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Damed if I do, damned if I don't - Private vs public auction

Posted: August 12th, 2004, 8:21 pm
by TCT
I am so f'n frustrated with ebay right now. I am one of the largest sellers of motorcycles on ebay and I have been selling here for 3 years. I started my business to sell motorcycles on-line only. I have no retail location, no salespeople and none of the huge overhead that goes with it. I have developed software that manages my inventory and builds our auctions so we can scale up the business. Until about a year ago selling on ebay was incredible. I still enjoy it, but the scam artists are ruining it for me.

About 8 or 9 months ago I went private on my auctions due to the increasing number of scam emails that my bidders were getting. About a month ago I felt that our ASP was slipping a little bit so I decided to go public again with our auctions. I noticed that many of the "scam protection" sites advise against bidding on a private auction. Nobody gives a good explaination as to why, so I have to assume that protection against shill bidding is the main reason. After an initial increase in our average selling price the scammers started emailing my bidders.....with both barrells.

I can now count on EVERY bidder I have recieving many bogus emails. From poorly written offers of the same bike for less money to extremely well written HTML bogus second chance offers that look exactly like they came from ebay. Tonight one of my bidders told me that they were "advised by the FBI" that my auction was a scam, so they took the liberty of bidding it up to a rediculous amount before I cancelled their bids and blocked them. I have no idea why this meathead didn't respond to the FOUR emails I sent him over the course of the last 24 hours.

So, as somebody who is genuinely looking to protect my bidders from getting scammed, but also concerned about their perception of safetly bidding on my auctions, what do I do? At this point the only option I see is to go back to private auctions. Any opinions??

Posted: August 13th, 2004, 1:13 pm
by witchie
Try posting your phone number in the auction and ask serious buyers to contact you first. I know Doc does it and it works for him. Ebay is a slowly sinking ship thanks to all the fraud. If they were my auctions i'd probably let them know as well what the problems you have had are so that they are aware they will get the scam offers.