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View Poll Results: Should I tell the reserve price?
Yes, tell them the reserve price.
14
50.00%
No, only give a hint.
3
10.71%
Decline to give a hint or the reserve price.
11
39.29%
Voters: 28. You may not vote on this poll

Ebay seller question.

Old 10-30-03, 05:33 PM
  #1  
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Ebay seller question.

I currently listed some items on Ebay and wanted some opinions about a question a potential bidder asked me. The person wanted to know the reserve price of one of the items I am selling in an auction. Should I tell them the reserve, give them a hint, or decline to their request for the information?

Part of me says no big deal since it may emcourage a bid. But I also think that I am giving this person some inside information that other potential bidders do not have. I will make this a poll for those who do not want to write an answer or give their opinion.
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Old 10-30-03, 06:58 PM
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My question is this...if you're willing to tell them the reserve price, why not just start the betting at that price?
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Old 10-30-03, 08:01 PM
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What is the point in telling them? If it is more than they are willing to pay, they won't bid. I suspect the reason he wants to know is so he can snip at the last minute and be assured of beating the reserve.

-Videophile
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Old 10-30-03, 10:01 PM
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I never use a reserve price.

Course, tthat doesn't answer your question.

If I did I wouldn't tell it, it defeats the purpose of having one.
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Old 10-30-03, 10:23 PM
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Just tell him to bid the price he is willing to pay for the item. That's what I do.
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Old 10-31-03, 12:30 AM
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I would tell them.

Personally, I avoid auctions with a reserve, unless it is a one of a kind item.
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Old 10-31-03, 08:24 AM
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I have asked many sellers what their reserve was and they have always told me. I believe it's in your best interest to reveal it, but I can't exactly explain why.
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Old 10-31-03, 02:59 PM
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I don't believe in using Reserves. It even costs extra to have one.

I just list my items for the minimum I am willing to sell them for.

I price the item attractively to get some bids but not at some ridiculous low price that would be unacceptable to me as a final price.

If you are not sure what to list an item at, searching similar Completed Items will usually give a good idea.

I talked with one EBay seller who had a huge difference between his listing and reserve price.

When the item did not sell he did not understand why.

He was getting bids throughout the week, but you could see the auction run out of steam as the price rose considerably and yet the reserve was still not met.

The bidders apparently got frustrated and gave up. I was one of them. He apparently counted on bidder fever to meet his reserve, but he just needed too many bids to get there.

The bottomline is not how many bids you get, but to sell the item!

I have seen some auctions with a Buy It Now price and a Reserve where the the reserve was apparently the Buy It Now price. That made no sense to me at all.
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Old 10-31-03, 06:36 PM
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Thank you for your feedback and opinions. I decided to drop all the reserve prices from any auctions without a bid, and raise the opening bids to my minimum selling price as suggested. It also simplifies the auctions and saves on listing fees. I also didn't think it was a good idea or fair to inform the person requesting the information. So I told them about the revisions made to the auctions instead.

Anyway my original intent with the reserve was to use it to establish a minimum selling price. I also offered a buy it now option as a maximum price. And I thought a lower opening bid would help attract more bids. However your posts made me realize I was making the auctions less desirable and more frustrating on the bidders.

Finally I must admit that I am not a frequent Ebay seller and usually prefer Half.com. However the items listed in my current auctions were better suited for Ebay in my opinion, and I also thought it was a good time to get more familiar with selling on Ebay since Half.com is going to eventually be phased out.

Last edited by Laser Movies; 10-31-03 at 06:40 PM.
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Old 11-01-03, 01:28 AM
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Reserves are a good idea. And yes, you should tell the people what the reserve is when they ask. If you are willing to pay the extra fee for the reserve, you start the auction at a penny, when they do a search, your item will only show the .01 price, and will attract tons more people. Then you can see it gradually raise up. I use it as a tactic to get more hits on my auctions only. If someone wants to know the price, you tell them, if theyre willing to pay that price, they will bid, if not, they wouldnt have kept playing the biddig game with the reserve.
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Old 11-01-03, 05:55 AM
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The purpose of having a reserve is to set a low opening bid/high minimum price for certain items.

Say I have something that I want to sell for $100.00. That's my minimum selling price.

If I start my auction at that, the high price will scare away bidders, even if they're willing to pay that price.

So you set a reserve for $100.00 and a starting bid of $1.00 or something, and people will go nuts over it.

At $1.00, even with a reserve, it looks like there's a chance that they MIGHT get a bargain so they take it.

Frankly, I've had better luck using that strategy WITHOUT a reserve, as it's been my experience (selling comic books and toys, mostly) that people will end up bidding higher with a low starting bid on particularly desirable things.

YMMV, though.
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Old 11-01-03, 12:45 PM
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Yes, thats true too. It seems items usually go for more when the starting price is super low and no reserve. But if the item isnt popular enough, or youre not sure it has potential to go up to what you want it to, the reserve is a nice protection.
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Old 11-02-03, 08:59 AM
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I'm in the minority here since I only give buyers a hint.

I will tell them you are close/not close to the reserve, but no more specifics that that.

Most of my items are NOT on reserve. I only place expensive items on reserve such as computers or digital cameras.

This way I rarely deal with this issue.
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