Some questions about auctions in general
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Post Posted: Mon Jul 28, 2003 10:07 pm 
 

Here are a couple questions I would like to ask the greater-D&D collector community about auctions:



1. Would you be reluctant to bid on auctions in which the bidders identities are hidden (called a private auction)? I know that some sellers do this to prevent other sellers of similar items from contacting buyers and offering to sell to them.



I have not seen this very often with D&D but I have with some of the more time-sensitive items like concert/sporting tickets



2. As a seller, would you forbid people with low feedback (<10) from bidding on your auctions? I know some people do this because they wish to reduce the chance of dealing with a deadbeat bidder. However, it also reduces the chance of getting a new person that gets enamored with your auction and bids it to the moon.



This seems to be a two-edged sword. You may drive down the price, but it may also encourage reputable people to bid because it reduces the appearance of shill bidding (who has not seen 1 or 2 low-feedbacks driving up the price?).



3. And the big one: Is the future value of 1st edition and the more sought-after 2nd edition items tied to the success of 3rd+ edition? As a follow-up to this, just how well is 3rd+ edition doing? I have not had much interest in looking into 3rd edition and it seems that with 3.5, Wizard of the Coast is just trying to sucker people into buying more core rulebooks. I remember reading an interview with one of the head wonks at WOTC that was made soon after the acquistion of TSR. He said that when he went through the TSR audit, he found that most of the TSR profits came from the hardback-core-rulebooks. The reason for this is that while 1 person in a group may buy a module/accessory, everyone in the group will eventually buy a personal copy of every hardback book. It seems to me that this is the approach they are taking with 3.5. I really have not followed 3rd edition so this is pure speculation on my part.



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Post Posted: Mon Jul 28, 2003 10:34 pm 
 

1. Hidden auctions creep me out. Particularly sellers with hidden feedback. Further, I really dont like German privacy laws concerning all aspects of German ebay users. Esp. since I cant see if Matthais is bidding on anything good! :D



2. I dont sell but I can see how guys get pissed off by non paying low feedback users.



3. Personally I really like the concept of open licensing for 3rd edition items.  I am amazed at the variety of material available because of the open licensing. I read a great article on TSR and its copyright history in a fanzine recently. Time will tell but I think WOTC is onto something good with open licensing. I dont play so the core books do not mean much to me with respect to newer editions.



As far as success of third edition affecting the value of 1st and 2nd edition, I dont think it will impact it in any way. You could make a case for the success of 1st edition and its impact on the value and scope of 2nd and 3rd edition..


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Post Posted: Tue Jul 29, 2003 12:13 am 
 

The reason why I bring up the issue of 3rd edition impacting the values of 1st edition is because it will be through 3rd edition that new players will be introduced to the game. I do not think that most new (read young) players will gain their introduction to D&D by the way of vintage books and modules. If successful, some of the third edition players will then in turn be curious about previous editions and through that the demand for 1st edition items is increased. If the 3rd edition fails and there is a general decline in D&D play with young people, it would result in a stagnation and gradual decline in those that would seek out 1st edition items. I say gradual decline because none of us are getting any younger and most of the people I see that are interested in D&D are 30+. I remember reading somewhere (maybe even the same WOTC interview) that the playership of D&D has declined steadily since the early 80's. Much of this was due to the growth of computers/game consoles of the 80's/90's and the introduction of CCG's in the mid 90's.



In a nutshell, if new, young players do not join the D&D gaming community or just come, take a quick look, and then move on,  how can the demand for the vintage items get any greater than what we have already seen...if not decline as we all move on to the gates of dawn eternal.

  


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Post Posted: Tue Jul 29, 2003 2:28 am 
 

Further, I really dont like German privacy laws concerning all aspects of German ebay users.




Hey, I like that actually. You can't find out what I'm bidding on, what I have bid and bought in the past and if I switch my feedback to private only the FBI will know what I bought in the past ...



