prices of stuff on ebay

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by nachoman, Apr 26, 2005.

  1. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    I like to scan ebay on a regular basis as more of a "window shopper" than with the intent to buy. It seems like there are some good deals there, and when it comes to finding items that are no longer manufactured, there is no better source.

    What I don't understand, is I see stuff sell for the same price, or even more than what one could purchase said item from a discount mail-order place. For instace, I sometimes see people buying kadee #714 HOn3 couplers at around 4$ a pack -not including shipping! One could get the same couplers cheaper at the LHS, or mailorder through any of the big model railroad warehouses. Am I missing something? Do people just get caught up in the competition of outbidding someone else that they don't realize they are paying more than an item is worth?

  2. yellowlynn

    yellowlynn Member


    I think you hit the nail right when you say people get caught up in the bidding, and don't want to be outbid. Also, I believe some bid on items that they want, but really don't know what normal prices are. I saw a man pay $3.50 for a box of canning jars, at a farm auction, odd lot, all mixed up, when new ones were $2.50. I just don't think he knew any better. On ebay,...........????

  3. Pete

    Pete Member

    Sometimes people do get caught up in the 'competition'.
    Sometimes they may be bidding/winning multiple items from the same seller, so the extra price they pay is offset by reduced shipping charges.
    Sometimes there just isn't a hobby shop near enough to make the trip worthwhile. My nearest 'LHS' is about an hours drive away, and he is more into RC stuff than trains and he doesn't have much of a selection for MRR's. The $15-20 cost for fuel to make that trip only to find (or not find ;)) that he doesn't have what I'm looking for will pay for the postage of many items that I know that I'm getting - in most cases.
  4. mhdishere

    mhdishere Member

    At one point I had my eye on the Woodland Scenics flag depot kit. I used to see the kit go on e-bay for more than it sold for direct from WS, sometimes almost twice as much. Never understood it.
  5. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Member

    Me neither. Having no LHS, I browse on ebay quite a bit. What amazes me is that these kind of dealers keep listing and relisting their stuff at such outrageuos prices, even after it doesn't sell.

  6. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    I think we have been looking at the same flag depot!

  7. Tileguy

    Tileguy Member

    Some items(kits for example) that are discontinued will go for whatever people are willing to pay.
    FSM kits that sold 10 years ago for 40 bucks are bringing several hundred dollars.

    Also, like Pete said above.LHS may not be close by. For me its 70 miles and they do not stock n scale in any real depth.Oh they have the basix Walthers kits and some locomotives and cars.They dont give anything away let me tell you.
    I always buy something from them when i do go there but most of my purchases are done online.Ebay gets about 1/3 of that while Loys/caboose/4 n scale/BLW etc get the rest.

    I am particullarly impressed with caboose hobbies.They have mail order down to an art form.Most times they follow up a sale with an email to make sure everything works/came in as expected etc etc.They really have thier act together.Its not as good a catalog setup as some but its not terrible either.

    All of the online sites throw specials /deals and closeouts.

    You have to keep checking.I bought classic miniatures once for 2.29 per pkg(2 vehicles in each) they generally sell for 9.99 - 11.99 per pkg.
    Needless to say i purchased a dozen packages of vehicles.How can you lose??
    I bought Bachmann Kits for 2.50 each just for kitbashing stock.They were 12-15.00 kits.
    2 differant kits and I bought 4 of each.I got 8 kits for 20 bucks.And enough Brick wall material to build a town LOL :)
  8. ausien

    ausien Active Member

    I recently won/perchaced two 70 ton ore trucks for A$13.50 - A$15.80. as I was told that they were discontinued and were scarce, (I wanted/needed 10) three days after I recieved them in the post, I went into a new HS(not so local) and he had a box of them for $11.95 ea I got the remaining 8 in quick order.
    so I just goes to show you, not to believe every thing your told, but I still like E-Bay, and buy/bid there.But to get back to the question, WHY people pay more, I have seen it in other auctions (bid, pay, take it away) they just go crazy, I have no other explenation..have a good one ..steve
  9. mhdishere

    mhdishere Member

    That's not the price it was listed for, that was the price it SOLD for. I don't recall what the kit costs from WS, but let's say it's $16, it was listed for $8, sold for $25. I was tempted to order a bunch of them from WS and sell them on e-bay for a substantial profit.
  10. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

  11. spitfire

    spitfire Active Member

    There's a lot of eBay hype over things being "rare" that actually are nothing of the kind sometimes. When shopping for anything, you should do some homework first and find out what the item is actually worth.

