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View Full Version : Should I tell my reserve on Ebay?


Runs With Scissors
12-31-2005, 01:12 AM
I'm selling something for the first time on Ebay...a relatively expensive electronics item.

Someone emailed a question asking what my reserve is.

To be honest, I don't see the point in keeping the reserve a secret...yet it must be a secret for a reason.

I just wanna unload the thing...if telling this person what the reserve is helps, then why not?

I guess it hurts me if only ONE person is bidding...that person can bid the reserve and walk away with it at that price.

But if several people are bidding, then what difference does it make?

Thanks in advance!

gotpasswords
12-31-2005, 01:25 AM
You should have selected a reasonable opening amount with no reserve and let the marketplace determine the final price.

Reserve price auctions are a turn-off to a lot of bidders and they'll pass you by and find something else to bid on.

Khadaji
12-31-2005, 08:41 AM
I agree with gotpasswords. I won't bid on an item with a reserve, where I might have bid on the same item if the ebayer had started the bidding at the price he wanted.

phungi
12-31-2005, 08:45 AM
re: the OP, I would e-mail the bidder and tell them that if there remains one bidder you will disclose the reserve the last day of the auction...

elfkin477
12-31-2005, 04:12 PM
I agree with gotpasswords. I won't bid on an item with a reserve, where I might have bid on the same item if the ebayer had started the bidding at the price he wanted.

I won't bid on 98% of reserve price autions either. The only time I do is if they're the only item up for bid. I also don't bid on items that have a super low opening bid but 4x than normal shipping costs. (or more than 4x! I saw an aution for a 1.5oz glue stick. Shipping? $17) Sellers playing games is a big turn off. My vote goes for making your reserve price your opening bid - then we don't need to guess what you find acceptable. You don't think it ought to be a secret anyway, from what you said.

davenportavenger
12-31-2005, 04:18 PM
I also don't bid on items that have a super low opening bid but 4x than normal shipping costs. (or more than 4x! I saw an aution for a 1.5oz glue stick. Shipping? $17)That's often done to cheat Ebay out of their cut of the closing price, since they charge a fee for a percentage of the item price but not for the shipping and handling. Who buys gluesticks on Ebay anyway? Was it collectible? Crazy.

Count me in as another person who won't bid in reserve auctions.

Mr. Blue Sky
12-31-2005, 04:29 PM
That's often done to cheat Ebay out of their cut of the closing price, since they charge a fee for a percentage of the item price but not for the shipping and handling.

It's also a violation of eBay rules, IIRC.

elfkin477
12-31-2005, 04:35 PM
That's often done to cheat Ebay out of their cut of the closing price, since they charge a fee for a percentage of the item price but not for the shipping and handling. Who buys gluesticks on Ebay anyway? Was it collectible? Crazy.

I know why they do it: to screw Ebay out of their fair cut. I don't really care so much about Ebay getting what they've got coming to them so long as they stay in business BUT a blatant show by the seller that they're willing to screw someone else over doesn't inspire a lot of confidence that they won't in turn screw me if I buy something from them.

The gluestick in question is made by 3M to create your own post-its. It's hard to find (staples sells it online, but not in stores and I'm not spending a "mere" 6x the price in shipping either) so I looked all over for it. Still haven't gotten one yet.

Magiver
12-31-2005, 05:19 PM
I won't bid on 98% of reserve price autions either. The only time I do is if they're the only item up for bid. I also don't bid on items that have a super low opening bid but 4x than normal shipping costs. (or more than 4x! I saw an aution for a 1.5oz glue stick. Shipping? $17) Sellers playing games is a big turn off. My vote goes for making your reserve price your opening bid - then we don't need to guess what you find acceptable. You don't think it ought to be a secret anyway, from what you said. If I'd accidently bid on something that retarded I would have emailed the seller before the end of auction stating my handling cost for sending payment was $20 and let them decide if it was acceptable. Sounds to me like someone missed a decimal point.

autobulb
12-31-2005, 05:49 PM
Maybe the reason people use reserves instead of just starting the auction at the reserve price is because it's cheaper. Ebay charges you a percentage of what your starting bid is. If it's 500 dollars it's going to be a nice little bundle just for posting your item. It would suck if it didn't even sell. By starting the auction at a lower price it saves you money as well as encourages more bids (according to ebay) while the reserve makes sure you don't give away an expensive item for a few dollars if there is not enough demand. But, I know they also charge something for putting up a reserve, maybe it's less than the starting price percentage?

