E-bay loopholes...

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Tom, Jan 17, 2004.

  1. Tom

    Tom Senior member

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    I have bid on several pairs of Allen-Edmonds shoes on ebay, as well as two Oxxford blazers.  These auctions had no reserves, and at the end it looked like I was going to score a couple of Oxxford jackets for under $100 each, and nice shoes for under $30 per pair.  However, in the last hour of each auction, citing various excuses, all four seller's cancelled the auctions.  It was really crummy, and felt like the seller's were taking advantage of an Ebay loophole to avoid selling these close at such low prices.

    -Tom
     
  2. Stu

    Stu Senior member

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    Perhaps Mr. Harris can enlighten us on this, but on the face of it, it sounds incredibly annoying and unethical. Seems to me that if they put it there for sale, then that's a committment in the same way a bid from a buyer is a committment. As a buyer you wouldn't think of placing a bid and then weasling out of it.
     
  3. FCS

    FCS Senior member

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    Seems like the seller is new to ebay him/herself, a lot of bids are submitted, literally, in the last one minute of the auction.
     
  4. matadorpoeta

    matadorpoeta Senior member

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    several years ago i bid on a nwt banana republic sportcoat. there was no reserve and i won the auction at about $40. the seller sent me a message saying that he had run out of that size. i believe he just didn't want to let go of the jacket at so low a price. to this day i've never bought anything on ebay but i did sell my first item last week and i was unaware that i could simply cancel the auction anytime i wanted to.
     
  5. bigbadbuff

    bigbadbuff Senior member

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    it's an all to common way of doing things for the a**le sellers. They set no reserve to entice more people, and if it doesn't go high they cancel, citing some ridiculous reason. I almost won a NWT Malo cashmere sweater for $100 last year, 10 seconds before the auction ended it was canceled due to a 'fire at the seller's warehouse'. Absolutely unreal.

    Ebay will never fix any problem that is making them money. They have gone from one of the best ideas/companies on the net to one of the worst in small amount of time.
     
  6. Carlo

    Carlo Senior member

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    Well... since I have about 100 auctions going at any given time I thought I'd pipe in on this.

    1. If someone ends it when there are bids and does not honor the high bid, watch to see if they relist - if they do, file a complaint with Ebay.

    2. As a seller, I set the opening bid at the minimum I'll take - if someone sets their minimum at $100 when $200 is thier true minimum, they are stupid.

    3. If you have not placed a bid and are watching an item with NO bids and it ends suddenly there is nothing to complain about - if I sell something offline when there are no bids yet I don't feel bad for those who write to say they were planning on bidding with 1 second left - hey, i did not know that.

    Here is a suugestion - before bidding send the seller a question and ask them flat out - if I am the high bidder when the auction ends - whether time expires or you end it - will you honor my bid? If they give you the runaround bid elsewhere.

    On a similar note - when you bid on something that just listed and retract a bid 10 minutes before it closes you have kept the seller from using buy it now for 9 days - I report bidders who do that.

    The beauty of ebay is that there are rules and feedback in place - if a seller ends the auction and refuses to honor the high bid they need a good excuse - the only times I have ended one and NOT honored the bid were times when I found a problem with the item, ie it has a flaw. Figure that has happened 5 times out of a couple thousand items.

    There have been far more times where something ended with no warning when it did not have any bids and that was generally a customer standing in front of me with cash who wanted an item - now if there were bids, I'd make them bid until they had the high bid before ending but if there are no bids and i can sell something offline with no fees? the word "Duh." comes to mind..... but my auctions all say that this may happen so if you want an item held, bid the opening bid price.

    Any seller who decides the final price was too cheap and relists should be turned in - that's cheatin.
     
  7. The_Foxx

    The_Foxx Senior member

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    I suppose there are a few bad apples in the ebay bunch, but that's no reason to swear off ebay forever (I think matedor may have written that). Where else can you buy Brioni and Attolini suits for around $1000, Oxxford sportcoats for $600?

    Lately, I've been keeping an eye out for items I like that have been on auction for a long time, or more than once without getting bids-- then make an offer for the seller to remove item from the auction block.
     
  8. Tom

    Tom Senior member

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    I recently was the high bidder on an Oxxford blazer.  My bid was up to about $50- with only a couple of hours left.  The seller cancelled the auction.  I wrote him an e-mail asking why.  He said "I can't talk about the reasons.  But the item will be put back on ebay next month".

