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Amazed at prices on Ebay!

Discussion in 'iPad Accessories for iPAD 1, 2 and 3' started by SoCalGal, Jul 9, 2011.

  1. SoCalGal
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    SoCalGal iPF Novice

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    I love my iPad case holder I bought from a kiosk vendor in the mall. I purchased it for around $60. I thought that was reasonable till I saw u can get the same kind of item on EBay for almost nothing. Well, not nothing...but put it this way, I can purchase 5 or 6 of the same case on EBay for what I paid for (1) one! Same with almost all accessories (screen protectors, styluses, docks, etc.).

    So, if ur an iPad2 newbie owner like me, check EBay (or Amazon) first. Only item I can't find a killer deal on yet, that I want, is a decent stereo dock station with remote.
  2. jsh1120
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    jsh1120 iPad Addict

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    While there are obvious exceptions, the old adage that you get what you pay for still holds. Yes, you can get great bargains on eBay. I have. But what you're often not paying for is quality workmanship, customer service, and humane working conditions for those whose labor you're buying. That is not to say that you can't end up purchasing exactly the same item at a substantial markup from a brick and mortar store or a name brand online retailer, of course. And sometimes that difference represents nothing but "mark up." But the next time you're tempted to go for a deal that looks too good to be true, consider...

    () even if the photo appears to be the "same" as a more expensive item, that may only mean that the eBay photo doesn't reveal the differences. Or it may simply mean the retailer has inserted a photo of a more expensive item than they're actually selling.

    () if you aren't happy with the quality of the item, do you really want to return it to a company you've never heard of located (if you can determine) halfway around the world? From a company that has not built into their business model the cost of customer service? From a company whose ad suggests that English is not a familiar mode of communication?

    () whether there is any benefit in having brick and mortar retailers in your local area. A local merchant has to pay for sales people and a retail location. Is there any benefit for you in having your neighbors employed? In having a place where you can see, feel, and touch the real item?

    () whether you benefit at all from paying sales tax, something you'll probably have to do if you buy locally or from some internet retailers. Is there any value in your local schools? Would you be better off with even less educated fellow citizens? Fewer police? Less fire protection?

    () whether you care at all about the working conditions of those who produce the consumer items you purchase. I've regularly purchased computer bags from a merchant in San Francisco who manufactures them in that city. Yes, their items carry a premium price in part for that reason. On the other hand, I actually care that working class people in SF are able to make a living and contribute to the life of that city. And I know that the quality of their workmanship reflects something other than an effort to keep costs to an absolute minimum.
  3. richsadams
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    richsadams iPad Super Guru

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    +1. Well said. Although the OP's advice is worthwhile...shopping around never hurts, the bottom line(s): appearances can be deceiving and not all accessories are created equal. ;)
  4. Paken001
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    Paken001 iPF Noob

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    Well said! As an American manufacturing company who makes ALL of our products in Kansas we sure wish more people in the US felt the same way as you about supporting local and American owned companies.
  5. PatriciaF
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    PatriciaF iPad Fan

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    I buy a lot on eBay and have been stuck with a few items. Got a few smelly things too! YICK. I thought I was buying from an American Store but they imported from another country (China, Taiwan etc.) Now I double check the seller to see who he is selling to. Also, I check the picture carefully for foreign writing. I got stuck with an Apple car charger that way and had to throw it out. Got stuck in my iPhone and had a hard time getting it out! The seller was in California and I assumed USA!! The seller contacted me after I contacted eBay and told me he was banning me from the store!! Really?? why in the world would he think I would buy anything from him again. I'm not saying all the products from a foreign country are bad but it is like the saying goes "BUYER BEWARE".
  6. SingingSabre
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    SingingSabre iPad Junkie

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    I don't buy anything on ebay. Every time I'm tempted to I just look at my past correspondance with PayPal and how I've been burned.

    I'm even skeptical of Amazon's better deals, but those usually end up well.
  7. jsh1120
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    jsh1120 iPad Addict

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    Good for you. I have a soft spot for Kansas. :D On the other hand, it's worth noting that as far as I'm concerned American companies don't get a free pass on humane working conditions and decent pay just because they're American. Nor am I a xenophobe about foreign companies. Erecting barriers to competition based on national borders is ultimately a fool's errand by discouraging innovation and adding costs for consumers. But the marketplace should be a level playing field where entrepreneurs in Kansas have at least a fighting chance to compete.
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2011
  8. Paken001
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    Thanks for that. The playing field is not always even because we do not have the cheap labor that can be found in foreign countries but we try to circumvent that by doing just one thing, having the absolute best products that you can find anywhere in the world. We treat our employees good as well. We offer free and unlimited Red Bulls, pop, water, Gatorade and snacks. We also have Pringle's machine they all love along with a fooseball table and indoor half-court basketball for them to play on. All and all it is a great place to work, at least I enjoy it. We also pay well above minimum wage. Our goal has always been to create a work place that people can brag about and are proud of. Having a good atmosphere where people are excited about their jobs really brings the best out of our employees and breeds innovation.

    Ace
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2011
  9. PatriciaF
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    PatriciaF iPad Fan

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    As I stated before, you can get good deals on eBay. There are the mom and pop's who are selling on their own in the good ole' USA. I think that the majority is talking about is the larger "stores" on eBay. That is where I am careful. Yes, I have bought from the larger "stores" non-mom and pop and got burned because I wasn't buying made in the USA or the "store" wasn't in the USA. Just a thought. Hope it is worth something:).
  10. richsadams
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    richsadams iPad Super Guru

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    Agreed. I still buy things on ebay now and then and I haven't been burned in a long time, knock on wood (touching head). However I tend to stay with those with very high ratings and mostly deal with "mom and pop" folks.

    There's no reason SlickWraps couldn't have a store on ebay and sell their American products. The web does tend to level the playing field that way.

    I do miss the "old days" when ebay was simply everyday folks selling things they no longer needed. I don't fault anyone for making a profit, and the storefront nature that is ebay today is probably making a lot of people money (primarily ebay), but it's mostly a turn-off to me anymore. Craigslist is taking up where ebay left off.
  11. SoCalGal
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    SoCalGal iPF Novice

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    Well....I received the case stand-cover I purchased from Ebay and it's a lot less quality than the one I purchased at the mall from kiosk vender. So....... there you have it. Thanks for comments btw. Great forum with appreciative opinions.
  12. tzimisce
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    tzimisce iPad Addict

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    It is worth remembering that iPads themselves are manufactured in China (albeit to a high level of quality) and shipped worldwide via Hong Kong. But with so much economies of scale for companies to outsource manufacturing, it's simply good business sense and it brings costs down.

    Timbuk2, for example, still allow customers to design their own bags, which are handmade-to-order in San Francisco and cost full premium -- Timbuk2 Bags. You'd expect to pay, for example, $120 or more for a customized, SF-made messenger bag.

    But their regular mass-market designs are outsourced to a South-east Asian country, and the same item costs half as much (e.g. via Amazon) -- Timbuk2 Classic Messenger Bag

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