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Thread: eBay

  1. #1

    Default eBay

    I'm not doing too much active collecting these days (mainly for space reasons) but when I was adding to my collection I used eBay quite a bit.

    I've had off and on experiences with eBay over the years but by and large I've been very happy with both the products I've purchased and the people I've dealt with there.

    I have, however, heard some folks grumble, often quite a bit, about eBay and their experiences there.

    Has anyone had a particularly bad experience with eBay? A particularly good one?


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Cary, North Carolina

    Default Re: eBay

    Quote Originally Posted by Erik
    Has anyone had a particularly bad experience with eBay? A particularly good one?
    No real BAD experiences and several good. I've both sold and bought.

    My strangest; several years ago I listed two books for the TI-99 separately. Their cover prices were about $10 to $12 so I started them at $5 each. One finally sold for about $65, the other for >$70! I studied the listing for a long time to be sure that I hadn't lied or misrepresented anything.

    A few weeks later I found another copy of one book so I listed it. It went for ~$10. Go figure.

    Two of my pet peeves:

    Sellers who charge a fortune for shipping and handling. I look at the total cost: $1 for the item and $12.55 for shipping or $12.55 for the item and $1 for shipping, makes no difference to me.

    AND sellers who list an item as RARE!!! but we all know better. Some folks seem impressed by tacking on words like vintage or hard-to-find don't impress me.

  3. #3


    My wife used to work for 3DO and while she was there she ended up collecting a ton of promotional games for the 3DO game system as well as the system itself. She'd typically pay $5 for the American titles and would generally be given the international (Japanese) titles in favor of trashing them.

    During a cleanup prior to our first baby I decided to put her collection on eBay since we'd pretty much never used it and it was taking up valuable space.

    I sold the unit with about a dozen games for about $250 which was at the opening bid. I was happy as I thought that fair.

    I then listed about 60-80 titles, almost all unopened and many Japanese titles that I was not familiar with.

    As it turns out there's a huge community of 3DO enthusiasts that bid some items to crazy numbers. I had no fewer then 4 titles break $100.

    Out of it all I had only two bad incidents.

    The first was my fault. I shipped two boxes out and got the labels crossed. I ended up having the recipients return the items at my expense and re-shipped them, again at my expense. Unfortunately these were cheaper titles so I lost on those transactions. Happily the buyers were understanding and patient. I still delivered both games within 30 days.

    One of my "buyers" turned out to be a total flake and never paid for one of the $100+ titles. He ended up costing me in the end as the re-list sold for about $50.

    Not that I can complain. A big box of stuff that we bought for about $300 total brought in nearly $2,000 in the end.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Bellevue, Colorado
    Blog Entries


    I had one bad experience from eBay but it hasn't stopped me from going back. I won an old laptop for parts (for the screen) and told him that was why I wanted it. I paid for extra packaging and everything, and it got to me with the screen shattered, wrapped in one single piece of bubble wrap in a thin post office box. Other than that, my experiences have been good.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Nantes, France


    Same for me...
    I paid for an Amstrad NC200 which I never received but it's been the only example. Transactions are always pretty cool and sometimes they even turn to a kind of flea market in which seller and buyer try to swap what they don't want any more. I've done many deals like that...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Blog Entries


    I tend to find things on ebay that I just cant find anywhere else.

    I was looking for a good ADB KVM for 4 of my macs and found a $200 unit for $50 on ebay, and I had been looking on a mac swaplist for over a year to find one with no luck (they did ocasionaly sell some old crappy models there).

    You can also find stuff for projects very cheap on ebay. I think I paid $5 for a 386 dx-40 board with math coprocessor, 256k cache (rare for a 386) and 32mb ram (8x 4mb 30 pin) when I was looking to make an old retro dos game box. Paid maybe $2 for a Soundblaster 2 pro and $8 for a gravis ultrasound max card. Where else could you find vintage working gaming cards like that anymore?

    If you look a while you can find just about anything on ebay for a very good price, or if you need a part in a hurry you can find anything at a normal price.

    I did have 1 system show up broken but the vender files with fedex and I got all my money (including shipping) back even though the computer was find and just the monitor was broken.

  7. #7


    I've had only one near-miss on ebay and one damaged in shipment item. both involved Daystar Genesis Mac clones. The first one was damaged in shipment by Fed-Ex ground. It was improperly packed and was dropped. The entire plastic front bezel was shattered and the metal case was severly warped. I was able to straighten the case and have finally found most of the bezel parts. The second was a student at U of Pitt who took over five months to send my computer. He finally send it after I filed a fraud complaint with the USPS Inspector General, the University (he was using his university e-mail account) and the PA Attorney General Office. He sent the system, not in the condition it was supposed to be in, and was totally offended that I would complain. He had never answered an email or returned a phone call after getting the money order. I had paid him over $400 and was not going to give up either getting the computer or a refund.

    I did buy an Sgi part recently that was not a described, but I can't really fault the seller. Some of the parts are really exotic and not too many people would know the difference is by chip count alone. Both versions of the board bear the same part number sticker.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Saginaw, MI, USA 48601
    Blog Entries

    Default OT eBay

    While we're on the topic of eBay, does anyone know what has become of the "vintage" area of eBay? I used to browse it every day, then one day about a month ago, it was gone! Is there another area now where we cn find vintage systems, etc?

    Teach your children how to think, not what, and hold 'em close, not tight.

    Please visit the Vintage-Computer Wiki. Contributers welcome.

  9. #9


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