General Question

haegenschlatt's avatar

Can I trust eBay bids?

Asked by haegenschlatt (122points) September 16th, 2010

I’ve seen eBay bids of $300 products going for a few cents. While these get bidded up to about $70-something after a while, they still remain dirt cheap compared to the actual price.

Most of these come from sellers with good satisfaction rates.

And no, I’m not talking about the bids with really low prices and really high shipping rates.

Can I trust these?

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11 Answers

jaytkay's avatar

Did the items actually sell for $70? At the end of the auction, if the reserve has not been met, the bids don’t mean much.

If you find a lot of similar items, from a lot of different sellers and buyers, which actually sold for $70, then the price is $70, not $300.

The more transactions and sellers and buyers involved, the more trustworthy the prices.

haegenschlatt's avatar

@jaytkay it doesn’t look like the seller has a reserve price on the product. The item I’m interested in usually sells for upwards of $300 but the bidding is currently at $0.21.

The prices of these seem to fluctuate, varying mostly between $50 and the actual price, about $380.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

Any chance the products are cheap imitations?

I’m not quite sure I know what you mean by trusting the bids. The way you phrase it, I keep imagining the mafia doing a three card monty type thing, which is probably not what you meant.

Ame_Evil's avatar

When you buy a lot of stuff from ebay/amazon/other online shops you get a certain feel for the price of items. Generally as a rule, ebay and sellers on amazon are the cheapest as they do not want to bother wait lengthy times to sell their items. For example something like a GPU can sell for £200 in a store, £130–170 in online shops but £110 on ebay.

If you don’t mind sharing could you link us to this product?

haegenschlatt's avatar

@Ame_Evil How did you guess? Yes, the item is a GPU. I’m looking into buying this 5870 here:

@papayalily The SELLER claims that the graphics card (5870), which is what I’m trying to buy, is “brand new” and “never used never opened”. By trust, I mean, how do I know they’re not baiting me in with really low prices and then taking my money and never sending anything to me? I’m not too familiar with the whole eBay thing.

Ame_Evil's avatar

Haha, pure coincidence.

For hardware such as a GPU I would never buy off ebay. This is because of issues with warranty. I would prefer to spend the extra money (even if its double) to ensure that I can always send it back within a year if it doesn’t work or something goes wrong rather than be left with a paperweight.

My advice is to either save up, or buy a cheaper but still decent graphics card. If you go for the second option you can always sell it and upgrade when you do have the money. I would recommend checking out 4890s and 5750–5770s which are around half the price of that one but still really decent cards unless you really want to go for max performance. If you want DirectX 11 then don’t bother with the 4890 since it only runs 10.1

And here is a general link for you to use to decide on GPUs which I found really helpful:

Ame_Evil's avatar

That ebay auction does mention 2 year warranty. I guess it could be no harm asking about it, such as where do you send it to if it is faulty and whether you are entitled to a replacement or a refund if this is the case. Again I prefer just to get it from Amazon or a reputable online shop because their returns and support is pretty much hassle and worry free.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@haegenschlatt Ok. Here’s what you do:
1) Check where they’re shipping from. As a general rule (I’ve had tons of exceptions), it’s less reliable coming from Asia than somewhere else in the States, Canada, or the UK. Haven’t had much experience with others.
2) Check the sellers ratings. I like at least a purple star (500–999). For products where I’m spending less than 5 bucks, I’ll go lower, and for under 2 dollars, I take a chance on the yellow stars.
3) Check the actual feedback. This is the time consuming part. You click on their feedback score next to their username on the product page in the upper right hand area. If I see any negative comments in the past 1 or 6 months, I’ll check them out. No, there is no way to sort by which type of feedback they left, just the date they left them, so you have to click a lot. I look for a few things: patterns (really late shipping, product is broken/fake/imitation, product is really cheap/description wasn’t accurate). I also check for the sellers response, if any. If they respond with their side of the story, that’s fine – I often read that the buyer wanted a refund but refused to return the product. However, if they retailiate (ie buyer is a liar, buyer is a crossdresser, namecalling, etc) I don’t buy from them no matter what – I don’t want to deal with personal attacks if something goes wrong with my purchase. For just a few, maybe 3–8 – hey, you can’t satisfy everyone all the time. For more, I look really closely – if they sell 1000+ a month and have 3 negative reviews a month, it’s much better than if they sell 400 a month and have 3 negative reviews. I’ll also chance it with a lot for the under 5 products – after all, if it turns out that I was scammed, that just means I have to make dinner one night instead of getting take-out.

So I guess you have to ask yourself: How much are you willing to possibly throw away in order to possibly save down the line?

haegenschlatt's avatar


Thanks a ton for the extensive answer. :D

1. Looks like they’re shipping from Florida.
2. Ratings are good, the guy has a red star.
3. I’ve read the feedback and all of them seem great.

Also, how do I defeat eBay bid bots?

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@haegenschlatt Yeah, he does seem to have good ratings.

Bid bots? Like the auto-bids? You don’t. They’re there so you can set a max. bid and then just walk away, knowing you might not have to bid that much.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@haegenschlatt Oh, I just found out that if you click on the number of negative reviews, it’ll take you straight to them. I think that’s a new feature, but I’m not sure.

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