eBay can be better for Craigslist when trying to find smaller items for your rental properties. But that is not to say you can only buy the little things. I’ve seen people actually selling investment properties on eBay. Judging by the number of properties on the site, I am guessing other people are buying some of the properties. I’m not sure I am ready to do that yet. I had a successful transaction in buying a coin-operated dryer shipped up from Kansas to me in Minnesota.
Those are generally the exceptions. Generally I like going on eBay to buy things like thermostats, power tools, and smaller items that I can find a better deal on than I can in the store. I also like to look on eBay for hard-to-find items. I had a 100 year-old duplex for a while that had a 1960′s circuit breaker panel with weird circuit breakers. I couldn’t find replacement breakers in any store – but they were all over eBay.
Plus many of the items have free shipping. That means I don’t have to drive all over my town to pick up items like I have to on Craigslist.
Many times when I was bidding on these items, I found myself losing to other bidders at the last minute. I was wondering how these people could log in to eBay, wait until there were just a few seconds left in an auction, and snatch the item away because nobody could bid after them.
I also suspected that the seller was lurking as a buyer to see how high he could bid and push the price close to your ‘max bid’.