An auction can be a great place to buy almost anything. Provided you stay cool, and don’t become too attached to something you see up for grabs, you are in total control of how much you bid for individual items, so there’s no need to exceed any budget.
The same principles apply to physical and online auctions. Both are open forums where no one should be pressurised into bidding, so any people who are competing to buy any individual item are sure to be interested in lodging a winning bid.
Of course, online auctions have grown tremendously in popularity in recent times, with websites such as eBay, eBid, Dynabid and Flogitall all boasting growing user numbers.
The daddy of them all, of course, is eBay. While the number of fixed-price listings on the site now outnumbers auctions, it is still considered the first stop by many people who have items they no longer have a use for, and which they believe someone else could.
Long-distance buying has been made possible by the fact that anyone can type in the domain address of the auction website they are interested in, along with that country’s standard web suffix, and they are likely to be able to find goods being offered by sellers in that particular country.
Currently 37 different countries have their own eBay site, and when they are placing items for sale, sellers are asked whether they want their items to be visible on one, any or all of these. Many people will choose to give their items exposure to the widest possible audience, as this might then mean greater potential for achieving a higher sale price.
Naturally, if you are looking for collectables, it could be that the value of an item in one country is much less or greater than in another – it all depends on the rarity of the product, any historical significance, and again, the demand for it in the territory where it is being sold.
When it comes to the scope of products available, the only limits imposed by most sites are in accordance with what it is legal to sell and possess in the country of sale.
And of course, the only maxima which apply to buying goods online are those set by the seller, but often there will be no limit.
The issue then arises of how much a buyer is prepared to pay to have their purchases shipped to them, and this too can depend on a little online research.
Luggage and bulk item shipping companies will be well used to the demands of handling large and possibly awkward to handle items. So if your consignment is especially rare or valuable, then these are the specialist firms to look for.
Their expertise also covers the world’s shipping routes – be they by air, sea or land – so they will know not only the quickest way by which to send a consignment, but also the safest. They might even be able to sell you a range of packaging material which you can use to ensure that any goods travelling long-distance are securely wrapped, and therefore have the best possible chance of completing their epic journey intact.
- Image reference – attribution licence
Karen Wallace is a freelance writer specialising in transportation issues such as international shipping and baggage shipping in the UK.