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How To Win A Pen In Ebay Auction?

ebay auction bidding

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#21 ac12

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Posted 31 May 2017 - 06:15

If you WANT the pen, bid as much as you are willing to spend for the pen.

Do not try to bid low, as you found out, you will just get outbid.

Then walk away until AFTER the bidding closes.

 

If you loose, then someone was willing to pay MORE than you.

If you use a sniping tool you will still loose, as your snipe bid would be too low.


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#22 praxim

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Posted 31 May 2017 - 07:59

Sniping deals with other buyers who are lazy about their maximum or apt to be sucked into a bidding war. For serious buyuers it makes no difference yet remains worth doing for the previous reasons. Putting down a maximum bid early allows others to test your maximum, testing your discipline. Given discipline, there is no disadvantage to sniping especially if you set the bid early then walk away, which is calming.

For a bid, you should feel about the same when imagining winning or losing at small margins around your preferred price, everything considered.
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#23 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 31 May 2017 - 11:13

Germany has cheap postage. But the seller has to take paypal (we use bank transfer which is cheap as (US) checks we don't use, in the EU....$35 bank transfer fees if from the States; and they must ship outside of Germany....many lose sales because they are too cheap.

Often I see Tortoise Pelikan's going for no more than regular green stripes.

 

The same pen will come up next week, at a cheaper price, or next month, or in six.

 

Fair prices in Buy Now???? Well depends on how deep your wallet is....I see only 1/3 more than a Ebay past history biddings.

We have been brought up in front of a TV...buy now advertising, so are conditioned for instant gratification.

For 1/3 less I can get inks and good to better papers.

 

Our sales section is higher than the better Ebay bargains, but you get a clean pen that works. That is what I call a 'fair' price.


Edited by Bo Bo Olson, 31 May 2017 - 11:20.

Everyone says poor Mozart dead at only 36. None say poor Mendelson, dead at only 38. His family only allowed him to start at 20, but before, musicians use to come to the Mendelson garden to steal the music of Mendelson and his sister. A good artist also, can still buy prints of his famous Scottish drawings in Scotland.

 

www.nibs.com/blog/nibster-writes/nibs-germany      Info on Bock nibs

 

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Pens/inks/paper on hold for a year....new addiction pocket watch chains. :happyberet:


#24 chromantic

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Posted 31 May 2017 - 13:31

My purpose on the auction side is to increase the amount a seller gets without winning the items for myself. :(


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#25 Sasha Royale

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Posted 31 May 2017 - 14:25

Hi !  

You only THINK  that you know what a pen is worth.  Any auction item is worth what someone is willing to pay.  The other person likely knows something about the pen, that you do not.  Auction value is very subjective.   It is worth more to me, if   

1)   the color pattern is the one I need to complete my collection.

2)   I want this exact item to replace one I recently lost.

3)   I have an overwhelming need to win.

4)   I have more money budgeted for such things.  

Here are my secrets.  Timing is irrelevant, if opposing bids are higher.  The highest bid wins.  If your bid did not win, don't blame timing, or "sniping", or witchcraft.  The highest bid wins.  I bid 50¢ on each of fourteen Chinese "cheapies". :eureka:  Most sold for over $1.   Some must have been overlooked because I won one for  1¢  and one for 37¢.   :thumbup: There is risk.  I own eleven 75¢ , leather watch bands.   :doh:


Edited by Sasha Royale, 31 May 2017 - 14:25.

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Verweile doch, du bist so schön ! 


#26 ParkerDuofold

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Posted 31 May 2017 - 14:36

My purpose on the auction side is to increase the amount a seller gets without winning the items for myself. :(


Hi Chromantic,

I know just how you feel; I've tried seven or eight time's to win my namesake on e-bay and I've been outbid every time... and I wasn't placing piker bids, either, (but I also wasn't placing "throw my money out the window" bids), and I lost every bid... but the sellers should give me a sloppy kiss and a cut of the take. :D

I finally gave up on getting a Duofold for the time being... it's too taxing on the nerves and my emotions. I think I'm gonna wait for the next big crash; then I'll be able to get 'em for peanuts.

That's one of the things I like about modern pens... with them, all you have to do is choose your nib and color and "payz ur money and take ur chances," as the expression goes.

- Anthony

Edited by ParkerDuofold, 31 May 2017 - 14:43.

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#27 sidthecat

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Posted 31 May 2017 - 17:52

It's useful to want things that on one else wants, but it doesn't always help.

