PDA

View Full Version : ebay bids seem down



Jonathan Peck
Sep-18-2008, 2:06pm
Anybody else notice that bidding on ebay seems to be way down. Hardly any bids at all on the first 150 items I checked with a priced highest first search.

recon
Sep-18-2008, 2:11pm
I don't frequent ebay enough to notice any pattern, but I know I haven't had any inquiries about my cafe classified ad.

allenhopkins
Sep-18-2008, 2:26pm
And the Dow's down about 1000 points -- horns are being pulled in all over America (and strings too, pun intended).

We may be going through a bout of decreased consumption. When all the economic news is bad, I personally feel sorta like holding on to my money.

sgarrity
Sep-18-2008, 7:53pm
That's cuz all the bidding happens in the last 30 seconds! I've missed two guitars that way in the last week. The last one I missed, a guy jumps in literally in the last 30 seconds and drives the price up by $600. The crazy part.....for about $150 more he coulda bought a brand new one!!

lovethemf5s
Sep-18-2008, 8:12pm
eBay is revamping many of their long time policies to try to counter poor sales. Sellers are taking the brunt of this experiment, but eBay feels it has to try to do something to survive. I believe that many sellers are throwing in the towel.

Bryon Winger
Sep-18-2008, 8:49pm
I hate that bidding in the last 30 seconds thing. I sold a guitar amp last year that got something like 12 bids all in the last minute. I was watching the listing at the time and I would constantly press reload and the bid was up every time.

Personally, I don't trust selling anything that's worth anything to me on there anymore. I'd rather just sell on craigslist or some other way locally.

It occurred to me a while back that eBay could get around this kind of bad bidding behavior by doing like flesh and blood auctions do - keep the bidding going until they stop. Maybe add 15 minutes to the auction every time a bid gets in during the last half hour or so. Something like that would help cut down on the last minute low ball bids and kept it going for us honest folks.

Jim Garber
Sep-18-2008, 9:38pm
That is funny... I noticed that bidding seems to be up but only on the items I want to bid on. :)

I know that the sniping seems not fair but I am not sure that the advantage of sniping is in the bidder's favor. In order to win, you still have to have to bid the highest price over and above the other bidders, regardless of when you do it.

If you really want to win you have to bid that max bid. It is interesting tho to see people inch up on the high bidder by small amounts until they surpass him/her before the auction is over. So then they know what the previously high bidder was bidding. In the meantime there are all these snipers waiting in the wings or, more likely, setting their sniping software to bid their best shot in the last few seconds.

You are right, tho: it would be fairer to increase the ending a few minutes until the bidding stops, but I think that that would be to the advantage of the seller, certainly not the bidder. I think the experience ebayers among us know the rules and know how to play them to win.

Frankly, I have gotten few real bargains on eBay, more likely pay the going rate or step aside and let someone who is willing to do so, win.

brunello97
Sep-18-2008, 10:42pm
Sniping on ebay is a two-edged sword. I have used it successfully and also been nailed at the last minute on some things I thought I had in the bag. While it hasn't happened to me, it seems possible that one could get burned sniping, if a few bidders put in sand bag snipes and wind up jacking up the bidding beyond what they would otherwise like at the end.

I haven't bought a mandolin on the ebay in quite some time, though I have slept or worked through a few interesting bargains that I forgot to set up a snipe for. But these were way under the radar items. It seems as if most quality instruments are well noted and bid up into a fair market range.

It is hard to imagine that the harder economic times wouldn't take its toll. Some folks still have deeper pockets than me. I do have my short wish-list that I am patiently waiting out. I do wish I had Allen's good sense/good luck on snaring such great finds.

Mick

surfcow
Sep-19-2008, 2:44am
I have noticed that prices seem down as well. Could just be that the students are back to school or some such. Could be the economy, dunno.

Last week I bought a 2007 Gypsy's Music 10-string mandolin in good condition. I bid $300, expecting to get outbid ... then one day passes, two, three, four ... and no one else bid on it.

Can't wait til it gets here. :)

=brian

Mandobar
Sep-19-2008, 6:25am
many folks are reluctant to use ebay now since the rule changes. i for one have stopped even looking at ebay.

Jim Garber
Sep-19-2008, 6:38am
many folks are reluctant to use ebay now since the rule changes. i for one have stopped even looking at ebay.

