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Old 05-07-2003, 07:20 AM   #15
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Originally posted by Sue&Von
I guess an Airstream club is a strange place to complain about prices though. Seems most of you spend money like politicians. [/B]
I find the check book cover covered with vintage airstereams that is quite often posted on Ebay ironic, for just this reason

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Old 05-07-2003, 09:11 AM   #16
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..... and never bid until the last 20 seconds of an auction.

I am not sure I understand this strategy. If I see an item, I know how much it is worth to me and bid on it immediately. I don't see what advantages I get from waiting until the last 20 seconds. It's possible I find out in the last 20 seconds that someone outbid my maximum. In which case, this information is still does me no good because I am not willing to go beyond my personal (and subjective) maximum price. So I either get it or I don't, the latter in case someone really wants it.

I found out that ebay does this "proxy" bidding, i.e. if you bid $2500 as your personal maximum like on a car, and the second highest bidder was $1900, you only pay $1910, i.e. just one increment up from the second best price. Your high bid is not disclosed to others.

To buy an Airstream on eBay - really risky!!

Good point. With machinery that complex. I would have to look at it before bidding. This way, your confidence level goes way up and you have an advantage over other bidders. Others may be cautious, not knowing its condition well. But you can bid higher than them in this case. This of course presumes it's in the same region.


... and the trik of sellers with 2 IDs late bidding up their items and "buying" their own stuff if the bid doesn't suit them.

This means don't ever pay more than the market price. They can indeed do that, but will only get those who really really want *this* particular item. There are other Airsrtreams, other vehicles, etc. around.
I see items sitting on there forever because the price is too high. Including A/S. But it is doutbtful they want an auction, just use it as a cheap medium to advertise.

If you see a really desirable item on ebay, doesn't that mean that many others see it too? And will bid on it? Which means that ebay isn't always a place to get great deals, just find obscure stuff, or stuff others consider trash, which may be your treasure.

For example, if you want an A/S or a towing vehicle, you are probably better off using the local (or regional) papers instead of trying to outbid a global audience. If on the other hand, you want an owner's manual for an antique car or whatever, this is the place to go.

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Grace - When you get what you don't deserve
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Old 05-07-2003, 09:29 AM   #17
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Last 20 seconds logic

The logic in a last second bid is to minimize the "got-to-have-at-any-cost" mentality that infects many novice eBay buyers. If you bid early, with a proxy, at a level that should get the item, you give other bidders lots of time to bid against you. We have been buying on ebay (antique dishes, silver, etc) for over a year and we never bid in prior to 8-10 seconds prior to the end. eBay's clocks are synced to the atomic clocks in Ft. Collins and you can sync your PC clock to the same signal. We use a PC stopwatch program that allows you to set multiple countdown times with descriptions to the exact second of each auction of interest. This way you can confidently hold off bidding. In our 200+ bids we have only lost 4-5 auctions. Many times do find that another bidder has a proxy, but we bid what we think it is worth (plus an additional amount if there is emotion value to owning the item), hold our bid and then let it fly.

It never ceases to amaze me at the bidders that think there is some advantage to staying as the high bidder...all that matters is who is there at the bell. We have been fortunate to have NEVER had a bad experience or misrepresentation, but we are careful and know the merchandise we are seeking, what it is worth and we do always look at the sellers ratings. Having the ability to go back and read prior feedback, particularly if there is negative feedback, can really give you a feel of the sellers integrity.
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Old 05-07-2003, 12:01 PM   #18
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Shipping Costs..

I bought a butane camp stove on ebay for $17, and the shipping was $17.00. total cost $34. The same camp stove at a local marine store would have cost me $39.95 plus Ohio sales tax. So I didn't do to bad, at least I didn't pay more.

In contrast, I bought a new seat for a John Deere Gator, that cost $104. The cost to ship it from the Columbus, Ohio parts depot was $3.00 The box it came in was about the size you would ship a 19" TV in.
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Old 05-07-2003, 08:29 PM   #19
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RE: Last 20 seconds logic

Makes sense actually.
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Old 05-07-2003, 11:41 PM   #20
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I believe eBay is as close to legalized gambling as can be found in Alaska, and maybe it is somehow kin to fishing as well.....if you can't afford to lose your money don't bid and don't fish; no guarantees, a lot of fun, and if you land the "big one", smile. I mean, really, how can you get serious about spending 10 grand or ten bucks on a digital photo and a stranger's word/description?
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Old 05-08-2003, 12:28 AM   #21
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Good point.

Bottom line is, if it is in your region, and you think you might like it, go see it, physically examine it. Problem is, these Airstreams inevitably turn out to be 12 hours away from you. But you never know.

Rightly or wrongly, seller ratings play a huge part in my ebay decision-making process.

I have another idea: Create an ebay-like forum but for trading. Example: You have a 34 footer but want a 25' instead and would be willing to trade it for one plus a tow vehicle. This way it's just one step instead of (1) selling it and (2) buying one, both aggravating. Oh wait, that would be barter, and barter doesn't work really well. It died out as an institution, what 3,000 years ago?
But, think of all the possibilities. Instantly search the database for matches. Program it to notify if you a match occurs.
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Old 05-08-2003, 07:02 AM   #22
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A Forum for trading ??


I have obtained and held on to the web URLS of ... and ..... maybe its time to do something with them??

