I frequently check eBay's sailboat listings. I found the boat that I would like for sale there, offered at a much lower price than it is currently available on Yachtworld. Both prices are above what I am willing to pay, so I'll wait...
I did sell a motorcycle (Kawasaki GPz1100) through eBay. and I bought my current bike (Honda ST1100) through the site as well. The Honda came from South Dakota, and I had it shipped (unseen) to where I live in Mass. I was happy with both transactions.
When I was boat shopping last year (small CB trailerable boats) I did bid on one via eBay motors. I didn't get it as the price got too rich for my blood. Here are a few points that I think you should consider.
1. the boat either needs to be near you or you need to have someone you trust who is near it to inspect it before you bid. In my case the boat was just down the road from my father, an experienced sailor.
2. If the boat is a good deal, the snipers will probably come out at the last minute. I watched the boat I bid on rise in price > 50% in the last 10 minutes of the auction as numerous sniping engines stepped in with bids. I suggest learning about sniping before you bid on a boat.
So, inspect it, know what it is worth, and bid accordingly. Of course, there is a big difference between using eBay to buy an 18' CB dinghy vs. a 45' keel boat. The money I bid was within my risk tolerance.
I've bought 2 sailboats in the past 3 years off ebay. The first was the exact boat I was looking for, at a bargain price because it was late October. I bought it sight-unseen 1000 miles from home. I price I paid was less than I could have sold the parts. The diesel was unkown as to condition. It turned out to be a great boat! The diesel fired up after minor maintenance. It's easily worth 4X what I have in it. The second boat was bought on a whim, because it was close by and very cheap.I sailed it a few times and even raced it, before selling it for a good profit. I emailed both sellers before bidding, and got their phone numbers. I asked many questions about the boats, and was satisfied as to what I was buying. I wouldn't buy so easily if it were a more expensive boat. Like they say; don't gamble more than you are willing to lose.
I bought my first sailboat off of ebay, a Macgregor 25. I bought it sight unseen and it was about 3 hours away. I didn't really know much about sailing but I liked the pictures and boat didn't look to bad.
Thanks for the replies. I know about the last 10 minute increases on ebay. I have bought multiple other items but not a boat or car off of it. It doesn't feel that good to lose someting by a couple of cents 1 second before closing...
You are not really "losing it by a couple if cents". It's psychological. If you had a higher bid they would have had a higher bid. The person that beats you by a few cents presumably has a higher bid over all. But the auction software ended the auction when your highest bid was exceeded.
In other words, if there is only one other bidder the difference between the high bid and the second highest bit will always be yery small.
You get a good deal on ebay by knowing what you want want and what it's worth and bidding accordingly.
Bid low don't watch the auction end.
But like I said, you can do better in person around the Chesapeake. Check craigslist religiously- several time a day.
The ebay price is closer to fair market value for a given thing in a particular area.
I put items on my watch list when I see something interesting, but don't bother bidding until the last minute. This is typical of the average ebay user. No sense inflating the price early, unless you are intent on discouraging other bidders.