Some are very good at delivering items to train stations I have found when it says collection only. All have delivered the items as described and been very concerned with safety of the person collecting and their own safety. However, not all collection only addresses are suitable for collection. Till the auction is finished the address is not known and sometimes it is not given at all, sometimes unfair postage or high postage, breakage of item or worry of not receiving during postal strikes leads to unfair remarks and loss of the item when it cannot be collected as an alternative.
However, the issue is of goods that are unfit for sale not accepted for donating in charity shops. These are being traded on ebay and are death traps, some are not knowing of the regulations in fire retardant material in furniture even in disability equipment or the age.
But my own experience in picking up items as fare as 300 miles away when travelling to that place have resulted in some very nice china lamps and chandeliers, plus I met some wonderful people. The businessman in Preston who gave up his lunch hour and accompanied me to the train and put me and the chandelier on it, the couple in Waltham Cross who tenderly handed me the lamp which had been paid for after the auction and kept to three months later when I took my finals in medicine in London who braved the storms and met me in the station. It has been a very moving experience to have the items once loved and owned by family now cherished and in pride of place, plus meet or talk to ebayers who have a joy in selling and buying as a meeting place. They could just as easily sell it in the freeads papers.
But there is one essential piece of advise. Know where you are going to, get a phone number to let them and you have the courier or yourself pick it up. Be sure of the safety of the item you are buying. The chair I bought in Preston was made by the man who sold it as a premium leather item so he knew its age and supplied tea and coffee and instructions on beating the rush hour. The routes that are on the train line I ask before then bidding can I have handover at the station, and ask which one is closest. This way an item not bid for is bid for and note many 0 sales where this is omitted. Most students, OAP's get travel discounts so setting up a home or getting that item is not a problem in journeys that are negotiated. Taking a suitcase or large plastic bag allows small items to be taken on the bus or train as a preplanning tool.
There has been times I had to not buy something where this communication broke down and we agreed on it. But in the course of my purchases I have had both in US and in UK some delightful purchases and warm memories of the owner or seller of the objects. It really does mean a lot when you pay for a day out and get the item, and meet the seller. The cost of postage is often more than the train ticket would cost, or it is an adventure.
Make it a safe one either in address or in collecting and same for the seller. Get to know the route on autoroute and the location, collect during the day and with someone with you. Do not allow anyone to enter your home or you theirs even with someone if know one knows you are not going at a certain time.