Blind Bargains

EBay Basics: What Not to Buy


All this week, we’ve been covering some of the basics of EBay, the world's most popular auction service. Links to the other articles in this series can be found below. We’ll wrap up this series by discussing some of the best categories to shop on EBay as well as some to avoid.

As we stated before, the landscape of sellers on EBay has changed over the years. Once a marketplace dominated by collectors of antiques, memorabilia, and novelties, now EBay is largely dominated by companies with large warehouses of inventory. That being said, there are plenty of good deals to be had.

Like any other business, EBay works on the principle of supply and demand. The more sought-after items will generally go for a higher price than those which nobody seemingly wants anymore. For example, we generally don’t find good deals on the latest cell phones, laptop computers, or video game systems on EBay, because everyone is looking for the same items, driving the price up. Conversely, phones, computers, and video game systems which are even a few months old will often be sold at a bargain, especially if a newer model is available.

EBay is a haven for music collectors, and CDs, movies, records, and books can usually be found on the cheap. If you’re looking to broaden your horizons and beef up your collection, look for large lots of these items, which you may be able to score for next to nothing. Consider it a musical grab bag.

We’ve also had good luck with third-party accessories and cables. These are considered cash cows for retail stores who will drastically mark up the prices because they know people need them. If you’re willing to wait for your cable to be shipped, however, consider buying your next phone charger, replacement battery, or data cable on EBay.

As for blindness-related items, regular readers know that we’ve seen some killer deals from time to time. These often come from people who acquire used equipment from government auctions or other surplus inventory. The trade off is that sometimes these items are poorly described, and a bit of investigative work is required to determine exactly what you’re getting or if it might work when you receive it.

Finally, remember to do your research. Compare auctions on EBay with prices for the same items in new condition, if available. Don’t buy from the first auction you see without looking for competing offers. Also, check sites like Craigslist which also offer good deals on lots of products.

Now that you have an idea of what types of items you can find for a good price on EBay, why not head on over to EBay and try it out for yourself. If you’re new, you can register for free.

Now that you have an idea of what types of items you can find for a good price on EBay, why not head on over to EBay and try it out for yourself. If you’re new, you can register for free.

Previously:
EBay Basics: Bid Responsibly

EBay Basics: The Snype

EBay Basics: Look at the Total

EBay Basics: All About Buy It Now

Category: Articles

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J.J. Meddaugh is an experienced technology writer and computer enthusiast. He is a graduate of Western Michigan University with a major in telecommunications management and a minor in business. When not writing for Blind Bargains, he enjoys travel, playing the keyboard, and meeting new people.


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