From what I’ve seen on Ebay, it seems like auctions generally go for more than they’re worth, at least for the kind of things I search for. From time to time I’ll check Ebay looking for cheap sporting event tickets, but I’ve never had any luck finding anything close to a good deal.
Here is an example or an auction to some tickets to a game between the Milwaukee Bucks and Washington Wizards. These are some of the worst seats in the house, last row in the bulding and behind the backboard. With 15 hours to go, they are almost double face value right now. This game is not yet sold out, and absolutely comprable tickets (same row, same price range, a section over) can still be purchased at the box office for face value or online at Ticketmaster with a handling fee.
Is this typical of most Ebay auctions? Are there ever bargains to be had, or will there always be someone to bid up auctions to being a rip off? From what I’ve seen, at least as far as tickets, there will always be some idiot who bids way more than the tickets are worth. Does this happen with other products as well?
It would seem like anyone wanting to make a quick buck could easily buy tickets to certain events from ticketmaster and then turn around and sell them on Ebay the same day. There may be ethical issues concerning scalping or whatever, maybe even legal issues depending on what state you’re in, but in general it seems like it would work.
There’s plenty of bargains to be found. It’s all a matter of supply and demand, though. I’ve bought quite a lot of ELO stuff over the past three years and have found that, if I miss something now, it will likely reappear in a few weeks. You don’t want to sell something if there’s already several being offered. Example: I was bidding on a promo white vinyl copy of Ole ELO. My maximum bid was $60. It eventually went for nearly $600 :eek:
I found it at an online store for $75 and bought it.
Some people get caught in a bidding frenzy and seem to get carried away while others (and I’ve seen this on Beatles stuff) don’t care how they pay, they just have to have it. This applies to memorabilia and event tickets.
The rarer the item you want, the harder it is (usually) to get. If it’s a fairly common item, have patience.
Some real bargains: Adobe Photoshop (usually $600) for $115 plus shipping. Adobe Illustrator (usually $400) for $90 plus shipping. Both were fully legal and I was able to register them with Adobe.
Many other software deals. Most are fully legal and registerable, but at a fraction of the cost of “new”. (One way to go about this is to buy an older version, register it, and then buy the upgrade.)
About 2 months ago I got G4 Powermac (that sold for a little less than $2000 earlier this year) for $800. I am writing on it right now.
I am currently buying mass quantities of cheap paperback novels. I’d have to pay about $2 - $3 for each title at the local used book store, but through eBay, I can often get a dozen or more titles for a few bucks, plus shipping. A real steal. And I can “trade in” the paperbacks to the local used bookstore after I’ve finished reading them, and get even more books!
I could go on and on, boring you to death with some of my good eBay fortune! I sell off my used books, computer equipment, etc. for higher prices (but not extraordinarily high) than I would if I put an ad in the local paper, and I have gotten some great deals also. I have no complaints.
(Well, almost none…) I feel a little ripped off by a “copy” of a rare Burt Lancaster film that just came today. I assumed from the ad that it would be an original video, but it’s not. Still, the movie looks fine, and my mom (a big Lancaster fan) is happy enough with the tape, and that’s what counts, I guess.
I thought that I could make a little selling GTA Vice City PS2 on ebay. Cause it was going for $60 & up (people were selling it even before they had it, I wish that wasn’t allowed). So, I was about to put mine up but when I looked at the auctions for it, there were more than 1000…so the price dropped & reflected that. I did at least get my money back.
Matter of fact, one guy was selling 161 copies of it.
Note that there are a lot of people complaining how eBay has ruined the market for a lot of collectibles. E.g., Beanie Babys, plates, “Franklin Mint” type stuff, etc. Once you find that there 100’s of something on eBay, the price drops.
But I still see anti-logic: I once priced used PS2s and saw they were going for $180, vs. $200 for a new, guaranteed, system. After shipping that makes no sense at all.
My father-in-law has a 1st edition copy of Lewis & Clark’s expedition journal, published in 1805(?) or so. He’s been thinking about selling it on Ebay, but I’ve been telling him it’s just too risky. He might make out well, but he might not get near fair value for it.
The important thing is—make sure you have good feedback before you sell a high-ticket item. People will bid lower (or not at all) if you are an “unknown”. They won’t know if you are trustworthy or not, and will not be willing to take the chance.
I sell a few items a week on Ebay and have been amazed at what people will pay for some items. A few weeks ago I sold a genuine made in Mexico vase for $45. I bought the vase at a dollar store. And the buyer was in San Diego. I also subject myself to the testing of software for a large computer software company with the initials MS. For 2 to 4 hours of my time, I score some of the latest and greatest titles for free. Always in a fresh retail box, none of the OEM stuff. I have done very well with some of those items. I have also shot myself in the foot by advertising items with no reserve and then having to sell at below cost. I treat it as a game, not something that is going to make me rich.
Yes, it never fails to astound me what some people will pay; I guess it has to do with buyer’s perception of scarcity and what a particular item is worth to them.
Case 1: good friend of mine sold a brass watch box, circa 1940, made in USA. Nice art-deco-ey antelopes ‘n’ stuff on it. She saw one sell on eBay for $4.00 a week before hers. She got US $203.00! She used different categories, and the words “Art Deco” in the title. Some guy in Italy who collects that type of watch bought it. Oh yes–she had picked up the box in a local junk shop for $1.99. Canadian!
Case 2: I bought two WW2 Canadian Army maps, dated “4/44,” obviously printed in preparation for D-Day. They were for the area around Caen in France (our objective in the days after June 6/44), and the bridges over the Orne River, which were the objectives of British glider troops landing in the small hours of June 6. Paid CDN $6.00 each. Neat, but I already have the Caen one, so I put them on eBay. The Caen map got US $133.00, the Orne Bridge map: US $455.00. Crazy.
This past winter I bought something like $3K or so of Marx toys (back when action figures were dolls and they were a foot high and made of hard plastic that would survive a two-story fall. You could play catch with these things on asphalt and the asphalt would show more wear). The actual value of these toys is probably closer to $10K or so, and if I sell them at anywhere near their actual value I will make about $5K. One of them, for anyone who knows about this sort of thing, is a Jed Gibson MIB. He is so shiny that he looks as if he just came out of the shower. I am considering taking him to an auction house because I don’t know if people on Ebay will know enough about him to know he is worth possibly $1,200 or so.
I have been frustrated at the prices for out-of-print secondhand paperbacks online, both on eBay and through Amazon. There are a few sci-fi/fantasy novels and rock bios I’ve had my eye on for a long time. They go for less than the cover price (sometimes as little as half) in secondhand bookshops, but many times more than the cover price online. No thanks. As much as I enjoyed reading The Stress of Her Regard I’m not going to shell out $50 for a worn paperback copy. I’ll just keep searching the shelves for it at the local stores.
Alot of people buy stuff on the net cheap & put it on ebay. You have to keep track of what they pay by looking at coupon sites. Some sites featuring the latest discounts for stuff you can buy from stores are Fat Wallet, Tech Bargains, XPBargains, Spoofee, Etc. Also sign up at websites to get email.