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HP Forum Archive 13

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Can we bring ebay prices down ?
Message #1 Posted by Renato on 12 Aug 2003, 2:16 a.m.


Even if the first bid is very low, just keep your faith and do not bid.

I have been trying to do this for some months.

Can we all do it for a couple of months ?

Re: Can we bring ebay prices down ?
Message #2 Posted by Juergen (CH) on 12 Aug 2003, 5:33 a.m.,
in response to message #1 by Renato

Don't think it will work. They are too many people interested in HP handhelds on eBay. If you look for cheap calcs ask your friends, your coworkers, etc. The more people know of your hobby the greater will be the chance to get HP calcs for reasonable prices (or even for free).

Regards, Juergen

the only way is auction sniping
Message #3 Posted by Norm on 12 Aug 2003, 6:03 a.m.,
in response to message #2 by Juergen (CH)

Renato --

Auctions are problematic because some people do not concentrate on fair/value/market pricing. Instead they think they are playing a game of ping-pong, and whatever the existing bid is, they go higher. They don't concentrate up front and decide on a fair price, they just keep entering numbers as they go, always trying to outbid. It is like they think they are hiking up the side of a mountain, instead of evaluating the fair price of something.

The only way around this is auction sniping. You either bid low, or not bid at all. Let the other guy think he won the auction. Then enter your final bid price a few seconds before the auction closes.

If everybody auction sniped, instead of being a game of ping-pong, it just becomes a voting system.... everybody enters a value they think it is worth, and high-entry takes the item.

Auction sniping is problematic because you have to enter that true final bid in the last 5-10 seconds, and sometimes you miss, so then you lose entirely.

I have been very happy with an automatic auction sniping service, of which there are several. People on this board pointed me towards:

I can't see any other way to "bring eBay prices down". It is not a cure, but it DEFINITELY helps, and quite a lot . :o)

Acution sniping software
Message #4 Posted by Mike on 12 Aug 2003, 10:55 p.m.,
in response to message #3 by Norm

Is completely unnecessary, unless you can't be there in person. The software does not help you beat another in-person sniper.

Simple rule of auctions: Highest bid wins. Just pick your bid and bid at the last second. If you lose, oh well, you didn't want to pay higher. If you win, you most likely will get it at a lower price than you expected.

free auction sniping
Message #5 Posted by Clive Marner on 12 Aug 2003, 7:31 a.m.,
in response to message #2 by Juergen (CH)

I agree with Norm. I try never to get into a bidding war on an item because the moment you do the final price will be more than you want to pay. I've used sniping services a lot - auctionsniper is very good but you can only use it so much before you have to start paying. There is another site I've used which you never have to pay for - I think it's but I can't check at work because everything to do with auctions is blocked! They do have a premium service which you pay for, but if your happy with 10 second sniping then it's completely free.

Conversely, I would encourage everyone to get into bidding wars on all my items ...

Re: free auction sniping
Message #6 Posted by on 12 Aug 2003, 8:41 a.m.,
in response to message #5 by Clive Marner provide a sniper publix boxn, that let you snipe one auction at a time. Though 6 seconds is not always good : i've been sniped in the meantime on a complete 65 for $ 185... quite cheap !

Waste of money
Message #7 Posted by Mike on 12 Aug 2003, 10:58 p.m.,
in response to message #5 by Clive Marner

Paying for sniping service is a waste of money. There are always in-person snipers and software does not help you beat those.

For instance, I always bid my maximum bid in the last seconds. If someone outbids me, they pay too much (based on what I believe it's worth). No auction software can beat that. They might win, but they pay more than I would have paid and they can have it at that price.

Re: Can we bring ebay prices down ?
Message #8 Posted by Patrick on 12 Aug 2003, 3:11 p.m.,
in response to message #1 by Renato

I think this question is motivated by a belief that the prices on eBay are somehow "inflated". I totally disagree with this notion. To me, the prices on eBay are almost by definition the true market value of these items. Other than needing access to the internet, there are few restrictions on who can buy and who can sell there. If this does not result in "true market value" then what does?

