Auction site gripe

Posted by: Dick Jones otp

Auction site gripe - 09/30/09 09:44 PM

I normally don't even look at guns with reserves but I'm looking for a few guns for rental guns at a friends game preserve.

I sent a guy a question about the reserve price on a gun today and I got a condecending answer that, if you reveal the reserve price, it's not really an auction. My opinion is that, if there is a reserve, it isn't an auction.

Am I looking at this wrong?
Posted by: HomelessjOe

Re: Auction site gripe - 09/30/09 10:02 PM

For the life of me I can't figure out why people want to keep what they want for a gun a secret.
Posted by: GregSY

Re: Auction site gripe - 09/30/09 10:24 PM



I actually can't stand it when people ask me the reserve. It's just as bad as people who phone you about a car you're selling and ask 'What's the least you'll take for it?' without ever even seeing it first.

The whole point of a reserve is that it protects the seller from selling at too low a price. In other words, "I'd rather keep it than sell it".

Additionally, a reserve is meant to stimulate bidding activity. If you've ever been to a live auction, they start low and go up from there. A reserve works on the same principal. It allows a low starting point but again, protects the seller.

A reserve is not what people want for a gun - that's called the
'Buy it Now' price. A reserve is what they are willing to take for it- two different things.

It's naive to think that almost any auction doesn't have a reserve - even if it's not obvious there is one.
Posted by: RMC

Re: Auction site gripe - 09/30/09 11:47 PM

Dick seems to have my vote. In a real auction as you mention, the last bid wins, no matter what the guy thought it should have brought. No hidden reserves. ON a typical GB or AA's auction, For example, starting a bid at $.01 for a 12 ga. beater Trojan and having a hidden reserve at $3102 is a real PITA. ED-1's auctions are a classic example of wasting everyones time. I can't recall ever seeing one of his guns with someone reaching the reserve. I guess they don't know the same gun is always sitting on GunsAmerica or International with the real for sale price sitting on it. I'm sure glad he uses upper case letters in his listing so I can be prewarned to pass it on by. But, I support everyones right to list and price his guns in any way they want. JMO Randy
Posted by: KY Jon

Re: Auction site gripe - 10/01/09 12:18 AM

Why waste time listing a item if you do not sell it? Say it so all know what you have. This is my gun and I want X # of dollars for it. Many now list the reserve right in the description. You have a right to protect your investment, fine. List the gun and let people know what you will take for it.

Most people here have a rough dollar figure that they are willing to invest in a gun. If your reserve is within reason, and you state it in your ad, you should get more interest. A too high reserve will never sell a gun but one that is in the ball park will generate more interest and more potential bids. It is not like the bidding is going at such a fast pace that stating your asking price, which is your reserve in effect, that you are going to be discouraging people from bidding.

Many only look at guns with the highest number of bids anyway. Why look at 2500 guns when only 30 are getting any real interest. Many guns are being listed for the hundredth time? Sellers like MIkej99 and the torchman list the same guns for months and years with out selling them.

I bet more than a few guns never get a bid when they might if the reserve was known. If your gun has not been sold after a very few listing it never will. If the reserve is too high for a buyer he never will buy the gun. If it, the reserve, is within his price range then he will look closely at your gun and may bid on it. Since he already knows that any bid below your stated reserve is a waste of time his opening bid should be near or above your reserve. Hidden high reserves do noting to encourage sales.

Most auction sites are not anything like a real auction. Many are trolling for suckers. Some are decent sellers who just have no other way to reach very many potential buyers. Why not tell them what you want for a gun? You may be almost of the same mind but will never know it. And buyers can learn what the "reserve" market price is and may have to adjust upwards how much they need to spend.

Buy it now prices are often higher than the reserve. It gives the seller more than his reserve price in exchange for ending the auction early. And do you think that any buy it now price is less than a reserve? No, it is a instant take it or leave it price with the option of trying to buy it at auction if you still want it for less. I like buy it now prices.

