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eBay has to be profitable to survive.
In Response To: Re: Some Thoughts... ()

If everyone was like you there would be no eBay.

I doubt that.

eBay has to have bidder to survive.

eBay has to be profitable to survive. eBay is profitable, about the only dot-com that has been so consistently during the global economic downturn that started with the "Asian Contagion" back in 1997-8.

Ebay can survive without Snipers.

eBay could likely survive with only snipers too...

After all, in an "only sniper" scenario the auctions on eBay would effectively be the same thing as a sealed-bid auction. At the end of the sealed bids are opened and the best bid is the winner. A last minute bid is not significantly different from a sealed bid. If it's the the best bid, it wins unless a bid is not a bid increment above a previous bid, if it is not a high bid, it doesn't. It's that simple.

eBay needs auctions to be completed with any reserve met in order to collect it's fees. This can happen with fifty, five or one bid/bidder.

If bidder didn't bid often then seller would not list their product.

If seller's didn't sell their products then they likely wouldn't continue to list them. They would list them for sale elsewhere, be it a Sales Corner or a Web page or site.

Seller's are interested in selling their products, and selling it for as much money as they can get. Most sellers wouldn't give a hang about how many bids their auction drew as long as it closed for a price that they were willing to sell it at. Of course the more the merrier (both bidder's and bids), but as long as the price is right the seller is satisfied.

The only way sellers would list a product or item would be with a reserve.

Many do, nothing is wrong with that. Others start their auctions with a minimum bid high enough to be a reserve. Nothing wrong with that either.

I speak from experience having listed over 500 items on eBay for sell. Over 300 of these items were gold coins being listed with no reserve, unless you call a starting price of $9.95 a reserve on a $350.00 gold coin. If my auction had had no previous bidders bidding numerous times then I would not have listed the gold coins for sale on eBay. Sure there were snipers on a few of the auctions but they were not the reason I continued to list items for sale on eBay. It was because of the individuals who continued to bid until they considered the item had reached it value and they were no longer willing to bid.

Nothing personal... I don't collect gold coins and I don't have any particular preferences as to how you list them / re-list them / or feel which makes "the best auction". The seller sets the terms and conditions of the auction as long as they are within eBay rules. Not the bidder or buyer. List them as you see fit.

Bidders will bid on them as they see fit.

These type of eBayer are the ones who keeps eBay a open and properous market place so that most everyone can have a place to buy and sell.

You are more than entitled to hold that opinion, and can feel that way if you wish to.

However what really keeps eBay open is profitability. Generating income greater than expenses. There are more than one way to hold an auction: no Reserve, Reserve, High initial bid price, Live Auctions, Dutch Auctions, Sealed bid auctions, Proxy Bidders, absent/agent bidders, etc. and more than one way to bid upon them. It is the combination of the way eBay executes it's business plan, in addition to ad space, people who have stuff they wish to sell, and people who wish to buy it, and massive amounts of technology and bandwidth that keeps eBay profitable and an ongoing concern.

If all eBayer were like you, a sniper then it would fail. As I stated earlier in my previous posting I don't codemn sniping but without the regular bidder you wouldn't have anything to bid on.

I doubt that.

eBay would fail if they didn't have enough income from auctions to cover expenses. In other words if they had more auctions didn't close with an item meeting reserves (if any) and not selling than they had auctions that did close with the reserve being met and the listing fees paid... Sniping or not sniping, other bidding strategies, various listing strategies alone are not relevant by themselves to eBay's success or failure. If it were eBay would change it's methods.

Just as the seller's goal is to maximize the amount of the winning bid, the buyer's goal (typically) is to either a) minimize the cost of the item, b) maximize his chances of winning the item at a price that the buyer is willing to pay, c) maximize his chances of winning the item at all costs, d) a combination of one or more of the above.

As you have stated previously, "Sniping is perfectly legal and there is nothing wrong with it" ... It is perfectly legal and there is nothing wrong with it.

You are entitled to have and hold your opinions. I don't agree with them, and in any instance our opinions are most likely largely irrelevant. eBay is profitable and has been consistently profitable on existing business model and plan.

By the way a "TOP GUN" is a Navy term for the very best. It has nothing to do with gun collecting. When I referred to Jeff Stein as a "Top Gun" collector and expert, it meant he is one of the best Heuer Collectors and Expert.

Actually, in the sentence I was quoting, you inferred that I claimed I was an expert and top gun collector. Which I did not say or claim. Your quote:
"...but don't claim that you are an expert and top gun collector (which you may very well be), ..."

Jeff's name was not mentioned in that sentence nor was it mentioned in that paragraph. That was what I was referring to, and why I quoted your statement verbatim and formatted my reply as I did.

I only used that term because I thought everyone knew what a Top Gun was. Evidently not.

No, I did/do know where the term originated from. However since we were not talking about Porsche Design Orfina Chronographs, the watch that Tom Cruise wore in the movie, I read it at face value.

Later on you use the same "top gun" term to describe Jeff... To quote:

"I have noticed that Jeff Stein was the high bidder (I would consider him an expert and top gun collector) on a auction and to offer my respect for him I did not bid. "

In this instance you call Jeff "an expert and top gun collector" which is your option. I don't think Jeff would take exception to that usage, nor do I disagree with the sentiment.

In the earlier usage you inferred I claimed something that I had not and ran off on a tangent for reasons unknown but to yourself. It is not good form to state someone claiming something they did not. It is not much different than misquoting someone.

As for the value of the item that was the base topic of the thread...

I thought it went a little high. I speculated that the reason this one didn't go as high as Ralf thought it might was the movement being a more obscure 7740 instead of a Micro-Rotor. Jeff thought "that the 7740 is often thought of as being something other than the "real thing"... Bruce said "Also the 7740 is a bit of a retrograde step from the automatic so you'd have to be fairly commited to want this particular Monaco.", David DeVos said he was close to bidding but didn't do so "because the watch was too much money". Even though the 7740 is less common than a Micro-Rotor, it doesn't seem to be as desirable either. I do not seem to be alone in my thoughts and viewpoint.

Indeed Charles, you dropped out of the auction at $2,399 and stated you were out of town during the end of the auction. Fair enough. You thought the closing price was reasonable and was sure the bidder could make money with an investment cost of $3,001, but weren't willing to commit to bidding more than $2,399 before your departure. That's fair enough too. There have been times I couldn't be at an auction at the end because of other commitments, especially in the early days. I remember one instance where I popped in a bid on eBay before heading out, my bid met reserve and was less than $10 over the reserve. So I left figuring that my bid wouldn't likely stand up and was surprised when I returned that it had.

Success often depends on the lack of willingness among other bidders to take the price higher than your bid. In the instance I was bidding on, no one was willing to pay as much as I did much less one bid increment more. In the instance of this Monaco 7740 there were five other bidders including the eventual winner who thought it was worth more than your high bid. But only one who thought it was worth more than $2,990.

In the end the item will sell (or not meet reserve and not sell) for approximately one bidding increment higher than the runner-up bidder is willing to bid regardless of the number of bids, how many bidders and when/how they placed their bids. In this case $11 more than gioliva78's $2,990 bid (unless there was some shill bidding on this one <-- and I don't know if there was or not).

The bottom line is only gioliva78 thought it was worth more than $2,990 when it came down to it.

I hope that the watch meets his/her expectations and provides many years of service and enjoyment.

Good Hunting!

-- Chuck

Chuck Maddox (Article index @

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