eBay selling: auction or buy it now?

Discussion in 'Marketplace Discussions' started by sjsanford, Sep 11, 2019.

  1. sjsanford

    sjsanford Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    USA
    What’s your recent experience on listing on eBay as an auction vs buy it now? Or do you decide in case by case basis depending on demand/collectibility of the title? Curious about people’s strategies.
     
  2. bresna

    bresna Forum Resident

    Location:
    York, Maine
    I can tell you this - I haven't bid on an eBay item in many years and I doubt I ever will again. If it's not "Buy It Now", I move on.
     
    Cronverc likes this.
  3. sjsanford

    sjsanford Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    USA
    Just curious - what’s your reason?
     
  4. bresna

    bresna Forum Resident

    Location:
    York, Maine
    It's a combination of things. First, bidding on an item lost it's allure with the advent of sniping programs. Back when I was still bidding, I lost out on most (all?) auctions because I got sniped. It got frustrating so I just stopped fighting the system. Also, at least in the CD world, the days of getting an item at a discount via the bidding process really went away with "Buy It Now". I've found way more bargains with "Buy It Now" than I ever got via auction. Why gamble on an auction why you might find the same item next week with a cheaper Buy It Now? Plus, there are so many places to find CDs & LPs these days, from discogs to Dusty Groove to Amazon... the list goes on & on. It's just gotten easier to find stuff without eBay so why even go there?
     
    Cronverc likes this.
  5. sjsanford

    sjsanford Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    USA
    I hear you on the sniping front. (Although the sniping phenomenon also got me real comfortable with the concept of what is my true willingness to pay.)

    I have to admit I’ve probably picked up more on eBay than any other source... In the Washington DC area I struggle to find decent used music stores for CDs.

    I waded into discogs once for a purchase and really didn’t have a good experience.
     
  6. Strat-Mangler

    Strat-Mangler Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    I'll head the other way and state that eBay has been a terrific tool as a buyer. Auctions are more for the patient type. Of course, most people aren't so BIN does have its instant gratification advantage for those with itchy trigger fingers. But there can be some interesting deals out there from time to time.

    If there's a high level of desirability for the item, you can set it up as a $1 auction with a reserve if you're hoping to get at least a certain amount for the item. The time it remains on accumulating watchers, there's a chance you'll get more than you anticipated. Another option is to set the BIN price at a higher one than you'd think it'd sell for, set the auction for the max amount of days, and wait. If no bites, you could theoretically repost with a lower price until someone bites.

    If this is too much work, set the BIN at a price you know it should sell. You could post it on Discogs too.

    In the past 6 months, there are a number of bargains I've gotten by waiting out an auction. Sure, there are plenty of alternatives nowadays but I prefer to save plenty of money on my purchases rather than having it immediately. It's proven to be quite lucrative in that sense.
     
    Christian Hill likes this.
  7. Christian Hill

    Christian Hill It's all in the mind

    Location:
    Boston
    All auctions. No reserve. All start at $.01 no matter how valuable.
     
  8. sjsanford

    sjsanford Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    USA
    Have you usually found that there are enough eyeballs to clear a fair price when starting auctions at $.01 ? I’ve toyed with this route but always worried it might “undersell”...
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2019
    Dave and Christian Hill like this.
  9. eddiel

    eddiel Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    I decide on a case by case basis.
     
  10. Christian Hill

    Christian Hill It's all in the mind

    Location:
    Boston

    I sell 90% Beatles records. They rarely undersell :) Lately, more often than not, they go for more than I expected. I rarely have an unsold item. It might have to do more with my buyer base since I have built up a lot of repeat customers over the 20 years I've been on Ebay.
     
  11. Strat-Mangler

    Strat-Mangler Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    Some sellers end the auction a few minutes before the end if they get nervous. Personally, I frown on that but eBay doesn't seem to care. Nevertheless, that's what the reserve is for.
     
  12. Christian Hill

    Christian Hill It's all in the mind

    Location:
    Boston

    • You can end a listing early if there are at least 12 hours left, regardless of whether or not there are any bids on it.
    • If there are fewer than 12 hours left, you can end the bid if there are no bids, including no canceled bids. If there is one bid or more, you can end the listing, but only if you agree to sell the item to the current highest bidder.
    • If there are fewer than 12 hours left and there are no bids because you have canceled them, or if there are bids but the listing's reserve price has not been met, you cannot end the listing early.
     
  13. It works for established sellers with great reputations but you better know what you are doing - mislabel an auction or some other error can end up with the item selling for almost nothing.

