It is extremely difficult to get a good used sterndrive on eBayUK, and to be honest a lot of boat dealers are much more dishonest than car dealers. A lot of people who play with boats are living well beyond their means and will pull scams to finance their hobby. I have been caught twice. One seller appeared to have 300 points and good feedback & was selling an "Alpha-Drive complete". The £500 drive was actually a 41 year old Renault-Mercruiser model 80 and is basically scrap as forward gear does not drive, there is severe corrosion, a frozen-on prop and a rusted up engine. This is the Original or type 'O' Mercruiser, the weakest one ever made, IT IS NOT AN ALPHA DRIVE as drives marketed as Alphas were not sold until the mid eighties. Seller was the account holders 17 year old dishonest bro! U can't sue 17 YOs.
Another seller listed "Volvo 280, good working order, just needs new UJ", but he had stolen lots of parts from it! (claimed he'd mislaid them and would post them on. What a turd). Once again the false description caused serious bidding - about £700 I seem to remember. Unfortunately whilst I was waiting for the parts to turn up, the eBay purchase protection time limit was exceeded. I would advise buyers to only pay cash on collection for such items, although my latest purchase, an Alpha-One looks OK and was the right money (5th time lucky!) but the boat is cut to suit Volvo.
With so many scammers, thieves and vandals about, trying to get a boat together is hardly worth the effort and the Police have said that "Having "things" just attracts thieves and vandals". Time to swallow the anchor?
Best regards from Dave