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eBay bidding survey - Page 2

post #16 of 27
Just finished it. Hope it all works out for you man
post #17 of 27
done. hope it helps
post #18 of 27
Done. Good luck.
post #19 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by quietstorm View Post
I agree, there is so much irrational behavior in eBay due to people´s emotions.
However, there is a large amount of eBay users who´s objective is not to win but to acquire at a low price as well. For this, people use for example sniping, either by hand or by using sniping software. The practice of sniping, however, is of questionable value, whether it´s totally evil or not. I do have a feeling that eBay would be more "friendly" when it only had an auction format with extended closure.
I've thought about the moral angle quite a bit.

I think sellers could do worse than to sell to habitual snipers like myself. I always pay promptly and i never try to back out of a purchase.

Mathematically speaking, everything i do only increases the price, but again my objective is to spend less and get more, so, I suppose that if i bid early the sellers would potentially make more money.

On the other hand, it's undeniable that much of commerce boils down to compromise at best and taking advantage of fools at worst.

I have the luxury of having a friend who grew up in a pawn shop. We'll call him "Dave" (because that's his name). Dave behaves as though he has a moral duty to take advantage of a willing fool - that parting a fool from his money is something that somebody, eventually, was going to do, so it may as well be him because he'll at least be pleasant about it.

Dave puts my acquisition habits to shame. Aside from the ebay game, he regularly trolls pawn brokers, consignment stores, flea markets, liquidators, and anybody else potentially selling on the cheap - especially if they are uneducated about what they are selling.

So i can always tell myself that the people i'm buying from could have it worse - Dave would probably separate them from what they're selling for less money.

I have seen Dave walk past the short end of a rack of 100 or more pair of men's shoes in a flea market at a full and purposeful gait, stop short, turn around, go half way down the aisle, and select the one $300 pair of hardly-worn loafers being offered for $10.

This is a guy who knows, at a glance, which of the old broken watches in the bin in the glass case at the pawn shop has a solid gold case worth far more as scrap metal than the asking price.

Dave and i have similar acquisition strategies - he's just far better at it than i am.

When i go looking for something potentially expensive on ebay, I go looking for the the one that is listed in the wrong section, has a confusing title, blurry pictures if any, and if at all possible is being sold by someone who doesn't know what it is.

I recently realized that HD-DVD is largely equivalent to blu-ray, and since it's a dead format, most of the 480+ titles available are actually cheaper in HD-DVD format than as a regular DVD. I now have somewhere around 90 HD-DVD discs, only a few of them total twaddle, and purchased at an average price of substantially less than $2/ea.

When i went looking for a 3rd generation hd-dvd player with 1080P output, I found the one most poorly listed and paid about 60% of the going rate on ebay for that model. This was a totally typical acquisition for me.

If i hadn't bought my HD-A30 for $37, someone else would have bought it for $36.

I have a hard time believing that it was evil of me to find that transaction, step in 6 seconds before close of auction, and insert one more dollar into the pocket of someone who, lets face it, is simply bad at ebay.

But i also know that if i had stepped in two or three days before the close of that auction and placed my bid - which was for about $2 less than the going rate for an HD-A30, the seller might have made more than $1 more than he otherwise would have.

And i do feel a little like I'm taking advantage of a willing fool.

A fool who threw it in a box with some wadded newspaper and closed it up with a single layer of packing tape. I'm surprised that it arrived intact - but i knew the guy was bad at this sort of thing when i decided to buy it from him, so i didn't leave him negative feedback for poor packing.
post #20 of 27
I have nearly 4,000 feedback responses at 100% positive, snipe every auction I can, and I'm in complete agreement with ericj. Bidding on an auction is a competition ... not only the obvious competition between bidders, but also between the bidders and the seller. The seller gets to set most of the rules ... buy it now fixed price ... starting bid ... minimum price accepted ... length of auction ... shipping charges, etc. ... all decided upon by the seller to maximize the amount of money they end up receiving. So why should a bidder feel morally wrong or guilty about sniping if it gives them a chance to buy for a little less?
post #21 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by mbriant View Post
I have nearly 4,000 feedback responses at 100% positive, snipe every auction I can, and I'm in complete agreement with ericj. Bidding on an auction is a competition ... not only the obvious competition between bidders, but also between the bidders and the seller. The seller gets to set most of the rules ... buy it now fixed price ... starting bid ... minimum price accepted ... length of auction ... shipping charges, etc. ... all decided upon by the seller to maximize the amount of money they end up receiving. So why should a bidder feel morally wrong or guilty about sniping if it gives them a chance to buy for a little less?
x2