It's useful to ask questions of the dealer...I'll ask them to test pens for flex.

It's useful to know a bit more than the dealer, and even more useful to know more than the other buyers.

All this said, it doesn't always help. You mostly need to know yourself and how much you'll pay for a pen without feeling ashamed.



#28 inkstainedruth

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Posted 31 May 2017 - 19:53

Like sidthecat said, it helps to ask questions of the seller (I'll often ask for better photos, particularly of the nib and feed).  Although I got burned once -- I thought I had spotted a crack in the cap of a Parker Vacumatic, and so had someone else, who had actually asked the seller about it.  Seller said no, so on that I bid and won the pen.  Only to find that there *was* crack.  That was an expensive mistake -- $10 for a replacement cap at a pen show (I got *exceedingly* lucky).  Plus another $100 or so in paying to have the cap repaired by harvesting some of the celluloid from one cap to mend the other (I'm still saving up for that..).

As someone else said, don't nickel and dime if it's something you really want.  Put in your price.  Maybe with a maximum bid.  Do it early.  I did that several years ago on a Parker 51 Demi in Plum that had only one bid on it at the beginning of the week.  Got nervous over the course of the week and upped my maximum (but only to what I could afford).  Scootched it up a tiny bit more the day before the auction ended.  Assumed that I would get outbid (as in "What is this 'snipe' of which you speak?  I'm probably going to get plain outbid -- some other poor schlub might get sniped...") especially [a] since the auction ended late Saturday afternoon and I wasn't going to be home; and [b] the previous Plum Demi I'd bid on went for over $100 US (I dropped out in the low $70s, but watched the last five minutes just for curiosity's sake, and it held at $85 until about 3 seconds to go, then jumped).  Went about my day, had dinner, went to a party, got home around 1:30 AM.  Wasn't even going to bother looking, then said "well, just to see what it ended up going for..." -- and I had WON.  Didn't even hit my "intermediate" maximum.  The joke, though, was that I had completely ignored another a listing (where the seller said the pen was black).  FPN Farmersmum didn't, though -- and got that pen for just over half of what I paid....  I thought my price was fair; Farmersmum's was phenomenal (and I saw that listing an completely bypassed it, because it was listed as being a black pen...).

The most important thing -- especially for vintage pens -- is that odds are pretty good that there will be another auction down the road, unless it's some super-rare pen and that's likely to be priced accordingly from the get-go unless the seller really doesn't know what they have... (and that's just as true in the wild at an estate sale or antiques mall as on eBay).  I lost out on that first Plum Demi -- only to get the second one at a better price.  Go figure -- I can only chalk that one up to other bidders assuming my maximum was way higher than it actually was....  :huh: 

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#29 eharriett

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Posted 31 May 2017 - 20:40

I've had mixed results with eBay.  Almost never had a BAD transaction, but the pricing is a real pain.  I'll generally take 3 approaches depending on what it is and how much I care if I get it

 

1. Put in my max bid and walk away.  I'll do this if the auction is within a couple days of ending, has almost no bids, and few watchers/views.  I'll do that if it is something I want but don't have an urgent need for that specific item.  That's how I accidentally walked away with a couple of A-11 WWII military watches for only a couple bucks (both in need of repair).  Somehow the people who normally watch those things missed two back to back.

 

2. Make a note to bid on the max item a couple hours to an hour before the end.  If it is something I kind of really would like to have, I'll wait and reveal my hand shortly before the end.  That way I'm not invested if it gets really hot the final hours (which is common).  This is my normal approach and allows me to decide if I am going to walk away or mentally prepare to pay more than I wanted to originally.  I can let common sense take over to go for the gold.  I've gone both ways, but usually I will put on the brakes if bidding seriously kicked up.  However, if I choose to bid I'll usually at that point go for number 3:

 

3. Ready my bid and manually snipe in the final seconds.  I almost never do this.  And I've been considering esnipe for those rare occasions, but I have not trusted it and only done it manually.  I reserve this for items I HAVE TO HAVE (so rare -- I've gotten a lot of ebay things over the years -- my first purchase in 1999) and since last minute sniping became a thing, I can't think of anything besides a piece of rare comic book art I'd ever done that with.