However, to answer the question asked, it is only the market as a whole that can influence prices. The people who visit this forum are significant part of that market but by no means the majority, I suspect. Even if you manage to get a bunch of people here to bid lower or bid less often or refusing to snipe, what I think will happen is that the people who don't participate in this effort will start to win items (marginally) cheaper. The people who do participate in the experiment won't win many auctions at all and will be in pretty much the same boat they're in now.

Re: Can we bring ebay prices down ?
Message #9 Posted by David Smith on 12 Aug 2003, 4:47 p.m.,
in response to message #8 by Patrick

The people who visit this forum tend to bid very reasonable amounts for machines... typically the low side of average. It is the newbie, uninformed, or desparate people who tend to bid those really high prices. And it takes two of them at the same time and place to make that Ebay magic happen... all too often though.

Re: Can we bring ebay prices down ?
Message #10 Posted by Patrick on 12 Aug 2003, 7:25 p.m.,
in response to message #9 by David Smith

I'm not sure how you know how the people on this forum bid. I would imagine that there are people here of a vast variety of means and values who bid altogether differently from one another -- just like the rest of the world.

But even if you are right, even if it is the newbie, uninformed or desperate who bid "high" prices, it makes no difference. Those people are part of the free market, just like everybody else, and their contributions help to set the "market price", and always will. It's not like there is another eBay-like place out there where newbies don't go and where the items are therefore more affordable. This is it, folks. This is the free market system.

Let's also remember that the people who bid those so-called high numbers generally pay for their items. What is perceived as a lamentable unaffordability of these items by buyers like you and me, are a corresponding financial boon to the good folks selling these items. Many of them also have kids to feed, I suspect.

Re: Can we bring ebay prices down ?
Message #11 Posted by David Smith on 13 Aug 2003, 4:14 p.m.,
in response to message #10 by Patrick

The regular people here are a fairly small and chummy community. We know each other fairly well, often trade and correspond with each other, know Ebay user names, and very often bid against each other.

No, it's not a true market.
Message #12 Posted by on 13 Aug 2003, 6:43 a.m.,
in response to message #8 by Patrick

... at least for HP calcs.

Ebay is the bets place to sell and the worst place to buy.

Since there at the same time is a very limited supply of calculators and that the auction system make lots of buyers bid on the same item, you often switch from a true market to an oligopolistic and often monopolistic market where prices are inflated.

Then where?
Message #13 Posted by Patrick on 15 Aug 2003, 2:36 a.m.,
in response to message #12 by

Ok, so point me at the place where I can go -- mark you -- where I can go -- that is more representative of a true market.

I emphasize that it must be possible for me to go there and to do so at a very reasonable cost. There's no point to me or to anyone else if there's a market in some place that costs me a great deal of money and/or effort to use. I'm not going to spend thousands of dollars in travel costs or in my time to save a small percentage on items costing a few hundred.

I'm sorry, I just don't get it. You can't argue that eBay is somehow biased towards sellers unless you have something else to compare it to that has similar mass market appeal and availability and does not have that bias.

I'd be very happy if you were to prove me wrong. Then I wouldn't have to spend so much money pursuing my geekish hobby!

Of course, if you were able to do this, everybody on eBay would flock there and the same situation would soon develop there as is now the case on eBay.

What if we just try to see what happens ?
Message #14 Posted by Renato on 12 Aug 2003, 4:54 p.m.,
in response to message #1 by Renato

Lets just not bid against anyone for a few months. This HP activity is for fun. If the prices do not go skyhigh, we will have more fun.

What will happen if this does not work ? We will not get some calculators for a few months.

What if it works ? We will get cheaper calculators for some time.

Let me play devil's advocate
Message #15 Posted by Mike on 12 Aug 2003, 11:01 p.m.,
in response to message #14 by Renato

Let's assume we played your game. Let's assume prices came down. (it won't; but let's assume)

When do we all start to bid again?

Who gets the items at bargain prices in the meantime?