I feel I need more practice sniping, though...
post #22 of 27
Finished. Didn't know there was such a thing as bidding software.
post #23 of 27
Thread Starter 
ericj and mbriant,
Thank you for the interesting thoughts!

ericj, the story about Dave is fascinating. And I agree, the market economy unfortunately is based on taking advantage of fools. I would not consider the purchase story of HD-A30 evil either, as mbriant mentioned, there are tools like the reserve price that protect the sellers item´s to be sold at a too low cost. I mean eBay has even provided info for the so called "fools" or novices trying to educate them. There are threads in eBay about how to be a successful seller/buyer. However, as for sniping, I don´t like it for example if there are 2 bidders and the auction is won by the bidder who made his first bid like 2 seconds before the end of the auction leaving absolutely no time for the other bidder (who bidded maybe like 3 hours before) to respond...
And yeah, statistically, if you would bid early in the auction the sellers are more likely to make more money.


NapalmK, yeah bidding software are used to make for example last second bids on behalf of the user so the user does not have stay behind a computer.

The deadline for the thesis is in 5 days and, by now, the participation rate has been delightful and the number of respondent samples should also be enough. I truly thank the users for their input and am once again reminded of how great of a community head-fi has!
post #24 of 27
Filled it out, hope it helps.
post #25 of 27
Done. Hope it helps.
post #26 of 27
Hey there, I filled one out for you, enjoyed it aswell!

Tom.
post #27 of 27
I filled it out as well.

I am in a very similar boat to ericj.

I don't rip people off. When I sell on ebay, I am always clear with what I am selling, and package things well. When I win an auction, I pay immediately.

I deal with a lot of automotive lighting stuff... it's an almost-as-expensive-as-headphones hobby called "retrofitting", which is taking the projection light assemblies, xenon bulbs, and ballast transformers from one car, and custom installing them into the headlights of another car.

When I see something going below market price, or labelled wrong, or with a crappy picture, I pounce on it like a tiger.

I flip like crazy. There have been items that I've bought, then relisted on ebay for more money within hours of receiving and testing them.

The important thing is to become familiar with the products you're dealing with. I spend a significant amount of time reading and researching on these lighting components. I can sell them for a lot more money, because I know how to describe them and how to label them and how to photograph them popularly. People who want to sell something without really knowing much about it do not make as much money as I do.

The feather in my cap of Ebay deals was last year. I found a "lot" of headlight components, presumably ripped randomly from a junkyard. It was one complete BMW headlight, one ballast transformer, one bulb, and six projectors. Starting bid was $100, I got it for $150 after a small bidding war at the very end.
I got the package, and thought I made a huge mistake. There was no packaging material. The ballast transformer and the bulb were broken. There were four projectors, not six projectors, and one of them was damaged beyond repair.
I sent a nasty e-mail, and he agreed to send me another ballast transformer as a compromise.
A few days later, I listed the BMW headlight. It got into a little bidding war, and it ended up selling for $250.
I then traded the three good projectors to someone on a forum for a second ballast transformer, and a pair of bulbs.
I then sold the two ballast transformers and the pair of good bulbs for $150.
Seller thought he was going to rip me off and get rid of some busted old equipment, but I made a cool $250 profit off of it by knowing how to sell.

If I see something that is listed for cheap, and it's not getting bidded on, and it doesn't have a lot of views because it's labelled incorrectly, has crappy photos, or has a really vague or incorrect description I have zero qualms about swooping in and buying it for maybe a quarter of what it is worth.

I get it home, make sure it works, and relist it for twice what I paid, with accurate and detailed description, title, and photos, and I usually sell it for four times what I paid.

I don't rip people off as a seller - I include everything, package well, ship quickly, and I don't think I've ever sold something for much more than the average going price.

I don't rip people off as a buyer. I buy way below the average going price, but almost always from people who don't know what the average going price is, and are just trying to get rid of a random automotive lighting part that they don't know anything about. Generally, it's from an auction that had no other bidders, or only had one other bidder with a maximum bid that was still lower than what the average going price was. It's still more money than the person would have gotten.
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