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goamules
20-Dec-2015, 06:48
For anyone who sells on Ebay, have you ever wondered why when you have a reserve, and lots of bidders, it seems they all know exactly where the reserve is? When I sell items that are fairly pricey, the bidding starts at $1, has lots of activity up to about $150, then settles down for the week. Towards the end of the auction, some anxious people start bidding again. Then, with seconds to spare, one or two suddenly bid....perfectly....just at my reserve. For example, if I have a $500 reserve, it will get won at $500 or $503. Never much higher.

Of course, if I set the reserve low, it would sell higher than the reserve. But I usually set the reserve at "the going rate" for that lens or camera. I get a lot of people fishing early on, thinking they're going to get that Dallmeyer Petzval 3B for $199 or Leica Summicron for $47. Why not just set the bid starting at $200 or whatever? Because ebay charges you more, the higher your starting bid is set.

Anyway, I think I figured out how people determine the reserve. Note the guy below, fishing twice to see if he can meet reserve. Then he Retract's his bid. If he guesses too high with his bid, he'll just retract it again, and come back later to bid right on the money. He's gaming the system, and Ebay doesn't care. Also it's typical that he's in a country I do not ship to for this item. It's in my description, and it's set via the Ebay system. Yet, there he is, getting ready to screw up my auction, if I don't cancel his bid. Of course, he'll throw one in the last 6 seconds, and blow away the good buyer that was about to win. Then I have to cancel his win somehow, talking to Ebay, which requires I wait 7 days to see if he will "agree to cancel", before they will force the cancel. Weeks later I get a refund for my trouble, and get to relist the lens. This is why I hate the global market - there are no global ethics.

https://c2.staticflickr.com/6/5663/23784459531_13591e9a7a_c.jpg

Rael
20-Dec-2015, 07:13
That's pretty sneaky. Also though, If only one person has bid on your item over the reserve price, then that becomes the highest bid, but if it's the only bid over the reserve, if it wins, the bid will be lowered to the reserve price. So if you are selling something with a reserve of $500, and it gets bid up to $400, but then some guy comes along and puts in a $600 bid, and the auction ends without anyone bidding against him over the reserve, his winning bid will be lowered to $500. Only if someone else exceeds the reserve price will there be two people bidding against each other and raising the price. http://community.ebay.com/t5/Archive-Bidding-Buying/if-my-max-bid-is-above-the-reserve-price-but-no-one-bids-against/qaq-p/11748979

baro-nite
20-Dec-2015, 07:17
IMO setting a reserve is only giving eBay money, and reducing the number of interested bidders (many buyers don't bother with reserve items). I've followed auctions with a low initial bid and a BIN, and seen them go for well above the BIN price. The best way to take advantage of eBay bidding psychology is to use the minimum opening price and have a real auction. Yes, there's the risk that it sells for less than you hoped. Either that or go BIN only at the price you want to sell, and keep listing until it sells.

ic-racer
20-Dec-2015, 07:23
I never understood the reason behind a 'reserve' price. I have never bid on any item with one or sold with a reserve. I interpret 'reserve' as 'it is not really for sale' so I ignore those listing.

StoneNYC
20-Dec-2015, 07:34
I usually only sell as buy-it-now, the reserve is only if I do an auction for stuff I don't care about but don't want to get totally hosed on. I also don't understand your comment on a person outside of the country you'll ship to. If they're outside of the country that you'll ship to, and you have your settings right, then they won't be able to bid in the first place so I'm confused as to how you're able to bid on something when you set your settings properly to eliminate that country.

MAubrey
20-Dec-2015, 08:02
Well, I figure out the reserve price by simply messaging the seller.

9 times out of 10 they're willing to tell me.

480sparky
20-Dec-2015, 08:11
But what good does that knowledge gain someone?

If the person has figured out your reserve for your Flaremaster 210/5.6 is, say, $300, what steps can he do that will be of a benefit to him? Bid $300? Then what? Can he possibly know how many others are going to bid, and what they are going to enter for a bid? He certainly can't prevent others from bidding more. About the only benefit I can see is him thinking, "Hmmm, I don't want to pay that much for it. I'll direct my efforts elsewhere."

If your reserve is $300 and he bids $300 and no one else bids more, he wins the lens for $300 and, well........ you got what you wanted out of the lens. If he bids MORE than $300, but no one else bids more, he wins the lens for $300 and, well........ you got what you wanted out of the lens. Heck, he could bid $1,000,000,000,000, but if no one else bids more, he wins the lens for $300 and, well........ you got what you wanted out of the lens.

pdh
20-Dec-2015, 08:54
But what good does that knowledge gain someone?.

for one thing, the reserve might be more than the potential bidder is willing to pay, and move on looking elsewhere for something within his or her price range that s/he might win for what s/he is willing to afford to pay ...

Jeff Dexheimer
20-Dec-2015, 09:04
The best option is to not use reserves. You get more $ with no reserve by attracting more buyers. If you do use a reserve and your item sells for exactly your reserve or just a little more, what is the problem, you got what you wanted. If you wanted more, don't use a reserve.

480sparky
20-Dec-2015, 09:08
for one thing, the reserve might be more than the potential bidder is willing to pay, and move on looking elsewhere for something within his or her price range that s/he might win for what s/he is willing to afford to pay ...

Apparently you stopped reading after the first sentence of my post.


........ About the only benefit I can see is him thinking, "Hmmm, I don't want to pay that much for it. I'll direct my efforts elsewhere."........



So this means you're wanting more for a specific item than one particular person is willing to pay for it. Who's fault is that? The potential buyers? Ebays? The 'free enterprise' systems?

Suppose your Flaremaster 210/5.6 has a reserve of $300, and it ultimately sells for $300? Isn't the $300 reserve the minimum you're willing to sell it for? And didn't you just sell if for $300? How have you been harmed by one potential buyer figuring out your reserve?

