Lately, I've been perusing eBay for some tools. I thought I'd share with you some of my past experiences on the popular online auction site, as well as my current dealings.
I generally have pretty mixed feelings about eBay. On one hand, just today I received an order in the mail. I had bid on and won two 1/2" step drill bits (used for drilling holes in sheet metal). I got them at a great price of 99 cents each, and just $1.50 shipping.
Apparently this seller must have robbed home depot because he had about a dozen identical ones. I just picked up two. I'm a sucker for a good deal, but chances are I'll only ever use them once or twice. I don't know what I'll do with two of them.
The trick to buying on eBay, or buying anything online for that matter, is to be sure that you need it. Again, I probably don't need two of those step bits. Ok, I really don't need two of them. Nor do I need any of my past eBay purchases: a Choose Your Own Adventure book (I guess I forgot about these things called 'libraries', oh and I'm not 12 years old anymore), and my second purchase, a Meat Loaf Bat Out of Hell CD single.
So the other thing about eBay... Damn, I have Bat Outta Hell stuck in my head... Um, oh, the other thing is to check other online places for the same item to see if you're really getting a deal. It seems like 75% of the time you get overcharged for shipping. So you might spend $2.00 on that sweet George Foreman grill, but shipping could be $15. A quick check on Google might show that Target has it for $10 in the store.
Before I bought those two bits, I checked online to see what the best price I could get them at was. The description on eBay said they were $30, but I found them on sale at an online store for $15. Either way, 99 cents was a great deal so I bought them.
It's also a good idea to make sure you are getting a quality item. I've been looking for drill bits, so I check to make sure they are a name brand, and that they have never been used before. Dull drill bits are pretty much useless. So are crappy Chinese no-name brand bits. Remember, you get what you pay for, well not exactly on eBay, but you know what I mean.