Home / Gear / How to Buy Used Gear on eBay—the Smart, Safe Way

How to Buy Used Gear on eBay—the Smart, Safe Way

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Gracefully keep away from sketchy conditions and rating a deal on the post-holiday gadget turnover.

The post-holiday season is a good time to purchase used electronics. Everybody has pulled the wrapping off the newest mannequin they usually’re able to eliminate the older one. Whether or not you need to save issues from the landfill or simply need to rating a deal, shopping for used is a good various.

There are offers to be discovered within the used market, however sadly, there are many scams as effectively, and telling the distinction will be troublesome. We have put collectively this information that can assist you navigate the typically complicated waters of shopping for used electronics on eBay.

When you’re feeling hesitant about shopping for used, that is OK. Do not rush in blindly and purchase the very first thing that looks like a deal. It is good to do a little analysis. And keep in mind the previous adage: If it sounds too good to be true, it in all probability is. Nonetheless, in case your funds is tight and also you need the largest bang on your buck, shopping for used is the best way to go. This is how one can navigate it and, hopefully, come out forward.

Know What You Need and What It is Price

Making sensible selections on used gear begins with understanding precisely what you need, particularly the choices accessible and the way these choices have an effect on the worth. For instance, to illustrate you need to purchase an iPad. Considered one of our favourite iPads is the 2018 9.7-inch iPad (8/10 WIRED Recommends. Our first step is to learn the way a lot this iPad prices new. It by no means ceases to amaze me how usually I see used merchandise listed on eBay at greater costs than the unique worth from the producer.

At the moment, the 2018 9.7-inch Apple iPad prices round $330 at Walmart. That is for the 32-gigabyte, Wi-Fi-only mannequin. In order for you extra reminiscence or mobile connectivity, the worth goes up. That you must know all the costs for all of the fashions so you may make a knowledgeable buy.

The identical goes for different varieties of gadgets. When you’re telephones or laptops, know the specs for every configuration and ensure the gadgets listed match what you need. Do not be afraid to message sellers and ask particular questions.

Now that you’ve a listing of fashions, configuration choices, and costs from Apple, it is time to do the identical factor on eBay. There are different public sale websites on the market, however eBay is the most important and greatest identified. That stated, there are another websites price exploring, notably for cell gadgets. You should definitely take a look at our information to promoting your previous telephone, which has a great overview of various public sale websites specializing in telephones. When you’re purchasing on Amazon, we even have a information on The way to Store Protected.

Now that we all know what we wish, search eBay for the precise mannequin. On this case, I might begin by trying to find “iPad 2018 9.7” for the reason that yr and display dimension ensures we now have have the fitting mannequin. You might additionally strive “iPad sixth technology,” or “iPad 2018 mannequin” and see which has essentially the most outcomes.

Scott Gilbertson by way of Ebay

Now scroll down and examine the choice to solely present “Bought Listings”. Take the 5 most up-to-date gross sales, add up the worth and divide by 5. That is the common worth of your configuration; do not pay greater than that below any circumstances. Additionally you’ll want to notice the bottom worth, that is your superior deal. Discovering the bottom worth will be tough. On this case I might type the outcomes by worth, low to excessive, after which begin including search operators and eliminate outcomes you don’t need. For instance, including “-pro” will eliminate iPad professional components, and including “-AS-IS” will eliminate damaged iPads. (If you wish to disguise one thing out of your search, simply put the minus signal (“-“) in entrance of the time period and eBay will ignore it.) Our outcomes will then inform us that the common worth of a used 2018 32GB Wifi iPad on eBay is roughly $180.

Scott Gilbertson by way of Ebay

Relying on the merchandise, how previous it’s and the way wanted it’s, you will have to regulate your search a little bit bit. For instance, there is a camp range I have been wanting for years, however listings solely come up a couple of times a yr they usually promote very quick for just about regardless of the vendor asks, which makes my common and lowest formulation much less helpful. That is an edge case, although; in most conditions, that is how I determine the perfect deal and what I am prepared to pay.

Now uncheck the Bought Itemizing choice and see what’s at present listed that matches your standards and has a worth between the bottom worth and that common worth. These are the offers price contemplating.

Bear in mind to examine the delivery worth. You will run into lots of people who record an merchandise at 20 p.c beneath everybody else, however then cost massive cash for delivery and the overall value to you finally ends up being extra. Keep away from these sellers, they’re con artists.

Which brings me to the following essential level: Worth is just not the one factor to contemplate when shopping for on eBay.

