Explain purpose of auction reserve


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moewadle
August 11, 2009, 12:12 AM
I have not yet figured out the reason for reserve on gun auctions. Maybe it should be obvious but not to me. The beginning or minimum bid on a gun today on Gunbroker was $200. So, I bid slightly over that amount and got a robo-message that my bid was high bid but did not meet the reserve. I bid $250 and got the same and when I got the same with a $275 bid I stopped as I did not want to pay more than that for the gun...at least not right now. So, the reserve has not been met and the bid is at $275. Why doesn't the seller simply move the minimum bid to what he/she wants minimum? So, will someone explain? Thank you.

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Six
August 11, 2009, 12:18 AM
To get people interested at a low starting bid, then they feel like it's "their" item and when someone else bids, they counter...

If they'd started the auction at $275, you might not have bid at all.

As it is, it seems it worked fairly well, for them.

Impureclient
August 11, 2009, 12:18 AM
It's a game. You start the bid low to entice and people keep on bidding up til they feel uncomfortable as you did. When you see others bidding then you "want" it more. It works on some....Apparently not on us.

mljdeckard
August 11, 2009, 12:35 AM
The seller does have the option of accepting your offer anyway.

mljdeckard
August 11, 2009, 12:36 AM
Are you......buying a gun ......on the internet?

Impureclient
August 11, 2009, 12:50 AM
mljdeckard is right....I think that's illegal
Forget I said anything also , I don't want no part in illegal activities.
Oh yeah that hasn't happened "yet." Well maybe if there's a second term.
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:D

AR-15Nutt
August 11, 2009, 01:05 AM
moewadle says, "Why doesn't the seller simply move the minimum bid to what he/she wants minimum?"

i am with you all the way on that my friend, when i get one of those LIES in my bidding i just quit and consider the seller a disingenuous, two faced SOB.

mljdeckard
August 11, 2009, 01:08 AM
It's perfectly legal, check out auctionarms.com and gunbroker.com. I just think that they exist for the same reason as Ebay motors. If you have an item you can't sell through regular channels, (BECAUSE THERE'S SOMETHING WRONG WITH IT) sell it on the internet.

ThrottleJockey72
August 11, 2009, 01:34 AM
just give me the "buy it now" price and I'll decide from there.

jakemccoy
August 11, 2009, 01:35 AM
One time, I emailed the seller (Ebay item) and asked him for the reserve price so that I could go ahead and bid there. He gave it to me. The price was OK for me. So, I started there. I don't like playing grab ass with a stranger. If I'm in an auction, I usually know my maximum bid. So, I'll put that in there too and let the auction run its course. The max bid feature prevents me from making an emotional decision near the end of the auction. Ebay has had this highly useful feature on the auctions I've been in there. I don't know about Gunbroker.

scottaschultz
August 11, 2009, 02:17 AM
While gunbroker can not stop you from putting a reserve on an item, they do advise against it since they get a lot of complaints.

Scott

DHJenkins
August 11, 2009, 09:20 AM
Auction reserves are nothing new. They happen at live auctions, silent auctions & on-line auctions.

As someone stated, it is sort of a game. As silly as it sounds, a lot of people don't like to jump in with both feet on their first bid. I've seen it time and time again at live auctions. An item that eventually sold for $500 would have a hard time even getting a starting bid of $250, until the auctioneer lowered the starting price down to say, $50; then everyone starts bidding.

The reserve serves as a safety net, though it's a little redundant to have a 'normal' starting price *and* a reserve.

gbw
August 11, 2009, 09:51 AM
I'm with the OP. Secret reserves are silly and I never bid on items that have them.

I also don't bid unless I have the sellers' statement in writing that there is an inspection/return period. Often they won't say in the posting, so you must ask. It's better too if you explain clearly, exactly what is unsatisfactory to you and what is acceptable. For example I don't tolerate any form of rust damage. Be sure to do all of your communicating through the auction site, then there is a record of it.

All of this still doesn't guarantee a prefect transaction, but it goes a long way toward one. Honest sellers don't mind, and they will describe items accurately and permit an inspection / return privledge. You'll probably have to pay shipping both ways if the item is unsatisfactory. This is unusual for honest sellers.

If they say "as is, no inspection / return allowed" I presume the item is unsatisfactory one way or another and they know it - they can keep it.

MisterMike
August 11, 2009, 10:13 AM
My dad was an auctioneer for decades and it's interesting to see the psychology of bidders at work. Let's say the true value of an item was $50. My dad would typically throw out an opening bid at that number or above. Sometimes someone would bite, but most likely, he would drop it down to a bargain number. Hands shot up: $5 . . . $10 . . . $25 . . . .

