Yesterday, I had the winning bid on an auction that ended today.
However, i received an email indicating that The auction had ended and no other information was available.
Well, that was odd, I thought. This wasn’t for a vehicle or anything. It was for something that had a buy it now price of $250, an opening bid of $85, and a shipping charge of $25.
I was the only bidder, and I assume the only one watching the auction, since it said “1 watching” (i’m pretty smart, eh?). Anyway, i had only bid the minimum, but I wanted the item and was going to go and add some money to my bid just in case someone decided to try to snipe me at the last minute. That was my plan, anyway.
So, I wrote the guy that was running the auction, to see if someone had hit the “buy it now” or maybe he sold it locally. From what I understand with eBay, once a bid is placed, the “buy it now” option is supposed to disappear, but maybe this has changed. The guy writes back to me and says he just ended the auction because he didn’t like the bidding on it, and he has the ability to cancel an auction up to 24 hours before the end of an auction. That’s his right as the seller of the item.
Well, that seems kind of cheesy to me. Sure, if I was selling an item and didn’t like the price I was going to get for it, I’d like to pull the auction, but that seems like a bad rule. Seems to me that the seller could have (and should have) made the opening bid something that he could live with getting for the item if it was the only bid he received. He could have made that opening bid anything he wanted. That’s the way an auction works. He didn’t have a reserve on the item, other than the opening bid. It seems rather bogus that you can pull the plug on an auction just because you aren’t getting the action you wanted.
So, can anyone out there help me and tell me what eBay’s rules are regarding this kind of thing? I asked the seller a few questions, but he stopped answering them after a couple of emails, so I guess he thought I was trying to get him in trouble or something. I wasn’t. I was just interested in if eBay was actually ok with someone pulling an auction because the seller was going to lose money on it. That is exactly what the guy told me the reason was that he pulled it. He said “I’ve been losing money on eBay on most of my items, and I just didn’t want to lose money on this item.” He said “I was hoping for a bidding war, but when it didn’t happen, I had the right to close the auction if there was more than 24 hours left.”
Uh, yeah, that’s nice, but isn’t that the idea of a free market and supply and demand? You put something out there for folks to bid on, and no one does. Guess what? You don’t get a bidding war. And if one person bids on it, and you have no reserve, that person wins the item.
Or is he telling me the truth and eBay permits someone to pull the plug on an auction like that?
I can’t imagine eBay would be crazy about this practice, as they lost the percentage of whatever they would have received out of my $85. So, does eBay permit the auction cancellation if the seller pays a fee of some sort? Or did this guy buffalo me and screw me out of getting a great deal on his item because no one else seemed to want it?
Thanks for any info.