OT: Selling a guitar on ebay. [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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11-06-2010, 07:07 AM
I have a gorgeous 2000 Special Edition 'American Deluxe' Fender Stratocaster in nearly perfect condition that I tried selling on e-bay. I watched a similar guitar (2004 model) that wasn't quite as nice sell for $1150 recently, but I couldn't get a bid to meet my reserve price, which was 'only' $950. I had over 40 people 'watching' my auction and over 350 hits, by the way. This guitar sold new for $1300 and is nearly as good as new with no dings, dents, or scratches, only fingerboard wear on the first fret. I included a slew of pictures and my e-bay rating is excellent with over 100 transactions. I rarely sell anything though.

What I'm trying to figure out is how to set up my ad so I get some bidding action. Do I set a higher minimum bid (I used $600 for no rhyme or reason) or start at zero? I actually think I should raise my reserve, but I didn't get even the $950 last time.

Even if you've never sold a guitar, perhaps you've sold a high end item and could give my your thoughts on eliciting bids?

Thanks in advance!

11-06-2010, 10:50 AM
I've sold a few guitars, a few years ago. A few relatively high-priced items as well over the years. Part of the point of using a reserve is so you can start the bidding low. But it sounds like you caught some bad timing. Sometimes things just fall through the cracks. Can't help it if your listing runs at a time when there's either competition unforeseen when you listed it...or the buyers just dry up mysteriously. I've been on both ends of seeing good items bring less money than lesser rivals.

Can't say I'm shocked that at any time in the past two years plus at this point that a guitar doesn't bring a grand unless it's either real vintage-y, or comes with a happy ending. And you know what? When I was in Spokane this past summer I played some super cheapos and hated them worse than I thought I would. Yet there was a Yamaha Tele (but not really a Tele, as it's double humbucker) for the same price--$125. If I'd had a reason to have a budget of $500-750 I have no doubt I could've found something comparable to what you're talking about. Meanwhile, while I never much cared that Yamaha's a name that's not exactly in vogue & never was--I always thought they made some pretty solid planks--I never thought I'd actually buy an amp made by Roland. Yet they had a Micro Cube they sold me for $70, and it has more sounds than I've ever seen on a practice amp. For my limited purposes, I couldn't believe what I walked out of there with for $200.

I've always felt that spending money on eBay's bells & whistles was a waste, but it could be that they've gamed things to the point where an investment in the listing beyond the reserve may make some sense. Although if you're spending the dough on the reserve, probably not, but who knows. You might find some useful hints on the eBay discussion boards.

11-06-2010, 10:25 PM
I've bought a lot of basses and sold some basses on the bay over the years. It's just a hard time to sell anything but super cheap or super rare right now. Not a lot of disposable income and the folks that are buying are either looking to "invest" or just have to have something super rare. I'd give it a month and see what a christmas posting brings.


11-07-2010, 08:37 AM
The high number of watchers could be explained by the fact that many people are not willing to bid until the reserve is met. Low opening bids with no reserve cause a high number of bidders, many of whom will be set up to receive alerts when they've been outbid. It creates a competition where bidders often don't want to let go and end up bidding more than they planned to. Snipers will also be more willing to set up their automatic bid for the end of the auction if the reserve is out of the way or if there never was one.

Also..For some, the other bidders convince them of the value of the item. A reserve is only the seller's opinion on the matter. Existing bids reinforce the idea that the item is really worth that much.

11-07-2010, 05:59 PM
J - good points, but I guess I'm bewildered how a guy in CA sold his for $1150 and I couldn't get my $950 reserve when mine is in nicer condition.

Worf - good points as well. Perhaps I should wait until December and run it again? I still think there are buyers for guitars in excellent condition, but we shall see.

Audionoob - I hear ya, but no way I'm going to offer it without a reserve. If I only garned a $500 high bid I'd be screwed. I guess I'll have keep my eyes on a few other auctions of similar guitars and see how they set it up and go from there

Thanks all!