Is eBay a Good Resource for your Brewing Needs?
Should I build my brew house from materials at the hardware store? Is it better to shop at my local home brew store? Or can I trust eBay for my needs?
I have spent a large amount of money and a good deal of time buying brewing equipment and supplies, and much of my current brewing systems were supplied by eBay sellers. eBay is a great resource if you are looking for a good deal, second-hand brewing equipment, or if you don’t have a home brew supplier near you. But there are several things you need to know first.
eBay is an enormous, international marketplace, so people from all over the world are competing for your business. This opens up several opportunities, such as:
- International shipping – get your items no matter where you are
- Multiple languages
- Find some great deals
- Huge range of choice
- Trustworthy review system
- Shop with PayPal
- Compare products and suppliers fast
Just to name a few. If you haven’t bought any of your gear on eBay yet, take a quick search for yourself. There are literally thousands of beer and brewing-related products available.
Of course, there is a dark side to eBay, especially for brewers. But, if you use the pages on this website as a guide, you should be able to deal with the following:
- Very little customer support – generally, when you buy something on eBay, you’re on your own
- Occasional scammers or bad sellers
- No way to test products
- Items may be ‘as described,’ but missing key information
- Shipping can become expensive for heavy/large items
Alternatives to eBay
- Local home brew supplier. Whenever possible, please show your support for local businesses that support the world of beer and brewing. Also, home brew shop staff are a great source of information.
- Brewing – specific online retailer. Usually a cost-effective option, but sometimes more expensive than eBay (though not always). Try Homebrewing.org.
Do your research on any given product before you buy from eBay. Much of my current equipment was purchased from eBay sellers, but so was much of the stuff I had to throw out.
Also be sure to test your new stuff before you give feedback. That one is a double-pro tip!
Do you need help with eBay purchases? Have a story about buying on eBay? Leave a comment if you have any questions or want to share feedback.