Know the Vendor

We do not simply need the bottom worth, we wish the highest quality merchandise on the lowest worth. I’ve discovered that, sadly, pictures aren’t a great indicator of product high quality. I’ve bought many gadgets with horrible pictures which have turned out to be in glorious form, and I’ve bought issues with glorious pictures that turned out to be junk. (I returned them.)

A a lot better metric to evaluate the standard of an merchandise is the vendor’s suggestions score. An excellent vendor—who’s more than likely promoting a high-quality merchandise in good situation—could have a suggestions score of 99.Eight p.c or higher. I very not often purchase from a vendor with a suggestions score of 99.6 p.c or much less.

That leaves a grey zone—sellers with a 99.7 p.c score. In these instances, click on the “detailed suggestions” hyperlink and skim via the latest suggestions. It might be there was just one unfavourable score and it was a number of months in the past. Everybody makes errors. Generally, a low score comes from issues that weren’t actually the vendor’s fault, like a package deal being misplaced within the mail, so it pays to learn via precise evaluations and see what’s up.

If the vendor has a score of 99.6 or beneath, I personally do not care what the worth is, I do not bid.

I’ve bought dozens of laptops, telephones, cameras, digicam lenses, forged iron cookware, musical gear, and even pay as you go mobile phone plans off public sale websites. In all that point, I’ve solely been ripped off as soon as, however even then I ended up getting my a reimbursement. I did not get the merchandise I used to be after, however I did not lose something both.

That stated, it in all probability bears repeating: If a deal sounds too good to be true, it’s.

The way to Bid

As soon as you’ve got discovered an merchandise you need, and you understand how a lot you need to pay, it is time to … wait. I strongly recommend you bid solely on the final second. And I imply that just about actually. I solely bid when there are about 10 to 20 seconds left. I wait till the public sale is ending, then I look it up on my telephone, as a result of I feel eBay’s app has a greater interface for precise bidding (it is horrible for searching), and in these previous couple of seconds I enter the utmost quantity I am prepared to pay.

The explanation you do not need to bid earlier is it provides your competitor an opportunity to react. When you go forward and outbid somebody days, and even hours earlier than an public sale ends, they’ll come again and outbid you. Usually my guess is they may come again and outbid you even for those who drove them over their authentic max bids. You do not need to give different individuals time to get into the emotional expertise of bidding on eBay. Solely auctioneers need to whip bidders into public sale fever. We would like them to by no means see us coming.

As soon as it is all the way down to these final 20 or so seconds, you then enter your max bid. At that time, a sort of automated bidding warfare begins. This one is just not emotional although, it is pure machine-based, chilly arduous logic.

The positioning takes your max bid and holds it, however all it places into the precise public sale is a bid that is 50 cents greater than regardless of the present highest bid is. However then that different excessive bidder might have entered a better complete bid than was proven, so eBay bumps their worth up. Then your eBay robotic responds, and so forth, going backwards and forwards till somebody hits their max bid. If it is the opposite bidder, you win. And since you bid on the final second, the opposite bidder did not have time to rethink and probably up their max bid.

The draw back to this technique is that if the opposite bidder has a better max bid than you, they may win. That is OK, since you already submitted your max bid. To go greater would imply you have been paying greater than you already know it is best to. So this last-minute methodology additionally saves you from your self. And actually, I at all times bid this fashion and barely find yourself dropping.

Different Ideas

I not often purchase issues utilizing the Purchase It Now button (which implies there is a mounted worth, no bidding). Usually individuals who promote this fashion are resellers (they’ve a big inventory of the merchandise and promote it on a regular basis), and whereas they could supply an OK deal, it is sometimes not an excellent one. The large exception right here for me is telephones. Nearly all of the telephones I’ve bought have been Purchase It Now gadgets.

The bit of recommendation I’ve about avoiding being scammed is do not pay with something aside from PayPal. I do not essentially imply you need to use a PayPal account, however be sure that the transaction is processed via PayPal. If somebody needs a cash order or examine, that is a rip-off. I additionally keep away from native pickup gadgets usually. (Autos and home equipment are the one issues I might contemplate for native pickup.)

Maybe the perfect recommendation I may give is essentially the most troublesome to observe: Attempt to take away your feelings from the equation. When shopping for used, consider your coronary heart and mind as the 2 voices whispering in your ears. Your coronary heart could also be set on a brand new (to you) laptop computer, however your mind is healthier at sniffing out scams, will not get sucked into public sale fever, and it is what it is best to take heed to when you end up considering, that is virtually too good to be true.

About Scott Gilbertson

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