 

Here's a couple of other things to look for what I've been able to use successfully over the years:

  • Do some keyword searches where the keyword is slightly incorrect "old pen" instead of "fountain pen."  "Watermen" instead of "Waterman," you get the idea.
  • Filter out auctions and look at "Buy it now."  Or look at auctions where there is a "best offer" button.  That button goes away the moment there's a bid, so make an offer immediately and skip the wait (still kicking myself for not doing that on some sub-mini 16mm film cassettes -- still haven't found good prices for replacements).
  • As other suggested, look at the classifieds here, at FPgeeks, and also the penswap subreddit.
  • Look at some alternative auction sites.  As someone else pointed out, eBay **IS** the market, but that doesn't mean there aren't others which fall under the radar.  The one I use most (pens aren't well represented there, but lots of other things are) is shopgoodwill.com   Watch the shipping charges carefully, but that's where I have the most luck when I don't like ebay's offerings.  But I'm sure there's other auction sites to look at (any suggestions, guys?)

Lastly, have fun.  These are pens :)



#30 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 31 May 2017 - 21:56

I need the adrenaline rush, so bid with in the last 15 seconds, and that is my max. If I don't win, the winner had to dig deeper in his pocket.

 

The then very popular  medium-small (same size as a 140) Geha 760 was for a time the top of the line for Geha. They have two versions the one with the gold piston ring, and the later one with out, when the 725 took over as top of the line.

I have a very nice nibbed semi-flex OB :puddle: with a gray stripped body; black top, no gold ring. I paid because it was color even more than the 20% more than the 790 that a 760 normally costs. (Yes the Geha semi flex is a slight tad better than Pelikan. It was pointed out by two respectable posters and I tested it my self.)

 

Then I saw the following pen, and bid nearly more than twice what a 'regular' 760, in it had a rolled gold cap too besides being in color. I'd expected a 760 to go for E/$80-90, in black and gold.

 

I bid well ahead of time E147.85.....and was winner until the last second when two snipers took it to E/$165 and change.

My max was including my 10% more, what I bid, and had hopes for getting it for E125-130.

The rolled gold cap made it rare, the color made it rare....and two others thought so too.

 

Grumble. :gaah: ..had that been at a live auction, I'd won, in dealers need to make a winning, me not.

 

Geha%20968_zpswdd5uuvy.jpg


Edited by Bo Bo Olson, 01 June 2017 - 07:53.

Everyone says poor Mozart dead at only 36. None say poor Mendelson, dead at only 38. His family only allowed him to start at 20, but before, musicians use to come to the Mendelson garden to steal the music of Mendelson and his sister. A good artist also, can still buy prints of his famous Scottish drawings in Scotland.

 

www.nibs.com/blog/nibster-writes/nibs-germany      Info on Bock nibs

 

The cheapest lessons are from those who learned expensive lessons. Ignorance is best for learning expensive lessons.

 

Pens/inks/paper on hold for a year....new addiction pocket watch chains. :happyberet:


#31 Strelnikoff

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Posted 31 May 2017 - 23:11

Well, I'll test several suggestions in couple of days. I've placed my max bid, plus I may increase it 1 to 2 days before bidding ends. I've put exactly how much I am willing to pay, and I'll add extra 100 bucks over - if the pen writes as I hope it does, I'll have years of joyful writing experience.

 

It is pricey, so If I lose then - someone really want's it and good luck to whoever the winner is.

 

Naturally, there is that "I must have this pen" ... the problem is - it is based on the perception - how a pen should write, in my mind. The reality is - only by trying a pen, I would know if that is really what I'm after.

 

Recently I've bought two vintage pens - both Waterman's. One is 52-1/2 V, near mint condition with flexible nib, the other one is ... well, it was advertised as 52 Red Ripple with flexible nib.

 

So - 52-1/2 V ... nice pen, I didn't have to have it, but it was "why not, the price is OK/low" decision, with hopes that flexible nib will write good. The nib is xxxxxxf and "flexible" is relative term. Perhaps it can flex to B but I wouldn't dare. It is also extremely sharp, rips the paper. Some work will have to be done on this.

The 52 Red Ripple - flexible, I got 54 with #2 flexible nib. Again, flexible is relative... not that flexible after all, from medium to broad and a half (maybe BB, but I won't test that).

 

All from a reputable seller. Have I had a chance to try them, I would decide in 3 minutes I don't need them. And that's the problem I have with eBay, and general online buying practice.

 

Looking at how much I've spent on pens this way, I would be better off just going to the pen show and try/buy on the spot.



