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John Mitchell

Bidding on eBay advice

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I'm currently looking at a used lens (Canadian seller) on eBay, and I'm a bit confused about the how the bidding game works.  Up until now, I've only bought items that have set prices. Any bidding hints from you experts? What is the best strategy to use?

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An expert? Moi? I would offer what you're willing to pay . . . at the last minute.

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I bid what i am willing to pay in last 5 secs of auction

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One can 'snipe' with an automated eleventh-hour bid (more like last-second, in fact), but I like to do it manually. Just don't overpay and factor in postage.

Most transactions go perfectly, but allow a little for your risk.

eBay is indispensable to me- when I dropped my camera a while back there's no way I could have afforded a new replacement. I even sold the broken camera for a tidy amount and sold off some old kit to pay for the rest.

Edited by spacecadet

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So, last minute feeding frenzy, that's what I figured. The spoils go to the one with the most agile mouse. That's it?

 

Any tales from the front?

Edited by John Mitchell

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Use Hammersnipe, it's free and will place your bid at within last 10 sec. It's crucial to place a Hammersnipe bid for the MAXIMUM amount you're prepared to pay. If you win EBay will ensure you only pay enough to just beat the next highest bidder.

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Just play a long game and be prepared to let half-a dozen go before you get one at the right price.

I hardly buy anywhere else nowadays. Watch batteries, ink, "personal items", car parts, you name it.

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John, here are my suggestions:
1. Do a search on eBay for the item and tick the 'Sold' Box. This will give you the prices that were actually paid for the item. Take an average of say, the last fifteen prices. You now have a ballpark figure for the average market value.

2. You'll get a better price on auctions that don't finish at the weekend (more bidders around then). Even better look for auctions that finish when most people are at work.

3. Check the buyers feedback. This is very important. Ask questions too - that helps establish what sort of seller they are.

4. Use a sniping website to get the best price. I use Gixen. It's very good and free for a certain number of items.

5. Use the average sold price from before to work out how much you want to pay as a maximum. If you don't win on the first time you will find there will be more opportunities unless the item is v rare.

Edited by Armstrong
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I am an Ebay sniper. Also, do not add the item to your watch list. When a lot of people are watching an item this tends to drive up the bidding price. No one will know who it is that is watching but they will know how many people are watching. A great sniper comes out of nowhere.

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I am an Ebay sniper. Also, do not add the item to your watch list. When a lot of people are watching an item this tends to drive up the bidding price. No one will know who it is that is watching but they will know how many people are watching. A great sniper comes out of nowhere.

 

Uh-oh! I've already added the lens to my watch list (whatever that is). Can I un-watch it?

 

BTW, Sunshine Superman was one of my favourite songs back in the 60s.

 

Update: Just removed the lens from my watch list. Thanks for the tip. How do I tell how many are watching?

Edited by John Mitchell

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John, here are my suggestions:

1. Do a search on eBay for the item and tick the 'Sold' Box. This will give you the prices that were actually paid for the item. Take an average of the say the last fifteen prices. You now have a ballpark figure for the average market value.

 

2. You'll get a better price on auctions that don't finish at the weekend (more bidders around then). Even better look for auctions that finish when most people are at work.

 

3. Check the buyers feedback. This is very important. Ask questions too - that helps establish what sort of seller they are.

 

4. Use a sniping website to get the best price. I use Gixen. It's very good and free for a certain number of items.

 

5. Use the average sold price from before to work out how much you want to pay as a maximum. If you don't win on the first time you will find there will be more opportunities unless the item is v rare.

 

Thanks, useful-sounding tips. I have a good idea what the current used market value for this lens (vintage MF ) is, so that's not a problem. Shall check out Gixen.

Edited by John Mitchell

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John,

 

I buy and sell a lot of equipment on eBay. 

 

On large $ items, first I check the sellers rating, then I send them a simple question

and see how long it takes for them to respond and how they respond.  I also search

the completed sales to check the price.

 

I've found eBay (in the U.S.) to be very good, but I have also found the same item for

less directly from the NYC stores.

 

Luck,

 

Chuck

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John,

 

I buy and sell a lot of equipment on eBay. 

 

On large $ items, first I check the sellers rating, then I send them a simple question

and see how long it takes for them to respond and how they respond.  I also search

the completed sales to check the price.

 

I've found eBay (in the U.S.) to be very good, but I have also found the same item for

less directly from the NYC stores.

 

Luck,

 

Chuck

 

Thanks, Chuck. The current state of the CAN$ vs US$ is not conducive to shopping south of the 49th, even at the big NYC stores that generally have very good prices. Not sure I have the right stuff to be a sniper, but I'm curious to give the bidding thing a try since this seller is based in Canada.

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Buying used MF lens, ask seller to confirm that there is no fungus growth within, the front element is not scratched, and that both the aperture ring and focus controls work smoothly.

