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Buying new on EBay?

by Bradley_P. / November 1, 2004 4:20 AM PST

I'm new to computing and have posted to forums only twice. I received excellent advice and was able to solve the problems as a result. I'm back for some general advice.
I want to purchase new hardware for my business and want a good buy on a brand-name computer. I need a good internet system with storage for databases and room for standard business applications, ect., and would like to have fast multimedia capabilities. I've been looking at Dell 8400s on Ebay. They appear to be suitable to my needs and budget.
My question is however, are these systems cheaper because they're outdated, stolen, broken or some other reason? Are the sellers legitimate? They seem to be. How are they able to purchase at a price and sell for much less than the manufacturer. Any information or recommendation is greatly appreciated.
Thank you!!!

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Re: Buying new on EBay?
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / November 1, 2004 5:36 AM PST
In reply to: Buying new on EBay?

Bradley,

Just my opinion.... When purchasing anything on e-Bay, you should research the seller's credentials and even then, you never know exactly what you're going to get till you get it.

In your situation, especially since this is going to be a business machine, you'll want to make sure that you have "support" for the machine, (or machines), that you purchase. You'll want to verify that all of the recovery CD's and software is included with the purchase. That's not always provided with the e-Bay stuff. If something goes wrong, you'll want it to be fixed without a hassle or have the option to take it back for a refund. If I'm advising for business purchases, I make sure that local and reputable sources are used so that easy support is available.

If you watch the sales advertisements in your local paper, you can find most brand name computers at fairly cheap prices and they will be for sale close by. The small amount you save is never worth it if something goes wrong. Your time alone can be worth big bucks.

Hope this helps.

Grif

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Re: Buying new on EBay?
by Bradley_P. / November 1, 2004 6:45 AM PST

Grif,

Very good advice! Did not consider the recovery cd and software aspect...just assumed they would include these. They represent that the systems are new, sealed in the box.

I still wonder how these guys can sell Dell cheaper than Dell.

Thanks again!

Brad

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Ebay made easy
by LarryD / November 2, 2004 8:34 PM PST

Look at the ratings number next to the seller's name. If they are less than 95% positive (everyone gets a negative sooner or later), avoid the seller. Read the comments. I've found that sellers with in excess of 2500 ratings points are not individuals, and you will not get the individual attention that you may desire. In addition, sellers with numbers less than 20 are very new or only an occassional seller.
These are only my opinions and I expect folks to disagree (and probably ridicule my analysis) , but this is how I look at eBay.

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Re: Ebay made easy
by Bradley_P. / November 3, 2004 9:15 AM PST
In reply to: Ebay made easy

LarryD...Give yourself more credit for your "analysis". No one should ridicule anyone for a sound opinion...sounds reasonable to me. In fact, my thinking parallels yours very closely...I just haven't the experience with online auctions sufficient to have a well developed knowledge base. This is why I'm here.
I appreciate you taking the time to respond. Thank you!

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Re: Buying new on EBay?
by Jeffrey L / November 4, 2004 11:33 PM PST

Hi,
With computers as cheap as they are now, why not buy new at a discount? Places like www.tigerdirect.com offer new PC's for $350 and up. I've bought from them over the years, and they're reliable.

Good Luck,
Jeff Levitan

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Re: Buying new on EBay?
by S Barringer / November 5, 2004 12:24 AM PST

Right, Tigerdirect is good, and you showed an interest in Dell.
You can get a business account with Dell and there service is good. You could check them out and see if its right for your business.

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Re: Buying new on EBay?
by Bradley_P. / November 5, 2004 6:09 AM PST

Thank you for the information.

I will look into Dell's Business accounts and services.
I'm sure I'll have a need for additional supplies and equipment in the future, and a business account should be set up well in advance.

Thanks again!

