I've used ebay a whole heap of times. But never to buy art.
I've attempted to find good art on ebay. But Ive found that when you initially search for art on ebay, you always end up with a huge pile of crap. And no real way to filter through it to find the good stuff. That's just one of the reasons why Etsy is so good.
Tonight, however, I have a new understanding of how artists can use ebay. I have found Justin Clayton's excellent Daily Paintings blog, where he paints a new painting everyday, and uses ebay to sell each piece via auctions.
On the surface it looks as though he does quite well from this; his most recent sales have ranged between US $100-$250.
But the key here is the blog is the main selling tool, not ebay itself. I'm guessing that Justin's buyers find him first through his blog (or his other website). ebay is just the selling mechanism to sell his work. Not the other way around.
It's the first example I know of a succesful seller that users ebay. But I'd love to hear of any others.