    I just snagged two very cheap MFSL SACDs way below market value in an auction because the seller didn't list them as SACDs.
     
    Dave likes this.
  14. bamaaudio

    bamaaudio Forum Resident

    Location:
    US
    I'll answer as well and simply say it's just not as convenient. Even with cell phones, I don't like having to basically 'book an appointment' and have to be available during the closing seconds of an auction's end. In years past I didn't really mind in the days before BIN was an option since it was really the only way to buy stuff on there. Some folks just place a hail mary bid of the maximum amount they would be willing to pay and that could work as well. On the plus side, there have been a few times where I 'won' something for a low price after completely forgetting about the auction only because no one else bid. As far as listing, auction kind of seems more attractive if you have something that a lot of people want and no one else is selling.or if you just really want to get rid of something you could perhaps start low so it doesn't sit around for ages.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2019
  15. R. Totale

    R. Totale The Voice of Reason

    Many people experienced with eBay use one of the many working services that will bid the amount which you have told them is your maximum in the last few seconds of the auction. Bidding your "hail mary" maximum once per sale on eBay is what eBay encourages, and doing it early is what sellers like to see. Bidding services can make it happen at the very end (ideally before human response is possible, I use 4 seconds), but if you do the same thing four or five days ahead the result is the same. You will either get the item at what you were willing to pay (or less), or you are left laughing at the nimrod who was willing to pay more than you and just got screwed. No one has to show up for an appointment, they have had machines to do that for more than a decade.
     
  16. Bradd

    Bradd Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chester, NJ
    Auctions, unless you’re absolutely sure of market value. Otherwise, you’re leaving money on the table.
     
  17. statcat

    statcat Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Jersey
    It's stupid to bid on there early unless it's the last few seconds especially since other bidders can bid up your bid and then easily retract and know exactly what you wrote. It's dangerous to bid in the last 4 seconds manually - sometimes the site doesn't load properly and your bid doesn't go through.
     
  18. sjsanford

    sjsanford Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    USA
    Yes it took me many years as a buyer on eBay to realize I could save myself a lot of time and bidding stress by establishing a true willingness to pay and bidding exactly as you describe above. It makes you immune to snipes, buyer’s remorse, FOMO, and all those other eBay related stresses!
     
  19. sjsanford

    sjsanford Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    USA
    Are these cases of unscrupulous sellers using a separate account to "shill bid" the price up? Or just rogue trouble-makers trying to mess with the eBay community? Or something else?
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2019 at 11:56 AM
  20. Nephrodoc

    Nephrodoc Forum Resident

    Recently started eBay for a few vinyl purchases, and have been pleased with the purchases.
    As long as the vinyl condition is good, and the seller knows how to grade. I have noticed the majority of eBay sellers do not grade properly in their descriptions.

    I have used Buy it now, make an offer, and auction.

    I won a killer RL Zeppelin II in an action over the summer for a good price.

    My most recent purchases, I’ve used “make an offer” and they were all accepted.
     
  21. eddiel

    eddiel Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    Could be, but I think it's just the mentality of some bidders. I've bid early in the past and there's always a couple of morons who will keep bidding in increments of $2 over and over and over again until one of them goes over my high bid. It happened often. So I started using a snipping tool. Set it and forget it.
     
  22. sjsanford

    sjsanford Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    USA
    They are called "nibblers" in eBay parlance, and they are trying to emulate a First Price English-style auction (while eBay is based on Second price proxy auction).

    There's a fun academic paper that explores all this: http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~sandholm/ec20-853/eBay.veryshortaer.pdf
     
    eddiel likes this.
  23. Paul_s

    Paul_s Forum Resident

    Location:
    England
    I generally have better sales starting each item at $0.99.
    However - sold off a few Blu-rays recently and one sale annoyed me somewhat... the buyer has re-shrinkwrapped the blu they bought and sold it for new! :buttkick:
    I don't care what they do with it after it leaves my hands but that's taking the piss.

    Buying personally - I prefer BIN :D
     
  24. cwitt1980

    cwitt1980 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Carbondale, IL USA
    Buy it now. I only auction if it's not moving at Buy It Now. In most cases, I get much less than I really want for it but don't want it to be too high to start off with. Only once in a great moon, will you find a bidding war and wind up with more than you ever expected. That is just my experience and I'm only a casual lister. Also, I think you will find more people looking for rare items and willing to pay higher prices during the holiday season.

    Another thing to note, I dislike haggling so almost never use the 'Make Offer' option. It's just too much back-and-forth. If someone goes way too low, I just get cranky and take it down. That'll show them! Missed your chance, buddy! Heh.
     

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