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Prices so good you'll want to Yahoo!
Member Name: MichaelR
Date: 09/08/01, updated on 09/08/01 (529 review reads)
Advantages: Good low prices on most items, Few users (good for buying!), Sometimes has items you can't find elsewhere
Disadvantages: Rip-off merchants, Few users (bad for selling!), Poor protection from Yahoo
Yahoo Auctions UK is by no means the best auction site available to UK buyers and sellers - that honour belongs to eBay, but it is probably equal second at the moment with QXL.
Yahoo doesn't have the greatest selection of lots, and it doesn't really protect its users as well as other sites, but it has one great redeeming feature - CRAZY LOW PRICES!!!
You see Yahoo obviously has zillions of members (most of which are obviously American, although there are a large number of UK members too) and any Yahoo member can use Yahoo Auctions along with all the rest of the services simply by using their standard Yahoo ID. Most UK members seem to have no interest in the auctions though it seems...
What this means is that Yahoo Auctions is effectively a shop and not an auction site. Almost everything I have purchased on Yahoo received only one bid (the bid that I placed!) There's none of the heated bidding wars that one gets into on eBay. The downside of this is that on bigger items the sellers will usually start their auctions at slightly higher prices, but as you're virtually guaranteed of winning anything you bid on it's not really a problem.
What is a problem though is the high number of bogus sellers on Yahoo Auctions UK. Yahoo doesn't seem too bothered about protecting the users of their auction service and therefore it's very easy for unscrupulous sellers to rip people off. Unlike eBay, there is no insurance provided on Yahoo Auctions against this type of thing and Yahoo doesn't seem to want to know when things go wrong. My experience of Yahoo Auctions is overwhelmingly positive - I've picked up a lot of Lynx games and other such retro items for very low prices, but I've also been ripped off a couple of times... receiving copied games for the Sony Playstation when the auction advertised originals.
All I would say is check the feedback ratings VERY carefully before you bid on anything... <
Functionally, Yahoo Auctions is very much like eBay. You can search for whatever you might be interested in, receive alerts when you are outbid, when you win an item etc. There's also the familiar "Watchlist" feature that allows you to track auctions whilst you decide whether or not to put in a bid. The interface is not quite as friendly as eBay - where buying, watching, and selling are nicely integrated into one page, but it works well enough - with the bidding, won, watching, and selling links all hanging off the main "My Auctions" page.
Being a Yahoo service, there's no separate registration but you do *HAVE* to register your credit card details before you can start using the auctions - unlike on eBay where you're only required to register your card if you don't give an ISP issued e-mail address.
I can't comment about selling on Yahoo as I've never used it to sell anything. All my auctions take place on eBay...
Yahoo Auctions is worth a look and worth using for low value items that you can't find elsewhere. For bigger and more expensive items though you'd be much better off over at eBay.