the item 'til the last minute and then place my bid - so I don't drive up the price - and ensure that I win the item!

    Having said that - I hear you. There are tons of problems if you really look at it. How do you know what's pictured is what you are getting, how is it packed, are they not showing a major flaw, etc ...

    But you can get good deals. I would say go for it if you find something that exactly what you want, but don't get carried away with the bidding. It can get out of control and people end up paying a lot more than they should.

    Later -
  3. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    There was an interesting piece of research done by MIT which was published on the Web; where they looked at a large number of ebay transaction and is probably the only "objective" view you are ever likely to get on this! ;)

    People don't like to think they have been ripped off by their inexperience or naivety so nobody will come back and say - I got a really bad deal. You will of course get loads of people saying how great it is.

    Anyway - the survey/research found that in nearly al the cases people were actually paying the same or more than list price - in fact they funded the whole study by buying webcams at list price and seeling them to people on ebay for more! They made enough profit to cover all their costs!! :D

    In very very few cases, did anybody get a good deal; but of course nobody will admit this. The funny thing is that I mentioned this before on TalkBass and people came back and said NO NO - Ebay is great - I managed to sell all the old junk I didn't want and actually get money for it! :rolleyes:
  4. bassmonkeee

    bassmonkeee Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    I've had nothing but good experiences on Ebay. And, I've always gotten a good deal. As long as you don't fall into the pitfalls of getting caught up in the "thrill of the auction :rolleyes: ," you can get a good deal. You have to do as much research buying from Ebay, if not more, as you would buying from a store. I don't pay full price at stores, either. Always ask questions before you bid, and make sure you pay with a method that allows further action if something goes wrong.

    Postal Money Orders allow for prosecution of Mail Fraud if the seller doesn't ship, for example.

    Use your head, and some common sense, and you can get a deal. I just got a USA Curbow 6 string for $600 from Ebay. Easy, and smooth.
  5. lowb


    Jul 27, 2000
    London, UK
    I'm new to ebay too, and i've made a few bids!!

    I think if you know what you want to buy, and you stick to your max amount, there's a chance of a bargain.........however so far i've just had the fun of bidding, with no prize as of yet.

    I also wondered whether ebay is a place to get bargain's or just another way of selling stuff at their retail value, i think 90% is this, with a small chance of getting something special, so i'm hoping......
  6. Hmmm. I did kinda wonder exactly how good some of the deals are. Not withstanding the quality of the instruments and them being as described, the prices on some basses seem to end up a mite high.

    I watched auctions before and the eventual price seems to be over and above what might be asked by a high street dealer.

    There are also obviously a number of web based dealers on there.Occasionally, it seems to me, the price is on the high side.

    Hmmmm. :rolleyes:

  7. FrolicHoek


    Nov 14, 2001
    Dallas, TX
    Here are the rules which I presented to my wife when she was just discovering Ebay.

    1. NEVER buy anything new. It is almost always just as much or more as if you went to the store, especially if you factor in shipping.

    2. Look at Ebay for things that are somewhat hard to find. Guitars are a really good item to look on Ebay for, because each one is a unique instrument. Just make sure you do your research. Most people are pretty honest with their listings, and if you are sold something that doesn't coincide with what they told you, you can take itup with Ebay and get them suspended. This may not sound like much, but if they lose that feedback rating, that messes up a lot of the trust a potential buyer may have.

    3. Read the descriptions carefully. I remeber reading about a guy who paid $250.00 for a Playstation2 BOX. It clearly said in the description that it was just the box for sale, and some idiot bought it. So just be wary that those people are out there.

    Hope this helps!
  8. xush


    Jul 4, 2001
    mobile AL
    I've been more satisfied with ebay transactions than several person-to-person sales from 'bassgear.com' type sites.
    I have had good experiences from the classifieds here at talkbass, and at the Dudepit and AGB newsgroup though. No problems from these sites.

    But I've been just as happy with all the ebay purchases I've made. I think it's important to know what you're bidding on, even though in many cases it's a try before you buy scenario, which can be a little scary with instruments. I'll usually stick to models I'm familiar with, and communicate with the seller as much as possible up-front.
    Sometimes it's the only place you're going to find these old, out-of-production items...

    Know the product, know the price, don't get caught in a war, and know when to let it go...
    these are the tenets I live by on ebay.
    haven't been burned yet, but the possibility definitely exists! Must be careful.
  9. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    I have made several ebay exchanges as both a buyer and a seller and never had an issue.

    I no longer buy from ebay, but I still sell. I have not issue with anyone there. but IMO, the popularity of ebay has all but removed any real chance you have of getting a genuine good deal.

    You can almost always find whatever you are looking for at TB or HC classifieds for less money than you would pay on ebay. With the last two basses I sold, I got nearly $100 more for each on ebay than the highest offer I got from any classified shopper.

    Ebay can get you a good deal, but don't EVER assume it is a good deal because of ebay.

  10. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    Like everyone else has said, know what you are bidding on and what a good price is, and don't go above that price.

    I have been wanting a Westone Quantum headless for 2 years, and they don't come up very often. The first two I was interested in went above the price I was willing to pay for them, so I didn't bid.

