Re: eBay - One Seller's Experiences

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Posted by Das K. on November 13, 2002 at 22:30:03:

In Reply to: Re: eBay - One Seller's Experiences posted by Dave Bull on November 13, 2002 at 05:30:28:

I think you've struck at the heart of the matter. The actions, desires and opinions of buyers and sellers are diametrically opposed. That's part of the reason for the flaming responses to my challenge of buying practices.

However, be that as it may, I will still argue that the behaviour of many buyers is as unethical as that of many sellers - being selfish and bad for the market, however "common sensical". Common sense in capitalism has everything to do with the dollar, and little to do with ethics. Is that how the system has been set up? Yes. But it certainly doesn't mean it is right, and can't be changed.

But my main point was really to argue that the way the system is set up leads to a gradual reduction in quality - ironically the same lack of quality that buyers complain about. I think many people have misunderstood my comments as either an attack on or a defense of eBay sellers and their tactics. I mean nothing of the kind. What I mean to say is that in such a venue one cannot risk selling costly items, and hyperbole and tricky wording abounds as a means of drawing attention to oneself.

You are absolutely right about the market demand being a main (though not sole) determinant of price. Unfortunately, market demand at eBay seems to have little to do with quality, value or rarity, but with "clean-looking" prints and easily recognized names and works. Surely you know that these reprints are not the ones you'd want to keep for yourself, and not what most of the people here are after. Now, I could simply say "this is what the bulk of the market wants" and sell reprints, as I said in my first posting. But to give in to this main market demand would create a market that few of us would really like. And yet that is the trend of things, isn't it? That is my point!

I sign myself K.

: Can I reply to this without getting involved in any 'flaming' here ... just an exchange of opinions?

: It is in the very nature of an auction that the actions of the seller and the buyer are diametrically opposed - the seller wants to get as much as he can ... the buyer wants to pay as little as possible. Experienced buyers on eBay (I am one) have learned that bidding early and bidding often simply serves to push the price up. Holding back until just before the deadline is the best strategy to follow to achieve the aim of keeping the price down. This is not in any way at all unethical - it is common sense.

: When you as a seller put something out into the eBay marketplace you must understand that the only way the price will increase is if more than one person wants that item. If (say) two people want your print, then it doesn't matter in the slightest if they bid early or bid late. Experienced bidders may bid late, but they will bid with a proxy bid which contains the maximum price they are willing to pay for your print. If your experience is that the prices on your items don't rise to the level you want - then simply your items are not interesting to enough potential bidders.

: You say 'I watch as these sellers get skyrocketing prices for their reprints'. Skyrocketing prices are simply an indication of heavy demand for an item. This is what auctions are all about.

: If you are unhappy with the prices your items are realizing, then perhaps you should be starting these items at a higher price to begin with.

: Just 2 cents from the buyer's point of view ...

: Regards,

: Dave Bull

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