It’s almost impossible to get a bargain on ebay – the site is so popular that there is nearly always someone willing to pay over the odds for used items. That’s not to say that it is never worth buying stuff from ebay but just don’t expect to get a bargain. As always though there are some exceptions to the rule but you have to be either quick or lucky. I have two saved searches which I regularly use to look for photographic items:
- Items which are for local pickup only. Some people aren’t willing to have the hassle of packaging up the item and taking it to the post office, they will only sell it to people who are willing to come and collect it. This will vastly cut down the number of people who are willing to bid and so your chances of winning are greatly improved. If nobody else is willing to bid then you could get a real bargain.
- Newly listed Buy It Now items. Some people offer a fixed price for their item and they will sell it to the first person who is willing to pay that price. If the seller doesn’t realise the true value of the item then you can get a bargain but you will have to be quick because you need to get in there before anyone else spots it.
Last week I thought I was in with a great chance of getting a real bargain, the listing said:
- Local Pickup Only
- Only five miles from where I live
- The title was “Nikon F65, Tripod, Tramron Lens”.
- Starting bid of 99p.
This was a great opportunity for the following reasons:
- Not many people are interested in a Nikon F65. Not that it’s a bad camera (I used to have one myself) but it is a relatively cheap film SLR.
- The lens was Tamron 80-210 f4.5-5.6 which again is nothing special. Even if someone did want it the seller had spelled the word “Tamron” incorrectly so less people were likely to find it.
- No details at all were given for the tripod however on closer inspection of one of the photographs (not the main one either) I could see that it was actually a Manfrotto 190B and came with two different heads.
Now I’m not an expert on tripods but I know that Manfrotto is a quality make even if the 190B is at the bottom of their range. I also know that the tripod I already own is rubbish. So in short this was a magnificent opportunity. With a few minutes to go the highest bid was £10, but I knew that I would be able to resell the camera and lens for around £40 so with only five seconds to go I put a maximum bid in of £65.65.
Some bugger beat me! I was obviously not the only one who had spotted this hidden gem. Never mind, I will have to keep searching – one day someone I will get a Leica M3 for twenty quid I am sure!
3 thoughts on “Ebay Bargains”
Guess what?! Whoever outbid me was a durr-brain who didn’t understand what “Local Pickup Only” means and was unwilling to pick it up! The seller has got in touch we me to say “Are you still interested?”. “Erm – yes”! Will let you know if the tripod is worth the angst!
Well, I am now the proud owner of a Manfrotto tripod! OK it is an old version of one of their cheaper models but it is still a great improvement on what I already had and was an absolute bargain.
I have paid £67 for the tripod, a three way head, a ball head, a Nikon F65 SLR in mint condition, a Sigma 28-80 lens, and a Tamron 70-210 lens. The camera and lenses will be put on ebay soon along with my old tripod – hopefully I will end up selling these for more than £67 resulting in a free Manfrotto tripod!
I ended up selling the two lenses and the camera body for a total of £68.51. In other words someone effectively paid be £1.51 and gave me a free Manfrotto tripod!