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Thread: Skullduggery on eBay

  1. #11
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    Apr 2017
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timbuck View Post
    I’ve got this soprano on eBay...and there is some underhand stuff going on...it was the same on the last one I sold....A bidder will bid a very high sum so that they will be winning only it’s just to find out how high the current winning bidder is prepared to go...when they find out, then they will retract the bid by saying I bid the wrong amount I could block anyone doing this from bidding but they may be doing it on behalf of some other bidder.
    I can’t see that there are any easy answers on this and there are issues for both you and the successful buyer. eBay has its faults but I still love what it has done for opening up the new and second hand sales market (soo much better than the small adds in magazines and papers), the biggest issue with eBay is its lack of competition (it completely dominates the market).

    I don’t sell a lot on eBay but one option that’s worked for me as a seller is buy it now and best offer. That option doesn’t maximise the sale price but it seems to avoid some other risks and normally gets a reasonable sale, some items I will auction but the start price is typically a little below what I think a reserve price should be. As a bidder I might place a low opening bid but otherwise I refuse to engage with the auction (on eBay it can be a silly game) until its final moments and then I offer what the item is worth to me - I don’t always win but I don’t overpay either. The actions of your spoiler upset everyone and maybe that’s their purpose, personally if I won an auction due to a retracted bid I’d wonder if that was fair on me (had I ended up overpaying). Bid retraction didn’t used to be possible but IIRC the bidder has a short time window to do it for themselves but otherwise you might choose to insist that the bid stays and risk a non-pay or other dispute.

    You’re pretty expert at sales and marketing, doubtless you’ll come up with a solution and, of course, this issue could just disappear. You won’t have been the first person to have had this problem and I doubt that you will be the last. Thanks for letting us know of the problem you’re experiencing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Hanks View Post
    Hmm, that is sneaky, "impolite" at best, and maybe against terms of use, but I'm not sure how it hurts you as a seller.

    I agree with the others about just listing here, at least some. You could judge for yourself whether that process was better for you than eBay or not.
    Personally I like that idea of private sales at a ‘fair price’ but in practice I’m not sure how it would work out for Ken financially. I wouldn’t be surprised if he already sells a few privately to pals and friends of friends, but eBay is his shop window and that sales medium has worked rather well for him over many years. Why change something when the problem might just go away?
    Last edited by Graham Greenbag; 08-09-2020 at 11:31 PM.

  2. #12
    Join Date
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    You can never go wrong underestimating people.

    The auction still comes down to the last minute, though, right?
    Last edited by Jerryc41; 08-10-2020 at 02:26 AM.
    Too many ukes, but I can't stop buying!
    https://www.catskillukulelegroup.com/

  3. #13
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    Error - Error
    Too many ukes, but I can't stop buying!
    https://www.catskillukulelegroup.com/

  4. #14
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    Jan 2010
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    Every seller finds what is comfortable for them. Ken certainly has developed a stellar reputation as a luthier and as an honest guy. I imagine that he can set up any system he chooses and continue to sell his instruments successfully. I am sure that eBay offered him a lot of visibility and some security rather than setting up a website or storefront. At the same time, if that becomes more of a pain, it certainly diminishes his interest in continuing building and selling. I hope that he can find what will be comfortable for him and allow him to keep sharing his great instruments with the world.

    Every time I see one of his instruments I am awed by the beauty and great craftsmanship.

  5. #15
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    May 2010
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    UK
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill1 View Post
    I do not know why Mr Timms has not just opened an order book and taken sales as many other makers do. The reason is his own business. The UK has different tax and business rules to what is in the USA and Australia. Also commissions vary and a seller needs to be wary of how much the seller ends up with, not the purchase price. Selling from a home in a business that does not attract a high annual income can become very expensive when taxes and accountants and taxation income reporting is considered. At least in Australia it does.