Brad

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The Bad Side Of EEEeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeebay
by Futonman / November 5, 2004 11:42 PM PST

Well there are a lot of theft and criminals out there. Some are idiots trying to make a quick buck and other are smart theives. A few years ago i got my computer stolen found it on ebay!!!!. It even had the scratch i accidently made on the screen when i was playing around.So you see I wouldnt trust ebay at all. My neigbor bought some football gear and it was stolen and my brother bought a dell and it never came.Now if You Want to be perfectly sure its in perfect condition get it from a store or order it right off the dell website. That amount of money you save from ebay wouldn't make up for the chance that it will be stolen/damaged/be missing parts.

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Re: The Bad Side Of EEEeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeebay
by Bradley_P. / November 6, 2004 12:45 AM PST

Futonman...WOW, I've heard similar stories about eBay.
Did you contact eBay for their help in apprehending these low-lifes? They might have a lead on the sellers.

A gentleman responded elsewhere in this thread about his eBay laptop purchases...both turned out to be stolen. Seems as though the thieves failed to fully delete the real owners' contact information...some people demonstrate their intelligence with such grace, don't-cha think? He contacted the real owners, then followed up with eBay. The rightful owners got their their laptops back, he got his money back, and one of the loser thieves was found, arrested and went to jail! Doesn't that story warm your heart?

I've read many mixed reviews regarding any auction purchase and the overriding theme from most is... be VERY VERY careful.

Sorry about your bad experiences...and thanks for the advice!

Brad

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Re: The Bad Side Of EEEeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeebay
by Pointman / November 6, 2004 8:13 AM PST

Just a quick thought to add to what was said about stuff not being received. I too ordered some stuff from someone on Ebay only to have it never arrive. Then I got a letter from someone else asking about the peson not delievering, as he also lost a lot of money to him. I contacted Ebay about this and they had me go to an arbitrator, who sent out a letter to that guy. But the guy never responded to them and hence I'm out my money.

I would like to say this. If you want to make contact wiht someone real fast, give him negative feedback. You'll have email within hours complaining how unfair you are and all that stuff. Would you believe the guy contacted me saying I was most uinreasonable at giving him negative feedback and demanded I reverse it? He said what he sent me was sent back to him from here as undeliverable, which is nonsense. Nothing ever came. I told him I'd reverse the negative feedback as soon as he refunds me my money in full, to include shipping and handling charges. Well, he never did refund me...and he never got his negative feedback reversed. His was the only case I had where I did not get what I ordered, and I found the arbitrator was useless in resolving things for me. Of course, if the guy won't answer, what could the arbitrator do? Then I got another letter from another peson who also got ripped off for several hundred dollars.

It was mentioned to check the rating on the seller. I fully agree, and in my case if a person has more than 3 negatives, I skip him. The peson I ordered from had a very good rating, but he lost it now as far as I and some other people are concerned. What I did was finally write Ebay and asked them to stop allowing that person to sell on Ebay because of what he was doing to us. I've heard nothing more on this.

Although I never bought computers from Ebay, I have bought parts whcih proved to work fine. I was lucky, I guess. Watch out for one thing...sometimes people are passing off as good items things that are out of date. I ordered a small photo printer only to later discover it is impossible to get supplies for it now. I paid only a few dollars. and I learned my lesson on them.

I'd say overall I've had pretty good luck with Ebay. But if you sell on Ebay, do watch out for hidden charges that don't show up until later...especially if using a credit card. Be sure to keep your books accurate and up to date. Ebay can be a lot of fun, but to date I never made the big bucks others have made.

Someone asked how it is people can sell Dell computers for less that Dell. Don't know...unless they are stolen items.

Have a nice evening.

Pointman

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Re: The Bad Side Of EEEeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeebay
by Bradley_P. / November 6, 2004 11:56 AM PST

Pointman...you've learned some expensive lessons from eBay! As a result, you offer some very valuable advice. I'll take your recommendations to heart.

Thank you for your time!

