Maybe it's because the dollar is so low overseas, but if anyone is watching rc gear auctions on eBay, it's unreal the prices that things are going for. In many cases, if not all, I can buy brand new through TowerHobbies, cheaper and with the Tower Hobbies service and warranties. It's stupid what people are bidding for stuff on eBay.
Yeah, but just about the time you quit looking, someone posts some really good deals. I've managed to collect a few Enya .60 Al-Chrome engines with pumps that I've always wanted. These rascals used to sell for nearly $300 twenty years ago. Got mine for less than $100 each NIB. These engines whoop ass, if you're a hotrodder like me.
A lot of people don't do any research on what they are bidding on. I have seen people bid better than $100 over what they would pay for the same item if they bought it from one of the online hobby houses. I always tell friends and such that have never used Ebay that they need to know: What the item should cost. If they could get the item for less at some store. If its unavailable anywhere else, what that item is really worth to them. And, lastly, CHECK THE SELLER'S FEEDBACK RATING.
For sure good deals can still be found. But by and large it seems on Ebay folks want more than usual for RC stuff. I really hate the "I have no idea about the plane, I got it in an estate sale" auctions, which right off the bat are usually priced too high--with almost no info about what you are buying,
Then there's the "pick up only" auctions in Smalltown, USA. Rarely even see bids on those auctions.
Everyone goes through a learning curve when using eBay. The local pick-up only auctions usually work only for automobiles/motorcycles/Hammond organs.
Sometimes I wonder if some folks are using eBay listings as a means of communications. What an easy way to transmit data worldwide without much expense. And without drawing attention to oneself when retrieving such data.
It's your responsibility to be as smart as you can when doing business. Fortunately you can get most things from several sources.
I love selling stuff on ebay because it gives me an opportunity to ask a million people if they want to buy my old stuff. But I wouldn't want to be an ebay retailer. The fees are too high, which probably is why you have a hard time finding deals on new merchandise there.
When I want something new I go somewhere else. When I want something discontinued I'll always check on ebay.
I bought some nostalgia era engines for nostalgia planes for a reasonable cost. They were a 1/4 of what I would have paid for a new engine from Tower.
All have like new compression, just needed a little clean-up. But then, one needs to know what they are looking for.
Kits OTOH have been going recently for ridiculous prices. I bought some nostalgia kits, 60's vintage stuff several years ago for a reasonable price. Now, people have gone nuts, I saw a kit like a Sterling Mini-Mambo go for over $100, not bad for $7 back in the mid 1970's. A Competition Models B-70 profile scale free flight for .049 went for close to $80. In the mid '60s, the kit was several bucks, all sheet balsa.
One can buy the plan from AMA and build from scratch cheaper.
Remember that for us europeans (and for me, italian, in particular), the STRONG euro is a great attractive. We can buy US stuff at a VERY low price, consider that in Europe the prices for the same stuff are still very high. You all know that, like with gas/petrol, if the price lowers, not always the final price is lowered for the buyer... Through Ebay we find a lot of nice stuff at a reasonable price, and we don't always know all the US online shops, or many of us cannot communicate in english, and therefore Ebay is attractive. Furthermore, soemtimes small parts in a padded envelope pass the customs without an added VAT expense, while buying from shops requires express couriers and almost always customs blocks.
Well, its us older guys trying to re-capture our youth by buying up these old kits from our childhoods that we are never going to build in our dotage. I have several Lil Wizard and Baby Ringmaster kits that I bought on Ebay. I remember mowing lawns to get the $10 or so the kits cost back in the 60's along with the dope, paint, glue and silkspan to build it. Paid something like $30 for one of em a year ago because it is still shrink-wrapped. Old fool etc....
I've collected a lot of the old models that I once had and some that I wanted but didn't get because I couldn't afford them. Just think, once we are gone, no one else will be attached to these models in the same way. It is quite possible that they will be worth considerably less than what we paid for them. Tis a pity...