[Advice] Buying on eBay

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This topic contains 1 reply, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  brunswick girl 16 years, 4 months ago. This post has been viewed 286 times

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    Site Admin

    Following the recent discussion of ‘open editions’ and fake exhibition posters, I thought it might be useful to start a thread where people can share advice on using eBay.

    Clearly there are dangers (I've had my own fingers burnt with two exhibition posters that weren't 👿 ), but if you take a few precautions before bidding, there is no reason you can't find yourself a bargain or two 🙂

    These are just some of the things that I do before bidding. I'm not saying they will protect you from getting burnt (after all, they didn't stop it happening to me!), but they should at least go some way to reducing the risk.

    Firstly, learn as much about the item as possible.

      Read the description several times to make sure you know exactly what the seller is offering (we've probably all heard stories about people who thought they were buying a new X-Box, but were actually only bidding on an empty box that once contained an X-Box).

      Don't just read what is said, but think about what

    isn't being said. E.g. does the seller avoid any mention of the item's condition? If the condition of the item is excellent, wouldn't they be likely to state this?

    Even if there is a very full description, check with other sources to make sure you know exactly what you are bidding on (various websites provide information about Lenkiewicz's work).

    If you have any questions at all, email the seller. If they are genuine, they will have no problems with answering any questions![/list:u]
    In short, do your homework before placing a bid 💡

    Establish what an item is actually worth

      A Lenkiewicz item is likely to have two values - a market value and a value to you. There is no reason why these have to be the same. For example, if it's a print that is going to complete your collection of 'Esthers', you might be prepared to pay more than its actual market value (just keep your fingers crossed that other bidders are basing their bids on the market value 😛 ). However, most of us would prefer not to pay more on eBay for an item than it is actually worth (or can be obtained for elsewhere!). So, what is the market value of the item? What does ii generally sell for? Is anybody else selling a copy of that print? Check here, use Google, phone a few galleries, etc.

      Don't assume that because an item is on eBay

    it must be a bargain! This is often not the case.

    Check the shipping costs. Are they reasonable? Take these into account when deciding what to bid (some items simply cease to be a 'bargain' when you factor in shipping).

    So, once again, do your homework before placing a bid. Decide what you are prepared to pay for the item, and stick to that figure! After all, the chances are that you won't have to wait too long for the same print/book/poster to come along again.[/list:u]
    Learn about the seller - as a bidder, it is important for you to learn about the seller before bidding.

      Don't just look at their feedback rating, but look at how long they have been using eBay. Read the feedback comments. Do they only sell/buy, or do they do both? What kind of items have they sold/bought in the past? Are there similar items to the one you are interested in? If so, read the feedback for that transaction, and if in doubt, email the other party in that transaction to check they were happy with the transaction (and still are). Is the seller selling other items? Are they bidding on anything else? All of this can give a very good indication of the type of person the seller is.

      Remember, a glowing feedback rating of 50+ is quick and easy to attain. Simply buy and sell a number of cheap items (< £2) and you can do it in weeks. Look for the tell-tale signs, as this is often indicative of somebody building up to a scam (if somebody has previously only bought and sold cheap items, the £1000+ Lenkiewicz they are now selling might be fine, but ... ).

      Every eBay user was new at some time, so don't dismiss a seller simply because they have no (or little) feedback rating. In this case, just be extra careful. Send an email to the seller, and see whether they sound genuine.

      Make sure the seller doesn't have an excessive amount of negative comments. Even if they do have a negative mark or two, there might be a genuine reason, so email the seller and ask for an explanation of what led up to the negative feedback. Be realistic, if the seller has sold several hundred items, it is likely that there will be an occassional 'hiccup'.

      If you have doubts about an item, ask the seller if it would be okay to collect it. Even if you have no intention of collecting, the seller's response to the question can be indicative of their genuineness.[/list:u]
      Also, be totally sure that you actually want the item. Don't rush into bidding simply because you happen across an item on eBay. After all, if it is something that you don't really want, it won't seem such a bargain ... and you might have stopped me from winning it, and I really did want it 😆 😛 😉

      It would be interesting to hear the advice and experiences of other eBay users 💡 💡 💡


    brunswick girl

    I think you have covered this topic very well here Dave.

    I too was ripped off on ebay, fortunately the seller was sincere enough to admit to cutting the image from a book and refunded my money. However, the experience has left me doubting many of the Lenkiewicz items for sale on ebay, which is perhaps unfair to some of the sellers who have got caught up in this.

    I now find myself thoroughly scrutinising every detail of any Lenkiewicz work posted for sale on ebay and generally decide to be cautious and save my money. Which is obviously unfortunate for both myself and the legitimate sellers out there.

    I guess you have to be very wary of the crafty sellers ambiguously wording their descriptions so as to cover themselves. A particluar example could arguably be seen with the guy on ebay placing a question mark at the end of his item's title (take a look on ebay if you haven't seen it 😉 ). I think this is probably a prime example whereby the seller would claim you, the buyer, were made aware of the fact that this may not be a Print in the terms that most people would consider it. Therefore, he/she is not in theory at fault.

    Hopefully, by bringing this subject to a discussion forum such as this sellers will become discouraged from blatantly misleading people on ebay. At the very least potential buyers from this site will be much more informed of potential rip offs.

    Fantastic site Dave - well done, it's fast becoming a goldmine of information. 😀

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