Again, what advantage is there to a potential buyer who knows what your reserve is? How is that detrimental to the seller?

Bernice Loui
20-Dec-2015, 09:52
Been doing ebay for over 15 years to this day. If an item has a reserve, no bid. Over those years of experience of both selling and buying, adding a reserve is a very significant discouragement to bidders. The hidden message behind a reserve is a desired selling price, the price a seller has in mind but does not want to reveal with the belief bidders will fight for the item. A game buyers often do not want to play.

If there is an amount wanted, simply start the bidding at that amount and leave it at that. What is actually far more effective is to start the item at $0.99 and allow the market to decide it's value. This is often what many very experienced sellers do on ebay, it encourages bidding and the item will sell for what it is actually worth in the vast majority of cases.


Bernice

mdarnton
20-Dec-2015, 10:18
I never understood the reason behind a 'reserve' price. I have never bid on any item with one or sold with a reserve. I interpret 'reserve' as 'it is not really for sale' so I ignore those listing.
That's what I do, also. If someone is serious about selling, they price their things, either with a non-reserve starting price, or a buy-it-now. If they can't manage that, they're just playing games and I don't bother with them.

If you game people, you deserve to get gamed back.

Alan Gales
20-Dec-2015, 10:24
I've sold quite a bit on Ebay but have never put a reserve on anything. When I see auctions with a reserve I just skip over them up because I assume they want too much. Homey don't play that!

goamules
20-Dec-2015, 10:25
Good discussion. But I've been selling on Ebay since 1998, and I've learned a lot of techniques. At one time I was selling a half dozen items each week. Some I use reserve on. 90% I don't. It depends on how known the item is. For example, a Dallmeyer 3B I would not use a reserve. Everyone knows, and is looking for, that lens and keywords. A more obscure item like the Tanack V-3 Camera I sold I used a reserve. Why? Because the few collectors of this make may not be looking that week. These Tanaks usually sell for $500 to $600, but are very rare, only 1 every year or so comes for sale. Mine was mint, in box. I put a $700 reserve, and sold it for $1100. I know what I'm doing, I've learned a lot over the past 10 or 15 years of selling.

Using a Reserve depends. It depends on demand at that particular week. It depends on analyzing what other identical items are being sold right then, and their price. And believe it or not, during Christmas there is more risk of selling a valuable item too low. Buyers typically bemoan it, or say they "just don't bid if it has one..." That's fine, I know serious buyers will bid and buy. I don't mind weeding out the casual buyers, or the ones trying to buy low to sell high. I usually only use Ebay for the top, rarest items. Where the biggest market will help.

For example, if I ever sell a Struss, Pinkham, or such, I probably use a reserve. I don't want it to be a "slow week", and have to sell a $5,000 lens for $1200 because someone got lucky. My job as a seller is to offer the best, and most accurate description. Not offer a "lottery service" for low ballers.

When I sell a $50 Pen-F lens, or a Rapid Rectilinear, I do it cheap, on forums like here. Look back over the years at my sales in the classifieds. Almost all sell within 1 day, often within hours. I know how to price things right so they sell. Hundreds of happy customers would agree, and I've sold some very rare lenses, at great prices. I just won't give them away or let offshore people scam me into low prices, partial refunds, and all the crap some try to pull.

HMG
20-Dec-2015, 10:27
(snip)
If there is an amount wanted, simply start the bidding at that amount and leave it at that. What is actually far more effective is to start the item at $0.99 and allow the market to decide it's value. This is often what many very experienced sellers do on ebay, it encourages bidding and the item will sell for what it is actually worth in the vast majority of cases.
Bernice

I think that's fine if you sell enough items to average out. But I've seen more than a few items (both as buyer and seller) that went for significantly less than the average price. And that's with auctions ending during midweek and Sunday evening hours.

As a buyer, I don't care about reserves. But I always wait to the end of an auction to make a serious bid, or use Bidnip (which doesn't work as well given the changes ebay made a bit ago). My reason is simple - I don't want to be committed to buy something 7 days later in case I find something else I want.

While as a seller I generally do a buy-it-now if using ebay, I don't think starting an auction at that amount works well. It's the auction psychology where a bidder is more than happy to up his/her bid to a certain level, but reluctant to start at that level.

goamules
20-Dec-2015, 10:32
Exactly. I don't mind when I'm selling 10 fossils like I used to do, if one sells way low, one too high, and most average. But when I have a Struss Pictorial that you only see once in a lifetime, I take no chances. And again, buyers of these items don't worry about a reserve, they know there is going to be one.

DrTang
20-Dec-2015, 10:50
you got your reserve - why care?

Dan Fromm
20-Dec-2015, 10:52
Will people who are wiser than I am explain the difference between a reserve set at $x and an opening bid of $x. Either way, the item won't sell unless someone wants to pay at least $x for it. The only difference I can see is that an reserve is invisible and tells me nothing about the least the seller will accept for the item. And then, if I'm willing to pay as much as $y for it I can bid $y and then que sera sera.

I think that you're all, um. overthinking the problem of extracting as much as possible from an auction's bidders without resorting to shills. On the other side, you're all overthinking the problem of paying as little as possible for an item that's being auctioned.

pdh
20-Dec-2015, 11:03
Apparently you stopped reading after the first sentence of my post.


Apparently you feel the need to be sarcastically unpleasant to total strangers.

Randy Moe
20-Dec-2015, 11:14
As buyer, I don't get crazy trying for lowest price as I want the best quality or condition. But I do watch sales and prices closely. I carefully study the seller.

I decide exactly what my maximum purchase price, including shipping is. I don't go up. I always Snipe and forget about it, until I get an email.

Then I examine the bidding closely and I am amazed, how often I get the item at $5 over the next highest bid. Either I know prices real well, or something else is happening. I am beating other buyers, who are bidding like mad, and must really want the thing. They are are also Sniping, if not I see the low count buyer lose to clumsy manual bids. They learn as I did.

