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Rusty500

Where have all the buyers gone?

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Rusty500

Hi All.

 

I know that the current economic crisis is having a knock-on effect in all industries and this, in turn, is obviously going to affect the prices of products being sold on Bid or Buy. Although the total membership on BoB is increasing, I have noticed a marked decline in members who are logged on during the Crazy Wednesday and Snap Friday auctions. For example, last Wednesday, 20th of May, at the peak auction time of 20h15, there were only about 2600 members logged into Bid or Buy, and some 3150 items that were still to close. I am not to sure how accurate the figures are that BoB provide, but, two months ago that figure would have been almost double. Of the people that were visiting the site, a fair number of them would have been sellers with no intention of bidding (except maybe for a few shil bidders), and a fair number of casual bystanders.

 

I certainly don't blame Bid or Buy for the drop in the numbers of buyers and I know that they are doing their utmost in promoting the website both locally and internationally. The fact remains that the world economy is "up the creek" and people just don't have the extra money to spend on "luxury" items. I had taken a two month break from selling on BoB and the difference between then and now is quite remarkable.

 

This decrease in available buyers is going to have a direct effect on the prices achieved by the sellers on these Crazy and Snap auctions, and this, in turn will eventually lead to fewer people listing DECENT material on these particular days. The seller has no say in the price that he/she will achieve on his/her product as the listing must start at R1.00 and a reserve price is not allowed. In other words, the seller actually takes a gamble with their product, and, if fewer people are going to bid, the sellers odds are going to take a knock. On top of this there are still fees to be paid for the honour of selling at a loss. The end result will be people listing more and more cr*p, that they are only to happy to get rid of. I know that the auctions are meant to be risky, and the intention of the R1.00 start is to attract buyers, but the times are changing. Nobody wants to sell at a loss.

 

Would it not be possible to afford the seller some protection, like a reserve price or a higher starting value (for a fee, of course) and give them more confidence that they are not about to lose their shirt? If this were to be allowed, the odds of getting sellers that over-price their items is probably 100%, but all that would do is lower their chances of selling the product and they would still have to pay the listing fees. The sellers that are more moderate with listing value would have a better chance of achieving a realistic price and would probably want to list more. I am sure that most of us would rather lose R5.00 on a listing fee that lose R500.00 because there weren't enough bidders.

 

Some will say that if you want safety then the items should be listed under the day to day auctions, but try listing 100 stamps and then finding them amongst the 14000 others that are already listed.

 

Any comments?

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gabriel 1

Hi All

 

Bid or Buy stamp section has come along way, I can remember when there was about 10 sellers with less than a couple of hundred items. What you could expect to see was RSA FDC's and a couple of RSA commemoratives, the normal dealers and collectors would not even go near BoB. Today dealers openly advertise that they are on BoB, 14000 Items are listed, material covers most of the world and alot of material changes hands regularly. On a positive note we have gained alot of new collectors, we have a forum, some dealers list high quality items, material that was previously dormant has regained new interest, some good returns have been made and the list goes on. The negative side is that we have had our fair share of shady characters, alot of poor quality material has been sold, buyers have at times been exploited with incorrect cat values or false claims.

 

The biggest negative for me is the distortion of value which has resulted in alot of money being made and lost. I have always said that the market dictates what an item is worth, this holds true in some areas but I believe that alot of damage has been done in areas such as Union. Vast amounts of Union material has moved at prices well below 25% of catalogue value, this has created the perception that these are the prices Union should sell for. Mandela covers have sold for R3000+, now hover around R700 - R1000, bear in mind these were originally bought at R15 each. Postal History, worth R250+ battles to make R20, a bit messed up.

 

Still it is an exciting site and will grow even further, sellers need to adapt, buyers will get wiser, material will become scarcer etc. etc.

 

Regards

Gabriel1

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librashares

Where have all the buyers gone?

 

Hi All.

