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How do eBay auctions work?

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I am not an eBayer (hate on-line shopping, like to see stuff before I purchase it, hate S&H fees and unexpected Customs fees, *blahblahblah*)...but there are a few items I'm currently purchasing through "Buy Now" on eBay to (stuff I can't find easily or locally)...so I'll see if I find it a useful venue.  So, in other words, I'm new at this.

 

While I'm making these purchases - and to scratch a long-standing itch, I have been trying to buy an instrument from China.  So it can't be too expensive.  Hence I'm trying the auction route.

 

I can't for the life of me win a bid.  I've been doing this for 2 weeks now and have bid on over 7 instruments from different sellers.  I get beat out at the very last nanosecond every single time.

 

Are these auctions rigged?  Or does someone actually sit - on every auction - with their finger hovering over the bid button...and they all have faster internet than I do?

 

 

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Since it's an auction you are bidding against hundreds, thousands or more buyers (ebay has probably ten or hundred millions potential buyers or sellers). So I am afraid there s nothing strange in bidding on 7 instruments and being outbid on all of them... :)

As for the last second, many people will simply set a maximum they wish to pay. So their bid will automatically be updated immediately after yours if it's higher. Again, nothing rigged there.

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No...it's not the being outbid part I don't get...it's the being outbid at the '0' second count, when I've been the high bidder until that point. :ph34r:

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It's called "sniping"...that is waiting til the last second. It's better to decide how much you are willing to spend and bid that amount and then let Ebay bid automatically for you. It's still a shootout if there are a lot of bidders.

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Sniping...lol. :blink:   The things I don't know about.  So, if you're still trying to get a bargain...what would your high bid be?  Just below the 'Buy it now" price?

 

I was worried if I put my max bid high, someone would run me up just for the sake of running me up.

 

Thanks guys!  I appreciate the response! :)

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As for the last second, many people will simply set a maximum they wish to pay. So their bid will automatically be updated immediately after yours if it's higher. Again, nothing rigged there.

 

Ok, I'm going to guess here - but my guess is based on what other people who still do eBay, tell me.

 

Not really rigged, but set so that if you don't bid high enough - you don't win, even if you're the "highest bidder" showing. Because other people have set a higher amount, behind their ostensible bid that shows - for a reason...

 

Not really rigged, but really, it sort of is rigged - with a price minimum price you have to pay, even if the selling price showing is .01 cent. (Damn, I don't have a cent sign...) 

 

eBay, a nest of worms in one way. A worldwide market where anything is available - in another way.

Wake up, the future is here now. I believe I'd simply go on-line to find exactly what you want, at a price you like. You'll be wasting less time and be shopping at an actual, simple direct to you price that way.

 

If you have to sit in front of your computer and try to beat the world at bidding low, well, you are trying against the machine in a way.

Shopping for what you want, on line, is usually easier quicker, easier, and the price is usually even lower by buying direct.

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OMG!  Who knew?  LOL...no wonder I can't win anything...this is a world I am totally outclassed in! :rolleyes:

 

Thanks for the link! :D

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Ah!  Okay!  I've been nibbling...sort of.  I wonder if they ever win anything?

 

I actually studied Game Theory in one class I took.  Didn't think of eBay shopping in that regard.

 

Thanks!

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You don't really need a program to snipe effectively.  You sign in in the last few minutes and make your bid, which should be the maximum you would want to pay, and wait there with the "confirm bid" button sitting there (so you haven't actually bid yet).  In the old days, you had to synchronize your computer clock to do this, but now eBay ticks off the seconds so it's 'way easier.  In the last 12-15 seconds you click that confirm bid button (and hope your internet is reasonably fast).  At that point no one (not even a sniping program) can respond quickly enough.  You still can be outbid by others doing the same thing, but this is how you win auctions.  Personally, I have had great luck with antique tribal oriental rugs on eBay, because you can generally see what you get, and if you know what to look for you can get the real thing for peanuts.  Violins are fun to look at on eBay, and I recognize that people can buy things on the basis of what they are and not what they sound like (sorta mysterious to me), but on the whole it seems to be a crazier enterprise.  Good luck!  

 

Paul 

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It  is good to look for things closing at an odd hour....morning rush hour, morning working hours evening rush hour, wee hours of the morning...the time leading up to christmas or other major shopping holiday. You might be the only sniper.

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Are these auctions rigged?  Or does someone actually sit - on every auction - with their finger hovering over the bid button...and they all have faster internet than I do?

No, yes, no.  If it happened on Mark/Sch's you have my deepest apologies :lol:

Do what i do, stake them out, and don't start bidding until the very end.  Auctions ending at odd times for North America, like the far wee hours or the middle of a work day are usually less attended.

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Funny update:

 

After reading everyone's good advice and reviewing Game Theory in my head...I was fidgety and on a break I put in very low bids on two different instruments figuring I'd have some fun watching the last minute sniping.  I put these bids in about 6 hours before the auction ended (so NO theory or plan in place other than to amuse myself).  I honestly had no expectation of winning either one.