Any theories on how I get high bid and purchase?




BTW I hate selling on eWay. And I never bid on Reserve listings.

Sirius Glass
20-Dec-2015, 11:37
And this is why I would rather use KEH, Samys, B&H, APUG or Large Format Photography Forum Classifieds. I guess if I wanted at least a certain amount of money I would use BIN rather than Reserve if I could not sell it one of the above.

Kevin Crisp
20-Dec-2015, 11:49
I also don't bother with reserve listings as a buyer.

When selling, I think about what number would be a good deal for somebody, but not so low that I'd end up kicking myself. That is the opening bid. Once somebody bids that, people know this is going to somebody and they will get competitive. If it goes for the opening bid, then I'm not kicking myself. If nobody bids that high, no harm done.

HMG
20-Dec-2015, 12:00
Will people who are wiser than I am explain the difference between a reserve set at $x and an opening bid of $x. Either way, the item won't sell unless someone wants to pay at least $x for it. The only difference I can see is that an reserve is invisible and tells me nothing about the least the seller will accept for the item. And then, if I'm willing to pay as much as $y for it I can bid $y and then que sera sera.

I think that you're all, um. overthinking the problem of extracting as much as possible from an auction's bidders without resorting to shills. On the other side, you're all overthinking the problem of paying as little as possible for an item that's being auctioned.

I don't claim to be wiser, but: http://insight.kellogg.northwestern.edu/article/place_your_bids (Note that the article is a bit dated, and the approach of searching for misspelling generally doesn't work as ebay "corrects" common mispellings).

But my approach is somewhat less academic. I decide on what I think is a fair price and list it here or on apug (for photo items obviously). If it doesn't sell, I'll drop the price on those sites and list it on ebay for the original price. If it still doesn't sell, I'll lower the price or put it back in the closet. No drama; if it doesn't sell we'll still be able to eat that week.

The only recent exception was an older brass lens that I couldn't get decent info on. That I listed as a auction. I didn't want to be embarrassed by listing an unrealistic price here.

CCB
20-Dec-2015, 16:33
To me, a lot depends on the confidence I have in the seller. Have I bought from him before? How much experience does she have in evaluating the item's condition. I may even call the seller and talk it over. I've won a few shadow auctions that way.

Bob Salomon
20-Dec-2015, 16:37
The problem with this thread is that a buyer can not determine a reserve. They might be able to discover what the reserve price us but only the seller (or in some auctions, the auction company) can determine what their reserve price will be set.

StoneNYC
20-Dec-2015, 16:48
The problem with this thread is that a buyer can not determine a reserve. They might be able to discover what the reserve price us but only the seller (or in some auctions, the auction company) can determine what their reserve price will be set.

To piggyback this...

The problem with this thread is that the buyer is setting a reserve price that he/she apparently isn't actually satisfied with and then complaining when someone bids just that much and not more. There are systems but people are always going to try to figure them out to the best advantage for themselves (sniping websites come to mind)

If you don't like the price you've set, raise it.

I'm fairly happy when buyers pay my buy-it-now price, I don't complain when they don't offer me more. To me, a reserve is essentially similar, it should be the amount you want for the item, any bids higher than that you should be grateful, it's like a bonus.

goamules
20-Dec-2015, 16:50
Will people who are wiser than I am explain the difference between a reserve set at $x and an opening bid of $x. Either way, the item won't sell unless someone wants to pay at least $x for it. The only difference I can see is that an reserve is invisible and tells me nothing about the least the seller will accept for the item. And then, if I'm willing to pay as much as $y for it I can bid $y and then que sera sera.

I think that you're all, um. overthinking the problem of extracting as much as possible from an auction's bidders without resorting to shills. On the other side, you're all overthinking the problem of paying as little as possible for an item that's being auctioned.

Sure, I'll explain your first question. Human emotion and competition. You could also ask why do live auctions start the bidding at $50, for a $500 item? Because they've learned that if they started at 475, people would not bid. Too expensive, they'd say. But if they start bidding, at $50 or $100, they often feel comitted to the end, and the same person will easily pay more than 500 bucks. So hundreds of years of auctioneering has taught that if you want the best price (we'll discuss that later), you run it this way.

As far as your meta-cognition on seller and buyer motivation, again, it's human nature. When an owner wants to sell a house, car, petzval, bushel of cucumbers, he wants what the market rate is. Very few people are philanthropist enough to just say "I don't really care to get what others are selling their (house, car, etc.) for. I'll let the first person buy it, whatever the cost!" Likewise, when most buyers are shopping for a Christmas gift, they shop around to get the best price for their smartphone, Petzval, jar of pickles. Few say "I don't care that this lens from GoKevin is higher, I just am tired of looking, and want it Now!"

Like I think you said years ago (or maybe it was Jim Galli), we're all Pirates! And we all want to get the booty, win the lottery, or get that great deal on our next car. Its second nature for most people, they're not thinking about it that hard, and they enjoy the chase. That's why.

Nigel Smith
20-Dec-2015, 17:35
Will people who are wiser than I am explain the difference between a reserve set at $x and an opening bid of $x. Either way, the item won't sell unless someone wants to pay at least $x for it. The only difference I can see is that an reserve is invisible and tells me nothing about the least the seller will accept for the item. And then, if I'm willing to pay as much as $y for it I can bid $y and then que sera sera.


I'm not sure but I think someone referred to it above, don't eBay charge based on the starting price of the 'auction' so the cost is cheaper is you start it at 99 cents, regardless if there's a reserve in place.

Dan Fromm
20-Dec-2015, 18:09
Sure, I'll explain your first question. Human emotion and competition. You could also ask why do live auctions start the bidding at $50, for a $500 item? Because they've learned that if they started at 475, people would not bid. Too expensive, they'd say. But if they start bidding, at $50 or $100, they often feel comitted to the end, and the same person will easily pay more than 500 bucks. So hundreds of years of auctioneering has taught that if you want the best price (we'll discuss that later), you run it this way.

