I really like Newegg but if I can save even more money without downgrading any of my choices, Ebay looks good.. almost too good. My biggest costs on my planned build are the processor, graphics card, power supply, and motherboard. The other components in my build don't really cost much to even worry about looking and I doubt there would be too much savings.
I've never used Ebay. I was shopping around on there though and found, just between my video card and power supply, I could save close to $100 on my build. Excuse me if I sound paranoid when I ask some questions. Is it safe to buy components from them? If so, which parts should I focus on? What are the downsides about buying parts there? The idea popped into my head once I stumbled upon Newegg's open box deals - unfortunately all of those good deals were sold out.
Are those buy it now prices? Or else you have to win the auction in auctions the price always jumps up during the last few hours.
Generally buying on ebay requires more effort and contains more risk. You have to research the seller and a lot of sales are final: no returns.
You are dealing with people not companies and you can get cheaper prices but that might be at the expense of the protection you get when you buy at a retail store.
That being said I've successfully purchased books, games and other small hardware devices that have worked exactly as stated. A lot of ebay stuff is legit and some are people who sell stuff below cost because they just want money now. However, if you have a problem it could be nasty.
I agree with the above comments. I have found over time that I can generally find cpu's and the like cheaper at newegg, etc. than trying to win at auction. Also, places like newegg have great shipping, great return polices, and customer support which you won't get on ebay.
I'd say for a screaming deal on one or two components, it would be fine but overall the egg makes me sleep well at night. I am nowhere near any of their distribution centers (typically on one coast or the other, I am in Colorado..) but always get my stiuff within the 3 business day shipping that they always have.
I have bought some stuff on ebay that didn't include everything (motherboard with no I/O shield, useless!) and also just didn't work right. buyer beware.
Ebay can be hit or miss, definitely look carefully before you buy. I have bought a few items off of it and have had excellent luck. Got a open box GTS 250 for 60 bucks that had everything that it was supposed to come with and ran awesome. I also have bought a couple of slightly used Phenom II X2's that had already been unlocked for 80 & 90 bucks which beats buying new and not getting lucky unlocking cores. I refuse to buy any open/used mobo's or PSU not worth it IMO. Some people will also just order an item when its on sale send off the UPC for a rebate and then list the item to make a few bucks. Sometimes it will be cheaper than the current prices on newegg tho. Craigslist is another option that I have found a few sweet deals off of(1TB HDD's for $30-35, DVD/CD burners for $5-10 etc.) Just compare before you buy and ask questions if it is too good to be true or looks questionable(I never bought any of the my mobo couldn't unlock the X2 so idk if it can be unlocked responses when I asked)