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eBay and Used PCs


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#51 OFFLINE   martinultima

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Posted 22 June 2005 - 12:33 PM

I've only ever bought one thing off of eBay:  A seven-year-old adapter to hook my computer up to my television screen, still in its nice shrinkwrapped box.  Seller accidentally shipped the wrong thing, but fixed that soon enough and it arrived with absolutely perfect timing, right when I needed it most.  I love the thing (it's a TView Micro, one of the old ones that only does 640x480).  Works great with my laptop, because even though it has the same thing integrated the external one works with Linux as well :sweatingbullets:  Couldn't be happier.

#52 OFFLINE   Scot

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Posted 09 July 2005 - 09:47 PM

Since this thread was started I wound up having a very bad experience with an unscrupulous seller who was using a different eBay ID than his original one (which had thousands of transactions). I won't go into the details, but this guy sold me a clearly, obviously used LCD display advertised as "New In Box." There was dust, fingerprints, and even spittle from coughing on the LCD as well as several dead pixels. The serial number and manufacture date both indicated to me that it was over a year old. And I have bought several of this exact same item, and could tell that the packing on the inside wasn't original.Long story short, we agreed to an amount that he would return to me from the sale, that was in the 15-20% range. The unit was dropped shipped to me "from his supplier." And he had been great in pre-sale email, so I thought I'd cut him a break. Foolish on my part. I should have boxed up the unit and sent it right back. In the end, after almost two months of emails, he reneged on giving me a partial refund. It was all his supplier's fault. He shouldn't have to pay for his supplier's mistake. Unethical. I didn't buy it from his supplier; I bought it from him. He should stand behind his sale.In the end, we ended up swapping negative feedback. The thing I was trying to avoid. He immediately made his feedback private. If you ever see someone with private feedback as a seller, probably not a good plan to buy from them. His negative feedback to me was nasty, a character assassination, and aimed at nothing more than discrediting me any way he could -- never mind the truth.At almost the same time, I had another very different problem. I bought another LCD -- this one a lot more expensive, from another seller. This was just a guy, not someone with a lot of sales on eBay. He sent me exactly what he advertised, and I was (and am) fully satisfied with my purchase. The problem was that PayPal was not satisfied for reasons PayPal never explained to me (apparently to protect his privacy??). PayPal can be stoopid sometimes. What happened, though, was that PayPal refused to send him my payment. They had taken it out of my account, but refused to fund his account with it.This was actually one of the bigger purchases I've ever made on eBay, over $1,500. And I felt bad for the guy, so I called PayPal three times and also wrote them vouching for him and his sale to me. It took over a month for him to finally get paid. In the end, he did. But no matter what PayPal's beef was with this guy -- unless the monitor was hot -- they had no right to hold up his payment. In talking to PayPal reps several times, the story they told me did not imply that the item had been stolen. The problem had to do with a previous transaction, that was also not based on a complaint by a buyer, but was something PayPal was just checking out. Basically, they froze his account on a suspicion.Doesn't seem to me to be the way things should work.I still buy on eBay, but those two experiences coming back to back have cooled my jets a bit on the whole thing. I've also found that I can find cheaper prices elswhere for some items. EBay isn't always a deal. It's still something I check and consider though. I know my way around.Also, despite my earlier comments against sniping, I've changed my tune about that. There are so many idiot buyers out there and it's just not worth the hassle. I use a service called AuctionSniper. It's worked very well for me. They charge a small percentage when you win an auction, and nothing when you don't. There are many others like AuctionSniper, as well as programs that do the same.-- Scot
Scot Finnie, Editor-in-Chief, Computerworld.com

#53 OFFLINE   epp_b

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Posted 09 July 2005 - 11:01 PM

Wow, thanks for the story!  It's too bad the way that some things turn out.  Fortunately, if you look closely, you can sometimes tell which "negative" feedbacks are nothing more than blasphemous, but it still subtracts from your overall percentage.

Edited by epp_b, 09 July 2005 - 11:02 PM.


#54 OFFLINE   greengeek

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Posted 09 July 2005 - 11:51 PM

I've gone right off eBay, I can get pc parts a lot cheaper and faster from a local supplier.  Used computers are also so cheap now and if I need one in a hurry I have a good ex-lease supplier who is cheap and ships the same day.  A few years ago eBay was good but I find it's too risky now and also very slow as I can get parts delivered the next day from other suppliers.

