EBay Observations

I’m pretty much on Ebay everyday following the market in Vintage Bulova and Antique Bulova Watches. Lately there’s been a relatively new crop of sellers who consistently seem to get way too much for their watches. While prices can vary greatly for watches on EBay when there is a pattern that emerges for a particular seller the logical conclusion is that something is “rotten in Denmark”. Prices can be artificially inflated through the use of shill bidding. When one looks at the bid history and sees large amounts of incremental bids “pushing” up the price with the user doing the incremental bidding never winning an auction, that’s probably shill bidding. Another technique employed is posting a misleading description header. A classic example is calling a watch 14K gold in the header and then in the description revealing that the watch is 14K gold plated. While the argument will be made that indeed the seller has revealed the true gold content of the watch in the description what’s really happening here is some buyers are blinded by the 14K gold in the header and wrongly believe that the watch is solid gold and bid accordingly. When we see a seller do this time and time again and get solid gold prices for a gold plated watch the conclusion must be drawn that there is fraud going on here. Keep this in mind if you are looking to bid on a watch. There are a lot of honest sellers out there, but there are also a few “rotten apples”. They know who they are(and couldn’t care less).

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