Saturday, June 12, 2010

Regional Buying Patterns

This pertains to all of the items I sold on eBay last week when eBay had the free listing promotion. I made note of all of the states in which my winning bidders and the under bidders reside. I did this to see whether any patterns exist, such as regional buyers and rolling blackouts. Each line represents a single listing and the people who bid on that listing.

1. New York, South Carolina
2. Indiana, Illinois
3. Ohio
4. Minnesota
5. Florida, New York
6. New Jersey, California, West Virginia
7. New Jersey, West Virginia
8. New Jersey
9. West Virginia
10. Oklahoma
11. Oregon, South Carolina
12. North Carolina, Georgia
13. Oregon
14. Kansas, Louisiana
15. Pennsylvania, Ohio
16. Georgia
17. Alabama

I did not list all of the items, since in several cases, the same people bid on multiple items. It also matters whether these people read this blog, since I mentioned the listings in this blog.

The person from West Virginia definitely reads this blog, so that one is not part of any pattern. A couple of the other bidders are people known to me from transactions over the years, but I do not know whether they read this blog. These people are the ones from New Jersey and North Carolina.

With one exception, all cases where a certain state (West Virginia, New Jersey, Ohio) is listed multiple times refer to the same person. Georgia is listed twice, and Georgia represents two different people, so this may be a sign of a regional pattern.

Not counting anyone who does or might read this blog, this is what I notice.

South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, and Alabama are adjacent states.

Kansas and Oklahoma are adjacent states, and Louisiana is very close.

Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York are connecting states. Minnesota is one state away from Illinois.

All of the states I mentioned are in the central, south, and midwest regions. California and Oregon are the only ones in the west. It is enough to make me wonder, especially when I look at a map of the United States. It does look like a pattern.

People have observed that many of eBay's auctions that start at $0.99 end up with only one bidder or close very low. They have wondered whether eBay's promotion of free auctions at any starting price for up to 100 listings could have been a way to see if eBay would gain better results by letting sellers list their free auctions at above $0.99.

I participated, since I was able to start my items at what I wanted. I will not ever use the 100 free auctions so long as I must start the auctions at $0.99. If eBay should decide to let users pick any start price, I will list more items on eBay. Do you want me back as a regular but low volume seller, eBay? Now you know how.

The reason that I left eBay for Bonanzle is that the fees on the unsold items were killing me. I cannot afford to list hundreds of items with a very low sell-through rate. I used eBay during the free auction promotion since I was able to set my price and not take a loss on the items that did not sell.

I greatly dislike the direction that eBay has taken in recent years, but I only left eBay because of the fees on the unsold items. Are you listening, eBay?

The auction format is the best way to sell items in a timely fashion. I had some books listed for close to 1 1/2 years and was able to clear them out by listing them in auctions. Nobody felt like buying the books when they were available at a fixed price. Once the items were placed in a timed format, buyers had to decide to bid or not to have the opportunity the purchase the books.

As both a buyer and a seller, I prefer the auction format. I was forced out of the auction format, since eBay's fees are too high for the lousy service that eBay provides. The auction format has been nearly destroyed by eBay's disastrous changes of recent years. When will they get a clue?

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