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Thread: Sketchy auction

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Default Sketchy auction

    So I found this Compaq Portable.. nice condition. It had been up for a while, no bids, so I bid on it. Maybe 30 min later I get outbid by a zero feedback bidder. I bid one more time.. same deal. I backed off. A third bidder snipes it to $76 at the end. Not even 24hrs later it is relisted with same seller with a BIN of $125.

    I'm not really sure what the deal is. Would someone go to all the trouble of shilling it to try and get another $50? Would a winning bidder with sizable feedback back out over $76?

  2. #2

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    Hard to tell. There's all sorts of odd people out there.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by falter View Post
    I'm not really sure what the deal is. Would someone go to all the trouble of shilling it to try and get another $50? Would a winning bidder with sizable feedback back out over $76?
    This is a greedy-ass world. I wouldn’t doubt it for two seconds. But no, there is no real way to definitively know.

  4. #4
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    For what it's worth, I've never posted a conventional bid on eBay for at least a dozen years. I always snipe--and there are some areas on eBay (such as oriental rugs) where that seems to be the rule, not the exception. Sniping is simple--you enter the maximum amount you're willing to pay and wait for the auction end. Any bidding wars happen in the last couple of seconds of the auction. By doing this I avoid tipping my hand.

    This usually works, but I knew of a situation where this wouldn't. It involved the presence of a major collector who had virtually unlimited funds. He'd simply put a proxy bid early on; this is when eBay showed bidders' IDs. You didn't bother with those auctions because you knew that he'd bid anything to get what he wanted--$50K was the same to him as $50.

    Bottom line is that don't use the bidding history on an item to determine what an item will sell for--there are too many last-second bidders out there.

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Default

    If I am interested in an item - I put my maximum bid on it and that is that. No messing about. If some other people want to play games with bids - they can knock themselves out.

    We are looking to extend our Audio system at Church. A sound card I wanted for our digital mixer desk would have cost GBP 777 new. I found one with an initial cost of GBP 55 on x-bay. I put a maximum bid of GBP 100 on it and went on holiday expecting that it would go for much more than that. When I came back from holiday I was presently surprised that I was the only bidder and got it for GBP 55. Job done !

    I sometimes put bids on vintage computer equipment - but I put the maximum I want to pay - and I am not surprised by the sniping that subsequently happens in the last few seconds! Some kit goes for absolutely silly money. But, if someone is desperate to have it at all costs to rekindle some experience they had; so be it.

    As for sellers potentially playing games - avoid them...

    Just my own personal view.

    Dave

  6. #6
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    Default

    I agree. I've seen a crappy looking IBM PC AT 5170 (rusty and not in good shape) going for an arm and a leg.

  7. #7
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    Another tip is to observe the "Make Offer" box. A lot of people don't want to haggle and completely avoid auctions with a high BIN. Generally, I look at how long the item has been sitting around and the nature of the seller's business. For example, if the seller is a commercial liquidator, he's probably motivated at some point to accept nearly any offer if a bulky thing has been taking up warehouse space...

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