There are hundreds if not thousands of eBay stores in Australia selling mobile phone accessories, and as a long time eBay member, I found buying my own accessories for devices over time a little frustrating, particularly when buying outside of Australia.
Because I am in the mobile phone communications industry, friends and family would ask me where they could go to get something descent, they’ve tried the 99 cent items from someone and it just doesn’t give them the satisfaction they were looking for with their new $300 or $800 phone / PDA.
The experiences I would hear around the dinner table or BBQ’s and in the work place had a similar recurring theme. Wrong product, bad fit, poor quality all based on a seller who has no knowledge of devices, end user experience and variance, all eventually leading to a poor quality experience.
It was actually these frustrations that spurred me on to start our own eBay business ‘Handi Phone accessories’, but more about that later.
I offer you some tips or thinking points when looking around eBay for something that you will use every day to protect your phone and minimise going back to the mobile phone shop 11 months in to a 24 month contract – not happy Jan J
99.9% of this stuff is made in China or Taiwan, nothing wrong with that, both have some of the most modern industrialised manufacturing capabilities in the world. Look at the iPhone & HTC products, they are superbly built and made in China & Taiwan respectively. I found in my research for accessories, China essentially offer 3 grades of manufactured quality, A,B&C, with A being equivalent to an OEM or manufacturers fit. Premium quality fit and material.
A B OR C WHICH ONE WILL IT BE ?
You really have to ask yourself is that extra 3 or 4 or 5 dollars going to kill you when a better quality product is going to protect your device from a nasty drop, a bit of moisture, a random event. Consider all the ways you use a phone and where you take it. I can’t tell you how many phones I’ve seen hit the deck as the train comes rushing in to the Melbourne underground and yes the phone falls out of a flimsy case or fumbley hands. A good accessories will protect, and fit well at the same time. Fit is important because you don’t want the case or cover to come off or tear (cheap silicone) when you have a minor event. A quality eBay seller will tell you it’s ‘A’ grade or premium, but how can you trust them? – choose your seller.
CHOOSING YOUR SELLER
eBay is all about trust, if you have none for eBay, you shouldn’t be shopping here. You can tell a quality seller who has quality products, because primarily they care and that will cost you more. They have thought about and tried the products that they want, the devices they have used themselves and their customer experience – read their feedback. They sell their products at a bit more of a margin because they want to offer you or even as important the person you recommended the best sales and after sales service; you can’t do that making 31 cents out of a product. The quality of photos, the ENGLISH and GRAMMER being used is a dead giveaway that someone lacks care and attention to detail. Long shipping times are drop shippers in Australia sending from overseas.
HAS THE SELLER TRIED THE DEVICE & ACCESSORY?
Does the seller’s ad give you any indication that they know anything about the device they are selling accessories for? You have to ask yourself if they are preaching high praises for a product, have they even tried it. Look for THEIR (not stock) photos of their devices in their products.
I’m quite proud of the fact that we at Handi Phone Accessories buy all the devices we sell products for, I’m in the business so I can (have to) do that, but it makes my products more expensive; However when a buyer has a question about an accessory, I can give first hand advice and service about the product and the accessory in the context of the customer, not guess work. This sort of service is available on eBay, I am sure I am not the only one.
When you are searching, sort by highest price first, you’ll see all the big name brands, Apple, Targus, Antler etc, all quality items with great R&D behind them, this will give you a benchmark for a similar item you are looking for that is not branded and therefore a bit cheaper but not the cheapest.
AFTER SALES SERVICE
Firsthand experience here and you’ve probably been there too. Bought the 99 cent case from overseas, never showed up after 25 days of waiting. Couldn’t communicate with the seller because we speak 2 different languages and it ended up as a PayPal battle. I got my money back when I wanted a case, PayPal froze his account which meant the poor guy couldn’t trade, and I didn’t want that.
In the end it probably wasn’t his fault, stuff just happens to postal items, like socks in a washing machine, you get the picture.
There is nothing like buying in Australia and getting a premium buying experience, good after sales service and a company that still wants to be there year in year out selling quality items and giving real advice.
Don’t underestimate the value of this. You may never get to use that little bit extra you paid for over and above the cheapest item, lucky for you, but it only needs to happen once to you or someone you have recommended to tarnish you or another’s eBay reputation and shopping satisfaction.
· Don’t always look for the cheapest
· Australian sellers know they are competing with overseas traders and what differentiates Australian sellers is service
· Look for good quality English and grammar in the listing detail
· Look for their photos not stock images
· See if they have actually used the product in the device they are selling it for
· Look for A grade or premium quality listings – you won’t regret this when your iPad accidently slips out of your poorly designed case
Handi Phone Accessories was born out of a lot of these principals, and although we have been trading on eBay a long time, our presence is new, and I’ll admit it is hard competing with cheaper products. We use every single product we sell, love them or hate them. Our kids use them and we let friends and family use them too. If it's no good we'd rather not sell it. And therein lies our philosophy for doing this.
The term Handi Phone is what the Japanese call mobile phones, and as we as a family have a long time connection with Japan we thought it was a little different, which again is what we want for our customers, we want the service experience to be A1, a light year between us and our rock bottom competitors. We also are looking to expand our range to less run of the mill products to keep the variety there, but that depends on the support we get from the punters on eBay.