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Ebay auction ends; then offered lowball price. Report him?(26 posts)

Ebay auction ends; then offered lowball price. Report him?Fez
Jan 13, 2004 11:20 AM
A long time ago, I listed some relatively high dollar jewelry on Ebay, got lots of interest from one person who said she was going to bid, and did not. 5 minutes after the auction, she offers 20% of my opening bid.

I ignored her email, did not report her, and just learned my lesson that fine jewelry is not a good item for a private individual (non-merchant) to sell.

Since then, I have had good luck selling items less than $200.

But higher dollar items never seem to get bids and I STILL get the same lowball offers on high dollar items after the auction ends.

Do you report these people to Ebay. If so, does Ebay ever do anything to those violators?

I find that Ebay works well for small dollar items or bike parts, but rarely for large dollar items or high-end complete bicycles.
Did you have a reserve?Dave Hickey
Jan 13, 2004 11:29 AM
If the auction doesn't go for your reserve, why can't a seller contact you after closing and make an offer. My new frame was bought that way. The seller had it listed for 3 weeks and nobody met his price. I contaced him after it closed and made an offer. He accepted it.

You have to remember the buyer is the one that stands to lose in this situation. Buying offline, you lose the ability to post negative feedback.
One other thing...Dave Hickey
Jan 13, 2004 11:37 AM
Put in your listing, "I do not accept offline bids and offers to buy after an auction ends."
eBay is amending that for the seller ...HouseMoney
Jan 13, 2004 12:01 PM
eBay sent out an email in the past week or so saying that they will be allowing the seller to send a Second Chance memo to the highest bidder in a case where the reserve was not met. I don't remember when it's supposed to take effect. Probably a way to allow eBay to get a piece of the action in transactions that may have been completed offline otherwise; plus, both parties can then utilize eBay for any recourse.

My last sale on eBay was for an item that initially didn't meet my reserve. I re-listed it with no reserve and it ended up selling for about $5 less than the highest bid from the first listing. No big deal, but had I had the opportunity to sell for the highest bidder's price (despite my reserve not being met), I would've.
Second ChanceFTMD
Jan 13, 2004 12:25 PM
I recently lost an auction for a jersey. Got a Second Chance offer from the seller the next day. I guess he had more than one in my size. I took the offer. So yeah, ebay is getting action off this this, and I do believe it saves the seller listing fees.
No reserve. And where do you draw the line?Fez
Jan 13, 2004 12:05 PM
I don't use reserves under this theory. The reserve is supposed to be the lowest price the seller is willing to accept.

So I set my opening bid as my "reserve," which by definition is the lowest price the seller is willing to receive.

Unless I am mistaken, doesn't a reserve just waste a buyer's time? A buyer pretty much has a max he's willing to spend.

I don't want to invest any time in a product with a $50 opening bid that I'm willing to spend $200 on, only to find the reserve (secret to buyers) is $295. If the guy put $295 in the beginning, I would know right off hand to look elsewhere because there's no meeting of the minds.

And where do you draw the line as far when its OK to contact a seller outside of Ebay? And since you seem like a reasonable man, what guidelines do you use to make your offer?

Remember, I get these emails for 20 cents on the dollar of what the opening bid was. And I believe the opening bid was less than FMV.
A reserve helps build the bidding frenzyDave Hickey
Jan 13, 2004 12:12 PM
If you list it for what you feel is fair market value, what's the insentive to bid? In my experience, listing a $200 item for $200 might not even get a bid. Listing a $200 item with a low opening bid but a reserve of $200 will end up selling for more than $200.

I agree with you that offering 20 cents on the dollar is crazy. In my case with the new frame, I offered the seller $900 dollars vs his asking price of $1000.
You are a reasonable man.Fez
Jan 13, 2004 12:23 PM
You seemed reasonable with your offer on the Look. Is there a proper etiquette on when its OK to solicit a transaction outside of Ebay? A period of time, perhaps?

Regarding the reserve, one more caveat is that with a $200 reserve, you won't get a binding sale if the bids are close to, but do not reach the reserve. Perhaps some of those buyers who were really close would be willing to pay the reserve, but they just didn't want to keep on bidding since they had no idea how close they were.

With an opening bid of $200 and no bids, it only takes one level headed guy to place a bid for the opening price to make a sale.