I do not see what an advantage is to list with a low starting bid and a hidden high reserve. Gunbroker may sell a fifty doubles a week but almost two thousands never get a bid. Starting price too high, reserve too high, crappy photos, never because the starting price was too low of course. Relisted every week. Big deal. Anything to encourage a bid should help increase your chances for a sale.
Posted by: wburns

Re: Auction site gripe - 10/01/09 09:02 AM

I agree, if you want the starting price set at a certain point the start there. What is the sense at starting at a penny if you want a couple of grand for a gun. If people are seriously interested they are going to bid on it at your starting price and go up from there.
Posted by: Snipe Hunter

Re: Auction site gripe - 10/01/09 02:17 PM

Start the auction at the least amount you will be willing to part with the item for. I pass on reserve auctions.
Posted by: Dick Jones otp

Re: Auction site gripe - 10/01/09 06:55 PM

Gregsy,

I understand your desire to not sell the gun for drasticly less than it's worth but the reserve does not stimulate bidding. Go on gunbroker and choose the "highest number of bids" option, almost all are auctions starting at 0.

I put a starting price on the first guns I put on gunbroker and they drew no bids, I later started the same guns as 0 starting bids and they brought several hundred dollars more than the original starting price.

The reason is that many buyers, me included, don't even look at the pages and pages of guns with starting bids and reserves that are way past the value of the gun.

It's true that sometimes a gun has a set bid or reserve that is reasonable but there are 20 guns that are drasticly over priced for every one that is reasonable.

When I sell a shotgun, I always get at least 1,000 looks, how many do you get with a hidden reserve?

I want the maximum number of people to look at my gun. That's how it will bring the best price.

Respectfully, Dick offtheporchmedia.com
Posted by: ohiosam

Re: Auction site gripe - 10/01/09 07:35 PM

Originally Posted By: GregSY

If you've ever been to a live auction, they start low and go up from there. A reserve works on the same principal.


I have been to plenty of live auctions with reserves. They ALWAYS tell you what the reserve is before bidding is started.
Posted by: GD Yankee

Re: Auction site gripe - 10/02/09 04:20 AM

By the way, absolutely hilarious screen name, buddy boy. One of the unsung classics, full of good quotable lines. I've considered using ED209 for an alias.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FNckavq9fiY
Posted by: Dick Jones otp

Re: Auction site gripe - 10/02/09 09:07 AM

?????
Posted by: EDM

Re: Auction site gripe - 10/02/09 12:56 PM

I cannot speak for all states, but in Illinois ALL auctions are legally "with reserve" unless advertised as being "without reserve." Thus at farm and estate auctions the property (personal and real) may simply not sell and the auctioneer will pass it. The idea is that one does not put valuable property on the line without protecting it from the possibility that there might not be serious buyer interest.

This works somewhat the reverse in non-auctions, such like at gun shows where the item is over-priced and the seller is open to lower bids. At these venues a high-but-negotiable price is implied in the transaction. The rub at Internet auctions is that "Reserve Not Met" is staring you in the face, usually in red print. However, Internet and live auctions start low and sell higher as contrasted to the gun show/flea market sales that start high and go lower. So let's not confuse apples and oranges: A seller at auction cannot price his item high and take less...a gun show seller cannot price his gun low and then insist on more. There are rules of the game, and the rules are such:

Price your item at a gun show or flea market at $1,000 and if a buyer lays $1,000 in cash on you the gun is sold...no backing out. If he offers $750 and you say "No," there is no meeting of the minds and there is no sale...the seller has exercised his hidden "reserve."

THERE IS ALWAYS A RESERVE as a matter of law in Illinois. The nature of an auction is that the bidding starts low and goes higher and if it does not reach a level satisfactory to the seller there is no sale (unless the auction item is advertised as being "without reserve" in Illinois, and I believe this is true for most or all other states). Yet an auction seller who would price his gun at $1,000--being the gun show price--would never get a bid if all buyers thought it was worth $750 or less and there was no way to run the auction in reverse.

There is much misconception in re: reserves at auctions that has cropped up recently since everyone can participate in auctions at the flick of a switch and click of a mouse on the internet. The law of auctions, however, harks back to land and cattle and estate sales where the real estate and personal property was viewed in person and the auction was live, in situ, and real time. The problem with Internet auction reserves is usually in the subjective issues of condition and quality of goods not viewed in person; also the sellers do not have the benefit of a live auctioneer to aid them in valuation. For example...