When we all start to bid again, against each other, the prices will rise again? And those that didn't play your game, got some bargains, while we forced the price back up for ourselves, when we start again.

No thanks!

Message #16 Posted by Renato on 13 Aug 2003, 1:10 a.m.,
in response to message #1 by Renato

Enough spanking ... I quit.

Ok - wait for me . Ive just reloaded my auctionsniper account. Bidders beware !


Re: Ouch!
Message #17 Posted by Patrick on 13 Aug 2003, 2:15 a.m.,
in response to message #16 by Renato

Way to go, Renato! Snipe away!

You see how the free market works? Any "plan" to thwart true market value is overcome by other market forces (i.e., the rest of us :-), thereby forcing true-market behaviour on the would-be planner.

Re: Can we bring ebay prices down ?
Message #18 Posted by Victor Koechli on 13 Aug 2003, 8:54 a.m.,
in response to message #1 by Renato

IMHO, no, we can't, at least not significantly, because there will always be people who don't play your game and continue bidding, also against each other.

I have tried to bring Picasso (insert you favorite artist here) prices down this way, with no success :-(( If everybody wants to have something, the ones who will spend the most money for something will get it.

That said, and referring to an earlier post where I thought out loud about starting collecting something else (not being serious, of course), statistical fluctuations are there and will sometimes allow you to get a calculator at a reasonable price even if they are usually waaay to expensive.

Cheers, Victor

Re: Not a good idea!
Message #19 Posted by gifron on 13 Aug 2003, 1:54 p.m.,
in response to message #1 by Renato

Whether it would work, or not, is one issue. The real issue though is that this is ILLEGAL bid rigging. I'm not talking about "eBay illegal." This is real, "Sheriff at your door at supper time" illegal... In the US anyway.

Re: Difference between boycott and Bid rigging
Message #20 Posted by Ron Ross on 13 Aug 2003, 2:28 p.m.,
in response to message #19 by gifron

I believe that boycotting is legal, Bid Rigging is not. And there is a difference. How one accomplishes the feat determines whether it is legal or illegal.

What is really proposed here, regardless of what they call it, is boycotting. Bid rigging really only takes place in closed sealed bids. Everyone is in on the scam and one person is predetermined to be the high bidder. Bid Rigging.

This group is really advocating a boycott (which is totally within the whole groups rights). But as has been mentioned earlier, is that this will be an ineffective and probably counter productive endever. It may depress a few auctions, by allowing those not participating or even ignorant of this groups efforts to purchase some calculators below the present market value.

I foresee the new Hp's will depress the market somewhat. How? Because some less knowledgable consumers (maybe smarter! 8o)) will wait until the newer and improved RPN's come out so they won't have to buy the outdated and discontinued JUNK! There are engineers who just have to have an RPN calculator and when their ONE and only breaks, they jump in and buy the first one available when they can't find Hp at the local store and also find HP no longer even makes. These guys need a tool now and cannot afford to bargain shop. That is why I believe Hp32s and Hp42s (and older Hp10c series calculators as well) are usually so high. Collectors have to fight over these as well, but these models might actually be much more common than a 21s, 22s or 27s which typically bring less.

Pioneer Prices
Message #21 Posted by Randy Sloyer on 13 Aug 2003, 6:22 p.m.,
in response to message #20 by Ron Ross

The 21s, 22s and 27s are of course algebraic. IMO, only the collectors and a few dedicated users buy them. It's not that their prices are low, they are probably just about right. Saw a nice 22S go last week for <$70.

Its that huge pool of everyday RPN users driving up the prices on the 32S and 42S machines. When someone plunks down $250 for a dented 42S, that ain't no collector.

$600 for a NIB 15C is another story...

Re: Not a good idea!
Message #22 Posted by David Smith on 13 Aug 2003, 4:09 p.m.,
in response to message #19 by gifron

If you read the Ebay fine print you will find that they are technically NOT an auction! They are a name-your-price service. That way they don't need auction licenses in every state/country that they deal in. Auction bid rigging laws don't seem to apply.

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