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mutual respect for bidders on eBay


SlavicScott
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I have a philosophy on eBay, and I often wonder if others feel the same way.

 

As I am pretty much a focused, somewhat specialized collector, I always browse the same keywords and categories on eBay, looking for new additions, upgrades, and other bargain deals. After several years of doing this, I also have come to recognize certain names of bidders, who seem to be a few steps ahead of me in their collecting (and a few notches above me in the budget department). I have often been out-bid on items, or could not run up my max bid enough to out-bid them. There are probably about a dozen bidders that I encounter on a regular basis.

 

Recently, I have found myself intentionally "passing" on certain items that these guys are currently bidding on, out of respect for them. I know that I could start a bidding war with them, but would most likely lose, and only run the price up for them. I prefer to let them get the first one for their collection, and hopefully eliminate them from the competition for the next one that comes up for auction. Now if I know they are just low-balling an item for a bargain, then I will jump in, but if it looks like they are seriously pursuing the piece, I just move on and wait for the next one.

 

I remember one particular coin that I was interested in last year, and the first few that came up, there was some serious bidding going on between a few of the "players" that I am aware of. Over a period of a couple months, several of these coins were listed, all going for pretty decent prices (usually above catalog value), and I stayed out of the frenzy. Finally, without even seriously looking, I caught one and put in a low-ball bid, just to feel it out, and got it for a fraction of what the last few had gone for. My patience was rewarded.

 

Does anyone else recognize their "competition" on eBay, and is there any respect for them? Tell your stories/opinions/theories!!

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I don't bid or buy on eBay very often anymore, my collecting interests changed, and frankly I find what I want now outside of eBay. When I collected Scottish banknotes avidly up until about 4 yrs ago, I often encountered the same bidders bidding on similar items that I was interested in. Of course, being a collector and a member of forums, I know some of them, so there was a bit of an unwritten gentlemen's agreement that the first bidder had dibs. There were three other collectors whom would not bid against one another, it was first come first serve basically. We all got good stuff, I ended up with the North of Scotland and Town and County Bank £1 from 1916 at a lowball price because of this, similarly my collector friends also got nice stuff that I wouldn't thus bid on because they got there first.

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Yes there are some that bid on what I collect that I know and don't often bid against, but since many knowledgeable collectors don't bid but rather watch and snipe I do sometimes find myself bidding against them.

 

In some cases I send messages to them asking if they are upgrading or buying for resale. If they are I might be interested in their undergrade or a customer for a resale. Techically that is agianst eBay rules but I still do it.

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I often meet bidders I know

I know four or five bottomfishers

When I want a coin and by analysis find out I will not be able to outbid the other

I simply move on

Of course since everybody is sniping it is difficult if there was no warning

I hate loosing by 1 euro and being second bidder all the time

 

So when I am going to bid I put in a very very low bid to let people know I am in the running :ninja:

 

Apart from the bottomfishers I have only seen that people refrained from bidding against me

a few times

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I haven't run into anyone really consistantly, but I have run into people I know (both "real life" and "online") on auctions. Usually I will then pass on the auction, though sometimes, as mentioned by others, sniping results in one accidentally bumping another.

 

If someone I don't know underbids me (but their bid is much higher than bid #3), sometimes I will drive up the price on something else they're the high bidder on in frustration. I really shouldn't do that, though, since it's not really nice, and possibly risky.

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I haven’t ‘met’ someone I know per se, but I do honor an existing bid. I usually do not bid on something if it has a decent bid already. If it is only a few dollars for something worth much more, then I will go ahead and bid, but I will not go further than what I would consider ‘a good deal’. I have done this for quite some time for respect to other bidders as well as just trying to keep the prices down.

 

I find that I will bid early only on notes I have trouble finding, but will only look at banknotes 'ending soon' for ones that are more common. This way I avoid a lot of the bid wars and I can see what has an inflated price. More than once I have seen a bid war on a note when there is one or more just a few spaces down that are the same, with same signatures, same un-fancy numbers, condition, etc.

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Tell your stories/opinions/theories!!

 

I no longer buy coins on ebay, but I still look for bargains on other things, so I do have a few procedures which may be helpful to you.

 

1. I never, ever buy from "power sellers", but you probably already have the same aversion.

 

2. I never bid on anything, instead I use a sniping service. Here's a good one:

http://www.bidnip.com/

 

3. I avoid interaction with any ebay member with whom I am not engaged in a deal, either buying from them or selling to them.

