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Reader Reviews

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in 1 - COMPANIES (Customer Service)

Average Rating
4.00 / 5 (4 reviews)

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Mike Barney
( eaglemb )

AZ, the Great Southwest!
ebay on-line auction on 11/25/2006 22:51:01 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 3 / 5

Congratulations, you won! says the email. And there's a fair chance that you got a good deal. Because of the structure and permuted feedback policies, it is getting harder to tell who is a "standup kind of seller" and who is not.

It's true ebay is not a homogeneous entity, and you deal with each seller individually. Sometimes you can find real deals. Other times, with the size of the ebay market and relatively specialized Ultralight weight backpacking, it is pretty easy to get a seller that either does not know what they have, or may not accurately represent it.

The real catch with ebay is to find reputable sellers with good feedback and a reasonable number of reporting auctions. It is also easy to get hijacked by sellers who only provide positive feedback after you have provided them positive feedback. (If you paid the money and provided a valid shipping address, shouldn't they give you + feedback?)

I'm finding more often I can find the same or very similar gear from reputable on-line dealers at similar cost, without the risks, and with a track record of customer service.

Elliott Wolin
( ewolin )

Hampton Roads, Virginia
Great if you are careful on 12/08/2006 10:52:18 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

I moved five of us from traditional towards ultralight and got over half of the new/used equipment on Ebay. Key is to know what you are buying, i.e. know the brands and models you bid on. Second, ALWAYS check the shipping cost. Finally, getting great prices can take a long time.

The best deals are on used clothing. I got an almost new Alpine Designs (if I recall) gore-tex rain suit for $17 plus shipping. Not the lightest thing around but it works great.

I also got new or used in excellent condition stoves, sleeping bags, etc.

I always check Ebay first before any purchase.

Shop Alpine products at GearBuyer
Craig Shelley
( craig_shelley )

Rocky Mountains
A good place to buy or sell on 12/17/2006 20:28:55 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I certainly agree with the individual comments above on using eBay. There are frequently items I'm interested in buying but don't want to pay full retail, like my Integral Designs eVent jacket. I set up a search to email me when the item goes on eBay. I then decide whether I'm interested in it and the maximum acceptable price. Next, I put the auction bid on eSnipe. It takes very little time and there is a good chance that I get great gear or clothing at a substantial discount. eBay is an important part of my lightweight backpacking shopping.

Shop Integral Designs products at GearBuyer
( mountainwalker )

SF Bay Area & New England
eBay for liquid closet and upgrading gear; question for Craig on 12/20/2006 07:51:03 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5


How do you set up an auto search on eBay? Not familiar with that feature. Did you set up an outside program to crawl eBay?

eBay is not only useful for acquiring used and new gear at lower cost but also for upgrading your gear by allowing your closet to be "liquid." It's easy for me to sell a well-cared for piece of gear that isn't getting much practical use with a market as large as eBay and use the $ to purchase other gear.

The key to using eBay is knowing your brands and products and generally knowing how to spot a good seller and purchase in such a way to protect yourself. There are always going to be a few difficult people out there, just like in any facet of life.

That said, eBay takes not a small percentage of your sale in fees and there's quite a bit of fraud on eBay, though I've never been stung myself in well over 130 transactions. Quite a few industry analysts point out that eBay does not do enough to cut down on problematic buyers and sellers (which I've experienced from time to time) and fraud because eBay still earns a percentage on these transactions. eBay's follow up on problem sellers and buyers and fraud prevention could be much better, and for that reason I'd only give them a 3.5

Shop Craig products at GearBuyer

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