The use of eBay is good for several reasons:
- less "stuff" going into landfill sites, or being stuck unused on shelves
- less "stuff" being made (as more "stuff" is reused) is environmentally good
- it provides business for post office branches
- ...and also Royal Mail deliveries
- the seller gets a bit of cash
- ...and the buyer doesn't have to pay full market value for new goods
There are losers as well. Shops that sell new items will have their sales impacted, as will the producers of these items. I guess that makes eBay an online shopping system that is in some ways anti-consumerist (or pro-recyclist?).
I've been eBaying for 7 years now, during which time I've sold 239 items and bought 10. For speed I usually sell items in batches, doing 20 to 30 sales at a time. This also brings in lumps of cash (one batch a few years ago paid for my flight to California). It's fiddly at first, and working out the postage costs per item is a bit time consuming. However, the advent of Paypal has made payment collection much easier, being pretty much instant and not requiring messing around with cheques.
For many items, this is the best time of year to sell (in the run-up to Christmas, as people look for cheaper presents). The best time to buy is probably in the month after Christmas, when unwanted or quickly-used presents (e.g. DVDs watched once) are sold in quantity and it becomes a buyers market. So, with less than 6 weeks to Christmas Day, this is the optimum time to have a clearout of DVDs, computer games and other postable stuff you don't use anymore that people get as presents, and make a few pennies.