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DT
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5,195 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As the title says, I hate it.

I think that it functions pure and simply on greed. But I see that it can be useful for finding stuff that isn't in the shops viz: old stuff that nobody wants, or stuff that is being sold to finance some or other hobby or habit. I don't know how anybody can make money on eBay... ...except that it is easy to exploit greedy folk.

I have bought one or two things on eBay and I am shocked when I get gazumped at the last minute by somebody who is intent on setting the market value for a piece of junk at an OTT price. I suppose it's supply and demand, but the only problem is that the supply channels are completely uncontrollable, therefore unpredictable, therefore unreliable. So it boils down to greed.

Anyway, please give me some good advise on how to buy stuff on eBay. With my logical brain, I seem to to be bad at it.
 
G

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I make a decent living selling on eBay, i have been doing so for around 3 years, so i must be doing something right, and i hope that the majority of people who have bought off me are pleased with the purchase, my feedback surely means they are.

I also buy off ebay, lately i have been buying some nice slotcars, but i don't just rush in and bid on the first item i see, widen your search, and look further a field, if you have a paypal account, which is easily set up, you can trade with most eBayers all over the globe.

If you find more than one of the same item your interested in, just watch them for a few days, and you may find that at least one item doesn't get as many bids on, also if the item is in this country, and the seller doesn't take paypal, you usually find not as many people bid on it, if there's the same item that the seller does take paypal.

Also, although you might be disapoited in being outbid, i usually only bid upto what i know the item is worth to me, so stick to your price, and if someone else wants to pay a stupid high price for something ........... let them !

I hope that helps a bit, i do sell slot releated items now and again, so you may want to check on my eBay page from time to time, my user ID is geebee38
 

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Registered
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256 Posts
ebay is fabb


its the first thing i check on in the morning and the last thing i check on at night and i also do a lot of checking in between


but im not addicted honest


my item is ending soon must dash have fun
 

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Matt Tucker
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3,550 Posts
I use it and picked up quite a few items in my time - as everyone say set your limit and stick to it. If someone wants to pay more then let them. I win about 10% of the auctions I bid on.

Also ask Swiss about his ebay buying tactics, as I'm sure he uses a proxy service that bids on items on your behalf in the last 5 secs if they are less than your limit.
Matt
 

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Gary Skipp
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6,506 Posts
Watch items - but never bid until as late as possible.

On Broadband - Bid in the last 20-30 seconds.

56 Dial up - 1 minute 20 secs.

Don't bid ebfore, you'll be counter-bid. And hey, If you still lose, you lose fair. If you aren't willing to pay as much as the next guy then you can't really complain.

Hope this helps
 

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2,509 Posts
I have a new strategy for eBay which sounds completely daft but works for me. Basically instead of bidding what I am prepared to pay and hope I get it, I bid a few quid more than I really want to pay and hope it is less. The reason for this is that when I bid (say) £10 for something and it gets outbid to £10.50, I think "no point spoiling the ship for a ha'pennorth of tar" and bid £11. Unfortunately the other bloke is thinking the same and it ends up costing one of us (say) £18 for something I started the auction thinking I didn't want to pay more than a tenner for.

So I now bid £13 for the same item. So when I get outbid to £13.50 I can quite easily let it go since it is a whole 30-40% more than I wanted to pay and have no qualms in ignoring it. I know it sounds completely cock-eyed but it has actually saved me money on auctions.

The other thing I will say is that it is very easy to view a bid that is fractionaly larger than yours as a personal insult or personal challenge and then you go for it. So always look further down in the list because 9 times of 10 an item is the subject of frantic counterbids by just two people while a newer auction for the same remains untouched. People just seem to get fixated on the one auction and never look to see the other identical ones.

Coop
 

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800 Posts
I bid what I'm willing to pay for an item and forget about it. If you want to snipe me, go right ahead, I really don't care
What I don't like is how slow so many of those people ship stuff. Oh, and the people with the two page disclaimers
Then you have the ones that demand payment within a set time period but don't ship until they feel like it


I stopped using PayPal a few years ago. I never had any trouble with it but too many people I know have. When I stopped using them my e-mail was no longer being deluged with spam, curious, isn't it?
 

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Brian Ferguson
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3,652 Posts
I don't do eBay and Coop just summed up the reason why.
I'd spend 10-30% more than I felt it was worth to me in an effort to win it. Then, when I had it, I'd regret paying the price. Call me a fossil, but I prefer buying when the price is either known or subject to a little dickering.... I have no use for on-line auctions with their sniping, and the need for me to be there in the last 60 seconds, etc. PITA!
 