#32 ParkerDuofold

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Posted 31 May 2017 - 23:47

Good Luck, Strelnikoff; I really hope you get what you're going after. :)

I've been reading thru this thread and thinking I might take another shot at a Duofold instead of waiting for another economic crash. :D

- Anthony
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Please pray the Rosary daily. Thank You, St. Jude, for favors granted. :)

Grab life with both arms and give it a bear hug every day! :D

#33 Moonshae

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Posted 01 June 2017 - 01:54

I'm going to go against what everyone suggests. If you have a max amount you're willing to pay for a given item, it doesn't matter when you bid. If someone else is willing to pay more, they will get it; if not, you will. Sniping only helps if you don't have a set price and are willing to escalate in order to get the item. In that case, just bid a ridiculous amount and you'll pay just a little more than what the second-highest bidder was willing to pay.

 

Clearly, I'm suggesting playing the long game. Get on eBay daily, if not a few times a day. Be sure to save a search with all the features you want, so you can just log in and see what is new for those criteria. Eventually, you will get what you want if the price you are willing to pay is reasonable. But if you can't wait or spend the time, you're going to have to pay. Thus, the people who are winning the auctions in which you're bidding. They may put less importance on the cost:value factor and more on the "I want this" factor or the time factor. Most people who get great deals on eBay aren't popping in to buy a specific item and being in the right place at the right time; they're visiting regularly, for long stretches of time, and eventually snagging a fantastic deal. They may or may not be making less fantastic purchases along the way. That would depend on what kind of collector they are.

 

How much is your time worth?


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#34 Moonshae

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Posted 01 June 2017 - 02:04

Sniping deals with other buyers who are lazy about their maximum or apt to be sucked into a bidding war. For serious buyuers it makes no difference yet remains worth doing for the previous reasons. Putting down a maximum bid early allows others to test your maximum, testing your discipline. Given discipline, there is no disadvantage to sniping especially if you set the bid early then walk away, which is calming.

For a bid, you should feel about the same when imagining winning or losing at small margins around your preferred price, everything considered.

 

I'll mostly agree with this if only about the other bidders testing your maximum. They may not be willing to bid outright, so sniping could keep your final price lower, but if there are already other bids, there's no point.


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#35 FarmBoy

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Posted 01 June 2017 - 03:29

Easiest way to be high bidder in an auction is to be willing to pay the most. Bidding strategy can be debated but the highest bid will prevail no matter when it was placed.
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#36 inkandseeds

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Posted 01 June 2017 - 03:36

As Moonshae suggests, you need to play the long game.  Visit regularly and know what you want and what you are willing to pay.  The bidding on eBay is irrational like most markets.  If you watch long enough. you will see a pen go for an outrageously high price, then an identical pen go for half that the following week.  I have lost auctions only to get a similar pen for way less at another date. Know what you are willing to pay and just keep bidding.    It may take some time.  I finally got a pen that i have been looking for after over a year.  It was an auction with a buy it now price.  The bidding started and wasn't that far from buy it now, so i paid the buy it now price.  The next week, the same pen in a different color went for 50% than what i paid.

 

Also, do some research.  If there is one specific pen that you are interested in, "watch" every single one of them when they come up.  Keep track of how much they evidently sell for.  That should give you an idea of the market and whether or not you are realistic in your pricing.



#37 praxim

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Posted 01 June 2017 - 04:35

I'm going to go against what everyone suggests. If you have a max amount you're willing to pay for a given item, it doesn't matter when you bid. If someone else is willing to pay more, they will get it; if not, you will. Sniping only helps if you don't have a set price and are willing to escalate in order to get the item.

This assumes all bidders are rational actors. Most may be. Some are not. You can not predict who will be competing with you. If one acts with discipline then every now and then you may beat a non-rational actor, yet there is no downside to your own actions (in sniping).

I will happily take the strategically advantageous position. However small the payoff, it is a free option. Try plugging that into Black-Scholes. :)
Anyone owning three or more working pens is in no position to disparage choices by others.

#38 Ink Stained Wretch

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Posted 01 June 2017 - 07:40

I finally gave up on getting a Duofold for the time being... it's too taxing on the nerves and my emotions. I think I'm gonna wait for the next big crash; then I'll be able to get 'em for peanuts.

