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I began my eBid evolutionary journey as a casual browser when I was sent to explore this 'new site' in 1998/99, whilst working for a newspaper. At that point, we were all just getting to grips with the fact that we could buy and sell via the Internet, so the prospect of a UK based auction phenomenon was really exciting. Not only could I claim my online exploration as research, I could also suss out some bargains and explore the possibility of earning some lucrative extra income. Wholeheartedly, I marched into eBid, mouse in one hand, coffee cup in the other, and it was love at first sight. By the turn of the century, I had worked up to my own online store and had even ventured into the forums. If virtual reality did pubs and clubs, the eBid forums are where they would be!
But that was then and this is now, so what have the past eight years brought with them?
The latest eBid site revamp appears to have gone relatively painlessly, other than a few glitches that are unavoidable when working with technology. The site has certainly grown, with listings now topping the 400,000 mark and many more categories having been added. I would not, however, compare eBid to eBay, as the two are completely different ball games.
AS A BUYER - Pay a visit to eBid.co.uk and dip your toes into a free bronze membership. This is enough to get you started. Take all the time in the world to browse and become acquainted with the feel of the site, navigating it, searching through the categories, investigating the 6000+ stores, and then try a few bids on items that take your fancy. eBid is more of a trading community than a multi-national trading machine. There aren't thousands of shareholders screaming for higher profits, so the eBid sellers have every possible opportunity to offer bargains that may not be financially feasible to offer elsewhere. Those sellers, I am sure, will meet the demands of the buyers. Use the 'ask seller a question' or the forums to contact sellers and make them an offer. If they have what you want, there's plenty of scope for good old-fashioned bartering.
EBid, which is now available in USA, Canada, Ireland and Australia, has the potential to become the next generation shoppers' paradise. You can source goods from around the globe, make the most of the strong GB Pound against the weakening US Dollar, and save yourself a fortune. What's more, the forums are particularly addictive with their ease of access and simplicity of use. Like any other public forums, you can enjoy the banter, cringe at the less subtle innuendo and, basically, strike up a rapport with fellow eBidders - the good, the bad and the ugly. It's all about freedom of choice - your choice. By browsing the 'Plug Your Auctions' thread there are some exceptional bargains to be found, many with low starting prices and no reserves, and many with a 'Buy It Now' option. Unlike eBay, far fewer buyers here are caught out by high postage charges. It is still a case of 'buyer beware', but on the whole, I love the bargains I find on eBid. It feels more like a personal achievement at finding them than anything else because there isn't the same urgency or pressure to bid. It is altogether a far more relaxed experience than one would imagine/
MY RECENT 'BRING A FRIEND' & BUYING SPREE - If any of you are fans of Tesco ClubCard points, Co-op dividends, Nectar points or any other loyalty point schemes, then eBid is the one for you. Their unique 'Buddy Points' system entices you with points for signing up friends, for bidding and for buying. You may ask, why bother with points when there's a perfectly good feedback system in place? Well, 'points mean prizes', or something like that - you can bid with your points in selected auctions. "Forget about the points", I hear you say, "get on with the bargains and let us all know what it's really like in there!" OK, here's my honest opinion so far... but I reserve the right to change my mind with each sale I make or bargain I take.
BUYING - Without too much competition, I have wandered aimlessly through the categories window shopping, but am always draw to the stores section, the buddies section and then the forums. I like nice things and I like unusual gifts. I've just bought a beautifully hand crafted greetings card and it cost me far less than a bog-standard one from our local high street, even allowing for delivery. The seller was a pleasure to deal with and had the card sent out to me within 24 hours of payment. The same with a DVD I bought, brand new, 100% original, factory sealed for less than £4. It's only once you start bidding in these auctions that you fully appreciate the choices that they offer, especially in stores or where the sellers have multiple listings and offer postal discounts. You can't resist going that extra pound or two for the sake of 3 pure silk scarves rather than just the one, or several handcrafted items when you can't decide which one you like the best. I'm totally addicted now and challenge anyone to take up eBidding as a hobby, stick at it until you have mastered the art, and then tell me you don't love it - even the sniping, whining, grumbling forum members who have time to sit and bitch at one another. It beats Coronation Street and a trip into town any day!
IF YOU ARE AN ONLINE AUCTION SELLER - EBid is fast becoming widely recognised in its own right as a global e-trading post and there is one thing that this site has that, in my opinion, tears strips off the competition, and that's its membership bandings. It is absolutely free to join as a bronze bidder and it is absolutely free to verify your details and upgrade to join the silver surfers, but who wants to be a silver surfer when you can have the ultimate in auction memberships - the PLATINUM! This recently displaced gold membership and now offers e-traders the unbeatable choice of opening up to 5 different stores online, all hosted by eBid, and has invoicing and secure payments facilities included. They don't even charge you a monthly fee for running your stores! There's no upload limit! There's no listing fee! There's no final value selling fee! It is simply unbelievable! Who, anywhere, is offering such a lucrative selling account that lasts a lifetime? One single payment for A LIFETIME! As the bloke on the Remingtons advert once said, 'I was so impressed, I bought the company'. Well, that's what I think of eBid. I was so impressed that I jumped at the opportunity and can highly recommend it to anyone. Five online shops running 24/7 with secure payment facilities, the opportunity to interact with my customers and the option to earn points by sharing all of this with friends? You must be mad to by-pass this golden, or should I say, platinum, opportunity of a lifetime. Courtesy costs nothing and, so far, I have had no serious problems with any buyers or sellers. Must dash now, there could be new messages in the forums, new bargains in the stores, new customers at my virtual doors. Please do come in, the stores are always open.
Anyone with any queries, questions or quotes, you'll probably track me down somewhere in eBid.net
This is just a quick comment in response to AJR100 and his mention of, "CIAO is a great place to plug your OWN business and in my opinion thats what this seller is doing here."
I have to correct you on the above point as I most certainly do NOT own eBid, nor am I a wholesaler or retailer by profession. eBid is a site that I have frequented for several years and, each time I return, I keep finding further improvements.
This year, the run up to Christmas 2007, I have found eBid to be indispensible as far as finding bargains goes. Indeed, unbelieveable, may be nearer the mark. I have literally saved a fortune this year and long may it continue.
Anichka 15.06.2007 17:48
Very well written & informative, you didn't mention the YDC charity auctions (held monthly) though, i know you've also become addicted to those. I may have mentioned them in my review, just off to find it & check.
AJR100 21.04.2007 10:35
The is a good and well written review, however its simply not balanced. CIAO is a great place to plug your OWN business and in my opinion thats what this seller is doing here. My own experience of EBID is a slow painful site with few buyers and low sales. Sorry !