eBay is a great source for finding things when you don’t know where else to look for something bizarre. It’s an especially good source for vintage and preowned stuff. However, it often fails as a supply for new mass produced items. eBay certainly has plenty of that, but often at higher prices. For modern mass stuff, you’re often better off buying from a known, specialty website.
If you’re looking for something specific and modern try NexTag, Bing Shopping, or Google Shopping. However, Google Shopping no longer supports anything relating to “weapons” or anything they think isn’t “family friendly”.
However, if you don’t know exactly what you want, eBay and Amazon are your friend. For example, if you want a ‘pocket knife’ an eBay search will give you everything from $5 Chinese junk to $300 custom blades (mostly junk though).
Beware of eBay “snipers” who enter a big winning bid at the last second. Like, literally the last SECOND. It’s a sneaky way to avoid a bidding war. There’s another auction site that has a better policy. If someone enters a bid during the last 15 minutes on GunBroker.com then the auction lasts 15 more minutes. It prevents “bid sniping” so that the seller gets the highest price and all the bidders have a chance to compete.
Also, beware of fake and counterfeit items. For example, almost all of the Vapur water bottles on eBay are low quality counterfeits. There’s also an eBay scam that my mother fell for. Basically, a seller offers a piece of jewelry with a lot of misleading information. It’s a $30 piece of jewelry, a $100 eBay price, and a claim that the jewelry is really worth $300. In one case, the seller was saying that it was appraised as “$300 to replace”. Yes, $300 to replace it … with quality jewelry the same size and style. Not all gems are created equal.
A note on diamonds: Diamonds are rated based on the “4 Cs” which are Color, Clarity, Cut (shape), and Carat (size/weight). Of all of those, Carat is actually the least important. Who cares if it’s a 2 carat diamond if it’s deformed, smokey, and brown?
Another eBay scam involves fake antiques. Just look at the number of fake antique katanas (samurai swords). This is less of an issue with items that are ‘close to home’ – less old or American made. It’s more of a problem with ancient artifacts. It’s easy to make a fake Roman coin. Recreating a 1970’s Blenko vase is more expensive and a lot less profitable.
********Since this is mainly a gun blog, I think I should mention that eBay is anti-gun in a lot of ways, but they’re getting better. eBay actually banned a lot of gun parts for a few years. Also, you can sell a gun case, but you can’t sell an “AK-47 gun case”. It’s the exact same item, but make any reference to an “assault weapon” and eBay will delete the auction. Also, eBay bans any pictures of guns. Want to show something attached to a gun? You have to use a fake gun. In many cases, I’ve seen real guns Photoshopped to look like toy guns. Also, eBay bans anything that holds more than 10 rounds of ammo. PayPal is rabidly anti-gun and is owned by eBay.