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View Full Version : Kamaka on ebay. Am I missing Something???



Ronnie Aloha
03-15-2011, 06:02 PM
http://cgi.ebay.com/KAMAKA-Tenor-Hawaiian-Koa-Ukulele-Ukelele-w-freestrings-/110660386400?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item19c3df7e60

A mint condition 2004 Kamaka tenor. bidding over $1,000 at this time. Even more amazing, the reserved has not been met! This isn't a custom as far as I can tell and it doesn't have any upgrades. You could buy a new one for that price.

I guess its time to sell mine!

pdxuke
03-15-2011, 06:07 PM
Must be the free strings

philpot
03-15-2011, 06:09 PM
I just saw that!! man, maybe theres some money in buying from the factory and puttin it up on ebay ;)

pdxuke
03-15-2011, 06:09 PM
But it's "almost mint state!"

WestPhillyUke
03-15-2011, 06:21 PM
Yeah, I noticed that too & wondered the same thing. Meanwhile, one was just posted on FMM for $850.

sonicbaker
03-15-2011, 06:44 PM
Well, it says it is "Played by Hawaiis' best recording and performing artist!". Not sure if the seller means this particular Uke or Kamakas in general....and who exactly is Hawaii's best recording and performing artist? The plot thickens.

Hippie Dribble
03-15-2011, 06:51 PM
I sent him an email asking your exact question Ronnie, and mentioned in passing I can buy a brand new HF-3 for what he's asking for a 7 year old one. I'll let you know what his response is...

ukeatan
03-15-2011, 06:52 PM
Contains four strings! Free soundhole!

pdxuke
03-15-2011, 07:12 PM
Signature label!

pdxuke
03-15-2011, 07:14 PM
I'd like to announce that before placing it on ebay, I'm offering to UU my BRAND NEW, MINT, NEVER PLAYED (not even received) Kamaka Concert for only $10,000.21574

France
03-15-2011, 08:56 PM
I'd like to announce that before placing it on ebay, I'm offering to UU my BRAND NEW, MINT, NEVER PLAYED (not even received) Kamaka Concert for only $10,000.21574

.....Sold.

Hippie Dribble
03-15-2011, 09:07 PM
I sent him an email asking your exact question Ronnie, and mentioned in passing I can buy a brand new HF-3 for what he's asking for a 7 year old one. I'll let you know what his response is...

his explanation of the high reserve was twofold: (i) retail prices for Kamaka tenors on Hilo (where he is) are $1200, and that (ii) his ukulele comes with a hardshell case, while the others don't.

Mind you, it's still a whole lot cheaper than a kamaka tenor I saw a couple of days back at a Melbourne store here in Australia where they were selling for 1800+.

Lexxy
03-15-2011, 09:09 PM
his explanation of the high reserve was twofold: (i) retail prices for Kamaka tenors on Hilo (where he is) are $1200, and that (ii) his ukulele comes with a hardshell case, while the others don't.

Mind you, it's still a whole lot cheaper than a kamaka tenor I saw a couple of days back at a Melbourne store here in Australia where they were selling for 1800+.

By any chance, The Acoustic Centre?

Hippie Dribble
03-15-2011, 09:23 PM
By any chance, The Acoustic Centre?

Bingo brother Lexxy! :)

Kekani
03-15-2011, 09:35 PM
Bingo brother Lexxy! :)

I believe that would be sister.

mm stan
03-15-2011, 09:50 PM
Aloha Aaron,
Lexxy is short for Alex....
Aloha Ronnie,
So much intrest in this one don't know why??? maybe it's the outside market...., and I think mine has a nicer grain pattern.....You think I can get 1200.00 for mine....I got a Pro Tec case and I'll throw in
strings too..he he...intresting....maybe lets chip in and start a business...lol....

Kekani
03-15-2011, 10:10 PM
Aloha Aaron,
Lexxy is short for Alex....


So is Alex short for something? Must be my age. . . too old. . .no offense intended. Guess like I thought Aquila was Italian, and he (or she?) is Filipino. I guess I'll stop assuming now.

MMStan, you da man.

I think.

Now that I think about it, I work with a Stan. She's cool. For real.

