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Guest Message by DevFuse


OLD SKOOL e bay experiences

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25 replies to this topic



    Feckless Idiot

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Posted 14 September 2018 - 04:43 PM

E bay has been a part of the car buying and selling landscape for some while now. I first heard of it via mentions from Danny Hopkins on his first time round on Practical Classics- possibly 2001ish?

Times have changed an no doubt experiences from its earliest days are now probably quite different to today; did people always just message “300 m8?” When did e bay start to feature on you radar? What was your earliest experiences of e bay as a buyer/ seller? Is there much of a contrast to today and what were your best and worst buying experiences?

I was a relative late comer. First car purchase was in 2008- a Metro VP500. It was £300 and is was a great little car. The same year auction again, £250 bmw e34 525i, another gem with plenty of test (and tax- remember that?) I haven’t had a truely bad experience but that’s just a click of the fingers away...
1997 Vauxhall Astra 1.6i LS estate
2000 Toyota Avensis 1.8 VVTI estate

#2 ONLINE   egg



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Posted 14 September 2018 - 05:42 PM

I've been a member since October 2001. I sold my first car I ever owned on there - Fiat Uno in 2004 for £92 with MOT, it died at the next one.


I think the very first car I sold on there was my Mk2 Escort in 2003. Guy came with a trailer for that one from the North.


In the early days I was buying stuff by sending cheques to and fro before Elon and his mates decided to take 5% of everything with PayPal.


I was better in the old days, what isn't? Like a lot of the internet (I started going online 94-95) everything was more fun before big business got involved. 


'The pefect store' is a good book about early eBay.

1967 Mk12c Invacar, 1993 Ford Mondeo 1.6 base, 1995 Mazda 323c 1.5 auto.

#3 OFFLINE   Lanciaman


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Posted 14 September 2018 - 05:57 PM

Sold a Lancia Kappa coupe in 2007. Actually got the buy it now price with no crap. Bloke flew from Southampton to Aberdeen. Car still going as far as I know.

#4 OFFLINE   the judge

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Posted 14 September 2018 - 06:04 PM

Sold a CBR 600 for 1500 quid. Guy turned up and left a 150 deposit.
Messaged me through eBay that he wasn't "allowed" to have it by his missus, and to keep the money.
Never knew whether he didn't understand eBays legal policies, or whether his missus scared him that much

#5 OFFLINE   the judge

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Posted 14 September 2018 - 06:06 PM

Oh, and sold an xr3 in super terrible condition in 2008 for 43 or something, and they came from Aberdeen to Liverpool with a trailer!!!!! They knew how bad the car was, so I made bacon buggies and tea for them when they arrived. Proper eBay heroics
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#6 ONLINE   meggersdog


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Posted 14 September 2018 - 06:45 PM

First started selling those car parts from long gone cars that you keep in the shed because "it might come in handy one day" in 2003.Sold parts and shipped to the 'states , Australia aswell as Europe.I started selling cars in 2004.Often oddities and unusual stuff from auctions that the dealers thought would sit on the car-lot for months.Had a very good business until the scrappage scheme came along.

People would travel much further for my cars than I ever expected.I sometimes thought, surely they can find something nearer to home.Then a squaddie based in Germany flew in and I met him at Stansted for him to drive a Volvo 940 estate all the way back to his barracks.It was a two owner car with just over 100k miles and full main dealer history.He'd studied the photos, read the description, trawled through my feedback and decided it was the car for him.He told me he'd looked at loads of estates in Germany and they were all in a state with twice the miles.Felt really proud about that one.Got glowing feedback too.

Then in 2008 Pogweasel (remember him) posted my Rover 820 Vitesse in the original ebay tat thread and here I am.


Oh, yeah in the early years you could flip stuff.I've still got two account.One for buying and one for selling.Spent about a year buying lpg'd classic Range Rovers with running issues only to service them and get the lpg system serviced then flip them on another account for loads more.

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#7 OFFLINE   DodgeRover


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Posted 14 September 2018 - 06:52 PM

I was buying stuff from Yahoo Auctions way before ebay came on the scene.
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#8 OFFLINE   mat_the_cat


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Posted 14 September 2018 - 07:10 PM

I joined in 2002, but was a lurker before then. I remember browsing through the whole of the vehicle parts section in my lunch breaks, but I gave up when it hit 10 pages!

#9 OFFLINE   doug


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Posted 14 September 2018 - 07:35 PM

First thing I sold on ebay many moons ago was a Toledo owners hand book. Not sure what I was doing I put it on at a 1p start price and no reserve. I got one bid. I gave the winning bidder feed back of "I hope its worth every penny". 

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#10 OFFLINE   sporty-shite



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Posted 14 September 2018 - 08:01 PM

I joined in 2002, specifically to buy a Dolomite Sprint, with mismatched doors, from Glasgow.


Luckily* in those days, I worked at a car and van rental place with a fully equipped bodyshop and a Land Rover and car trailer. I used both to get the Dolly collected and looking tip-top, before punting it on.


