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Thread: ebay question

  1. #1
    Musicaholic Forums Moderator ForeverAutumn's Avatar
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    ebay question

    I know that there are some ebay shoppers here and perhaps some sellers too. I've only used ebay once and I have a question.

    I've been watching some guitars this week. The guitar company (Blueberry) placed 25 guitars on auction on October 8th and the auction ends on the 18th. Each guitar started at $1.00 and had no minimum reserve.

    What I have observed is a lot of bidding action between Oct. 8 - 11th. Mostly between two people per guitar. There has been very little action since the 11th. Could this early bidding be the company driving up the bids to ensure that the guitars sell for reasonable prices? Or is it common for a couple of bidders to start early and then back off until the end draws closer?

    Are there strategies for winning bids on ebay?

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    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ForeverAutumn
    I know that there are some ebay shoppers here and perhaps some sellers too. I've only used ebay once and I have a question.

    I've been watching some guitars this week. The guitar company (Blueberry) placed 25 guitars on auction on October 8th and the auction ends on the 18th. Each guitar started at $1.00 and had no minimum reserve.

    What I have observed is a lot of bidding action between Oct. 8 - 11th. Mostly between two people per guitar. There has been very little action since the 11th. Could this early bidding be the company driving up the bids to ensure that the guitars sell for reasonable prices? Or is it common for a couple of bidders to start early and then back off until the end draws closer?

    Are there strategies for winning bids on ebay?
    FA, it is possible the surrogates of the guitar company placing bids although this is practice is banned by eBay. It is also possible that habitual low-ball bidders are bidding in the hope that they will win on the off-chance that bidding doesn't take off.

    In general serious bid a place towards the end of the auction -- sometimes within seconds of the end using "bid sniping" services such as eSnipe.

    IMO, the best strategy is to (1) decide the highest price you are willing to pay, then (2) place your bid using a bid sniping service, and (3) forget about further bidding and just wait for auction outcome.

    By the way, eSnipe for example, will let you cancel or lower your bid at any time up until 5 minutes before the end of the auction, whereas eBay doesn't allow lowering bids and penalizes bid cancellation.

  3. #3
    Loving This kexodusc's Avatar
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    Yep...this action seems fairly typical....I read somewhere awhile back that almost 90% of ebay bidding takes place in the minutes before the auction ends...I know on stuff I've bought and sold, a few people bid early trying to "scare off" other bidders perhaps, then it picks up as the auction dies down.

    Most people know that and use eSnipe like Feanor suggests.

    Actually, Feanor gives some pretty good advice here - it's easy to get carried away trying to "win" an auction and overpay. Sniping can be like your sober-second thought in such cases.

  4. #4
    Musicaholic Forums Moderator ForeverAutumn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feanor
    FA, it is possible the surrogates of the guitar company placing bids although this is practice is banned by eBay.
    I was wondering about that. It seemed pretty unscrupulous to me. But then the company could advertise "no minimum reserve" and effectively create their own.

    Quote Originally Posted by kexodusc
    Yep...this action seems fairly typical....I read somewhere awhile back that almost 90% of ebay bidding takes place in the minutes before the auction ends...I know on stuff I've bought and sold, a few people bid early trying to "scare off" other bidders perhaps, then it picks up as the auction dies down.
    See, that's what I thought. I was surprised when people started bidding so early. For the most part, the bids didn't seem designed to scare people away. One of the guitars that I'm looking at had bids that went up in only $5 increments.

    That eSnipe thing is perfect! I haven't decided for sure that I want to bid yet, but this will suit me perfectly if I do. First of all, I won't be home when the auction ends so I was going to place my bid before I leave the house and cross my fingers, but now I don't have to worry about that. Secondly, there are three guitars that I'm interested in. eSnipe will let me place bids on all three and if I win one, will cancel the remaining bids (each auction ends a few minutes apart).

    Thanks Feanor! eSnipe is excellent advice. But what happened if two bidders are using eSnipe for the same item?

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    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ForeverAutumn
    ....

    That eSnipe thing is perfect! I haven't decided for sure that I want to bid yet, but this will suit me perfectly if I do. First of all, I won't be home when the auction ends so I was going to place my bid before I leave the house and cross my fingers, but now I don't have to worry about that. Secondly, there are three guitars that I'm interested in. eSnipe will let me place bids on all three and if I win one, will cancel the remaining bids (each auction ends a few minutes apart).

