Ebay strategies?

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John KM/linhof Regular Member • Posts: 338
Ebay strategies?

I have been buying and selling on Ebay for more than 20 years. Now I have decided to sell a lot of equipment I never use anymore (or ever!). This is an auction site but I wonder why so many people put a starting price above recently sold items and/or a by it now price of similar high amount. Is it that they think the item is worth X amount because that is how they value it. I used to start most items at $1 or $9 and let the fun begin. The more expensive items I check recently sold items and start at a price somewhat below that amount. If I am reluctant to sell something then I may start at a high price, but this rare.

Now I am clearing out stuff to concentrate on two areas, 1) digital with fuji X and Sony/Minolta A-mount, and 2) film with camera and lenses that cover the 4X10 and 5X7 formats, i.e. the big view cameras that I enjoyed using for many years before the digital revolution.

I will not feel bad if something sells for way less than I paid for it, because I won't be using anyway. Let someone else have it, whether for resale or actual use. Everyone loves a bargain and a true auction offers that potential.

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Linhofbiker

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CMCM Senior Member • Posts: 4,594
Re: Ebay strategies?
1

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.

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Bobthearch
Bobthearch Veteran Member • Posts: 8,431
Re: Ebay strategies?
7

It seems to me that more people now just want to shop, Buy-It-Now, not compete in an auction.  At least for common items.  For rare or valuable items, I'd certainly utilize the auction features.

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OP John KM/linhof Regular Member • Posts: 338
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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Kung Fu
Kung Fu Senior Member • Posts: 3,636
Re: Ebay strategies?

John KM/linhof wrote:

I have been buying and selling on Ebay for more than 20 years. Now I have decided to sell a lot of equipment I never use anymore (or ever!). This is an auction site but I wonder why so many people put a starting price above recently sold items and/or a by it now price of similar high amount. Is it that they think the item is worth X amount because that is how they value it. I used to start most items at $1 or $9 and let the fun begin. The more expensive items I check recently sold items and start at a price somewhat below that amount. If I am reluctant to sell something then I may start at a high price, but this rare.

Now I am clearing out stuff to concentrate on two areas, 1) digital with fuji X and Sony/Minolta A-mount, and 2) film with camera and lenses that cover the 4X10 and 5X7 formats, i.e. the big view cameras that I enjoyed using for many years before the digital revolution.

I will not feel bad if something sells for way less than I paid for it, because I won't be using anyway. Let someone else have it, whether for resale or actual use. Everyone loves a bargain and a true auction offers that potential.

eBay isn’t what it used to be, I’ve had no luck with auctions. I think most people have been trained by Amazon over the last 20 years to buy something today and expect it delivered in 2 days.

So I literally go on B&H, find the current price of what I’m selling (if still available new), and then do a Buy It Now for half that amount. Works ok for most items. Filters people seem to avoid unless they’re like $10. I have filters that sell new for $125, and they just don’t sell on eBay for even 75% off that.

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PhotoTeach2 Forum Pro • Posts: 10,598
LAST 10-15 "seconds" !!!
3

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.

I love E-Bay ...

But I NEVER bid until the "last-10-15" seconds, (to late for anyone else to respond).

And, as you indicate, at that time I will put in the "max" I am willing to pay.

I will either get it for "$1" more than someone else's (prior) highest-bid they were willing to pay -- or they get it for $1 more than mine if their "highest" was above mine.

Bob Senior Member • Posts: 1,127
Re: Ebay strategies?
1

Not everyone selling on ebay knows what they're doing. I often see items priced higher than the same item from a reputable retailer.  No one ever bids on items with a high starting price.

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FrancoD Forum Pro • Posts: 10,936
Re: Ebay strategies?
1

Human nature...

Some people can't get past "free postage" so they can end up paying more because they get "free postage".

Others buy only within their country.

Others like to win a bidding war ; that is the kick they get out of EBay, so they can pay more than they should because they want to win.

Then you have bad listings were the key words for the item are not used (say tele lens or  Minolta lens instead of Minolta AF 500mm F8 ) so get ignored by most and found only by chance or by  someone with a lot of time on their hands.

At other times you could have a shortage or a glut on a particular item so the sell reflects that too.

I have had good results both buying and selling but also had been anable to sell a couple of items at less than the market value. Simply no interest for them at the time of posting.

CMCM Senior Member • Posts: 4,594
Re: LAST 10-15 "seconds" !!!

PhotoTeach2 wrote:

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.

I love E-Bay ...

But I NEVER bid until the "last-10-15" seconds, (to late for anyone else to respond).

And, as you indicate, at that time I will put in the "max" I am willing to pay.

I will either get it for "$1" more than someone else's (prior) highest-bid they were willing to pay -- or they get it for $1 more than mine if their "highest" was above mine.

I've read that you bid the last 3 or 4 seconds.  Just barely enough that you can get the bid in.  Haven't tried this, though.

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CMCM Senior Member • Posts: 4,594
Re: Ebay strategies?

Kung Fu wrote:

John KM/linhof wrote:

I have been buying and selling on Ebay for more than 20 years. Now I have decided to sell a lot of equipment I never use anymore (or ever!). This is an auction site but I wonder why so many people put a starting price above recently sold items and/or a by it now price of similar high amount. Is it that they think the item is worth X amount because that is how they value it. I used to start most items at $1 or $9 and let the fun begin. The more expensive items I check recently sold items and start at a price somewhat below that amount. If I am reluctant to sell something then I may start at a high price, but this rare.

Now I am clearing out stuff to concentrate on two areas, 1) digital with fuji X and Sony/Minolta A-mount, and 2) film with camera and lenses that cover the 4X10 and 5X7 formats, i.e. the big view cameras that I enjoyed using for many years before the digital revolution.

