Re: More ebay

1

I think some of that is amateur listings: I cleaned out my closet and hey! might as well make some money off of this stuff! And so I put up my random crap on eBay. Like that Gap shirt I bought a few years ago and have only worn twice. I don't know how to price it, the pictures aren't very good, I don't know how to make it show up in a lot of searches, and I have little if any feedback as a seller. I'm lucky I included "Gap" and "a-line" in the title, because now some math professor in TX found my listing, at least.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 04- 1-15 7:19 AM
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2

but aren't you glad I didn't link Slate again?

No. #slatepitch


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 1-15 7:24 AM
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3

I think it's market saturation plus people thinking that if it's priced really cheap it must be crap. Also Econ 101 is contains a great deal of rubbish if the people citing it all over the place are anything to go by. This does not include present company, naturally.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04- 1-15 7:31 AM
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4

I wonder about this backpack. Is it full of drugs or something?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 1-15 7:32 AM
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5

This seemed like a better post idea two paragraphs ago, but aren't you glad I didn't link Slate again?

No, but I'm glad you didn't say "banana".


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04- 1-15 7:35 AM
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A lot of 1 and 3, but also: listings don't last forever*, which means that a buyer needs to find you during a relatively limited window. Which is to say, basically, it's still not the frictionless marketplace of Econ 101, which means that finding $5 on the sidewalk shouldn't be at all unlikely.

*is there automatic re-listing? There is, but maybe not for an indefinite number of times. Anyway, any given listing generally has an end date.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04- 1-15 8:36 AM
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7

Some people seem to re-set their end date for another 30 days out, any time it gets close. Others automatically re-list items. I think it's got essentially indefinite shelf life.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 1-15 8:39 AM
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8

I think you need to consider the type of item that's being purchased and the pricing sensibilities of the seller.

For instance, people often start used Gap shirts pretty high, but Gap has a lot of sales. If someone expects me to pay $15 for a used Gap shirt but I can get a newer Gap shirt for $25 if I play my hand right, that's not a great incentive. Also - and this is speculation based on comparison to the sales of Old Navy shirts - I think that the Gap shirts most likely to be sold on eBay are either from the factory store (and tend to be cut weirdly, as I've discovered to my sorrow) or the most generic and unappealing ones.

Old Navy shirts tend to have much lower starting prices (you rarely see a Gap shirt start at 99 cents, for example) and there's a greater variety related to what's on the ON website, plus Old Navy does not have as deep discounts. So while you'll rarely see one of the "this sold out really fast" Gap shirts on eBay, you will often see gently used but really popular Old Navy shirts, and the price will run up to ~$15.

I also surmise that people who shop at the Gap are richer and don't need to sell their clothes as often, but also expect more money when they do sell their clothes. (Whereas if you're broke, every little tiny sale helps.)

Also, ON shirts tend to be cut more loosely while Gap is both tighter and less consistent, so if you're buying an ON shirt with size but no measurements, the worst that's going to happen is that it will be too big.

I assume that this type of issue carries over to other brands and items.

(I recently started lifting weights, and unlike all my friends, I did not immediately lose lots of weight and get smaller; instead, my body reconfigured slightly (shaplier ankles and knees! slightly flatter stomach!) and everything that did not reconfigure enlarged, so my shirts are all too tight in the arms now and even my pants, though fine in the waist, are giving me trouble due to...ahem...glutes. So I have a lot of recent experience of buying shirts on eBay.)


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 04- 1-15 9:08 AM
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I have the too-tight in the arms thing! For the first time. But not the bulging glutes thing. I think I'm slightly less tragically pancake-butt, though.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 1-15 9:11 AM
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10

Maybe I can talk about exercising in every thread.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 1-15 9:12 AM
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11

40% off!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 1-15 9:13 AM
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12

11 is wow.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 04- 1-15 10:05 AM
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13

That seller is your go-to source for astonishingly expensive haute couture mens' clothing.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 1-15 10:15 AM
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14

I remember with great nostalgia when you used to be able to find mid century furniture for cheap on eBay.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 04- 1-15 12:52 PM
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15

14: Most of the things I buy on eBay are pretty stable in price so I don't have that feeling, but I remember with great nostalgia the time when you used to be able to find affordable mid-century furniture at Saver's. Or hell, any furniture at all that wasn't broken down Ikea. Where are they selling all the used furniture now, anyway? Or is everyone too poor to get rid of things?

Also, I remember with great nostalgia the time when it was possible to find actual vintage clothing at the thrift store, especially the day I found a 1950s duchesses satin Dior cocktail dress for $5.99.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 04- 1-15 1:54 PM
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Also, I remember with great nostalgia the time when it was possible to find actual vintage clothing at the thrift store . . .

Heh, that makes me think of the William Gibson article on ebay from 1999 (Wired magazine!) which opens with this paragraph:

When I was a young man, traversing the '70s in whatever post-hippie, pre-slacker mode I could manage, I made a substantial part of my living, such as it was, in a myriad of minuscule supply-and-demand gaps that have now largely closed. I was what antique dealers call a "picker," a semi-savvy haunter of Salvation Army thrift shops, from which I would extract objects of obscure desire that I knew were up-marketable to specialist dealers, who sold in turn to collectors. To this day I am often unable to resist a professionally quick, carefully dispassionate scan over the contents of any thrift shop, though I almost never buy anything there. Mainly because the cut-rate treasures, the "scores" of legend, are long gone. The market has been rationalized. We have become a nation, a world, of pickers.

Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 04- 1-15 2:00 PM
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17

John Fahey also supported himself that way, finding and reselling rare LPs.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04- 1-15 2:04 PM
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18

I am part owner of a small retail music store. We had some inventory that was not moving so we listed it on Ebay at a very low price and it did not sell. Then we increased the price substantially and the item sold almost immediately.


Posted by: AB | Link to this comment | 04- 1-15 7:43 PM
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I think some people put a minimum price on searches so they eliminate scams and low quality stuff, but also possibly miss out on good deals.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04- 1-15 7:56 PM
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I have often remarked that abeomA would do well to just put the better half on retainer. He aims to break even on acquisition / disposition of recordings but thanks to our friends in the Haight has been running a surplus.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 04- 1-15 9:45 PM
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Oh, when the nation was rich and the thrifts lush. I used to get shattering silk 50s dresses and Frankenstein them together and it was *excellent*.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 04- 1-15 10:05 PM
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re: 15.last

Same applies to LPs. The big UK charity shops now value their stuff, so you don't get things any cheaper than you would at a commercial 2nd hand record shop. Crate digging isn't really the same as it once was.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04- 1-15 11:30 PM
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16: I have a friend who makes her living doing more or less that. The trick is estate sales and garage sales rather than thrift stores.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04- 2-15 5:07 AM
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I knew a grad student in sociology who dropped out of school when he found that he could make a living out of buying stuff at garage and estate sales and resellling it on ebay. That was in the early days of ebay.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04- 2-15 6:39 AM
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25

Right, but nobody on a path for a real job would make that move.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04- 2-15 7:06 AM
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26

My neighbourhood in London is pretty good for this - I attribute this to at least one dandyish banker type who regularly offloads stuff into the Cancer Research shop.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 04- 2-15 7:13 AM
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