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Ebay Tips


Brian C
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Inspired by Bruce's Sunday ebay picks I figured it wouldn't hurt to post ebay search tips. It seems that the more experience I become the more I see relatively cheap ebay purchases sold on other sites for much much more with little to no work done on them. I'll list my basic search "secrets". Will you list yours? They are as follows:

 

Be broad and general in your searches. If you want a Sheaffer Targa 1001 don't just search for "sheaffer targa 1001 fountain pen", you will only find a very small search result. Search for "sheaffer fountain pen" or even "fountain pen". I usually just search for "fountain pen" with time ending soonest. Don't forget, not everyone knows it's a targa 1001.

 

Learn to spell bad. Search for "sheaffer" and "sheafer" and "shafer" etc...

 

Don't just look for auctions ending during the weekend. Far far more auctions end during the middle of the week. Learn to love the search. Search everyday, it only takes a few minutes.

 

These are mine. Anyone have anything that they have learned? Please add. I would rather you or I get that hidden pen than the retailers that will re-sell it here for much much morel

 

 

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There Will Be very nice pens listed as Sheaffer (and mispellings thereof) fountain pen, Parker fountain pen, etc;

 

It is my experience that traffic wise, a Seller wants to end his listing on the weekend. A Buyer want his auctions to end Tue-Thurs. There's more traffic hence more visibility on the weekends.

 

The only search criteria for the Sunday picks is "fountain pen". Then I just wade into them.

 

Bruce in Ocala, Fl

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I suppose I should help others to spend their $.

 

Check the box for include description when searching, some times they may spell it correctly in the description; or the auction could be titled something like vintage pen lot and only include brand name in the descriptions.

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sometimes it pays to look just a little closer.

 

i just got a burgundy duofold FP (probably a centennial) advertised simply as a "brown gold 525 fountain pen" for less than $200 shipped, buy-it-now:

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/PARKER-BROWN-GOLD-525-FOUNTAIN-PEN-14KT-GOLD-/111364861633?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEWNX%3AIT&_trksid=p2047675.l2557&nma=true&si=vlRORedIylGBdnUf6X4sJEk%252Fy%252Fo%253D&orig_cvip=true&rt=nc

Check out my blog and my pens

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I'm still pretty new, but my first problem when bidding on ebay was

 

"what should this kind of pen go for on ebay?"

 

so watching items you're interested in, even if you're not bidding you can see how others bid. Also, search the "completed listings", you'll get a list of sold and unsold listings, and you can see how other auctions ended.

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You can use the minus sign to exclude specific keywords from an otherwise broad search.

I like to do this to pare down the number of results.

For example

 

PFM -legacy

 

poseidon -noodlers -noodler's

 

I'm certain more sophisticated syntax is available, but I've never dug in.

 

Regards, greg

Edited by gregamckinney

Don't feel bad. I'm old; I'm meh about most things.

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Knowledge is key to anything you do. Now on ebay I know what I will pay for Parkers that are not restored.

Now other pen brands I'm still getting the feel for a good price at an auction let alone on Ebay.

I just picked up two Sheaffers & one Esterbrook last Sat. that were in lots with Parkers.

The only non Parker pens that I will buy is in person, but for Parkers well that is a whole other thing.

I will however bid and buy what I can on Parker ephemera, the more unique the better.

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You can use the minus sign to exclude specific keywords from an otherwise broad search.

I like to do this to pare down the number of results.

For example

 

PFM -legacy

 

poseidon -noodlers -noodler's

 

I'm certain more sophisticated syntax is available, but I've never dug in.

 

Regards, greg

I never know that. That is very useful.

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^ indeed. i have a search term (a loooong one) that excludes all chinese pens. nothing against the chinese or chinese pens (i do have a few in my collection, very solid performers) but there's just too many of them that clutter up the page when i'm looking for things like "vintage" of "oversize" pens.

Check out my blog and my pens

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^ indeed. i have a search term (a loooong one) that excludes all chinese pens. nothing against the chinese or chinese pens (i do have a few in my collection, very solid performers) but there's just too many of them that clutter up the page when i'm looking for things like "vintage" of "oversize" pens.

Completely agreed. That has always been an annoyance. Now I know what to do about it.

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There are sites like goofbid.com that have smarter search tools than Ebay. I also usually filter out pens I know I am definitely not interested in so I will put things in the search like "fountain pen -jinhao -baeor -hero"

This is what I often do.

 

I also do a very complicated search for Montblanc pens that excludes many words that I don't need, excludes many sellers who don't sell pens, or 'Montblanc' items as opposed to 'Mont Blanc' items, and many pens worth more than I'm willing to pay.

 

You set it up with ebay's Advanced search and 'Follow the search.' Then it has fewer listings to search through.

Edited by Chrissy
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I do that too. I used to be specific, but then I realized a lot of people who sell pens on ebay don't actually collect pens themselves, so they don't know what they are. They just get them at estate sales. I got a Parker 45 for $6.

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eBay is a greats source for parts and pens, but each listing is a roll of the dice. I've gotten some really nice items, but you have to assume the seller knows nothing about pens or pen condition. I cross my fingers when I open the box, and sometimes I have to say "oh well, I can probably use that barrel/clip one day" and distribute the parts into the parts bins.

 

The tools I use are:

 

eBay saved searches

Auction sniper

 

Happy hunting! I'm off to the flea market, wish me luck!

 

Teri

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Along the sellers that don't know squat about pens line...

 

IMO, the more you Refine a search the easier it is for you to miss things that aren't properly titled. In general, you Can't Count on any Fleabay seller to correctly title a pen listing.

 

Sometimes you gotta do a little clickee "work" to get to those deals. If it were THAT Easy the deal wouldn't be there long now would it?

 

I look at everyone of the brazeelyuns of listings I look at as an education as to what's Out there and what condition it's in.

 

Bruce in Ocala, Fl

 

 

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I sometimes feel that bidding up a pen can discourage other possible buyers. Sometime if I see a pen that has zero bids I'll go ahead and throw out my highest bid in hope of making other potential buyers think this pen will be over their budget.

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Can be tedious, but one thing I like to do is just search "fountain pen" and sort by "time: ending soonest", at random (read: not peak) hours. Have turned up some fun stuff, but you gotta sort through a lot of crud to get there.

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I sometimes feel that bidding up a pen can discourage other possible buyers. Sometime if I see a pen that has zero bids I'll go ahead and throw out my highest bid in hope of making other potential buyers think this pen will be over their budget.

 

 

That's a good one I haven't thought of. Often I'll watch an item with zero bids, but once someone starts bidding it's a pretty big detractor - sends the signal that there's definite competition. This can be the make or break for someone who's on the fence about a pen you really want.

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"what should this kind of pen go for on ebay?"

 

 

Actually, the questions are "How much am I willing to pay for this pen?" and "Do I really want this pen?".

 

Over the years, I have noticed that the price of an item varies depending on who is bidding on an item on eBay. There have been many pens, among other things, that I have won on eBay because I was bidding at the right time -- that is, others who might be interested in the item had not noticed the item. I never bid more than I am willing to pay, and I never consider an item "mine" until I have won the auction. Sadly, many folks consider an item theirs just because they bid early. However, an auction is not won until the clock runs out -- so being online at the end of an auction is the only way to make sure that you win an auction if you really want the item. Of course, that is part of the fun of bidding on eBay.

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