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Thread: ebay

  1. #1

    ebay

    i have been following ebay recently and tried my luck at bidding on a few items. I have been consistently out bid. My issue is when I click on the bids and see who has been bidding, i am pleasantly surprised at the what the bidders bid on.

    Ex: i was looking at a stanley #45 and bid $40.00 was high bidder until this morning, when someone out bid me. Upon looking at this bidders activity, I noticed that a) they only had a total of 15 bids, b) items bidded on previously were for completely different items - ie, lamps, pocket knife, wristwatch etc. and not many bids.

    Seems to be that these "bidders" are possibly the original poster and trying to drive the bids up.

    what are your thoughts.

    paolo

  2. #2
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    You can't bid on your own eBay items but that's not to stop sellers from enlisting shill bidders to drive the prices up. It's pretty rare and really not worth the seller's trouble in the long run.

    If you want to win eBay auctions, you need to be bidding in the last 30 seconds of the auction; placing a bid earlier will seldom result in a win unless it's a bid that's way too high or an item nobody wants...

    Auction Sniper claims to help you win auctions by doing last-minute bidding automatically for you. I used them once or twice years ago but don't buy enough on eBay to make it worthwhile. If I'm out there these days, it's to find a "buy it now" item - not interested in playing the bidding game anymore, and other than rare/collectible items, you can get pretty much everything at a flat price that's perfectly reasonable.

  3. #3
    Paolo,

    The 15 that you saw in the other bidder's profile was the number of auctions that he "won" and was given feedback on. He could have had twice as many as that, as not all sellers give feedback. He also may have bid on hundreds of auctions and was unsuccessful in being the high bidder. So, the number 15 doesn't really tell you much. He was probably looking at your bid history and thinking the same thing that you were. Also bidding on numerous, different items means nothing as well. Not everybody uses eBay only for a single hobby. I buy whatever I need on eBay whether it be a tool, phone charger, or a GPS.

    Sellers bidding up their own (or their buddy's) items , however does happen. I see unique stuff all the time that sells, but then it comes back to life a few days later in another auction. The seller will, of course, try and tell you that the buyer was a non-payer, and that he had to re-list the item. That may be the case occasionally, but if it was re-listed with a day or two, a real buyer's payment window would not yet have expired, so it's obviously a fraudulent seller that doesn't have the brain capacity to realize that his story doesn't add up.

    To me, it doesn't really matter if they try to do this. As Marty mentioned, it's hardly worth their efforts. They could always set a reserve price and do the same thing without being fraudulent. Again, it boils down to a brain capacity issue that they don't realize this. The reason I say that it doesn't matter, is because I bid once on the auction -- about 5-10 seconds before it ends. More than that, and you give somebody else time to see your bid and throw a higher bid in due to auction fever. I bid the most that I am willing to pay for the item. Most often, I never pay that amount. I usually get it for lower than I bid because there were few competing bidders, or I don't get it at all because somebody else was willing to pay more than me. Either way, I'm happy -- I either got what I wanted at a good price, or I avoided over-paying for something. The people that over-pay on eBay are the ones that bid early.

    BTW, if you throw in your bid and someone else gets it for $1 more at the last second, don't kick yourself thinking that you should have bid $2 and then you would have had it. You don't know what the high-bidder set as his max bid. It could have been $100 more than what he got it for, and if you had bid $50 more, you still wouldn't have gotten it.

    Hope that helps. It makes the eBay experience a lot less stressful and time consuming.

  4. #4
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    I bought a plane on ebay and it was only one I ever won. I expect there are a lot of winners like me. So I am not sure your point.

    Personally I bid my max as soon as I see the item. If someone snipes me at the last moment (as they often do) it is only because they bid more than I was willing to pay. So what's the big deal?

  5. #5
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    Snipers have gotten a bad name for no reason.

    If you want to win bids on ebay you need to learn to snipe.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  6. #6
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    Yes, sadly to win something you have to snipe, which is to bid at the last second. If you bid early then someone sees that it went up to (let's pretend) $50 and they say, "well, OK, I will bid $53." If you bid at the last second, you lesson the chance of that happening. You still may not beat another person's proxy bid, but you have a better chance. I hate it, but it is what it is.