#55 OFFLINE   trigggl

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Posted 15 November 2005 - 09:54 AM

View Postgreengeek, on Jul 9 2005, 09:51 PM, said:

I've gone right off eBay, I can get pc parts a lot cheaper and faster from a local supplier. Used computers are also so cheap now and if I need one in a hurry I have a good ex-lease supplier who is cheap and ships the same day. A few years ago eBay was good but I find it's too risky now and also very slow as I can get parts delivered the next day from other suppliers.
  There is only one computer item that I will buy on Ebay anymore and that would be RDRam.  Even then, I'm very careful to check out pictures, feedback, background of those giving the feedback and emailing difficult questions to see if there's an inteligent human on the other side.  There's a reason why some items are too cheap.  The problem with buying computer parts on Ebay is that there is usually some type of flaw that you don't find out about til years down the road or months.  I bought a case w/psu that looked like a good deal but not too good.  Later, I find out that the PSU had been opened and tampered with.  I figured that one out after the PSU died.  I ended up paying more for a new PSU than I did for the case to begin with.  I just wasn't paying attention when I bought my motherboard.  The price was great at around $30.  Then, I realized my DIMMs wouldn't work in it because it was a Rambus board.  No problem, I'll buy some RDRam.  You could only buy them in pairs at the store and they weren't exactly affordable.  So, to make a long story short, I went on ebay to try to save money and the only time I did save money was when I bought a 256MB stick of RDRam that if I had been paying attention, I could have been paying less for DDR.  There is a good internet computer parts store that has a warehouse 2 hours away from me and their prices are excellent.  My next computer will probably be pieced together from parts from them.  Of course, I may live another 5 hours away by then.
Greg


#56 OFFLINE   longgone

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Posted 13 February 2006 - 05:34 PM

:D  :whistling: ....AAhhh... it's good to know I'm not the only one who has had some  bad experiences on ebay.... my most recent 3 are an item for my RV (the box said one thing but the actual item was completely different) that one was resolved to my complete satisfaction,,, the other two were mainboards, one was an ECS that had a bios battery, and come to find out it was a "pull", had it checked and it is good, the other was a PCChips which I have had good luck with in the past ... this one was NIB still sealed, never been opened, anti-static bag still mfgr sealed.... "NIB" severall years ago,,, it was out of mfgr warranty, the seller basicially said to bad,,, needless to say I'm not as big on ebay as I used to be
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#57 OFFLINE   macdunn

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 06:31 PM

View PostScot, on Sep 26 2003, 01:04 AM, said:

What's your experience with eBay (or similar services, Craig's List, whatever) with buying or selling computer products? ...What I've found is that eBay is a little addictive, and also you can get one helluva bargain (doh!) if you know about the products in question. I've learned a lot.-- Scot
Scot, et al,Well, there has been no feedback on theis topic since 2006 so, maybe the problems for others have leveled out.I have been buying and selling on eBay.com (US) since 2000 and on eBay.de (Germany) since 2001, using either depending on where I am at the moment. Battle stories, the same as most of the earlier reponders - defective equipment sold as operating, no delivery (when buying from a foreign country), addiction.One tip - don't think that you will be able to buy and then resell for a profit. Especially since 2008. The bottom has dropped out of the market for used equipment and there are so many other people trying to do the same.I pretty much have bought equipment for my own use, trying to keep a representative variety for testing software. All laptops, though I will add the caveat that I use them in my home office with 19" monitors and external mouse and keyboard. My speciality has been Compaq since the first PCs came on the market in 1980. The only computer I ever bought brand new from a computer store was a 2-floppy IBM PC from ComputerLand.The models I have bought since 2002 used mostly the same interchangeable parts (a reason I like the Compaqs is the MultiBay for secondary drives). While a laptop that I may buy usually will be sold with a HDD, it is rarely of any real size and I always immediately buy a new HDD of as large a capacity as I can afford (160GB IDE 2.5" these days) from a store that I can take the HDD back to in case of problems.Operating systems are the biggest problem. Microsoft has made it impossible in the US to buy the OEM Quick Restore CDs on eBay even though every Compaq was originally sold with the CDs. Most of the laptops in the US have come back from leases to businesses and noone has the original CDs. I have found the CDs over the years, but usually on eBay outside the US, including from the UK and in Germany (where you can get them in German or English).I finally gave up on reselling because the prices dropped off and because of the complaints from buyers - why didn't you say that the CMOS battery was dead (it was dead when I bought it and noone said anything), why do you charge so much more than the postage for shipping (because my time preparing it for shipping has value as well), etc.I still look once a month at what is being sold on eBay, but I also check the ads for Fry's and go to Best Buys (when I am in the US) to check selection and prices.Words to the wise? - buyer beware and know your product (and have a stock of spare parts as well).-Mac-




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