Posted by David on November 15, 2002 at 22:50:39:
In Reply to: Re: eBay - One Seller's Experiences posted by Geoff Dunn on November 15, 2002 at 05:34:23:
This is wonderful advice! Good for the seller and buyer both. I appreciate your suggestions!
: Offer a 10% discount to the first bidder. A 5% to the second and so on if you'd like. You're trying to describe a situation where you beat the percentages on selling at auction for "auction house quality" material. So if you don't want to pay Seller and Buyer premiums at an auction house(because premiums are all absorbed by the seller) pay a percentage to have the process go your way. The online auctions Elmer referred to do, if you don't want to go there. You still have to pay eBay their full cut, but factor that in too.
: Remember you get the advantage of that huge eBay marketplace, as messy and unruly and sharp-practiced and ignorant as it is. You're probably in an urban center, with access to prints, but there are lots more places with access to electricity and computers. As a seller on eBay, selling my collection and what I collect locally (a mix of ukiyo-e and reprints), I think eBay is a great place to buy decorative reprints to put on the wall. I don't put my collection on the wall, and I think lots of buyers on eBay feel the same way. Then again, there are LOTS of buyers on eBay, both great and small.
: The seller's exception is ethelthesheep and it's very cool that she chimed in. The reigning Queen of print sellers so long as her collection survives and she's willing to sell it - and we can tell it's from her collection from what she sells. She's the Collector's seller, especially for collectors such as myself who include eBay as part of their market. And if eBay/online/mail is your only market, she's the tasteful collector selling direct to you with no premiums. So Viva The Sheep - a rare breed indeed. I might be mistaken, but she gets great numbers of early bids does she not? Lots of eBayers are lazy and surfing and only look at lots with bids, yes?
: Knowledge plays an important factor in all this and I don't know what to think about the buyers on eBay with some knowledge (w/a tip 'o the hat to John Fiorillo) but limited experience. I maintain that it's wrong to sell on eBay while knowingly mislabling your product. But I won't complain if you feign ignorance or try to hype it. At least then you're not taking advantage of the ignorance of others. Instead of specialists, eBay has feedback. It's much cheaper.
: : "Then they swoop in at the end and buy it up cheaply.It may be the way of eBay but it is far from ethical, and ultimately drives the quality down. So, before you complain about eBay sellers, please examine your own buying practices. If you are the type who would do anything to get the item for the lowest possible price, please do not be shocked to find sellers doing whatever they can to get things at the highest possible price."
: : Hello, I would like to give my 2 cents on this. I agreed with some of what you say but I think this is the freemarket, and it is ok. People have to be careful when they buy through ebay as Hans mentioned earlier, and many sellers are going to walk the fine line between honesty and deceptiveness in their wording to get their items sold and that may bump out the people who want to sell the higher quality items. It is difficult to regulate the way people word descriptions. Perhaps someday ebay will come up with a system to make sellers check whether the items is an original, reprint or reproduction and approximate age by a excel spreadsheet type of thing (may be someone can start this voluntarily).
: : People will often wait until the last second to bid, but sometimes the price goes skyrocketing during the final minutes as well. This is ok too i think, some sites offer bonuses to early bidders. It can be difficult at times for the bigger Japanese print auction sites where the autioneer is well known to get good prices for higher quality prints and much harder for the ebay seller who many times is just a username. But the free market way is fine. You may want to think about getting a website or trying somehow to establish a name for yourself as one who sells quality items at a fair price. Indeed some well know print sellers can sell prints for more than the average price if that person is known for their honesty, knowledge, and quality of their prints. Best wishes.
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