Is it really a bargain?

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 Found a bargain on ebay? It’s a nice feeling when you find what you want for a good price. Before you buy though there are a few things you should look out for.

I remember once I was searching for a Digital Video Camera and found one on ebay for $5.
Bargain of a lifetime I thought.
A lesson I learnt from experience though is to always read the fine print; and in this case it threw up a few surprises.

I’ve sold over 3,000 items on ebay so I know a bit about postage costs and I estimated that the item would cost about $12 via registered post or $9.70 express post. So you can imagine how shocked I was when the local postage cost was $80!!
So this camera is now $85 instead of the $5 I thought it was.

I kept reading though for any more unpleasant surprises – and found one more.
This item required insurance - $20!
When I insure my items I pay about $1.80 to $3 depending on the item. So where is this $20 coming from??
So now this camera costs $105, not what I expected!

So why the high postage costs? The item was supposed to be located in Sydney but in the fine print the item is coming from Asia, hence the high postage costs.

So, is the item worth $105? Reading the feedback for this item I would say no, nobody was happy with it for the price they paid.

But the description states that if someone is unhappy with the item they can return it for a 100% refund – so if buyers are unhappy they should simply return it shouldn’t they?

Read the description more carefully and you will see that a 100% refund only covers the BUYING price (Please note that this is in line with ebay’s policy). You don’t get a refund on the postage or the insurance, so you get a refund of $5 only. And to rub salt into the wound you need to pay the postage cost to send it back to Asia!!

So what are the Golden rules for looking for a bargain?

  • Read the fine print.
  • Check out the postage costs, are the items combined? Is there a postage cost?
  • Should you insure it? Remember that Australia Post delivers 98% of items quickly BUT the flip side is that 2% of items get held up and maybe lost.
  • Don’t assume anything!! Don’t assume postage will be combined unless it says so in the description, if there is no postage cost then don’t assume they will charge a reasonable cost (some people make their living on ebay by overcharging on postage).
  • Check the feedback of the person, this is critical to find out how honest they are and how happy buyers have been with their service.

Don’t get all paranoid after reading this article though, 99% of transactions are as honest as the day is long.  Happy ebaying!!

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