Now, given that this blog has an amazingly technical readership (who often put Heather and me to shame) it will probably come as no surprise to most of you that Ebay is actually a more expensive way of buying things. However, it was a bit of a shock to me.
Today, I was looking around for books on the CISSP course and out of idle curiosity I did a search for CISSP for dummies (yeah, yeah). On ebay today, the cheapest I could find was £13.99 plus £2.75 postage (visit auction page – auction ends 12 May 08 so the link might die).
Compare against Amazon.co.uk where the same book costs £13.49 plus £2.75 postage (here).
Now this is a trivial example, and most people wouldn’t bat an eyelid over saving 50p (I would but that is because no one ever makes donations here and I am poor). However, if we look at it a bit further…
Ebay has the CISSP Exam Cram 2 book available as a Buy It Now for the discounted price of £21.37 plus £2.75 postage. Can Amazon beat that?
Well, yes. On Amazon, the CISSP Exam Cram 2 is £14.99 (postage seems to be a grey area here but I think it will be £2.75). That is no mere £0.50 saving, that is a whopping £6.38.
There is a change in the balance of power over the CISSP all in one exam guide (Ebay, Amazon) where Ebay is actually about £3 cheaper, but by and large you actually pay for the privilege of using Ebay. It strikes me, from talking to all the ebayers I know, that people have a strange attitude towards Ebay. When people go to shop there, the idea of checking prices becomes alien.
For some reason, people seem to get caught in some weird mindset when they are faced with an auction and apparently regularly pay prices close to, or in excess of, the market rate for an item. I have experienced this a bit in the past when I’ve been bidding on cameras or camera parts – I have never won a single auction because almost every one of them has gone over the price you could buy it from a camera shop.
Why on Earth does Ebay have this effect on people? Great for sellers but, methinks, not so good for the buyer…