James Julia is selling about 1,600 guns in Maine next week. The terms and conditions of the sale mention that some but not all lots may have a reserve and "...the auctioneer may bid on behalf of the owner..." My personal experience is that a gun I owned did not make the reserve and was a "no sale." After the auction the owners of "no sale" items are contacted by the auction house for permission to contact contending bidders about upping their bids to the reserve. My gun thus sold post-auction for my reserve. The objective of selling at auction is to offer an item to a maximum number of potential buyers...a live auction has a different dynamic than Internet auctions, but the Internet is changing for the better as e-Bay, for example, has instituted rules that more strongly protect buyers, and the option to list items as "Buy-it-Now" at a non-auction price plus another button to make a "Best Offer." Thus e-Bay selling has the capability of pricing that $1,000 gun show item at a high price and taking less if the "Best Offer" strikes a responsive chord (meaning seller's hidden reserve).

I am presently selling off all my Parker collectibles, ephemera, and the like and will start posting items on e-Bay using the "Buy-it-Now" pricing stating what I believe to be the fair price while also using the "Best Offer" option to allow some quibbling. My idea is to get the stuff sold; a prospective buyer wants to get stuff bought; this involves a hidden reserve but is more in line with how gun stuff has historically been traded at gun shows.

I don't like the start-low-at-99-cents method of pricing with "Reserve Not Met" encumbering the bidding.

I don't participate in Internet gun auctions so I don't know if a gun seller can state a $1,000 price and take a "Best Offer," but I suspect that this pricing option will become popular now that the 800 pound gorilla (e-Bay) offers it--monkey see, monkey do. This should resolve the problem of trying to fit an internet auction into a live auction template where the price starts low and goes high with the reserve protection for seller--starting high like at a gun show and being able to take less seems to be the best way to protect both parties. EDM
Posted by: ed good

Re: Auction site gripe - 10/02/09 03:19 PM

ED1 HAS OVER 1100 POSITIVE FEEDBACKS ON GUNBROKER. RESERVE AUCTIONS SEEM TO WORK FOR HIM AND HIS CUSTOMERS.
Posted by: ed good

Re: Auction site gripe - 10/02/09 04:14 PM

PIN HEADS WHO PASS ON RESERVE AUCTIONS ARE MISSING THE OPPORTUNITY TO PURCHASE SOME REALLY NICE GUNS.
Posted by: RHD45

Re: Auction site gripe - 10/02/09 04:43 PM

In a perfect world every seller,and buyer, is both highly knowledgeable and honest. We know this is not always the case and thus we have the unknowing bidding on the inadequately or outright misrepresented gun and we also have the exact opposite but with a gun that was bought too dear and noone wants to lose money so we have a reserve price which can protect the seller and hinder the sale at the same time.
Posted by: Dick Jones otp

Re: Auction site gripe - 10/02/09 06:27 PM

Now that Ed Good has weighed in, I know I'm on the right side of this one. I will agree that there are a number of good deals I've gotten that were reserve auctions. It's just that I don't have time to sort through all the stuff from guys like Ed.

No offense, Ed, I don't know you, but I don't think I've ever seen a gun you listed that I'd buy for the price you were asking. You have a place in the market, obviously, just not with a certain type of gun buyer.
Posted by: Dave K

Re: Auction site gripe - 10/02/09 07:29 PM

Originally Posted By: Dick Jones otp
Now that Ed Good has weighed in, I know I'm on the right side of this one. I will agree that there are a number of good deals I've gotten that were reserve auctions. It's just that I don't have time to sort through all the stuff from guys like Ed.

No offense, Ed, I don't know you, but I don't think I've ever seen a gun you listed that I'd buy for the price you were asking. You have a place in the market, obviously, just not with a certain type of gun buyer.


