First of all buying: My daughter is a photographer, some of these photographs on her web site pawprints photography or i am delighted to say were taken with items purchased from Ebay, not just because it was reasonable prices, but because they are genuine items and no (sorry for the fraze) bull shitting by a sales person. Due to the fact that people have feedback they always give a fair estimation of the item they are selling, and if it says new you can almost guarentee it is new, (if not contact the sell to sort out, if that fails contact Ebay) i have only ever had one item query but this was solved by the seller and myself, this also means that you to have to be honest, I.E. if you damage or break the item do not expect the seller to replace it. by all means contacts the seller and explain what happened, you never know if it's a business they may supply another at a reduced rate?
i have found Ebay great fun and exciting for the moment when, YOU HAVE WON comes on the screen. But one thing i do not like is, when a seller places a item and then gets someone to place the first bid, this is then followed by that bidder placing a maximum bid, so that each time someone places a bid until that maximum bid is reached no one will get a fair bid placed. Instead of the seller placing a proper reserve or a starting price?
But in saying that items with a reserve i tend to watch but as soon as a price is reached above what i would be propered to pay, I just look for something else, also starting prices are sometimes too high, but at least I have the choice to see if i want to bid?
My tips: look at the found item, find the high street price, if its bellow that and you're happy with the ebayers feedback, go for it. ( DON'T FORGET THE POSTAGE) this could take it above what you would pay in the shops. I also look in my local advertisers to see if i can get the same thing, at the same price. this is not very often. I have recieved items from Hong Kong, America, Canada, and very time the items have arrived, safe Only once was a item damaged in the post so that works out about 98% not bad.
SELLING: I have only sold a few things on ebay but again with a good success rate, but remember you will get feedback and the more people see RED the more people will stay away from you. Be honest and genuine, and if the item is broken tell ebayers (spares or Repairs) it may still sell you never know with ebay
My View: sites like Ebay and other high street names will be taking over from high street shopping, as there are no traveling expenses, traffic lights, queues, car park charges, ect I also have other thoughts on this but thats something else.