Tuesday, November 18, 2008

An eBay experience......

So, I am working on a new project (surprise surprise) and decided to finally check out eBay to source some parts (I'll get into the details of the project in my next posting).

I have to say, it wasn't exactly my idea to go the eBay route. A friend and co-worker told me that it was the way to go for what I was looking for. And to that end...he was very right.

For some background, you might want to know that I have been an eBay member since Jan of 2002, but just have never bought or sold anything there before (just a lurker). Also, if you know me, you'd know that I love auctions. I like them live and in-person, but I am no stranger to purchasing via auction. So I guess you could call me an eBay virgin (this is no longer the case - wink wink).

My first experience I do have to say was kinda a cop-out. I bought the first item via eBay's "Buy it Now" option on some listings. This was more of an online purchase than an auction in my opinion, but it did get my feel wet and get me primed for the real thing.

I was (am still am) on a mission to collect all the parts I can for my latest project as cheap as I can in my allotted time frame. I really want to get this project started...and finished. This one is not like some of my previous projects that tend to be ongoing; this should be completed and completely done with very soon. So, back to the eBay saga....

Shortly after my first "Buy it Now" purchase, I won two more actual auctions for parts needed before getting a little off track and buying some posters that I thought would go well with the project theme (absolutely not needed, but will hopefully add some character to my decor). Everybody always has told me that eBay can be dangerous. I wouldn't go that far...yet.

After my little distraction, I got to experience another eBay option; the "Buy it Now or Best Offer". Now this is how I like to do business! I just love to negotiate, so this was right up my alley. To be honest, the "Buy it Now" price wasn't a bad one (including the shipping of course), but I had to make an offer since it was available. I gave what I thought was a fair price (but obviously a good deal for me) and not too long later, I was countered (I like this guy... he knows how to negotiate too... this was getting fun). I very happily accepted the counter and "won" the auction (also a very decent price -- only .50 above my offer). I'm pretty sure the seller just countered to the hell of it, but who knows... he did have 2 other offers that he had rejected.

Now that I was having fun, I ventured into more auctions (losing a bunch since I am unfamiliar with the online way of doing this -- I still like 'em in-person much better). After my losing streak, getting beat in the last seconds before the close, I changed my strategy and won two more of my much need parts.

I've still got a few more parts I need to source, but if all goes well, I should have everything I need to complete the project.

All in all, my experience has been better than I had expected. In my hut or inexpensive parts, eBay seems to be the best venue for finding what I need. I have always figured if it can be found on eBay, you can get the same thing for at least as good a price somewhere else...this has not proven to be entirely true. Wonder if it is just I am getting worse at finding stuff (on the internet or brick 'n mortar) or if this is the way to go.