Since then, many blind and reckless purchases have been made, although less so nowadays due to limited time and resources.


*well equipped place, but shit job.

 some potato headed fanny faced shitberg of a cunt in a silver hatchback


#11 OFFLINE   The Reverend Bluejeans

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Posted 14 September 2018 - 08:11 PM

I joined in 2003. I sold stuff but my first car purchase was a Y red 1982 732i. It was £112; got a train from Notts to Essex somewhere, and drove it back, A12, M25, A1, returning about midnight. Stuff was cheap because not everyone had a computer never mind a smartphone.


My first problem was some twat in 2005 who won a car but refused to collect it but I could neg him so not all bad.


It was much better then but perhaps Ebay didn't realise just how popular it would be. They would never have guessed that they would have the monopoly as well and as such, could rip you off with impunity.



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#12 OFFLINE   dave j

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Posted 14 September 2018 - 08:25 PM

I joined in 2003 and mostly used it for parts but I have bought a couple cheap cars locally. i had a mk2 Golf TD for £5.50 with a knackered engine but the best was 2007ish a mk2 Polo with 6 months MOT for 1p! It was advertised as spares or repair, non runner and there were no pictures. I figured if it stayed cheap enough i would drag it to the scrap yard. Turned out to be the alternator had gone and i was able tofix it with parts i had in the garage! i gave the guy the 1p but i also gave him a tenner for the tax that was left on it. 

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#13 ONLINE   davehedgehog31


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Posted 14 September 2018 - 08:44 PM

I bought Sonic the Hedgehog for the Sega Dreamcast circa 2002.

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#14 OFFLINE   cort1977


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Posted 14 September 2018 - 09:46 PM

Best one i ever had was finding a load of canoeing helmets at the back of the work warehouse in 2001.  They were practically new but dusty.  I took all 20 home, washed with the hose in the yard and outed them all for 15-25 quid each, no bother, lots of pleasant transactions and i made 400 quid which was a heap of money for me then.


Haven't sold anything on ebay for years now, it just seems to have gone to dogshit.

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#15 OFFLINE   Jazoli



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Posted 14 September 2018 - 09:49 PM

I was buying stuff from Yahoo Auctions way before ebay came on the scene.

Me too, I used to buy and sell all sorts of Japanese tuning stuff for 200sx's, supra's and skylines from Japan and the states then resell over here.

sigs are shit, wgaf?

#16 OFFLINE   Mrcento


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Posted 15 September 2018 - 12:32 AM

I have a genuine belting story to tell....


I sold an old BMW on Ebay via auction, No MOT etc, got a fairly good price in the end, was happy.


The boy arrives with a woman in another BMW both had French accents. Thought nothing of it, the guy seemed nice, handed over cash in full, signed papers etc and drove away (i did say he shouldn't drive it, but he said he was just going to risk it as far as near the train station where he had a friend coming to pick it up on a low loader...easier for access and more room to get it on the lorry... whilst i wasn't exactly thrilled, it wasn't far so made sure a receipt was signed that the car had no MOT just incase he got pulled over. He went on his way and the woman followed on in the other BMW.


The next morning i get a knock on the door, police.


The guy had set off pretty much every ANPR and speed camera between here and the port at Newcastle, police just wanted to establish i had indeed sold it, i showed them the paperwork, gave them a link to the auction etc.


Long story short, i ended up in the station for a 4 hour interview with special branch as they tried to get every last detail about these people, as it turned out, they were 2 highly dangerous individuals with connections to a terror cell and the police couldn't/wouldn't offer any assurances that my safety wasn't at risk.


Fuck selling any more cars on Ebay,

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#17 OFFLINE   Kiltox


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Posted 15 September 2018 - 12:50 AM

QXL anyone?

Remember buying pirate software on there :D
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#18 ONLINE   gadgetgricey


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Posted 15 September 2018 - 02:20 AM

Yahoo auctions, now that brings back memories.

Free to buy and sell.
Also if anyone bid in the last minute, the auction end time got extended by a couple of minutes. (Times are probably wrong, could have been last 30 secs, but time extension happened)

Always thought eBay would adopt this, but never have.
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Trying and failing to fix cars for 30 years

#19 OFFLINE   Spottedlaurel


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Posted 15 September 2018 - 08:03 AM

Apparently I've been on there since October 2000. In those early days I'd simply put Datsun in as a search and see what was interesting on there out of the 10-odd pages that would come up. Hence why I've ended up with stuff like a Datsun/Nissan ashtray, hip flask and tie clip. Sadly got outbid on some nail clippers though.


As still the case now, was mainly used for buying old model kits, brochures, magazines etc but every so often I'd have a bit of a selling spree. Brochures, vinyl records etc. Father-in-law once found a load of new washable nappies and covers in a skip out the back of a baby shop that was closing down, we listed them and made surprisingly good money.



