Who are these moronic eBay bidders?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by mcdj, Oct 28, 2013.

  1. mcdj, Oct 28, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2013

    mcdj macrumors 604

    mcdj

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2007
    Location:
    NYC
    #1
    I've been buying and selling on ebay since 1998. I don't sell aspirin or socks. I sell my used computers, cameras, watches, etc. Hard goods. Relatively expensive stuff, typically current models, in great condition.

    My items usually sell, and usually for market value. Sometimes slightly more, sometimes slightly less.

    But without fail, the first few bidders of every auction I've ever run, are absolutely delusional.

    Does anyone in their right mind actually think they're going to win an iPad 4 for their high bid of $3.99? A Canon 5D body for $27? A MacBook Air, ANY MacBook Air, in ANY condition, for $55?

    These are actual bids I've received. And those are just the ones above $1. Many others have been 99 cents.

    I understand that some people bid low as a means to watch or follow the auction, although clicking the "watch auction" button does the trick for me.

    But there seems to be no shortage of people with either zero understanding of how ebay works, or zero understanding of market values for popular items. And a $55 bid isn't a 99 cent placeholder bid...that's a dude sitting in front of a computer, thinking, "Hmm, I sure would like me a nice Apple computer for $55! Can I swing it? What the heck! I'll splurge!"

    Sure, there are great deal stories out there, but there have been exactly zero legitimate $4 iPad auctions or $25 full frame SLRs sold in the history of ebay.

    So what are these brain donors smoking?
     
  2. samiwas macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2006
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #2
    Keep in mind that ebay used to be exactly that: the place to pick up used stuff for way cheap. This was before it became the place to try to make a big profit off used stuff. "Market value" was rarely considered in the early ebay days. I used to be able to sign onto ebay and find software one version old for a fraction of the price of the original. Nowadays, the used versions are as much as the new versions, if not more. Apparently "market forces" have flowed to ebay.

    That being said, if an auction doesn't have a limit on the low end, why the hell wouldn't you put in a low bid and see what happens? Does it cost you, as a bidder anything? No. So if you happen to place a bid for $20 for an iPad that somehow doesn't get more bids, and you get that iPad for $20, lucky you.

    I think the bigger problem is people posting crap like "BRAND NEW IPHONE 5!!" and then somewhere down in the lengthy description in 2-point type is something saying that the auction is for a photo of the phone only. Not sure if that's been taken care of as I rarely visit ebay these days.

    I don't find the low-bidding process as annoying as the craigslist or facebook sales where someone offers a table for $500, and some jackhole sends them an email saying "I'll give you $25." There's a girl in my neighborhood who is notorious for this. Every time someone on our neighborhood facebook page posts something for sale, she offers somewhere in the neighborhood of 5-10% of the asking price. Cabinet for $250? She'll offer $20, or ask if you'll trade it for a six-pack of PBR.
     
  3. rhett7660 macrumors G4

    rhett7660

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Location:
    Sunny, Southern California
    #3
    Heck I can remember the days when I used to get stuff for bargain basement prices. Maybe not quite that good but, I have gotten some realllllly good deals. And besides it doesn't hurt and there is always that off chance that people will not find your item till it is too late!
     
  4. Mike in Kansas macrumors 6502a

    Mike in Kansas

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Location:
    Metro Kansas City
    #4
    I am a watch enthusiast and have won a fair share of auctions at ridiculously low bids. Sometimes these are gambles, as the seller has not included a photo or maybe misspelled the brand, or even better, didn't know what they were auctioning. Even though you may do a great job in posting relevant information, including photos, etc., there's enough history out there with successful underbidding that it's still worth a try.
     
  5. Roric macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2005
    Location:
    WI
    #5
    Seems to me someone who has been "buying and selling on ebay since 1998" would know about setting minimum and reserve bids...
     
  6. TJH133 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2013
    #6
    Honest answer I have done bids like that on items hoping to get lucky. Heck I have gotten lucky on a few items with low bids. It is a 1 in a million shot but lets face it the 1 in a million shot that has no real risk cost to it.
     
  7. mobilehaathi macrumors G3

    mobilehaathi

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2008
    Location:
    The Anthropocene
    #7
    Friend, correct me if I'm wrong, but can't you set the starting bid price?
     
  8. gnasher729 macrumors P6

    gnasher729

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    #8
    It all depends. If an item is in good supply with plenty of bidders, then each sale starts with a few ridiculously low bids and it ends at some reasonable price. But if it is a rare or unusual item, there might be only one person looking at it and being interested, and the chance to get it really cheap is realistic.

    And I know a woman who sold a used table and chairs worth around £700 for two pound. (Her parents had bought it for her originally; she would probably have been less careless if it was her own money).
     
