Wednesday, June 28, 2006

The true cost of eBay

There are no deals on eBay. There is lots and lots of stuff but no deals. I find that I only buy from eBay when I'm searching for something really obscure (they are bound to have it) or when I'm selling something (I know I'll get a good price).

Not only is the closing price on eBay usually the fair market price, but sellers often have large shipping and handling charges. I substract out S&H when calculating my willingness to pay, but I doubt many others do.

More annoying that usurious S&H is the incredible time cost of using the service. You need to sit at your computer waiting waiting waiting for the auction to end so you can jump in with a bid at the last moment. This is called sniping and it makes eBay an expensive place to shop.

When I'm selling, I try to schedule the auction so that it will close when people have lots of time to sit at their computer and snipe.


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