Wednesday, March 19, 2008

I bought it on EBAY!

If you have been following my blog you know that I've mentioned Ebay more than a few times. I have bought and sold more than two hundred items in the past five years.

Everything from Pinehurst memorabilia to golf equipment to reading glasses. Except for the memorabilia, most of what I buy is new, and almost always significantly lower in price than anything available locally.

There are a lot of scare stories out there about Ebay. Most have to do with bidding scams, stolen goods and the like. Highly unlikely I think if you pay attention to the "feedback" numbers.

Ebay has a rating system for buyers and sellers. You get to rate the seller and he gets to rate you. And the comments are there for you to read along with the percentage of those ratings that are favorable. It represents your permanent reputation as a Ebay member.

In my case, I currently have 204 ratings which are 100 % positive. And that rating is so important to me that whenever I sell anything, I guarantee that the buyer can return the item and I will pay the shipping. I have never had to do that.

So my rule is that I will only deal with Ebay members who have a positive rating of at least 99% for a minimum of 50 transactions. This tells me that the seller is honest and will go out of his or her way to make sure that I am satisfied with my purchase. There are many many dealers on Ebay who have 100% positive ratings that run into the thousands.

As for price there is no contest. For example, I have bought many golf clubs on Ebay. A typical driver today sells for $300 to $400 at your local golf shop. The same club on Ebay will be at least $100 cheaper...and brand new.

And many of the sellers are store front golf shops. There is a tremendous mark-up on golf clubs. So they pay the overhead from store bought sales and quietly add to the profit with their Ebay site. Of course they don't advertise that fact. There are thousands of Ebay sellers who do the same.

Then there are the reading glasses. I lose them all of the time. I just bought 12 pair for $25 including shipping. Yes I know you can find them at Dollar General for a buck. Not like these... and in any size you need. Check me out. Go to Ebay and type in "reading glasses".

Now, about the golf cart. You may recall that mine drowned one day when the brakes accidentally released while I was putting on a nearby green and it rolled into a lake . The cart was fifteen years old and never ran the same after that dunking.

So I got on Ebay and found one just like it. The seller had over 350 positive ratings and the golf cart looked like it was brand new. The owner had never had it on the golf course. He used it as a neighborhood vehicle. And when it arrived it was spotless. Even had that new cart smell.

A new golf cart today costs somewhere. between seven and ten thousand dollars. Mine cost $3000. I have had the cart for a year now and it still looks brand new. And the brakes work.

I gave the guy a positive rating.


Ginnie said...

As you may know, Bud, my daughter and her husband have an antique shop in New York. They also run Estate Sales and in one was a big carton of 1940's, 50's and 60's comic books. I sold them for them on E-bay and it was highly profitable (for both of us)...but a lot of work.
I've also bought some wonderful books that way...but you are right to warn people to look for the sellers with positive feedback scores. They are the only ones I will buy from.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Fascinating, Bud....I have bought quite a few things on Ebay over a period of over three years....But it is sporadic...(I am going to look up those reading glasses when I leave

And your Golf Cart is BEAUTIFUL!

I had two "iffy" experiences on happened early on....I wanted this DVD really badly and I kept bidding and bidding and was outybid every time....It finally got up in price to an area that I had NO Business being....And I just stopped! Someone else bought it and though it was touted as "VERY VERY RARE---OUT OF PRINT", etc...the very next day, the seller offered me a 'slightly inferior copy' at the price I had been willing to payt....A Red Flag went up for me....And I said, Thank You, but no thank you....I felt thjat THAT was an unethical transaction...They saw a "hot" buyer and took advantage of that.
That same kind of thing happened again, about 6 months ago....But this time I recognized the pattern sooner and stopped bidding. Same story. I was offered a copy of the same film the very next day at the price I was willing to pay...I did not do that transaction, either.
I'm glad to read what you have said about your integrity as a seller, Bud/ I think that is WONDERFUL, beyond words.

A Very Happy Easter to you, my dear Blog Pal....I hope the Easter Bunny brings you a bit of Chocolate!