Brad

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Re: Buying new on EBay?
by Bradley_P. / November 5, 2004 5:35 AM PST

Jeff,

I researched Tiger and see the value there. I Can't speak from personal experience, but I've gotten mixed reviews about there service. Might consider them for home use, but don't have the time to deal with a service snafu as this system is primarily for business use. I should just learn to use an abacus. Wood sticks and beads...I can service that.

Thanks Jeff, for your thoughts!

Respectfully,

Brad

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Re: Buying new on EBay?
by Pointman / November 6, 2004 8:16 AM PST

I've used Tiger on a few cases and have had the best of luck with them. Their products are as advertised and their service is super fast.

Pointman

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Re: Buying new on EBay?
by Bradley_P. / November 6, 2004 12:05 PM PST

I've looked at Tiger and saw that they offer more for the money. I personally haven't dealt with them. I've read that experiences vary however, regarding their service. Glad you've had only positive dealings there.

Brad

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Re: Buying new on EBay?
by S Barringer / November 5, 2004 12:19 AM PST

Unless you are a techie and know exaactly what you need to run each item you purchase, go to a retailer who will have all the disks, drivers, warranties if you get a bad product, and will have service if you have a problem.
You can get some real good buys on ebay, but you also can get taken.
It's very important to use a power seller, or look for a seller who offers, in writing, to accept returns, offers a warranty, and so on, like a regular retailer.
If you read through many of the items details, you will see many instances in which the item is sold as-is, not returns accepted, and so forth. Stay away from those.
I once bought a motheboard and they claimed that it was taken from a working computer. Well, the computer probably was working, but the board was fried.
Since you are running a business, to be cost effective, and have service available, go to a local retailer who is known to back up his products with a warranty and good service. Down time from bad products will ruin your bottom line.
From an experienced ebayer.

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Re: Buying new on EBay?
by Bradley_P. / November 5, 2004 7:05 AM PST

That sounds like sage advice. You know how it is...we're all trying to squeeze every bit out of our dollar. EBay offers the illusion of "something for nothing" and we should know better. Maybe it's best to start by buying something small (eBay recommends a CD) prior to larger purchases should you choose to make them. I can imagine that EBay has the feel of a casino to some...and the risk can be intoxicating.

Thank you for your time!

Brad

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Re: Buying new on EBay?
by Pointman / November 6, 2004 8:23 AM PST

I would like to say one should watch out for Power sellers too, because the luck I've had wiht them is this...when I go to pay them, it never fails that while Ebay shows I paid them, they were not paid. I would email them if I found a problem only to have my email totally ignored. Ebay would come after me to pay them, so I would pay them again (seeing as my payment through PayPal didn't show up either, thus something broke down in their system). On a couple of occassions, I paid the Power Seller only to have him finally email me back saying my order item was restocked after the 3rd day and money could not be refunded...even though in the 7th and 8th day they were bugging me for the money.

So I steer away from Power Sellers, figuring they make their money on the people they can screw and have their butts covered by Ebay who sees them as doing no wrong because of how they worded their auctions, etc..

I really like Ebay, but do watch out. I like to deal with the average person with near excellent feedback whose been around for a while. I also found a new trick to help protect me. I write them a question first before ordering. If they answer me, I kow I have someone who cares enough to make contact with me. If I don't hear from them I don't buy from them.

Ebay is fun, but watch out. One can get hurt real fast there.

Pointman

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Re: Buying new on EBay?
by Bradley_P. / November 6, 2004 12:11 PM PST

More valuable tips! Keep 'em comin' as much as you can! These are good preventive measures!

Thanks Pointman!!!

Brad

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Re: Buying new on EBay?
by Willy / November 3, 2004 12:25 AM PST
In reply to: Buying new on EBay?