As for the questions:



1. I think private auction make sense with special items. Not with (A)D&D stuff. it wouldn't keep me from bidding though, since I believe these sellers are just overly cautious people.



2. Why? I think it's unfair. I once got burned by people who bid heavily on a cheap comic book and (of course) didn't pay in the end. Do you think they wouldn't have bought if I wrote "Don't bid unless you have at least 100 positive feedback" ? I don't think so. Give newbays a chance!



3. I totally agree with PurpleDragon. If no new collector's enter the market the prices must drop drastically (the old collector's are then only interested in shrinkwrapped items to complete their collection or did quit collecting). Where should these new collector's come from? I think right now a lot of people who played D&D or 1E or 2E yeaaars ago remember the old times, see an auction on ebay and start collecting. Maybe they stick to it, maybe not. In the last few months since I track eBay Germany I've seen more collectors selling off their collection than new hardcore collectors entering the market.



So, if not for the young generation playing "3rd edition", where should these new collectors come from???

  


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Post Posted: Tue Jul 29, 2003 7:58 am 
 

As you stick around and watch the market for awhile you will realise there will ALWAYS be another burntwire who will come onto the scene and keep prices high. There are lots of guys discovering D&D on Ebay so there will be no shortage until we are dead IMO.



I wouldn't count on 3rd edition to fuel on new collectors. We collect all of this stuff because we grew up with 1st edition. Now maybe one day there will be a few 3rd edition kids who will collect all 3rd edition material when it becomes OOP but that dont matter too much to me personally.





German privacy laws- I find crosschecking of bidders and sellers to be an invaluable tool in avoiding funky users (shill bidding etc.).



Later.

Adam


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Post Posted: Tue Jul 29, 2003 1:55 pm 
 

OK  as a seller, I do not dicourage anyone from bidding on items, no matter what the feedback.  What I do though is the first time I do not recieve payment I not only Ban them from bidding on future Items I leave Negative feedback, I turn it over to Ebay, I also let them Know depending o the price of the item that they can be held liable in small claims Court.



Out of this I have only had two people who never paid, Both I did as I stated and have never heard from since. I actually have been burnt three times now on Buying items though and I am much more cuatious on my Buying. One I never recieved anything theywould not respond and I finally decided the $30.00 spent  would cost me more in the long run to fight it than to write it off.



The second one I bought an item really cheap thought it was a really good deal and got burned with damage to the items, I turned around though and was honest and put pics up of the damage and got more out of the items than I paid for them anyhow.



The third time I got burnt I am still dealing with it, I bought Items agreed upon th eprice recieved some severly damaged Items I then turned around and complained the seller agreed to refund half my money for half the items which is about what was useless.



I waited and waited finally sent an email threatening court, they payed me the money agreed upon. and told me to never email them again or I would be turned in for harrasment.  I shipped the items back Media Mail, and have now recieved a threatening mail stating they want there Items.



Hmm I am not about to respond as  I ahve the email on file stating if I do it will be turned over to the Law.  LOL



Now as far as third edition, I do not and will not play it, But I do see the prices of the new items are more then the items sold on Ebay so if I was I would be buying it from ebay.



Last if WOTC were smart they would rerelease all of the older original books in a new printing to cause all of us to go out and buy the new books. Then they would also be spuring the market back twords the first edition and it would then cause all of us old timers to turn around and teach the new younger people  to play the original and it woul dkeep it alive.



Now that is marketing at its finest feed the demand and bring new people in too!!


