I, like the majority of sellers on Ebay, take great pride in my feedback and the honesty and integrity of the service we provide. And a big part of that service if offering accurate information on my items. It pays for buyers to read the item descriptions very carefully. I mainly sell sports memorabilia and trading cards and in recent times I have had numerous auctions go for $70-80 on an item worth $15 at best or a $2.50 item go for $25, all because of a failure to read all the details. I go to great lengths to highlight relevant information, using bold text and different colour text. Sometimes the buyers unfortunate situation can be blamed on misleading titles, although sometimes the title cannot convey the item in enough detail due to the character limit on the title.
Now I'm not knocking the system....part of the beauty of the Ebay auction system is that the prices are market driven. That is, if two or more people want the same item badly enough then the price of the item will rise accordingly. But successful buying on Ebay all comes down to research. Items are generally listedfor seven days, so being rushed to make a decision should never be an excuse. A great place to start is to check out completed items in Ebay's advanced search area.
When using Ebay for purchasing trading cards here are a few short points to keep in mind -
*To start with ALWAYS read the auction description first. Do this twice! Look for the small print saying no paypal from unconfirmed addresses, no paypal for international buyers, international pays more for postage etc etc.
*For high end cards look for stolen pictures and check completed auctions for the same card listed twice.
*For boxes ALWAYS check to see if its the hobby or retail version and also ensure that it's "Factory Sealed". It is very easy now-a-days for an individual to plastic shrink-wrap a box and pass it off as sealed.
*Try to buy multiple items of the one seller if you can to keep shipping down and take advantage of combining them.
*When searching on eBay don't forget to search for spelling errors, people are bound to make mistakes. It may take a while but be less specific when searching. You may get more items to sift through but you will find more cards listed under bad titles. This is where the bargains are!