The story that eBay's founder Pierre Omidyar started eBay as a place for his fiancee to trade some used Pez candy dispensers is not true. It was just a story promoted by the companies Public Relations department.
It is however true that one of the first items to sell on eBay was a broken laser pointer. Since those eclectic beginnings the company has moved on to become a household name with auctions for just about everything. And that of course includes storage shed auctions.
There are three types of storage shed auction that I am going to talk about in this article:
By understanding the different categories of auction it will help you to search for the right type of bargain for you. It may be that you want a new shed but at the best price possible and it doesn't matter if you have any seller support. It may be that you want a good price with a bit of dealer back up. Of course if you want the absolute cheapest shed out there then a used shed might be your best option.
The category of used storage sheds is the one that offers the biggest prospect of a bargain. If someone has a storage shed that is surplus to their requirements and they try to sell it on eBay they will often achieve a fraction of its new price. There are however quite a few factors to take into account when buying a used storage shed. I wrote this separate article to help you consider whether this route is for you.
With used storage sheds you will most likely be buying from someone reasonably close to where you live and so it is recommended that you inspect the shed and also consider carefully how you will transport the shed to its new location.
If assessing the condition and arranging your own transport sounds like a bit much like hard work you might want to consider looking for one of the authorised reseller.
Authorised resellers operate sometimes quite large businesses selling brand new stock with many of the same guarantees that you would get from any online store. The item is normally listed as a Buy It Now type of an auction. This means that you are not in competition with other buyers and that by bidding you are guaranteed to win the item. It means that you may not get such a bargain but once you bid the item is yours. There is no wait or uncertainty as to whether you will or wont win. Once you have placed your bid and won the item you go through the checkout system and the item will be shipped to you in the normal way.
Despite not being a normal online store environment the feedback rating of the seller in this sort of situation will often be very reassuring. Check out to see how much feedback they have. How much of it is positive and also if you are concerned at all read the actual customer comments. From my small experience with buying sheds online ebay is a good transparent source as the seller has a reputation to protect. When buying from an online store (not eBay) I have had to wait longer than promised for delivery and had minimal communication from the seller to reassure me that the shed was going to arrive. In the eBay environment this type of poor service would quickly show up in the customer feedback.
If you want a new shed but are still after a bit of a bargain you can sometimes find storage shed auctions with bankrupt or surplus stock for sale.
Surplus stock only comes available intermittently and will very likely not be for sale along side all sorts of other items, not from a specialist reseller. In this type of situation you should expect to pay less than retail. There won't be the back up from the dealer if a part is missing or damaged. You may be able to buy replacement parts from the manufacturer, but do not always rely on this.
Storage shed auctions for this type of item will normally be a typical timed auction rather than a Buy It Now type of auction as the seller just wants to sell the storage shed and move on to the next deal.
Always check the description and picture of this type of auction very carefully to see if the item is damaged or the packaging has been opened. This may influence what you are prepared to bid. Of course asking the seller for information is a very good strategy here and may reassure you that the item is complete and undamaged. This can give you quite an edge over other buyers.
It is important that you understand whether you are buying a used storage shed from a private seller, a new shed from an authorised dealer or surplus stock from a liquidator. The type of price and service that you can expect from each varies enormously.
And of course with it being eBay you can always expect the unexpected, you might even find a shed with a broken laser pointer thrown in for free! ;o)