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Has anybody ever considered the irrational behaviour on eBay

by Kiddpeat / March 26, 2006 10:29 AM PST

I'm considering acquring a new camera lense. I figured I'ld check eBay to save some money. I had the brand new cost from B&H, and used that to decide my maximum. I try not to bid until the last 30 seconds or so to avoid driving up the price, but I was watching it. I was amazed again when I revisited just before the action ended. I figured my new price was about $320 including shipping. The winning bidder bid $311 plus $15 for shipping for a used lense with its actual condition pretty well unknown.

What is wrong with people? It appears they bid without attempting to determine what the item is worth. Color me perplexed.

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by dirtyrich / March 26, 2006 11:27 AM PST

Many people don't bother to research the costs...also the thrill of the auction gets to them and they become too competitive.

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Do I have an ebay story for you
by hh / March 26, 2006 12:46 PM PST

Just about the time when the new Motorola Razr cellphone was introduced, some people were selling a website address where people can include their names on a list, and eventually by agreeing to purchase a CD or something like that for about $20, they would get the phone free. The more people signed up to be on the list, the faster your name moved up.
Well, some people paid as much as $600 to be on that list where maybe in 6 months they might get a free cellphone.
Considering at the same time you could have signed up with a carrier and get the phone for $400 or $500, I did not know why so many people were so eager to get involved in such a pyramid scheme, not knowing if they would even get the phone. But it seems there are some (many) stupid people out there still waiting to receive their 'free' cellphones, yet you can get one now for about $100 from a carrier.

Some people just have to bid! I think it is a sickness just like gambling.

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(NT) (NT) I guess it is.
by Kiddpeat / March 26, 2006 1:00 PM PST
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this behavior has been around...
by null. / March 26, 2006 4:09 PM PST

since eBay started, but in the last couple/three years I've noticed it more and more. It is so much a problem for me I stopped using ebay as an online source for my computer items and only buy from online stores now. Not to mention the spam Paypal emails I was getting and still do. Albeit I didn't purchase much from ebay, I do build my own computers for myself and wife about every 2 years with technology up to a year old to keep down costs. it was a good source for these items.

I've seen known broken items and items known to be toast sell for more than new, it amazes me as well.

Don Erickson

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last year...
by grimgraphix / March 26, 2006 4:24 PM PST

I was searching for a Wacom tablet (digital drawing tablet). They are practically indestructible but some are obsolete due to connectors that have gone out of style over the years.

Anyway, I researched the price and then went to EBay. Not only did I see used tablets selling for more than brand new but the ones that were selling at a bargain price were all going to 1 or 2 people (I checked their buying records). They must have been using some software set up that would review the price and update bids up to the moment the bidding was closed. If the bidding went beyond a certain price the "serial" buyers left the item to the idiots who left their common sense at the door.

After keeping my eye on the market I gave up and bought new. I just couldn't compete with whatever software these people were using to track the deals.

My opinion... A lot of folks with compulsion problems have made the owners of EBay a great deal of money.


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Sadly, you are right. eBay would be a great resource if you
by Kiddpeat / March 27, 2006 12:13 AM PST
In reply to: last year...

could actually get good prices, but all too often it's not possible. I still go there to get hard to find items, but I'm learning the necessity to say 'this much, and no more'.

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by grimgraphix / March 27, 2006 2:21 AM PST

If only everyone would!

Who was it that said "a fool and his money will soon be (spending it on E Bay)?"

Actually, I think it was me! Grin


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by J. Vega / March 27, 2006 2:49 AM PST
In reply to: Chuckle...

However, it's great for collectables, and sometimes you can find just what you're looking for at a bargain price.

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True... good point
by grimgraphix / March 27, 2006 2:52 AM PST
In reply to: However...

It seems to make a better flea market or garage sale for those obscure and hard to find items.


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The best part...
by J. Vega / March 27, 2006 3:08 AM PST
In reply to: True... good point

The best part is that you don't have to run around. Example: I was looking for items from the family cigar business in the 1800's. One specific label it took a professional label dealer over 6 years to find. Then came eBay, and I found a cigar box in New Orleans, the progressive proof book fron another of his labels in New York, and one of his cigar bands in North Carolina - all just sitting at my computer.
I'm a happy camper with eBay.

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by James Denison / March 28, 2006 6:38 PM PST
In reply to: The best part...

That was my grandmother's name. Her father named her that from the name on his favorite brand of cigars. He liked the picture of the woman on there and that was the name. Grandma had one of those old cigar boxes, but I don't know where it is now, maybe still in the old house, which I own and visit once or twice a year.

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Not only EBay, but at small auction houses
by John Robie / March 27, 2006 6:17 AM PST

people are so addicted that I have observed many going way over a new retail price. What I like are cattle auctions. Many smart ranch owners will temporarily employ a young guy who constantly hangs around the auction corrals for a percentage to do their bidding/buying for them. They get good livestock at a reasonable price. One of my nephews started hanging around the stockyards and at 14yrs old was doing just that. He is now in his 50's still doing it making a great living.

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never sold anything for more than it's worth BUT..

I do sell a lot of items on e-bay, and in most cases get good money. I believe some people get caught up in the bidding and prices often end up higher than some would expect. I have also observed some very strange selling techniques. People listing items with only a buy it now price that is way, way, over priced. I am sure there are some out there that have other accounts that are bidders, they know once they have a couple of ligit bids, they can move you up, but I would guess only a few do this. Once you get caught your out of business, for awhile at least.
As a seller I have a good reputation, I wouldn't want to mess that up just to make a few extra dollars on a sale. As a buyer, I am careful, always check the feedback. If I think something is odd I check the bids and see who is bidding, if the seller has other items, check and see if the same bidders are there too. Bidders with zero feedback are the ones I worry about. Plus, like most smart people, I do have a limit of what I am willing to pay for an item, and thats how high I go. We all want to get a deal, and you certainly can get one on E-bay, just don't go there thinking you will get something for nothing.

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