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  1. #1
    Senior Member miamijim's Avatar
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    Ebay strategies....

    Most of you know I like ebay and Paypal (lets not turn this into a bash thread) and we all know a variety of strategies for bidding.

    Here's my current dilemma, an item I need is listed 2X. One auction is a straight up auction while the other is 'buy now'. Typicaly I'd watch the 'auction' and if the price exceeded the 'buy now' I'd jump at the 'buy now'.

    Except in this case the 'Buy Now' auction ends 2 minutes before the regular auction.
    WWW.CYCLESPEUGEOT.COM 2005 Pinarello Dogma; 1991 Paramount PDG 70 Mtb; 1976? AD Vent Noir; 1989 LeMond Maillot Juane F&F; 1993? Basso GAP F&F; 1989 Terry Symmetry; 2003 Trek 4700 Mtb; 1983 Vitus 979

  2. #2
    . bbattle's Avatar
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    Do you need the item or do you just want the item?

    Need = hit the Buy Now button and just assume the bidding on the other listing would've gone higher, as they very often do.

    Want = put in your eSnipe bid and go take a nap.

    I am assuming you know the approximate value of the item and feel that the Bid Now is very close to that value.


    Personally, if I need a part that is hard to come by, I don't mess around; I pay the price and move on. Some people feel they must "Win" as though the auction were a game but not me.

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    Rolling along fas2c's Avatar
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    I will log onto Gixen drop my snipe and move along. I place my max price on the bid one time and do not watch it through my ebay watch list. Once it ends I see if I am a winner. If I am outbid, eh, I just keep looking. If I see a buy it now listing with a bargin price and shipping that is normal I will hit it too. It pays to have patience with ebay as prices can deviate drastically from week to week on varying components.

    Also if the item is an auction with a buy it now option one can drop a low ball bid to dump the buy it now option. Not that I do that but I have read where some folks do, jus sayin.
    Last edited by fas2c; 01-23-12 at 01:30 PM. Reason: adding content

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    Quote Originally Posted by bbattle View Post
    Do you need the item or do you just want the item?

    Need = hit the Buy Now button and just assume the bidding on the other listing would've gone higher, as they very often do.

    Want = put in your eSnipe bid and go take a nap.

    I am assuming you know the approximate value of the item and feel that the Bid Now is very close to that value.


    Personally, if I need a part that is hard to come by, I don't mess around; I pay the price and move on. Some people feel they must "Win" as though the auction were a game but not me.
    Spot on.

    Also If you do buy two by mistake I expect you could always sell the unwanted one later

  5. #5
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    If you consider the BIN to be an attractive price, go for it. I see too many people skip BINs and instead get into bidding on an item that ultimately goes for more.

    +1 If it is a hard to find part, and you consider the BIN price to be OK, I would go with the BIN as well. Waiting on an auction that may go for less, could go for more, is too risky. Now if it is a common item that shows up all of the time, I look for the one with a poorly written ad, lousy title, description, bad pics, etc., and try to get a deal.

    I've had various buying strategies for ebay. Recently, I met a guy who just looks at newly posted BINs and clicks on them fast. Every month or two, he spots a bike at a well below market BIN, and swoops in. Some of his buys have been incredible. He typically makes at least 2X the price on a part out, if not more.

  6. #6
    Senior Member miamijim's Avatar
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    That's the thing, I need the item but the 'Buy Now' is expensive.
    WWW.CYCLESPEUGEOT.COM 2005 Pinarello Dogma; 1991 Paramount PDG 70 Mtb; 1976? AD Vent Noir; 1989 LeMond Maillot Juane F&F; 1993? Basso GAP F&F; 1989 Terry Symmetry; 2003 Trek 4700 Mtb; 1983 Vitus 979

  7. #7
    Hopelessly addicted... photogravity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fas2c View Post
    Also if the item is an auction with a buy it now option one can drop a low ball bid to dump the buy it now option. Not that I do that but I have read where some folks do, jus sayin.
    I do that all the time... Managed to get a BNIP Carradice Bag for a mere $50 including shipping because it was the weekend before Christmas and nobody remembered to bid.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member miamijim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fas2c View Post
    Also if the item is an auction with a buy it now option one can drop a low ball bid to dump the buy it now option. Not that I do that but I have read where some folks do, jus sayin.
    I'm on top of that...that's why I never offer 'buy now', only regular auctions or 'fixed price' listings for my goods.
    WWW.CYCLESPEUGEOT.COM 2005 Pinarello Dogma; 1991 Paramount PDG 70 Mtb; 1976? AD Vent Noir; 1989 LeMond Maillot Juane F&F; 1993? Basso GAP F&F; 1989 Terry Symmetry; 2003 Trek 4700 Mtb; 1983 Vitus 979

  9. #9
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    They'll probably be another one next week...

