Here’s a follow up to our post on how to sell used items. We spotlight some auction sites from where you can pick up items for less than retail!
Buying and selling through auction sites have saved me a ton of money over the years. I’m also pretty overdue for my annual spring cleaning, decluttering and garage sale(s). Personally, my favorite places to work with for dealing with second hand stuff have been eBay, Craigslist and Amazon. But I thought to list down some other resources and sites I’ve found useful for those shopping for and trading away their secondhand goods. Why not check out other auction sites?
Over the years, I’ve purchased everything from clothes to yarn on eBay. But staying close to just one online auction site might mean I’m missing out on good deals elsewhere. In the interest of saving more on the stuff I like, I decided to check out the following auction sites:
Online Auction Sites For Savings and Profit
uBid.com is an online auction site that can connect buyers with the goods they want. The site’s partners provide excess inventory in categories like computers, electronics, TVs, watches, fine art, and more.
My browsing yielded interesting finds like low-cost cameras, HDTVs, and Blu-ray DVD players for a steal. To try out their search feature, I went looking for an iPod Shuffle this time out. I joined an auction but didn’t win; still, it was an interesting experience. Now instead of participating in an auction, you can also buy an item outright through a uBuy It transaction.
To review your costs, you can tinker with a shipping calculator to see how your costs would increase. There’s a transaction fee of 3%, with a minimum of 50 cents and a $3.99 maximum. This fee is non-refundable.
Easy Payment Methods
As for payment, you could use the following payment methods: the usual credit cards, Bill Me Later, or even Google Checkout for uBuy It purchases. There’s even an option for an Extended Protection Plan if you feel that’s necessary. Like other auction services, uBid.com offers useful tools such as Auction Alerts to help you track specific items, and My Page, where you can look at the auctions you’re bidding on as well as your past auctions.
The important thing to remember about Liquidation.com is that they only sell in lots. It’s a great venue for resellers, event buyers or those with big families or a community to buy for!
This site gives retailers, manufacturers, wholesalers, and others the opportunity to sell their surplus inventory. Surplus and overstock can only lead to great deals. Here, buyers can check out the deals on a lot of household categories such as clothing and accessories, jewelry and watches, housewares, tools, vehicles, store fixtures, and my favorite categories, computers and electronics.
When I looked over the consumer electronics category, the list of auctions showed me the following information:
- a description of products and their condition
- information on the sellers
- and item quantities, lot prices, locations, number of bids, and the closing time.
To narrow down your search, you can always supply your own criteria. I can find items by specifying product descriptions, locations, lot sizes, conditions, or shipping options.
Product conditions range from new to returned items. I like being informed of the condition of items in this straightforward manner, because I’m only interested in new (and not salvaged) items.
Again, I searched for an iPod Touch, which I’ve been on the lookout for these last few months. Instead of one unit, my search yielded lots of 10 or more — at a starting bid of $125. This isn’t bad if I want to turn around and sell them through my own auctions.
Automating Bids Through Proxy Bidding
Like eBay, Liquidation.com offers an automatic bidding process called proxy bidding. You can tell the system your highest maximum bid and it will bid for you. If you win the auction, you’ll have to pay up within two days; note that the site accepts wire transfers, PayPal, and credit cards.
In addition, you’ll have to pay a buyer’s premium as an auction fee. Typically, the buyer’s premium is 5% of the final bid price, but you could check the auction description to see if the fee’s different. One other thing: some of the auctions allow you to make shipping arrangements, but won’t ship to PO Box addresses.
How Do These Online Auction Sites Compare to the Champ?
When it comes to sheer volume of products and sellers, eBay does have more to offer. However, if you’re interested in hunting down a range of products without the headache of sifting through hundreds of listings, then an alternative online auction site might suit you.
If you’re looking for lots of items to turn around for resale, you might like Liquidation.com. Someone more interested in single items would probably have better luck with uBid.com, especially on items marked down after the holidays.
The downsides? Like the U2 song implies, it may take some digging to find what you’re looking for; for instance, I still haven’t found the iPod touch I’ve been after. Instead of having my mind and wallet set on a certain brand or item, I’m thinking of shifting my search to a variety of products at these auction sites. Also, it’s important to compare prices at these sites to those at other locations. I bought a netbook for close to $150 less than what I saw at one of the auction sites, so it pays to check various sources when you go shopping!
Overall, Liquidation.com and uBid.com can be viable alternatives to eBay, so the next time I’m looking to bid on a must-have, I’ll be checking them out, too.