When it comes to online second-hand buying, it’s always the luck of the draw. You don’t know these people nor do you know of their integrity or lack thereof. You don’t know if what is pictured is the actual item or if they will send the item at all.
I am a somewhat regular shopper of Ebay. I honestly believe it’s a great place to buy one of a kind items as well as great discounts on items that you really want but are a bit on the pricey side. Another great place to find great items when on a budget is Craigslist. They have everything from clothes and shoes to cars and furniture. You’d be surprised at what you might find there.
Most recently I now buy my Mary Kay products from Ebay (and Craigslist at times). Why? Because I actually like the products, but I CANNOT stand those pushy sale consultants. You know and have met them, the ones who call at least weekly requesting you ’round up a few girlfriends for a pampering session.’ The ones who tell you that you should be using all different types of makeup when you’re not really a makeup wearer to begin with. I digress.
A while ago I had a not so pleasant Ebay experience. I ordered an item on Ebay (it was not Mary Kay). Actually I won the bid on it. The item won for $36 and I was very happy with that as the item usually sells for $64 +tax. The shipping was an additional $10; still not a problem. The problem comes when after 2 days I didn’t receive a tracking number for the item as this is the standard practice for most items on Ebay. Me, being the effective communicator that I am, I emailed the seller asking for a ship out date. The response was quick, ‘tomorrow’. Well since then ‘tomorrow’ had come and gone at least 13 times. No exaggeration.
It actually boiled down to me having to open a case and be refunded by Ebay. The seller even told me that she didn’t send the item because she needed to use the money to go Christmas shopping and couldn’t afford to ship the item. Where they do that at?!
In closing, do your research when buying second-hand or on Ebay etc. You still can’t be 100% sure that you dealing with an upstanding business person, but there are things you can do to increase your chances of a pleasant experience.
1. Safety First: If you have to pick up the item or meet in person, meet in a public setting during the day. If you are purchasing phones or other electronics meet a store that will give you a sanity check of the product. You don’t want to inherit a problem from someone you can never find again.
2. Research: Make sure the seller has recent positive feedback. Ensure this feedback is real and not paid for. Look a little further than the green +.
3. Shop around: If something you are looking for usually sells for $100 used and someone else is selling it for $30, scrutinize the seller and product with extreme care.
4. Golden rule: If you have to send money orders etc to Africa or somewhere, you are being scammed. Do not pass go, do not collect $200, log directly off your computer and say screw this ish!
Now you! What things did I forget to add to the list? What have you experienced with the second-hand buying systems out there?