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Thread: Bargain?

  1. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by David H. Bebbington
    The last Baby Rollei I had was a gray one with lens hood, a close-up lens set and a case, all in Exc++ condition, and it really did cost me $160! As jamnut notes, a comparable black example has sold recently for $235. I shall await the outcome of this auction with interest - I am almost certain it will be no sale!
    Maybe I don't fully understand the e-bay system and if so, I need to be better informed but if there is a bid and there is, then under what circumstances can it result in a no sale. As I understand the rules the bidder is now committed to a buy. If the bidder is the seller then doesn't this show up when payment is made via paypal to an address. If a friend is bidding then it could be hidden but doesn't the seller pay a fee to e-bay which means that he is out of pocket once the friend returns the item bought and the seller returns the amount the friend buyer spent securing the item. The self same item has then to be sold again but presumably only after a reasonable interval otherwise a pattern shows up which warrants investigation

    There appears to be 2 bids several hours apart. If this is one and the same bidder then surely this is obvious to e-bay and an investigation ensues.

    Otherwise the system is really wide open to abuse and genuine bidders are less assured of a fair outcome than the christians were of their outcome in the Roman Coliseum with the lions.

    Pentaxuser

  2. #12
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    If he was shilling, the fact that you can't see previous auctions means two things: you can't see if the same bidder(s) is pushing prices up and you can't see if he has re-listed items that may have "sold" to the shilling account.

    Unless you are selling a Rembrandt or something, I can't see any reason for hiding the buyer's identity. Anyway, all you get to see is that person's eBay user name: no real personal details.

    Ebay is very variable on investigating suspected fraud - sometimes it makes an effort, sometimes not. In any event, it will need a complaint in order to investigate and as you can't see what is happening, how can you complain? All very suspicious to me, but then, that's probably just me.... It is likely all above board, but I would not touch this guy's auctions unless I could get a sensible reason from him as to why they are all private auctions when almost nobody else uses them. That's why I asked really, 'cos I can't think of one good reason and the only reasons I can think of are not good ones... I was thinking, as he sells a lot of stuff, that it might reduce the number of fraudulent bids (I know a lot of people won't take bids from people with only a couple of ratings for that reason) but I can't see how that would actually work...

    Cheers, Bob.

  3. #13
    David H. Bebbington's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pentaxuser
    Maybe I don't fully understand the e-bay system and if so, I need to be better informed but if there is a bid and there is, then under what circumstances can it result in a no sale. As I understand the rules the bidder is now committed to a buy.
    What you say is indeed what is SUPPOSED to happen. However, if someone bids silly money, I tend to assume they are not serious and will not pay. As far as I know, e-bay has never taken anyone to court for failing to pay for an item they won at auction - they might ban the person concerned from having an account, I'm not aware that they do more. Their attitude to sellers who auction a lot of items and gather negative feedback is even more lenient, but that's another story!

  4. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by David H. Bebbington
    What you say is indeed what is SUPPOSED to happen. However, if someone bids silly money, I tend to assume they are not serious and will not pay. As far as I know, e-bay has never taken anyone to court for failing to pay for an item they won at auction - they might ban the person concerned from having an account, I'm not aware that they do more. Their attitude to sellers who auction a lot of items and gather negative feedback is even more lenient, but that's another story!
    Mmm. Doesn't fill one with confidence about e-bay. "There's one borne every minute and if your are the one then tough" seems to be the likely outcome. E-bay seems to win either way. I was once in a forensic scientist's office who did a lot of work for the Thames Valley police and he had a picture on his wall which revealed how 3rd parties couldn't lose. It was a picture of a cow with two opposing parties pulling on the horns and tail respective. Underneath were two lawyers with plaintiff and defendant on their gowns who were milking the cow. The picture was called "THE LAWSUIT"

    Caveat emptor in spades

    Pentaxuser

  5. #15

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    I've seen these private auctions used before. It's my understanding that generally the seller uses them when selling higher priced, collectable items and is trying to prevent the buyer from being scammed by those who cruise the bay looking for targets. I've seen some of those scams. They usually target the person with the losing bid. A second chance offer is sent to the loser claiming that the winner backed out of the auction and that they can now buy the item. I'm not sure if that's happening here but the buyer has a pretty decent rep and it seems some of the folks here has bought from him before without problems...FWIW

    john

  6. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by pentaxuser
    Maybe I don't fully understand the e-bay system and if so, I need to be better informed but if there is a bid and there is, then under what circumstances can it result in a no sale. As I understand the rules the bidder is now committed to a buy. If the bidder is the seller then doesn't this show up when payment is made via paypal to an address. If a friend is bidding then it could be hidden but doesn't the seller pay a fee to e-bay which means that he is out of pocket once the friend returns the item bought and the seller returns the amount the friend buyer spent securing the item. The self same item has then to be sold again but presumably only after a reasonable interval otherwise a pattern shows up which warrants investigation

    There appears to be 2 bids several hours apart. If this is one and the same bidder then surely this is obvious to e-bay and an investigation ensues.

    Otherwise the system is really wide open to abuse and genuine bidders are less assured of a fair outcome than the christians were of their outcome in the Roman Coliseum with the lions.

    Pentaxuser
    First off, if there is a reserve price and it hasn't been met, no one -- high bidder or seller -- is committed to anything. That isn't the case here.

    Secondly, it is possible for a bidder to put in more than one bid. The visible price is then the first one he placed. Bidders do this for several reasons. One is to signal "I'm serious about this thing, don't bid against me." I once offered a Novoflex semi-automatic bellows for M42 on eBay and the eventual winner put in four (4) bids in rapid succession. Another is that they've changed their mind about how badly they want the thing.

