Looking to buy your first (or second...) straight on Ebay? Take a gander here and I'll give ya some tips. First I will talk about condition and what to look for, later I will let ya know what brands to buy, and what to pay for them.
Make sure the picture is clear. If the pic isn't clear, or the seller won't send you a clear close-up of the edge, go onto the next auction. First you want to make sure the edge doesn't have any chips, nicks or cracks. Is the edge straight? Improper honing can make the blade uneven. It can also make make one end noticably thinner, or even the belly can be "hollowed out". Minor rust is okay, as long as it isn't on the edge. Same for lather etch. You want a clean edge on your first razor. Pitting or rust on the edge will frustrate a new straight shaver. Too much time needs to be invested in it to make it shave-worthy.
What brand to buy? I can't tell you that, there are hundreds, if not thousands of brands. But I can tell you this- pretty much any blade from USA, England, Germany, Sweden, Spain and France will make a great shaver so long as the blade itself is in good condition to start with. You will find most razors come from the USA, Germany and England. Pick one whose looks you like, or whatever name strikes your fancy. 99+% of the time you will get a good razor.
What to pay? You can get a great razor for under 10 bucks. Most razors seem to be listed at 9.99 (US). Many are even started under that. One caveat- WATCH THE SHIPPING COSTS!!! There are some crooks on Ebay who think charging 10 dollars for shipping is good business practice. One auction recently had a start price of 0.99¢, but the shipping was 10.00. Here is the actual response I got from the seller, when I asked if the S&H costs were a mistake-
"Hi, I'm not meaning to be rude, but you have been an eBayer since 1999. With that experience you should understand how to make money instead of eBay! Thanks for asking, ANA"
If you have any questions, just ask a member to check out an auction for you.