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Re: Super Deluxe values

Subject: Re: Super Deluxe values
by Elwë on 2011/1/1 17:05:15

Nice, Khamul! You are very right in pointing out something that I often overlook - the fact that an auction has to be driven by more than one person. This definitely falls into the supply and demand realm. Predicting demand can be quite tough. And, what you would really need to predict is how many serious buyers are out there who are willing to pay serious prices. The vast majority of people on ebay are bargain hunters not willing to pay high (or even fair) prices. So, how would a seller possibly gauge demand?

This is very interesting to me, first because I really only use ebay to sell, but also because I like to track things like number of page views, number of watchers, and number of unique bidders. Maybe there's a nice formula for determining which selling method is most effective using projected number of page views/watchers/unique bidders, maybe even factoring in how quickly an item attracts watchers and how many early bidders there are. Being limited to only my own ebay selling details (watchers, etc.), trying to do any sort of valid market research isn't going to happen. I'll probably stick to gut feelings. However, I am sure there is some line where one selling method becomes lower risk and produces better average results.

Anyway, I like using ebay to gauge values because it is a pretty active marketplace, with many transactions to observe. For example, there are enough sales of early edition Lord of the Rings sets of varied condition, presentation, auction style, etc., to get a good glimpse at what people (on ebay) are paying.

Finally, after writing this post, I am realizing a couple of reasons why we don't exactly see eye to eye. I got into this discussion when mention of my ebay auction was made and I think I am stuck in ebay seller mentality. I guess I tend to think of value as being what I can sell something for (again, with focus on ebay), not what I am willing to pay, or even what others have been paying. I recently sold a nice condition (no jacket) 1946 A&U Hobbit that I thought was worth around $700 for only $450. After selling fees, I probably ended up with less than $400 in my account. So, while others list this book for $800 to $1000, in the end, to me it was worth $400. Kind of sucks, because I'd probably pay that to get it back! On the other side, there have been (and probably will be again) times when I have paid a premium price, knowing that I could never get my money back if I tried to sell on ebay, but just had to have an item, or needed it to complete a set. So, as a buyer and collector valuing my collection, I really do agree with you.