A short note to let folks know that reserve auction prices on eBay don’t accomplish anything for a seller other than annoying buyers. A reserve price is basically a hidden price that says ‘if my auction gets to $XX.XX, I will actually sell this item.’ Please note that auctions with reserve prices get fewer bids and, on average, sell for less. Ok, I don’t really have any quantifiable evidence for that, but if I am annoyed by an auction with a reserve and will avoid it, so will many others. What should you do instead? Set the minimum you will take on an auction as the starting price. That way, I know whether I want to bid or not, and you don’t have any chance of selling your item for less than you think its worth. You may think you are creating interest in your auction with a low starting price and a high reserve…but you’re not. You’re doing the exact opposite, as the average eBay seller has the attention span of a cat in a room full of sparrows.
I mention this today because there is a lot of D&D minis up this week for 240 minis (01/21/15, this link will likely live for 90 days FYI). I’d like to bid on it…and I even did. They had a start price of $199 with some reserve price. I bid $240, and someone already outbid me to $243.50…and the reserve is still not met. I for one don’t have time to fool around trying to figure out what the seller wants for these minis. $500? $1000? Who knows, but its not worth my time. I will watch this auction for research sake though, and let you know what it sells for, and what it’s ‘price per mini’ ends up being, and then compare that to similar completed auctions and let you know whether the seller made more or less (or didn’t even sell the collection) by using a reserve.
I sell things online for a living, and buyers want easy. Easy like Sunday morning. Easy bake oven. Easy like Craigslist or the latest hookup ap. They don’t want your crappy reserve, so cut it out.