Saturday, January 3, 2009

Pick a number between 1 and 10.


Dear Ebayers -

Guess what? The process takes long enough. To bid, to wait, to bid again, to wait. And then you add to the fun by MAKING ME GUESS WHAT PRICE WILL BE ACCEPTABLE TO YOU. Guess what? I can probably afford what you are asking so please just fucking tell me what your opening bid is. I am ready to pay you and get the show on the road, but not for your ridiculously hopeful "But It Now" price. Just sayin'.

Thanks,
The Management

36 comments:

David said...

If I might add another note for sellers: Please stop trying to make money on shipping. Many of us who buy also sell, and we know what it costs to mail things. If you're not making money then raise your opening. Charging outrageous shipping and handling only pisses people off and ensures most of us will never bid.

Anonymous said...

Having high shipping is a way for me to avoid paying more in the listing fee. I list a lot, like thousands of items, so it all adds up. I think it's fair game if the shipping fee is openly listed.

-Chase

Ms. P and C said...

Could not agree more! The "reserve price" game is complete BS. It's like these people think their janky basement crap is some exclusive luxury item wherein "if you have to ask...you can't buy it..."

Let's get real. Put up the actual number and let's start from there.

The one satisfaction is watching people pass up on products because the reserve is so outrageous... I've seen sellers have to re-post products many many times because no one wants to pay their outlandish "reserves".

A-M said...

At least people over your way sell decent stuff... if you can afford the shipping from over here. Australian Ebay is just full of crap. A-M xx

Anonymous said...

They are banking that the anger and frustration will translate into increased (and increasingly irrational) bidding, especially once other bidders appear.

eBay is based in good measure on irrationality. Wisely so.

lane said...

It had to be said.

Nikki said...

Are you bidding on those chrome lamps too?

puck said...

I don't bid on anything with unreasonable shipping fees either. I feel like it is trying to rip me off (no matter the reason, even if you are trying to avoid listing fees).

I could do a whole rant on craigslist stuff...

Anonymous said...

Damn you. I came over here for a little light reading. Then you reminded me of something I wanted on ebay. I just now bought an unusual Dansk iron candleholder for $104. My mom has one of the little spider ones that a girfriend in Denmark sent her in the 60's and somehow I became obsessed with them and now this. And those long 1/4 inch taper candles cost a fortune.

Sacheverelle said...

I have sold stuff on eBay with a reserve. Somewhere on there it states that the starting bid should be roughly one quarter of the reserve, not like $2.00 with a $500 reserve. I guess it doesn't make a lot of sense really does it?

Anonymous said...

Oh ebay: Really lost their allure for me years ago. Every so often, however, I do find some weird thing there that I can't find elsewhere. A Super Mario spun sugar cake-topper comes immediately to mind.

Decorno said...

Nikki - step off my fucking lamps, yo.

Yes I am bidding on them and I really like you, but I am not kidding, I will cut you with a broken bottle if needed to score those beauties. Kidding. Kind of.

xoxo

Decorno said...

Everyone should read this before they start their ebay auction:

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/10/magazine/10Section2b.t-2.html

What I am saying here, bitches, is that I would never START my bid for a Balenciaga Giant bag at $700, but I *would* start at $1, and I can guarantee a lot of other crazy bitches would, too, and by the time it got to $500 we would be so invested in the game that we would (virtually) claw each other's eyes out to pay $800 or $900 to win the damn thing. You know what I am saying? If not, read the link above and it will all make sense.

ita darling. said...

