As readers of this blog may have noticed I've been picking up a few Trollbead pieces from Ebay recently; namely a bracelet and one of my zodiac stars, both of which I got at what I felt was a very good price. I also bought a non-troll safety chain from an Ebay seller and I intend to buy some more for my other bracelets.
My general experience on Ebay as a seller and buyer has been rather good, I tend to buy and sell second hand clothes and furnishings which has always been a tricky market. As a buyer I've bought some lovely stuff but also ended up with cardigans that shed fibres the moment they come within 2ft of you (not mentioned in the auction description) and things I probably shouldn't have paid as much as I did. As a seller I've only had one person be shirty about something they bought from me; everyone else I've dealt with has been lovely and they've had some cracking bargains on vintage clothing and home furnishings.
Therefore I wasn't a newbie on Ebay when I decided to try bidding on some trollbead items. Although I'm relatively new to Troll, I felt confident enough to make my first Troll related purchases via auction. There are pros and cons to Ebay whether it be Trollbeads or any other item, so should you Ebay or not?
Obviously this is *always* going to be a personal decision. When I look for trollbead items I'm probably FAR more careful than I am with clothes, furnishings etc. If I'm in any doubt I don't bid, I always research the sellers as carefully as I can and I never pay more than I can afford to lose if it went wrong. So here are my hints and tips if you decide to take the plunge.
- Check Sellers ID very carefully - feedback scores and percentages, comments left for them as seller and buyer, comments they've left for others.
- Look at photos and descriptions carefully - are they stock photos or photos of actual item, are they copyrighted to someone else (lots of folk use stock photos but I prefer to see a photo of what I'm bidding on) as I've also had my photos *stolen* for use by other Ebayers (reported naturally)
- Research what you're buying - Does the item say retired when it's a current bead? Is the price inflated when you can buy new from a retailer for same or lower price? Compare details carefully.
- Check post and packing costs closely, what can seem like a bargain price is less so when you add in post and packing.
- Take care and don't buy outside of the auction privately (you're not covered by Ebay policies) or after the fact, and always use paypal generated by the Ebay system as you have quite a lot of rights under paypal as a buyer.
- Don't get carried away by the excitement of the auction and pay more than you want to, decide on your maximum bid before you start bidding.
Personally I wouldn't have felt comfortable going for Trollbead stuff until:
- I was used to Ebay both as a seller and a buyer
- I was used to trollbeads and buying beads that I know about
- I knew what my comfort zone was on pricing
Having written all of that it can be a lot of fun if you're careful, but it's not to everyone's taste and these are most certainly my own opinions!
If you do decide to take the plunge; have a good read of this, use your common sense and do tell me about any bargains you've picked up!