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Subject:Auction results
Time:05:20 pm
The final winning bid for the clarinets was $370. There was no real last-minute sniping. My original estimate was that they'd probably go for around $300, so I wasn't too far off and I wasn't disappointed.

The eefer hasn't hit the reserve price yet. I'll probably sell it at whatever the top bid is, since I don't care enough not to.
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phoenix14159
Link:(Link)
Time:2007-02-15 01:52 am (UTC)
I have a question for you:

Why did you put a reserve on this auction? Why not just start it at $100?

I'm always baffled by the whole reserve thing. As a rule I won't bid on an auction that has a reserve; it feels disrespectful to me to be forced to play a guessing game, expecially since if someone else has bid, say, $75, that won't show up as their bid unless it's pushed up that far by other bidders.

You are someone I respect and consider intelligent, so maybe I'm missing something...
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whipartist
Link:(Link)
Time:2007-02-15 02:07 am (UTC)
I have no clue what the market value is. Putting a reserve price on the auction gives me the option of accepting or rejecting a lower-than-reserve sale price.

There's also a little bit of psychology involved. I think people are far more likely to put in the second bid than the first, and they're more likely to put in the first bid at an artificially low price.

It seems like the optimal strategy for Ebay bidding is just to start by bidding your final price and be done with it. It's less clear to me what the optimal seller strategy is, though I haven't thought too much about it.
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phoenix14159
Link:(Link)
Time:2007-02-15 03:33 am (UTC)
I didn't know about the option; I guess that makes some sense.

I wonder how many people are more likely to bid at the artificially low price versus the number (like me) who generally won't bid if there's a reserve?

I agree about just making the max bid in most cases. Similarly, as a seller, I usually ask for the lowest price I'd be willing to take and let it go at that.
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foomf
Link:(Link)
Time:2007-02-15 08:27 am (UTC)
Best strategy for seller?

Depends on the market. You have to research it. Penny did that for us, generally; she'd search out four or five pages of results, get the expected prices for what we were going to put up, and say whether it would be a good idea to NOT list something.

You can minimize your cost-to-list by setting a stupid-low starting bid IF the bidding for that particular thing is going to be hot. If you're not sure and don't want to be burned, you can set a reserve. Do not set your reserve anywhere near your start; if you can do that you're wasting it, and should just start at your reserve. Do not combine reserve and buy-it-now, as it confuses things.

For things like art, you may have to research which market will give you your best payoff. There are several categories in eBay which can handle the same kind of thing, and they get different prices.

Using PayPal may be a necessity to get bids in some arenas. I used it for a long time, but I have stopped using it because it's owned by eBay now, and that means it is no longer competitive in any way, and its prices have shown that. Also, it pretends to be a bank but does not follow the rules and laws that banks have to follow, quite illegally (google for paypal lawsuits).

If you have a professional looking page, and a good picture (always use pictures if possible), and you provide CLEAR information for them to calculate shipping costs (and make it clear that you do charge them, and that you will charge shipping AND handling), and you make it CLEAR that you will not send to (e.g.) overseas/south america/antarctica/etc. and any other limitations you put on the sale, you're going to do well.

Oh yeah, the item description. Again, it depends on the context, and the market. When selling collectable toys, we would appeal to the market by talking up the characters, or the kind of play, in one or two paragraphs.

And the title. Make sure it's completely accurate, with search terms appropriate to the market. Then duplicate it with more information somewhere in your post so the search engines can find your post whether they use title-only or title-plus searches.

There is a completely different strategy if you are a store. For a store, you absolutely must have shipping up front. You may want to put up multiple items with buy-it-now. You may want to list hundreds of items a week. If so, you need to have the capacity to deliver those items. Automation.
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gunga_galunga
Link:(Link)
Time:2007-02-15 03:37 am (UTC)
I think your auction also ended at like 2 or 3 in the morning for the east coast, so that may have slowed down bidding mania.
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(Anonymous)
Subject:auction ending times
Link:(Link)
Time:2007-02-15 04:26 pm (UTC)
If you want a bidding mania at auction ending time, for most items the optimal time is to set it to end around 6 PM PST (9 PM EST) on a Sunday night. That gets the largest group of possible bidders sitting at their computer watching at the auction end.
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jcdill
Subject:Re: auction ending times
Link:(Link)
Time:2007-02-15 04:26 pm (UTC)
That was me. LJ isn't keeping me logged in for some reason.
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jcdill
Subject:auction strategy for sellers
Link:(Link)
Time:2007-02-15 04:23 pm (UTC)
One way to sell something on eBay when you don't know what it is worth (and you can't effectively research it by looking at similar closed auctions) is to set a low starting price and fairly high reserve (a number where you will be delighted to get that amount) the first time you list it.

If it goes over the reserve, happy days. If it doesn't go over the reserve, relist with a starting price a bit below (~25% below) the final bid on the first auction, and no reserve. When you do this, your first auction acts as a "signpost" for the relist auction. Everyone who bid on the first auction is actively looking to buy this item - they will find your relist auction. Everyone who passed on bidding on the first auction because they don't like to bid on reserve auctions will no longer have that issue holding them back on your second auction. These added bidders usually result in a higher final bid price than the first auction, so this gives better results than simply giving the first auction's high bidder a Second Chance Offer to buy the item at the auction close price even though it didn't hit the reserve price. Your listing fees for the second auction are refunded as long as the item sells and you listed it as a "relist" from the first auction.

When researching the recently closed auctions isn't bringing up enough data and you aren't in a hurry to auction/sell, another research strategy is to search to find the right type of auctions, save the search, and when saving you can elect to be emailed when new auctions match your search. Then a few months later, open all those auctions and see what price they closed at. The "recently closed auctions" data only goes back 2 weeks, this way you can amass a data set of auctions over a longer time period.
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[icon] Auction results - Patti
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