Thursday, January 9, 2014

Watching eBay Items

eBay has a feature in which people can watch items.  Some people watch items so that they know if the item sells while others watch items hoping that the prices will be eventually lowered.  Sellers sometimes watch items in order to figure out how to price their own items.

As a seller, I assume that watchers are not very interested in my items.  I pay very little attention to how many watchers I have or whether I have any at all.  Rarely do watchers become buyers.  I have had items with several watchers end without selling and consistently fail to sell despite being relisted multiple times.

Sometimes I am wrong to conclude that the watchers are disinterested.

I tend to get tired of some items not selling and then take drastic measures that end up surprising buyers.  Last week, I decided to begin closing out my stock of Nancy Drew books with dust jackets.  I found all of my Nancy Drew books with dust jackets that had not already been listed and got them listed.

Next, I decided to discount certain Nancy Drew books with jackets.  I wanted to move some out from eBay quickly and wanted to reduce the prices greatly.  Due to the nature of these books and how they would most likely sell to someone I wish to avoid, I did not feel comfortable with leaving them on eBay. 

I ended those listings on eBay and moved the books to Bonanza at much lower prices.  I did notice that one book had two watchers, but I didn't care since watchers tend only to watch and never purchase.  Within a couple of hours after I ended that listing, one of the watchers sent me a question, asking if the book was going to be listed again.  Apparently someone was interested.

I couldn't come out and say exactly what I did due to eBay's policies about luring buyers off eBay.  I couldn't say much of anything at all.  In the end, someone else purchased the book on Bonanza.  The person who was watching the book on eBay missed out.  I realize that some people may watch books because they don't have the funds to purchase the books.  If so, they need to understand that the books might sell to others or the listing might get pulled by the seller.  Watching items is risky since sometimes the items disappear.

I mention all of this just to remind everyone that I have a habit of abruptly removing listings and disposing of books quickly in either individual listings or in bulk lots.  Several times, I have had buyers wonder about books that vanish without warning.

Right now, many of my Judy Bolton listings on both eBay and Bonanza are in danger because I'm sick of them not selling.  I have now stopped myself at least three times from pulling the books together into bulk lots.  I keep stopping myself just in case someone finally buys some of them.  The most recent time I stopped myself was this last weekend.  Perhaps I'll wait just a little longer.

Let's segue into New Year's resolutions.  I don't make them.  I do, however, make goals for myself at various points throughout the year whenever I feel the need, so New Year's resolutions are pointless.  In June, I vowed to reduce my inventory of books so that my shelves would no longer be messy.  I put that plan into action by listing a very large volume of books on eBay where I knew I could move books much faster than on Bonanza.  I have continued to work at that goal ever since.  I have made significant progress, but I have more books that need to leave.

Yes, Judy Bolton extras, I'm looking at you.


beautifulshell said...

So, as a buyer, only, I love the watching feature. Sometimes it helps me to decide whether an item is important enough to me to pay more than the starting bid. If I see multiple watchers on something I want, I usually won't bother bidding unless it's something I really want and don't think I can wait for.

I do watch things that I have no intention of buying, too, just to see what they sell for eventually.

I do think that it takes some of the mystery away from the auction format, though - the lonely hope that you're the only one to see a listing, and that no one else will try bidding at the end, as I do!

Amanda said...

I use the watch feature all of the time. I usually don't have the money to buy the item at that particular time. I may buy it though if the item goes on sale or if I get more steady cash. If it is something I would never buy, I don't bother watching it. I "Pin It" or save a jpeg or something.