eBay is a PITA for the person seeking a VCR for casual use. Unless you have a particular need for a specific model of a specific brand, or you live in the middle of nowhere, Craigs List is usually better: listings are local, you can have the seller demo the VCR before you buy, and local pickup is free (eBay shipping often costs as much or more than the VCR itself, and shipping these is never a great idea).
eBay is a useful source if you treat it as a tool and don't fall prey to misconceptions. eBay is not the hellhole of danger many paint it to be, but evaluating sellers is not as simplistic as "look for good feedback" either. Good feedback tells you a few superficial things only: that the seller ships on time, packages safely, and their items visibly match their descriptions. Beyond that, all bets are off: don't assume for one second that just because John Doe has a 100% raving positive feedback for being a seller who specializes in Widgets sold by Acme Electronics that you can't lose with John Doe. You absolutely CAN lose, because 90% of feedback is left within days of receiving the item.
Positive feedback is more informative for a static object like a collectible doll, a car side mirror, or cellphone battery. But a complex device like a VCR can take a few weeks to reveal its true condition. And you'd be surprised how many people will buy an expensive VCR or stereo component or camera on eBay, leave positive feedback because it looks clean when they open the box, then shove the unit in their basement until they get around to actually testing it three months later. If it proves dysfunctional, the buyer can't post revised feedback, and you'll never hear about it. Even if you could, that doesn't mean the seller was a crook: it means second-hand VCRs can be a roll of the dice. Many work perfectly, some don't, some get hidden damage from shipping.
Over the years, those of us who've owned assorted VCRs ourselves and followed the repair histories of others, discover which brands and models have better odds. If you play these better odds, your chances of successfully buying a used VCR improve greatly. All brands have lemon models and lemon years. It varies. That is why I suggested a specific range of Panasonics which have a better-than-average track record. Panasonics older than 1995 were excellent but had some significant design issues that tend not to age well. Panasonics made after 2000 are flimsy crap. If you know what you are looking at, any Panasonic can be a gem, but if you have no clue and just want a good cheap Panasonic buy a 1996-2000 model. (The legendary top-line Panasonic AG-1980 SVHS is for masochists only, just like its top-line JVC SVHS cousins: IOW if you don't know why you'd want one, you really shouldn't bother- the breakdown rate is incredible. Original retail price and status mean nothing: with all brands, the top models are frequently more trouble-prone than "lower" models.)
Same with JVC: they made a boatload of VCRs, certain eras and model ranges have a better track record. The JVC 39xx and 59xx have the least troublesome transports JVC ever sold, aside from the very expensive DVHS series. The 4xxx, 7xxx, and 9xxx JVCs once had a rabid following, meaning they've been beaten into the ground by former owners and you should avoid them.
Mitsubishi made superb VCRs with a stunningly bad loading design that was not corrected until 1999. So a "lowly" plain-jane bottom of the line HS-U448 from 1999 is LEAGUES more reliable than the HS-U780 top-line thousand-dollar SVHS Mitsu from 1997.
Sony VHS vcrs are a lost cause: excellent machines when new, but they aged badly, and the sheer number/variety of models can be a big problem if you don't know the "gotchas" to choose correctly. Repairs are difficult due to parts shortages.
Sharp made a lot of nice midrange VCRs, but they're hard to find now in good condition. Ditto Toshiba. Everything else is a complete crapshoot: don't mess with Hitachi, RCA, Goldstar, Samsung, Sylvania, Magnavox, Daewoo, etc unless you get them free from a friend/relative.
Anyone without a specific need for a particular brand or model should just stick to the known-good basic VCRs: a midrange Panasonic or JVC circa 1996-2000. You are far more likely to get a good unit than a lemon: these aren't known for any hidden defects or age-related dysfunction. Easily found for under $40, typically $20 or so on Craigs List. Thrift shops sometimes have nice clean VCRs, but just as often they have problems. If you don't know what tell-tale signs to look for, don't buy a VCR you can't test beforehand, or make sure you get an ironclad written return policy.