Garrett, as far as I know eBay doesn't run live auctions. I b'lieve, can't prove it, that nowadays the smart money (buyer side) sets up a snipe bid and goes to sleep. And there goes all the "fun."

Dan Fromm
20-Dec-2015, 18:13
I'm not sure but I think someone referred to it above, don't eBay charge based on the starting price of the 'auction' so the cost is cheaper is you start it at 99 cents, regardless if there's a reserve in place.

Hmm. Its been a while since I've tried to sell on eBay but when I did there was always a convenient "free listing" sale on. Final value charges are what matters. I always set my opening bid at (the least I'll accept) + (final value charge if the item sells at the opening bid) + (estimated PayPal charges, including on shipping). When the item fails to sell I'm out very little. When it sells I get as least as much, after eBay and PayPal charges, as the least I'll accept.

Starting with an opening bid that's less than I'll accept exposes me to a risk I don't want to take.

baro-nite
20-Dec-2015, 18:51
Garrett, as far as I know eBay doesn't run live auctions. I b'lieve, can't prove it, that nowadays the smart money (buyer side) sets up a snipe bid and goes to sleep. And there goes all the "fun."

But many bidders act as though it is a live auction, which is why both selling and buying tactics aren't as simple as they would be if every bidder (and seller) understood the nature of a second-price auction.

Randy Moe
20-Dec-2015, 21:03
But many bidders act as though it is a live auction, which is why both selling and buying tactics aren't as simple as they would be if every bidder (and seller) understood the nature of a second-price auction.

How does your statement relate to eBay?

http://www.slate.com/blogs/quora/2013/09/09/vickrey_auction_what_is_it_and_why_does_the_winner_pay_the_second_highest.html

And what exactly are you saying?

baro-nite
21-Dec-2015, 08:11
How does your statement relate to eBay?

http://www.slate.com/blogs/quora/2013/09/09/vickrey_auction_what_is_it_and_why_does_the_winner_pay_the_second_highest.html

And what exactly are you saying?

The article you linked describes bidders behaving rationally. In practice, many don't, which, e.g., is the main reason sniping makes sense. Also, many eBay bidders bid as though it were a first-price auction, and it seems likely enough that most such bidders either don't understand second-price auctions, or haven't thought through the implications.

Dan Fromm
21-Dec-2015, 09:17
The article you linked describes bidders behaving rationally. In practice, many don't, which, e.g., is the main reason sniping makes sense. Also, many eBay bidders bid as though it were a first-price auction, and it seems likely enough that most such bidders either don't understand second-price auctions, or haven't thought through the implications.

The implications of a second-price auction when bidders try to be, um, strategic can be horrendous. We've all seen items sell -- or seem to sell -- for absurd prices when two bidders assume that no one else will bid absurdly high and bid absurdly high to make sure of getting the item for a sensible bidder's maximum plus the bidding increment.

Sniping makes sense for several reasons. Since snipe bids are invisible, idiot bidders who "follow the leader" have nothing to follow. Since snipe bids are invisible, nibblers/shills who run the bid up, sometimes to the high bidders maximum, and sometimes retract their bid have nothing to run up. Since eBay doesn't see snipe bids until a few seconds before the auction ends, snipe bids can be cancelled up to the last minute.

What's wrong with snipe bids is that snipers are invisible to the seller. Insecure sellers sometimes interpret no visible bids and no interest and accept offers to sell outside the eBay auction that are lower than the snipers' maximum. In this case the seller and highest sniper loose.

John Jarosz
21-Dec-2015, 10:33
At live, in-person auctions a bidder always has the chance to be the last bidder to win the auction. Ebay doesn't do this. Ebay would eliminate most of what's been discussed if an Ebay auction would end 2 or 1 minutes after the last bid. That way there would be no sniping, no automated bidding, etc. You still would have the issue of reserve price, but almost all higher end auctions have reserve pricing allowed.

goamules
21-Dec-2015, 11:41
duplicate

Old-N-Feeble
21-Dec-2015, 12:58
That may or may not be the case but it doesn't matter anyway. Ebay automatically bids incrementally for buyers so even if one buyer bids US$10K and the next highest bid is US$500 the higher bidder will get the item for US$505. That has nothing to do with the reserve price. It only has to do with how much the top two bidders are willing to pay.

Alan Gales
21-Dec-2015, 14:38
Will people who are wiser than I am explain the difference between a reserve set at $x and an opening bid of $x. Either way, the item won't sell unless someone wants to pay at least $x for it. The only difference I can see is that an reserve is invisible and tells me nothing about the least the seller will accept for the item. And then, if I'm willing to pay as much as $y for it I can bid $y and then que sera sera.

I think that you're all, um. overthinking the problem of extracting as much as possible from an auction's bidders without resorting to shills. On the other side, you're all overthinking the problem of paying as little as possible for an item that's being auctioned.

If you want to think I'm wiser than you, Dan, well that's fine with me. I don't believe it but go ahead and do what you want. ;)

It's just aggravating. You wait a week to find out that the item is usually overpriced. That's my experience. When people ask up front what they want I watch it if it's interesting or pass it up if it's more than I want to spend.

If Garrett wants to use a reserve and it works for him then great. I wish him the best. Personally, I just don't like reserve prices as a Seller or Buyer and that's just my opinion.

Old-N-Feeble
21-Dec-2015, 15:01
Reserve prices don't bother me. I always bid the last few seconds anyway. If my bid doesn't meet the reserve price then I don't win the auction.

Alan Gales
21-Dec-2015, 18:59
Reserve prices don't bother me. I always bid the last few seconds anyway. If my bid doesn't meet the reserve price then I don't win the auction.

Some people they bother and some they don't. I've just read too many complaints about them though. That's why I never set a reserve price.