 

Lo and behold!  I won one. <_<

 

There was the last second sniping...but I still won.  I think I figured out why too. :rolleyes:

 

So that's the good news!  The bad news is that while this instrument is fine and I'm excited to see what it is all about once I get it...it's not my first pick (it's a violin, I was actually wanting a viola). 

 

Now I get to do it all again.

 

But maybe I need to be patient and wait...see if I like this one before I commit more of my limited 'mad money'.

 

I need to find cheaper ways to amuse myself... :ph34r:

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I honestly had no expectation of winning either one.

 

Lo and behold!  I won one. <_<

***

I need to find cheaper ways to amuse myself... :ph34r:

 

My condolences.

Have you considered the generous option of linking us to the instrument you won? You will be open to mostly deserved ridicule but it would be much more interesting for the rest of us.

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Thank you!  I appreciate the sentiment.

 

I didn't link to the site...but here are two photos from the auction.  Ridicule away...

 

One question though...normally they have a "regular" tailpiece on their instruments...why do you think this one has an integrated one?

 

 

YitaMagginiScroll.jpg

 

YitaMagginiFront.jpg

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Well, Yitamusic Ma Zhibin, M20, better grade.  nice set,  Very pretty purfling.  Congratulations.  Will be very interested in your evaluation :)  The tailpiece is a puzzler, considering their other offerings.

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Maggini-style-Best-Model-A-M20-Violin-Good-Projection-/141123998757?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item20dba55425

 

Now, for those still hunting, here's something interesting................anybody want to reduce a bassbar crack?

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-Old-Antique-Violin-1878-with-Lifton-case/181271913838?_trksid=p2047675.m1986&_trkparms=aid%3D555012%26algo%3DPW.MBE%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D17905%26meid%3D3073283467427896286%26pid%3D100013%26prg%3D8262%26rk%3D3%26rkt%3D15%26sd%3D141123998757%26

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If nothing else...it's pretty!

Yep, love the purfling, these things tempt me periodically because i adore the decoration.

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I can't tell for certain...the 'buy it now' price is around $500 I think.  But it varies even among the same category.

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Integrated tailpieces have become pretty common on Chinese fiddles. The earlier ones were really crappy metal but I've been seeing decent knockoffs of Wittners lately. Even if they aren't needed for tuning (but most people who buy these eventually use steel strings) those tailpieces are nice for changing strings, except for loop-ends. I very recently replaced a broken ebony TP (very old) with a Wittner for a lady who uses Dominants, after I gave her the choice. I put Wittners on all my new fiddles now and so far have not had a single request to change.

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Funny update:

 

After reading everyone's good advice and reviewing Game Theory in my head...I was fidgety and on a break I put in very low bids on two different instruments figuring I'd have some fun watching the last minute sniping.  I put these bids in about 6 hours before the auction ended (so NO theory or plan in place other than to amuse myself).  I honestly had no expectation of winning either one.

 

Lo and behold!  I won one. <_<

 

There was the last second sniping...but I still won.  I think I figured out why too. :rolleyes:

 

So that's the good news!  The bad news is that while this instrument is fine and I'm excited to see what it is all about once I get it...it's not my first pick (it's a violin, I was actually wanting a viola). 

 

Now I get to do it all again.

 

But maybe I need to be patient and wait...see if I like this one before I commit more of my limited 'mad money'.

 

I need to find cheaper ways to amuse myself... :ph34r:

I always check out the volume and quality of the bidding.   I avoid "private auctions".  

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It's sometimes hard to tell what's happening.  Especially with the nicknames being 'hidden'...I can't tell if they're real people or shills. lol.

Integrated tailpieces have become pretty common on Chinese fiddles. The earlier ones were really crappy metal but I've been seeing decent knockoffs of Wittners lately. Even if they aren't needed for tuning (but most people who buy these eventually use steel strings) those tailpieces are nice for changing strings, except for loop-ends. I very recently replaced a broken ebony TP (very old) with a Wittner for a lady who uses Dominants, after I gave her the choice. I put Wittners on all my new fiddles now and so far have not had a single request to change.

 

I have just never liked the way the integrated tailpieces look and I can tune just fine without them...just takes me a bit longer sometimes (and it was an excellent exercise is learning to 'listen', even if I use a mechanical tuner).  Although, for kids/adult beginners learning to tune, I think they're a good way to start.  Regardless,  this is the first time I've seen one on a '20' level instrument that they've offered, so I was wondering why.  I'm assuming there must be a reason...even if it's only that they ran out of the wood ones that day, lol.

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I have just never liked the way the integrated tailpieces look and I can tune just fine without them...just takes me a bit longer sometimes (and it was an excellent exercise is learning to 'listen', even if I use a mechanical tuner).  Although, for kids/adult beginners learning to tune, I think they're a good way to start.  Regardless,  this is the first time I've seen one on a '20' level instrument that they've offered, so I was wondering why.  I'm assuming there must be a reason...even if it's only that they ran out of the wood ones that day, lol.

I've always got a good ear and have had never problems tuning my violin. Nevertheless I very much like the fine tuners so I suppose it's something that's personal to every player.

 

On the other hand I've taken a lot of time searching for a chinrest that fitted properly my jaw while most violinists I've seen use the guarneri chinrest (resting their jaw almost over the tailpiece part).

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