Just curious.... which rule changes are you referring to?

markishandsome
Sep-19-2008, 10:07am
"The crazy part.....for about $150 more he coulda bought a brand new one!!"

I once sold a guitar on ebay for $100 more than I paid for it new. I don't remember if it was sniped or not. Truth is, aside from the occasional one-of-a-kind item that turns up, most things on ebay can be bought cheaper and with less hassle from traditional sources.

allenhopkins
Sep-19-2008, 10:52am
I do wish I had Allen's good sense/good luck on snaring such great finds.
Mick

Well, I've missed my share too. There was a liuto cantabile (10-string bowl-back mandocello-type instrument) a few months ago that I would have loved, but...

I've only bought a couple mandolins on eBay: a Merrill aluminum-bodied bowl-back (c. 1897, from the Aluminum Musical Instrument Co.), and a Howe-Orme mandolinetto, which was advertised as "wall hanger only" due to a neck-body joint failure, but responded well to restoration and is eminently playable. (I'll be taking it out tonight to do a 19th-century historical gig.) I've also picked up a Mexican-made Weissenborn Hawaiian guitar copy, a Guitaro (Oscar Schmidt's guitar-shaped mutant Autoharp), a Johnson resonator ukulele, a Johnson repro tricone guitar (since traded on a National Havana), and, weirdest of all, a Polk-A-Le-Le, the four-foot-long ukulele with the serpentine neck.

EBay to me is a source for things you can't get elsewhere. Any time I can, I "buy locally" from one of the excellent instrument dealers here in Rochester NY, such as John Bernunzio (http://www.bernunzio.com/) and Dave Stutzman. (http://www.stutzmansguitarcenter.com/) But I do check eBay fairly frequently; I'm looking for a bowl-back mandocello, and they're rare, so eBay's probably my best bet.

As to dealing with sniping: I usually just decide what I'm willing to pay, and put in a bid for that amount. If someone snipes me and gets it for more, well, that's OK: I wasn't willing to pay that price anyway. I try not to get involved in the "excitement of the chase" so that I'm carried away and pay more than it's worth to me. After 40+ years of buying instruments, I have a fairly decent perspective on what things are worth -- to me, anyway.

Bob A
Sep-19-2008, 12:10pm
This is a good time to shop, if you have some extra cash. I've found some otherwise expensive items that I got, after some reasonably intense last-second competition, at prices that were still well into the wholesale range. Of course, I've missed a few as well.

Ebay seems to be a good venue for two types of product: something inherently common, which can be had very cheaply, as everyone is trying to unload the item, and items of some rarity, for which you need to seek worldwide attention because of the high price and low demand. This class of product is taking a hit from the economic difficulties, and bargains can be had. Of course, the worry is that the market will continue to fall, and the item I picked up below wholesale might still be far from the bottom of its new market price.

catmandu2
Sep-19-2008, 5:53pm
I bid $300, expecting to get outbid ... then one day passes, two, three, four ... and no one else bid on it.
=brian

Same here--was the only bidder on a new KM-174.

mrmando
Sep-19-2008, 6:29pm
Also be aware that Paypal will get any buyer their money back for apparently any reason.

Correction: PayPal will get back as much money as it can recover from the seller. If that happens to be less than you paid, you're stuck. I paid $75 for an item that didn't show up; reported it to PayPal; and the other day PayPal settled up and awarded me $3.74.

RobinG
Sep-19-2008, 6:36pm
Apparently the Federal Reserve are going to ensure that all potential mandolin buyers have all of their debt paid off, so that they can satisfy their MAS whilst boosting the US economy. It's just a temporary nationalisation of the mandolin market until free market conditions apply again, and please nobody mention Marx.

I was thinking about picking up those two loars at Elderly and then selling my debt to the highest bidder.

jim simpson
Sep-19-2008, 9:03pm
I happily scored a 000 guitar earlier this week on a "buy-it-now or best offer". There had been one other offer that must have been too low as the seller neqotiated a price that we both were happy with. I suppose if more buying action was going on, I might not have had my offer accepted, not sure.

