eBay Ukulele War Stories?

Gmontema

New member
Joined
Aug 12, 2018
Messages
135
Points
0
I’m in the middle of an eBay battle right now. Days of no activity and then pow, big time escalations in price. I’ve put in my “max” offer and now I’m just waiting as it fast approaches with all of the bidding activity. Have you ever been happy to “miss out” on a special uke? Have any of you had regrets about “winning” on eBay?

I wish people would just bid in the days leading up, instead of the final hours. In my mind I already won the auction (I am an eBay newbie). It looks like I won’t be having a NUD for some time.

Maybe I should try to bypass auctions by just paying via the make an offer option? Maybe it’s a little more expensive, but at least it’s more certain?
 

Kenn2018

UU VIP
UU VIP
Joined
Jun 13, 2018
Messages
3,786
Points
63
I rarely bid on anything on Ebay, unless I offer a low bid, with a maximum I am willing to pay set in place. When I do, I don't expect to get the item, but pleased if I do. I am prepared to let the item go.

I refuse to get caught up in the "You Won!" bidding process. If it goes past my max, I don't participate any further. Auctions can be fun if you have a maximum price you're willing to pay firmly in mind—and stick to it.

Mostly, I'll only shop items with a "Buy It Now" price. As you say, it costs a little more, but it's worth being done with it and avoiding the aggravation.

I did however, make a low bid on a guitar strap once on a whim. It wasn't very attractive. And of course, I made the only bid for it. I gave it away at our club's Xmas party. For the White Elephant gift exchange. So it did work out in the end. The person who chose the gift uses it still.
 
Last edited:

Jim Hanks

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 13, 2013
Messages
5,464
Points
48
I wish people would just bid in the days leading up, instead of the final hours.

Maybe I should try to bypass auctions by just paying via the make an offer option?
Yeah, that's not how auctions work, at least for items that more than a few people want. Most of the bidding occurs in the final minutes or seconds as folks try to "snipe" it. People do it because it works. I've done it before too, but mostly I don't bother nowadays and do Buy It Now or Make Offer.
 
Joined
Mar 4, 2019
Messages
321
Points
18
I used to be an eBay lurker that would constantly view the item to get in the last "bargain" bid. I found a much easier way to do this with eSnipe.com.
log in and set your top price and bid time. It will get you the lowest winning bid and let you know.
I don't buy or sell on eBay anymore as I have reversed the process and now selling but not on eBay for now.
 

Gmontema

New member
Joined
Aug 12, 2018
Messages
135
Points
0
I rarely bid on anything on Ebay, unless I offer a low bid, with a maximum I am willing to pay set in place. When I do, I don't expect to get the item, but pleased if I do. I am prepared to let the item go.

I refuse to get caught up in the "You Won!" bidding process. If it goes past my max, I don't participate any further. Auctions can be fun if you have a maximum price you're willing to pay firmly in mind—and stick to it.

Mostly, I'll only shop items with a "Buy It Now" price. As you say, it costs a little more, but it's worth being done with it and avoiding the aggravation.

I did however, make a low bid on a guitar strap once on a whim. It wasn't very attractive. And of course, I made the only bid for it. I gave it away at our club's Xmas party. For the White Elephant gift exchange. So it did work out in the end. The person who chose the gift uses it still.

Thanks for the thoughts. I really should stick with the maximum I have in mind. I think I get to wrapped up in the new potential toy and try to rationalize a few more bucks. Dangerous thinking! I definitely don’t want buyers remorse due to getting wrapped up in an auction.
 

Gmontema

New member
Joined
Aug 12, 2018
Messages
135
Points
0
Yeah, that's not how auctions work, at least for items that more than a few people want. Most of the bidding occurs in the final minutes or seconds as folks try to "snipe" it. People do it because it works. I've done it before too, but mostly I don't bother nowadays and do Buy It Now or Make Offer.


Thanks Jim. Intellectually I know about the sniping thing but it’s a little tough to stomach. I was the only bid for 3 days and then a bunch of people come out of the woodwork. I may just have to wait and see if my max bid survives. Luckily I was able to do the make offer thing for a gift uke. Whew. The seller countered my offer and we were able to settle on a price outside of the snipers. Yay, no headache on that one.
 