Teek
03-15-2011, 11:02 PM
Just my opinion but my guess is the 1 and 2 feedback bidders are shills. They drove the bids from $500 to $750 together then quit a bit, then one more to pop another bigger bidder. The 1 FB has not bid on anything else. Neither has the 18 FB bidder and they have also not bid on anything in a year. The uke could be worth that but the seller is likely making sure they get their price. Not legal but since eBay hid everyone's IDs no one can tell anymore except by looking at the pattern and if there are any other bid histories with any other seller. Also if the new IDs were in the same city, ZIP or general location it was often the seller using other IDs to bid up their own stuff. That used to be a good way to tell the legitimate bidders from the shills. But it's rampant now.

But I have heard a lot of stories, experienced it myself, and sold on eBay for 12 years now so have seen a lot. It could just be legit newbies.

Hippie Dribble
03-16-2011, 12:02 AM
Just my opinion but my guess is the 1 and 2 feedback bidders are shills. They drove the bids from $500 to $750 together then quit a bit, then one more to pop another bigger bidder. The 1 FB has not bid on anything else. Neither has the 18 FB bidder and they have also not bid on anything in a year. The uke could be worth that but the seller is likely making sure they get their price. Not legal but since eBay hid everyone's IDs no one can tell anymore except by looking at the pattern and if there are any other bid histories with any other seller. Also if the new IDs were in the same city, ZIP or general location it was often the seller using other IDs to bid up their own stuff. That used to be a good way to tell the legitimate bidders from the shills. But it's rampant now.

But I have heard a lot of stories, experienced it myself, and sold on eBay for 12 years now so have seen a lot. It could just be legit newbies.

hi Teek,

and thanks so much for the wisdom there. I am new to buying and selling on ebay and very naiive and gullible with all that kind of stuff. I had suspected several times where I was involved in a bidding competition before that they were dummy bidders just goading me so as to raise the sale price, but to hear that info direct from you makes so much sense. Thanks a lot for at least putting it out there. :)

Myself, as a seller on ebay, only use the facility after exhausting all other possible avenues for sale.

Hippie Dribble
03-16-2011, 12:04 AM
I believe that would be sister.

hi Kekani,

yes, I have embarrassed myself before by assuming someone's gender incorrectly :o , but not this time. Lexxy is most definitely a blue-blooded young man! :)

hmgberg
03-16-2011, 03:15 AM
Just my opinion but my guess is the 1 and 2 feedback bidders are shills. They drove the bids from $500 to $750 together then quit a bit, then one more to pop another bigger bidder. The 1 FB has not bid on anything else. Neither has the 18 FB bidder and they have also not bid on anything in a year. The uke could be worth that but the seller is likely making sure they get their price. Not legal but since eBay hid everyone's IDs no one can tell anymore except by looking at the pattern and if there are any other bid histories with any other seller. Also if the new IDs were in the same city, ZIP or general location it was often the seller using other IDs to bid up their own stuff. That used to be a good way to tell the legitimate bidders from the shills. But it's rampant now.

But I have heard a lot of stories, experienced it myself, and sold on eBay for 12 years now so have seen a lot. It could just be legit newbies.

Thanks for the insight, Teek.

joeybug
03-16-2011, 03:38 AM
Interesting thread, learnt some about eBay and people upping prices, guess they won't include that part that eugene sent them saying that you could get a new one for less or the same price, that would stop the high bidding!

janeray1940
03-16-2011, 04:44 AM
his explanation of the high reserve was twofold: (i) retail prices for Kamaka tenors on Hilo (where he is) are $1200, and that (ii) his ukulele comes with a hardshell case, while the others don't.

He may be right about the first point - I looked at a Kamaka concert some months back that a guy had bought in Hilo and listed on Craigslist for $850. He told me he had paid $1000 for it and was taking a loss.

As to the second point - I call B.S.! As far as I know, if you buy a uke directly from Kamaka they include a hardshell case - or that's what I was told when I was looking into placing an order, anyway.