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Post Posted: Wed Jul 30, 2003 5:06 am 
 

My comments:



1. private auctions. I never bid on these, unless it is some item i really really really want to get. Being also a stamp collector, I have bought and seen a lot of nice and not so nice things on Ebay. My experience with private auctions in the stamp business is like this (note that there are exceptions, but this applies to about 90%):



a) private auctions are used by rather shady sellers with questionable material (forgeries and the like). It is impossible to warn high bidders of private auctions they are going to spend a lots of $$$ on worthless forgeries!

b) private auctions are used by sellers who have several Ebay accounts and use them to push their own auctions. As you cannot see who bids, you cannot tell whether you are being pushed or in competition with some other collector.

c) i can understand private auctions when items change hand you would not want other people know you are buying (erotic underwear and that stuff) or the items are very valuable. I would feel a little bit nervous if it is publicly known i regularly buy things in the 1,000-$-range...



@adam: rest assured I do not buy anything at the time. my ebay nick should be known around here anyway, so if you don't see me in the bidder list go figure.



@german privacy: what you do not see is only the "all items xyz is bidding on". you still see individual bids and you can also see what german users bought in the feedbacks. there are also enough third-party-tools allowing you to sieve through "all aucxtions by" for specific bidders (if you spend too much time ebaying like me, you see typical shill bidding patterns without those tools just as well...)



2. remember that every Ebay user once startet out with zero feedback, you included. Of course, there is a risk of a deal falling through or resulting in frustration due to inexperience etc. but consider one thing: if you are excluded from bidding due to your being new, would you buy from that seller later on? I would not.



3. no idea.



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Post Posted: Wed Jul 30, 2003 6:06 am 
 

Hangover wrote:you would not want other people know you are buying (erotic underwear and that stuff) or the items are very valuable. I would feel a little bit nervous if it is publicly known i regularly buy things in the 1,000-$-range...





especially if its a $1000 worth or erotuc underwear.... :roll:

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Post Posted: Wed Jul 30, 2003 1:12 pm 
 

Wow! $1000 underwear. You have exquisite taste indeed! :D



I think it would be great if ebay encouraged users to put the other user's first name in the feedback.



For example....Mike sucks, avoid at all costs. D+++++++



This would go a long way to help locate suspect shill bidding.


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Post Posted: Wed Jul 30, 2003 3:37 pm 
 

Wahahaha! Good one!


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Post Posted: Wed Jul 30, 2003 5:34 pm 
 

I will gladly share a few more with you Frank.



What do you think of shill bidding Frank?


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Post Posted: Wed Jul 30, 2003 5:56 pm 
 

Don't particulary care. It's usually obvious when someone is shill bidding. I bid what I'm willing to pay, and that's it. No "Well, I'll go $1 higher and that's it!". I refuse to pay more than an item is worth (to me), but I don't mind paying what it is worth. Everyone likes to get things cheap, and back when I started on eBay (pretty much when eBay started), things went DIRT cheap. But there are too many people using it nowadays to expect good items to go for low prices.

Now answer me this: Suppose you ask a friend to bid $X on your auction. Is it shill bidding? And do you think eBay really gives a rat's ass if someone does that? They make money either way, and they might make more if the friend bidder wins the auction, since it would have sold for less. Anyone who thinks that eBay takes shill bidders seriously needs to watch how they react to shill complaints.

They don't.


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Post Posted: Wed Jul 30, 2003 6:58 pm 
 

So lets say I wanna bid on your B1 and you decide not to set a reserve for it. I might have won it for your opening bid at $5 because there were no other bidders. Instead you have your buddy bid on it even though he doesnt want it nor will he pay for it if he wins. He bids $7 on it effectively jacking it up my winning bid to $7.50 or whatever the increment is assuming I bid higher than $7. You just dug me for $2.50. Is this OK with you? Do you actually have buddies?


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Post Posted: Wed Jul 30, 2003 7:05 pm 
 

If you weren't willing to pay $7.50 for it, don't bid $7.50. If you were willing to bid $5, and it was jacked to $7, the "friend" would win. It's really no different than what resellers do. They throw amounts that are usually less than what an item is worth at an auction, trying to get it cheap, and it ends up costing the winner (if he is willing to pay) more in the end than if the reseller hadn't bid at all.

