Question regarding Second Chance Offer from eBay

Recently, I lost at an auction to obtain a collection of more than 80 episodes of an old TV show.

This morning, an e-mail was sent to me from eBay informing me that I have been given a Second Chance Offer, and that I still had a chance to get the tapes.

Apparently, the Second Chance Offer occurs under two circumstances: either the winning bidder failed to complete the purchase, or if the seller has duplicate items to unload. Given the sheer number of episodes, the possibility of duplicate items seems unlikely.

The part that bothers me about the first possibility is that the e-mail was sent approximately five hours after the auction ended. That doesn’t sound like much time to me, and something doesn’t feel right.

My questions are:

  1. Have any other Dopers ever received a Second Chance Offer from eBay like this? If so, did they come so quickly after the auction was concluded?

  2. What are your opinions about the timing of the Second Chance Offer? The speed at which it was sent to me is the primary reason why I’m a little suspicious.

I just received a Second Chance Offer and it was about 3-4 days after the auction end. The seller had been in e-mail contact with me beforehand and asked if I was interested since she couldn’t get in contact with the high bidder.

I’d definitely be suspicious about a Second Chance Offer five hours after the auction. That’s barely enough time to contact each other and organise payment. Have you done a search on the bidding history of the other bidder to see if they’re legit or a shill?

The seller is a new name…no previous selling history.

The winning bidder has only 7 buys to his/her name.

That’s another reason why this doesn’t feel right.

The most optimistic answer (with regards to you) is that the winning bidder entered the wrong amount while sniping. Winning bid went higher than he wanted. Obviously, didn’t get a chance to retract. Contacted the seller. Who then approached you.

I’ve had sellers come to me and offer an item to me when there was a minimum bid amount that hadn’t been reached but I was the highest bidder and they were willing to take that bid and then another time when the winning bidder didn’t follow through.

My first thought when I read your OP was, and maybe this is totally out of line, but what about you email the winning bidder? See if that person still wants the item or had perhaps informed the seller within those few hours they didn’t intend to complete the transaction. I’m thinking if you can contact the winning bidder, the two of you might be able to figure out if either one or both of you are being scammed by the seller. YMMV

Good luck to you!

Also, is it kosher with eBay policy to do the “obtain name and address and phone” thing of both eBay members? IIRC it notifies the member in email that you have accessed the info.

You could check if there were any location correlation, etc. Or phone them both.

Or is that possible only with sellers of items and not bidders, I wonder.


I sent an e-mail last night asking the seller a few questions. One of the questions was about what happened with the winning bidder.

I’ll see what his response is, and decide if it is believable enough to accept the Second Chance Offer.