    What I find takes all the fun out of it is now there are apps that will bid for you at the last second. I find it to be cheating, but again it is what it is. I do snipe, but I do not use any apps. I just manually bid at the last second.

    It is futile to bid on your own item because if you win then you would have to pay ebay the fees! If you looked at my bid history you would see tools, car parts, clothing, and who knows what else. I buy a lot.

  7. #7
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    My tactic is different. I know how much I want to spend.

    let's say for a #4. The max I want to spend for that one will be $60.00.
    The bid is 3 days away and it is at 25.
    I place my max bid of 60 and forget about it. I don't over spend and I normally win, because I use an amount that I am willing to pay max and normally it is more than the snipe guy will offer at the last minute.
    It doesn't mean I will have to pay 60, maybe the snipe guy 20 seconds before placed a $45 dollars, EBAy will use my max and bid $50 automatically and I will win.

    If didn't win I am ok. It went for more that I wanted to spend. If you wait until the last moment to bid is a good way to over spend, because your rational mind is taken over by the emotional one. It is not bad, but I am too emotional and I spend too much that way.

    Fidel

  8. #8
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    There are many strategies with all of them working at times.

    Some items are of some interest to me and my bid is placed and forgotten. Then at the end of the auction a message comes to my mailbox telling me whether or not my bid won. This is usually for items moderately priced that would fill a spot in my accumulation of stuff. Often with this strategy my bid is the minimum bid. If this gets bumped then it is evident someone else may also have interest. Some of these end up with my low bid winning.

    Some sellers set the starting price close to retail. If an item is desired my bid will be the first and only bid which spells WINNER.

    If an item is of great interest to me but likely to go higher than my willingness to pay, my high bid will be placed. Most often there is an email telling me about being out bid and my bid should be raised. Most of the time these are let go. Occasionally no one else is interested and my bid wins. Often these are on items with a misspelling or otherwise improperly listed.

    Then there are items that will likely have a lot of interest. My strategy on such is to watch to the end and bid in the last few seconds. This is the most tedious since time must be set aside to watch the bidding end. Of course they may go beyond my maximum before my bid is even entered. Such is life.

    In every case, before doing anything, my maximum is determined and then it is not exceeded.
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  9. #9
    Fidel and Wade,

    By bidding your maximum early, you are right -- you will not overbid. But, you will decrease your chances of winning, and you can possibly pay more than you should have by bidding this way (especially with low-traffic/rare/unnoticed auctions). To be clear, if a sniper is going to outbid you, he's going to outbid you, and bidding early will have no affect on him, nor will he have any effect on you. It's the other early bidders that will be your nemesis. I've seen it so many times, over and over again.

    Call yourself Bidder B. You arrive at the auction 4 days early. Opening bid is $50 and you see that there already is a sole Bidder A that currently holds the high bid at $50. You place your max bid at $100 with 4 days left in the auction. It is showing you as the high bidder at $55. You know that Bidder A didn't put in a max bid. He just placed a single bid. The day of the auction, Bidder A shows back up to see how he's doing. If he sees that he's still the high bidder, then he's happy and goes away. But today, he notices that you (Bidder B) has outbid him and are holding the high bid at $55. He's not happy. He places a bid for $60. He gets a message from eBay that he has been outbid by Bidder B at $60, and he needs to bid at least $65. He does. Outbid again at $65. He continues... $5 at a time, trying to see if he can reach your max, until he gets up to, say $95. He decides that $100 is too rich for his blood and decides to give up and go away. You are still the high bidder at $95. A little while later, the auction closes and you are the high bidder. Mission accomplished, you were willing to pay $100 for the item and you got it for $95.