There is a saying in the car business;

"there is an ass for every seat"

I have been to many auctions,phone bid and absentee bid on many more.Best ones and the ones that get the bids are NO RESERVE.
Posted by: PA24

Re: Auction site gripe - 10/02/09 08:15 PM

Originally Posted By: Dick Jones otp
You have a place in the market, obviously, just not with a certain type of gun buyer.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Yes, anybody who knows "anything" about guns............or torches..................
Posted by: KY Jon

Re: Auction site gripe - 10/02/09 10:27 PM

Ed brings an whole new meaning to a fire sale. Tourch'che.
Posted by: HomelessjOe

Re: Auction site gripe - 10/02/09 10:48 PM

Originally Posted By: Dave K

There is a saying in the car business;

"there is an ass for every seat"



Lucky for Ed there lots of asses and they seem to be dumb.

Posted by: keith

Re: Auction site gripe - 10/03/09 12:49 AM

I don't care much for auctions with a hidden reserve. What they are usually hiding is a price that only a hydrocephalic chimp would pay. Not always, but at least 95% of the time. The only thing worse is the auctions with a ridiculous opening bid that won't allow you to bid 1 or 2 cents to send the seller the message, "Thanks for wasting my time [censored]!" ***************************************************************** Added note after submitting original post... Wow, I did not realize there was a feature that automatically censors mild profanity. FYI, the censored word was another version of "rectum".
Posted by: ed good

Re: Auction site gripe - 10/03/09 04:04 AM

BLAH, BLAH, BLAH...IF YOU DON'T LIKE THE GAME, THEN DON'T PLAY!
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Auction site gripe - 10/03/09 11:25 AM

I have searched the auction sites for quit a while now and have come to be more accepting of reserve auctions. They are still a bit cooling, but if the information about the gun is given and I want it for a price, I just bid the price I am willing to pay and see if I make reserve. Usually I don't, but that's cause I have too many guns now and I'm cheap. I will admit that I regularly pass on reserve auctions if I have to e-mail for info on the gun, its just too much of a hassle and I figure if the guy is not going to go to much effort to describe a gun he has a reserve price on then he and I aren't going to reach a meeting of the minds. It is a bit like the fellow who starts his guns description with: "excellant condition" then throws in "I am not really a gun guy". I want to know upfront about function,dents, cracks, barrel length, chokes, lop, dac, dah, bore condition and weight. Then I want pictures that comfirm condition. I really dislike when the pics are poor or nonexistant! That is dumb. I really enjoy searching through the auctions, but wish those over priced poorly photograghed offerings could be weeded out somehow. Occasionally something entertaining comes along like a Prussian Daly with no reserve and a starting bid of $100 and good pictures of a great gun.!
Posted by: ed good

Re: Auction site gripe - 10/03/09 05:18 PM

ben-t is 100% right on! may i add that as ed1 i have been buying and selling guns and related items on gunbroker since 2001.

from a buyers perspective, honest, complete descriptions including the good, the bad and the ugly aspects of an item are essential. many bright pictures are also essential. most important is lots of positive feedback postings for the seller. all of this builds confidence. with these three factors in mind, i bid accordingly. most of the items i buy are for resale, so i am looking to pay a fair retail price, but with enough room to resell the item at a small, reasonable profit. there are few bargains on gunbroker, as most experienced sellers there are very knowledgeable of what they sell and current retail values.

from a sellers perspective, the reserve auction process provides me with the knowledge and time i need to adequately market an item via multiple retail outlets. often, i do not know the current fair market value of an item. the reserve auction process often provides that knowledge. this is very important to my consignment customers, so that they know that i am doing the best job for them that i can. when the item is sold, they know it is for a fair and current retail price... if you are a low life, scum bag bargain hunter, looking for something for nothing, then reserve auctions are not for you. so do not waste your time on gunbroker. your activity, like flies at a picnic only draws more undesirables of your kind. on the the other hand, if you are a knowledgeable firearms collector or shooter who is looking for fine guns at fair retail prices; and you have the courage to take a risk and make a commitment, then the reserve auction process can be a very pleasant shopping experience.

the number and variety of fine guns for sale at fair retail prices on gunbroker is a wonder! there is no other place like it any where else in the world!
Posted by: GregSY

Re: Auction site gripe - 10/03/09 05:54 PM

"I understand your desire to not sell the gun for drasticly less than it's worth but the reserve does not stimulate bidding"

It's a fact, proven by stats, that reserves do help stimulate bidding. Just look at the glorious Ebay - they would hardly promote reserves if it didn't.