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Old 05-08-2003, 08:14 AM   #23
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Ebay Strategy

Re: Last 20 second strategy:
If you see something you want and place a bid, all you are doing is drawing attention to the item as people look at items with the most bids. I have never won anything when I place an early bid. There is always someone who will go an extra buck. If you place a high proxy bid and meet the reserve, you can be stuck with a higher amount than bidding the last 20 seconds. For my first, last and final bid, I determine my absolute top I will go and usually get the item for a dollar over what it was last listed at. The best strategy is to what items for the real deal in a price, hit the watch button only, to add it to your watching list and do not bein a hurry. Another one will always come along at the right price. I buy and sell thousands of items this way and I get great deals. I can then relist them and double to triple my money in the same market.

Ebay has really cracked down on people with double accounts and try to bid up items. I hace friends who have beencaught biddign up items that way and they all get kicked off eBay perminently! That is not to say that a friend could not place a bid once in a while to push something up. This I know happens.

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Old 05-08-2003, 10:55 AM   #24
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Interesting. Here is what you can do:

Point this web address to a message board, run by software much like this one. Just a regular Internet board but all the forums on it are dedicated to trading. You can start with A/S, SOBs, towing vehicles and of course cars. Then add other categories.

EZboard ( ) offers free message boards, the downside is, you get annoying ads. You can get rid of them by paying them. Ultimately, you can get a dedicated server for this trading message board. There are lots of services which will host it for you.

Richard Vroom,

Thanks for sharing your experience. I only dealt with ebay once and it was a good experience. I got a car engine. In all honesty, I could have gotten the same deal elsewhere.
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Old 05-10-2003, 05:57 AM   #25
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Having bought my latest Airstream thru EBay, I can say you have to use common sense and do your homework.

The person selling my trailer was accessable and had posted their home phone number in the ad, encouraging people to call with questions. I spoke with the seller for twenty minutes and it was obvious he knew about Airstreams. It turned out he had done business with a person I knew thru my local WBCCI chapter, so I verified his story and got good reviews on the seller.

In addition, he sent me a couple dozen photos that were not on EBay and they showed the trailer in great detail - blemishes and all. It seemed to me that he didn't want there to be any surprises for the buyers.

Finally, I checked out his feedback - not just the number, but I went and read the individual entries from previous buyers - it was full of comments such as "better than advertised" and "just as promised". I felt pretty comfortable when I left home for the 600 mile drive to his house.

When I arrived, it was "better than advertised" and I happily towed my new Airstream home. It's been eight months and I have had no regrets.

On the flipside, I did come in contact with sellers that seemed to know very little about the item they were selling and could not answer basic questions - some admitted they were selling it for a friend of had just bought it to resell. I crossed those folks off my list and didn't look back.

You have to take your time, ask your questions and don't let the excitement of the ticking clock force you into making a decision before you are comfortable with your purchase.
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Old 05-10-2003, 01:07 PM   #26
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don't let the excitement of the ticking clock force you into making a decision ....
It's called gambling.

No, I am far from a moralizer. But I just hate to lose money. And, as far as I am concerned, gambling is the best way to do that.

We have bought only 3 things on ebay: all "buy now". No excitement, no regrets.

By the way, I just got a decent deal on a stainless steel sink for our #3. The original whatever metal was chipped and I hate this stuff.

I had found on line only 2 sinks of the same size (32 X 20). One was about $80, the other over $200.

The ones on ebay were new from Service Supply Distribution, a mostly plumbing supply outfit. I paid $57 delivered.

What I liked: the sink came damaged from UPS. They shipped us a replacement right away, we got it before they picked up the first one.

I don't think I will buy any other way on ebay.

We looked to buy Mike his Nikon 5700 (with the money I saved when horsetrading on our #3), and bought it from a reputable store. All the adds I checked on ebay were either much higher or scams. (I spent over a month studying that)
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Old 05-11-2003, 01:45 PM   #27
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"It's called gambling."

Yes, indeed. I found a vehicle service manual on ebay, initially at a good price. I remembered the "20 second" rule and didn't bid. But it rose, and rose again. Now a few hours before the auction ends, the price is same as elsewhere. It's no longer a good deal. So I am likely going to get it elsewhere.

Ebay sometimes gets you good deals, but in my limited experience with it, it's usually the market price you pay. Unless the item is something nobody else wants. But Airstreams are desirable vs. SOBs. Nice 1 ton towing vehicles are desirable too, it is doubtful you can get a good price on these vs. say a newspaper.

But if you are looking for something totally eccentric, say some antique clock (for an antique A/S), or a book, or whatever, then I think it certainly constitutes a great way of finding these rare items.

But the above is not a certainty either, that's why you keep going back and looking. The other exciting thing is, they constantly add new items.
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Old 05-11-2003, 09:30 PM   #28
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I agree with HP9K

My buying experiences with ebay have been the same. For the most part very good. They parallel the my other buying experiences. Some good and some not so good. My latest ebay auction purchase is not working out. That is the used mirrors I bought are rusted beyond a usable limit. The seller wants me to soak the rusted part in WD 40 for a couple of days. If that does not work he has already told me he will refund my money. BTW his feedback # is in triple didgets, with no negatives.

Not sure I see the diff between ebay and face to face. One can lie either way. Or one can be honorable either way. My next vehicle purchase will be on ebay, and I plan on spending about $20K for an SUV.


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