The following is my opinionů
feedback score may or may not be a good indicator of a quality seller. The feedbacks scores are regularly manipulated by various means (in both directions). For example, if I thought I had a score to settle with you and you were a good seller I could easily use multiple accounts to buy from you with the sole intent of trashing your score. In the other direction, some sellers maintain 50 or more accounts so they pump up their own feedback scores. And of course, eBay
regularly removes negative feedbacks for preferred sellers. As anyone who has ever owned a retail store knows, it is virtually impossible to run through 10,000+ transactions without a few of them going south.
I recommend SCF members who sell on eBay
, I cannot think of one that is not a decent person. https://www.stampcommunity.org/member_sales.asp
Do not buy into the eBay
marketing that buying from an anonymous seller half way around the world and based upon their images is risk free; it is not.
Do not 'sort by lowest first' and think that you are getting a bargain, in the majority of cases you get what you pay for.
Spend as much time learning WHO you are buying from as you do WHAT you are buying. Work towards building a relationship with a few good sellers, the time spent doing this will bring rewards over the long term. Buying the cheapest material from a different seller each time is NOT smart buying.
Like you have done here, ask around from experienced collectors and see if they will give you recommendations. Unfortunately, some collectors do not share this information thinking they are limiting competition.
Start slow and learn, learn, learn. There are some good deals on eBay
but it often takes a lot of experience and a lot of patience to find them. Do not expect that you will find many at first.
Keep in mind that the majority of material on eBay
(and in the hobby) has been through countless collectors and dealers hands before you; fresh material entering the hobby is very rare.
Buy based upon your expected 'enjoyment level'. In other words if you spot a lot that you think you will enjoy spending 10 hours going through and you can get it for $100; ask yourself if $10 per hour enjoyment is acceptable. Compare to what it would it cost you to do other leisure time activities (i.e going to movies, golf, etc) per hour. If the math works out for you, you will lower your risk.