Sourcing PC Components On eBay

Looking for cheap PC parts? Here's how to use eBay to buy chips, disks, and more for a whole lot less.
Here’s a good general strategy for sourcing components on eBay.

  1. Familiarize yourself with the prevailing price ranges.
  2. Then lock in bids on the items you want that are being offered, at a level you’re comfortable with.
  3. Next, input the highest price you’re willing to pay for an item. After that, your bid will go up in increments until your ceiling price is matched or the other bidder drops out—that is, if someone else is indeed bidding on that item. In many cases you'll find your initial bid wins the item at a very reasonable price.

Always remember, other factors may be at work, too. Some sellers ship quicker than others. In the worst cases (such as fraud), the seller won’t ship anything at all. While this is rare, you will need to be careful.

If you have a consistent supply chain that needs replenishing, make sure you’re bidding on eBay with vendors you can count on. Take a look at the feedback stars and additional commentary from previous buyers. This will show you how sellers have performed over the past several weeks, months, even years in some instances. As a rule of thumb, I only buy from sellers who have a positive feedback percentage of at least 98 percent. Anything lower, I stay away from, and I recommend you do the same.

Now you know how to work with eBay as a source for tracking down and getting good, solid hardware deals at a discount. Happy, profitable system building!

PHIL DUNN is a writer and strategic consultant. He is co-author of a new book, The 7 Essential Steps to Successful eBay Marketing (McGraw-Hill, 2005). Phil also writes the EBay Markeing blog and Marketing Writing blog.

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