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Premium Member
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5,558 Posts
Oh, er! Someone outbid ya' and rattled your cage, Doug?

I think Ebay is great but, like someone said above, you just got to gauge what the item is worth to you and make that your ceiling. I surf on it regularly and invariably end up with a raft of bids on things that take my fancy (Oh, shiney thing. Must bid now) but don't get stroppy if and when I lose on 'em. Most of the time I'm just chancing it - only half of me genuinely wants to win the item but if some muppet is going to start the auction at 99p, then I'm game. Lord knows how I would explain it to the first Mrs Wankel if twenty parcels arrived in one week.

I've not bothered to be there at the dying seconds of an auction in a long long time. Just whack in a bid at your limit and walk away. If you get the prize, hoorah! If you don't, well, depending on what it was, there may be another along shortly.

The only annoying thing with it is when I'm selling and I put "cheques only" and the first thing the winning bidder mails me with is, "Do you take Paypal?".


I got thoroughly sick of it. So I stopped banging my head against a brick wall and started taking Paypal.
 

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Alan Tadd
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4,034 Posts
I buy from Ebay a fair bit, but there are certain rules you have to stick to or your bidding can get out of hand.

If I'm looking for a particular item, then I always do a Search and see how many of the specific items there are. Check each one and look how many bidders there are and how much postage and packaging is required, before deciding which one to bid on. If they charge more than £2.50 for P&P for a car via first class Royal Mail, you are being ripped off.

I always place my bid well in advance of the end time, and always at the maximum I want to pay. Say you think an item is worth £23 then bid £23.12, always use an odd number, amazing how often this works. On cars I probably only win about 5% of those I bid on, but I do buy them very cheaply......Revell Greenwood Corvette, £17.50, Fly Porsche 917K £21 so I am happy. Plus there will always be another one coming along.

Track and accessories are different, track goes very cheaply, I don't think I have paid more than half the retail value of any track I've bought.

I don't like paying more than £30 for any slot car, and using ebay, together with special offers from Online Retailers, generally allow me to keep to my self imposed limit.

Regards

Alan
 

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the only thing that really hacks me of is people not giving "feedback"


oh and whilst im on one just paid £25 for a original C64 bentley


but the thiving bleeder wants £5 postage of me


other than that ebay is fabb!
 

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Don't bid on anything that ends between 5.30 pm and midnight local time. Especially at weekends. But if it's a bank holiday, then stuff does go fairly cheaply. And also if it's good weather.

It's all down to supply & demand - this time last year people were paying £40/50 for a Le Mans start. Now you can pick them up for £20 (thanks SCX for releasing it!).

And always factor in the postage costs to your how mauch would I pay calculation.
 

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Administrator
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9,792 Posts
Can't add too much to what everybody's said about bidding - sounds like we all reached the same conclusions!

For vintage stuff, ebay is pretty indispensable: you just find stuff you won't find anywhere else! It's also a quick, easy history lesson on all the unknown brands in the history of slot racing.

My epiphany was putting in what I thought was a huge bid on a rare item before going to sleep, and then waking up at 5 in the morning because I had to find out... was outbid by a snipe system of course, my stomach was tied in knots, and since then I too just put in my maximum bid at the outset, or in the middle and wait.

A short note on postage: this is a very sore subject for us in Europe ordering from the USA. First, a lot of patriotic Americans don't want to ship overseas! Some because they've had real problems, and others, well, because they're red-blooded Americans! It's worth checking with them, though, because some will say the listing was wrong and they ship, or they're willing to try (when you explain it's not like sending a package to Mars....), etc. I also have a US shipping address for the toughest cases, heavy lots, etc.

I generally use regular airmail, or Global Priority, which are uninsured, because when they're insured there's a good chance they'll be held up in customs and a large fee tagged on. The latest was a $98 order from EJ's, for which I had to pay 52 euros to get my package.... This has been complicated in the last few years because the USPO has subcontracted higher-value packages to GLS (formerly Extand). They are a subsidiary of Royal Mail, so I think I need say no more about their integrity and effectiveness.... But due to overwhelming complaints, this contract will expire at the end of the year, and it will once more be done between post offices, without several private companies taking a cut.

On the other hand, after years of sending uninsured packages with almost no loss, an order from Professor Motor's worth almost $200 disappeared a few months ago, and since I specifically requested GPM to avoid above problems I have no recourse....