 

The one thing that caused me to dislike buying on ebay early on was the long, drawn out "auction" format. Some enjoy it, but it's annoying to me to be involved in a 5-7 day contest in which any BS'er can wander in, outbid everyone and then fail to pay. Live auctions are a little better, but I like to simply buy, pay and get delivery.

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The one thing that caused me to dislike buying on ebay early on was the long, drawn out "auction" format. Some enjoy it, but it's annoying to me to be involved in a 5-7 day contest in which any BS'er can wander in, outbid everyone and then fail to pay. Live auctions are a little better, but I like to simply buy, pay and get delivery.

 

That actually may be the root of my aversion to eBay too.

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I buy from ebay, but, I always use the same procedure. I find a coin I would like - Value it by my own standards - put in my maximum bid - and forget it until I get an email saying I've either bought it or lost it. Que serra serra! :ninja:

That's pretty close to how I buy. I'll still put a watch on the item submitted to the sniper, so that I can cancel the snipe order if the price goes above my bid so that the sniping servers aren't being kept on watch for no purpose.

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The only serious bidding war I ever got into with a fellow collector was over this:

897884.jpg

 

It's genuinely rare, probably less than 25 pieces in private hands. I knew the other collector had one as nice so it didn't make sense that he'd keep bidding and he wouldn't answer his emails when I asked him about his reasoning. I finally gave up. Two weeks later he sent it to me as a gift which was why he was trying to buy it in the first place. Two weeks after that he died of emphysema. I didn't even know he was sick... :ninja:

 

Otherwise, I'm a lowballer. I put in lots of low bids. Usually I'm outbid early and unless I'm serious about the coin that's the end. Perhaps I've really just put in what I thought it was worth. However, this allows me to track the final prices of coins more easily for my database which has thousands of entries. If I'm not outbid I happily pay the price. ;)

 

If I'm really serious about a bid I put in a large maximum. Other Napoleonic medal collectors know this pattern about me and try little overbids to see if I'm serious or not. Then they usually back off and leave it to me. But that's probably 1 in 20 bids.

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That was a nice story of that fellow collectors sending you as a gift the coin he out bid you on.

 

Unfortunately I had a very negative experience on eBay with a fellow, and well respected member from another board. Be won the coin, one which he didn't even collect, then to add salt to the wound decided to sell it since he needed the money, I offered to buy it for well above what he paid for it on eBay, but then someone else offered him even more, so I lost out on the same coin twice to this same person. Needless to say that left quite a bitter taste in my mouth. Now I just bid on what I want in an amount I am comfortable with, and let the chips fall where they may. I can handle winning and losing, but I can't stand getting jerked around!

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I really don't care who else is bidding, my price is fixed no matter who the competition is.

 

I'll snipe anything I really want. Since the snipe is entered long before the auction ends who else is bidding never really comes into play. On stuff I can take or leave I'll just place a lowball bid and forget about it unles eBay sends me the "you have won" email.

 

Now, lets see what everyone else had to say...

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I really don't care who else is bidding, my price is fixed no matter who the competition is.

 

I'll snipe anything I really want. Since the snipe is entered long before the auction ends who else is bidding never really comes into play. On stuff I can take or leave I'll just place a lowball bid and forget about it unles eBay sends me the "you have won" email.

 

Now, lets see what everyone else had to say...

I totally agree! My strategy is similar.

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I have a philosophy on eBay, and I often wonder if others feel the same way.

 

As I am pretty much a focused, somewhat specialized collector, I always browse the same keywords and categories on eBay, looking for new additions, upgrades, and other bargain deals. After several years of doing this, I also have come to recognize certain names of bidders, who seem to be a few steps ahead of me in their collecting (and a few notches above me in the budget department). I have often been out-bid on items, or could not run up my max bid enough to out-bid them. There are probably about a dozen bidders that I encounter on a regular basis.

 

Recently, I have found myself intentionally "passing" on certain items that these guys are currently bidding on, out of respect for them. I know that I could start a bidding war with them, but would most likely lose, and only run the price up for them. I prefer to let them get the first one for their collection, and hopefully eliminate them from the competition for the next one that comes up for auction. Now if I know they are just low-balling an item for a bargain, then I will jump in, but if it looks like they are seriously pursuing the piece, I just move on and wait for the next one.

