Do it eBay?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by applekid, Aug 7, 2005.

  1. applekid macrumors 68020

    Jul 3, 2003
    I've been seeking used Macs and Apple collectibles lately. More or less I'm dreaming about decorating the house with some Macs and posters since I have no job or money :D

    Anyways, I'm coming down to the unfortunate conclusion that eBay is my best bet to buy posters and hardware cheap :( I probably will get a debit card sometime in the near future so that I have access to my money via a card instead of just cash, so that's one small hurdle I can get over. But, I always hear so many horror stories about eBay fraud, stolen Macs, and counterfeit goods, that I'm a little uneasy about the thought of using eBay. Now, I guess I shouldn't let all of these things cloud my mindm and I probably can just be careful when bidding and making purchases, but any of you have good or even bad expierences buying posters and used Mac hardware through eBay? And any tips about bidding with eBay?
  2. livingfortoday macrumors 68030

    Nov 17, 2004
    The Msp
    Well, a good thing about eBay is that you can get a lot of hardware that people list as PC-only for your Mac much cheaper, because it's actually compatible. Case in point, I found some guy selling a Sony CD-RW for an iBook for $60, but he was selling the exact same model number as a PC only drive, for $20. So you can save a lot of money.

    I would just make sure you read all the fine print, and don't buy stuff without either a warranty or at least a non-DOA guarantee. Also, make sure you buy from people with established, good feedback. I usually try to buy from people with 50+ feedback, with at least 98% positive.

    A good tip, too, is to check "completed auctions" in order to see how much a certain item is selling for on average before you go bid on anything to make sure you don't get ripped off.

    Hope that helps, happy bidding!
  3. chucknorris macrumors 6502a


    Jun 28, 2005
    Moscow, ID (No Kremlin here!)
    I don't about buying Mac hardware, but I've had great luck buying posters.

    General Ebay Guidelines:

    If it sounds too good to be true, it IS.
    Never go outside of ebay to make a purchase of an ebay listing.
    Never go for wire transfers or anything to that effect. (Credit cards/bank accounts through paypal are ideal, but not perfect)
    Send money order rather than cash.
    Be wary of sellers with free email accounts (don't afford them as much leeway as those with paid accounts), because they can remain anonymous much more easily than others.
    Avoid buying from foreign countries.
    Do not send payment if the seller tries to tell after you win an auction that his actual policy on ANYTHING is different from what was listed. (i.e. "I actually am only able to accept cash payments due to a problem with my paypal account." "I'm still waiting for my supplier to get me that item, so it may take a little time"
    Make sure that the item for sale matches with previous items the seller has sold (if not it's possible the account has been hijacked due to a good feedback history).
    DO NOT bid on anything more expensive than you can afford to lose, and if you do, verify a thousand different ways that the item actually exists (have the seller take a picture with it and a current newspaper).
    If something looks funny, just trust your instinct and be cautious.
  4. greatdevourer macrumors 68000

    Aug 5, 2005
    Where possible, look for items that can be collected, as that means that they have nothing to hide. If you can actually go collect it, then it helps even more, as you can then check it out at the guy's place
  5. sw1tcher macrumors 65816


    Jan 6, 2004
    Another thing i do is check the persons previous auctions to see what items s/he sold in the past. Were they $1 items just to jack up his/her feedback rating? Were there any high ticket/priced items sold? How many items has the person sold? Were the feedbacks mostly for bids and this is their first sell? Helps to determine whether the person can be trusted.
  6. topgunn macrumors 65816


    Nov 5, 2004
    I have been buying and selling on eBay since 1998 and I have never been ripped off. I have only had a few unpleasant transactions. I would highly recommend eBay for what you are looking for. Now, when you start dealing with big ticket items and new technology, thats where the phonies come in. No one is going to scam a $5 poster and ask you to wire the money to Nigeria.

