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Thread: Coming in 2nd Place on Ebay - Need your feedback

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    Default Coming in 2nd Place on Ebay - Need your feedback

    I have recently noticed that I am often the 2nd place bidder on Ebay. Not sure how to interpret that but thought it was interesting -- I like to think that I am pretty good at figuring out what things are worth but also a little cheap . Anyway, best scenario is definitely to win an auction much lower than my maximum bid but generally also happy when I win at or near my maximum offer since I am conservative with my bidding and avoid bidding wars.

    So question for N-scale community -- how do you feel when you come in 2nd place in an auction?

    What percent of the time are you relieved that you did not get the unit at your maximum bid price (i.e., bid too high / got caught up in a bidding war) vs. how often do you wish the seller had a second item that they would sell you for your maximum bid?

    For me I guess about 75% of the time I wish the seller had a second item to sell at the maximum bid I put.

    p.s., sorry not sure which forum to put this in so hope it is not too inappropriate in General Rail Discussion

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    I don't like to wait, so I usually use the buy it now if available and the price is reasonable.

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    I have never really thought of it as 2nd place... But IMHO, you are probably good at calculating the current "value" of that item and someone else's estimated value/desire is just a bit more.

    I tend to figure my highest bid price, subtract S&H, adjust for possible combined wins and bid once. Wherever I end up is just the process. I am cheap and like to get things cheap whenever possible and tend to snipe at the last few seconds if/when I can. Win some/lose some. Happily, I win enough to keep at it.

    I am only really disappointed when I forget to go bid and an item goes for a lot less than I would have bid. Doesn't mean I would have won but it still irks me. I always tell myself, another one will come along and if it truly is "rare" or hard to find, I bid accordingly.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jugtown Modeler View Post
    I tend to figure my highest bid price, subtract S&H, adjust for possible combined wins and bid once.
    Steve -- this is just about exactly what I do as well. I tend to be opportunistic also -- nothing I desperately need so willing to wait for a good deal to come along.

    I have been thinking about the 2nd place situation for a while since someone basically gets the item for just $1 or $2.50 over my maximum bid (but also because the 2nd place bidder winds up making the top bidder pay more--sometimes much more--than they would have without the 2nd place bidder).

    Also, part of what triggered my post at this time -- I recently saw a little European Powered Work Car sell for what I considered a crazy amount. I happened to have the exact same car that came as part of the first big lot I bought on Ebay (I did not even notice the car in the lot when I bought it -- I thought it was a caboose). Anyway, if I could sell that car at that price I would have more or less earned double what I paid for the entire lot of 30-40 or so locomotives, passenger cars, and freight. Anyway, I emailed the seller asking if they would be willing to connect me to the 2nd place bidder to offer my unit. They were actually really great and forwarded my offer to the 2nd place seller and did not even want to accept a finders fee / commission. However, turns out the 2nd place bidder was not interested and I think a big part of the reason was that they had become trapped in a bidding war and wound up bidding more than they really wanted to pay for the unit. A top bidder in Ebay is contractually obligated to purchase the unit so bidding war or not they are stuck. However, the 2nd place bidder has no such obligation.

    So anyway, just trying to understand how other 2nd place bidders feel after the sale. Thanks in advance.

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    I don't feel bad, they wanted it more than me. There is what I think an item is worth and then there is what I think it is worth to me.
    Karl

    CEO of the Skally Line, an Eastern MN Shortline

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    I'm more often than not relieved when I miss one. I've got too much crap I'll never use already, and when I lose its because I bid just to see what happens or was temporarily emotionally unstable. When I win it's because I wanted whatever it was and bid accordingly. In this age, there really are no "deals" on eBay, I don't shop there looking for deals. I shop there to get stuff that's out of production or can't be found other places. However rare you think something is, check eBay, there's 10 of them for sale right now.

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    i never really consider it coming in second, I always consider it as the first place winner overpaid! I will look at the shipping and see if it's what I think is a reasonable price, if it's not I build that into my bid (you know the sellers that want $8 to ship a single box car). I will figure it all up and let it ride, if I don't win it more will come along again.
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    Decide the absolute max you are willing to pay for it (including shipping)

    Wait until 2 seconds left in the auction and put in your max bid at that time.

