Buying comics on E-Bay is pretty much a no risk process. This is because of E-Bay's buyer protection program. If you haven't read this you really should.
I have other things I do to make sure I don't overpay for something and generally get what I expect by following some simple rules.
RULE #1) Sellers overgrade their comics. look at what they say it is and assume it will be a full grade lower. So if thy say it's Near Mint 9.8 assume it is a Mint 9.0 at best with a good possibility of being VF/NM. Now I am not sying that these people don't know how to grade, it is just that in my experience I have rarely seen comics that I purchased on E-Bay that were not over graded. Sure, I know that grading is subjective, but some defects automatically lower a grade and get 'overlooked'. (Obviously this does not apply to slabbed books which are supposed to be graded correctly by professionals. Even so, I rarely agree with the grades that I have seen on slabs, but that is a discussion for a whole different day.
RULE #2) Pay attention to the shipping cost as this is a part of the price of the comic(s). If it's a $2.00 Buy it now with a $10 shipping charge the cost is $12 not $2!
RULE #3) Set what you are willing to pay for the comic and NEVER, EVER go over this, you can most likely find it for the price you want to pay if you are patient, so don't get caught up in a bid war that will force you to over pay.
Here is how I decide what I am willing to pay, check the current market price on the book. I do this by looking at recently sold items or using other sources that I trust, this is why it's important to know the approximate condition, as that will affect the price I want to pay. Once I know the approximate value I subtract the shipping charge. If this amount is over the minimum they are asking for the comic, I have to decide how badly I want it more often than not I decide to pass on bidding. On the other hand if I can bid without going over my percieved value than I will either buy it now, make an offer if the BIN price is to high, or place a bid. If it's something I really want I will place my bid when their is only a minute left in the auction. If I can't be their for the end I will bid as closely to the end of the auction that I can. This lessens the chance that I will lose. It's no guarantee though. Don't get disapointed, just move on to the next one.
Next up, I'll post a list of my newer purchases and the prices I paid for them.
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