The difference can sometimes be no-sale vs. sale.
The real reason I didn't bid..Dave Hickey
Jan 13, 2004 12:28 PM
I was out of town while the auction ended. The next day I received a nice bonus check so I emailed the seller and made him an offer. I suppose I could have just asked him if he was going to re-list it, but I didn't want to wait another week.
I just had the seller relist with a buy-it-now.Matno
Jan 13, 2004 1:47 PM
He was willing to sell his C-dale frame for the price I was willing to pay. (After his first auction closed with no bids). We actually communicated back and forth a couple of times. I didn't try to lowball his reserve, just asked if he was going to relist and casually mentioned that if it were a little less, I'd bid. He relisted immediately with a buy-it-now of my offer, and we did everything "kosher." Of course, there was a SLIGHT risk of someone else jumping in on the deal, but he emailed me at the same time he put the frame on ebay.
That's a good ideaDave Hickey
Jan 13, 2004 1:57 PM
Everything is on the up and up....

My biggest concern buying outside of Ebay was trusting the seller to ship the bike. I found out he owned a bike shop and looked up his webpage. I talked to him on the phone and I knew his address in the event of a problem.
No way.jtolleson
Jan 13, 2004 11:31 AM
Ebay's resources are taxed enough trying to keep out the actually cons and ripoffs... you want them to devote time to tracking down people who give you lowball offers outside of the auction process?

Sheesh. Did you tattle in elementary school, too?
No need to get snippy. In addition,Fez
Jan 13, 2004 11:50 AM
I may be a little naive on Ebay matters, but it clearly says in the rules for buyers that this practice is not allowed.

Furthermore, it undermines the Ebay system. Sellers write up good descriptions. Ebay hosts a medium for buyer and seller. Legit buyers and sellers rely on the payment and feedback systems. Ebay expects to get paid based on a percentage of winning bid price.

These offline bidders undermine Ebay and waste sellers time with their quesitons. They are not serious at all. I could understand some serious buyers who offer a few percent off or a few dollars off in the search of a bargain, but 20 cents on the dollar for an $1,800 item?

And Ebay does have the resources (pretty huge revenues and huge market capitalization) to do something about it and they should, since they should address any and all things that undermine the credibility of the core business.
No snippy feelings here ...jtolleson
Jan 13, 2004 1:34 PM
I just thought the inquiry was petty and silly, and I'm entitled to that opinion.

Don't want to take bids of eBay? Then don't. But it doesn't raise the specter of fraud, and that's where I worry about reporting others.

I can tell you are new to eBay, but your claim about their "massive resources" is not borne out by their constant scramble to even keep up with the most OBVIOUS frauds, such as folks "selling" things they don't even own.

I think a little mental "triage" which distinguishes between the severity of rule breaking is warranted here.

But apparently you only want advice from those who agree, so tattle away if you feel strongly about it.
Ok, but "petty and silly?" Come on now...Fez
Jan 13, 2004 3:29 PM
Because I wanted to play by the rules, I recently read the Ebay rules for buyers AND seller.

Ebay said that practice was prohibited for the reasons mentioned above. And they said to report it. They even had a link and detailed instructions. Their own words say its against the rules, temporary suspension may result, and they want folks to report it. I guess they consider it to be serious. Maybe less serious than the frauds, but still serious.

And... the User ID who did it had double digit positive feedback. Makes me wonder...

If I wanted advice from those who agree, I would have clearly stated "only those who agree with me reply."

You're definitely entitled to your opinion. All I ask is that you be polite when expressing it and save the snide side comments for some other forum.
Ok, but "petty and silly?" Come on now...jtolleson
Jan 13, 2004 4:03 PM
You want to play by the rules, play by the rules. But leave the "eBay hall monitor" position to others.

And I'm quite happy on this forum, thank you very much.
dude, I've gotta say...shawndoggy
Jan 13, 2004 5:16 PM
That when I am selling something that didn't get any bids and somebody comes out of the woodwork with an offer, my own personal reaction is usually one of relief, not suspicion. You've got something to sell. They want to buy. Price is negotiable.... if it's too low, don't sell. But as the seller in an off e-bay transaction, provided you take proper precautions re getting paid (i.e. paypal, usps money order, pers. ck and wait for it to clear, etc.), how in the heck do you go wrong? Shoot, you can sell 'em a flaming piece of dookie, and they can't even leave you bad feedback. Not that I'm advocating that, but the risk is clearly on the buyer, not the seller. The reason e-bay wants you to report it is because they want all transactions going through them so they get their fees.

I've purchased a few items where I was the high bidder but reserve wasn't met. I've just e-mailed the seller later, said, "hey buddy, what's your reserve," he tells me and we strike a deal (usually for less, but I'm a cheapa$$).