Old-N-Feeble
21-Dec-2015, 22:08
Alan, I take that a step further. I almost never auction anything. I list with fixed prices... sometimes with "Make Offer" option but those have set automatic limits. On the very rare occasion I auction something it's only because it's a very unusual item and there's no way to know how high the price might go.

Nigel Smith
21-Dec-2015, 22:20
Ebay would eliminate most of what's been discussed if an Ebay auction would end 2 or 1 minutes after the last bid. That way there would be no sniping, no automated bidding, etc. You still would have the issue of reserve price, but almost all higher end auctions have reserve pricing allowed.

We had a local site that did this. I once paid a bit much for a camera due to the 'one last bid' mentality... I'm sure the seller was happy!

goamules
22-Dec-2015, 06:34
Just so you know, perhaps because of people being busy with Christmas, my auction didn't reach the reserve. It did have a lot of bidders, and topped out about half way to my $500 reserve. With no reserve, I would have sold the lens for half the going rate. So you know, several have sold for over $500 in the past period. Mine is in similar or better condition.

So you can talk about how bad Reserves are from a buyer perspective, but when I go to sell an expensive, obscure item, I don't like being a lottery sponsor for someone to scoop up my item for less than I paid for it. If I was selling a highly known item, I use no reserve.

After Christmas, I'll relist it and try the other tactic for argument's sake: start the bid price at $499, no reserve. I'm sure either way, at the right market timing, it will sell for what it's worth.

goamules
22-Dec-2015, 06:37
I'm with Old-n-Feeble, I just bid the highest I will pay for any item, whether it has a reserve or not, I barely notice. If I happen to win or lose, it's usually a surprise, and I only check after the auction is over. Too much stress trying to watch and hope for auctions, I quit doing that a decade ago. If a Struss Pictorial comes up, for example, I'll put in my bid, if it says "reserve not met", I leave it and move on. There's no frustration, and I sure don't start upping the ante to see if I can win. The auctions with NO reserve are the ones that keep people watching, bidding, and hoping.

StoneNYC
22-Dec-2015, 08:09
Just so you know, perhaps because of people being busy with Christmas, my auction didn't reach the reserve. It did have a lot of bidders, and topped out about half way to my $500 reserve. With no reserve, I would have sold the lens for half the going rate. So you know, several have sold for over $500 in the past period. Mine is in similar or better condition.

So you can talk about how bad Reserves are from a buyer perspective, but when I go to sell an expensive, obscure item, I don't like being a lottery sponsor for someone to scoop up my item for less than I paid for it. If I was selling a highly known item, I use no reserve.

After Christmas, I'll relist it and try the other tactic for argument's sake: start the bid price at $499, no reserve. I'm sure either way, at the right market timing, it will sell for what it's worth.

If the bid didn't reach your reserve then the "going rate" is obviously less than you perceive. You mean to say the rate at which you want to receive which is obviously double the price of the going rate.

Old-N-Feeble
22-Dec-2015, 08:32
The used photo market is unpredictable. Just because something doesn't meet a reserve or sell the very first listing, it doesn't mean the item isn't worth the reserve or asking price. It only means no one who saw it had the funds or were simply looking to buy at far under the true market value. The same item may sell the next listing or the one after that and, if an auction, may sell for more than the reserve. That's a small bit of marketing 101.

goamules
22-Dec-2015, 08:39
If the bid didn't reach your reserve then the "going rate" is obviously less than you perceive. You mean to say the rate at which you want to receive which is obviously double the price of the going rate.

Bwahahaha....no, read more carefully grasshopper. Think about what I said on the season, the obscurity of rare items, and more.

Or if you want to try an experiment, take your most cherished lens, put it up for sale right now, during Christmas, with no reserve and .99 cent start, and see how you do! You may discover that the market fluctuates over the weeks, but there is an AVERAGE price on almost all items, even rare ones. You can risk selling during the slumps if you want, with no reserve. You find out at the end how your gamble fared. I didn't gamble, and didn't lose money. I'll sell it for the going rate later. I guarantee.

Dallmeyer 3Bs are selling for about $1800 right now, I'd guess (haven't checked much this year). You'll find a range of prices around there. Then, one will sell for $625, because it was a slow week, or everyone who wanted one had just bought theirs, or there was a big debate on TV and no one noticed ebay. It's hard to predict when the leading toe of the Bell Curve will hit. A reserve protects you from those slumps.

Alan Gales
22-Dec-2015, 10:01
The used photo market is unpredictable. Just because something doesn't meet a reserve or sell the very first listing, it doesn't mean the item isn't worth the reserve or asking price. It only means no one who saw it had the funds or were simply looking to buy at far under the true market value. The same item may sell the next listing or the one after that and, if an auction, may sell for more than the reserve. That's a small bit of marketing 101.

As you well know, Ebay is about who is looking when. I start most of my auctions at .99 to spur interest even on $500 items. If I'm worried about getting the price I want on an item then I list it at that price. Sometimes it doesn't sell so I'll relist it at $50 less. A lot of times it will end up selling for more than what I originally asked.

For those who think I'm crazy for listing items at .99. Yes, I've been hurt a few times but not by much. I've also made a killing doing this because people start bidding wars. If you make a sale only once in a while you might not want to do this but if you sell a lot it works quite well. Just ask Andrew Glover (Dagor 77) about his .77 sales.

Alan Gales
22-Dec-2015, 10:10
You may discover that the market fluctuates over the weeks, but there is an AVERAGE price on almost all items, even rare ones.

This statement is so true and so many people do not understand this!

Dan Fromm
22-Dec-2015, 10:11
Do you mean the Andrew Glover who complained bitterly to me about how little he was making on his sales that started at $0.77?

Oren Grad
22-Dec-2015, 10:29
Just ask Andrew Glover (Dagor 77) about his .77 sales.