Gmontema

New member
Joined
Aug 12, 2018
Messages
135
Points
0
I used to be an eBay lurker that would constantly view the item to get in the last "bargain" bid. I found a much easier way to do this with eSnipe.com.
log in and set your top price and bid time. It will get you the lowest winning bid and let you know.
I don't buy or sell on eBay anymore as I have reversed the process and now selling but not on eBay for now.

Thanks for the heads up with that approach. Congrats too with being a net seller. That road is much more cash friendly!
 

KohanMike

Los Angeles
UU VIP
Joined
Sep 15, 2013
Messages
5,741
Points
63
What a coincidence, I just told an eBay bidding story on another thread:

I was surfing eBay a few months ago and saw an Ovation sunburst tenor uke that I've been longing for because my first new guitar in 1975 was a sunburst Ovation. There were no bids after 2 days and it had a $400 buy it now price. I decided to limit my bid to $295, which carried for the next four days when someone made a lower bid. As the hour approached, my bid stood until literally the last 5 seconds when someone outbid me. For the next two weeks I kicked myself for not buying it outright for the $400, then I saw a sunburst Godin Multiuke in the Marketplace for $400, great price, and jumped on it, not wanting to loose out again. When it arrived, I was so glad I didn't buy the Ovation, the Godin is head and shoulders better.

Godin Multiuke sunburst mine 843.jpg



This is Michael Kohan in Los Angeles, Beverly West near the Beverly Center
9 tenor cutaway ukes, 5 acoustic bass ukes, 11 solid body bass ukes, 9 mini electric bass guitars (Total: 34)

• Donate to The Ukulele Kids Club, they provide ukuleles to children in hospital music therapy programs. www.theukc.org
• Member The CC Strummers: YouTube: www.youtube.com/user/CCStrummers/video, Facebook: www.facebook.com/TheCCStrummers
 

mnb128

New member
Joined
Feb 4, 2019
Messages
93
Points
0
I used to do eBay quite a lot but not so much anymore. My strategy was simple. I only ever made one bid, and it was always my absolute max. I also never bid with more than 5 seconds left in the auction. There are a couple reasons for this strategy. First, early bidding drives the price up. I want to win, but I want to pay as little as I can. Some people do this on purpose to get people out of the game early. Second, people make irrational decisions. They tell themselves they have a max, but when someone outbids their max with a day, an hour, or even a minute left, they’ll convince themselves they’re willing to pay more, and your max bid is now beat cause you put it in too early. Third, my max bid is my max bid. I’m comfortable if I spend every penny of it, and I’m comfortable if someone outbids me by a penny. Not giving myself time for a second, impulse bid has saved me from making several bad eBay decisions.

Bottom line, if you put your max bid in two days before an auction ends, it will likely get beat. If you put that same bid in 2 seconds before the end, it’s less likely to get beat. Logically, it doesn’t make sense, but at the same time, it makes perfect sense.

Last note, if Buy it Now is lower than your max bid, just pull the trigger. It’ll save you some regret. If make an offer is an option, same thing, but start a little below your max to give yourself some wiggle room.

All of these strategies have worked well for me in the past, but beware. eBay can be equal parts addicting and stressful.

Hope this helps and good luck.
 

AQUATOPAZ

Member
Joined
Jul 12, 2018
Messages
706
Points
16
I’m in the middle of an eBay battle right now. Days of no activity and then pow, big time escalations in price. I’ve put in my “max” offer and now I’m just waiting as it fast approaches with all of the bidding activity. Have you ever been happy to “miss out” on a special uke? Have any of you had regrets about “winning” on eBay?

I wish people would just bid in the days leading up, instead of the final hours. In my mind I already won the auction (I am an eBay newbie). It looks like I won’t be having a NUD for some time.

Maybe I should try to bypass auctions by just paying via the make an offer option? Maybe it’s a little more expensive, but at least it’s more certain?

The ONLY way to bid on ebay if you REALLY want something is with your max bid during the last 5 seconds. Anything else just drives the price up.
 

