Auction-Ending Offers
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Post Posted: Thu Aug 12, 2004 12:34 pm 
 

This seems to be a contentious issue, but I'm not versed in how they work.



Having never sold on eBay or participated in an 'auction-ending' offer, I'm curious -



When someone says "I'll give you $X to end the auction now", what happens then?



Is the transaction then performed outside of eBay/PayPal without feedback or protection?



And does eBay then get no % of the sale (thus meaning that both the buyer+seller used eBay's service to conduct their business, but are paying them nothing in return)?

  


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Post Posted: Thu Aug 12, 2004 12:46 pm 
 

I'll repeat my previous answer.



<<

The rules clearly prohibit making an offer to buy via. a message to the seller, but are more vague (from the buyer perspective) where the seller asks you to do so. The buyer is discouraged from accepting the latter because of "lack of safety" (fair enough, but eBay gives little/no protection for most sales, anyhow), and "violation of policy" (which is presumably because the seller will not have to pay commission to eBay).



Does that tally with everyone else's interpretation?

>>

  


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Post Posted: Thu Aug 12, 2004 12:53 pm 
 

Sounds spot on to me.



There is nothing stopping you asking the seller if he has a BIN price.



What the seller then chooses to do is their own business.  And that might mean breaking eBay rules.



I don't suppose they appreciate using their site to advertise your items for sale and then not getting their cut.



I wouldn't normally do it myself.  But I don't care if someone chooses to do that.

  


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Post Posted: Thu Aug 12, 2004 1:07 pm 
 

Ah, filching …

:?



This is indeed the next hot-button issue in the field.  ;)  At issue:  The rarest D&D items are worth lots of money, which means, well … they're expensive.  Collectors don't like to pay more than they have to (especially collectors with wives!).

:wink:



I will state upfront that I am both a buyer and a seller, and am against the practice; it is this practice alone that has caused me to stop bidding on rarity 5 items.  Why?



•        It's dishonorable.  Bidders are playing on a level field, competing with one another fairly, creating a legal contract between the seller and the person with the highest offer.  If you filch an item that has no bids, that isn't quite as bad (but still bad, see below); but if you cut the legs out from under everyone who *is* already bidding, that's pretty crappy.  Honest bidders who are looking for rare items are thus encouraged to emulate the behavior of the person who got the item -- because they clearly got away with it, right?  It is therefore a detriment to collector behavior in general

•        It's against eBay policy.  Granted, eBay is a twisted monopoly that isn't nearly as saintly as they make themselves out to be.  But by becoming a user and using their venue, you agree to play by their rules.  Refusal to do so, and going "outside" on an item that was "in," greatly increases the chances of fraud.  It also encourages "sellers" (if they can be called that thereafter -- "baiters," perhaps?) to post listings for the sole purpose of fishing for more outside transactions.

•        It takes advantage of ignorant sellers, who would make more money if you left well enough alone.  Granted, it takes two to tango -- one to be the selfish person who contacts the seller, and a greedy seller to take the bait.  But a lot of these people are not yet familiar with eBay rules or D&D valuations.  It's better for the community if you let these people get their fair bids, playing by the rules, instead of encouraging them to circumvent the system.

•        If it becomes an epidemic, it could devalue the rarest items.  If Lost Tamoachan is "worth" $1,000, but the last 3 copies sold have gone for $500 each through filching, then what is the new value of the module on the open market?  If you say "$1,000, and I just made a $500 profit," then I've got some bad news for you …

•        Most important point:  It is disruptive to the community, creating ill will.  I would like, ideally, the D&D collector community to be filled with honorable sellers who sell their items professionally, play fairly, and give their buyers excellent advice, thereby encouraging others to enter the field and growing the hobby and the play of the game.  I would like to see honorable buyers, as well.  Most of them are good people … but they learn by example.  What example should we, as members of the foremost D&D collectors' site, provide for them?



That was an open question.  You may now throw putrid tomatoes at me, I'm completely prepared for it.  My AC is 5 (leather armor, computer as shield, DEX 16).  Discuss.

:P

  


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Post Posted: Thu Aug 12, 2004 1:26 pm 
 

Get ready to duck.  Incoming tomato.  DEX 18.



