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Collectors...ethics..and The Buy It Now Offer


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I wanted to touch base with other collectors on the ethics of offering low ball Buy it Now offers to uneducated Ebayers.

When I first saw this marble on ebay..

http://www.ebay.com/itm/271143669191

I sent an immediate message asking the seller to please let it ride. I was interested in the marble and wanted to bid fair and square. The owner replied that he has already had an "incredible" offer at $400 and could really use the money. I told him that was a low ball offer and he replied that he would sell it to me for $600. I was in an ethical conundrum and really almost took the offer, but realized I was about to do what I just pleaded with him not to allow and ultimately let it ride. He wrote me a VERY kind thank you letter and I felt good about my decision.

Last night this auction popped up!

http://www.ebay.com/itm/VINTAGE-MARBLES-LUTS-PONTIL-ONION-SKIN-SUPER-MAN-MANY-MORE-/261181894580

Needless to say I was interested. Again, I pleaded to not allow any low ball offers and even recommended someone like Zaboo to consign them. This morning....Auction has ended to item being "no longer available...." I know that the "score" of the hunt can be the most exhilarating part of marble collecting but is this really the way????

I'm interested in thoughts on this. Am I actually hindering the savvy collectors by playing the good samaritan or am I doing the right thing? On the same token, some of my best "scores" have been grossly underpriced "Buy it Now" auctions. I certainly did not send any messages, instead trying to frantically press "buy it not" as fast as I possibly could.

Thoughts?.?.?

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Do you think the 2nd auction has already been purchased by someone?

It's possible that it is "no longer available" in part due to your message. Possibly the owner decided to take them off the market until they could reassess what they had. It would be nice if they responded to you to let you know. :)

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Might not be a popular viewpoint, but I've often thought that when it comes to a buyer and seller completing a transaction, whatever way works out amicably for both parties is their business and I would not get involved unless I were the buyer, or the seller. (I know I know, boo)

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There may be a few that feel this is unethical, and it IS against eBay rules. But some of the most respected and high end collectors have added some of there best marbles, boxes, etc. by using this method. It is rampant, and you can't stop it. So your choice either join in, or win auctions once in awhile where the seller also has ethics and lets the auction run it's course. Frankly, if a seller is dumb enough to not see through an under the table offer, they deserve the lower price they get.

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I think Craig is spot on.

On a similar note (not trying to highjack the thread), if someone posts a pic and asks about the marble on one of the boards. I do think it is unethical for someone to lowball a price before the poster finds out at least a value range on the marble (obviously depending on condition, etc.). The boards are here to help people learn about marbles.

By the way, on the eBay situation described above, if the Buyer that makes an offer gets burned on condition......?

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I HATE when buyers do this. How is this any different than being at a show and some little old lady walks in not knowing anything really and the buyer cheats and not offer them fair value? The only thing to debate is what is fair value? Usual story is that the buyer will be "out of town" when the auction ends and can they end the auction. Most times it backfires for the seller as they could have gotten more if they let the auction run its course. It's different if the seller puts a buy it now/ best offer on the auction. Then that is between the seller and buyer to decide what is fair. I have also seen where the seller posts in the auction for all to see the person that is trying to buy the item. This one is the funniest one I have ever seen.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Solid-core-2-inch-marble-with-golden-lutz-and-multi-colored-bands-/130834666679?pt=Marbles&hash=item1e765a94b7&nma=true&si=jBK0p19FmfhLeSBG7BJ69mC7aDQ%253D&orig_cvip=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557

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Good one Clyde. I have noticed over the years that the guys with the deepest pockets usually are the ones that try this. At least this was a decent offer. It's worse when it's a guy with lot's of money low balling. No names need to be said, we all know who does it.

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It is a sleazy move IMO. Taking advantage of someones ignorance is not something to be proud of, is it. I think we all have a line we try not to cross, they are just at different ends of the field for many of us. Some folks will even use their marble board to take advantage of newbies. On a whole, I am sorry to say, there are a lot of shysters in this hobby.

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If we take the whole morality/ethical argument (and even marbles) out of the example, I could see somebody needing X amount of money quick and willing to make a deal quickly in order to meet their specific needs at the time. bills need to be paid etc

Taking advantage of ignorance is wrong, but thinking broadly, there might be other reasons a seller would end an auction early (just saying)

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There may be a few that feel this is unethical, and it IS against eBay rules. But some of the most respected and high end collectors have added some of there best marbles, boxes, etc. by using this method. It is rampant, and you can't stop it. So your choice either join in, or win auctions once in awhile where the seller also has ethics and lets the auction run it's course. Frankly, if a seller is dumb enough to not see through an under the table offer, they deserve the lower price they get.

As a seller, I have this happen to me ALL THE TIME.....its to the point now that I have a "saved response" that I send to the lowballer:

Sorry, this is not a "buy it now" listing .....This is an "auction style" listing which I feel should sell for fair market value......I would suggest that if you have a certain price cap, place that amount as your bid offering and if the bidding exceeds that amount, then you will feel good that you haven't gone above your capped price....