Kyle Baker
Sep-24-2008, 4:47pm
I just lost out on an octave mandolin on eBay because someone was using that ###### auction "sniper" software.
It's almost impossible to win an auction legitimately with people using that ####.
I was watching the clock and with 2 seconds to go I was wining, then as soon as it ended it told me I had been outbid. The funny thing is my proxy was way higher than what the price I was wining it for was, and it never incremented. Within one second, the program someone was using was able to see my proxy bid and put in a bit $3 more.
I may not even bother with eBay anymore now that people are doing that. Either that, or I should just join them and be dishonest like everyone else.

f5loar
Sep-24-2008, 6:12pm
Ebay is a place to find high and low prices on mandolins. Like today a '65 F12 just went for close to $4000 which has to be a new record for a 60's F12.
It was missing many original parts and showed a lot of wear.
Most are not finished until last few seconds so when I hear these outragous prices being had on ebay it's from those that saw it but didn't go back and check the final bid price as by that time you have to do a completed search to find it. When you do that you find ebay's prices are not down but pretty much in line with dealer prices. Many times the reserve is too much and they get sold on ebay but are sold later on without ebay's help to an interested buyer that is willing to take a risk away from ebay. There is still bargin prices to be found on ebay.

Nick Triesch
Sep-24-2008, 7:01pm
Foks! Prices are down right now on ebay because the United States is on the verge of all banks shutting down. We are on the brink of disaster. It's the sub prime mess. People buy high end stuff in good times like watches and mandolins and guitars. But in bad times, folks hold onto stuff. Nick

JeffD
Sep-24-2008, 7:07pm
Well I have some friends who deal in various obscure corners of the antiques and collectables world, and they tell me that in some things bids are up. Probably can't accurately generalize from our own specific experience.

markishandsome
Sep-25-2008, 9:10pm
"I may not even bother with eBay anymore now that people are doing that. Either that, or I should just join them and be dishonest like everyone else."

People have been sniping ebay auctions since day 1. There's nothing dishonest about it either, nor do you need any magic software. Whoever outbid you needed only to place one very high bid in the last 2 seconds and ebay would tack on the minimum increment to your top bid. Nothing fancy, that's just how it works. Sniping is the unfortunate but obvious logical best strategy to win fixed-time "auctions". It may not seem fair or in the spirit of auctions, but it's 100% legitimate.

JeffD
Sep-26-2008, 12:55pm
The sniper still has to have the highest bid before the auction closes. I usually - but not always - wait until the last minute and bid my absolutely highest (go no further whatever) bid. If I get sniped by $1 it doesn't matter - I know if I could have gone higher I'd have entered the dangerous realm of "get it at any cost". If I had been prepared to bid higher, then I should have.

Makes sense to me.


Some of my antiques and collectables friends have emphasized that there is no deal they cannot walk away from - and when you lose the bidding you are not out any money, so you haven't really lost anything material, you still can spend the money on something else.

TomTyrrell
Sep-26-2008, 1:26pm
There is no software that can find out what your maximum bid is. Every auction is won by ONE bid increment or less. If your maximum bid is $500 and I bid $501 at the last second I win. If your maximum bid is $500 and I bid $499 at the last second you win it for $500. That's how it works.

The best way to lose your shirt at auctions is to start thinking of them as contests.

TomTyrrell
Sep-29-2008, 3:37pm
The MM68 that sold yesterday had defective electronics. Not a valid indicator.

You have to take condition into account.

mrmando
Oct-01-2008, 3:11am
I was watching the clock and with 2 seconds to go I was wining, then as soon as it ended it told me I had been outbid. The funny thing is my proxy was way higher than what the price I was wining it for was, and it never incremented. Within one second, the program someone was using was able to see my proxy bid and put in a bit $3 more.

I don't know of any sniping software that allows the user to see another bidder's maximum bid. That would be dishonest, not to mention a violation of eBay policy. If you were outbid by $3, that just means the sniper happened to choose a maximum that was $3 higher than yours.

Remember, too, that eBay works in bid increments. If your maximum on an item is $750 and I come along and snipe it for $1,000, I don't have to pay $1,000. I just have to pay $750 plus the bid increment. I think for items over $500 the increment is $5, so I'd pay $755.

I just sniped a $5,000 instrument for $1,500, in an auction where I was the only bidder. Kinda scary. I also have my eye on an interesting vintage instrument -- if the seller knew what it was he'd have put a $2,500 reserve on it, but he didn't know, so it's a no-reserve auction. We'll see where it ends up. Every previous auction for a similar instrument has ended way out of my price range, but this one could be different.