The Blonde Bomber
12-31-2005, 06:12 PM
It's also a violation of eBay rules, IIRC.


eBay rules? HA! Don't make me laugh....

alright. I already laughed.

Speaking of eBay rules.... how does this scenario not break "the rules"?

I was looking at a car... I liked the car, but wasn't going to bid $10K on a car that I couldn't see in person. But in the description, it said... "Please bid on this car. We may go to the second highest bidder if the first person decides not to pay."

WHAAAAAA? That screams shill bid to me. The owner of the car sees the bid for $10K, bids it to $15K, then says, "Hey! That guy never paid! Do you want it for, say $11K? How about the $10K you bid?"

eBay is a great idea gone bad. I still use it, though. Curse me.

And before you ask... I did report it. Nothing happened. (Surprised? Why?) The car sold on schedule. Who actually bought it, I don't know.

Guinastasia
12-31-2005, 06:13 PM
Most people I know that put things at a reserve are selling items that are too expensive to do otherwise.

UntouchedTakeaway
12-31-2005, 06:24 PM
I personally loathe secret reserve pricing.

I collect vanity cases (example - http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=6591316812&rd=1&sspagename=STRK%3AMEWN%3AIT&rd=1 )

I wanted to bid on a similar item from another vendor - made a few bids & never met the nebulous "reserve". I finally got frustrated & said screw it - I emailed her after the auction ended (with no sale, may I add) & it turns out she wanted only about $8 more than my last bid. I was so pissed, I refused to make her an offer...lol

VCNJ~

nivlac
12-31-2005, 06:28 PM
As a buyer, an item with a reserved price is a turn-off, and I generally pass on it. But not always. Occasionally, I will email the seller for the reserved price and if he/she refuses to disclose it, then that auction is over for me. So to answer the OP question, yes, disclose the reserved price since you said "I just wanna unload the thing." Otherwise, you may lose your only buyer.

The Blonde Bomber
12-31-2005, 07:23 PM
I wouldn't share the reserve price either, as others have suggested.

And I skip auctions with reserves.

People are insane. I asked the reserve on the car in my previous post. It was $10K, even though there was no "buy it now" feature.

I looked at the auction a day before it closed and the car was at $17K+. I have no way of knowing if this was a shill bidder or not, but I'll bet the guy that bid $16K (or whatever the last bid was) got a phone call. And I could have purchased the car for $10K.

This is why I stay out of bidding wars and snipe. The emotional aspect of bidding cannot be ignored. Unless you snipe, of course. If I lose, I lose. And if a shill bidder ups the price too much, they have to pay.

Since I've only purchased on eBay and never sold... what is the penalty if someone decides not to pay? Also, the high postage trick is very popular. Why hasn't eBay stopped it?

kanicbird
12-31-2005, 07:58 PM
I can see a reserve price for a uncommon item, one that you might not get more then 1 bidder for. Other then that I wish ebay had a search function that allowed you to ignore all reserve price auctions.

raindog
12-31-2005, 08:58 PM
I have a different perspective. I don't think reserve prices, or minumum prices have as much impact as a good description and excellent photographs.

I am mostly a buyer, and I am drawn first to the photographs, and then the description. (then to the seller's feedback rating!)There are people who's only occupation is to buy and sell on ebay. A poor photograph, or a poor description will lower your price, and it is possible that your item will be up for sale next week by the guy who bought it---with superior photographs.

And be honest and straightforward with your description. I buy mostly camera gear and I'v seen my share of descriptions that say, "I haven't tested it, so I can't verify it's accuracy, or funtionality. Sold AS IS."---all from a guy who has sold 500 camera related items. In English that translates, "It doesn't work. Sold AS IS."

I would also advise to ignore reserve prices and not give them a second thought. Just as you shouldn't concern yourself at all with the current high bidder's "high secret proxy bid" you shouldn't concern your self with what the reserve is.

In other words, don't get wrapped around the axle with what value any given bidder assigns it (via secret proxies) or the value the seller assigns it.

It's mind clutter. There is only two things that matter:
1) The current price. (which may include a minimum bid amount) and;
2) What you're willing to pay for it---the value you assign it.

You should only consider the value you assign it.

Now that may be my particular raving.....and if many ebayers are totally turned off by reserves that you may lose, maybe you shouldn't have a reserve. But that needs to be balanced against the risk if giving it away if the high bid is too low....

Still, I think the best way to get top dollar is to have excellent, multiple pictures and an excellent description. The reserve will become a non-issue.