The best tip anyone can give you is to look at the vendors history or any feedback from buyers. If you're wondering so is anyone else. This is a crapshoot, IMHO considering all that can wrong but usually doesn't. The old saying, "if it too good to be true, then it isn't" or something like that. Use common sense and proceed at your own risk. Also, check into what return policy or warranty is present if applicable. Understand, that a zillion computers are made and they have to be sold in some way and real storefront/warehouse vendors need to turn over inventory thus a good source of product. If the cost difference is little, check with online vendors websites at least check them out for baseline pricing on some items to get a ballpark price. Dell, offers this like other OEMs.

good luck -----Willy Happy

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Re: Buying new on EBay?
by Bradley_P. / November 3, 2004 9:00 AM PST

Great eBay info!

I definitely do comprehensive pricing analysis via OEM sites prior to considering any auction bidding on eBay. Currently, eBay sellers of new Dell 8400s are 20% to 25% below Dell's sale pricing. I'll just do as much research on the seller as I can.

Thank you for the input!

Brad

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Re: Buying new on EBay?
by Willy / November 3, 2004 10:40 AM PST

I should point out also, that some products are "refurbed" meaning, returns or rebuilds that the OEM dumps back into the grey market. Make sure if they say "new" its new and not a refurbed product. Many times the OEM will ID the product as refurbed to help curb such sales as new. I hope this helps... -----Willy

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Re: Buying new on EBay?
by Bradley_P. / November 4, 2004 1:14 AM PST

Absolutely!
I read every single word to make certain that it's NEW. I like to see that word used more than once along with "sealed in the box". I just need to be more diciplined regarding seller email contact prior to bidding. Lots of potential "gotchas".
Thank you for the tip!

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Re: Buying new on EBay?
by Marty Nelson / November 5, 2004 5:27 AM PST

Hi,

I have purchased several computer related items and with only one exception had great luck. I recently bought a new in the box, Dell 4600 for $357 (no monitor). When it arrived it was as advertised and arrived quickly.

The thing I see on ebay are low prices but high shipping and handling charges. I bought a battery backup for a computer and won it at $1.50 but paid $60 shipping and handling. It has never worked. Lesson learned. Buy from Power Sellers and estores.

Marty

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Re: Buying new on EBay?
by Bradley_P. / November 5, 2004 6:03 AM PST

Marty,

Did you try to get your money back on the battery deal?

I've heard about low cost purchases with outrageous shipping costs...right here in this thread as a matter of fact. Seems like eBay fees are tied to product and not shipping. Sellers skirt some fees and tack on a little something extra for themselves via this shipping loophole.

I'm happy to hear that your eBay experiences were positive for the most part. This is the general consensus from those who've responded to my inquiry.
If there were more blatently criminal auctions there, I'm sure I'd have heard about it by now.

Thank you Marty, for the input...I appreciate it!

Sincerely,

Brad

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Here's where I shop. . .
by Coryphaeus / November 3, 2004 11:18 AM PST
In reply to: Buying new on EBay?

I've bought a laptop and a desktop, hard drive, DVD-ROM, and a CD burner there. Excellent service, and the answers are up front.

http://www.overstock.com/

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Re: Here's where I shop. . .
by Bradley_P. / November 4, 2004 1:42 AM PST

Just went to the site...nice and clean.
Did you buy on the new auction site, or within the standard shopping area? What do you think of auctions for new product generally?

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Re: Here's where I shop. . .
by Coryphaeus / November 4, 2004 4:10 AM PST

Only the standard shopping area, I don't do auctions or eBay.

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Re: Here's where I shop. . .
by Bradley_P. / November 4, 2004 5:18 AM PST

Coryphaeus...auction aversion...probably the better part of valor for most. I myself enjoy a higher risk/reward ratio. Thank you again for the input!

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Re: Here's where I shop. . .
by nsns / November 5, 2004 5:36 AM PST
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Re: Here's where I shop. . .
by Bradley_P. / November 5, 2004 6:27 AM PST

Yep...

Seen the same regarding "free i-pods" and other stuff.
I just don't have any friends to refer.

Brad

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