Once the bidders were hooked and had an emotional investment in the item being sold, the market value was quickly reached, and often exceeded. For some, it became a question of "Gosh, that's the prettiest vase I've ever seen. I love it. I won't ever let that other SOB (the other bidder) get it."

It was a thing of beauty to watch. Over the years I got to see my dad and a lot of other great auctioneers at work. They're master salesmen . . . and showmen.

Anyway, that's all the reserve function does--it allows a seller to generate interest in an item by starting the bidding low without the risk of losing his shirt. If you don't like it, the answer is easy--don't bid!

ezypikns
August 11, 2009, 10:46 AM
I've been satisfied (or happy) with all of those purchases.

But,

I never bid in an auction. I strictly do the "Buy it Now" thing. Only very rarely do I find a good deal (and not nearly so often these days), but when I do, I'll pay just a bit more to get what I want without having to get in a bidding war.

Most "Buy it Now" prices are insanely high, but sometimes the variation is not so much. That's when I'll jump.

How many times have you seen a below average firearm go for a ridiculous bid because two or more idiots just have to beat the other guy?

22-rimfire
August 11, 2009, 11:04 AM
The reserve price is the hidden minimum price the selling party will accept. I also find reserves frustrating as you have no idea what the reserve price is unless you call the seller. (Some sellers will tell you what the reserve price is.) Sometimes they will list an item at an above market price just to see if there is any interest. The seller may in fact undervalue an item personally and discovers that an item will sell at their above market price. Just depends on the experience of the seller and how may bidders there may be. For me, if I bid a couple of times and get the "bid price is below the reserve price", I tend to loose interest unless the item is really special for some reason.

Pyzon
August 11, 2009, 11:05 AM
It seems to me that Gunbroker is getting to be a lot like eBay. With all the reserves and minimum bids and buy-it-now BS it's just a retail store instead of an auction. Have you noticed how few guns actually change hands with the ridiculous pricing structures ? You'll even see guns relisted for 10 times or more with the same stupid restrictions every time. Auction sites should charge a realistic listing fee that applies whether the item sells or not and some of these clowns might figure out that nobody is going to pay retail and then some. But, on the other hand, a lot of the listings are from gun stores that use the GB listings as free advertising of what they have on hand and disclose that the items may not be available for purchase if sold in the store before an acceptable bid is received.

I find myself going to GB (and eBay) less all the time.

kilo729
August 11, 2009, 11:07 AM
It's perfectly legal, check out auctionarms.com and gunbroker.com. I just think that they exist for the same reason as Ebay motors. If you have an item you can't sell through regular channels, (BECAUSE THERE'S SOMETHING WRONG WITH IT) sell it on the internet.

I guess that's why a lot of gun shops put their weapons up on gunbroker. :rolleyes:

snorky18
August 11, 2009, 11:26 AM
I find reserve prices annoying, but I agree that by starting the auction at a low price with a reserve people get emotionally involved and bid well past the reserve price and value, just for the sake of winning.

To keep myself from getting emotionally involved in such things, I generally decide before bidding what my max price is, put that in, let the computer bid for me, and don't bid again. After it's over check and see if I won or not.

Otherwise if you end up getting your ego and emotions involved and you "have" to win, you end up paying $400 for a bone stock ruger 10/22. :eek:

scottaschultz
August 11, 2009, 11:33 AM
The seller does have the option of accepting your offer anyway.
The seller has no way of contacting the bidders. at least not initially. Only the bidders may contact the seller. Of course a seller can respond to the bidder at that point.

Have you noticed how few guns actually change hands with the ridiculous pricing structures ?
I have sold several shotguns on Gunbroker. They were all listed for 14 days. Most sold during the first 2 weeks and the longest time it took to sell one was on the third renewal.

Scott

deadin
August 11, 2009, 11:45 AM
MisterMike has posted a very good description of one of the reasons for reserves. Another has described that it is a test of the market. If I just start an auction at $500 and nobody bids, all I have learned is that the item probably isn’t worth $500 at this time. If I set a $500 reserve and a low starting price, many times the bidding will get to the level of what the market is currently. I then have the choice of selling, relisting at that level or just deciding it is worth more to me and keeping it. (The “safety net” option.)

