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tictictic_OnEbay
(member)
09/27/06 03:15 PM
Enabling Store Snipes  

I like snipers (and besides, I are one myself). I don't understand why some sellers object to snipe bids. I try to end my auctions when people are most likely able to place last-second bids.

Ok, now about Store items..... I was under the impression they were un-snipable. When you look at a Buy-it-Now, there is no end date/time displayed. So if there are no watchers/few visitors for a GTC Store item that has run for 2 or 3 months, I just wait till the last hour or so of a 30-day listing period and end the item so it doesn't get relisted automatically for another 30 days. However, I worry that someone is sitting there with their mouse ready to pounce on my item, only to see it disappear almost before their eyes (and the message eBay displays is something like "The Buyer ended this auction early" which makes it sound like the Buyer took a private offer).

Now I've learned that if a shopper adds a Store item to their Watch list, they are made aware of the exact end date/time. In fact, they get an email notification when it's about to end, "Get your watched item before it's gone. Buy It Now!" That's great, but....

I, as the seller, don't know if someone is about to snipe my Store item, but I need to decide whether to allow it to relist or to end it before that last second clicks by. I know one solution would be to list items for 30 days instead of GTC, but if you've already got hundreds of GTC auctions, it's a problem.

Is there a solution I'm unaware of?

If not, I think eBay should institute a grace period of an hour or so (even a few minutes would be adequate), during which you can end the newly relisted Store item without being charged the 30-listing fee. This way Store items could be sniped.

Whadyathink?

Sue



bluepennylady
(enthusiast)
09/27/06 07:58 PM
Re: Enabling Store Snipes new [re: tictictic_OnEbay]  

Sue,

Hummm, I will have to give some thought to this one. It might be helpful for eBay to offer the "grace period".From an accounting standpoint, that could become a bit hairy.

However, if you approached the issue perhaps as a 2nd chance offer concept, that might work. All they can do is tell you no way.

Judy/blue






tictictic_OnEbay
(member)
10/31/06 11:42 AM
Re: Enabling Store Snipes new [re: bluepennylady]  

I've been trying to catch my GTC Store items just before they automatically relist for another 30 days. I'll set my timer to go off a few minutes before they are scheduled to relist, but I can't tell you how many times I've gotten to my desk as the timer was still beeping, only to find the auctions have already rolled over into the next 30-day period. Grrrrr. Either the time-left indication is wrong, or I'm losing my marbles. My timer works fine. Maybe I just need to refresh the page right before setting the timer.

Anyway........to respond to your comments:

The accounting wouldn't need to be a problem if they could set up the system to delay billing your account until the grace period expires. If you don't end the auction within the first 10 minutes or 30 minutes (or whatever) after it rolls over, then you get billed for the next 30-day period.

As to the 2nd-chance offer concept, I guess you are saying they could use that as a model for the accounting. I can't see how this would apply, though -- I'm not suggesting bidders be allowed to place bids after the items ends; just saying we shouldn't get billed for the next 30-day period on a GTC item if we cancel it within a few minutes after it rolls over. I just think people either don't realize the auction is a BIN and that sniping is moot, or they are aware of its actual end time because they've added it to their Watch list, and they are absolutely determined to wait till the last seconds to place their bid (not really a bid at all -- just a commitment to buy). As the seller, I can't allow those last seconds to pass unless I want to let the auction roll over for another listing period.

The only solution right now is to end all my GTC items and relist them as 30-day auctions. If I had thought this through before opening my Store, I never would have opted for GTC.

Sue




AquilaStamps
(member)
10/31/06 12:05 PM
Re: Enabling Store Snipes new [re: tictictic_OnEbay]  

Sue:
As for thinking it through before the store opened - just think of the fun you would have missed. LOL Actually probably no one would have opened a store if they thought it through.

When eBay decided to put it to the store owner a while back I too had a ton of stuff that was GTC. Prior to that I had used the 30 or 90 day depending on the item. Well after it started to cost an arm and a leg to list stores and keep them up I tried playing the catch before closing game too. I wasn't all that successful. I got a few and was able to take them down before they rolled over but the majority I missed and ended up with another 30 days. Finally I bit the bullet and just ended all GTC store items. Then went through them made sure they were set to 30 and relisted them. It cost a bit but it was worth it to me because I was spending so much time and havng a greater loss of hair on my head than it was worth.

