Ebay used to be good when it first came out. But now common items go for around retail it seems. Add shipping, not knowing who you are buying from and the difficulty if there is a problem with the item, it isn't worth it to me.
It is good if you are looking for something rare, but I wouldn't buy tools off it.
When I was building my pool I got a lot of the stuff on Ebay. I got a big bag of 44 misc grounding clamps and such (including a few Kupletaps) for $8, a couple GFCI QO breakers for $6 each and some Jandy valve actuators for ~$50. You just have to use good Ebay dicipline and don't pay too much.
Go to a regular auction, and watch people get whipped up into a frenzy, overpaying for the goods, they will pay the cost of new goods (or more) for used merchandise. The key to any auction is knowing when to back off after it reaches the max price one is willing to pay for it.
P.S. If it hits 1/2 of new price, its past time to be considering buying new,w/ wear, no warrenty, not worth it, IMO.
Another thing about regular auctions, it's sometime fun to watch people buy goods they cannot use, was at one for a retiring EC, they were buying 8'strips for $10 ea (new) the problem was they were 277V.
I think the trick with e-Bay is the same as anywhere else: Don't buy on impulse.
A lot of stuff goes for almost or sometimes above retail even before S/H fees. But you can get some really sweet deals: After a lot of patients, I got a brand-new, with-warranty Fluke 179 for $140 which included shipping.
I'm not a big fan of eBay or auction sites in general mainly because they rarely seem to have what I want, when I want, at a price I'm willing to pay. I've certainly seen any number of items sell for well above retail. I think it's the "auction" atmosphere that just makes people stupid. Which is great if you're the seller...
[This message has been edited by MikeK3145 (edited 10-09-2005).]
well i have to say i've been buying on ebay for about two years & have had only one bad experience the whole time.like the others are saying ya gotta know what you wanta pay for something & stop. some times ya get a deal then ya don't. as for most of the sellers on ebay 99 % of them are great people & willing to work things out,then you have a few bad apples just like anywhere else. just my 3cents worth.
[This message has been edited by circuit man (edited 10-09-2005).]