Reserves don’t bother me. I just bid what I’m willing to pay. If my bid doesn’t reach the reserve, so what? No angst, no second guessing, I just move on. The only reason I can see for wanting to “know” the reserve is if I would consider bidding more than my original bid and that would mean I didn’t bid what I was willing to pay in the first place. (and I would fall into the trap described by Mister Mike.)

Concerning the high prices being seen on the net, I think a lot of it is sellers going out and searching like items and listing theirs at the top prices they find without paying any attention as to whether the item actually sold at those prices or were just the wishful thinking of the seller.
I too would like to see the auctions put a fee of some sort on relistings. Something like free for the first one, then say a $1.00 for the third, $2.00 for the next, $3.00 next and so on. Maybe this would cull out some of the dross that is just taking up space. It would also generate more money and maybe allow for a reduction in the final value fees. (Just dreaming.;))

MarineOne
August 11, 2009, 12:12 PM
I don't understand the fear of buying firearms online.

I bought my M1C from a seller on the website Guns America, gave him the info for my local FFL guy and had my wife pay for it while I was in Iraq.

I have a nice Plainfield that was a police purchase when new. It was test fired and put into the police armory where it sat until they sold an entire lot to the firm that I made my purchase from. I am technically the second owner and it still has grease on the inner workings from when it was made.

The stock is a little dry but some linseed oil did help, even though there is a small crack in the stock where the oiler resides when the sling is on it.

Its way better than the POS carbines that were made by Universal, and if I want to put an Ultimak rail on it I'm not ruining a piece of WWII history.

In a way, I got the best of both worlds.




Kris

jakemccoy
August 11, 2009, 01:07 PM
Another has described that it is a test of the market.

If testing the market becomes the common practice for reserves, then the bids will not be a good indication of the market value because serious bidders will not participate. At that point, using a reserve in order to "test the market" will not yield an accurate market value, and the auction will only waste the time of everybody, including seller and buyers.

bnkrazy
August 11, 2009, 01:23 PM
With all these complaints about gun auction sites, you'd have thought the FTF Finder site I built would have had a bit more interest. *shrug* I just pulled the plug on it as after about 6 months there was still only about 30 users signed up, and only a handful of items ever posted.

I never liked the reserve feature as a buyer, but I can see where it is beneficial to a seller occasionally. Overall though I think the feature is overused. I don't frequent auction sites often anyway.

deadin
August 11, 2009, 02:51 PM
because serious bidders will not participate

Change that "serious" to "bottom feeders" or "bargain hunters".
These are exactly the folks I don't want bidding on my auction in the first place, hence a "safety reserve".:p

If someone is serious about buying a gun, they will place at least one bid amounting to what they figure the gun is worth to them. If the "bargain hunters" figure that a reserve means they're not likely to get a steal, fine, go elsewhere. If I just want to get rid of my gun, I'll just take it to the local gun store and take whatever they offer. Saves me a lot of time and effort.

jakemccoy
August 11, 2009, 03:01 PM
deadin,

Regardless of how you look at it, the market value won't be accurate when fewer bidders participate due to a reserve that's known to be there for "testing the market".

Try this. Observe auctions on Ebay. You will notice that there is a feeding frenzy on an item in the last minute. If the reserve is known to be overly high, then there is no feeding frenzy because bidders know they cannot get the item. The result is a final bid that is not an accurate indication of the item's market value. More likely, there are no bids at all.

Change that "serious" to "bottom feeders" or "bargain hunters".
These are exactly the folks I don't want bidding on my auction in the first place, hence a "safety reserve".

If someone is serious about buying a gun, they will place at least one bid amounting to what they figure the gun is worth to them. If the "bargain hunters" figure that a reserve means they're not likely to get a steal, fine, go elsewhere. If I just want to get rid of my gun, I'll just take it to the local gun store and take whatever they offer. Saves me a lot of time and effort.

In your Post #20, you said that some sellers use reserve to "test the market". I was responding specifically to that. You're talking about something else in Post #24, where you're talking about using a reserve merely as a safety net for the seller.

Back to my point, bidders are not in the auction merely to reveal what they think the item is worth. If a seller is specifically "testing the market" with a high reserve and bidders catch on to the routine, then again serious bidders are not going to participate. The seller is not serious. Accordingly, the bidders won't be serious. For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

The idea of an auction is that each side is taking a calculated risk. A high reserve that's intended to "test the market" removes all risk out of the equation for the seller. The market will eventually show the seller that bidders are not going to play with a seller who is known to play that game. Heck, all you have to do is read the posts here. Bidders don't like reserves.

