eBay - Limiting downside when no reserve available?

I’m in Australia and I have an old and valuable chair that I want to sell. One of these chairs sold for $12,000 in the US a few years back, and it appears that they don’t come up often. The chair is too heavy to freight overseas – it is made substantially from stainless steel, has a substantial pedestal base and weighs around 50kg.

I don’t expect to get $12k for mine, but I’d hope that it would not sell for a ridiculously low price. If I sell at traditional auction I get slugged by fees, and it will sell for what it brings on the day. I would like to sell on eBay with a reserve and have lower fees but, according to the AUS ebay site, selling with a reserve price is only available for vehicles listed in the Cars, Bikes, Boats category. This precludes my chair.

I’m a very irregular user of eBay and can’t work out how to make sure it doesn’t sell for $50 on account of not having a reserve. I’m happy for the chair to sit there for a few weeks and also content to set a reasonable “Buy It Now” price. How do I make sure it doesn’t go for a song if I’m not able to set a reserve price?

Would setting a starting price work? I think the only difference from a reserve is people can’t see the reserve.

I’m not clear on what you think the issue is. The listing fees are usually fairly modest even for expensive items. It’s the selling fees that kill you.

I just tested a listing on eBay AU. It costs 3.00 AU dollars to list a 6,000 AU chair.

Just list it at your minimum acceptable price. That’s effectively your “reserve”, it just isn’t hidden.

Hadn’t even considered starting price. :smack:

Right-ho. Problem solved.

Of course.

Thanks all!

From the standpoint of the seller a reserve price is essentially just a psychological trick. The idea is that a somewhat high opening bid might put off even the people who will ultimately pay that much for the item but feel too guilty to just bid that much up front. IOW it gets them interested and sucked into the auction early without having to bid a lot up front even though they very well may end up spending a lot on it anyway.

This is especially true of high priced ‘non-practical’ vanity items. Just something to consider.

P.S. Maybe I’m wrong but I though that a reserve price was pretty much a staple on eBay and allowed in all categories…

It’s been several years since I’ve used eBay, but I wonder if you’re prohibited from using another country’s site. Say eBay.uk or the US eBay.com. It seems odd that they won’t let you assign a reserve, that restriction didn’t exist on the US site when I frequented it. Possibly it’s due to an Australian regulation, but more likely it somehow prevented eBay from sucking your wallet out.

US yes, AU no.