Jnobianchi
03-16-2011, 04:52 AM
There's all kinds of sellers on eBay. Some are individuals, some are doing an eBay 'store' on the side, and others are straight out retailers trying to use the auction market, and in this case, trying to go above MSRP. When I buy new, I don't go to eBay - I go to bricks and mortar, or straight to retailer mail order, if the local option isn't viable.

ukulelecowboy
03-16-2011, 10:01 AM
The reserve was met. Pushed up by the "newbies." This could very well be be classic shill stuff. Alot of newbies bidding on a high end item. I see this quite a bit with vintage guitar auctions. Really bad form...

Teek
03-16-2011, 11:18 AM
Not to thread hijack but just FYI to help those who don't have a lot of experience with online auctions and eBay in particular, and no need to be paranoid about it, just be aware: if you are interested in an auction as a potential buyer on a more expensive type of item, do check the seller's feedback for items previously sold, prices realized, and if there are a lot of unique transactions. You can look at the bid history on the sold items, and see if there is a pattern of low feedback bidders, Anything under 10, and any ID that has won and has no feedback from that seller (though that can take the 3 months that you are allowed to "view auction") might be a pattern. Also although eBay supposedly hides IDs, the same IDs often have the same "hidden" ID of 2 characters and three ***.

This item (http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=280631903230) for example looks shilled, but my guess is that only the 8 FB bidder is a possible shill, but under these circumstances maybe not, as they stopped at a low price, and didn't come back in. However, they could have shilled just up to a reserve that disappeared when the real bids came in (or they are cheap). The 1 and 2 FB bidders really look like shills, but they had other bids on other items with other sellers in their 30 day bid history. They could actually be shills, maybe friends of the seller who popped on a bid. If the seller does this a lot, there will be a pattern of "sold" items that are relisted. eBay doesn't care, they want the fees. I'm not suggesting this was shilled, just using it as an example of the pattern, since it would look something like this item, though this is subtle. Good shills are subtle, lol.

So if you do your homework it will be helpful if it's something you really want. AND if it is, just watch it, don't "pee" on it with a bid. Again, not paranoia, just awareness. I have not bid on items where I see a persistant zero feedback bidder, or a zero along with one and two feedback bidders, for example. The pattern will often be one of "popping" higher feedback bidders by repetitive low bids of $1-5-10 bids, inching up the price. If you see a lot of neutral and negative feedback on a seller like that, then I'd stay away.

If you know what you are willing to pay, it's better to put that amount in a program like AuctionSniper. If it goes over that before your snipe is placed, the program won't bid, and you will lose it, so know what you really want. If you keep bidding on an item, you raise the eventual price and alert other bidders they have competition. If you feel the need to test a reserve etc, go ahead, then go away until the end, but understand everyone with experience knows that is what you are doing. They just aren't sure how interested you are.

Shilling is a time honored tradition, that is why at live auctions especially of high end items, you always stand at the back of the room! That's so you can see all of the other bids. Even if there are no other bids, the auctioneer can pull them out of thin air. It's their job to "read" the room and the live bidders. They usually have a price that they try to reach that is the house price, and they will call bids to that amount. If the house buys it, no one really knows. A bidder just needs to know what it is worth to them, and bid to that amount.

I paid $1,100 for a leather jacket once, but the money went to charity and I got to try the jacket on on stage fresh off of the back of Michael Crawford, who helped me into it. We got a lot of pictures and shared a really big warm hug. I also had a real live bidder bidding against me and saw them bidding, and knew who they were. But in that case it didn't matter either way and was well worth it. I pissed my partner off a little, but he lost way more than that gambling that weekend. We used to make $3-4K on weekends alone back then at collectibles and antiques venues, so it wasn't "a lot" to spend. Ah, the good old days. Why does wiser always seem to go with poorer? ;)

joeybug
03-16-2011, 11:23 AM
Not to thread hijack but just FYI to help those who don't have a lot of experience with online auctions and eBay in particular, and no need to be paranoid about it, just be aware: if you are interested in an auction as a potential buyer on a more expensive type of item, do check the seller's feedback for items previously sold, prices realized, and if there are a lot of unique transactions. You can look at the bid history on the sold items, and see if there is a pattern of low feedback bidders, Anything under 10, and any ID that has won and has no feedback from that seller (though that can take the 3 months that you are allowed to "view auction") might be a pattern. Also although eBay supposedly hides IDs, the same IDs often have the same "hidden" ID of 2 characters and three ***.