1973 Datsun 180B estate (610) by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr


I think my first eBay car purchase was the one-owner from new 1973 180B estate that I got in 2004. I did view it beforehand however as it was fairly local. First unseen purchase would have been the tidy Accord 3dr in 2007:



1984 Honda Accord 1.8EX 3dr by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr


Doubt I'd bother trying to sell on there now, but in 10-20 years time I'm going to have to have a serious cull of all my stuff and I hope a decent selling platform will be available then.

The home of one previous owner Japanese cars:

1973 Datsun 1200 B110 2dr; 1980 Laurel 2.4 C230; 1988 Sunny 1.6 LX N13
1992 Camry 2.2GL (definitely just for spares now); 1993 Camry Estate 2.2GL on the road again!!

2014 Lexus RX450h

#20 ONLINE   New POD


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Posted 15 September 2018 - 09:34 AM

I don't exactly remember the first time I bought something, but I do remember the first bargain.
I needed a new electric aerial for a mk3 Astra.
I came across a seller who had a consistent auction every 4 or 5 days for the same generic product. and that they went for anything between 8 and 40 quid.
I decided to bid a Max of 12 quid on every auction as it came on. Took 3 attempts and on the third i got it for 8 quid.
These days it's all classified ads and they would have 200 available for 25 quid.

#21 ONLINE   Snipes


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Posted 16 September 2018 - 07:26 AM

My first ever purchase was a copy of Super Probotector for Super Nintendo, around 2001 and paid for by a cheque in the post.

Bought and sold a few cars on there, back when you could just find a phone number without any shenanigans and go have a look. Probably bought/sold as many through car club forums, though.

#22 OFFLINE   Des


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Posted 16 September 2018 - 11:17 AM

I was using ebay when it was just America based to sell old skip bound Yank made medical kit back to the feckers, sold a fair amount of car parts to them, used to get payment by post, had to make it very clear that cheques must be made out in £££Sterling otherwise big charges and seldom had any problem, I'd sometimes send items before payment arrived and the odd time a non responsive bidder cropped up I'd quite often get a better price after re-listing. Then when the UK site kicked off things really picked up, I would treat my cars to new old stock parts from autojumbles and sell the old bits at a profit, I'd buy random cars, change my mind and throw them back. When my last employer ceased trading I went self employed but very nearly went full time with ebay only I noticed the scum beginning to appear, within Months about half of transactions were from arseholes, I backed off a fair bit and then when the feedback thing became a one way invitation for abuse I dropped it altogether. 

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Festering scum of the earth, yer motoring public.

#23 OFFLINE   anonymous user

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Posted 16 September 2018 - 07:12 PM

Fairly late to the party joining in 2001, at the time I mainly used it for buying as at the time I had a side line selling 1960s/70s retro stuff (before IKEA started remaking it) and ebay was handy for picking up stuff I couldn't get locally. Selling came later, it was quite a while before I discovered the joys of selling, it was pretty good for a while before the era of unrealistic expectations kicked in. PayPal was the beginning of the end, especially when the "you must accept PayPal kicked in" which somehow coincided with eBay cancelling listings I already had up because they didn't offer PayPal. I've bought a couple of duff cars on there but accept that's my own fault for not going to look at them.
Now I hate selling, it's just to much hassle where everyone seems to want something for nothing. I wish we could go back to the days of FreeAds and Exchange and Mart

#24 ONLINE   Snipes


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Posted 16 September 2018 - 08:22 PM

I hadca nice little line buying and selling DVDs. I sold the whole of the X-Files, made about £100 but when I tried to transfer the money out of PayPal it bounced back and I was charged for "recieving money", on top of all the usual sellers fees. No explanation, bank account had been fin e for years prior but it just pissed me right off.
Later they basically sabotaged the feedback system and I got tired of it all.

Does anyone care about feedback anymore? I bet the Chinese power sellers don't give a shit.

#25 OFFLINE   mk2_craig


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Posted 16 September 2018 - 08:49 PM

Joined 2001 I think. Mainly for buying stuff but when a local garage gave me an old Fiesta to take away, they told me I could strip what I wanted off a manky Orion injection that was about to go for scrap - figuring I had nothing to lose, I helped myself to RS rear spoiler, electric mirrors, fuel computer etc etc. Made quite good money out of all that even then but the bug never really bit, the part I hate is finding suitable packaging to make sure things arrive intact, then actually wrapping it up which seems incredibly time consuming.

Clearing surplus old Ford parts out of my house this year paid for the family holiday to France last month though. I particularly like the international reach of eBay and a load of my stuff has gone to various parts of Europe.

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#26 ONLINE   Tamworthbay


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Posted 16 September 2018 - 08:56 PM

Been on there since 2001, at first it was mostly bits for British motor bikes. Great in those days for bagging a bargain. Best ever buy was a big box of vw camper bits really badly listed with no picture and I got it for a tenner. It included some very rare bits and I took the stuff I needed and made about £800 on the other bits. Best seller was the pair of very early splittie steering boxes.

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