    That's it.

    Don't bid early in the auction. That's just alerting others to your presence and driving up the cost. If you are willing to pay $100 for something, let someone else bid $50 with a $75 proxy bid. Wait until the last second and put your $100 bid in, and it will auto raise the first bidder to $75 and then make your bid $76. If someone comes in with half a second left and puts in a max bid of $80, your bid will auto raise to $81 and you'll still win.

    If someone else makes a last second bid of $101, then your bid raised to $100 and you lose. But then it was more than you were willing to pay anyway.

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    @kalbert - Exactly, I agree with your entire comment...
    @Skipjacks - This works ONLY if you have a truly fast internet provider. I know a few guys that have lost an item because their bid never posted, using this method. I'd say 10-15 seconds before the end of an auction depending on your I-net provider. (Just my $0.02 worth.)

    I lost out on an item last night. Am I upset? No, I know another one will come up some day. I was prepared to pay a ridiculous amount, just to have it. But, someone else was prepared to pay more. just the breaks of the game on Ebay. Sometimes, you just have to have a cast iron stomach for Ebay.
    Last edited by Tred; 13th Feb 2017 at 04:45 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by McNamee View Post
    I have been thinking about the 2nd place situation for a while since someone basically gets the item for just $1 or $2.50 over my maximum bid...
    But what the highest bid does not tell us is how high the winner would have actually gone. It is not uncommon for me to win or lose an auction by $.01 depending on the timing of a bid. Even though losing by that amount seems frustrating, the winner may have put in a bid for $50 more for all I know. I just didn't bid enough.

    Ebay is hard to predict what will drive some prices high one day and not the next. There are noticeable trends but still hard to predict what will drive a price / bid war up. Sometimes it is a trust thing. Seller mayhayred runs 1 cent auctions on used items that tend to draw a lot of bids and often rise to (IMO) unwarranted levels. Yet that same item, sometimes new, from another seller may not reach half mayhayred's price.... He found a niche though: http://feedback.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAP...ab=AllFeedback
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    I have a feeling that instead of setting a reserve -- which costs a few dollars off the seller's profit, some sellers are running multiple ebay accounts and putting bids in perhaps the day of the sale to drive the price up. Worst case scenario, they end up buying it from themselves. Is that possible? It seems that in the past year or so I've had a 'funny' feeling a few times about being outbid...

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    Quote Originally Posted by P-LineSoo View Post
    setting a reserve
    -- Seems bidders hate reserves these days -- huge waste of time. I agree that some might be using shill bids.

    Great conversation everyone -- I am an academic and I'm getting inspired to go read some academic articles on the psychology / sociology of auctions / bidding.

    Anyway, what I am really wondering is: If you had a 2nd place bid and got an email from the seller indicating they found another item the same as the original would you want to buy it for your maximum bid price? Or rather -- what percent of the time would you want to buy it after the auction at your maximum bid price (the alternative is that you have buyers remorse / got caught up in the bidding war and actually DON'T want the item at your maximum bid price).

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    Quote Originally Posted by McNamee View Post
    -- Seems bidders hate reserves these days -- huge waste of time. I agree that some might be using shill bids.

    Great conversation everyone -- I am an academic and I'm getting inspired to go read some academic articles on the psychology / sociology of auctions / bidding.

    Anyway, what I am really wondering is: If you had a 2nd place bid and got an email from the seller indicating they found another item the same as the original would you want to buy it for your maximum bid price? Or rather -- what percent of the time would you want to buy it after the auction at your maximum bid price (the alternative is that you have buyers remorse / got caught up in the bidding war and actually DON'T want the item at your maximum bid price).
    I avoid this by using a sniping service. I look at the item, set it in my watch list. Usually the day before or the day of the auction ending, I'll see where it's at and how many bidders there are. I like auctions with few bidders, a bidding war is less likely to break out then. If things look like I could possibly win at a reasonable price, i'll set the max amount I'm willing to pay for the item -- considering shipping and the risk involved in purchasing stuff on Ebay -- and enter my snipe bid. If I win, great. If I lose, better luck next time.