    Thanks Feanor! eSnipe is excellent advice. But what happened if two bidders are using eSnipe for the same item?
    Yep, the group bidding is a great feature that I've used on several occassions.

    You ought to read the fine print at eSnipe. If the bids aren't equal in amount they will certainly both be placed. If they are equal in amount, I think somehow the bid created (or updated) earliest is placed.

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    3LB
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    I've bid on several E-Bay items in the past. I had the final bid on an old Phase Linear amp for two whole days, and with 30 mins left 5 or 6 other bids came through, and the price went well out of my range. Happened on a few others as well. I've seen the same thing at live auctions.

    People love the competition - I actually think its a problem for some people the way gambling is. I was at a live auction a few years ago and bid on mountain bike that I figured was prolly worth $500 or $600. Bidding started at $100, went down to $50 and then went all the way up to $250 (where I stopped). Two other guys, who seemed to be in a bidding war with each other, drove the price up; one of them wound up paying $425 for the thing. When I was leaving to go home that afternoon, the guy approached to ask if I still wanted the bike and offered it to me for $375, then $350 (I turned him down, but gave him my cell number incase he was willing to go below $300). I wanted to ask him what the hell he bid on it for if he didn't want it, but didn't. I was told later that he was a weekly regular at that particular auction, otherwise he was a sort of widowed recluse.
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    I had always heard when two identical bids are submitted the bidder with the earliest bid "in the auction" wins the tie.

    Sometimes I'll look at the "newly listed" items and place a bid, just so I have earliest bid in the auction in the event of a tie. After that I wait until the end of the auction to make my final maximum bid.

    I have changed my max bid at the last moment before dependent on current bid. I also bid a dollar or two more than what I think most bidder's max bid may be. If bidding for an item is $45 in the final minute, I may make a bid of $51.50 instead of $50. When seconds count that last $1.50 may make all the difference.

  8. #8
    Musicaholic Forums Moderator ForeverAutumn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3LB
    I've bid on several E-Bay items in the past. I had the final bid on an old Phase Linear amp for two whole days, and with 30 mins left 5 or 6 other bids came through, and the price went well out of my range. Happened on a few others as well. I've seen the same thing at live auctions.

    People love the competition - I actually think its a problem for some people the way gambling is. I was at a live auction a few years ago and bid on mountain bike that I figured was prolly worth $500 or $600. Bidding started at $100, went down to $50 and then went all the way up to $250 (where I stopped). Two other guys, who seemed to be in a bidding war with each other, drove the price up; one of them wound up paying $425 for the thing. When I was leaving to go home that afternoon, the guy approached to ask if I still wanted the bike and offered it to me for $375, then $350 (I turned him down, but gave him my cell number incase he was willing to go below $300). I wanted to ask him what the hell he bid on it for if he didn't want it, but didn't. I was told later that he was a weekly regular at that particular auction, otherwise he was a sort of widowed recluse.
    That's sad, but I can see how it can happen.

    There's a big music superstore near us. There was a guitar in their showroom that had been there for over a year. A nice guitar that only needed the action lowered, but it was overpriced at just over two grand. I picked it up and played it every now and then. At one point I suggested to my husband that I should ask them if they'd consider selling it for $1200 to get it out of the showroom.

    Anyway, the store has an auction every summer. We went to the viewing and found that the guitar had been placed in the auction. So I went home to do a little research and found it on-line for $1200 USD, free shipping. I bid on it up to the $1200 that I would have offered the store and then stopped. It sold for $1400. Not a bad deal, but not a good deal either. They guy who bought it thought that he got a great deal though, because he saved $1,000 off the original price.

    Research is key when going to auctions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ForeverAutumn

    Research is key when going to auctions.
    I mostly bid on items I know. I'll perform an advanced search of the "completed auctions" to see what other auctions of the same item went for.

    I did this today for Scandyna Minipods. I purchased two pairs several years ago, one for $250 the other $275. I see them frequently on ebay for a starting bid of $500. This is crazy, they're not that good of a speaker. They are unique visually. My search was revealing. No one bid on prior identical auctions. I had hoped to complete a 5.1 system with a Cinepod, but it's not worth the $400 they're asking.

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    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
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    I have 150 purchases and abuot 50 sales on Ebay FA. if you have any questions feel free to PM me but it looks like your question has been answered. I would say after about 4 or 5 transactions, you will start to see how things work and develop your own Ebay "style". This includes finding items, comparing prices and finally bidding.

    Ebay is wicked fun and for the most part a great thing. It's actually a good example of the better side of human nature. Trusting total strangers with goods and money. Have fun!

