Ebay, is there anywhere else?
I just was bidding on a Canon 150-600 zoom and crapped out at 800 dollars (it sold for apprx. 1,500); earlier I had crapped out on a F3 with MD4 at 157 and it sold for 160.
I was also bidding on a Tamron 300 f2.8 Adaptall, and with little time left, POOOF the item was removed.
Have many of you played this little game.
Try your local craigslist.org. There are some great finds there.
"So I am turning over a new leaf but the page is stuck". Diane Arbus
If you are looking for eBay to deliver a great deal always, and quickly, forget it. That is a losing formula and all that will happen is your personal frustration.
Originally Posted by BobbyR
I have some 150 completed eBay transactions over the past 4 years or so, and I have only been burned once (really dirty 4x5 film holders). All in all, I feel I have gained great value from the items I have purchased on eBay, and in selected auctions, I have obtained some outstanding deals. However, I have lost out on many auctions, or did not participate in other auctions where the bidding just became just plain stupid (on the part of some other bidders).
Keep in mind you are competing against many bidders worldwide, some of whom look for bargains (as a personal business) to resell. In the end, the marketplace will determine THE MARKET PRICE - just like the price of oil is determined by THE MARKET PLACE. SO, what to do?
The market price may not match your expectations (for example the 150-600 FD Zoom). You either [a] have to change your price point, or [b] wait for another one to come along - it may be a few weeks, months, or even a year! For that item, I have monitored for 2-3 years - have seen only 4 or 5 examples come up for sale, and they always go for AT LEAST US$1500. Your expected price may simply be too unrealistic for such a rare item, and seemingly desired item.
The one single word for success on eBay is PATIENCE. At any given time, I have many "saved searches" that provide me with emails when something I am seeking gets listed. I put it on my watch list, and I may monitor several example auctions, without bidding, until I can see what the price range may be (and I keep track of those auctions). I also monitor the condition of the items with that price tracking. When I have a feel for an item's eBay market, I am able to see what might be good value (i.e. good quality for a lower/reasonable price). Even when I do decide to play, I generally wait until the last possible moment to bid - and I bid once with my highest bid (assuming I can even still play). Some auctions I win, several I lose - but those I win generally are very good deals (because of previous homework). Every once in a while, a really good deal comes along with a low buy-it-now price (because I have done my homework) and, because of the saved searches, I may see it sooner than some of the others. I have had some good deals on a Sunday morning sometimes!
Again, it comes down to waiting for the items to come along. If you are trying to get something in 2-4 weeks - forget it - you may get a poor quality example, pay too much for it, and then see a better example later. Some of my won items have taken up to a year to get, but they have been worth getting (both price and quality).
A word about not getting attached to the item in a particular auction. I mentioned before about stupid bidding. I have seen some items get bid up by two "newbies" (you can usually tell because they have very low feedback scores) to a level where they pay MORE for the item than to buy it new. An example was a Mamiya eyecup that sells new at B&H for $12 or so, but sold used in an auction for $28! Or a used Calumet shutter tester that sold for $150, but is only $109 new at Calumet! Dumb!
Some items are rare to begin with (not many made), come up rarely for sale on eBay, and when they do, generally always command a premium price (because there are plenty of folks out there looking for it too). The FD 14mm wide angle L lens is a prime example of something that will still command a hefty price (usually over $1000).
Sorry for the long post - but I hope this gives you some ideas. Keep at it, and accept some rejection/disappointment. Hang in there and eventually you will be rewarded. It's a big market out there.
" Be happy. Take a silver break today !!!"
BobbyR, have you considered shopping at www.keh.com? As has been pointed out, shopping via eBay can be very iffy unless you're prepared to pay more than top dollar. Its may be getting more iffy for you because you're in the dollar zone and are contending with bidders in the Euro zone.
A very good suggestion. KEH is a good place to benchmark prices on items too. I have bought some items at KEH, but those items were more expensive than what I paid on eBay. On the other hand, KEH is legendary for its very conservative (in favour of the buyer) condition ratings.
Originally Posted by Dan Fromm
" Be happy. Take a silver break today !!!"
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Last edited by jnanian; 11-26-2007 at 09:39 PM. Click to view previous post history.
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Great post, MP_Wayne. I think you've summed it up very accurately.
Originally Posted by MP_Wayne
There's some good deals there, but you have to search for them.
And don't forget the sinking American dollar. Our international competitors for Ebay products can afford to jack the bids up due to the rise of the Euro (for example) against the dollar.
Originally Posted by resummerfield
It's easy to get attached to stuff you're bidding on, which is a good way to overspend, this is as true in live auctions as ebay. It is frustrating when you bid your limit, and the item sells for $5.00 more. But it means either you're playing it smart, or your expectations of the value are under the market.
Very few items on ebay are once in a lifetime unique. For most of the stuff, for every item that sells for just over your limit, there are 10 more available. It does mean that you need to think of that F3/MD4 as a commodity rather than something you need/want.
I try to only track auctions to the end if I'm going to bid at the last minute because of competition, otherwise I make a bid for the amount I'm willing to spend and "walk away". If I get an email that I won, fine, if not, that's fine too. I'll usually check to see what the price was, so I know the market better. I avoid as much as possible making a bid, then raising it to counter someone else. I say "try" and "avoid" because sometimes I fall into the attachment trap too...
As for KEH, I find they are just plain easier, not to mention sometimes cheaper than ebay. Not all the time, not for everything they sell, but they are definitely worth checking out before going to ebay.
Finally, as stated, if you're looking for bargains, ebay is about the last place to look, Craigslist, KEH and maybe Ritz's collector site are more likely sources.