FWIW, Andrew has long since given up on that strategy. He still lists many items at $XX.77 to support his branding, but he's making much more use of BINs or auctions with fixed or opening price set much more closely to expected value.

Alan Gales
22-Dec-2015, 10:40
FWIW, Andrew has long since given up on that strategy. He still lists many items at $XX.77 to support his branding, but he's making much more use of BINs or auctions with fixed or opening price set much more closely to expected value.

I didn't know that. I have seen that Andrew has been less active (He is on my favorite Seller's list).

I have done quite well on my .99 sales. I do sell more common items and have only sold a couple lenses that would be considered rare.

Alan Gales
22-Dec-2015, 10:41
Do you mean the Andrew Glover who complained bitterly to me about how little he was making on his sales that started at $0.77?

Hmmm. That's interesting. I did not know that.

Jac@stafford.net
22-Dec-2015, 14:37
Trying to penetrate the auction barriers of ignorant speculation I put some choice items at 99 cents and went with the flow. With one exception they went for far less than the minimum bid starters. It must suck to be them. The exception was a collectible that went to a broker for Chinese bidders.

Looking very often at sold items it is clear that very few 'bay photo items other than dirt cheap junk are ever sold.

What's up with sellers that start bids at $99,999 for crap? Money laundering? And the idiot selling a Linhof Super Technika for $200 with a $2,000 shipping fee?

goamules
22-Dec-2015, 14:54
Yep, I like Dagor77, but for his long anecdotes about his items. They are works of writing art. No one ever accused me of writing short ads, devoid of hyperbole and romance!

Either 99% of my items I start at .77 Cents, or 77% at 99 Cents, I can't recall. But no reserve on those. Obscure, non-cult items the week of Christmas? Reserve!

Jim Galli
22-Dec-2015, 14:57
So, last year there was a car I really really wanted on good 'ol ebay. It had a reserve. Bidding was low - ish, and I was sort of dazzled. So I asked the seller if they would reveal their reserve. $10,000. So I waited out the auction and set my snipe engine at $9999.98 Auction was finished at 9100. Reserve not met. I was high bidder but not the winner. contacted the seller and said, "ball's in your court". He was happy to sell it to me at the $9100 ($6500 more than it's worth :rolleyes: ) Saved myself 900 bucks which I promptly spent in retrieval and parts etc. It's that black Ford coupe that's my current muse.

All sorts of strategies out there. I agree bidding some phony number to see if you've toppled the reserve and then retracting it is dis-honest. I do not do that. Ever. Yes I've had people do it to me. Here's the underlying strategy. Nice lens. I'd love to have it. It'd be a bargain at $365. It's currently at $125. I would like to know the reserve to see if it's worth bothering to keep watching (and wishing). I never hesitate to ask. Some sellers will tell you, many will not. Sometimes those are your best bargains, precisely because of the reserve. Most auctions with a reserve turn everybody off. The bid gets to $125 and everybody moves on and forgets about it. If the seller has told me his reserve is $295, I watch it and hope it stays at the $125 while everyone else moves on to something more interesting without a reserve. Then I'll put my snipe in just over the reserve and hope I get lucky. Remember I was willing to pay $365. It's all mind games. Strategizing adds to the fun. Nobody really needs any of this crap, right?

goamules
22-Dec-2015, 15:15
Yeah, I would have told anyone that asked me the Reserve. Sometimes I even do an update on the auction mid way, and reveal the Reserve! Sometimes I randomly cancel every third bid, just to get fresh bidders in there. Sometimes I send a Christmas card to the second runner up. I'm kinda crazy, eh?

Jac@stafford.net
22-Dec-2015, 15:34
So, last year there was a car I really really wanted on good 'ol ebay.

Jim, what car did you buy? I'm dying to know. To me and old car or motorcycle is from 1956 or earlier. It's a generation thing.
.

Randy Moe
22-Dec-2015, 15:44
Jim is right about contacting sellers after a no sale. That has worked well for me a few times. Like my brand new 10 ft stainless sink, which was in Upper Michigan. I was there the next day, as it was within my 500 mile rule. A 10 ft Leedal with factory stainless legs just fits in a E150. We had to force the door shut. No damage to sink or van.

I didn't know I could retract a bid. I won't do that. Ever.

Jim Galli
22-Dec-2015, 15:49
Jim, what car did you buy? I'm dying to know. To me and old car or motorcycle is from 1956 or earlier. It's a generation thing.
.


http://tonopahpictures.0catch.com/Pinkham-Smith/Bi-Quality/Sixteen/16Bi-Quality_01ss.jpg (http://tonopahpictures.0catch.com/Pinkham-Smith/Bi-Quality/Sixteen/Prototype16Bi-Quality.html)
la puta negra deuce

This one. :D I waste lotsa film on it.

DonJ
23-Dec-2015, 07:57
For anyone who sells on Ebay, have you ever wondered why when you have a reserve, and lots of bidders, it seems they all know exactly where the reserve is? When I sell items that are fairly pricey, the bidding starts at $1, has lots of activity up to about $150, then settles down for the week. Towards the end of the auction, some anxious people start bidding again. Then, with seconds to spare, one or two suddenly bid....perfectly....just at my reserve. For example, if I have a $500 reserve, it will get won at $500 or $503. Never much higher.

Of course, if I set the reserve low, it would sell higher than the reserve. But I usually set the reserve at "the going rate" for that lens or camera. I get a lot of people fishing early on, thinking they're going to get that Dallmeyer Petzval 3B for $199 or Leica Summicron for $47. Why not just set the bid starting at $200 or whatever? Because ebay charges you more, the higher your starting bid is set.

