Buying lots vs. individual items
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Post Posted: Thu Sep 16, 2004 4:17 pm 
 

For a while my strategy on eBay has been to bid on lots and then sell off redundant pieces, thinking that the per-item price will be lower and then I can part it out at a slightly higher price.  Especially with lower overall shipping.

In practice, this doesn't seem to be the case.  I've seen some lots of, say, FR stuff goe for an average of $5-7/item + shipping when often these same things go for much cheaper individually (White Wolf clanbooks are another classic example -- often they are $3/each individually from people selling collections willing to combine shipping, but a lot of 15 will go for $60 or more).

Any insight into this?

  

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Post Posted: Thu Sep 16, 2004 11:20 pm 
 

Depends on the composition of the lot.  If it's random, this shouldn't happen much.  If the lot is a compete set of something - or at least all of a similar type - people may pay more per piece, because it saves them the trouble of messing around with 10-20 separate auctions.

  


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Post Posted: Sat Sep 18, 2004 7:43 am 
 

BaconTastesGood wrote:For a while my strategy on eBay has been to bid on lots and then sell off redundant pieces, thinking that the per-item price will be lower and then I can part it out at a slightly higher price.  Especially with lower overall shipping.

In practice, this doesn't seem to be the case.  I've seen some lots of, say, FR stuff goe for an average of $5-7/item + shipping when often these same things go for much cheaper individually (White Wolf clanbooks are another classic example -- often they are $3/each individually from people selling collections willing to combine shipping, but a lot of 15 will go for $60 or more).

Any insight into this?


For some reason you can get away with selling all your junk in a big lot for a decent price, whereas if you tried to sell them seperately they would fail miserably.

I guess when it comes to lots you are guaranteed to find ebay resellers bidding on them as well as players looking for a one stop shop.

When it comes to selling individuals you pretty much eliminate resellers unless its a hot item and you have to depend on a player that is actually looking for that item.


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Post Posted: Sat Sep 18, 2004 7:11 pm 
 

I also think shipping costs figure into the calculation, at least to some extent.  Although most people are willing to combine shipping, when looking at items I certainly look at the total cost, not just the bid cost.

So a single item with an extra three or four dollars shipping is going to make me hesitate while 10 items with $20.00 shipping is going to look a bit better when you look at the price per item.

But I have to suspect that the real difference may be in the number of people bidding on lots versus the number of people bidding on single items.  If bidder X is willing to spend up to 5.00 for an item with a 2.00 starting price, on a single item he may well be the only bidder and get it at 2.00, while on a lot of 10 he may be bidding against three other people and have to get a lot closer to his max price of 50.00.

Bottom line - as someone looking at trying to sell over two decades accumulation - I see a glut on the market of certain items and because of that the real problem is that many items just don't get bid on at all (in single unit auctions).  It almost seems as if the only way to get bids at all (at decent prices) IS to put the stuff in lots and try to get resellers to bite.

To put it another way - if you have five items and separate them out into five auctions, you might find four people, each of whom want one or two different items out of the lot and get your minimum offer on a couple with a bit of bidding on one item (hypothetical).  But if you combined them into a single lot, you might find three of those people (continuing the hypothetical, one person dropped out because he didn't want the whole lot) bidding on that lot and end up with a better price per item overall.  The more bidders, the more likely you are to get a decent bid.

Carl

  
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