    The thing is, though... had you waited until the last second, you might have still seen Bidder A as the high bidder at $50. You could have sniped him and possibly got it for $55 if you and he were the only ones interested in that particular item. I've just seen that one play out too many times. But hey, I'm just pointing out the auction psychology. If anyone thinks bidding early works better, then it's your money, not mine, so have at it.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fidel Fernandez View Post
    If didn't win I am ok. It went for more that I wanted to spend. If you wait until the last moment to bid is a good way to over spend, because your rational mind is taken over by the emotional one. It is not bad, but I am too emotional and I spend too much that way.
    This is exactly why people snipe. If you put in your bid before the very last second someone else will bid emotionally and pay more than than initially planned to spend just to win at all costs. The other bidder probably would never have bid that high had they not seen your bid.

  11. #11
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    In the last year, I have never gone on ebay to find something I wanted that wasn't listed for a buy it now price that I was willing to pay. I guess there was one socket to complete my set that I had to wait for an auction to end. I simply bid $20 on the socket and figured if somebody was willing to pay more, they could have it. I completed a whole S-K socket set that used to be my dad's with buy it now items, why go to an auction? When listing things I can easily find the prices unless it is a very rare item and simply list a buy it now price that is reasonable and it will soon be sold.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC] "You don't have to give birth to someone to have a family." (Sandra Bullock)




  12. #12
    I have sniped and have been sniped 100x more. It stinks and makes me mad. Mostly because there have been several times when I was watching an auction count down to 0 time left and I was the highest bidder, then I refresh the screen to pay for my item and it says "Sorry but you've been out bid". Pretty much guarantee it was a sniping site (pay service) that is in league with eBay to allow sniping at the .5 seconds left time frame.

    I would rather they adopt a system like Gunbroker where there is a 15 minute rule. Any bids made in the last 15 minutes of an auction resets the end of the auction to the 15 minute mark. No more sniping....
    -------
    No, it's not thin enough yet.
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  13. #13
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    One common and popular item cost me $770 and I would normally sell it to regular open account customers for $810 or infrequent customers that would pay with a credit card for $835.

    I decided to sell some on eBay and set a reserve of $850. About half met reserve and sold, average sale price about $880. Then I got brave and started them at $1 with no reserve. Only one sold under $850. Average sale price was up to $1030. Virtually nobody realized they had paid too much and flaked on the purchase. This is a high end product that is bought by knowledgeable buyer and generally bought by people who are installing a quantity of that item. Many buyers would "win" one and ask to buy 2-3 of even 10 at that price. Incredible!

    I've concluded that eBay is good for rare items that aren't available elsewhere, a very few buy-it-now items at reasonable prices, or you pay too much. The bidder is usually the one who makes the biggest mistake. The rare good deal is the motivation that makes the rest of the people pay too much.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Hackler View Post
    I have sniped and have been sniped 100x more. It stinks and makes me mad. Mostly because there have been several times when I was watching an auction count down to 0 time left and I was the highest bidder, then I refresh the screen to pay for my item and it says "Sorry but you've been out bid". Pretty much guarantee it was a sniping site (pay service) that is in league with eBay to allow sniping at the .5 seconds left time frame.
    OTOH it is fun to see an item of yours at $5 with 30 seconds to go, only to see it sell for $75.

    Keith... you might be right, but it is also possible that having a relatively high price early in the auction makes people look elsewhere and results in a lower final price.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg R Bradley View Post
    I've concluded that eBay is good for rare items that aren't available elsewhere, a very few buy-it-now items at reasonable prices, or you pay too much. The bidder is usually the one who makes the biggest mistake. The rare good deal is the motivation that makes the rest of the people pay too much.
    I use it for odd things that probably won't sell locally. Right now I have two antique padlocks on ebay that I found in my late FIL's basement. I could post them on CL forever and never get a reply, but they will sell on ebay for $25 each. Beats me why anyone would want them, but $25 is better than throwing them out.

    A few years ago I bought a 25 year old parachute at a garage sale for $18 to use as a toy, but just on a whim put it on ebay. Got $425 for it; I expect it would have been ignored on CL, but with millions of people going to ebay, a couple flakes wanted a 25 year old parachute.

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