This item (http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=280631903230) for example looks shilled, but my guess is that only the 8 FB bidder is a possible shill, but under these circumstances maybe not, as they stopped at a low price, and didn't come back in. However, they could have shilled just up to a reserve that disappeared when the real bids came in (or they are cheap). The 1 and 2 FB bidders really look like shills, but they had other bids on other items with other sellers in their 30 day bid history. They could actually be shills, maybe friends of the seller who popped on a bid. If the seller does this a lot, there will be a pattern of "sold" items that are relisted. eBay doesn't care, they want the fees. I'm not suggesting this was shilled, just using it as an example of the pattern, since it would look something like this item, though this is subtle. Good shills are subtle, lol.

So if you do your homework it will be helpful if it's something you really want. AND if it is, just watch it, don't "pee" on it with a bid. Again, not paranoia, just awareness. I have not bid on items where I see a persistant zero feedback bidder, or a zero along with one and two feedback bidders, for example. The pattern will often be one of "popping" higher feedback bidders by repetitive low bids of $1-5-10 bids, inching up the price. If you see a lot of neutral and negative feedback on a seller like that, then I'd stay away.

If you know what you are willing to pay, it's better to put that amount in a program like AuctionSniper. If it goes over that before your snipe is placed, the program won't bid, and you will lose it, so know what you really want. If you keep bidding on an item, you raise the eventual price and alert other bidders they have competition. If you feel the need to test a reserve etc, go ahead, then go away until the end, but understand everyone with experience knows that is what you are doing. They just aren't sure how interested you are.

Shilling is a time honored tradition, that is why at live auctions especially of high end items, you always stand at the back of the room! That's so you can see all of the other bids. Even if there are no other bids, the auctioneer can pull them out of thin air. It's their job to "read" the room and the live bidders. They usually have a price that they try to reach that is the house price, and they will call bids to that amount. If the house buys it, no one really knows. A bidder just needs to know what it is worth to them, and bid to that amount.

I paid $1,100 for a leather jacket once, but the money went to charity and I got to try the jacket on on stage fresh off of the back of Michael Crawford, who helped me into it. We got a lot of pictures and shared a really big warm hug. I also had a real live bidder bidding against me and saw them bidding, and knew who they were. But in that case it didn't matter either way and was well worth it. I pissed my partner off a little, but he lost way more than that gambling that weekend. We used to make $3-4K on weekends alone back then at collectibles and antiques venues, so it wasn't "a lot" to spend. Ah, the good old days. Why does wiser always seem to go with poorer? ;)

Thanks for all this advice, it really helps me who usually buys through eBay or websites because of a lack a decent Uke shops and the fact that I'm disabled..so it's nice to know what to look out for!

OldePhart
03-16-2011, 11:41 AM
Yeah, sniping is the only way to go on eBay auctions. There are just too many people who think if someone is willing to pay $500 then it must really be worth $600 and so on - mostly newbies.

I rarely bid on an item I really want except maybe a very small bid up front (a couple of times I've gotten lucky with those). I'll load up my Auction sniping software if I really want something.

Of course 99.9% of what's sold on ebay isn't auctioned anymore, anyway. I kind of miss the good old days when you could occasionally find a real bargain there.

John

Plainsong
03-16-2011, 12:00 PM
Do you have pics of that Teek? I'm pretty sure my husband wouldn't be on speaking terms with me, and it wouldn't have to do with the money... :D

ksiegel
03-16-2011, 01:58 PM
Yeah, sniping is the only way to go on eBay auctions. There are just too many people who think if someone is willing to pay $500 then it must really be worth $600 and so on - mostly newbies.

I rarely bid on an item I really want except maybe a very small bid up front (a couple of times I've gotten lucky with those). I'll load up my Auction sniping software if I really want something.

Of course 99.9% of what's sold on ebay isn't auctioned anymore, anyway. I kind of miss the good old days when you could occasionally find a real bargain there.

John

When I buy on ebay, I look at the item, decide what I'll pay for it, and bid that amount. If I win, I win. If I don't, so what - there is nothing on ebay that I truly NEED - only things that I WANT.