    Then, the other day, one that I was watching got down to the last 8 hours and was still within reason, pricewise.

    So, I set a reminder for myself to check it 30 minutes before auction's end. Still the same price.

    I set up my snipe, and opened the auction in another window. I refreshed the page every so often, until the last 10 seconds, and placed my bid.

    Got a bass that I was willing to pay $250 for at $227.50, so I came out ahead on that one.

    I also want a black Peavey T 40, and one of these, days, when I see one under $170, I will snipe one of those too.

    Just set a maximum price for yourself, and don't get caught up in the heat of the moment if the piece that you are bidding on exceeds that price. If it goes beyond the price you felt was your maximum, let it go. There will be other opportunities.
  11. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    What was mentioned in the study I was talking abiut was the "psychology" of Ebay - so you see in this thread, people talking about "winning" and lamenting the fact they haven't won a "prize" yet!

    So people get caught up in the bidding and set their heart on something and then think they are in some sort of lottery or exciting TV competition
    rather than what is in fact a glorified "car-boot -sale"!!

    So chasasrms said :

    "You can almost always find whatever you are looking for at TB or HC classifieds for less money than you would pay on ebay. With the last two basses I sold, I got nearly $100 more for each on ebay than the highest offer I got from any classified shopper."

    So people are in fact losing out, but the "psychology" of the whole thing makes people feel good about it - they are being fooled and enjoying it! :D

    They confuse winning with being given the privilege of paying "over the odds" - but of course nobody is going to come onto a site like this and admit to being "fooled" - but people who feel they got a good deal will shout about it!

    I've seen people going on about basses they bought, in the Basses forum, which weren't actually that good a deal when they compared it with others!
  12. FrolicHoek


    Nov 14, 2001
    Dallas, TX
    A good rule of thumb: If you can't get it anywhere else, use ebay. I got my Tobias for a few hundred under retail, used of course. But I bet if you are selling something, set your reserve high and it should go, huh?:)
  13. LunarDave


    Feb 5, 2002
    Leeds, UK
    Does anybody have any tips regarding purchasing from abroad (best payment methods etc)?
    I'm in the UK and I'm contemplating bidding on an item in the US.

  14. Gabu


    Jan 2, 2001
    Woodland Hills, CA
    Remember the shipping costs, customs costs... etc etc before you buy. It would be really hard for you to save money with overseas purchases I think.
  15. rhythmrod


    Oct 27, 2001
    Austin, Texas
    Everyone has made some very valid points regarding e-bay. Both pro and con. I would advise that you do some research on the item that you want to purchase, both e-bay and your local store. It is true that a lot of the items being sold on e-bay are selling for more than they could be purchased for at a local store. I have made four purchases through e-bay. Three were good, and one sucked. Luckily the bad purchase was just for a cheap drum machine. I would caution that under no circumstances would I make a high dollar purchase through e-bay. OK BYE, BYE OK, BYE!!! GOOD LUCK!!!!
  16. I think I must have sussed the psycology thing without perhaps realising it. I've seen people talk of 'winning' and 'prize' on other threads and wondered how those terms could be applied to what is just an auction.

    I've decided not to buy from these places. Whilst guys on here have had what they consider to be good deals, I really feel safer going to my dealer. At the very least, you can see what you're considering buying and have a go on it. And there's also the possibility of trying for a price reduction which, I think, most dealers will listen to.

    Thanks folks. :D

  17. bizzaro


    Aug 21, 2000
    This is right on the money. Even two years ago when I first dicovered ebay, the chance for a great deal was pretty good if you knew how to go about it. Now with ebay being flooded with retailers, reserves at retail price, educated buyers, and easy ways to bail out of a sale, most, but not all, of the deals are gone. It is no longer a an internet garage sale, but now is a sophisticated new way to market and sell. I have passed up bidding on items I wanted hoping the person who bid before me would end up with a good deal. If others would do this "deals" could once again be had on ebay. Now sniping is the only way to even hope for a deal.
  18. bizzaro


    Aug 21, 2000
    Because of the psychology of which Bruce is speaking a high reserve can actually work against you. Especially if it is a popular item. When selling you want people to start bidding low so they think they are getting a deal and hope you get at least two people set on "a deal". The low opening bid or low reserve is the bait. They get caught up in the winning the great deal, and in no time they will drive the price up to retail or more. Low reserve is a risk with items that no one is really looking for. You could and probably will lose your shirt.:eek:
  19. Intrepid


    Oct 15, 2001
    Thing about Ebay is that you can't need something tomorrow...know what I mean? If you do that, then you are not gonna get a deal. You may have to wait months for the right deal to come across....you definitely can't rush this process. Also I would say if you are buying something used, then try buying it locally before going on ebay...you will always get a better price plus you can try it out. Ebay puts the sales nationwide, where the local sale is only local. Nationwide equals more people, which equals more demand, which equals higher price.
  20. Gabu


    Jan 2, 2001
    Woodland Hills, CA
    Yes and no. It's all up to you to decide what you are willing to pay, and if it goes over that, walk away.

    I have gotten many good deals on ebay. I have also bought some hard to find items on ebay. Ebay is a good place to shop if you are patient.