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EBay price break point...(8 posts)

EBay price break point...NewDayNewWay
Oct 22, 2003 2:13 PM
Hi all,

Just starting to warm up to EBay and hope to make some purchases soon for my single speed build. An observation... It would seem that there is some price point where if an item is priced below that price then it's not worth doing an EBay. For example, I saw a Shimano Ultegra bottom bracket with I think a $20 bid, and shipping cost was $15 plus $3 insurance. Now I can go to a web store and pay $39 plus tax perhaps. Yes it's a little more, but hey, 1) no uncertainty, 2) no hassle (no matter how simple it is to EBay), 3) return policy, 4) guaranteed new, 5) possibly get it sooner, 6) time spent on EBay bidding or looking at items is time I could spend riding.

Also have to balance quality and price. For my minimal budget single speed build I could by Nashbar road bars for $15, or I could buy carbon fiber bars off EBay, pay $50 (or whatever) plus shipping and insurance. So I can EBay to get a better product for possibly less, but I could have saved money by buying the Nashbar bars, and maybe spent more money on wheels, for example.

Just curious how everyone balances using EBay versus buying new and what factors you might consider.

re: EBay price break point...gtscottie
Oct 22, 2003 2:54 PM
You are right. You have to weight the cost of shipping and on occasion you can get stung on the shipping. Sellers jack up the shipping cost to make up for the price of the product.
I generally will go to a web store before ebay.
I have a sweet deal with my LBS where if I need something he doesn't have he will bring it in and sell it to me at his cost. Lots of times I can get it cheaper from him than a web store or ebay.

Talk to your LBS they are generally ready to help out
$15.00 to ship a BB is outrageous...DERICK
Oct 22, 2003 3:33 PM
It should be more like $5 or$6 with Priority mail. Anyone asking that much is probobly hoping people will bid without paying attention to the shipping cost.
Rule of thumb--never pay for "professional packing"...The Walrus
Oct 22, 2003 5:11 PM
I've seen a half dozen auctions lately that interested me until I saw the $20-$40 charge for the "LBS" to "professionally" pack the bike, this in addition to flat shipping rates as high as $60! The few times that sellers have shipped me bikes that were supposedly professionally packed, the packages (and contents) looked like they'd fallen off the truck on the freeway.

I've never charged for packaging--I consider that a cost of doing business--and I've never charged a flat shipping fee. In fact, I've often split the shipping charge with the buyer.
my rule of thumbterry b
Oct 22, 2003 6:17 PM
Unless I'm saving 30-50%, I pass. Good example of one I let go last week - Polar M61 HRM. Topped out at $132 and shipping was $7.50. Brand new from Polar-USA, $152 with free shipping. Savings = $12.50 - not worth the emails, risk, waiting, etc.

Shipping is often used as a means to make up lost price by sellers, hence the $15 for the BB you mentioned. We all know you can put such and item in a priority mail box and send it for $5-7.
re: EBay price break point...clintb
Oct 22, 2003 8:58 PM
Lower product cost and higher shipping fees are a way of circumventing part of the final value fees. I don't care if the shipping is $20 and the part is $1. As long as the landed cost is less than what I'd normally pay then I'm happy.
If the shipping is too high I don't bid.bimini
Oct 23, 2003 5:04 AM
In your above example it is clear the seller is trying to hose the buyer on the shipping. Then you have to ask what else is he trying to hose you on. For example he might have a statement such as like new condition and reality it is a dog turd.

I avoid buying used wear items such as hubs, sprockets, BB, chainrings on ebay unless the pictures have a lot of detail as to condition or unless it is a 100% seller stating the condition as excellent or better. I still email to ask a couple of questions about condition and will only consider doing this on bigger ticket items such as wheel sets were the savings can be huge. (yes, I have been burned before on condition)

For smaller parts such as BB, chainrings, chains I go to the Etailers and buy new.

Used Jerseys are a different matter. If there is a neat Jersey I just got to have because I like it I look at the price and shipping and if it's not too bad place a bid that will win the auction 30 seconds before the auction closes.
I only use Ebay if the price is pretty much a steal......K-Man
Oct 23, 2003 7:27 AM
Other than that I will use a retailer. Performance will price match and if you have a 20% off coupon these use pretty regularly, that has been my best avenue for purchases. I will by on Ebay only if the price is at a steal. Bicycle rain jacket $5, winter IceBike pants $10, Revo Sunglasses $45, Dr. Martin shoes $35, etc. Also if you don't like the shipping cost ask the seller to lower it...what have you got to loose. I just bought a pair of Revos sunglasses, retail for $200, purchased @ $45 but the seller wanted $15 shipping. Prior to purchasing I stated that was way to high and I offered to pay $9 (though still high, more reasonable). Seller accepted.