The Lite Side

Things We've Learned from eBay

Jeff and Lori Adkins - 2004.04.20

With so many people visiting our site, eventually you need to wind up buying a piece of equipment for your low-end Mac. There are lots of things to buy, but where to buy them?

One place many of us turn to is eBay. Now, some people have never used eBay because they're scared they'll get ripped off. And while it is true you can be ripped off (it's happened to us once or twice) you can also get some great deals. So here is a guide to help you get started if you've ever considered participating in an online auction. We call it the Lite Side's

Guide to Buying Stuff on eBay

It is better to buy Mac equipment from people who type MAC. You will get a better price than the thing is really worth.

People who normally use PCs are astounded at the resale value of Apple equipment.

Approximately one-half of one percent of all buyers are whiny jerks.

Your wife will let you get a faster Internet connection if it helps her snipe an auction.

People will sell anything, even if it is broken, obsolete, ugly, or they don't really know what it is.

People will buy anything, even if it is broken, obsolete, ugly, or they don't really know what it is.

You can only buy so many things before succumbing to the irresistible urge to sell something.

There are not that many legitimate large-scale eBay businesses with Hotmail accounts.

If someone is selling something at a really really great price, but they only have a few feedbacks, there is a significant possibility that they wrote all the feedback you are reading.

Your definition of "works good" is apparently not the same definition everyone else learned in school.

The UPS guy's name is Chuck.

He has two kids, one of whom is on the swim team.

His wife sells recipe books on eBay.

They have a dog but it is smaller than yours.

Those little short pants are really cold in the morning.

You know the UPS guy a little better than you really want to.

It's really hard to cuss someone out thoroughly with only 80 characters to work with.

More exclamation points are the typing equivalent of pausing because you don't know what to say!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Shipping and handling do not have a standard definition.

There is still a lot of animosity left over from the Revolutionary War judging from the number of people refusing to do trade across the Atlantic Ocean.

The whole concept of exchange rate is a mystery to a large number of people.

In general, eBay sellers are among the best and worst packagers of material to be shipped in the known universe.

It is a pain in the neck to clean up spilled packing peanuts.

For holding a box together, one layer of packaging tape is about as effective as eight layers.

Apparently a lot of teachers are in the habit of giving grades with additional plus signs; here is a conversion chart, explaining what is wrong with grade inflation as a bonus:

0% = A-
F = A
D = A+
C = A++
B = A+++
A = A++++
A+ = A++++!!!!

The number of hours of background research (competition's buying history, product information, etc.) is directly proportional to how bad you want the product.

If a person has just bought a camera, they will pay more for a flash than a person who just bought a cheese grater.

Sniping is fun. Sniping with a proxy bid where people don't have time to increase the bid enough to find out how high you set your bid before the auction ends is possibly one of the most joyous moments a person can spend online.

Not many people are neutral. People are opinionated and polarized, sort of like Democrats and Republicans. Neutral people are like the Greens. They don't win, but they do have an influence.

Every time you open a delivery from an eBay purchase it is a little like Christmas. Opening it is probably more fun than actually seeing it, which is always a little bit of a letdown, sort of like the second hour after winning a football game when everyone finally leaves.

Sometimes wanting something is better than actually having something.

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