But the offers keep pouring in....In a few cases, the lowballer offer was way more than the marbles' final selling price (in all of those cases, they werent ever the winning bidder....lol)..

If we take the whole morality/ethical argument (and even marbles) out of the example, I could see somebody needing X amount of money quick and willing to make a deal quickly in order to meet their specific needs at the time. bills need to be paid etc

Man o Man oh Man.....This fits my scenario so many times and so often ("strapped for cash") but in those instances, I have always opted for a "Buy it now" styled auction with a "make me an offer" option........ Many times I have purposely made the Buy it now price slightly below market value to increase my chance of selling the marbles so that "specific needs" get met and bills get paid etc

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As a seller, I have this happen to me ALL THE TIME.....its to the point now that I have a "saved response" that I send to the lowballer:

Sorry, this is not a "buy it now" listing .....This is an "auction style" listing which I feel should sell for fair market value......I would suggest that if you have a certain price cap, place that amount as your bid offering and if the bidding exceeds that amount, then you will feel good that you haven't gone above your capped price....

But the offers keep pouring in....In a few cases, the lowballer offer was way more than the marbles' final selling price (in all of those cases, they werent ever the winning bidder....lol)..

Man o Man oh Man.....This fits my scenario so many times and so often ("strapped for cash") but in those instances, I have always opted for a "Buy it now" styled auction with a "make me an offer" option........ Many times I have purposely made the Buy it now price slightly below market value to increase my chance of selling the marbles so that "specific needs" get met and bills get paid etc

I have seen this too. I remember an auction where a well known high end CAC collector did a low ball. The seller put his lowball in ask seller section. When the auction was over it ended being below the low baller but the low baller didnt even put in not one single bid. I thought why didnt he bid? He would have won. Does the low baller then get mad at the seller? Maybe think if they dont accept I wont put in the bid I offered?

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I too hate those offers from folks who want me to end auctions early. If I had a "buy-it-now" price, I would have listed it.

And often the person DOESN'T bid after I explain politely that I don't end auctions early and that if the item doesn't sell I may entertain their offer.

It's as if these people resent playing by the rules and if they can't cheat, they don't want to participate.

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Guest browse4antiques

Sometimes, if there is something I am really interested in, I will send a message to the vendor like: "I plan to bid on this item. Other buyers may ask you to stop the auction and sell it outright. I would prefer to wait and bid, but if you are considering other offers, please give me a chance to make an offer as well." ... Roger

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It's really great being part of this forum. The only other person I can get a dialogue about marbles from is my 3 year old daughter, usually resulting in her saying "Papa I want THAT marble for my bag"

Great response Roger! I will use similar wording for future auctions. Now, if only we can get to them fast enough..... I think a lot of people check the new listings quite frequently. I know it becomes addictive once you make a decent score or two on "Buy it Now" listings. My three best scores have been two "Buy it Nows" and a jar at an antique store ON CLEARANCE! This thing was loaded.....

Incidentally, the seller of that last auction I listed contacted me and said he will list them individually starting tonight. Looking forward to seeing more angles of the marbles in that collection.

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I wanted to touch base with other collectors on the ethics of offering low ball Buy it Now offers to uneducated Ebayers.

When I first saw this marble on ebay..

http://www.ebay.com/itm/271143669191

I sent an immediate message asking the seller to please let it ride. I was interested in the marble and wanted to bid fair and square. The owner replied that he has already had an "incredible" offer at $400 and could really use the money. I told him that was a low ball offer and he replied that he would sell it to me for $600. I was in an ethical conundrum and really almost took the offer, but realized I was about to do what I just pleaded with him not to allow and ultimately let it ride. He wrote me a VERY kind thank you letter and I felt good about my decision.

Last night this auction popped up!

http://www.ebay.com/...E-/261181894580

Needless to say I was interested. Again, I pleaded to not allow any low ball offers and even recommended someone like Zaboo to consign them. This morning....Auction has ended to item being "no longer available...." I know that the "score" of the hunt can be the most exhilarating part of marble collecting but is this really the way????

I'm interested in thoughts on this. Am I actually hindering the savvy collectors by playing the good samaritan or am I doing the right thing? On the same token, some of my best "scores" have been grossly underpriced "Buy it Now" auctions. I certainly did not send any messages, instead trying to frantically press "buy it not" as fast as I possibly could.

Thoughts?.?.?

This seller emailed me about this marble because he had received several offers on it while it was up for auction and he wanted to know what I thought it was worth. Because of the size he had listed, I got him to remeasure it, and lo and behold the marble was in fact 2-1/8" diameter, not 3-1/8". So, I gave him my thoughts on the value at that size. I think he posted an addendum to the auction, but he never changed the title. I suspect that whoever paid $1500 for it probably sent it back when they received it or he adjusted the price. He got about 6x what I told him I thought it was worth in its condition.

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Guest browse4antiques

It is always a concern when the vendor post many pics in which the marbles have not been rotated. It makes me wonder if they have all been turned to the one view for which they look the best. And then when I'm still seeing a lot of chips, I just pass on it. ... Roger

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