    -Tom
     
  9. banksmiranda

    banksmiranda Senior member

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    Like a couple of you said, sellers should probably set the minimum bid to the lowest amount they would be willing to take for a particular item. If they would like to set the minimum to $0.01 to entice bidders, they could always use a "reserve price" to protect themselves.
     
  10. Alexander Kabbaz

    Alexander Kabbaz Senior member

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    Here are the rules from the Ebay policy manual:
    As an Ebay seller, I have been in the situation where an item didn't go for as much as I wanted it to. Answer: suck it up and deliver on your promise. I've also been in a situation where a used item sold for more than I paid for it when it was new. It all works out. If a seller screws with you like that, you really should file a complaint with Ebay. It's the only way to keep the Ebay community clean.
     
  11. A Harris

    A Harris Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I can't believe that this idiotic strategy is so commonplace. I can understand why a seller would want to do it - often if you start an item at $.01, or $.10, or $1.00 or even $9.99, the bidding will not even reach the amount you PAID for the item. This is especially true of relatively obscure items, Belvest or Chester Barrie for instance. But that is no excuse - it's not fair to end it early if it doesn't go as high as you need it to. It wastes bidders time and alienates them, also it can be very counterproductive as often a lot of bidding goes on in the last few seconds of the auction.

    If you are going to start items at a very low price you have to be prepared to lose money on probably 30-40% of the items. You have to compensate with volume to make money. My opinion is that everyone loses in the end, as a high-volume/low-price seller simply cannot afford to extend good service. Also, to keep the volume up, they have to sell a lot of substandard and flawed merchandise that other sellers would never put on ebay. These sort of auctions are inherently high-risk for the buyer. On occasion I bid on those sort of auctions with the intent to resell the merchandise. The items I recieve are unresaleable 50-60% of the time. I usually get my money back, but it's a lot of hassle. It's not really worth the time and effort in the end, which is why I only do it if I have spare time and spare money.

    Reserves aren't a good option either. They are expensive for the seller (ebay charges for them) and buyers HATE them. Plus they can attract casual bidders who think they won't hit the reserve, and who, if they do, probably won't honor the bid. It's a nightmare all around.  

    The best option is to to just list it at the minimum you are willing to accept. That also is an expensive route as you will often have to relist several times a month for several months to sell the item. While paying ebay's incredibly exorbitant listing fees every time. You can end up losing $25.00 on a $50.00 shirt, not to mention the wasted time and effort. Bottom line is there is no easy solutions...

    Not only does their service stink, as of February this year there will be a MAJOR increase in sellers fees. Some of the fees will double.. They are already WAY too high, soon they will be in the realm of the ridiculous. The frustrating thing for sellers is that, despite the fact that we ARE ebay, there is absolutely nothing we can do as individual sellers to stop ebay from raping us.

    It makes me wish there were some sort of seller's union...
     
  12. Carlo

    Carlo Senior member

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    Aharris - I'm with you - the fees are getting ridiculous to a point where one has to question whether it makes sense. The service makes fast food restaurants seem effusive and the fees are silly. I hadn't heard that they were going to double up on fees but if they do it will, without question, cause me to add the increase into my starting bid prices.

    I have had items relist 3-4 times, after the listing fees, final value fees and paypal fees they made quite a bit more than I.

    Power seller protest will be a huge must if they are doubling fees - got a link? I had not heard that.
     
  13. TimelessRider

    TimelessRider Senior member

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    Anyone have any experience (buying or selling) with other auction sites like Yahoo or Amazon?
     
  14. unappliedscience

    unappliedscience Member

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    The number and variety of items at either Yahoo or Amazon are really pathetic compared to eBay. I guess eBay now wants to exploit their monopoly status.

    I'm waiting for someone to start a category-specific auction site...
     
  15. jcusey

    jcusey Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I can't remember the last time that I searched for stuff on Yahoo or Amazon auctions. I didn't know that they still existed. In any event, I don't think that they are a credible alternative to eBay.

    Despite the fact that eBay likes to think of itself as a swapmeet in cyberspace, the professional sellers like A Harris, vero_group, and Carlo are the seller backbone of eBay and the reason that eBay is a success. Gouge them or piss them off enough, and there will be competitor sites that spring up and steal them. I doubt that you'd see another generalist like eBay (the barrier to entry is just too high), but I wouldn't be surprised to see a clothing auction site or a coin collecting auction site come along if merchant dissatisfaction continues.
     

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