9 times out of 10 if you email a seller and ask the reserve, they will share it, it's not a state freakin' secret.

sometimes if i sell something and i know it needs special packaging i state upfront a $2 or $3 handling fee and actual costs. most folks don't mind if they know it's going in to ensuring that their newly bought special fancy breakables. and I am reasonable about altering shipping methods for every individual seller.

i have also challenged people on their shipping ($7 for a silk scarf?!?! puhlease!) and they drop the costs.

its' all in the way you approach a seller.

and worst case scenario, there is a link on every page of every auction that says "report this item" and you can basically report someone for listing policy violations (including excessive shipping)

don' catch me on a day when i am in a bad mood because i will go around reporting some folks for the fun of it.

i'm just sayin!

i totally agree with the low starting price ensuring higher prices. the majority of my listings i start at .99 with no reserve and let the market balance itself out. you have to do your research and know what folks are paying for things. ! if i know i wont' make what i think it's worth i take it to the consignment store.

sold two pairs of vintage Big E levis for $975 and $450 respectively and started them both at .99 with no reserve.

as i said, dont get me started...

Anonymous said...

ita darling,

You are brave! (Smart, but brave.)

I'd be afraid if I started an auction at $1.00 with no reserve, I'd end up getting no traffic and having to give away some precious vintage treasure for $2.35.

PS: Thanks for the tip about turning in sellers charging excess shipping. Chase, you are goin' down.

PSS: Anon 9:11--I had one of those little Dansk things (my mother gave it to me). Could NEVER get the tall spindly candles to stand up properly in it. Came to hate the goddamn thing.

Great Dame said...

From the article:
"low starting prices reduce barriers to entry, tempting even idle browsers to place bids. The increased traffic then generates higher final prices as more buyers bid against one another." Absolutely, and I have the non-working shell of an Art Deco chandelier to prove it. I paid way too much for that new little project!

Jill said...

I totally agree...I've actually taken a bit of a sabbatical from Ebay. Too time consuming. I'd rather just buy from an online store.

Karena said...

I can't handle Ebay and even on Craigs list I see listings with no photos (unprofessional)I guess I lose out on a lot, however I rally don't need a lots more "stuff". That is until I read Eddie's post and get hooked in to buying something from the Goodwill or Antique Mall.

puck said...

karena -

i am so down with the goodwill. really, i am there a few times a week. people must think i am broke in my blog, because the last one on my office, i reference GW for 2 chairs, a table, frame, etc.

nothing like paying 5 or 10 bucks for a chair, and 20 in fabric, and having it look like it came from Anthropologie!

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:15: We used the little spider candle thingy at Xmas eve dinner. I love it because it's like having a little festival of lights yet it has such a tiny footprint on the table. I agree it can be a problem making the candles stay put. I had to scrape out old wax and trim a couple of the tapers to fit.

timelesshome annika said...

I donot know about the bid. But I have just found your blog and I like it, so you are linked on my blog.
Take care enjoy 2009!
Annika

timelesshome annika said...

I donot know about the bid. But I have just found your blog and I like it, so you are linked on my blog.
Take care enjoy 2009!
Annika

Mango Gal said...

Hi there Decorno! I am a hug fan of your blog, so I sent you a blog award! Check out my latest post. Keep up the great reads!

Iheartfashion said...

Agreed, the whole "reserve price" thing is lame. Just state your opening price, so we don't have to guess. As for high shipping costs, I sometimes charge more than straight shipping because I wrap everything in tissue, buy boxes, bubble wrap, etc, plus driving to the P.O. and it adds up.

Anonymous said...

sorry but i don't get this as an issue. i snipe. set my value and then check back to see if i've won. no escalating commitment, far too analytical.....but several hundred purchases later it still works for me.

nothing better than e-mailing a bidder and asking for the reserve or offering to buy unsold items. an i can't imagine no factoring shipping costs into my high bid, whatever they are.

what i hate is when an auction is ended early because an item is "no longer available", meaning someone outmaneuvered me with an offer and outside sale.

Anonymous said...

The "reserve" thing is lame--for buyers. For sellers, it pretty reliably drives the price up (for in-demand items, anyway), and increases the competitive frenzy and the bidders' determination to make that "Reserve Met" finally show up.

I snipe too, and I have lost my share of items. Sniping guarantees nothing. The best method for winning? High bids.