Anyway, I think I figured out how people determine the reserve. Note the guy below, fishing twice to see if he can meet reserve. Then he Retract's his bid. If he guesses too high with his bid, he'll just retract it again, and come back later to bid right on the money. He's gaming the system, and Ebay doesn't care. Also it's typical that he's in a country I do not ship to for this item. It's in my description, and it's set via the Ebay system. Yet, there he is, getting ready to screw up my auction, if I don't cancel his bid. Of course, he'll throw one in the last 6 seconds, and blow away the good buyer that was about to win. Then I have to cancel his win somehow, talking to Ebay, which requires I wait 7 days to see if he will "agree to cancel", before they will force the cancel. Weeks later I get a refund for my trouble, and get to relist the lens. This is why I hate the global market - there are no global ethics.

I understand you've been selling on eBay for nearly two decades, but your comments are real head-scratchers:

1) If your reserve is $500, and only one person bids higher than that, they will win for exactly $500 no matter how high their bid was. So aside from the people retracting their bids, I don't see the problem.

2) eBay hasn't charged a listing fee based on starting price for many years, at least on the USA site. You can list an item for 99 cents or $500 starting bid, and it won't cost you more than 30 cents. They even give you 50 with no listing fee each month.

3) If your bidder is from a country you don't ship to, you either don't have your blocks set properly (there are two settings; many people miss the second one), or they have an address in a country you do ship to.

4) If you don't want that person to win, and you're concerned they'll bid again after you cancel their first one, why don't you put them on your blocked bidder list?

5) If you won't sell that Pinkham for less than $5,000, are you really willing to pay eBay $100 for the privilege of setting a reserve price each time you list it with a low starting price? You did know that the reserve fee is 2%, right? You'd really rather do that than start the bidding at $5,000 and pay eBay 30 cents, or maybe $0.00?

Alan Gales
23-Dec-2015, 09:47
Yep, I like Dagor77, but for his long anecdotes about his items. They are works of writing art. No one ever accused me of writing short ads, devoid of hyperbole and romance!

Yeah, I love reading Andrew's auctions. I have bought several books from him but his gorgeous glass is unfortunately out of my price range. :)

Alan Gales
23-Dec-2015, 09:49
http://tonopahpictures.0catch.com/Pinkham-Smith/Bi-Quality/Sixteen/16Bi-Quality_01ss.jpg (http://tonopahpictures.0catch.com/Pinkham-Smith/Bi-Quality/Sixteen/Prototype16Bi-Quality.html)
la puta negra deuce

This one. :D I waste lotsa film on it.

I hope you waste a lot of gas on it too. That is one sweet ride!

StoneNYC
23-Dec-2015, 12:18
Bwahahaha....no, read more carefully grasshopper. Think about what I said on the season, the obscurity of rare items, and more.

Or if you want to try an experiment, take your most cherished lens, put it up for sale right now, during Christmas, with no reserve and .99 cent start, and see how you do! You may discover that the market fluctuates over the weeks, but there is an AVERAGE price on almost all items, even rare ones. You can risk selling during the slumps if you want, with no reserve. You find out at the end how your gamble fared. I didn't gamble, and didn't lose money. I'll sell it for the going rate later. I guarantee.

Dallmeyer 3Bs are selling for about $1800 right now, I'd guess (haven't checked much this year). You'll find a range of prices around there. Then, one will sell for $625, because it was a slow week, or everyone who wanted one had just bought theirs, or there was a big debate on TV and no one noticed ebay. It's hard to predict when the leading toe of the Bell Curve will hit. A reserve protects you from those slumps.

Yes and in that week $625 was the going rate ;)

That's usually when I buy ;)

Good luck!

Old-N-Feeble
23-Dec-2015, 12:55
Me too, Stone... but that's not when I sell unless I'm in a terrible hurt for money. Fortunately, my terrible, painful hurt for money is probably over with. Most of us don't have family we adult men can lean on.

Buyers want to buy low and sellers want to sell high... DUH!! Would you do any different? Historically, no you don't... and won't.

Why should the seller sell something for half price in a slump? To enrich others' vast and very pricey collections?

Oh wait, let me add smileys to cushion my blows... :) :D :) :D

Oh... and good luck!!

Rael
23-Dec-2015, 13:03
A couple of months ago, I started an auction for a pristine Nikon 150mm enlarging lens at .99 cents, and it went for.... .99 cents. I learned my lesson.

goamules
23-Dec-2015, 13:57
duplicate....

StoneNYC
23-Dec-2015, 14:19
A couple of months ago, I started an auction for a pristine Nikon 150mm enlarging lens at .99 cents, and it went for.... .99 cents. I learned my lesson.

Man wish I had gotten that sale ;) I would have spent $1.03! ;)

Old-N-Feeble
23-Dec-2015, 14:28
Man wish I had gotten that sale ;) I would have spent $1.03! ;)

Smileys to prove I'm such a really wonderful nice guy... :) :)

tonyowen
26-Dec-2015, 13:09
After reading the foregoing 69 postings I’d like to add some comments.

1] The eBay fees mentioned (in the thread) infer USA eBay fees are less than in the UK, where the eBay fee is 10% of the final selling price and the PayPal fee is 0.034%+0.20p (circa 30c).

2] Surely a reserve price is the minimum amount the seller wants for the item. Though starting at a price close to that desired seems to make more sense.

3] I’m not certain from the preceding postings whether the references of a winning bid being reduced to the reserve amount (assuming it is the only bid over the reserve) relate to automatic or manual bids. If manual then surely the above-reserve bid is the actual price paid.

4] I was not aware that bids could be withdrawn - surely eBay monitors these actions and can apply penalties to those that abuse the system

5] My grouse is that eBay permits the use of predated and hidden bidding which to my mind prevents fairness in the bidding. Without proof I assume that many of the hidden bids are placed by ‘resellers’ able to absorb an occasional outrageous high bid because over time their total expenditure evens out the outliers.

6] I’ve never placed an item on eBay at 0.99 (US=$0.99). My ‘selling price’ is always just below what I consider to be a reasonable figure. Then, assuming it does not sell, I look at the number of viewings, number of watchers, and either relist at a lower price or withdraw the item.