I'm not saying I like reserves...but they are a fact of life.

Most of all, you guys are confusing an honest reserve, which would reflect the low end of a gun's value, with a BS reserve, used to prevent all but the dumbest from bidding.
Posted by: Dick Jones otp

Re: Auction site gripe - 10/03/09 08:06 PM

Anyone that believes that reserves stimulate bidding needs to go to gunbroker... shotguns.... double barrel... side by side... highest number of bids first, You'll see that the non reserve auctions always have the most bids.

If I list a gun and it doesn't get 1,000 looks in 14 days, I feel like it must be a loser.

It costs .50 to put in the number of looks option on the auction. You guys that list with a reseve put it on your next auction, I'll buy you lunch if you get 1,000 looks. You can't sell a gun to someone who doesn't look at it.

If 1,000 people look at my gun and it brings less than I thought it should, I was wrong about the value. Period.

I hate that Gunsamerica shot their feet off. They were a good site for folks who want a specific price for a gun and are not satisfied with what the market will bear.

I have hardly listed any guns lately because they simply aren't bring what they were a while back. I can sit on them and leave them in the safe. If I start to need money, I'll sell them for what the market will bear.

If I decide to "troll" with a gun, I'll put the starting price on it I want and leave it on till it sells or I get bored.

Personally, I'd like to see gunbroker charge for everytime a gun is listed. That would clear the junk that's been listed 40 times of the site and make it more viable. The reason they don't is that having all the listings makes them the 3rd largest auction site on the internet behind ebay and ebaymotors.

Dick

By the way, Ed, thanks for not typing in caps, It makes me think you're shouting.
Posted by: GregSY

Re: Auction site gripe - 10/03/09 08:16 PM

Of course guns without reserve have the most bids. If a $5000 gun is listed at $1.00 start then it will get tons of bids compared to the same gun listed at $4,000 start. So what? We all know that the gun won't sell for $25.00 regardless. Even if there is no reserve listed you may rest assured the seller has his Uncle Joe poised to drop a $4,000 bid if no one else does.

At least the guy who lists a gun with a reserve is being up front about it.

Again, a reserve is a perfectly ethical and proper thing if it's used properly.

If I offered a $10,000 gun but also used a $2,00 reserve would you complain? Of course not. What you are complaining about is the guy who lists a $3,000 gun with a $5,000 reserve.
Posted by: FlyChamps

Re: Auction site gripe - 10/03/09 08:47 PM

Originally Posted By: GregSY
If I offered a $10,000 gun but also used a $2,00 reserve would you complain? Of course not. What you are complaining about is the guy who lists a $3,000 gun with a $5,000 reserve.


I don't think Dick has any problem with a reserve - just with an undisclosed reserve.

I agree with Dick in that I never bid on a gun with an undisclosed reserve. If the reserve is disclosed then I know whether it's worth bidding or a waste of my time and I'll look elsewhere. My time is too valuable to piss it away bidding on a $3,000 gun with a $5,000 reserve.

List your gun with an undisclosed reserve and rest assured that I will not bid on it.
Posted by: GregSY

Re: Auction site gripe - 10/03/09 09:08 PM

The best way to uncover a reserve is to place a bid....if your bid doesn't make the cut then you can walk away satisfied. It costs very little in terms of time or money to place a bid.

If your time is too valuable to bid on a $3000 gun with an undisclosed $5000 reserve it just tells me you are not a serious buyer.

Think of all the years before the internet guys traveled to gun shows (some still do) in hopes of finding a righteous gun. That took dedication. Clicking a few icons is a cakewalk.

Again, your issue is with Sh**Head sellers who abuse a reserve, undisclosed or not.
Posted by: tudurgs

Re: Auction site gripe - 10/04/09 08:40 AM

Why are we talking about this? It is what it is.