    I know a fellow who puts in a "stake in the ground" bid early in an auction to discourage the seller from selling the item off eBay and then puts in a serious bid near the end of the auction. He claims this gives him time to think things over and assess as much of the opposition as manifests itself early.

    If a shill bidder wins or if the high bidder reneges, the seller can file a non-paying bidder form and recover his seller's commission, but he's out the listing fee, which is based on the starting price and other details. Using shills is neither riskless nor costless.

    It sometimes happens that the seller discovers that the item is not as described after the auction has closed. Or he drops it. In this case, seller and buyer can agree not to transact. But again the seller is out the listing fee.

    In my experience, people who gripe about bidding shenanigans have either been outbid and failed to steal the item or have gone a little crazy and paid more than, after reflection, they thought was fair.

    Remember, the bidder tells eBay the most he'll pay. If he's honest with himself and wins the auction, he has nothing to complain about. If he's honest with himself and loses, the same goes. If he's not honest with himself, well, I'm sure you can guess what I think of him.

    As I see your "Christians," they're either stupid or crazy or ignorant of the market.

    FWIW, I often fail to steal items on eBay. Many's the time I've set up a low snipe and been outbid by people who valued the item more highly than I did. I don't like it, but I don't see anything unfair about it. If I'd valued the thing more highly, I'd have bid higher.

    I practically never rebid or reset the snipe I've queued up as I see how an auction progresses. Other people's evaluations of an item don't change mine when I'm trying to buy. Once or twice, though, when I've discovered that something I didn't value much was worth a lot more than I'd paid for it I've put it on eBay post haste and informed the losing bidders on the one that taught me the thing's true value.

    Cheers,

  7. #17

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    I recently bid on an item that went higher than I was willing to pay< I watched just to see how high it would go and the same bidder bid against himself 3 times in a row, raising the bid each time. He bought it for $20.50 and could have had it for $11.50

  8. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by bohica
    I recently bid on an item that went higher than I was willing to pay< I watched just to see how high it would go and the same bidder bid against himself 3 times in a row, raising the bid each time. He bought it for $20.50 and could have had it for $11.50
    Please post the item # or URL.

  9. #19
    David H. Bebbington's Avatar
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    I think there are some misapprehensions here. If you are a buyer and bid $5 for something and then subsequently bid $50, you will still get the item for $5 unless someone else bids more. If the other bid is not above $50, you will get the item for a little more than the other bidder's maximum.

    What I think is happening in this case (the auction has just ended, let's see if the camera is re-advertised) is simply that someone is bidding silly money without any intention of paying. I am not in any way suggesting that the SELLER is dishonest.

    What happened to me once, when I was very new to e-bay, was that I lost an auction by a couple of $$ and was contacted as the underbidder with a second-chance offer within ONE MINUTE of the end of the auction. How did the seller know so quickly that the winning bidder was not going to pay unless the seller was also the winning bidder (presumably under an alias)?

    Another common problem is that winning foreign bidders are too lazy to work out how much it will cost to ship an item of the stated weight to their country and then refuse to pay when they find out. There is a procedure available, generally I've shrugged it off, left negative feedback and re-listed the item.

    A more general problem, and one which I think is more serious, is the "kite flyers" who wilfully over-describe items but "generously" offer a refund of purchase price (but not shipping) if the buyer is not satisfied - a transaction like this can leave (and has left) me $50 or more out due to the 2-way shipping costs. In general though, I think e-bay is quite reasonably secure, and as each purchase has saved me $150 or more compared with dealer's prices, I find overall I am well ahead. Just once someone sold me a garbage piece of software for $10, no refund despite complaint to e-bay, not the end of the world, one other seller sent a misdescribed and badly packed (arrived damaged) view camera and refused any refund, I fixed it rather than waste time arguing, three or four more times I have had poor items but got a refund without difficulty, all in all acceptable in the course of more than 160 trades.

  10. #20
    Bob F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David H. Bebbington
    <snip>... when I was very new to e-bay, was that I lost an auction by a couple of $$ and was contacted as the underbidder with a second-chance offer within ONE MINUTE of the end of the auction. How did the seller know so quickly that the winning bidder was not going to pay unless the seller was also the winning bidder (presumably under an alias)?
    This happened to me, but closer inspection of the 2nd-chance offer showed it was a scam - not the seller at all... A lot of that going on. In this case, all ended well as I did a deal with the seller privately (safe to do as I recognized that it was in fact Nova Darkroom Ltd).

    A more general problem, and one which I think is more serious, is the "kite flyers" who wilfully over-describe items but "generously" offer a refund of purchase price (but not shipping) if the buyer is not satisfied - a transaction like this can leave (and has left) me $50 or more out due to the 2-way shipping costs.
    Yup - this ticks me off too. Got caught by one of these merchants - an absurdly mis-described lens (they had a good rep at the time: 99%+ rating, or I would not have used them, and the negatives were mostly obvious buyer foulups; rating now down to 97.7%). Complained to ebay and left neg feedback. Not worth losing two lots of carriage costs by sending it back. Ebay was a waste of time and the neg feedback made no dent in the company's sales at all: they still have dozens of items on the go at any one time - they are clearly selling too much stuff to give each item more than a cursory inspection and rely on "money back" if something goes wrong. I have found that MXV in Uckfield or another retailer sometimes has what I want at only a small premium over ebay prices (if any) & I would rather pay 10 or even 20% more there for the peace of mind.

    Cheers, Bob.

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