Ebay strategies?

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
OP John KM/linhof Regular Member • Posts: 339
Re: Ebay strategies?
2

CMCM wrote:

I've never bought from eBay before, but I've been looking at lenses. I've noticed a lot of items where bidding started ridiculously low, one lens was 2.99 or some such, and bidding took it way up to over $300. People were bidding up in small increments and then at the end the winning bid popped it up by nearly $100. Also, it seemed to me that most things I looked at had automatic bidding going on, and with that, I guess the eBay automatic bid process can swoop in with the winning bid mere seconds after you put in your bid, which would seem to win at that point. It all seems to be a guessing game, where you have to know the max you are willing to spend and hope no automatic bid will out-do you in the final seconds. I find it rather frustrating in the end, I don't like it, and now I mostly look to a "Buy Now" price I think is good and which doesn't involve playing the bidding game. I'll add that setting a low price and letting the bids run appears to be great for the seller, perhaps not so much for the buyer.

You make some good points. Since I have played both sides (buyer/seller) I can only say that automatic bidding occurs when the bidder decides the item is worth X then the maximum bid will be set at that figure. If I really want an item I usually wait till the last few seconds and place a bid that represents the highest value I put on that item. Sometimes you win and sometimes someone else will win. Just have no regrets at paying too high a price, or losing an item you really want because it sold for a price above the value you put on it. Wait a while and a similar item will become available.

As a seller, shipping can be a problem. I used to offer free shipping on smaller items and large (heavy) items would be priced accordingly. I have always used USPS even for items one by international bidders, although I usually say no international shipping, but will ship if the buyer agrees to pay the full cost. I never charge for my time and materials. If you buy and sell enough the shipping materials can be re-used over and over.

I am not a business and do this stuff as a hobby and for the thrill of the chase for rare items. Sometimes you lose and sometimes you win, it usually evens out. 20 years ago before the dot.com bust I put a book on Ebay that I had bought locally for $15 and it sold for over $200. Then I found a "Transfer Switch 200amp" at a local estate sale for $8, neither buy/seller knew what the item was. I did some research and eventually sold it on Ebay for almost $700. With these successes under my belt I felt I could make some mistakes, which I did many times.

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