I'm not for or against it. I really don't care either way. It's easy enough to spot, and as i said before, when I bid $x on an item, I fully expect to pay that much if I win.

Anyone else want to weigh in on this?


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Post Posted: Wed Jul 30, 2003 7:13 pm 
 

So if you sell something on ebay and if you dont want to sell it for your opening bid without reserve than you shouldn't bother listing it.


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Post Posted: Wed Jul 30, 2003 8:31 pm 
 

My feelings on this are just about the same.



If I am willing to bid $5.00 ona book then I bid $5.00



As someone who has and does sell and buy items, if I bid on an item you can bet it will be what it is worth to me.



No need to try to play against someone and get into a bidding war. If I feel its worth 200 I will bid it and no higher. If I feel it is worth 1 dollar I bid it and no higher.



I do not like the idea of a seller bidding on there own items just to bump the price though. Nor do I agree witha friend to do it. If as a seller you do not start the price at the bottom of the amount you are willing to accept dont list it.



It costs you no more to put in a Reserve than it does to start it out at a higher amount. So either set a reserve or start it at the least amount you are willing to accept for it.



I don't understand what the deal is about some people being so greedy they shill bid.  



I can only tell everyone if you are bidding on something I am selling you will be bidding against other real people.  Simple fact I start the item out at a point I can do so and still not take a loss on it. The majority of the items I start at $3-$4- or $5 dollars



I am in it for the fun not to make a living. I am having a blast actually getting to hold and look through and photograph Items I never dreamed I would own.



heck I only started with about 70 items  I have more than twice that behind me as I speak.



So I told ya how I feel about it and that I do not and will not partake in it.

I also will not deny I do bid the last seconds of an auction simply because I found out if I bid on it when I first see  the price goes up and up and up.  



It maybe shill sometimes or just people who want it that bad. But I would prefer to keep the prices down lower and I prefer to not see my high bid be over bid only three minutes out.



I also do no tuse  aprogram if I am biddign I am sitting here doing the bidding so if I beat someone it was buy a person not some downloadable program that does it for a person.  I hate being beat by a machine that is what tisks me off.  LOL


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Post Posted: Wed Jul 30, 2003 9:31 pm 
 

It actually DOES cost more to start it at a higher price.


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Post Posted: Wed Jul 30, 2003 9:49 pm 
 

I suppose you could save some money that way to throw towards a jar a vaseline. That way you and your buddy can rough up some other collector's ass.


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Post Posted: Wed Jul 30, 2003 9:52 pm 
 

Jesus man, did I say I had a "buddy"? I just said I don't care one way or the other. Are you sure YOU haven't taken it up the can recently? You seem edgy.......


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Post Posted: Wed Jul 30, 2003 10:34 pm 
 

I must say, this is one of the more distressing turns to a subject that I have seen in this forum. How can anyone justify or attempt to legitimize the act of shill bidding (which is, like it or not, a criminal act and constitutes fraud; look it up, it is against the law and is defined as fraud).



How can anyone say "hey, it is easy to spot so if you get taken in by it, oh well" which is basically what Deadlord is saying. If an elderly person is scammed by some telemarketter out of his/her saving, oh well, they should have known better. Is it ok to take advantage of the inexperienced or somewhat gullible? That is a very jaded view and truly says something about someones character.



The problem is not that you have a friend bidding on the item, but that your friend will not pay a dime if he wins; and the item will just go through another round of auctions until it sells to some sucker that you have milked for everything you can.



Deadlord, I am going to direct something at you strictly as an individual. You come in here and post threads and whine about someone legitimately winning auctions (please see: "Never Ends...") and then place posts either gloating about how you got an item on the cheap by circumventing the rules or not caring, and maybe even encouraging, people to preform fraud on others. I'll tell you what, you live right up in New Hampshire and I live in Massachusetts, why dont we meet and we can discuss this face to face. It would really bring me quite a bit of pleasure.



-PD

  
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