If I saw a Woodgrain with a BIN of $25 where the buyer stated that he shipped to th USA only (as I once did), I certainly wouldn't seek to inform them of their error and direct them to this site.  Who wood?  To anyone that responds "I wood" to this, let me take the opportunity to say "You complete and utter f**kwit!"



I would press the BIN button with all haste and offer to pay all additional costs for the inconvenience of using USPS Global Priority.  If that failed, I would get a flight (and I don't fly since that unfortunate incident where I spent 12 hours sat next to a corpse on the way back from Australia  8O ) and collect the item in person.



My point is that I will do what I can to get the best deal possible.  I am free to ask the seller if they have a BIN price.  If they respond to this and choose to relist with a BIN then OK.  Someone might get to it before me.  I would be extremely pissed.  But if they cancel the listing and sell offline, that's their decision and the woodgrain is mine, all mine my precious.

  


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Post Posted: Thu Aug 12, 2004 1:28 pm 
 

And another thing.  Let's not get too bothered about this.



We're grown men collecting games.



Mmmmm!  I think I actually sound bothered.  I am going out for several beers.

  

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Post Posted: Thu Aug 12, 2004 1:33 pm 
 

Hell, I'm AC 10, everyone here has destroyed my armor.

If eBay was an ethical playing field, I'd probably agree, but it isn't. They care about the almighty $$, and that is the do all and end all of it, so I feel free to take advantage of whatever loopholes I want. However, I do not go making offers. I ask if they have a BIN. If they choose to end the auction, that is their decision. If they choose to post a BIN or make the auction private, same.

As far as value, I could argue that if someone is selling something and they don't know the rough value of it, tough. If I see an original Rembrandt at a yard sale, bet your ass I will pay $10 for it and keep my mouth shut. There is no excuse for not knowing the value of something you are selling. There are way too many resources to tap in that department. Unfortunately for a lot of sellers, they view eBay as a way to sell the "junk" they would normally toss out. To take advantage of an ignorant seller is.....

CAPITALISM. GO USA!

That being said, I'm sure many will argue that the Inverness I got was unfair, and that I took advantage of the seller. I did not. He gave me a price based on what he was offered IN TRADE. Just because the trade price was an undervaluation, and an attempt by a reseller to scam ignorant people, does not mean I should suffer for it. IF ANYONE HERE was offered the price I was, they would have sold off family heirlooms to get it. I dare anyone to deny that. I will certainly pay fair value for an item if it is asked, but I would be a fool to pas up a bargain. And it's not like I am going to resell it at the seller's expense, like some people. It will sit on a shelf and collect dust like 99% of the (let's face it) useless crap I collect.

Go Patriots!


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Post Posted: Thu Aug 12, 2004 2:02 pm 
 

Deadlord36 wrote:That being said, I'm sure many will argue that the Inverness I got was unfair, and that I took advantage of the seller. I did not. He gave me a price based on what he was offered IN TRADE. Just because the trade price was an undervaluation, and an attempt by a reseller to scam ignorant people, does not mean I should suffer for it.


*nods*. You mentioned this sad case.



And I've already mentioned those people (resellers or otherwise) who have "cash offers for ST1" on their websites/pages of "$75" or "$100" when they know they can sell for $1,000+ (still overvalued, IMO!).

In my personal book, those are clearly far more offensive than the seller actually quoting you a relatively higher price to buy on eBay, and anyone such reseller/whoever then complaining "oh, but it violates eBay" (= "I want my share", perhaps?) whilst happy to entrap clueless newbies into selling them over-excessive bargains, or crow about having bought a woodgrain for $10 at a charity boot sale (hypothetical, that), probably won't be on my Christmas card list.



Oops, that was a long paragraph. Sorry...



Deadlord36 wrote:IF ANYONE HERE was offered the price I was, they would have sold off family heirlooms to get it. I dare anyone to deny that. I will certainly pay fair value for an item if it is asked, but I would be a fool to pas up a bargain. And it's not like I am going to resell it at the seller's expense, like some people. It will sit on a shelf and collect dust like 99% of the (let's face it) useless crap I collect.

Go Patriots!


*lol*. Like I said "it's only a game".

But a damned good one!



