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Regis
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The seller should have listed the item in the Musical Instruments catagory instead of antiques. That there were only 207 hits to the auction shows that he didn't get much action. Many of those hits probably came as a result of this discussion. It looks like the violin was certainly worth $50 even if it is a 3/4. Had he included the photo of the mini crack and the back of the violin, he might have gotten more money.

Jesse

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Ed,

My pleasure!

Hit counters are very valuable tools for me. They tell me a lot about the market condition. I have learned that if the word American is in the title, the auction gets fewer hits. French in the title seem to get the fewest hits per day. Old labeled violins get the most hits and Italian in the title will result in even more hits. The largest number of hits occur in the first 24 hours and the last 24 hours. Together, those days usually account for 50% or more of the total page hits. Buyers of good American violins are the most aggressive. The bidder/hit ratio as well as the watcher/hit ratio on American violins is very high. The most expensive violins run up 3 to 5 times in price in the last 10 minutes. A featured listing of a violin that will sell for around $1000 gets 1000 hits over the course of an auction in the slow months and 2000+ hits during the prime selling season. An auction bid up to over $1000 will get a lot of hits, but if there are no bids and a starting price of $1000 the listing will get very few hits. A ten day auction gets about 10% more hits. My April Fool's joke last year had 5000+ hits. A page hit means that a shopper has actually opened the page. It is a unique hit to an extent, in that re-opening on the page, on the same computer, does not log additional hits-usually.

In a typical auction, about 10% of the hits choose to select the page to put on their watch list. If the number of watchers is 5% near the end, it is a clear sign of less interest. The percentage of watchers to hits is highest at the start of the auction, it declines steadily throughout the auction as the price goes up and shoppers delete the listing from their watch lists. The total number of watchers on a given auction rarely goes above 125 regardless of the number of page hits.

125 interested buyers watching with interest and possibly bidding is a huge number. It is certainly adequate for any definition of a liquid market. The only missing thing is the test drive. Its the big question mark when buying a violin on eBay. The only answer is to provide a money back guarantee. Then, it ceases to be a true auction.

I hope I haven't bored everyone to tears, but such are the things I think about.

Jesse

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Jesse,

Great information that you are willing to share (reflects professional marketing background). There are a lesser number like myself that do not use the watch list but put the item in snipe program. Then go in occassionally and look at the viewer counts. This may skew numbers very slighly but would probably be the same percent across the board.

I'm about to post a few violins in the next couple months and plan on one at a time. What is your experience with multiple simultaneous violin posts? Or, do you also do one at a time only?

Thanks,

Regis

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When I am selling, I list 5 a week. Rarely two ending on the same day unless they are very different. One modern violin and an old violin for restoration can end on the same day. I try to avoid competing too much with myself and splitting up the bidders.

Jesse

PS I do all right selling two restorable violins together in one listing.

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Jesse, I'm another who is grateful for the way you freely share so much information. As a potential buyer, I found your post very informative and helpful.

Keep on thinkin'. Someone has to; I sold my brain for scientific experiments. Didn't get much for it. I probably should have listed it as Italian.

Neil

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Yes, but I think it is annoying when you are looking for an Italian and then it says it is not an Italian or it may be an Italian 'so my Uncle Frank says but don't hold me to that' so perhaps the bidders who may have bid don't bid because they get annoyed at it not being an Italian even if they where looking for a violin that they may not necessarily want to be an Italian - if you know what I mean - I very rarely do btw.

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