    By the way, you don't need a credit or debit card to buy things on eBay. Use PayPal to withdraw from your bank directly to a PayPal balance and spend that. It's a good way to budget your spending on eBay, too.
  7. applekid thread starter macrumors 68020

    Jul 3, 2003
    Well, I just canned my PayPal account a couple of months ago. It's been getting too much bad press. In fact, on a local radio show, one of the DJ got a fake e-mail and gave away all of his information. Not that I'd be dumb enough to do that, but PayPal seems to almost be a burden.

    By the way, to everyone that replied, thanks for the advice. :) I'm not too worried about buying posters and such now, but I'm a little iffy still about hardware. I really don't want to end up with a stolen Mac.
  8. Hummercash macrumors newbie

    Jul 10, 2003
    well i JUST purchased everything in my sig off ebay... it shipped out today and was a pretty high priced item. ill let you know later this week if i got ripped off or not (but im pretty sure i didn't considering the guy had fedex pick it up at his house... he sent me the email confirmation that had the addy and phone number of where it got picked up, and im able to track the package on their website)

    when buying off ebay, even when the seller has great feedback, im still super paranoid about getting ripped off. ive bought a few used high priced items online (over at anandtech fs/ft forum) but this was my first high priced ebay purchase.

    ::crosses fingers that it turns out ok::
  9. JoeKarame macrumors regular


    May 2, 2005
    Another thing I do look out for is whether the photo used when selling Apple machines is a 'proper' photo (i.e. A picture of the machine at their hoem) or whether it's just simply a stock photo. I'm sure that many of those who use stock photos are genuine, I just feel that it's easier to believe someone when they have taken the effort of showing us their machine.
  10. mduser63 macrumors 68040


    Nov 9, 2004
    Salt Lake City, UT
    While you definitely need to be careful, and the tips people have given are really good, you needn't worry too much. I've been buying and selling on eBay for over 7 years (since early '98), and have never once had a bad experience. The closest I've come is buying something and then finding out when it got here that it had a lot more scratches than could be seen in the picture, but it did match the seller's description and he was honest about it. Just be careful as you would buying in any other venue, and you should be fine. If you ever do have a problem, don't hesitate to get in touch with eBay. They have people who are there to help and deal with fraud and such. One of my close relatives used to work there in the fraud investigation department (she got the job long after I began using eBay).
  11. applekid thread starter macrumors 68020

    Jul 3, 2003
    Heh. You sound just like me. I'm still paranoid with people that have even 100% positive feedback. I think they got their friends to help them boost their feedback or some other big conspiracy! :eek: When I see the comments with the "A+++++++++++++", I get a little uneasy. It seems a little over the top.

    I hope everything turns out well for you, and I'd be glad to hear about your experience.
  12. JoeKarame macrumors regular


    May 2, 2005
    It is relatively risky sometimes! But the only times I get really worried is when you see someone selling something which is completely and utterly different from everything they sold before - and NOT explaining the reason for said sale.

    Also, more and more people are tending to overload postage charges hugely. When ever I sell now, I try to be as fair as possible in the postage - I cover my P&P and little else, because I'm very keen for people to be as happy as possible with the purchase.
  13. Hummercash macrumors newbie

    Jul 10, 2003
    here's the exact auction description:
    Have a brand new Apple Dual 2.7Ghz G5 I purchased in May 2005 and have to sell due to new baby. It has 4 GB DDR 400 memory, 2x400 GB SATA HDD's, Nvidia GeForce 6800 GT w/256MB GDDR3 SDRAM, Bluetooth Moduale and AirPort Extreme Card, 56k v.92 internal modem, 16x SuperDrive double-layer (DVD+R DL/DVD+-RW/CD-RW), PCI-X Gigabit Ethernet Card, Apple keyboard and mouse and OS X V10.4 Tiger operating system. The monitor is a 30" Flatpanal HD Cinema Display with USB 2.0 and Firewire ports. I am including an new 60 GB iPOD and a new set of Klipsch iFi speakers with this unit. It also has the AppleCare Protection Plan I purchased that extends the on site repair to 3 full years from May 2005. Paid well over $9300.00 in May 2005 for this unit and have not even opened it up. Serious bidders only. All non-paying bidders will be reported. Shipping charge will be $120.00 which includes insurance for $10,000.00. Will ship to Continental US only. I reserve the right to stop auction at anytime. Thank you.