*throws custard pie at attacking vorpal bunnies (incoming after my comments above)*



==



Deadlord36 wrote:And it's not like I am going to resell it at the seller's expense




Gee, I've given away, lent, had stolen, whatever, loads of stuff...

Sold...? Hah, I hardly even know the meaning of the work "swap".



*jk* (but certainly a serious point,  Frank).



d.

  


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Post Posted: Thu Aug 12, 2004 2:04 pm 
 

Buy It Now items are not against eBay policy.  The seller has a selling price, and you can meet it, thereby completing the transaction.  I suppose contacting the seller who is selling "too low" would be the ultimate in honor, but … that is above my calling (Chaotic Good).  I am content simply to abide by eBay rules and snag the item, giving both the buyer and the seller what they want, without encouraging any questionable behavior.  It was there, I saw it first, but the important thing is:  everyone had the same fair shot at it.  You just "had to be there."  Usually I miss out on these, but I don't see them as being dishonorable.  Why?  They don't break the rules, and you don't have to break the rules to get them.



If you contact the seller and ask them to relist the item as a Buy It Now, that isn't a bad thing necessarily, because you're encouraging them to stay within the system, where everyone has a fair crack at it.  But by this point, warning bells should be going off in the seller's head.  A smart seller would realize that someone who would contact them in this manner is more aware of the item's true nature and value than the seller themselves … but it would surprise you how many un-smart sellers there are!

:P



If they offer to sell the item to you outside of eBay, ta-da … you've just knowingly convinced the seller to evade eBay strictures, and filch the item for yourself before other honest bidders get a chance to go for it in-system.  You can argue that the seller is worse than the buyer in this situation, or vice versa; but you can't argue that either one is an honorable person.



Now I agree that eBay is not necessarily an ethical playing field, because it is a fundamentally flawed organization.  But it all comes down to behavior - what do we want our hobby to be?  We as collectors can uphold a higher ideal -- not because we're forced to, but because it makes for a better community.  We should be above the need to only play fair when we're forced to.  Are we strong enough to do that?  Or is everyone only interested in what they can get for themselves, by any means necessary?



The base problem, I believe, is Bad Greed.  Don't forget … the opposite does exist.  Greed Is Good (tm).  Without it, there wouldn't be a collector's market.  Having a financial interest in the hobby is not a sin.  Heck, to have no regard for money at all would be uncivilized.  ;)  But at what point does the money become more important than competing fairly with your fellow collectors?



My contention is that both money and honor should be important in the field.  (Witness the dollar figures attached to every item out there, by everyone, regardless of motivation.)  Without the money element, interest in the hobby would shrink rather than grow.  But I believe that for a worthwhile and growing community to exist, honor should supercede money at all times.



Yeah yeah, I know.  I'm an idiot, everyone for themselves, get the fuck out of my way, rules are for pussies, communities are for fags, the future is worthless and now is everything, it's mine, damn the torpedoes.  I don't mind if everyone doesn't agree with me.  But I don't mind voicing my opinion, either, because I want people to think about this.

:idea:

  


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Post Posted: Thu Aug 12, 2004 2:09 pm 
 

> Now I agree that eBay is not necessarily an ethical playing field, because it is a fundamentally flawed organization. But it all comes down to behavior - what do we want our hobby to be?



Right........  in that case what about people deliberately NOT reporting "interesting items" and thus causing the seller to fail to achieve the maximum value for their goods?

That's just as bad/"against the spirit of the community", no?



Am sure that wouldn't happen... (well, not more than six times before breakfast, anyhow!).



Sorry, this is all way too much of a can of worms to say "x is honorable" and "y isn't" on such a clear-cut basis; albeit I certainly agree strongly with the general trend of what you're saying.



> Yeah yeah, I know. I'm an idiot, everyone for themselves, get the fuck out of my way, rules are for pussies, communities are for fags, the future is worthless and now is everything, it's mine, damn the torpedoes. I don't mind if everyone doesn't agree with me. But I don't mind voicing my opinion, either, because I want people to think about this.



Certainly listening, here. Good points!  8)



=



On the other hand, if we were to advertise and hype (inevitable for relative rarities) every auction to increase prices all round, I'm not sure that would be much better for the long-term stability of "the community", either... We've already got a bubble market in certain niches.

