eBay Shopper’s Guide for Ham Radio Ops

 Now in its 5th year of operation, eHamStore.com is still offering the best of what eBay has to offer when it comes to Ham Radio and Police Scanner gear. Since many of you have probably not considered looking over The eHamStore as a place to bid on or purchase Ham Radio and Police Scanner gear, I wanted to put a quick buyers guide together to help buyers  navigate around the  eBay listings at eHamStore.com and to help potential  buyers realize that eBay offers buyer protection not found on other sites. Please take a few minutes to check out this buyers guide to eBay and take my short poll at the end of the article. Also please feel free to comment on your eBay / Ham Radio shopping experiences.  Thanks!

The Quick eBay Buyers Guide:

  eBay bills itself as an auction site.  The reality is that it’s more of a giant yard sale or never-ending Hamfest.  Go straight to the search bar on the eBay main page, type in anything you might be looking  for, and odds are pretty good that you will find at least one for sale. It’s rare when you don’t come up with at least one of what you are looking for. The downside is that spelling errors in listings can be a bit frustrating from time to time.

There are two types of eBay listings.

  Auctions feature an end time of anywhere from a few days to a week.  Entering a maximum bid is OK but the site only shows the maximum bid you need to win the item. Don’t do this unless you want to pay the top dollar for the item or it’s something you cannot live without. The best way to get the item you want is to become an auction sniper and pounce on the item during the last-minute. Place your final bid during the last few seconds of the auction.

  The other type of listing (the more popular these days) is Buy It Now.  These are basically simple for sale listings where you agree to buy the item for a specific price. There’s no drama, just a quick and smooth transaction. One thing to be aware of is to review shipping costs prior to placing a bid or buying an item.  Shipping costs vary wildly from listing to listing. It’s possible to purchase an item at a higher price and actually save a few dollars when you factor in the potential savings on shipping costs.

  Always remember that you are buying from a seller not eBay. Fortunately, eBay has a feedback system. What that means is that you can quickly review the seller’s trustworthiness.  The seller can leave feedback on you as the buyer as well. Once you submit payment, the type, size and location of the item will determine how fast you receive it.

  Since eBay owns PayPal, all credit card transactions are processed via PayPal. For reasons that are unknown to me, people don’t like opening a PayPal account.  My personal experience over the years has been 100% positive. Perhaps one time buyers see no need to open a PayPal account and think negatively about something they don’t understand. I have found it to be safe, secure and convenient. PayPal also offers extra protection on purchases when PayPal is used as the payment method.

  Using eBay as reference for prices is a huge reason to think eBay. If you want to know what an item is going for and you just want to shop around, what better place to look online than eBay.  Again, you need to have some idea of  what an item is really worth and what you are willing to spend before you start digging around on the site.  Patience is often rewarded with a reasonable price. Read all listings carefully , remember to keep your head and you’ll be fine.

  Like any system, eBay has its imperfections but remember that people all over the world buy and sell millions of items each and every day via eBay / PayPal. As a buyer you may pay a bit for an item but it’s far better to be protected that taking a chance and buying an item from a site like Craig’s List or other Ham Radio sites which offer no buyer protection whatsoever.


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