    im pretty sure its legit, i SHOULD know tomorrow (fedex tracking gives an estimated delivery date of 8/10)... ill keep you posted. i hope fedex comes early tomorrow!!!
  14. macmanmatty macrumors regular

    Jul 10, 2005

    Haha you had it shipped fedex!! Get ready for a busted Pmac. :D
  15. Rod Rod macrumors 68020

    Rod Rod

    Sep 21, 2003
    Las Vegas, NV
    FedEx delivered all my current Apple gear nicely.
  16. 3badjacksfan macrumors member


    Jul 14, 2005
    I love eBay, I buy & sell. I just sold my PC laptop (also in its box, like new) on eBay. When buying computer equipment on eBay, even if the seller doesn't tell you about a warranty, you can buy it optionally, up to 30 days after the auction ends. It doesn't get tacked onto your item's purchase price, it's a completely different transaction. So, you could wait to receive the item, and if it's ok but you're still not sure it'll last, you can then add the insurance. For info on that, go to:

    PayPal's good. It protects the buyer & seller. Just don't answer bogus PayPal "give us your info" emails (which I've never even received.)
  17. skubish macrumors 68030


    Feb 2, 2005
    Ann Arbor, Michigan
    My philosophy for eBay is: Don't spend more than you can afford to lose.

    I would never buy a $2000 computer off eBay. Too risky for me. I usually never spend more than $200 on any item. There are really good deals.

    Never bid until the last hour of the auction. There is no point, the price will go up and all you are doing is driving the price up. Sellers kite the price up by having friends bid up the price $1 at a time so if you wait until the end they don't have much opportunity to do that.
  18. 3badjacksfan macrumors member


    Jul 14, 2005
    Not ALL sellers have friends bid-up. Not only that, but eBay tracks that stuff, so unless a seller always used different friends to kite-up, eBay would see what the seller is doing & the seller gets banned. As an interested buyer, you can look at a seller's feedback, then click on the item number of stuff they've sold, then click on the "#bids" and see who did the bidding. If you see the same guys bidding all the time, you can decide if it's the seller's friend, or someone who really likes buying from that seller. IT DOES HAPPEN, YOU KNOW.

    As far as only bidding in the last hour: that may be YOUR buying strategy, but it shouldn't be the ONLY strategy, or else all us sellers would just list things as a 1 day bid, instead of 7 or 10 days. What's the point (as a seller) of listing something for 7-10 days and worrying over whether it's going to sell or not the whole time, if everyone is only going to bid in the last hour?! Bidding early doesn't drive the bid up, cuz even if you say your max bid is $50, the price doesn't go up to $50 immediately. You can enter in your own maximum amount you want to pay early enough to see if it does get out-bid, and have time to decide if you'd like to buy it for a wee-little-bit more. Using YOUR strategy, I've lost out on items I wanted by just pennies (PENNIES) & if I'd bid earlier, I would have seen that I wasn't going to win, & could have re-bid a bit higher. Read eBay's info on their "Proxy Bidding"

    As a buyer, I've won more auctions when bidding by Proxy early, than by trying it your way. And as a seller, your way sucks too.
    (Sorry, I just hate posts that say "Never do this/that..." when clearly there are many options, & opinions. I'm expressing mine.)

  19. Lau Guest

    Don't forget that us honest types have no control over what people leave for us though! I've got 100% positive, and I usually leave feedback saying something like this:
    However, this is a choice selection from what I have received:
    A bit overdramatic!

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