Many people buy typewriters on Ebay. Many people (try to) sell them on Ebay too.
This is a very anarchic system. It is full of people who know nothing about typewriters, may be deceptive about them, may over estimate their value, many not pack them at all well, and may cause us all sorts of headaches. Buying on Ebay is a gamble.
I have some pages on various subjects such as Ebay, Etsy, and Similar Sites. This is about Ebay only, although some of the general principles apply to other sites too.
The first topic is business. Remember this in all dealings on Ebay and e-commerce sites, it is a business transaction. Any misdoings, such as misrepresenting an item being sold or improperly packing it resulting in damage, are something which should not be tolerated. Ebay has a system for filing claims and resolving issues, and so do many other sites. If an item is misrepresented or not in the condition described, then it should be resolved. If you still want to keep the item, then you can often work out a partial refund. Remember, it is business. Real people, yes, but still business.
I hope my advice on my page given earlier is found to be useful in ensuring a good transaction. The bulk of this post will be about the buyer/bidder, not the sellers. Once you have identified what you want to bid on (by searching, reviewing, contacting the seller, etc until one is satisfied that one wants to buy what is listed), then one has to bid on it. Now, if it is a Buy It Now situation, then buy it. If you can make an offer, make one. Make it a reasonably low amount that you think the seller might accept, and if you get a counter offer, and it is a good deal, then take it. Most times, sellers will make a counter offer and be unwilling to go lower although you can try (you are allowed to).
Secondly, understand the system being used to conduct this business. Ebay uses a bidding system to conduct auctions (along with options to buy things immediately or make offers which the seller can accept or reject, but auctions are the most common). Now, most people seem to think that one should "incrementally bid", that is, continually bid the lowest amount possible and update this as others outbid until the bidding is over or until one is no longer willing to bid higher. Incremental bidders are constantly on the watch for "snipers". Snipers wait until the last possible moment to bid and then bid the minimal (or, sometimes, any high amount if they are slightly smarter).
It must be understood, and it will be emphasized, incrementally bidding and sniping are stupid ways to use Ebay and will not get you better deals and you risk losing what you could have otherwise won. Why is this? Because the bidding system of Ebay does not encourage this sort of bidding.
To explain, Ebay uses a "Proxy bid" system. It is similar to a Vickrey auction, but if you knew what that is, you won't really learn anything in this post. In short, the bidding system encourages people to bid the highest amount they are willing to pay, and bid only once. And there is no reason not to do this. One will not pay more doing that if one tried incrementally bidding or sniping. It is faster, easier, and more sure. Also, in the cases where others are incrementally bidding and sniping, it may get you a better deal than you would have otherwise gotten had others been properly bidding! That is to say, people bidding stupidly are your friend, as long as you do not bid in the same manner.
Here is how the system works. People place their maximum bid for an item. The winner pays an increment over the second highest bid. So if three people bid $10, $14, and $100, the $100 bidder pays $14 plus a small amount over. Also, that amount is what is displayed as the minimum bid. So, an incremental bidder sees that the bid is at "$14.50" or something and bids that, and is immediately informed he is outbid (because the high bid is $100). So, the incremental bidder bids $14.50, and then is informed he is outbid, etc. Eventually, he will reach his actual highest bid. If it happens to be over $100, then he'll win. If it isn't, well, it wouldn't be any different if he had made his first bid his actual highest bid. But the other thing is if he is willing to pay over $100, but bids incrementally, he risks running out of time especially if he is trying to snipe. If there is a minute left on the clock, he won't be able to bid fast enough to reach his actual highest bid. Then the winner gets a better deal because he is being given the lowest price.
Now, there is a chance that someone will bid a very high number in hopes that nobody actually goes too high, but this will backfire usually and puts one in a very poor position if one is unwilling to pay what the amount turns out to be (negative feedback hopefully not doing one's part in the business transaction). Bid as if you will win. Bid the maximum amount you will pay, and leave it alone. Now, if you decide you are willing to pay more, then certainly increase your bid if necessary, but there is no reason to risk losing for no reason other than a misguided notion of how the bidding system works.
Incremental bidders and snipers are rampant, but it doesn't actually get them any good deals, but they can get you a good deal. If they do win, they don't pay any less than if they had bid their maximum when they first decided they wanted to bid at all and they risk losing what they could have easily won. I love them. I have gotten great deals because an person was doing last second incremental bids. The Corona Zephyr I have available was won this way. The sniper was close, but he waited too long. I wish I could tell that keychopper how close he was so he could feel the burn.
Or, if you don't want to deal with Ebay, see if you want to deal with me. Some of the typewriters I have used on this blog are available for sale or trade. I like typewriters, but I have limited space and if I can move out typewriters I do not plan on using, then I can try more and be sure that the ones I had are not being wasted in my closet.