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  1. General guidelines
  2. Strategy for auctions
  3. Why I usually prefer buying from dealers


1.1 Quality of the seller

If you have found an item that you want to buy, you should first make sure that you are dealing with a serious seller. It is important to know that the EBAY rating system is designed in such a way that even small deviations from 100% indicate problematic sellers. My experience is that 99.4% is the value that a seller should not fall below, below which I no longer buy. And this applies equally to dealers and private individuals.

1.2 Affiliation with EBAY

The second parameter is how long a seller has been on EBAY. Just click on the EBAY name of the seller and this information will be displayed. I don't buy from sellers who have just signed up. The longer one has been around, the more trustworthy he is to me.

1.3 What else does this seller offer?

If I am interested in an item that costs several hundred or even thousands of dollars, I look to see what else this seller offers. If he offers cheap goods and only this one item is so expensive, I become cautious.
You can check this by looking at the ratings (again, click on the seller's EBAY name and on the next page look at the number of ratings after the seller's name), and you can also check what else the seller is currently offering in his EBAY store.

1.4 Search services

Another possibility is to google for the EBAY name, or, if given, for the name of the seller and see if other buyers have already posted warnings online (mostly in forums). This point is not quite as important to me because unjustified reviews are often posted online on the Internet.

1.5 Intuition

Our intuition works better than we often give it credit for. If I have a bad feeling, although the parameters mentioned above are in the green area, I leave it.

As you can read on this website with the individual cameras and lenses, I buy almost everything through EBAY. By following these general guidelines, there has not been a single bad purchase to date.


Strategies for auctions on EBAY are many, about as many as for safe winnings in roulette.

I have an app that bids for me called "Baytomat".

The thing is, when bidding manually, that is, when you yourself counter the bids of the other bidders in the auction, you can't react in the last few seconds because the time to enter the higher bid - plus the time until it arrives at EBAY - is too short.

This is where the Baytomat app steps in. This app doesn't bid once during the entire auction - that would only drive up the price. You just enter the amount you want to go up to on Baytomat, and then the app waits until a few seconds before the auction ends to see what the highest bid is, and then goes just a few cents over. And then the other bidders can't respond.

For me, this works really, really well, I win almost every auction I participate in this way. This service is cheap, but not completely free: depending on the amount you pay between € 0.70 and € 7.50. That' s worth it to me . . .



Private sellers very rarely offer the possibility to return the goods if you don't like something. Besides, dealers live on good reviews and are always willing to do something to satisfy you. And sometimes they even give 1 year warranty.

Of course, with retailers you pay more for that though.

Probably the bottom line balances out over time - you buy cheaper at auctions from private individuals, but may have a problem now and then that costs you money, and on the other hand the more expensive dealers, but where you take no risk if they allow returns - which they usually do.

On top of that, traders already pay attention to quality when buying and thus have the higher quality goods on average.

Another aspect I just experienced: I purchased a LEICA F3 for the blog about the LEICA R series. Then during the final test before delivery, the dealer found that a seal was porous and cracked. I received an email offering to withdraw from the purchase with an immediate refund of the amount already paid via PayPal. Or to have this defect repaired at a specialist workshop, of course at no extra cost to me.

A private person might not even have noticed the defect - or simply concealed it. Saved money again, and the camera is a dream, in perfect collector condition.

Good luck with your purchase via EBAY!