I will not feel bad if something sells for way less than I paid for it, because I won't be using anyway. Let someone else have it, whether for resale or actual use. Everyone loves a bargain and a true auction offers that potential.

eBay isn’t what it used to be, I’ve had no luck with auctions. I think most people have been trained by Amazon over the last 20 years to buy something today and expect it delivered in 2 days.

So I literally go on B&H, find the current price of what I’m selling (if still available new), and then do a Buy It Now for half that amount. Works ok for most items. Filters people seem to avoid unless they’re like $10. I have filters that sell new for $125, and they just don’t sell on eBay for even 75% off that.

I was really disappointed in one lens I tried to buy...I put an offer in for $350 and the seller refused.  He then raised the price about $75 and it didn't sell, and then later he lowered it again and it eventually sold for $325.  So he would have got more buying from my initial offer!

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CMCM Senior Member • Posts: 4,594
Re: Ebay strategies?

Bob wrote:

Not everyone selling on ebay knows what they're doing. I often see items priced higher than the same item from a reputable retailer. No one ever bids on items with a high starting price.

I've noticed this too...some of the prices are incredibly unrealistic.

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New Day Rising
New Day Rising Senior Member • Posts: 2,804
Re: LAST 10-15 "seconds" !!!
4

CMCM wrote:

PhotoTeach2 wrote:

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.

I love E-Bay ...

But I NEVER bid until the "last-10-15" seconds, (to late for anyone else to respond).

And, as you indicate, at that time I will put in the "max" I am willing to pay.

I will either get it for "$1" more than someone else's (prior) highest-bid they were willing to pay -- or they get it for $1 more than mine if their "highest" was above mine.

I've read that you bid the last 3 or 4 seconds. Just barely enough that you can get the bid in. Haven't tried this, though.

Yes, this is the way to do it if you really want an item.

There are two ways: one is to steel your nerve, watch the seconds counting down and pounce in those final seconds (taking into account any delays due to slow internet or the fact that the system asks you to confirm the bid). The other is to use a "bid sniper" app. There's a few of them for mobile devices and PCs.

Basically, you go into the app, log into your ebay account and find the item you are interested in (having it already on a watch list in ebay is easiest). You then set the maximum amount you want it to bid and the time (ie, 10 seconds before the end, 5 seconds, 3 seconds). You then leave it alone. At the designated time, the app will place the bid for you. If bidding is already over your maximum, your bid is just rejected. If it is under, your bid goes in at the next increment above the current highest bid (that might be $1, $5 - the increments change with the price). There is still a small chance someone else may get in - if you have yours set for 5 seconds and they have 3 seconds and their maximum is over yours. But I have used this approach quite a lot and it works well - particularly if the auction is ending at a time when you can't be around to manually place the bid. It also saves you from any temptation to get caught up in the excitement of last minute bidding and go over your maximum bid level.

And that is the trick with this strategy - make sure you set the maximum amount you are willing to pay and be prepared to pay that if that's where the bidding goes. Often you will get items below your maximum. But set the maximum, be prepared to pay it and don't be disappointed if you are still outbid - you will only be outbid by someone paying more than you decided you were prepared to pay.

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Corkcampbell
Corkcampbell Forum Pro • Posts: 18,895
Not true; I often get such high bids from overseas buyers who cannot buy locally. (nt)
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PJPfeiffer Contributing Member • Posts: 825
Re: Ebay strategies?

John KM/linhof wrote:

<snip>

I will not feel bad if something sells for way less than I paid for it, because I won't be using anyway. Let someone else have it, whether for resale or actual use. Everyone loves a bargain and a true auction offers that potential.

I suggest having a value in mind ... if the bidding doesn't reach that value consider donating the equipment to a college or high school photo club.

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GohanX Forum Member • Posts: 98
Re: Ebay strategies?

A lot of sellers have an inflated sense of what items are worth and list things much higher than they probably should sell for. Some are probably hoping for an impatient sucker that doesn't want to wait for an auction, others are probably just oblivious. It's not just eBay, our own selling section often has people who are listing old gear for near new prices when they're worth maybe half the asking price today.

That's not to say that all sellers are like that. A lot of the better online camera shops like Keh list on eBay sometimes with extremely fair prices. When I list stuff it's usually a BIN price but priced fairly so that it actually sells instead of sitting there indefinitely.

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PhotoTeach2 Forum Pro • Posts: 10,598
Re: Not true; I often get such high bids from overseas buyers who cannot buy locally. (nt)

Corkcampbell wrote:

Most won't sell to "overseas" buyers ... many/most are scamming you.

Corkcampbell
Corkcampbell Forum Pro • Posts: 18,895
Not my experience at all. Never happened. Please don't reply. (nt)
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FrancoD Forum Pro • Posts: 10,936
Re: Not true; I often get such high bids from overseas buyers who cannot buy locally. (nt)
1

PhotoTeach2 wrote:

Corkcampbell wrote:

Most won't sell to "overseas" buyers ... many/most are scamming you.

Some don't but I would not say most but that also depends where the buyer is. That is the seller will not send to some particular countries because of bad previous experience or bad reputation.

tinscale Junior Member • Posts: 35
Re: Not true; I often get such high bids from overseas buyers who cannot buy locally. (nt)

There are programs that will place you bid in the final few seconds, up to your preset maximum. You don't have to sit there and do it yourself.

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New Day Rising
New Day Rising Senior Member • Posts: 2,804
Re: Not true; I often get such high bids from overseas buyers who cannot buy locally. (nt)

tinscale wrote:

There are programs that will place you bid in the final few seconds, up to your preset maximum. You don't have to sit there and do it yourself.

True: https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/62996948

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