 

Some very good advice in responses above, follow that and all should be well. I've bought loads of stuff in the past with only a couple of problems, normally resovable, e.g. sent it back for a full refund.

 

Warning, it can become addictive, try to avoid collecting junk!

Edited by Bryan

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Use Hammersnipe, it's free and will place your bid at within last 10 sec. It's crucial to place a Hammersnipe bid for the MAXIMUM amount you're prepared to pay. If you win EBay will ensure you only pay enough to just beat the next highest bidder.

 

Sniping software new since I last used e-bay, sounds interesting  . . . but . . . what happens if five of you are using Hammersnipe on the same sale? Is it a bit like the services that guarantee you a top 10 position on Google Search for any term but don't talk about what would happen is 11 of you paid for a top 10 position for the same term :-)

 

dd

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Warning, it can become addictive, try to avoid collecting junk!

The secret is only to  sell junk on ebay.

Seriously- we've shifted odd bits of deco crockery and even a vintage telephone bell set (extension ringer for a garage circa 1930).

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Sniping is the way to go... if only because you're never tempted to get into a 'bidding war'...

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Sniping is the way to go... if only because you're never tempted to get into a 'bidding war'...

I was bidding on a second hand lens on eBay when a bidding war developed. I stopped at when it went past my max price. then watched as two others carried on. The winner paid the same as the lens was new on Amazon. Edited by Armstrong

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Buying used MF lens, ask seller to confirm that there is no fungus growth within, the front element is not scratched, and that both the aperture ring and focus controls work smoothly.

 

Some very good advice in responses above, follow that and all should be well. I've bought loads of stuff in the past with only a couple of problems, normally resovable, e.g. sent it back for a full refund.

 

Warning, it can become addictive, try to avoid collecting junk!

 

Yup, fungus, oil on the blades, scratches on glass (from being cleaned with steel wool), and clunky focus ring are all common pitfalls, which is why I usually shop local for used lenses. This seller appears knowledgeable, though, and has addressed these issues in his ad. However, as a first-time bidder and somewhat wimpy sniper, my chances of making the "kill" are no doubt slim.

 

Regarding collecting junk, not to worry, we're already overstocked. Would you like some? I'll pay the shipping.

Edited by John Mitchell

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Let us know the fallout  how you get on.

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Let us know the fallout  how you get on.

 

Oh yeah. 20h 57m 30s to go. Rifle loaded. Two small bids at the moment.

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Good luck John!  B)

 

I bought some nice MF Nikor lenses on ebay and keep thinking I should try it for selling stuff. Had good experiences buying stuff there. I keep bringing carloads of stuff to Goodwill (a charity thrift shop here in the US) because I'm trying to downsize my house, and every once in a while I'm tempted to try selling the stuff instead. For those of you who've sold stuff there, is it worthwhile after the hassle of packing, shipping, etc? 

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Good luck John!  B)

 

I bought some nice MF Nikor lenses on ebay and keep thinking I should try it for selling stuff. Had good experiences buying stuff there. I keep bringing carloads of stuff to Goodwill (a charity thrift shop here in the US) because I'm trying to downsize my house, and every once in a while I'm tempted to try selling the stuff instead. For those of you who've sold stuff there, is it worthwhile after the hassle of packing, shipping, etc? 

 

It costs, or did the last time I used it,  about 15%  to sell on Ebay including the Payal fee, but not the postage.  We have Gumtree in the UK which can be totally free, don't know if it is International.

 

Find out how much it is going to cost to post the item and state that in your pitch.  

 

It's probably a good idea to stipulate a sensible minimum selling price also. As has been suggested above, look at completed listings to get an idea of the auction value of your item.

 

Good photographs help, shouldn't be a problem for a member of this forum?

 

We also have Freecycle here where you can give stuff away. Tried clearing a house that way and it was a nightmare, people agreed to turn up to collect stuff, but never appeared. A fee concentrates the mind.  :unsure:

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I've sold a lot of items on eBay without a problem, I do have a 100% positive rating as both a buyer and a seller.

For selling I always make sure that my listing is accurate and have good pictures of the object.  The only real

problem that I've had was on an item that was won by someone in England and PayPal held the payment, but asked

me to ship the item?  Turned out to be no big deal and worked out fine in the end.  I've also deleted bids based on

the bidders location or their feedback.

 

Chuck

 

PS  I just did an inventory and 3 of the four cameras I'm currently using were purchased on eBay and every lens except for

one was as well.  My strobe equipment, over 10,000 watts of packs and 11 heads were 90% purchased on eBay.

Edited by Chuck Nacke
  • Upvote 1

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It's not aways 'worth it' as an hourly rate but it can be satisfying to get realy money for old junk, and you get rid of stuff-who could actually throw away a lens, however ancient?

Somebody wanted my leaky 12-on Hasselblad backs, and how on earth did I acquire a 50mm zebra-stripe Tessar anyway?

Edited by spacecadet

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