  10. #10
    What??? Only 2 wheels? jimmuller's Avatar
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    Be aware that a Buy-It-Now item will spontaneously disappear if someone else buys it. If I really need it, I just click BIN. What that costs is the difference between the BIN price and what it would eventually go for at auction.

    That being said, I'll mention this. For many of the items I've wanted the BIN price seemed exhorbitant. In those cases, regardless of my need I just walk away or play the auction on my terms. If the auction eventually goes that high I win by losing. It also teaches me what something seems to be worth in the marketplace.

    I've seen the multiple-entry thingy too. I suspect the poster may have several pieces of that item. What I really mean is, I wonder if ebay approves of multiple entries for the same item.
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  11. #11
    Senior Member miamijim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dbakl View Post
    They'll probably be another one next week...
    There haven't been any for 9 months and now there're 3...and your probably right.
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  12. #12
    Hopelessly addicted... photogravity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimmuller View Post
    Be aware that a Buy-It-Now item will spontaneously disappear if someone else buys it. If I really need it, I just click BIN. What that costs is the difference between the BIN price and what it would eventually go for at auction.

    That being said, I'll mention this. For many of the items I've wanted the BIN price seemed exhorbitant. In those cases, regardless of my need I just walk away or play the auction on my terms. If the auction eventually goes that high I win by losing. It also teaches me what something seems to be worth in the marketplace.

    I've seen the multiple-entry thingy too. I suspect the poster may have several pieces of that item. What I really mean is, I wonder if ebay approves of multiple entries for the same item.
    It appears that even if it isn't permitted, they don't enforce the rule nor sanction those that violate it.
    --
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    Senior Member rootboy's Avatar
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    I usually throw out my best hail Mary bid and forget about it. But this sounds like you gotta have one.

  14. #14
    Fat Guy on a Little Bike KonAaron Snake's Avatar
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    This is just a battle of desire vs. cost. Is it something that will come up again next week if you miss on both auctions? Can you wait until next week? If yes, I'd take my chances here, secure in the knowledge another "thing" will be along soon. If it's an item that's expensive, but the BIN is fair, I'd probably just purchase it and rationalize that if I need the money back, I can sell it down the road for what I paid (minus shipping/fees).

    If it's an uncommon item...and you need it...I'd just buy it and be done. If you pay 10% more, it's not the end of the world. You can always make that money back on another flip.

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    Senior Member miamijim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KonAaron Snake View Post
    This is just a battle of desire vs. cost. Is it something that will come up again next week if you miss on both auctions? Can you wait until next week? If yes, I'd take my chances here, secure in the knowledge another "thing" will be along soon. If it's an item that's expensive, but the BIN is fair, I'd probably just purchase it and rationalize that if I need the money back, I can sell it down the road for what I paid (minus shipping/fees).

    If it's an uncommon item...and you need it...I'd just buy it and be done. If you pay 10% more, it's not the end of the world. You can always make that money back on another flip.
    That's the thing...a shop locally to me has a few in very unappealing late 80's Miami Vice colors that I can get for a few bucks but they're not right.
    WWW.CYCLESPEUGEOT.COM 2005 Pinarello Dogma; 1991 Paramount PDG 70 Mtb; 1976? AD Vent Noir; 1989 LeMond Maillot Juane F&F; 1993? Basso GAP F&F; 1989 Terry Symmetry; 2003 Trek 4700 Mtb; 1983 Vitus 979

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    Quote Originally Posted by photogravity View Post
    It appears that even if it isn't permitted, they don't enforce the rule nor sanction those that violate it.
    The only rule on eBay is that everything that eBay does is geared towards making more money for eBay. EVERYTHING ELSE is secondary to that. No one matters to them - buyers, or sellers, or copyright or trademark holders, etc.... They just don't care (unless it cuts into the result of rule #1 in some direct way).

    I see a place named 'abaxo' that sells bike stuff well under cost, but charges exhorbitant shipping, to avoid eBay fees. They don't even stop that, because that seller sells a buttload of crap (so to speak...).

    Edit: I'm not bashing eBay, fwiw, I use them all the time, just tellin' it like I sees it.
    Last edited by 753proguy; 01-23-12 at 04:48 PM. Reason: added edit: comments

  17. #17
    26 tpi nut. sailorbenjamin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by miamijim View Post
    There haven't been any for 9 months and now there're 3...and your probably right.
    I've got a couple of extras. PM me and I'll send you one.
    I have spoken.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KonAaron Snake View Post
    This is just a battle of desire vs. cost. Is it something that will come up again next week if you miss on both auctions? Can you wait until next week? If yes, I'd take my chances here, secure in the knowledge another "thing" will be along soon. If it's an item that's expensive, but the BIN is fair, I'd probably just purchase it and rationalize that if I need the money back, I can sell it down the road for what I paid (minus shipping/fees).

