[kwlug-disc] Buying online

Rick rickm at golden.net
Thu Dec 11 15:49:17 EST 2008

Raul Suarez <rarsa at yahoo.com> writes:
> So, I've increased my internet accumen: Buy online? sure,
> but only from reputable sellers even if it costs more.

If I read you correctly, you are implying that even highly rated eBay
sellers != reputable. Or, in other words, you will not buy from eBay
... unless you have some other criteria to distinguish reputable eBay sellers.

Anyway, I have purchased around 15 items from eBay over the past 5 years.
Compared to what I would have paid retail, I have saved 30-80%.
And even more savings because some items were for PDA/etc repair
that extends the life of technology.

So I intend to stick with making (occasional) eBay purchases. But, now,
add a fresh wrinkle. If there is a large number of widely popular,
currently-in-demand items for sale, there I will do a bit more research
on the item ... to check for common scams. The keywords will include
"fraud" ... and probably also "eBay".

However, for more specialized/outmoded items ... like no-longer-current
PDA-items, old-model Sony speakers, PCI-cards (for SATA, USB, etc)
... then I still feel safe. The fraudsters can't target niche markets in
a declining tech because a sufficient supply of suckers isn't getting born
every minute.

Interestingly, these (mostly) Hong Kong sellers are dealing in the
latest, high-demand tech. So, unfairly or not, they are a deserving
target of suspicion. And even with the Hong Kong sellers, I am happy
with all-but-one of the items that I bought.

So, once again Raul, do you give up on eBay? Or do you have _other_
criteria to distinguish reputable _eBay_ sellers? Because 99.9%
on 1400 feedback makes for reputable in the eBay world.

Although, now, I am learning/noticing the tricks that can be used to
"game the eBay system". These fraudsters sell a restricted monoculture
of items with a cheap-but-reliable loss-leader that swells feedback
... and, then, pad their profits with a cash cow item at the $20-$50 range.

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