    In this case where it seems bidders are bending eBay rules to get an unfair advantage, I suggest reporting it to eBay moderators and see what action they recommend. It is a tactic that could seriously disrupt many other sales. If there is an indication that the sale will be unfair to bona-fide well intentioned bidders, then I would consider cancelling the sale and explaining the situation.

    It does appear that the Twisted Uke is already the subject of strange and interesting events. Does its serial number have a numerological link to the number 13 or 2020? Any outcome is likely to enhance the desirability of owning this already famous uke, but I hope that it goes well for the maker and the final buyer.
    Costs are pretty low. Things you can't avoid are insurance and business rate. As a small business it's likely the annual fee will be a big fat zero. Insurance is a bit tricky dependent on whether the workshop is inside the house or separate from it. Basic bare bones insurance is not a huge amount anyway but increases if you want tools and stock/materials covered. One you have to rent commercial workshop space then things do become considerably more expensive - which is why the vast majority of independent makers work from home.
    Accountant, what accountant?

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    Sheffield, England
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    Another way may be to block bidded who don't have a high feedback score or certain number of sales/purchases. This may remove some of the unwanted bidding.

  7. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Cliff View Post
    Another way may be to block bidded who don't have a high feedback score or certain number of sales/purchases. This may remove some of the unwanted bidding.
    I'm the current highest bidder. Since I have never bought or sold anything on eBay before, I would have been ruled out if your idea became reality. I'm very happy that Mr. Timms is selling his instruments this way as it makes it possible for me to buy one of them at a moment where I know I can afford it rather than signing up on a year long waiting list.
    - Vintage 50's Martin style 0 soprano (Kluson tuners)
    - Ken Timms Style 0 koa soprano
    - Flight WUS-3 laminate mahogany soprano
    - Kiwaya KTS-4 all solid mahogany soprano
    - Kiwaya KTC-2 all solid mahogany concert
    - Kiwaya KMT-K all solid koa tenor

  8. #18
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    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sheffield, England
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jannik Lindquist View Post
    I'm the current highest bidder. Since I have never bought or sold anything on eBay before, I would have been ruled out if your idea became reality. I'm very happy that Mr. Timms is selling his instruments this way as it makes it possible for me to buy one of them at a moment where I know I can afford it rather than signing up on a year long waiting list.
    Yes, that can be a problem, it does reduce the number of people who could bid. But as the seller you can always add a note to say that bidders below a certain level can contact the seller in advance to be 'approved'. It is just an extra step to make sure only genuine buyers are bidding, as only genuine buyers would go to the trouble of contacting the seller in such a situation. So doing that, you would still have been able to bid.

  9. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Cliff View Post
    Yes, that can be a problem, it does reduce the number of people who could bid. But as the seller you can always add a note to say that bidders below a certain level can contact the seller in advance to be 'approved'. It is just an extra step to make sure only genuine buyers are bidding, as only genuine buyers would go to the trouble of contacting the seller in such a situation. So doing that, you would still have been able to bid.
    I was outbid during the final seven seconds I was on my mobile and couldn't get my browser to respond fast enough to the bid... I guess, I learnt a lot about eBay :-)
    - Vintage 50's Martin style 0 soprano (Kluson tuners)
    - Ken Timms Style 0 koa soprano
    - Flight WUS-3 laminate mahogany soprano
    - Kiwaya KTS-4 all solid mahogany soprano
    - Kiwaya KTC-2 all solid mahogany concert
    - Kiwaya KMT-K all solid koa tenor

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    Stockton on Tees..North East UK.
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    Maybe that’s why I like eBay ! ...I almost always tune in for the last few moments of an auction watching the last few seconds of the bidding...it’s about the only excitement I get these days .. And I don’t really care about the fees and such co’s I don’t do it as a business...it’s just something that I can do instead of sitting in an armchair and watching TV 24/7.
    http://ukulele-innovation.tripod.com ebay i/d squarepeg_3000 Email timmsken@hotmail.com

    If you can believe that moving images and sound, can fly through empty space across the universe and be seen and heard on a box in your living room ?.. then you can believe in anything.

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