E-Bay Strategy

I am currently the high bidder (with about 8 hours to go) on a car on E-Bay. I am below the reserve price, but I know I’m not that far below, because someone else bid about $700 more than me and subsequently retracted the bid (“Entered wrong bid amount”), and during the brief interlude that he was the highest bidder, he was above the reserve. Here’s my question:

Supposing I might be willing to go somewhat higher, is there any advantage to my waiting for the auction to end and contacting the dealer directly, as opposed to bidding online? IOW, is it reasonable to assume that a dealer would put a higher reserve price than the price for which they would sell it to you directly? I guess this question has to do with both common selling strategy and E-Bay charges/policy, and I’d appreciate some input from people familiar with the way these work.

(Of course, if I get outbid the question might become moot.)

Not sure about your specific question, but don’t be surprised if you get outbid at the last second. eBay has gotten to the point where the only way to win an auction any more is to “snipe” right before the close.

I would not buy anything that might have problems (like a car) outside eBays umbrella. Sellers that will do that are not very honest.

Now- I am not talking about someone “auctioning” off a T-shirt which they clearly sell retail also.

I refuse to lower myself to be a sniper, and I win about half my auctions. You can never get sniped if you do the following- 1. place a Lowball bid. 2. 24 hours or so before the auction is to end, re-bid your absolute maximum. 3. Ignore any tempation to bid higher- EVEN BY A DIME- even if “outbid”. Thus, you will never get “sniped”- just “outbid”.

In many cases, you can skip that 1st Step and just bid your Max to start. However, some sellers do shill bidding, and in some categories, things get weird.

the problem with this is that you may not be the only one doing this. I listed a camera once and had 3 people offer to buy it after the auction.

I never bid on items with reserve prices. I just don’t like that whole aspect.

Rarely does the price go up much in the last hours of my own stuff. The first thing I ever sold on eBay was bid high right away and wasn’t outbid. Don’t expect sniping to always occur.

So bid a reasonable amount for you, if it doesn’t reach the reserve, just forget about it and go on.

Thanks for the input, guys!

What happened was that I did not bid again, got outbid by $100, which also failed to make the reserve price. So I emailed the seller, and he offered to sell it for $300 more than the retracted bid that had met the reserve. I sent him back the email showing the retrated bid, and he said that the reserve price had been set in error, but that he would honor it. Does this indicate any sort of trickery?

Why is this? Once the auction expires the guy reverts back to the status of an ordinary guy (or dealer) looking to sell a car.

(In this case, part of the appeal of this car is that the seller is within driving distance of my house).

eBay offers you various protections, and you get none of these in this case.

The bit about the reserve price seems a bit fishy, IMHO.

Proceed with caution, my freind.

When you see an auction with a reserve, email the person & ask them what the reserve amount it before you bid.

Check the feedback too.