Gmontema

New member
Joined
Aug 12, 2018
Messages
135
Points
0
I used to do eBay quite a lot but not so much anymore. My strategy was simple. I only ever made one bid, and it was always my absolute max. I also never bid with more than 5 seconds left in the auction. There are a couple reasons for this strategy. First, early bidding drives the price up. I want to win, but I want to pay as little as I can. Some people do this on purpose to get people out of the game early. Second, people make irrational decisions. They tell themselves they have a max, but when someone outbids their max with a day, an hour, or even a minute left, they’ll convince themselves they’re willing to pay more, and your max bid is now beat cause you put it in too early. Third, my max bid is my max bid. I’m comfortable if I spend every penny of it, and I’m comfortable if someone outbids me by a penny. Not giving myself time for a second, impulse bid has saved me from making several bad eBay decisions.

Bottom line, if you put your max bid in two days before an auction ends, it will likely get beat. If you put that same bid in 2 seconds before the end, it’s less likely to get beat. Logically, it doesn’t make sense, but at the same time, it makes perfect sense.

Last note, if Buy it Now is lower than your max bid, just pull the trigger. It’ll save you some regret. If make an offer is an option, same thing, but start a little below your max to give yourself some wiggle room.

All of these strategies have worked well for me in the past, but beware. eBay can be equal parts addicting and stressful.

Hope this helps and good luck.

So much wisdom here. Thank you! I wish I posted here before putting my max bid in days in advance...doh! Maybe an early failure on eBay will help me avoid addiction and stress. I like to look at the bright side. Actually it might be too late for me. I was able to pick up a gift uke at a really great price via the “make an offer route”. Exhilarating! I love a decent deal and quality ukes, especially at the same time.
 

Gmontema

New member
Joined
Aug 12, 2018
Messages
135
Points
0
The ONLY way to bid on ebay if you REALLY want something is with your max bid during the last 5 seconds. Anything else just drives the price up.

It’s just like me to do the exact wrong thing. Well, I may miss out on a great uke, but at least I won’t over pay (I think... I’m resisting temptation to to boost my max bid).
 

Gmontema

New member
Joined
Aug 12, 2018
Messages
135
Points
0
What a coincidence, I just told an eBay bidding story on another thread:

I was surfing eBay a few months ago and saw an Ovation sunburst tenor uke that I've been longing for because my first new guitar in 1975 was a sunburst Ovation. There were no bids after 2 days and it had a $400 buy it now price. I decided to limit my bid to $295, which carried for the next four days when someone made a lower bid. As the hour approached, my bid stood until literally the last 5 seconds when someone outbid me. For the next two weeks I kicked myself for not buying it outright for the $400, then I saw a sunburst Godin Multiuke in the Marketplace for $400, great price, and jumped on it, not wanting to loose out again. When it arrived, I was so glad I didn't buy the Ovation, the Godin is head and shoulders better.

Godin Multiuke sunburst mine 843.jpg



This is Michael Kohan in Los Angeles, Beverly West near the Beverly Center
9 tenor cutaway ukes, 5 acoustic bass ukes, 11 solid body bass ukes, 9 mini electric bass guitars (Total: 34)

• Donate to The Ukulele Kids Club, they provide ukuleles to children in hospital music therapy programs. www.theukc.org
• Member The CC Strummers: YouTube: www.youtube.com/user/CCStrummers/video, Facebook: www.facebook.com/TheCCStrummers

That is a gorgeous uke. I’m glad you got lucky and things worked out. I’ve been pretty lucky and blessed with my uke journey so far. The more I seek variance in sound and feel, I’m sure I’m bound to encounter some lumps of coal. Even my Cordoba, (which sounds really good, but I have trouble making Bb with it) is a pleasure to have in the car and have handy. Anyway, if my current eBay endeavor doesn’t work out at least I’ll have learned a bit about eBay strategy (hopefully). Uke on!
 

70sSanO

Active member
Joined
Apr 21, 2010
Messages
1,782
Points
36
I’ve been buying on eBay for 20 years. All sorts of stuff from bikes/bike parts, guitars, golf clubs, a ukulele or two. If the starting bid is low enough, I might put in an initial bid just so the seller doesn’t end early. Not sure of the current rules, but at one time a seller could end an auction early if there are no bids. I’ll do the 5-10 second snipe , but I never ever bid in whole or half dollars.

