“And now the end is near. So I face the final curtain call….” Wait a second, I'm just getting started 😉 with saving money at eBay! Before you roll your eyes and think “not another eBay post” I want you to ask yourself have you tried eBay lately? Twenty years ago, this online marketplace made it possible for the average Joe to make a buck selling anything that can be shipped in a box from their own garage. Today, eBay is still a great way to save money on a lot of purchases.
A broken fridge made me write this post???
Yes, our broken fridge
inspired compelled me to write this post. That will probably be the last of my cheesiness for this post, but our fridge quit running a few weeks ago as the lights turned on when my wife & I opened the doors but the compressor didn't even try to run.
The defrost control board (also known as a defrost timer) quit working. It's a very common problem regarding fridge mechanical breakdowns. Thankfully, we had access to a second fridge & our chest freezer had extra space, so nothing spoiled during this malaise.
After doing some troubleshooting on the internet, we deducted that the original defrost control board (defrost timer) went bad. We called two local appliance parts stores and they priced the replacement at $191 & $206. As our fridge was manufactured in 1999, we said we can buy a newer, refurbished model for a little more than the replacement cost these two stores were charging.
But, as any 21st-century shopper does, we also looked up prices on the internet.
My online go-to for years has been Amazon as they or a 3rd party retailer will sell most items cheaper than a brick & mortar store. The lowest price was $78. It was 100 bucks cheaper than our local stores, so I was prepared to hit buy when my wife asked if I checked eBay too.
I told her that I thought they were mostly auctions, as that was how I used them in the past. So being the loving husband I am, I checked eBay and was pleasantly surprised to see that I could save an additional $21 and I would only have to pay $57 for the same timer that I would have paid $200 for down the street. While my wife & I love to support local mom & pop businesses (we are self-employed after all), we couldn't justify a $150 price difference.
Ok, we had to wait 3 or 4 days for the part to come in the mail & we would have been forced to spend $200 for the part if we didn't have a spare fridge & freezer already. Not everybody will be able to wait 3 or 4 days for a replacement part to make their refrigerator run properly, but this is a good example how you can save money by taking a few extra minutes to “price shop” before clicking the “Buy Now” button.
My Wife's Affinity For Ebay
When I asked my wife what she buys from eBay , her response was “Everything.” My wife buys a lot of things from eBay from office supplies, printer ink, clothes,etc. As I mentioned before, she is the one who showed me the “magic” of eBay. I always thought it was cheaper to buy 3rd-party from Amazon if I wanted to buy used items.
We even bought a refurbished KitchenAid food processor from the KitchenAid store as well!
Not every eBay “Buy It Now Item” is a good deal, we do buy new from online stores using a cashback portal like Ebates too & Amazon is cheaper sometimes too.
Why You Should Try eBay
So it can't hurt for you to shop eBay for your next purchase. I would argue that there are almost just as many “Buy It Now” items for sale as items listed for auction. I plan on buying some boardgames for one of my fall side hustles on eBay as they are cheaper than the new price at my local Wal-Mart & cheaper by a dollar or two than several 3rd-party Amazon vendors.
My only prior experience with eBay was selling an old car stereo of mine via auction and (when I was in the 7th grade) buying postage stamps & football cards when I still collected those things.
And if you like the adrenaline rush of buying something for under market value, you can always bid with auction on eBay.
Josh founded Money Buffalo in 2015 to help people get out of debt and make smart financial decisions. He is currently a full-time personal finance writer with work featured in Forbes Advisor, Fox Business, and Credible.