Buying a Cutoff Saw on eBay, Part 2

I’m encouraged to see more and more sellers who perform an appraisal of the saw before they sell it, and mention anything that might be of concern. And if you’re looking to buy a Stihl or Partner cutoff saw, you’ll find plenty to choose from. No need to pin all your hopes on a single saw – if you don’t win that one there’ll be others just like it that’ll follow.

A few last checks and we’re ready to bid: check the shipping and handling charges – a few sellers will try to sneak a bunch of money into that fee (I’ve seen it as high as $150 to ship a cutoff saw that should cost $35 to ship), and once you’ve won the auction, you’re on the hook for that fee, too. Check that the seller will ship to your area (or country), and that they accept payment methods you’re willing/able to use (Paypal, money order, personal check, etc). Now you’re ready to bid. But first, a small economics lesson…

When I first registered as an eBay member in 1999, I thought this was a great way to buy something on the cheap. And back then, when very few people knew about or were comfortable with the idea, it was. But it’s grown so large and accepted that now the normal economic rules of supply and demand apply here. What that means is, if you have something to sell and it’s in high demand relative to how many there are of the item to be found, you’ll probably end up with a high winning bid. On the flip side of that coin, if you’re the buyer, that means you’re probably paying more than what you might expect to, because of the scarcity of the item. At the other end of the spectrum, a cutoff saw that can be found everywhere on eBay during a time when there isn’t high demand can find itself being purchased for pennies on the dollar. Since this is written with the buyer in mind, when at all possible choose a brand and model that is very popular in construction, as the ample supply will dampen demand and tend to keep prices lower. Most often that means you’ll be looking at a Stihl or Partner cutoff saw. Ok, economics lesson over. Let’s bid on a cutoff saw.