Buying records on ebay can be a fun and entertaining past time. Imagine finding albums which are no longer in print or has a cover which in itself is artwork, or if you’re wanting the feeling of nostalgia generated by a slowly spinning record on a turntable itself! Yay!
Fun as it may be, buying second hand records can potentially be a risky venture. You are basically buying something which inherently could be fraught with problems. Records can be scratched, mouldy, dirty - right down into the grooves, they could be warped or worst, a combination of some or all of these factors which makes an anticipated arrival of a purchase turn into a depressing exercise.
I have basically found a way to minimise those risks, while possibly making a little money and having a lot of fun at the same time! I have found that buying record lots are the way to go. Buy from people who are trying to offload their records 20 to 50 pieces at a time. Go through the listing of records and find out how many of them you want to actually keep. Based on the asking price and how much you are willing to bid, work out the average price per record based on only those you want. How does the price per record stack up? Based on the average price per record (ones you like), set a price you're willing to pay including postage, then cap your price and bid up to that. Don’t worry about the records you don’t want, as you’ll be able to resell them. Who knows? If you play them you might even be tempted to keep it. Consider it as a cost effective way to learn or be exposed to music beyond your normal listening space!