Of course, before you worry about shipping, you have to win some auctions, so good luck on this! Above advice sounds very pertinent!

Don
 

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Administrator
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PS: forgot to add that, re postage, there's a lot of overcharging from the US on foreign packages, mostly not on purpose I think, because Americans confuse Europe with Mars... There are fewer post offices in the States than in Europe, it is true, but it seems that scales must be very expensive there, because so few people have one of those, or bother to get a rate sheet from the USPO (which are nonetheless confusing, as is their website).
 

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Jim Moyes
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5,045 Posts
Really don't understand the problem with so-called "snipe bidding". The only people who could complain are people who have tried to be clever (or tight) and not put in their assessment of the full amount they are willing to pay. A "snipe bidder" still has to put in a maximum they are willing to go to and if it is not as high as your "value" then they won't get it!

I look at Ebay auctions as if they are goods on display for a week and then the actual "sale" happens at the end of that week!

Mr.M
 

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"I look at Ebay auctions as if they are goods on display for a week and then the actual "sale" happens at the end of that week!"

this is very true all you are doing is getting as many people to view/track your item and 90% of all bidding is done in the last few hours and most definatly in the last few mins

it can get very exciting or stressfull depending on whether you are selling or buying
 

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DT
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5,195 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
More adventures in using eBay

I'm not bidding for slot car stuff; I'm looking for funny things like blocks and tackle for raising my track. I've found some fantastic kit from a sailing guy and I think that I've bought a whole bunch of new stuff at about the tenth of the new value.

I've also been looking at some model train stuff - boy do those guys spend big bucks. Between the Germans and the Americans there must me millions of $$ spent on eBay on trains and scenery items.

OK, here is what I've learned:

Look on foreign eBay sites. Even if it not very clear, using translation tools on the net, you can figure out what is going on. The Germans don't like using PayPal and prefer bank transfers which is a pain. I notice that in England, French products are less popular and in France, British products are less popular... I wonder why...


I'm trying to out snipe the snipers by setting up a countdown timer and a clock on the desktop. I bid in the last 20 seconds by an amount at least 4 or 5 steps over the existing amount (within my budget). It won't be enough time for someone else to counter bid. With my super fast ADSL, it seems to work.

If I see an item being fought over by two or more nutters (greed), I leave it alone.

Also, I think most crucially, to find out the real value of items (apart from the greed value), I've armed myself with catalogues, price lists and have emailed experts about the value of the products. This gives me a very good idea on what to spend. You have to work out the price based on rarity, quality, quantity of production and condition of the item. If I can pay 20 - 50 percent less than retail for an item then I'm happy.

I lost a few because I wasn't signed in and then I couldn't find and send my password fast enough, but now I prepare it very well. Signing in ahead of time, having the password on hand and now using Mozilla Firefox with it's auto login features.

Initially, when I started this I got really stressed up to the end-time. Palpatations and increased heart rate. It got easier as it went on and now, I think I can control it


Thanks for all the advice, I'm sure some of the members can benifit from it all
 

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If you use sniper software you can get your bid in a few seconds before closing without you even being near the computer. I don't bother sniping. If I honestly need something right now, I buy it from a shop. If there is something on eBay that I wanted but missed, big deal, there will be another one just like it posted shortly.
 

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Ebay is marvellous, a true representation of the society we live in today. My moto when using ebay is generally that if you lose an auction, another one will be long in the next few days.

It seems as well, that Ebay goes in treads, like someone mentioned about the Le Mans start track, and also the old Scaley pit-stop.

At one time the pit-stop track was selling for nearly £80, then people thought "I've got one of those kicking about in the loft, I could do with £80!" - therefore 1, 5, 10, 15 pit-stop tracks go up for sale on Ebay, hence the price drops from £80 - £20.

Also Sniper software is great, I shouldn't me giving trade secrets away, but check out www.auctionsniper.com - its free and pretty good. Bidding in last fews seconds is good but anything under 10-15 seconds is never gonna register with Ebay, by the time the page loads, the database has processed the bid, oops it's ended!

I have found thou, that sticking a bid on early for the max you are prepared to pay for a item is great, firstly people get bored if Ebay keeps flashing up 'You've bid outbid' and if they go over your max bid, they're welcome to it.

To finish, always bid odd amounts (e.g. £12.66 rather then £12.50), check the postage costs (it can be a rip off) and the paypal costs if they are charging and for christ sake its only Ebay!

Cheers


Mark
 
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