If you’re looking to get your hands on a few bitcoins, one of the many options available to you is EBay. It’s not the cheapest option (it may even be the most expensive option), but for those looking to buy their first bitcoin(s), it’s a very easy way of doing so.
I will start with the pros and cons of buying bitcoins on EBay before outlining a few tips for making sure that the transaction goes smoothly.
The Benefits of Buying Bitcoins on EBay
The primary attraction of purchasing bitcoins on EBay is that for many people, the process will be familiar. It’s a website that’s well known, it’s a website that’s well trusted. And this can be a major perk when dealing with something as new and unfamiliar as bitcoin.
The second advantage of purchasing bitcoins on EBay is that it’s fast. Provided you’re already a member of EBay, you can purchase bitcoins today. This is in contrast with most bitcoin retailers and brokers that typically require a lengthy waiting period while they verify your identity.
The Problem with Buying Bitcoins on EBay
The biggest downside of purchasing bitcoins on EBay is the price. If you’re expecting market rates, you’re going to be disappointed. Selling bitcoins on EBay is risky, EBay sellers understand this fact and they offset that risk by charging well above market rates.
The problem with selling bitcoins on EBay is that EBay accounts aren’t always verified and the buyer is allowed to pay for their purchase with PayPal. This has lead to many dishonest buyers ordering bitcoins and requesting a charge-back as soon as they receive them.
EBay sellers are well aware of this problem and the price that they charge reflects it. In general, bitcoins on EBay are priced at least 50% above the market rate.
Because of this fact, if you’re looking to invest a large amount of money in bitcoin, EBay is not the right place to do it. But if you’re looking to purchase a small amount, the convenience factor may make it the right choice for you.
Here are a few tips:
The price of a single bitcoin on EBay varies widely. For every seller charging 150% market value, there’s two more trying to sell for 1000% market value. I’m not sure how they get away with charging such prices but if nothing else, it’s a good example of the importance of shopping around.
Check the Delivery Method
Despite the fact that digital goods aren’t supposed to be sold on EBay, most Bitcoin sellers provide digital delivery direct to your Bitcoin wallet. Some sellers however deal with physical paper wallets delivered via first class post. If you have a preference for either, make sure that you bid accordingly.
Keep in Mind That There is no Refunds
If you’ve purchased from EBay before, you’re likely to have noticed that most sellers offer generous refund policies. This doesn’t apply to bitcoins. Due to their fluctuating value, all sales are considered final. It’s therefore important to keep this in mind when deciding whether or not to bid.