Nick Mango

Jun 7, 2009

Ebay Listing Theory

I thought I would throw out some more ideas I've had for ebay. This one is about listing items. Now I have to be honest about something before I start, I never list items on ebay. So my theories are based on the tendencies of the buyers. Which I believe is the most important thing to consider when listing.
Firstly, when I see listings of say 20 or more records by one person, the listing usually ends with the most valuable record. Reason is people like to leave the excitement of that record till the end. It's like a freakin orgasm for them or something. It's like "squeezing" in gambling. Players like the anticipation of their hole cards. They look at parts of the cards, think about what the card could be, then look. It's exciting. Money is exciting. And this rush, this excitement, is more powerful than logic. I think people should list the most important and expensive items first, not last. Here are my reasons:
1. You don't want the people that have just enough money(or close to enough money) to spend on the record, to get all caught up in another record that you're selling. Think about this. You, as a collector, have certain tastes. If you're selling a whole bunch of records, it's conceivable to think that all these records will generally be the same. They will probably all be records that you've started to dislike and have decided to get rid of, or they'll all be records that you sort of like, but could use the cash. And obviously, they could all be records you love, but the rent is due. Either way, they're probably all records that belong in the same collection. Hell, they were all in your collection! Therefore why would you let bidders watch other records, that they probably like, end before the most important record? It's too dangerous. They could bid on them, get a little out of control, spend more than they want, then put a reduced bid in for the important record. As a seller you must remember this, it only takes 2 maniacs to get an auction to go nuclear. So don't fuck with these 2 guys. They have the money, now let them bid without concern of other items.
2. What about the guy with more than enough money for the big item? You don't want to mess with that guy either. Think about this. The guy has the money, so why put the big item last? There's a chance he might just hold out for the last item and not bid at all on the others. He's got the money, so let him go after the big item first. Now you might be saying to yourself, "Hey why do we care that this guy will hold out, but not the guy in #1?" Because this guy is a real player. The guy in #1 is not going to make the record go nuclear. There's a million of guy #1. There's only a few #2s. Moving on from that silly question, 5 things could happen to this guy(#2). One, he could win the item for about what he expected, and then bid on other items. Two, he could pay more for the item then expected, but he's the guy with the money, so he'll probably be involved in other items anyway. Three, he pays a lot less than he thought he would, nows he's got tons of money to spend, and a lot of records, that he probably likes, to spend it on. Four, he wins the item and doesn't bid on anything else. Soooo how would listing it last help you? And finally Five, he gets beaten by an even bigger player, goes nuts on the other items because he has the money, and is possibly pissed off to no end that there's an even bigger gorilla biscuits nerd than him.
3. What about buzz? You say, "I want to generate some real excitement for bidders by putting all the cheapers items first. People will look at my other auctions, see the big item, tell their friends, annnndddd nuclear." This is a sound theory. And I believe in a vacuum, where this theory was the only theory that made a difference, it would probably be the correct one. But here's my devil's advocate alternative theory. Your items will most likely be 7 day auctions. They'll all be ending at close to the same time. Not many people are going to separate the big items from the pack by a day or two when listing. That's what it would take to create the buzz you want. A few hours will not make any difference when it comes to buzz. No one is going to have the chance to get anyone excited in 3 hours. The excitement builds in the 6 days 21 hours prior to the difference in time between auctions. Another thing. The big item is searched for by collectors. Guys that spend money are always hunting that whale. If they're smart, as well as crazy, they have an RSS feed for the listing. There will be no need to generate buzz. The buzz will be there. Not only that, but don't expect the people that are real, or even semi, players to tell a single fucking soul about the auction. You'll never catch me saying anything to anyone, besides my brother, about an auction I plan to win. The most excited people have their lips sealed.
4. You want buzz? Buzz is created when a big record goes for 30% more than expected. People are going to be watching that item. People that wish they could have it. They see it go for big bucks and they get charged up. And when bidders get charged up, they spend money. They think someone knows something they don't. The second worst auction feeling in the world, is missing an auction because you were too stupid to realize it's value. People know this, and they want to make sure they don't screw up.
I have a few more reasons as to why the big item should be the first one, but seriously, I don't need to prove to anyone that I'm a bigger loser than them. So going on and on like this, will just reinforce the facts, that have already shown, my complete lack of a life.
p.s. The worst feeling is when you pay a retarded amount for a record because you think you know something others do not. This usually happens with "Buy it Nows", never ever click that button, it's deadly.

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