    Those overpriced items are just proof that not enough people follow this rule. :rolleyes:

  12. Dave Farquhar

    Dave Farquhar Member

    I think a lot of people also don't know about the discount retailers online. Just as there are people who have their radio dial set to their favorite AM talk station and the dial hasn't moved in 20 years, some people don't seem to venture much past their ISP's home page, their e-mail, and Ebay.

    Listing and re-listing items at prices that aren't likely to sell is also a tactic some people use for advertising. You list the item hoping people will click on it and see the link to your store (whether it's on or off Ebay), then click there to see what else you've got. It may be cheaper to pay Ebay the 25 cents to list the item than it is to pay Google or Yahoo for clicks (and you can be certain you won't fall victim to click fraud), and it almost certainly gets you a different audience. And if someone buys the item for more than retail, well, darn, time to re-list the item so people can find your shop again, but hey, hopefully you made enough extra on the sale to make it worth your while to do so.

    I read a book by a professional Ebayer who says to list all of your items *low* instead of high (you'll get more clicks that way). I wouldn't know; I haven't tried it.
  13. fastlane

    fastlane New Member

    I save alot of money on some higher price items on ebay. $125 per box of Atlas flex track. Cornerstone buildings at 1/3 to 1/2 price of LHS. Saved avg.over $40 on more than 40 Atlas Masters locos. Thats a lot of money to buy more toys! All the little items I get at LHS.
  14. Pitchwife

    Pitchwife Dreamer

    The secret of ebay is to do your homework. If I see something that I would like to have I first check out what it is going for on the market in general. I don't have a LHS either, but I do have a long list of online retailers and can usually find the item listed at one of them. The only reason I can figure out why people pay so much more for things than what they are worth is that they have more money than reason. :rolleyes: We should all be so lucky. :D :D
  15. eBay has become a victim of its own success. While there are bargains and hard-to-find items posted, the MRR categories are crowded with list price items, too. If you look under 'HO Scale' for 'red caboose', you'll see listings posted by a hobby shop selling Red Caboose R-T-R freight cars at list price. The advent of 'eBay Stores', where a seller can set up a 'buy-it-now' listing area, has really created a large number of LHS operators turning to eBay to augment their brick-and-mortar business. Unfortunately, the pricing isn't competitive many times and, as mentioned before, buyers go elsewhere. There are some manufacturers that sell directly on eBay, Tichy for example. I can't get Tichy kits at my LHS, so I buy direct and at a good price. Don't write eBay off...I've bought locos, kits, decals, and parts...hard to find fair prices. Buyers have to understand that there are many different selling operations going on at the same time. Just cruise the categories and do searches for the stuff you're interested in every other day or so. You'll get the idea. :p
  16. Freelancer

    Freelancer Member

    I saw something very interesting happen just a while ago. I was watching a Spectrum 2-8-0 starting at $50. At the end of the auction no one had bid on it and the item was relisted again for $50, once again no one bid on it and it was then relisted at $35. I continued watching it and the winning bid ended up being $100. Now isn't that something? I bet the buyer would really be kicking themselves if they had of known that they had two chances before to get it for half of the price they paid for it if only they had of bid on the item earlier. I just find that is weird!

    I have noticed this kind of action quite a bit, one item will go pretty cheap and then another just like it will end up costing an arm and a leg. Anywho, that is just my observation.

  17. Pitchwife

    Pitchwife Dreamer

    It all depends on who is looking at that particular time. What is strange is when there are two of the same items listed at the same time, one getting several bids and the other not getting any. Remember the ebay motto: if you don't get it this time just wait, there will be another one up for auction in a day or two. :D

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