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    Musicaholic Forums Moderator ForeverAutumn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bfalls
    I mostly bid on items I know. I'll perform an advanced search of the "completed auctions" to see what other auctions of the same item went for.
    I can do that?

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    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ForeverAutumn
    I can do that?
    You have to be a registered member. Enter your search words and then click on advanced search. Scroll down and click the box for completed listings. It will show you every listing for your keywords in the last 90 days. Sold or not and for how much, it's a good tool when you're trying to establish the market value for selling or buying.

  13. #13
    Musicaholic Forums Moderator ForeverAutumn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by poppachubby
    You have to be a registered member. Enter your search words and then click on advanced search. Scroll down and click the box for completed listings. It will show you every listing for your keywords in the last 90 days. Sold or not and for how much, it's a good tool when you're trying to establish the market value for selling or buying.
    Can retailers block this feature? This company has an auction every month, but when I do as you say, using the keywords 'blueberry' and 'guitar' only one guitar comes up and it is blueberry coloured, not the Blueberry company.

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    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
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    hmmmmmm...I tried too, no luck. not sure what that means FA. Unless someone else knows you could always contact Ebay.

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    Musicaholic Forums Moderator ForeverAutumn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by poppachubby
    hmmmmmm...I tried too, no luck. not sure what that means FA. Unless someone else knows you could always contact Ebay.
    Thanks. I just found this in the Help section:

    How can I see how much an item sold for (search completed listings)?

    If you want to see what an item has sold for, you can search for completed (ended) listings. Completed listings are listings that have ended within the last 15 days, whether or not the item sold.


    The last auction was more than 15 days ago.

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    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ForeverAutumn
    Thanks. I just found this in the Help section:

    How can I see how much an item sold for (search completed listings)?

    If you want to see what an item has sold for, you can search for completed (ended) listings. Completed listings are listings that have ended within the last 15 days, whether or not the item sold.


    The last auction was more than 15 days ago.
    15?!? Thought it was 90....sorry FA, it would seem you'd be better off without my "help". Something about the road to hell? Anyhow, cheers...

  17. #17
    Forum Regular winston's Avatar
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    FA, keep the faith' just do your business by EBay rules...you'll win some you'll loose some !! But when all is said and done" IMO' EBay is still the best bidding medium in town.

    you've been getting all the right answer's above.... I'm just given you a little reassurance to help you snag that guitar!!! Good Luck
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  18. #18
    Charm Thai™
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    Nice...a fellow guitar player. Good luck with Ebay Autumn.

  19. #19
    Musicaholic Forums Moderator ForeverAutumn's Avatar
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    Thanks guys. Unfortunately, I had to put my new guitar dreams on hold in favour of new windows and a new furnace.

    It's just a temporary hold, there will be other opportunities.

  20. #20
    Sgt. At Arms Worf101's Avatar
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    Well..

    To paraphrase Rick James...
    "Ebay is a turrible drug."

    You really have to control yourself on there. It's easy, real easy to get caught up in bid frenzy for an item you really want. I've managed to avoid that but I also have managed to buy way more bass guitars than I can ever use. Some... must go, but I'll wait till the economy turns around so I don't take too bad a beatin', other's will never ever leavy my grasp.

    My guitar player owns a music store, Parkway Music, the best in the area as voted 14 out of 15 years by local magazines and papers. I love Matt and the store but I don't know how them compete with CL and the Bay. Like auto dealers they make a living off of service, but even that's harder than it was. One thing you can do there you can't do on the Bay though, play that sucker and try it out. I've been lucky only 3 or so basses I've bought really, really sucked on trial after they arrived, but three's enough.

    Good Luck with your search FA.

    Da Worfster

  21. #21
    Musicaholic Forums Moderator ForeverAutumn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Worf101
    One thing you can do there you can't do on the Bay though, play that sucker and try it out.
    That's definately a concern if I buy on-line. This particular auction has a 7-day return policy from the date of arrival. So if the guitar sucked I could return it for repair or refund. I don't think I'd buy a used guitar off of ebay for that exact reason.

    There's lot's of guitars locally on Craig's List that I can see and play before purchasing if I want to go the used route, and a great music store downtown that specializes in used stuff.

    Unless I see something at a real steal that I can't pass up, it's all moot right now anyway. Gotta do some energy saving stuff around the house while we can still get some sweet gov't incentives. Then I can maybe use the gov't rebates to buy the geetar.

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