People tend to bid $50.00, $150.00 or some rounded amount. Not a lot of $176.87. If someone is selling a uke with $25.00 shipping and I think people might go to $200.00, that means a $175.00 bid. If it is something I want I don’t care about an extra buck or two. If it sails right past that, so be it, but I’m betting people like to set a round number max.

I usually watch an item and set my phone alarm with 5 minutes to go. That way I’m not stressing over it. I’ll research it and check completed items so if I decide to bid I’ll have the last 5 minutes to bid or not.

One eBay ukulele story happened in 2007. I was watching a ukulele I really wanted but was away on business. I didn’t have access to a computer away from the office, so I talked one of our sons through a real time snipe on the phone. Luckily “we” won the auction. I still have and play that uke to this day.

John
 
Last edited:

70sSanO

Active member
Joined
Apr 21, 2010
Messages
1,782
Points
36
10+ years ago eBay was so much fun because you had visibility into who was bidding and could check that member’s bidding history and purchases. I believe it is possible to decipher some of that info today, but I haven’t taken the time/effort to figure it out. But it was nice to see a seller’s history and sometimes see when he/she bought the guitar and for how much.

It did help me get a Barry Gibb model Guild Songbird. I had bid on a few, and lost, but I noticed another bidder in the same auctions. Through a number of odd twists, where a seller used some pictures from another auction along with some of his own, which probably scared some buyers off, I luckily guessed at what that other person would go up to and bid $20 more. I won the auction over the other person’s bid by about $10.

John
 

YogiTom

New member
Joined
Mar 1, 2019
Messages
577
Points
0
Lots of wisdom here. I’ll add another vote for the “max bid with seconds to go” strategy for many of the reasons outlined by others.

The only two times I haven’t followed the rule resulted in two very different outcomes: in one, I put my max bid in days before the auction ended as a lark, and ended up being the only bid so I won at the opening price; and the other I submitted my max bid with 40-ish seconds to go, watched a higher bid come in, and succumbed to the panic of wanting to place a waaay higher ($50 more on a $120 displayed price) with seconds left. Thankfully on the second, I was still beat, probably by someone who was willing to either pay a lot more or was using the automated bidding tools described. I felt relief that I dodged an insane impulse buy.
 

bkrownd

New member
Joined
May 17, 2018
Messages
53
Points
0
Yup - set up your clock, enter max bid with about 5 seconds left, then there's not enough time for counter-bids to drive up the price. Accept outcome.

There are rare occasions where you might bid earlier to intentionally drive the price up enough to scare others off or send them to similar auctions. Sometimes that even works.
 

Col50

New member
Joined
Feb 9, 2019
Messages
315
Points
0
eBay strategy.

Decide on what will be you absolute maximum bid but do not bid.

Monitor bids, if a bid exceeds your absolute maximum, unwatch the item

Continue to monitor bids if they are below your absolute maximum bid

Monitor bids in last few minutes but do not bid.

With a few seconds to go enter your absolute maximum bid

You will then either win or loose.

Totally agree with mnb128’s strategy which is similar to my own for the last few years.

Early bids drive up price, you can test this out by monitoring and if you place a higher bid, auto bids kick in, then you place a higher bid and auto bids kick in again. You have then revealed your hand and the bidders will be more likely to closely monitor bids. Lurking and last gasp bids are the key.

Using your absolute max bid will give you a far better chance of winning if the current bid is quite a bit below your absolute maximum bid and it will possibly exceed the other bidders max set auto bid.
 

Jerryc41

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 4, 2015
Messages
8,436
Points
63
I’m in the middle of an eBay battle right now. Days of no activity and then pow, big time escalations in price. I’ve put in my “max” offer and now I’m just waiting as it fast approaches with all of the bidding activity. Have you ever been happy to “miss out” on a special uke? Have any of you had regrets about “winning” on eBay?

Yes, it can be frustrating. I decide on the maximum price I'm willing to pay, and I stick to it. If someone bids more, that's life. It was too much for me, anyway. Many items on eBay sell for more than they should because people get caught up in the bidding war. I used to look at a site that posted unusually high selling prices for items.

I prefer buying outright on Marketplace, Fleamarket, and Reverb.