  


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Post Posted: Thu Aug 12, 2004 2:24 pm 
 

harami2000 wrote:Right........  in that case what about people deliberately NOT reporting "interesting items" and thus causing the seller to fail to achieve the maximum value for their goods?

That's just as bad/"against the spirit of the community", no?




I take great pleasure in reporting interesting items for sale when I've got a copy (not often) just to watch the bun fight.  :wink:



When I haven't got a copy, I lurk in the background in the mistaken belief that the 123 on the auction counter was simply curious bypassers and I'm going to snipe it for an absolute steal.  :(

  


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Post Posted: Thu Aug 12, 2004 2:31 pm 
 

johnhuck wrote:
harami2000 wrote:Right........  in that case what about people deliberately NOT reporting "interesting items" and thus causing the seller to fail to achieve the maximum value for their goods?

That's just as bad/"against the spirit of the community", no?


I take great pleasure in reporting interesting items for sale when I've got a copy (not often) just to watch the bun fight.  :wink:


Yes, I've noticed that's a common tendency.

Can also understand that it might feel good to increase/hype the value of something one already has.



Personally, I really don't appreciate it, but ain't gonna tell people what they should or shouldn't do.



johnhuck wrote:When I haven't got a copy, I lurk in the background in the mistaken belief that the 123 on the auction counter was simply curious bypassers and I'm going to snipe it for an absolute steal.  :(


*lol*. Honesty will be the death of you, John.



===



Yes; and for the next topic, sniping (especially en-masse sniping)....



The "ethical community" list is endless.

  


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Post Posted: Thu Aug 12, 2004 2:58 pm 
 

Just a couple of coppers worth:





Darkseraphim:

Buy It Now items are not against eBay policy. The seller has a selling price, and you can meet it, thereby completing the transaction. I suppose contacting the seller who is selling "too low" would be the ultimate in honor, but … that is above my calling (Chaotic Good).  <snip>




Filching is evil, you're absolutely right.  Stop it, you miserable 6th level thieves!  



However, darkseraphim, I have worse news...after the rest of that speech, you've clearly suffered an alignment change (to Neutral, possibly Lawful Good), because that was FAR too ethical...digging up DMG for the penalty...



Johnhuck:

When I haven't got a copy, I lurk in the background in the mistaken belief that the 123 on the auction counter was simply curious bypassers and I'm going to snipe it for an absolute steal.




Me too.  :D Doesn't work very often, though.  I'm cheaper than most.

 YIM  


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Post Posted: Thu Aug 12, 2004 3:14 pm 
 

Well, the DM will see my Chaotic nature in my second ethics post, Sniping.



Let's see - to those who don't know how my mind works (be glad that you don't!), I veered from CG to NG to LG, back down to CG skipping NG entirely.  By Gygaxian AD&D 1st Ed, that's what ... a 4 experience level penalty?



Great.  If a vampire so much as looks at me the wrong way, it'll be time to start a new character.  Time to go out and level some (what the mundanites call "running errands at lunch").

:lol:

  


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Post Posted: Thu Aug 12, 2004 3:36 pm 
 

Not a year ago, I'd have signed Kent's first post in this thread. Meanwhile I think very different. My belief is, that the ending of an ongoing auction is legitimate, no matter if the item in question had received bids already. A bid does not constitute a contract, since the deal is not closed yet. As a buyer, I would insist on relisting the item as a BIN with the agreed price, mainly as a security, in case there are any problems in the processing of the deal.



Thus, I have to support Frank on this issue. The seller is free to sell to whoever he chooses to (and at any price, too).  This is a very human bevahior, by both sides.



Besides, such deals offer mostly advantages to the buyer. If the seller is so stupid as to sell an item for a quarter of it's true price, so what? If the buyer is silly enough to offer double of what the item is worth, so what? Once stupidity and free will combine, I see no serious reason, why a smart person should not benefit from it.


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Post Posted: Thu Aug 12, 2004 3:53 pm 
 

I've been described as Chaotic Neutral (*cough* CRAZY! *cough*), with evil tendencies.



Since we're talking about ethics/morals and all that jazz, how about this tactic, which I call "resource depletion":



Note:  This is incredibly dangerous and prone to backfiring.  It's also kinda mean.  :twisted:   We're "Bidder A", someone else is "Bidder B".