7] Maybe I’m getting sceptical, but I’m of the opinion that “Buy It Now” can often mean a better deal.

Regards
Tony

Dan Fromm
26-Dec-2015, 14:35
Tony

1) On eBay.com the final value fee is usually 10%. See http://pages.ebay.com/sellerinformation/ebay-fee-structure/index.html

2) Yes, the seller's reserve is the least the seller will accept (before eBay and other charges). Only a stupid seller will treat the reserve as the desired price net of eBay and other charges.

3) See http://pages.ebay.com/help/buy/bidding-overview.html and http://pages.ebay.com/help/buy/bid-increments.html Short answer, if there's only one bid and it is >= to the invisible reserve or visible opening bid (= visible reserve, think about it) the item will sell for the reserve

4) the rules on bid retraction: http://pages.ebay.com/help/buy/bidding-overview.html#change

5) I think you're objecting to sniping. eBay treats bids entered by "sniping" engines like all others. Using a sniping engine to post a bid at the last minute is equivalent to but easier than placing the same bid manually at the last minute. eBay doesn't run a sniping engine. Shill bids cost the seller the final value fee. Remember, shills are sellers' agents. If a shill wins, the seller will pay or claim to pay the final value and will owe eBay the final value fee. That's all.

7) I don't know what you mean. BIN reduces uncertainty. The buyer can be sure it will get the item at a price no higher than its reserve (yes, buyers have reserves too, the most they'll pay), the seller can be sure that if the item sells at the BIN price it will get at least its reserve plus the final value fee plus other charges that may or may not be incurred. Only a stupid seller will treat its reserve as the net price.

tonyowen
27-Dec-2015, 02:42
Only a stupid seller. 5) I think you're objecting to sniping. Shill bids cost the seller the final value fee. Remember, shills are sellers' agents. If a shill wins, the seller will pay or claim to pay the final value and will owe eBay the final value fee. Only a stupid seller will treat its reserve

Hi Dan
1] Maybe I'm extra sensitive, but I object to the implication of your two times use of stupid.
2] Checking the various eBay definitions I was not referring to sniping or shill bidding. The former being an automated bid generated at 'the last moment' and the latter being prohibited. I was referring to the option of placing a maximum bid either earlier on in the bidding cycle or during the last 30s or so. My unproven theory was that any person who 'buys' on eBay with the sole intention of reselling the item, 'can' afford to state a maximum and perhaps unrealistically large bid with the intention of freezing out the majority of other bidders. The financial argument would be that the majority of successful bids at a reasonable price would compensate for the occasional successful bid at an excessive and beyond reasonable price. My theory/objection is based on the assessing the hidden bidders on many similar items offered on eBay where the (hidden) bid is often dated at the start of the bidding cycle. Again I could be extra sensitive over a technique I cannot afford to use.

regards
Tony

DonJ
27-Dec-2015, 07:15
I was referring to the option of placing a maximum bid either earlier on in the bidding cycle or during the last 30s or so. My unproven theory was that any person who 'buys' on eBay with the sole intention of reselling the item, 'can' afford to state a maximum and perhaps unrealistically large bid with the intention of freezing out the majority of other bidders.

So you object to the option to place a "proxy" bid, for the highest amount you're willing to pay? IMO, I don't think a 24/7 auction site could have been successful without that option. And your hypothesis that it's mainly useful to resellers couldn't be more wrong. It's used by everyone who understands that eBay auctions have a fixed end time, and that they can be outbid without having enough time to counter-bid. It's also used by everyone who doesn't want to be, or can't be, at their computer at the end of an auction.

And frankly, the idea that a reseller would risk an "unrealistically large bid" on anything is illogical.

Can you explain why you "cannot afford" to decide the most you are willing to pay for an item, and then place a bid for that amount?

Dan Fromm
27-Dec-2015, 07:44
My unproven theory was that any person who 'buys' on eBay with the sole intention of reselling the item, 'can' afford to state a maximum and perhaps unrealistically large bid with the intention of freezing out the majority of other bidders. The financial argument would be that the majority of successful bids at a reasonable price would compensate for the occasional successful bid at an excessive and beyond reasonable price.

My theory/objection is based on the assessing the hidden bidders on many similar items offered on eBay where the (hidden) bid is often dated at the start of the bidding cycle. Again I could be extra sensitive over a technique I cannot afford to use.

Tony, the reseller's motto is buy low, sell high. There are exceptions but in general arbitraging between eBay and eBay loses money. A high bidder's reserve doesn't freeze out other bidders, it tops their bids fairly and squarely. I don't see the problem.

What is a hidden bidder? A bidder whose name, address, telephone number and other attributes you don't know? In the beginning, eBay's list of bids reported the bidders' eBay screen names. This lead, some claimed, to tracking what knowledgeable bidders bid on and then bidding against them. Eventually eBay anonymized bidders' identities. Or do you mean a private bidder? Again, I don't see a problem.

Why can't you afford to bid the most you're willing to pay for an item? It seems to me that you want to buy for less than the most you're willing to pay. I'm with you on that, from the buyer's point of view a low price is better than a high one, but surely you can afford to pay the most you're willing to pay.

Cheers,

Dan

goamules
27-Dec-2015, 08:20
Of course, the views expressed here are based on perspective, as with any topic. But perspectives are widely disparate for ebay discussions.
Buyer or Seller.
Socio-economic class - sell for profit, or just get rid of. Buy to use, or buy to flip.
Ebay engagement - use it frequently, or seldom if ever use ebay.
Etc.

I think we've all said how we operate and feel about the Reserve topic, anyway. Now it will just be for others to re-state what's been said, based on their perspective, above. When new members join to just discuss ebay, I think it's time to move on to photography topics.

Oren Grad
27-Dec-2015, 08:52
Looks like we are starting to generate more heat than light, so let's close this for now.