And when I've sold things, I've done everything I can to make sure that the buyer was satisfied. I have had buyers contact me trying to make a deal on the side, or have me close my auction early, but I refused.

As a buyer, the only negative experience I've had was when eBay cancelled an auction after I'd won, stating that the seller was guilty of fraud.

The next day, the item I'd paid for through PayPal showed up, exactly as desribed. I had to fight with ebay and PayPal to pay the seller his money!

And I might add, as a customer, I ALWAYS try and check the feedback on sellers - thta's how/why I bought my Kala from MGM.

-Kurt

itsme
03-16-2011, 03:28 PM
Well, what do you expect on ebay? I mean, this is a place where a grilled cheese sandwich with an alleged image of the Virgin Mary fetched $28K. Or where someone supposedly trapped a fart by Britney Spears in a Tupperware container and sold it for $2700. :p

The only time I ever bid on something (an ink cartridge for my printer) it came down to some last minute bidding war that drove it up way beyond its value. These days I basically only use ebay for "but it now" stuff that's a better price or that I can't find elsewhere. Like when my husband wanted a replacement trackball for his PC that's no longer being made, or a certain style sunshade that he couldn't find anywhere else that was large enough for his truck.

I think most ebay sellers are legit, but all things being equal (i.e., price), I'd rather buy from amazon. Since we got "prime" I find myself ordering a lot more little niggling things there.

70sSanO
03-16-2011, 04:12 PM
Back in the day when IDs were visible and there was a longer time to view previously sold/bought items, you could sometimes track an item that was bought and then 6 months later was up for sale.

If it was something you wanted, you could see who was bidding and get a good idea where the pain threshold of the other bidders and what they bought and what they didn't. I got a couple guitars by knowing my opposition and where they might top out.

It was a lot more fun back then. I just don't want to put out the effort to decipher the IDs and the ended auctions go away too fast.

I don't use sniping software, placing the bids is one thing I still enjoy.

John

janeray1940
03-16-2011, 04:58 PM
Yeah, sniping is the only way to go on eBay auctions.

Yup. That's how I got two of my three Kamakas - I decided the maximum I was willing to pay, placed it with my snipe service, and then didn't think about it again until I got that magic little "You've won!" email. I know full well that if I had bid directly on the ukes, the prices would have been out of my range.

Hippie Dribble
03-16-2011, 05:15 PM
gee guys, thanks for all this info...I am so naiive it's scary. Muchos gracias to all of you.

France
03-16-2011, 11:09 PM
So would something like this be a shill?

g***3( 36) AU $1,490.00
15-Mar-11 19:03:42 AEDST

g***3( 36) AU $1,026.50
15-Mar-11 19:03:05 AEDST

Does that mean it's the same "buyer" that just upped their price without anyone else bidding in between?

Francis

philpot
03-17-2011, 03:03 AM
So would something like this be a shill?

g***3( 36) AU $1,490.00
15-Mar-11 19:03:42 AEDST

g***3( 36) AU $1,026.50
15-Mar-11 19:03:05 AEDST

Does that mean it's the same "buyer" that just upped their price without anyone else bidding in between?

Francis


If I'm not mistaken, that sort of thing happens when they have put in a set maximum, and someone bids between the current price and their maximum, it auto-bids for them and puts them one increment above what the other persons bid would have been. I'm an ebay newb though, so maybe someone else will correct me.

jet86
03-17-2011, 10:26 AM
If I'm not mistaken, that sort of thing happens when they have put in a set maximum, and someone bids between the current price and their maximum, it auto-bids for them and puts them one increment above what the other persons bid would have been. I'm an ebay newb though, so maybe someone else will correct me.

That's right. It's important to check the times of the person's bids AND all the other bids. That way you can tell if it's someone increasing their bids because someone else has already put a maximum bid that is higher.

Hope that helps.

France
03-17-2011, 11:03 AM
If I'm not mistaken, that sort of thing happens when they have put in a set maximum, and someone bids between the current price and their maximum, it auto-bids for them and puts them one increment above what the other persons bid would have been. I'm an ebay newb though, so maybe someone else will correct me.
Aaaahh. Thanks Philpot. This thread is making me paranoid. "Everybody's out to rip me off...Arrrgghh" (footsteps running off into the distance).