 

One person on the Zoss List (which may or may not be going away very soon) once explained why the less expensive fountain pens, my area, started to get more expensive when the 2008, recession hit. He said that in such a situation people shy away from the more expensive stuff and start looking for the least expensive stuff, which naturally tends to bid up the prices of the less expensive stuff, in this case fountain pens.

 

So don't count on a big price drop when the next economic disaster hits us all.

 

I usually do not bid on anything on Flea-Bay. I tend to go for "Buy it Now" items. For a time when I was new to Flea-Bay I thought that they'd penalize me if I wasn't active enough and would remove my account. Before I found that that that was not the case I'd make small bids, just to keep my account active. I knew that my bids would be too low to win and so it was risk free. Well, I won one fountain pen for something like $1.04, and it was worth the price I'd paid for it. And the shipping was significantly more than the price I'd paid, but it wasn't outrageous. A bigger goof of this sort happened when a pen was posted with a starting bid of 89¢. Well, I went for that, and then found I'd won! I paid only the 89¢ for the pen, all right, but the shipping was steep :gaah: ! I think I'd fallen into a trap laid by some folks who were looking for hard currency. That ended my days of trying to keep my account active. And not long thereafter I learned that they do not deactivate idle accounts. Oh well.


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ink stained wretch filling inkwell

#39 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 01 June 2017 - 07:58

It could be you will need to re-tip your Waterman. Nib tipping was perfected in WW2, before that nibs were lumpy, and chunks fell out.

Could be someone tried to smooth it and failed. Do look at the tip with your 10X or lighted Chinese 40X loupe which is the same power. (Much cheaper)

It should not rip the paper.

 

In it's a life time pen, the $80 would be worth it.


Edited by Bo Bo Olson, 01 June 2017 - 07:59.

Everyone says poor Mozart dead at only 36. None say poor Mendelson, dead at only 38. His family only allowed him to start at 20, but before, musicians use to come to the Mendelson garden to steal the music of Mendelson and his sister. A good artist also, can still buy prints of his famous Scottish drawings in Scotland.

 

www.nibs.com/blog/nibster-writes/nibs-germany      Info on Bock nibs

 

The cheapest lessons are from those who learned expensive lessons. Ignorance is best for learning expensive lessons.

 

Pens/inks/paper on hold for a year....new addiction pocket watch chains. :happyberet:


#40 ParkerDuofold

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Posted 01 June 2017 - 15:17

 
One person on the Zoss List (which may or may not be going away very soon) once explained why the less expensive fountain pens, my area, started to get more expensive when the 2008, recession hit. He said that in such a situation people shy away from the more expensive stuff and start looking for the least expensive stuff, which naturally tends to bid up the prices of the less expensive stuff, in this case fountain pens.
 
So don't count on a big price drop when the next economic disaster hits us all.
 
I usually do not bid on anything on Flea-Bay. I tend to go for "Buy it Now" items. For a time when I was new to Flea-Bay I thought that they'd penalize me if I wasn't active enough and would remove my account. Before I found that that that was not the case I'd make small bids, just to keep my account active. I knew that my bids would be too low to win and so it was risk free. Well, I won one fountain pen for something like $1.04, and it was worth the price I'd paid for it. And the shipping was significantly more than the price I'd paid, but it wasn't outrageous. A bigger goof of this sort happened when a pen was posted with a starting bid of 89¢. Well, I went for that, and then found I'd won! I paid only the 89¢ for the pen, all right, but the shipping was steep :gaah: ! I think I'd fallen into a trap laid by some folks who were looking for hard currency. That ended my days of trying to keep my account active. And not long thereafter I learned that they do not deactivate idle accounts. Oh well.


Hi ISW,

Thank you for this "head's up." Naturally, I do not want another Crash; I just find the entire e-bay auction format exacerbating and it compels me to say such things. :)

That said, I did find your response very educational, because frankly, I would have assumed it to be as I thought it would be... i.e., dirt cheap prices. That prices on old fps would actually rise during an economic downward spiral is NOT how I would have placed my chips on the table.

So, this can only yield one response from me... I'll have to release the hounds and go back to the hunt... because from what you say; no matter what the economy does, these pens are only going to go up in value (and price).

Thanks for your input and whether you or I are right or wrong... one constant remains... I'd like to get a nice Duofold... no matter what the economy does. :D

- Anthony
With thanks to my Mom & Dad; who taught me to run free, but not run wild.

Please pray the Rosary daily. Thank You, St. Jude, for favors granted. :)

Grab life with both arms and give it a bear hug every day! :D





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