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Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014

Belated eBay answer

Posted Tuesday, September 8, 2009, at 4:46 PM

Last week I posted some goofy news about eBay and one of our readers asked a question. I was "occupied" for an extra day and did not see the question. Since I have not heard from the person again, I was concerned that they never knew I answered, so here it is in its entirety. Apologies for my tardiness.

I have a question . . . I have bought many things off of eBay but I have just listed my first item to sell. Someone has already placed the first bid but another person asked me what would I ask to end the auction early.

Is this allowed and if so, is it a wise thing to do? I just want to make sure I am doing the wise thing here and follow the rules. I don't plan on being a seller or anything . . . just wanted to get rid of this item while making some money off of it. Thanks!

-- Posted by XXXX on Wed, Sep 2, 2009, at 3:04 PM

Sorry for not catching your question earlier.

You could end it, BUT eBay would want to know the reason and it would not sit well with the "community". Of course, if you do not intend to sell often, that might not matter, but...

Secondly and maybe more importantly is why the person wants you to end the auction early. It often indicates high value to them and they might get into a bidding war, which could be beneficial to you.

We never ended an auction early that had any bids, but we did end one that had just started and we thought the offer was fair, so we took it. We started it at $1.99 and a person from France offered $99.00 Once we were sure we understood, shoot yes, we accepted.

BUT, here are two other examples that worked much better by "letting it ride". We had researched our Tonka truck (mint condition in original box) and thought $200-300 was fair, so we started it at $199. We immediately started getting questions and one fellow asked if we would stop it and sell it for $600.

We were new at this like you and were tempted, but also scared that it was a hoax or scam so we said thanks but no thanks. This same fellow ended up buying it for $750. He even commented that we had made the right choice. (like we knew)

The next item was very similar to our first item that we stopped the auction for (no bidders yet)and sold for $99.00. Again, we started it at $1.99 ( we did not know better since there was no reference to it on the net or other research books)

Immediately we started getting questions. Is this real or a re-make. More questions about condition, etc. I guy from Great Britain wrote and said he would love to buy it, but was sure he could not afford it. No bids yet and still $1.99! Not afford it?

He said he could only afford $600. I beg your pardon! Talk about tempted, but we had seen what had happened to the Tonka so we held ourselves in check and thank him for the offer. It sold for %1,327.01.

I will never know what would have happened if I had not stopped that other sale at $99. Could have been more, but just as easily could have been less. One of the key items to eBay was that there was already a bid on yours. Once that happens, I let fate roll the dice.

Sooo, what you gonna do? If you already made the choice, take solace in the fact that if no one else bid, you might have made the right choice.

With time sensitive questions, feel free to contact me at Steve@bedfordtradingpost.com My e-mails come to me every five minutes, but I don't always get back to the blog that often.



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Steve Mills and his wife have one daughter and live on a farm outside of Bell Buckle. They previously owned two coffee/ice cream shops, currently operate an internet sales company and teach classes, but his primary job involves the paper industry worldwide. Hobbies and interests lie in gardening, photography, recorded music and of course, their pets.