Bidder A bids on several items (let's say 20), for minimal amounts.  He'd like to win everything for that price, but knows that's extremely unlikely, he's mostly trying to get one or two good items and a few 'throw-ins' if they're cheap.



Bidder B has deeper pockets than Bidder A, and easily overbids him several times over on each of those 20 items.  It's still a good deal at this point, and Bidder B has bid high enough over Bidder A that he's confident he'll get some of the items.



How can Bidder A hope to win anything with Bidder B's larger budget?  



Bidder A creeps his bid up in slow increments on one of the items until he finds out how much Bidder B's most recent bid is.  (Of course, at some point you just move on, if it's really too high for you).  If you get the high bid, you now have a good feeling as to how much the bidder outbid you on the other items.  



If he attempts to start a bidding war at this point, you can to some extent non-linearly deplete his resources...for every dollar he outbids you on one item, you can up your bid by that dollar x 19 additional items...sometimes to devastating effect, if Bidder B wasn't really expecting to win all 20 items at that price.



If nothing else, at least this will end the constant emails requesting advice on how to bid on ebay...  :lol:

 YIM  


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Post Posted: Thu Aug 12, 2004 6:36 pm 
 

You are all also forgetting about the possibility of a seller getting offered a FAIR buyout price . . . .



I rarely offer buyouts, but do sometimes on an item that I particularly want, mostly to insure that no one ELSE can do it to me. ;-0)



I can think of three cases where I offered buyouts and the seller refused . . . . in all three cases, I ended up winning the item at auction for LESS than I offered on the buyout, in one case by several hundred dollars.



So, there IS the possibility of the buyout offer that doesn't screw the seller . . . . and as for being "fair" to the rest of the community . . . . you see that "Ask Seller a Question" link? Well, it works for everyone . . . .



;-0)





Pat


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Post Posted: Thu Aug 12, 2004 7:49 pm 
 

Well now.........

I am not a fan of the "Interesting Items" category, yet I have to live with it. There are times it has cost me money, and times it has taken away items I quite possibly could have gotten, but that went beyond what I thought they were worth. Nobody can dispute that I NEVER would have gotten RAHASIA for $525 if Muad'Dib hadn't been on vacation. I feel that if I put the effort into finding a rarity, I should only have to contend with others who expend the same effort. Etc. Etc. Blah Blah Blah.

Now, the cold, harsh reality: That is life. I may not like it, but it is not going away. So, it has to be dealt with.

My way of dealing with it includes contacting a seller to see if they have a BIN. How they choose to handle the request is completely up to them.

Oh, just to clear it up, the $800 offer on the alleged 1st print booklets was mine. I was testing to see whether money was the reason the first deal went sour. Kudos to Bill, he didn't bite. To me, they're barely worth $80. Books without a box are like a hot blonde with no tits. It's all or nothing.


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Post Posted: Thu Aug 12, 2004 7:56 pm 
 

I'm in two minds about the subject of offers-to-buy on active auctions. The comments that Deadlord and Johnhuck make are perfectly valid - if a seller doesn't know the value of the item he's selling, or if a seller lists an item with a BIN much lower than the worth of the item, I for one wouldn't try and educate the seller - I'd hit the BIN button as fast as I can.



But at the same time, I don't make offers on items. I don't email sellers and ask if they have a BIN price. Basically, like darkseraphim says it's a disservice to the rest of the collecting community - I'd much rather see an auction out in the open, than have the auction on ebay in name only while the real bidding goes on behind the scenes. And as a seller, I've had people email with offers to buy which I have invariably refused - just on the principle that having listed the item, I'd rather see the thing run to it's natural conclusion.



The practice generally only affects high priced items, and as I'm rarely (if ever) in the market for items worth more than say $100, on the whole it doesn't affect me. But even so, I'm against the practice simply on the grounds that when I high-priced item comes up for sale, I enjoy watching the auction run, and speculating on who might bid, and what the final price might be.



Regards



Mike

  


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Post Posted: Thu Aug 12, 2004 7:57 pm 
 

You could always roll her over...  buy her a padded bra...  



:)



BTW - I would like the $800.00! Let's just put the bid on e-bay and keep all the knuckleheads happy.



:)



-Bill

  
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