 

I remember one particular coin that I was interested in last year, and the first few that came up, there was some serious bidding going on between a few of the "players" that I am aware of. Over a period of a couple months, several of these coins were listed, all going for pretty decent prices (usually above catalog value), and I stayed out of the frenzy. Finally, without even seriously looking, I caught one and put in a low-ball bid, just to feel it out, and got it for a fraction of what the last few had gone for. My patience was rewarded.

 

Does anyone else recognize their "competition" on eBay, and is there any respect for them? Tell your stories/opinions/theories!!

Having purchased quite a few coins off of eBay, I definitely "recognize" certain bidders. It is useful to watch patterns of various bidders because it can help to make a wise decision about whether and how much to bid. Most of the "prime" auctions are determined in the last 10 seconds of the auction. Thus, the early bidders often don't play into my decisions. There are a few bidders who do bid early and usually have bids higher than whatever I might snipe as a second highest bid. I have gotten to the point that I will rarely even bother trying on "their" auctions. Perhaps that is part of their strategy--pay more initially but then eventually scare off other fairly serious bidders.

 

Sometimes I will use knowledge of bidding patterns to bid just over what I guess is the maximum of a given bidder. I don't do this out of maliciousness. In fact, depending on my mood, I sometimes enjoy playing games on eBay. I "win" one game when I can win by less than the standard increment above the second highest bidder. I lose many of these efforts, but I still enjoy the game sometimes. Some people may not like this "game", but snipers get out-sniped all the time. It's part of the game. If I knew why some of my competitors were bidding on a given coin/lot I might not compete with them. However, since eBay does not allow me to have this information, it feels about the same as playing a game against a computer character. Why do I have a bad feeling that somebody is not going to like something that I have just admitted to...?

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My gripe about ebay is the constant "re-listing" after the auction is finished. Sometimes, as the blurb says, it is because the seller has another of the same item (dificult with the hammered coins I buy!) but mostly it's people playing the game with no intention of paying. I can't see any way to stop it :ninja:

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My gripe about ebay is the constant "re-listing" after the auction is finished. Sometimes, as the blurb says, it is because the seller has another of the same item (dificult with the hammered coins I buy!) but mostly it's people playing the game with no intention of paying. I can't see any way to stop it :ninja:

Maybe what would help stop it is if ebay would allow sellers to block bids from anyone with any NPB record at all. I really think that a NPB should be banned for good if it's a simple case of a bidder refusing to pay. As it stands, sellers can only specify that any bidder with more than two NPB strikes within 30 days is to be blocked from bidding.

 

It seems an odd ebay policy that any buyer should be allowed to remain registered after costing several sellers the listing fees and lost sales that NPB activity entails.

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In a "perfect" online world that would work, but all they have to do is reregister under another free email address. I've traced the IPs on three non-paying bidders, all under different eBay callsigns and they were the same IPs. Not an accident I think. eBay could make it tougher to register by only accepting pay for use emails or at least blocking out yahoo, hotmail etc. I know plenty of other services that do that and it works wonders.

 

Ciao, and Hook 'em Horns,

Capt-AWACS, I'm Capt-AWACS and I approved this message

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In a "perfect" online world that would work, but all they have to do is reregister under another free email address. I've traced the IPs on three non-paying bidders, all under different eBay callsigns and they were the same IPs. Not an accident I think. eBay could make it tougher to register by only accepting pay for use emails or at least blocking out yahoo, hotmail etc. I know plenty of other services that do that and it works wonders.

 

Ciao, and Hook 'em Horns,

Capt-AWACS, I'm Capt-AWACS and I approved this message

 

 

I think the solution is more simple than blocking yahoo emails etc, and just blocking the IP instead. That really would cause an issue for most.

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I think the solution is more simple than blocking yahoo emails etc, and just blocking the IP instead. That really would cause an issue for most.

The prolem is most people don't have static IPs and so you could be blocked because your neighbor is a bad ebayer.

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If I see something on ebay that I really want to have, I snipe it. In the olden ebay - items couldn't be retracted once there was a bid placed on them - I'd place a lowball bid to keep the item alive and then snipe with the price I was really willing to pay. Now the seller can cancel the auction anytime even if there are bidders so I don't bother with the initial bid.

 

I've never backed off because of a bidders that I know who are after the same item. There are a few bidders who bid regularly on ANA memorabilia. One in particular will bid to any amount, it seems, to get what they want. He also snipes very effectively. I've been tempted to just bypass an auction that he's bidding on but so far I haven't.

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