The rise of online shopping helped buyers find products online that they couldn't find in their hometowns. While online retail shops offer fixed prices on all products, online auction sites let shoppers bid on products and decide how much they want to spend. While other auction sites disappeared over the years, eBay remained the top choice for shoppers. Sellers now offer thousands of items every day, including Small Arms Protective Inserts. Those looking for SAPI plates on eBay should do their research before placing a single bid.
Bidding vs. Buy It Now
EBay offers sellers the chance to list SAPI plates in a traditional auction or sell those plates via the Buy It Now option. The Buy It Now option lets those sellers list their plates for a set price and sell those plates to those willing to pay that amount. Some sellers will also list Buy It Now items with a best offer option. Buyers can make an offer that is less than the listed price, and the seller can decide whether or not to sell those plates for that price. Shoppers can also bid on SAPI plates through traditional auctions on eBay.
Read Seller Feedback
Far too many people bid on items without looking at the feedback of the seller. Though eBay changed its policy in recent years, it still lets buyers leave positive or negative feedback for a seller. Sellers have a percentage listed next to their names, which tells shoppers how many positive transactions they had in the past. Bidders should always look at the feedback and read the comments from other shoppers. This helps them see if buyers complained that the SAPI plates were the wrong size, if the plates didn't provide the protection they needed or if the seller listed military plates and shipped generic plates.
Check Shipping Costs
Commonly used in military and police applications, SAPI plates feature a unique design that keeps bullets from penetrating armor and piercing through the skin. As these plates are fairly heavy, shipping costs are often quite high on eBay. Shoppers should always look at how much the seller charges for shipping and decide if the shipping rates are affordable. Some less than reputable sellers will charge two or three times the actual cost of shipping and pocket the overage as a handling fee.
Check the Description Carefully
Those looking for SAPI plates online will often find that retail shops ask for proof that the buyer is a police officer, a member of the military or works in another industry that requires protective armor. Those selling on eBay typically don't ask for such proof, and some of those sellers hide information in the listing. They might list SAPI plates for sale in the headline but make it clear in the description that the product is only lightweight armor designed for use with SAPI plates. Finding authentic SAPI plates on eBay takes a little research, and those selling these plates often charge more than what retail shops would charge.