    If it's an uncommon item...and you need it...I'd just buy it and be done. If you pay 10% more, it's not the end of the world. You can always make that money back on another flip.
    I agree. You are exactly right. Rationalization is the key here. Justify it by telling yourself that you're buying this item with the profit from a previous sale that was at 80% profit, if that helps, for example....

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    Quote Originally Posted by bbattle View Post
    Do you need the item or do you just want the item?

    Need = hit the Buy Now button and just assume the bidding on the other listing would've gone higher, as they very often do.

    Want = put in your eSnipe bid and go take a nap.

    I am assuming you know the approximate value of the item and feel that the Bid Now is very close to that value.


    Personally, if I need a part that is hard to come by, I don't mess around; I pay the price and move on. Some people feel they must "Win" as though the auction were a game but not me.
    Correct.

    A few extra bucks over the course of a lifetime is not worth wringing your hands. It is also silly to worry about making a "profit" on a hobby. It's a hobby people, not a business.

  20. #20
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 753proguy View Post

    I see a place named 'abaxo' that sells bike stuff well under cost, but charges exhorbitant shipping, to avoid eBay fees. They don't even stop that, because that seller sells a buttload of crap (so to speak...).

    Edit: I'm not bashing eBay, fwiw, I use them all the time, just tellin' it like I sees it.
    Now that ebay charges their fees on shipping as well, that strategy no longer works. In addition, sellers that pad their shipping will never get top rated status, which kicks in some hefty discounts (buyers will flame you). A couple of 1s or 2s on the detailed seller ratings, and your top rated status is gone. Ask me how I know.... Top rated gets 20% off ebay fees and about 33% discount on shipping rates, so it adds up.

  21. #21
    Senior Member southpawboston's Avatar
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    If the item you need is listed 2x currently, then it can't be too rare. If you miss out on both, another will appear soon enough. Also, have there been enough sales of this item recently to do a market analysis of completed sales? Is there a strong likelihood that the auction version will end up in a bidding war taking it beyond the BIN version's price? How long has the BIN version been listed? If more than a week, then it's unlikely someone's going to snatch it soon. These are the things that factor into my bidding/BIN decisions.

  22. #22
    What??? Only 2 wheels? jimmuller's Avatar
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    I thought about this on my long drive home from work. I work ebay like this, without actually having thought it out. It has been pretty successful. This is sort of what KA Snake said.

    You have to think about two numbers. The obvious is the maximum amount you are willing to pay for something. The not so obvious is what I'll call Tolerance For Over-Payment, or TFOP. That's what you're willing to pay over what the price "might have been", how much you are willing to shrug off and live on, happily knowing that you won the item and after all it is a hobby (or business) which requires spending money sometimes. Bear in mind that this has nothing to do with an object's intrinsic "value"; value in an auction is strictly what you and others are willing to pay for it.

    Over-paying comes into play two different ways. 1. If you click Buy-It-Now you are paying more than you "might have paid" for the security of a guaranteed win. 2. Over-bidding in an auction increases you chance of winning, but trades the risk of over-paying against the possibility that you might actually win for less.

    Suppose two similar items come up with about the same closing time, one an auction, the other a BIN. (The vendor makes the BIN item end first deliberately, but it really doesn't affect you, as we'll see.) You don't have to do anything right away. You just watch. Eventually you'll take one of two possible actions.

    Compare the BIN price against the expected final auction price (EFAP). You don't know what the EFAP will be but you can see the visible price and you can apply some experience from having watched similar items and the bidding history of this one leading up to the end. If the EFAP + TFOP ever reaches the BIN price, you click BIN. You may be paying more than the auction would require but you are already reconciled to that overpayment, and you win the item! The only risk is that the BIN item may disappear if someone else buys it first. If the visible price or your guess for EFAP never goes up that high then you don't have to click BIN at all. In that case you simply play the auction.

    The other possible action is to bid the auction with BIN + TFOP. As with the BIN option, you don't have to do this right away. By waiting you leave the BIN option open, since you shouldn't do both. If that bid scares you, just play it as a normal auction, bid your personal maximum and run the risk of losing.

    You might say it's crazy to bid more than the BIN price, no? In an automated auction like ebay you aren't really bidding that amount. Your bid is just the minimum increment over what the other guy is willing to pay. (In fact, the visible price is just the minimum increment over what the second highest guy is willing to pay.) He may want it badly enough to push the price up anyway, in which case your BIN + TFOP will be the highest yours will go. But he may stop below that, in which case you pay less. It is a calculated willingness to go that high gambled against the chance that it may stop before then. In any case, you will have reconciled yourself with the possible over-payment. So it isn't as crazy as it seems, and the psychology is all about whether the other bidders are thinking like you are (or if they are thinking at all). Now pre-emptive bidding early to scare away others is valid, but it might as well be your maximum bid or BIN + TFOP anyway.

    Bottom line, decided on your TFOP, choose a course, and stick with it. If you need the part badly enough, adjust your numbers accordingly.
    Real cyclists use toe clips.
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