Buying a Cutoff Saw on eBay
Buying a cutoff saw in an auction format like eBay can be pretty exciting. You don't know who else is out there, interested in getting that saw. The price is really good right now, but you know that can change at a moment's notice. There's an element of uncertainty that makes it a little unnerving.
I've been an eBay buyer far more than I've been a seller. And there have long been tips and tricks offered on how to win auctions on eBay. Winning them is pretty easy: be the highest bidder. The trick is to be the highest bidder but at the lowest possible price. To do that you have to work against human nature and risk losing the auction item altogether. It just takes a few minutes of research and some nerves. You can do it. But before we talk about how to bid the right way, let's talk again about security.
Just recently I tried to caution my retired father about jumping too quickly into downloading any software or buying anything online, telling him "This is like the Wild West, Dad; there are rules but they're pretty loosely enforced, and you could find yourself (or your financial self) full of holes in the blink of an eye." This is true on eBay, too. If someone doing business on eBay has accumulated enough negative feedback through shady deals enough that it limits the number of bids they get on items (because others are worried about getting burned, too), they can just set up a new account and start from scratch, ready to lure the next unsuspecting victim. You want to take steps to ensure you aren't that next victim, and you do that by doing some simple checking of the person selling the cutoff saw.
Start your check by looking at how long the seller has been a registered eBay user. If it's been a short time, this could be a red flag that there were problems in the past. It could also mean the seller just got started selling on eBay. I like buying from people that have been on eBay for at least a year. Next, look at their feedback rating. The percentage of positive feedback and the number of pieces of positive feedback are both important. If they have any negative feedback, read it. If you're buying a used cutoff saw, was the negative feedback left about the purchase of a similar piece of equipment? Sometimes sellers do well selling small items, but poorly selling larger ones (or sometimes the opposite is true - you don't know unless you look). Check the positive feedback - are there recent transactions for a cutoff saw? This might tell you this seller handles selling these saws often and can be trusted.
If you're satisfied with the history of the seller, you should next check the item and it's description. Read the description carefully - if it's used, does the seller sound like he's confident it's a solid running cutoff saw, or is he trying to distance himself from it with warnings like "sold as is" or the lame "I don't know if this saw runs or not". Pull the freakin' cord, man!
Next: A few last checks, then we'll bid on a saw...