I probably spend way too much time on eBay.  Or maybe I don't.  I'm curious if other feel a thread or even a discussion group about the trials and tribulations of buying and selling knives on eBay would be worthwhile or if it would just turn into a glorious flame war?

I'm thinking of a place to discuss in general terms some of the annoying things we run into plus some of the stranger posts we see.  For instance three words that annoy me to no end are "Reserve Not Met"  

And then there are those people who sell "crappy knife with cool case"  knowing the word Case and knife will bring looks from people trying to find Case Knives.   How can legitimate sellers of Case knives better target buyers of Case knives? 

Ebay is the online flea market for knife collectors and there is a lot of good knives sold on it.  But there are also disreputable sellers.  How can we warn new buyers without hurting decent merchants who made an honest mistake.  What do other think.  Is there room or interest for a place devoted to "Ebay for Knife Collectors"

Tags: collector, eBay, knife, knives

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EBAY - great post Tobias. I like Ebay - if I have heard of a particular knife, or wonder about a knifes value - I can usually go to Ebay and at least find out an idea about that knife.  I have also, bought many knives on ebay, and for the most part have been very pleased. Its easy to purchase with PayPal. I have been stung a few times but really only twice that I regretted the purchase.  You just have to accept buying a knife that you can't physically see or touch. I don't like that but then again, I like to buy knives. There are not many around here so Ebay is the place to go and shop. Most of the time I feel very pleased with the buys I have made on Ebay.

  I have the same problem, there's no knives around here to buy, so it's eBay. I have been able to get some really nice vintage knives on eBay. I have only had a couple of bad deals, so that's not too bad considering. I talked to someone that had gotten burn several times and he called them "ePray"....lol

I've never been burned on eBay but I believe I've paid too much for a knife a couple of times. But once I got the knife, the thought of overpaying disappeared immediately. Maybe the bidding was intense because it was so desirable. The two times I got "junk" I returned them and was reimbursed quickly.

The good thing about eBay, at least for me now, is that I don't have to worry about getting burned. Ain't got no moola so I don't bid.


"Reserve not met" makes me want to punch people. Just put the reserve as the minimum bid up already!

My pet peeve at the moment is the shipping company E-bay teamed up with. Makes it easy for US sellers (because they ship to the company in the US) but VERY expensive for the buyer as they're charged things like import duties etc up front.

For example, I recently paid $83 in total for a knife that I won for $51. And only $12 would've been needed for shipping it to me.

Yeah...the "no shipping outside of US" is a problem for me too. A lot of sellers would make a lot more money if they allowed outside US bids.

I've only sold a few things on eBay and I was a person who restricted to the US.  The reason was simple enough.  I'm just a poor sap who couldn't figure out what how to set postage for overseas shipping.  Flat rate shipping was easy enough  but the overseas stuff confused me to no end.  I haven't attempted to sell in years because eBay and the post office seems to make more money off my products than I do!  This is probably why you see so few small time sellers on eBay these days.

Reserve Not Met is asinine and here is why.

Lets say you start the bidding at $1.00 and place your reserve at $45.    I come along and don't notice that the knife has a Reserve on it and decide I'll put in a Max bid of $50 on the knife, however I'm the first person to bid on the knife.  Well my bid is sits there at $1.    Now the final day of the auction arrives and some other person comes along and place a bid for $25.  My max outbids him for fifty cents and I'm the highest bid.  I lose out because I don't win the knife for $25.50.  The seller loses out because I was more than willing to pay $45 for the knife.

On more than one occasion I've had this exact thing happen to me where my max bid is significantly higher than what my posted bid states.  I have no idea if it exceeded the reserve but it definitely exceeded what my final posted bid was and that makes it very aggravating.

Tobias. In some international shipping does require a trip to the post office. But nowadays you can just look up the rates online. No difficulty, maybe 3 minutes of extra work.

Alexander, I agree with you.  In actuality when I first started selling on eBAy a long time ago (way before the days of Paypal, when payment was by credit card or money orders!) I did ship internationally because it actually easier to understand.  When I came back to eBay about five years ago shipping seemed a lot more complex. 

If I ever start selling on eBAy again, I'll try and figure out International Shipping.  But it sounds very much like eBay has turned it into money making racket.

I have shipped to both you guys and there's nothing to it. It is no harder than shipping somewhere close to home in the USA. There's no big deal, you tell them where you want to ship it and they figure the shipping to that country, you pay and that's it. No big problem. Oh, I also fill out a custom form and list the knife as a "Camping Tool". Everything I've shipped to ya'll went through slick.

   Those dealers that say "No Shipping Outside the USA" don't know how easy it is.

It is a little trickier on eBay as you need to calculate the shipping somehow and then let the buyer know the charges and then they need to pay and then you need to make a trip to the post office and ship the item.  For me, this means making two trips to the post office.  One to determine the cost and second to actually mail the item.  As my post office is only open for two hours on a Saturday that will often mean spending quite some time running back and forth, standing in line on two Saturdays.  As I value my time, that really isn't worth the amount of money I'm going  to make on the purchase.  This is probably the mindset of many independent ebay sellers, especially those who don't have postal scales, or easy access to a post office.

I've noticed many sellers have a jacked up estimated  price for international sells with a note that says they will refund the differences of actual postage once the package is mailed.   I would probably go that route just to avoid two trips to the post office.

Generally speaking my limted purchasing on eBay has gone well. Normally I am only looking for one particular knife. I also tend to buy from folks I trust, occasionally trying something new. We do have a lot of experienced eBayers' and they may be willing to share what to watch for or what to avoid. Here are my thoughts:

  1. Buy it Now Generally works unless the person selling has an inflated idea of what its worth
  2. Bids - No Reserve well you may get a bargain but sniping is rampant and just when you think you got it, you don't got it.
  3. Bids -Reserve Well again if they inflated the price its going to be tough!
  4. Offer - Almost never works because the seller already has an idea of its worth and unless you offer that he/she is not budging, I have many times come within $1 of an offer and had it refused!  Go figure! 

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