As far as I'm concerned I'm keeping the Store as people still use it and I use it to refer people to other similar items with a link in my auction listing that points to the particular store category. i.e. - "for more stamps from france click here".

I guess it depends on the individual storekeeper on how to handle the GTC - yet I finally felt that to cancel them and relist was worth it.

Garry



bluepennylady
(addict)
10/31/06 12:44 PM
Re: Enabling Store Snipes new [re: AquilaStamps]  

Hi,

The issues you have both experienced is why I elected not to use the GTC auctions. I thought it might create a problem. Plus if I am forced to look at an eBay Store Auction lot once every 30 days, I can re-evaluate the listing and see if I need to make changes.

That was just my thought process. If you call it a process

Judy/blue



AquilaStamps
(member)
10/31/06 12:49 PM
Re: Enabling Store Snipes new [re: bluepennylady]  

Judy:
Well you thought ahead and found out what I discovered after using the GTC. What happened with me was some of the store lots got forgotten and others that had to be checked every 30 days was a pain. That's why I now only use the 30 day and relist if necessary after they fall off.

Garry



bluepennylady
(addict)
10/31/06 01:09 PM
Re: Enabling Store Snipes new [re: AquilaStamps]  

Garry,

The eBay Store fee hike forced me to deal with marginal and less than profitable auctions. And I am still moving things around. Grouping product into lots, etc to better manage my bottom line. If I could only find the bottom line

Judy/blue



AquilaStamps
(member)
10/31/06 03:21 PM
Re: Enabling Store Snipes new [re: bluepennylady]  

Judy:
Same thing here with me. I've taken tons of stuff out of the store (at one time over 3000 items in it). After I took it out I made up small lots of similar material and put them in auction instead.

The bottom line lately for me is so far down at the bottom I think I need SCUBA gear to see it. Oh well, just have to keep plugging along.

I've noticed by the way, that the some of the lots that I did make up out of store material did and is selling. This way I'll at least get my cost plus all those store fees out of the material.

Garry



bluepennylady
(addict)
11/01/06 04:43 AM
Re: Enabling Store Snipes new [re: AquilaStamps]  

Garry,

"SCUBA" gear Well at least where you live it is warm and you won't freeze. Here in Kansas, it is COOLLLLLDDDD!!!! With a stiff north wind.

I am still moving product around. Seems like I am always running the calculator working on that bottom line.

Judy/blue



AquilaStamps
(member)
11/01/06 06:41 AM
Re: Enabling Store Snipes new [re: bluepennylady]  

Judy:
Well no cold north wind here this morning. But as the tourists continue to come they will bring the cold weather with them.

The bottom line should be simple - they taught us how to figure that in 8th grade or something like that. However, doing what we do - the auction thingie - it is like pinning down Jell-o. I know I'm not going to the poor house, I'm making money, but where does it break to the point that I'm loosing. My formula is pretty straight forward. I know what I pay for say a 10 volume collection of stamps. I know that I get x number of lots out of the 10 volumes. So it's what I paid divided by number of lots plus eBay/PayPal charges plus a fudge factor. Well that's all and good and from that I can tell if as material sells if I'm going to be able to keep my shirt or have to give it up.

People don't understand that it is a lot different than a bricks and moartar store. If we really want to get into the depths of finding that bottom line then of course all of the equipment involved in doing auctions (Internet Connex, 'Puters, Scanners, Packing, Shipping, Postage) has to be figured in. If it is taken to the logical end then we have now spent our entire day figureing bottom line and haven't spent one moment on preparing anything for auction.

I've been working lately on a formula of sorts that seems to work however. I looked at last year's numbers under expenses - the usual stuff from phone and eBay charges right down to envelopes and postage. Took the total amount I took in from all sales either on line or off line. Punched some calculator keys and came up with a percentage of cost of goods to cost of auction. In a way it is the cost of any auction - basic cost regardless of the item being auctioned - the amount that is built into the very fact that an auction is being put up on eBay or OS. I'm working on that now and at least I think I've found a way to have an idea if a particular group of material is making money or if I have to rethink how I'm selling it. It's strange isn't it. You know you aren't going to the poor house but the way material for sale fluctuates it is difficult to pin down a profit margin. It all goes back to what you said earlier "moving product around".

Didn't mean to get into Econ 101 here. Just thinking out loud in reply to your calculator comment.

Garry




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