I have been using eBay over the past couple of years to slowly build up my DVD collection. Its a source of good second hand DVDs and as long as your shrewd and keep an eye out for the bargains you can amass quite a large collection for a fraction of the retail price.
The following tips should help you find cheap DVDs and build up your collection.
Buy older DVDs
You should be able to pick up older DVDs (one or two years old) for 99p or less.
Newer DVDs are more expensive
New DVDs are generally more expensive and you will have to pay a lot nearer the retail price. Watch out for cheap asian imports and pirated DVDs. In general if a new DVD is very cheap and seems too good to be true, it probably is too goo to be true. (For more information on cheap asian imports and pirated DVDs search the other guides on eBay.)
Buy box sets
Box sets are generally cheaper when bought second hand. You can buy them for a fraction of the price they cost on the high street. Personally I would only buy items offered at auction and I tend to shy away from the buy-it-now DVD box sets. The reason is that I once bought a quite expensive box set on eBay, only to discover on delivery that it came directly from an online shopping site that had a special offer on! I paid the seller for delivery when it cost them nothing! I chalked this up to experience and will not fall for this again. I advise you to be vigilant and check the prices at online shopping sites before you bid. If the eBay price (including postage) is cheaper, you are getting a bargain, if not try to find a cheaper seller. I am not suggesting all sellers of buy-it now DVD boxsets do this but it does no harm to check prices.
Check the price for a new DVD
Online shopping sites change the prices of their DVDs all the time. As a DVD becomes less popular the price will reduce and there are quite often boxsets and older DVDs on special offer. These sites also offer free postage for items whose value is over a minimum price. Check the price you are considering paying for the item against the price of the item from an online shopping site. Remember to include the postage in both calculations. If the eBay price is cheaper make a bid, if not, try to find a cheaper seller.
A lot of DVDs are sold on eBay. If your after a particular DVD there will be multiple copies of it for sale. The prices will vary and get higher as the end of the auction draws near. Decide the price you want to pay and stick to it. If you get outbid try bidding on another item. Eventually you will be successful. Most of the bids tend to occur on the last day of the auction in the final few hours.
Check for cheap items with no bids that are about to end
Search for items priced £0.99p or less that will end in the next few hours. You can often find good DVDs and as the price is still low it is likely you will get your bargain. Remember to check the postage. It's easier if you customise your display to show the postage cost column (using the customise display link on the top right of the search results).
Check the postage
Remember to check the cost of postage. This will be added to the price you pay for your DVD. The postage people charge for DVDs is depended on the weight and cost of packaging. The weight varies depending on the item but I weighed some of my DVDs and the weights are as follows:
Item / Weight
Single DVD (cardboard case) / 100g
Single DVD (plastic case) / 125g
2 disc DVD (plastic case) / 170g
4 dics gatefold DVD (cardboard case) / 350g
The postage cost for a Single DVD in a plastic case (weighing 125g) should be:
First class - 64p (65p from August 21st 2006 if classed as a large letter)
Second class - 47p (55p from August 21st 2006 if classed as a large letter)
The actual prices people charge for posting this type of DVD range from £0.80p to £3.50, so make sure you check. The postage will usually cost more than the DVD when searching for bargains. If you make a total payment of £2.50 - £3.00 for an older DVD, you've got yourself a bargain. If you find a seller that charges cheap postage check their other items. They may have other DVDs with the same low postage.
Usual eBay Checks Apply
All the other eBay checks you usual make also apply. They will be explained in detail in other users guides. Things to check are:
- Is the users feedback mostly positive?
- Is there a photograph of the item?
- Is the photograph genuine or just a stock photo?
- Is the DVD region 2?
- Remember, beware of imports and copies.
Cataloguing your DVDs
Once your DVD collection starts to grow it becomes more and more difficult to store them in your living room next to the TV. That's the problem I found anyway. You can list your DVDs in an Excel spreadsheet or buy some software to catalogue them in a database on your own PC. I decided to write a web-site where DVDs can be added with a simple one click process. It is called taglibrary.net and is free for anyone to use.