- Don't list such auctions unless you're serious about selling.
- Don't bid on major assets unless you're serious about buying.
- Always pay careful attention to feedback and item descriptions and terms.
In addition to these standard rules, however, there are a few extra things you should be aware of when trafficking in high-value assets on eBay:
- Talk to your trading partner. First and foremost, never buy a major asset without first communicating directly with the seller, preferably in person, but at the very least by phone—a number or some other method of contact should normally appear in the listing for such high-value items. Many dollars and the potential for litigation are all at stake, so know who you're dealing with and know the item well.
- Consult an expert. Just because you're buying on eBay doesn't mean that you can skip all the usual steps you'd take when buying a car or a house. You'll still have to work out all of the details yourself: loans/mortgages, tax implications, and so on.
- Real estate auctions are non-binding. Though you should be serious about selling if you list such an auction or serious about buying if you bid on one, the value of the items in question and difficulty in evaluating them at a distance (as well as the legal realities involved) make enforcing the auction contract difficult as a matter of course in the case of real estate. Incorporate the non-binding nature of the process into your plans and communicate directly with your trading partner (see above).
Though there was a time when most people assumed (and may have been correct in so doing) that you'd be crazy to buy a new car or a house on eBay, those times are by and large over. Large assets can and do sell in large quantities every day on eBay, often to the great mutual benefit of buyer and seller. If you're interested in this market and have the resources to be successful in it, don't hesitate—jump in and join the crowd of major asset traders on eBay.