I Did It My Way (with eBay)!!

“And now the end is near.  So I face the final curtain call….”  Wait a second, I’m just getting started 😉 with saving money at eBay!  Before you roll your eyes and think “not another eBay post” I want you to ask yourself have you tried eBay lately?  Twenty years ago, this online marketplace made it possible for the average Joe to make a buck selling anything that can be shipped in a box from their own garage.  Today, eBay is still a great way to save money on a lot of purchases.

A broken fridge made me write this post???

Yes, our broken fridge inspired compelled me to write this post.  That will probably be the last of my cheesiness for this post, but our fridge quit running a few weeks ago as the lights turned on when my wife & I opened the doors but the compressor didn’t even try to run.

The defrost control board (also known as a defrost timer) quit working.  It’s a very common problem regarding fridge mechanical breakdowns.  Thankfully, we had access to a second fridge & our chest freezer had extra space, so nothing spoiled during this malaise.

Save Money on eBay

The defective part that won me over to eBay!

After doing some troubleshooting on the internet, we deducted that the original defrost control board (defrost timer) went bad.  We called two local appliance parts stores and they priced the replacement at $191 & $206.  As our fridge was manufactured in 1999, we said we can buy a newer, refurbished model for a little more than the replacement cost these two stores were charging.

But, as any 21st-century shopper does, we also looked up prices on the internet.

My online go-to for years has been Amazon as they or a 3rd party retailer will sell most items cheaper than a brick & mortar store.  The lowest price was $78.  It was 100 bucks cheaper than our local stores, so I was prepared to hit buy when my wife asked if I checked eBay too.

I told her that I thought they were mostly auctions, as that was how I used them in the past.  So being the loving husband I am, I checked eBay and was pleasantly surprised to see that I could save an additional $21 and I would only have to pay $57 for the same timer that I would have paid $200 for down the street.  While my wife & I love to support local mom & pop businesses (we are self-employed after all), we couldn’t justify a $150 price difference.

Ok, we had to wait 3 or 4 days for the part to come in the mail & we would have been forced to spend $200 for the part if we didn’t have a spare fridge & freezer already.  Not everybody will be able to wait 3 or 4 days for a replacement part to make their refrigerator run properly, but this is a good example how you can save money by taking a few extra minutes to “price shop” before clicking the “Buy Now” button.

My Wife’s Affinity For Ebay

When I asked my wife what she buys from eBay, her response was “Everything.”  My wife buys a lot of things from eBay from office supplies, printer ink, clothes,etc.  As I mentioned before, she is the one who showed me the “magic” of eBay.  I always thought it was cheaper to buy 3rd-party from Amazon if I wanted to buy used items.

We even bought a refurbished KitchenAid food processor from the KitchenAid store as well!

Not every eBay “Buy It Now Item” is a good deal, we do buy new from online stores using a cashback portal like Ebates too & Amazon is cheaper sometimes too.

Why You Should Try eBay

So it can’t hurt for you to shop eBay for your next purchase.  I would argue that there are almost just as many “Buy It Now” items for sale as items listed for auction.  I plan on buying some boardgames for one of my fall side hustles on eBay as they are cheaper than the new price at my local Wal-Mart & cheaper by a dollar or two than several 3rd-party Amazon vendors.

My only prior experience with eBay was selling an old car stereo of mine via auction and (when I was in the 7th grade) buying postage stamps & football cards when I still collected those things.

And if you like the adrenaline rush of buying something for under market value, you can always bid with auction on eBay.

Happy Saving.



About the Author

I'm a personal freelance writer.

10 Comments on "I Did It My Way (with eBay)!!"

  1. Huge congrats on the money savings! We’ve saved tons of money by checking Ebay for things and comparing their prices with Amazon and local stores. When I was doing pay-as-you-go cell service, we saved big bucks by purchasing refill cards through Ebay.

    • It’s amazing what you can find (& save) on eBay. I used to be an Amazon-junkie when I was single because I liked the fixed price aspect. Now that there are so many “Buy It Now” options with free shipping on individual items, it is now my online marketplace of choice. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. The Green Swan | June 24, 2016 at 11:41 am | Reply

    Wow what a score! Proves that it’s always beneficial to shop around a bit, you’ll never know what you’ll find. Our tv is currently on the frits so I’m trying to troubleshoot that and see if it is something I can fix myself too. Thanks for the post and reminder to check eBay.

    • You are welcome. Good luck with the tv. These days, everything is so integrated that it is usually cheaper to buy a new tv,laptop, etc.

  3. I had a similar situation where there was a defective part on our dishwasher that needed replacing. I didn’t find it on eBay but instead found it on a manufacturer’s website. It worked perfectly and saved us from replacing the whole unit.

    • I did that when I was trying to find a replacement aerator for Delta sinks at work. The plumbing supply stores really didn’t have what I needed either. What did we do before the internet?

  4. Nice! Love the resourcefulness and willingness to do your own repairs. You’ve inspired me to use ebay this morning, not to buy, but to sell. I think ebay gives you 20 free listings per month – it’s a great way to make a few extra bucks and to de-clutter at the same time.

  5. Ebay and Facebook groups are great places to buy and sell. We’ve had a lot of success with them.

    I guess Ebay is cheaper because on Amazon, most people are trying to make a profit, whereas with Ebay people are just trying to sell something for any price.


    • That makes sense. Plus, if you use the auction method on eBay, there is still the possibly of earning more than a fixed price listing.

      We dabbled a little in the Facebook groups as well & have found it to be a good alternative to Craigslist, but for our products, CL is still the better option for us.

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