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Re: Super Deluxe values

Subject: Re: Super Deluxe values
by Khamûl on 2011/1/1 15:35:18

A long reply to a previous long reply, deserves, well, another long reply! I agree with most of what you say too. A couple of issues though.

If [current] "market value" is what someone is willing to pay at a given time and place, then this term is without useful meaing, & worthless as a term for discussion, as so defined (altho' I will discuss it!); as this price can be (with very high upper limits only) absolutely anything! Any item could realise literally nothing on eBay under individual circumstances relating to the particular listing.

Also, to pick you up another point, you state: Whatever the case, if a book sells for a given price, then that it what it was worth at that time, to that audience. This, in my opinion, is incorrect.

Example: You put up one of your penny-start auctions. Bidder A knows he/she would happily pay £200, has no time for any eBay bidding nonsense (& in any case is away working, without access to their computer until after the auction will end), & puts their maximum (& their opinion of worth in this case) bid in --£200. With no other bidders the auction sits at £0.01 (the starting price). Bidder B, and another Bidder (C) throw in various bids, pushing the price up to £50. The auction ends. Bidder A pays £50 for the item.

This book is acquired for less than what the bidder (the winning bidder: Bidder A) thought it was worth. In all likelyhood an auction is always, by definition, going to end at a price that one bidder was willing to pay (either exactly i.e. they just won the item over another bidder) or (more likely) for less than what they were willing to pay --hence the attraction of this format. So the final price is not what someone thought it was worth (at the time) --it is somewhere between this, and what the next nearest bidder thought it was worth.

My point really is, that by bidding in auctions (assuming the bidder genuinely puts in their maximum, and ignoring for now bidding 'tactics'), the buyer is more than likely, if they stand any chance of winning at all (i.e. assuming their valuation is not seriously under the valuation of others), to acquire the item for less than their own valuation.

With Buy-It-Now this can still happen of course. The item price may be below the buyers estimate and they may snap it up. But assuming the Buy-It-Now price is really what the seller would want ideally, and they are also allowing Best Offer, then the buyer can only really hit the seller with what they're willing to pay, without the safety net of knowing what other bidders value the item at. Although, in reality, you do get to see other failed offers. With this format it is more about what the bidder & the seller think of the value (and nobody else), rather than what bidders only think. I suspect this is the crux of the matter --& what you truly mean by "market value". What the buyers think & not the sellers.

As for the penny-start listing working (& D. Miller agreeing "with this approach"); understandably sellers are going to favour the method which yields the best price for them --this goes without saying. However, this has nothing in particular to do with value or worth, & far more to do with preferred bidding habits --even when these make little sense.

You could have a Deluxe CoH at Buy-It-Now £250 & have no takers on a seven day auction; relist it as £0.01 start, no reserve, and watch the winning bidder PayPal you, say, £275. The very fact that this can happen is all to do with eBay bidding madness!, and not value. Why didn't the eventual winner, in this example, buy the item at £250? Maybe they missed it!; but, more than likely, they wanted the opportunity to (possibly) acquire the item for less than their own valuation of the item --& in the end, caught up in the bidding madness (& having not just punched in their maximum '£200' & leaving it), they end up paying more. Maybe they thought it was worth £275 in the first place...

BH