And I don't disclose reserves when I sell. Not out of principle (when it comes to eBay, I have none), but because disclosing the reserve negates the whole purpose of having one, which is to use the mystery of the price to drive bidders into bidding more.

Anonymous said...

I've resigned myself to throwing 'watch this item' tags at mystery reserves. The fun part is watching them relist and relist until they give up and throw a lower 'buy it now' price. I've done this twice in the last year and saved $150 and $125. They were both pick up items so it was kind of fun/awkward thanking the seller in person.

I no longer bid on any item that doesn't give shipping quotes up front. I bought from some assclown who left out a quote, but promised to ship at cost. He quoted me $99. I threw a fit. Sure enough, he packed the item in a scrap plywood box that weighed three times the item. He stuffed it with dirty polyester sheets for cushioning. It cost him $99. Douche.

Anonymous said...

personally, my bet is there are also people out there who sell with no reserve but then bid on their own items at the last minute if they decide not to sell at that price. i could be wrong, but ...
it's not paranoia if they really are out to get you :-)

- CSD

Anonymous said...

Well fer Pete's sake, to those of you who think having a reserve price on an auction is a game-- it's not! A reserve price guarantees that the seller can at least get what they paid for the item originally, or to get whatever they wish to get! It is still a free country last time I looked. Most times I have found that sellers who place reserves are selling things of high value and want to make sure they don't lose it for less than it is worth. I am n ebay seller since '01. I don't use reserves, if I have something of high value I list it with a buy-it-now price for what I want. But I do not put down or insult the sellers who use it, as it is perfectly legal and fine to do!

Anonymous said...

Sellers who use reserves eat their young. It's been documented.

Anonymous said...

ALL auction psychology is game psychology. It's about competition, fear, aggression, secretiveness-- all the irrational processes that gamesmanship thrives on.

Lucy said...

I agree with all of you, even the ones that disagree with each other ;-)

And I have to say, quite a few times recently I've found ebay items *much* cheaper elsewhere, with fairly little effort. Ebay is good for second hand and vintage, (yes, most of you are talking about that, I know), and little else apart from buying from Thailand.

Manufacturers and resellers are getting a lot better at setting online prices more realistically. In a lot of cases, you may as well have the better range, customer service and guarantees that you get by going to an online retailer ... just choose one that specialises in online instead of franchises or chains, the ones that have the same prices that they have in physical shops (to cover overheads, etc) are not worth it.

And can I say, Etsy shipping fees are just as rubbish as eBay ones are!

i'm Carrie, lovely to meet you… said...

On the ebay deal... Halle-freakin-lujah is all I can say.

on the etsy thing... THUS far, I have not come across any unrealistic shipping prices on the things i've wanted, usually I think they are low. So, i'm grateful to the sellers I buy from as they aren't trying to make money by charging higher than needed shipping.

Anonymous said...

Oh, you are SOOOO wrong Decorno. I sell Hollywood Regency/Mid Century/Danish art, textiles, furniture, lighting on Ebay. Setting a modest reserve price ensures that I make SOMETHING off my items...and yet nowhere near what I would make selling at an overpriced physical auction or boutique storefront. So relax-you're not being taken when you don't meet the reserve..you're probably just too cheap to submit a realistic bid. If you really do "have enough money to purchase the item" outright then you'd be shopping on 1st Dibs or at the overpriced stores that abound. Using reserves also elicits early bids as buyers incrementally "fish" for the reserve price...thus generating interest in an auction and attracting others. All sellers know that an auction that doesn't attract early bids is dead-in-the-water. This is because morons assume there is something "wrong" with an item that has no bids, and something superior about those with bids. People are followers...and smart Ebayers bank on this fact. By the way, selling on Ebay costs a tragic amount of money. Half my sales go to paying my fees. Half. I also have to buy the items I sell. Fortunes aren't being made here. Seriously, give us a break with the whining.

Anonymous said...

Another patient in need of more Angritol.

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