Anyhow FWIW, let it go my man. You wouldn't call the cops if someone tried to buy your house for 20 cents on the dollar, you'd just slam the door. Do the same thing here. Say no (or maybe if you are feeling really crazy, come back with a counteroffer of your own -- it's called negotiation).
Its in Ebay's interest to devote resources to thischopper
Jan 13, 2004 12:32 PM
Ebay makes money off of items that are bid on, the higher the bidding the more money. Lowball offers outside of the auction hurt Ebay.
Ebay works for big ticket items-->>ZenJones
Jan 13, 2004 11:31 AM
there is just a large amount of cheap people who want something for nothing. Stick with it and place your auctions concurrent with times that folks are in the market... e.g. jewelry-Valentines, late summer(weddings) and the holidays.

I wouldn't bother reporting them... this kind of thing is pretty common amoung the Ebay crowd.
Report them for what??dctrofspin
Jan 13, 2004 1:10 PM
First of all, on all issues of fraud/rip-off and the like, Ebay is a gigantic doughnutburger in terms of dealing with it. It's essentially the wild wild west...buyer and seller beware. Ebay will not engage unless something tremendously illegal has happened. So the idea of reporting them is a waste of time. Secondly, so what if people offer you a low-ball price? Ignore the email and tell them to pound sand. If you can't sell something after repeated attempts and people are offering you a lower price, maybe that's all the stuff is worth?
Report them for what??biketx
Jan 13, 2004 5:25 PM
I don't think the policy you're talking about is actually prohibited. Yes, there is a rule against soliciting off-site sale of listed items. But once the auction expires, it's no longer a listed item.

I do this occasionally myself. Quite often, you'll see a seller list something for what I consider an unrealistic price. I browse the listings often and know what stuff is worth- the other day, I saw a seller listing a $600 starting bid on a bike worth $300. That kind of thing is fairly common. If they can sell it for that, great. If I'm interested in the item and it expires, though, I don't see a thing wrong with dropping a note to the seller saying, "Hey, I think it's worth $X. If you'd like to sell it for that, please give me a call."

I'm sure eBay would prefer that all transactions go through their site, but once a listing expires, I don't believe this sort of offer actually violates the rules - how could it?

re: Ebay auction ends; then offered lowball price. Report him?Giant_Tom
Jan 13, 2004 1:46 PM
Why wait until the auction ends?? I've made off eBay offers when I ask questions about items and I've had them taken once in awhile. I just got a set of wheels and tires for my car at quite a bit lower than the reserve set by the seller, he needed the money now and I wanted the tires. eBay knows this happens and can't do anything about it since it's common enough they can't police all the auctions. What they have done though is raise auction fees effective soon and that will encourage even more off site selling to save on FVF.
If the auction ended normally, they didn't violate anything...miposy
Jan 13, 2004 4:13 PM is only a violation, technically, if you cancel the auction to sell offline, or if the buyer asks you to do so. Waiting to see if an overpriced item sells (and it is overpriced if you don't get a bid past your reserve or opening price), and then contacting the seller is just smart business.

There was no fraud committed at all by either party, and the buyer wasn't out of line (though it clearly irritated you that nobody on Ebay agreed with your assessment of your jewelrys value).

As you now know, on Ebay or off Ebay, resale value for jewelry is crap compared to most other items. Used jewelry just plain sells poorly, no matter it's sentimental value, unless it is historical in some way. In fact, Pawn shops frequently use Ebay to determine the value of items in their shops.
Couldn't have said it better :-) nmkenyee
Jan 14, 2004 10:22 AM
Thanks everyone.Fez
Jan 13, 2004 5:48 PM
Thanks to everyone who gave constructive replies.

I read the Ebay site again and I guess a lot of that pertains to while the auction is in process. Once it ends, I guess its not a violation.
So, what's the problem??Dave_Stohler
Jan 14, 2004 8:36 PM
I mean, so what if they lowballed you? If the bids didn't even hit your reserve, then you priced it too high. Every item has a price which it will sell at.

With all the scams lately, people are shying away from high-value internet auctions. Add to that the problems with actually being able to determine the value of anything from a .jpg file, and you have the problem with selling stuff like that online. FWIW, jewellery never sells well on ebay-at least not the good stuff.

One thing that lowballers may be looking for is good deals on hot merchandise, too. If somebody is selling something that's fishy, they may actually be receptive to an offer of a fraction of what it was started at. Happens all the time...

Still, if you are offended by being offered a lowball price, maybe you should consider changing your line of work.