 

 

On top of this there are still fees to be paid for the honour of selling at a loss. The end result will be people listing more and more cr*p, that they are only to happy to get rid of. I know that the auctions are meant to be risky, and the intention of the R1.00 start is to attract buyers, but the times are changing. Nobody wants to sell at a loss. :rolleyes:

 

 

I agree that Nobody would like to sell at a loss. However, if you look at some of the cr*p on the snap or crazy auctions, you wonder about the sanity of the sellers of some of these items. Am I right in assuming that the seller pays the R5 listing fee, whether the item sells for R1, R5, or R5000, or does not sell at all????

 

Take for example the Rhodesia 2 1/2 Cent Zimbabwe ruins definitive used from the 1970's. I will happily supply any collector ten copies for FREE if they send me R3 for the postage and envelope. The seller of this type of very common stamp is expecting some sucker to pay more than the R5 listing fee, plus postage upon a successful sale!

When the sucker finds out that he/she has been "done", they will probably leave the site in disgust.

 

Bid or Buy will make a few R5 commissions, but in the process buyers of better material will not bother coming back to wade through 500+ poor quality items in the hope of finding someting worth bidding on.

 

Maybe the solution here is to offer lots of 10 or 20 different common stamps for free, and that would remove the incentive for the nutter sellers to waste their listing fees and our time. This way we may also encourage a few new collectors, and get it into peoples heads that "old" does not mean "rare" or valuable. What say you serious sellers?

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dstorm

Hello Rusty, Gabriel and Libra

 

I am not a serious seller, yet I am serious about selling.

 

The quality of items offer on the Crazy Auctions did improve dramatically in the last year. On the other hand, the prices obtained did not.

 

It amazes me how sellers can consistently let quality items, for instance BSAC, mint GB, SWA, etc go at below replacement value. On top of this, most of these items are listed at a R50-00 or R100-00 premium. Good for the collectors on BidorBuy, but I refuse to believe that these sellers are making any profit whatsoever. Good turnover yes. Real profit definitely no!

 

As Gabriel mentioned, the market is destroyed as far as Union is concerned.

 

Many buyers cannot distinguish between a highly catalogued item and a really scarce item. A mediocre used Great Britain might fetch 10% of catalogue value (a fair price), but then the inexperienced buyer will expect to buy quality Union or Commonwealth at the same ratio (just an example).

 

I think the answer is to be very selective in what you offer for sale on the Wednesday Crazy Auction. It has its own culture – distinctly different to the Normal Auction or Buy Now.

 

I started this morning to list more items on the Buy Now and hope to add about 30 items per week. For R10-00 premium you get a good listing position and are assured of a fair price.

 

Regards

 

Jacques

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RISadler

Sometimes bargains are to be had on the Crazy Actions, but I agree that all is not quite well. I am primarily a buyer (or collector), so my impressions are based on this fact.

First is that I only "allocate" so much of my disposably income to philately, so cannot (out)bid on all the nice and "must-have" items on auction. So this means that I am very selective on what I bid on (see also second point).

Secondly is the bid increment of some of the auctions. Even though the auction starts at R1, some sellers choose to make the increment R25, R50 or even R100 in some cases. For some items this might be justified, but in my opinion not so for most of the philately items offered. I try to be the first bidder at R1, because most of the times the increment is to high and I don't bid then. I assume many other bidders are the same.

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tramps

hi guys. i normally browse the whole sale to see if there is anything worth spending my money on and must agree that there is a lot of cr*p out there. not only the bid increments but in some cases the postage charged and the combining fees that are ridiculous. even if you bring something bad to the attention of the powers that be they let you know that the person was warned but they let him carry on doing exactly what he was doing all along instead of trying to rectify the problem. i have also noticed that there are many new buyers all the time and the buyers that you get accustomed to have disappeared.

before the revamps had taken place there was also a counter that let you know how many visitors were on the site at any time. this has been taken away

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