    That way I don't pay too much for something.

    Most of the time I lose.

    But I did recently get a Kato Heavy Mikado for around $80 and a Bachmann 2-6-2 for $16 and change.

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    Quote Originally Posted by McNamee View Post
    --
    Anyway, what I am really wondering is: If you had a 2nd place bid and got an email from the seller indicating they found another item the same as the original would you want to buy it for your maximum bid price? Or rather -- what percent of the time would you want to buy it after the auction at your maximum bid price (the alternative is that you have buyers remorse / got caught up in the bidding war and actually DON'T want the item at your maximum bid price).
    I had this happen about a year or so ago. I lost on a cast aluminum finned coil cover for a car, I bid what they had been selling for and someone thought this one was worth more lol. Anyhow, I got an email about a second chance offer for my high bid cause the seller had hundreds and rather than pay for another listing he just sold me one on a "second chance". So long story short, I got the coil cover for what I was willing to pay and the seller sold another without the auction fees.
    Jesse Bailey

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    Quote Originally Posted by jbailey View Post
    sold me one on a "second chance"
    Thanks this is really helpful -- showed me the feature in Ebay that does this also (even if the bidder did not use the Ebay system to avoid the fees).

    http://www.ebay.com/gds/What-is-a-2n...1648114/g.html

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    I rarely feel bad when I come in second place - it just means that someone was willing to pay more for the item than I was. That's because I always calculate exactly how much I'm willing to pay up front (including shipping charges). Then I never bid more than that amount no matter what. That way I don't get into bidding wars that can get very expensive. I've actually got some great items cheaply this way. Before I came up with this plan my wife was ready to ban me from Ebay for good! I always figure that if I miss an item another one will be listed down the road, sometimes for less than the one I missed.
    "I never grew up - I just learned how to behave in public."

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    Quote Originally Posted by jbailey View Post
    I had this happen about a year or so ago. I lost on a cast aluminum finned coil cover for a car, I bid what they had been selling for and someone thought this one was worth more lol. Anyhow, I got an email about a second chance offer for my high bid cause the seller had hundreds and rather than pay for another listing he just sold me one on a "second chance". So long story short, I got the coil cover for what I was willing to pay and the seller sold another without the auction fees.
    He paid the auction costs for selling it to you as a 'second chance offer'. eBay collects the final value fee on those too. It doesn't charge for setting up a 2nd auction, but unless you go crazy with your listing the listing is free anyway.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tlorey View Post
    I always figure that if I miss an item another one will be listed down the road, sometimes for less than the one I missed.
    That's exactly the principle I operate under with my snipe bids.

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    Quote Originally Posted by P-LineSoo View Post
    I have a feeling that instead of setting a reserve -- which costs a few dollars off the seller's profit, some sellers are running multiple ebay accounts and putting bids in perhaps the day of the sale to drive the price up. Worst case scenario, they end up buying it from themselves. Is that possible? It seems that in the past year or so I've had a 'funny' feeling a few times about being outbid...
    This isn’t speculation. This absolutely happens.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Skipjacks View Post
    This isn’t speculation. This absolutely happens.
    And actually the second chance offer is a potential component of this scam -- if someone uses shill bids they can extract your maximum bid and then give you a second chance offer at your maximum bid. It is unclear how often this actually happens and I have read massive debates about this with regards to second chance offers (i.e., if the top bidder disappears should the second chance offer be calculated as if that bidder did not exist -- i.e., 2nd place bidder's incremental bid over the 3rd place bidder -- or should it be at your maximum bid -- i.e., the next highest price below the 1st place bidder that consequently disappeared).

    I was less thinking about a case when the top bidder bails or shill bidding and more about cases where a reputable seller has a second item that is the same that can be offered to the 2nd place bidder. Just wondering how much the heat of the moment is a factor or if many people would take the second chance offer.

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