SupplyManagement.com posted this article, documenting its findings in a survey of professional buyers’ use of eBay.
What I don’t like about the article is that it polarizes the concept of using eBay as a tool for the professional buyer. It is neither a absolutely perfect tool or an absolutely useless one.
Buying off eBay for corporate needs just requires some old-fashioned, Purchasing 101-type of common sense. You should ask these same questions before making any purchase, but particularly when buying through eBay:
- Do I have enough information to know that the seller is reliable?
- What kind of terms and conditions do I need to properly govern this transaction?
- Should I make this purchase as a one-off purchase or should I consider a long-term, enterprise-wide contract?
- Do I have enough information to know that the price I am paying is fair, competitive, and reasonable?
- Do I have enough information about the product to know that it will be in the appropriate condition and it will satisfy its intended purpose?
- Is the process for purchasing the product or service (including payment, returns, etc.) the appropriate and most efficient one?
I am all for using eBay when it is appropriate to do so. And, by applying these basic purchasing questions to your evaluation process, you’ll find that it is not appropriate for every purchase.