I'm writing this to all people interested in buying their first model helicopter on eBay. One thing is certain - you get what you pay for! The reason most are cheap, is because they are mass produced items that are manufactured to a price. The main issue is with the electronic components that come as standard. Namely the transmitter, servo’s, receiver and gyro. It's vital that these components are working as they should and in harmony otherwise the entire model can be incredibly difficult to fly even for experts!
Some of the smaller models can be very good, and these are the ones that are find themselves being represented in the UK by one of the distributors. The net result of a distributor being involved is that (usually) spares and support will be available in the UK (at your local shop) and the model will be of a sufficient standard for the distributor to be associated with it.
If you are buying a mini RC helicopter (everything you need in a box) for less than £100 then it's pretty risky. All I can advise (if you want to buy such a model) is make sure they have a full spares backup (you will need it) and that the seller has a returns policy but wait - what if you have already crashed the helicopter because of a failure that was not your fault? There's nothing you can do, the seller can put it down to your (perhaps) inexperience.
If you are going to buy a model helicopter, make sure you make the right choice, do not waste your money! Get the advice you need from a model shop, most are there to give you advice before and after purchase and they should offer full spares backup for the models they sell for when you have a mishap (we all do!). That way you can repair your model and continue to learn instead of throwing it in the loft because you bought it on eBay and can't find the spares for it.
Real models that are proven to fly well and act as a learning aid for larger helicopters are the Sabre, Century Hummingbird, and the Hirobo XRB. These are basic models that are for beginners. Flying helicopters is not easy, but is a fantastic challenge which will bring years of joy (** as long as your not de-moralised by the wrong choice of model at the outset, e.g. one that does not have a good source of information, advice and spares backup). So don't ever rush into things and don't make the mistake of buying cheap models and expecting results.