  9. Tsuchiya macrumors 68020

    Tsuchiya

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2008
    #9
    I don't get what the big deal is about that tbh.

    What's worse is when you put something in your listing to the effect of "no offers below x amount will be considered and no pickup" then some idiot messages you offering a lowball amount and wants to pickup.
     
  10. eawmp1 macrumors 601

    eawmp1

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2008
    Location:
    FL
    #10
    This is not just an ebay phenomenon. I just had a yard sale and you would not belive some of the lowball offers I got from a few people. You can't offer 10% of a sales price. They need to take Reasonable Remedial Haggling 101.
     
  11. mcdj thread starter macrumors 604

    mcdj

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2007
    Location:
    NYC
    #11
    Seems to me someone who "read my post" would know I'm not complaining about actually having sold anything for such ridiculously low prices. Also seems to me setting a reserve has nothing to do with 99 cent bids.
     
  12. Mac'nCheese macrumors 68030

    Mac'nCheese

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2010
    #12
    Goes both ways though. How many people post something like a good iphone for 10k starting bid? Hope those are jokes
     
  13. mcdj thread starter macrumors 604

    mcdj

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2007
    Location:
    NYC
    #13
    Aww, you stole my rant for next week's post. lol.

    My favorite is when these sellers have names like BestDeal4U and they're selling an Apple TV for $349.
     
  14. adk macrumors 68000

    adk

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2005
    Location:
    Stuck in the middle with you
    #14
    I'd like to add a side-rant ... People are auctioning off $100 amazon Gift Cards and bidders are bidding over face value. Why?
     
  15. NewbieCanada macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2007
    #15
    None of those low bidders are going to win if I want the item. :)

    I never bid until the last 15 seconds, and bid the highest price I'm prepared to pay.

    If someone else has bid $5 for an item I'd happily pay $500 for, I'm still going to get it for $5.50 if $5.00 is the next highest bid.

    I'm not interested in helping drive up the price in a bidding war, nor am I interested in paying a cent more than I have to.
     
  16. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #16
    Because the buyers are probably using stolen Paypal accounts, what do they care if it sells for over face value?
     
  17. firedept macrumors 603

    firedept

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2011
    Location:
    Somewhere!
    #17
    I am with you on this. Do it myself. I will purposely misspell an item I am looking for to see if someone made a mistake in their auction. Have done this many times and made some money doing it. Buy cheap and list it properly. Not as much these days as when Ebay first started though.
     
  18. Happybunny macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2010
    #18
    In my experience these are mostly traders looking for a good deal, If nobody picks it up they get it for next to nothing, for no trouble.

    Back when I started on ebay I used to bid quite early in the time frame, it's a losers game. Now I wait until the last few seconds and bid what I think it's worth to me. If I win then I've not paid more than I wanted too, and if not no harm done.
     
  19. a-m-k macrumors 6502a

    a-m-k

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2009
    #19
    I think my first MBP that had some work done only sold for a little bit over $300.00. I'm hoping to keep my current MBP for more than not quite four years. When it comes time for an upgrade of the whole machine, I don't think I am going to sell on E-bay again.
     
  20. EvilQueen macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2013
    Location:
    In my own world
    #20
    I make super low bids on tons of stuff. Usually during the week when a auction is set to close late at night in the middle of the week. I search for all kids of things that I might have a chance to get on the cheap for a variety of reasons, some that I won't tell you about because they are my secret, others are the common ones like something that is categorized wrong or have the wrong name of the product...others just have no reserve. I get those things and re-list them for more money. I love ebay.
     
  21. gobsmacked macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2013
    Location:
    Alberta, Canada
    #21
    Probably someone that sells a lot like a dealer. When they run out of stock they put in a really high price rather than pull the listing and paying another listing fee. Should someone actually pay that much they can always run out and buy another at retail to fulfill the order.

    As to your original rant - I've gotten some amazing deals over the years where no one else has bid on an item. I'm guessing the lowballs are just hoping if they put in enough of those bids that some of them are going to pay off.
     
  22. mobilehaathi macrumors G3

    mobilehaathi

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2008
    Location:
    The Anthropocene
    #22
    It seems, since one is able to set a minimum bid, that the OP intentionally allows low bids. Why, then, complain about people submitting them?
     
  23. mcdj thread starter macrumors 604

    mcdj

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2007
    Location:
    NYC
    #23
    Again, I never asked for advice as to how to avoid lowball bidders. I'm merely asking, what are they thinking. And that has been answered.
     
  24. mobilehaathi macrumors G3

    mobilehaathi

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2008
    Location:
    The Anthropocene
    #24
    I wasn't giving advice. I was asking why you were so awfully bent out of shape about something that seems patently obvious to the rest of us.
     
  25. Koodauw macrumors 68040

    Koodauw

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2003
    Location:
    Madison
    #25

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