By the way, a serious bidder is any bidder who shows up with money and intends to buy the item.

jakemccoy
August 11, 2009, 03:33 PM
I would like to see auction sites set limitations on what can be done with a reserve. For example, make it such that the reserve can be no more than twice the minimum bid or something like that. That's fair for both sides.

kdave21
August 11, 2009, 04:20 PM
There is a lot of psychology to electioneering, and there are two sides to every issue. One thing I want to point out however, not every as-is auction is because the seller is a crook. Talk to any dealer on gunbroker who has done a lot of sales, especially older or antique guns, and you will realize there are issues you probably never even considered, i.e. dishonest buyers who like to switch out parts, etc.

deadin
August 11, 2009, 04:53 PM
jake,
If you read my responses carefully I said that I would set a reserve at a level I would be comfortable selling at, not ridiculously high (in my opinion, not yours.)
The "testing the market" was merely a secondary benefit if my reserve is too high. Besides how do you know my reserve is "too high" if nobody bids? I may have a fair reserve to protect myself and if nobody bids, they won't know that I might be willing to sell a $500 gun with only a $350 reserve. Obviously a $10 bid isn't going to make the reserve.
Just as you apparently feel that it is not worth your time to bid on a reserved item, I feel it isn't worth my time to mess around with low-ball bids. A one-time bid at your comfortable limit may not exceed the reserve, but than again it won't ever be more than the reserve unless someone else decides that bidding on a reserve auction is OK. (And it only takes a minimum of effort, unless you are susceptible to falling into bidding wars. Then all bets are off.)
Oh yeah, I only may sell 2 or 3 guns a year via auctions, so I don't think anyone is going to notice my "testing the market" with high reserves and stay away. Were I a dealer with a high volume of sales, I could afford to sell without a reserve as everything would level out in the long run. With just a few sales, I can't take the chance of a large unintended loss.
I don't always use reserves. Sometimes I just set the starting price at my minimum. I haven't really noticed a whole lot of difference either way.
I do know it doesn't make any difference to me when I'm a bidder.

A comment on "Buy it Now". I've always looked at these as the premium you pay for not having to mess around with bidding and competing with others.
I will say that if the BIN price is way out of line, I usually figure any reserve is also probably out of line.

DHJenkins
August 11, 2009, 05:00 PM
Auctions are about who wants the item more and is willing to pay for it. "Fair" doesn't even enter into it. No one is forcing anyone to participate, and it costs you nothing to bid unless you win. If you don't like the way someone does something, don't do business with them.

The idea that people are somehow entitled to a great deal is just downright silly.

deadin
August 11, 2009, 05:04 PM
For example, make it such that the reserve can be no more than twice the minimum bid or something like that. That's fair for both sides.

Who ever said that auctions had to be fair? The auction site will do whatever they can to maximize their profit. If it allows reserves in hope of encouraging bidding wars, so be it.
Want to talk about fair? How about the "15 minute Rule". This is a great benefit to the seller and the auction house, but is an absolute PITA for the bidder.
It just allows the "nibblers" (or shills) to drive the price up. It all depends on if I am bargain hunting or not on whether I will even bother to bid on one of these.

We all have our hang-ups.:D

jakemccoy
August 11, 2009, 05:12 PM
Who ever said that auctions had to be fair?

Well, it's up to the site if they want to make the auction as fair as possible. I was making a suggestion that I think would be fair. Your knee-jerk reaction is an indication that my suggestion is "fair" or close to it. If I were an auction site, I sure as heck wouldn't be advertising, "Enter at your own risk because this auction isn't going to be fair for everybody." :cool:

DHJenkins
August 11, 2009, 05:15 PM
Well, it's up to the site if they want to make the auction as fair as possible.

Why would they purposefully lose the fees generated from starting & reserve prices? They're a business, not a charity. If you don't like it, don't use it.

Live auction houses, btw, usually charge a 10% 'buyer's premium' on every sale. That's not 'fair', but it's part of the game, so you bid accordingly.

jakemccoy
August 11, 2009, 05:18 PM
DHJenkins, you came in at the tail end of a discussion I'm having with deadin. I don't understand what you're talking about. I tried though.

=====

I'm talking about "fair" as in fair rules. An example of an unfair rule is the following: Bidders are not allowed to see the current bid or minimum bid for any auction. Nobody in their right mind would look at that rule and say to themselves, "That's fair." There are many other examples. Reasonable minds should be able to be civil enough to understand that there are fair rules and unfair rules. Again, it behooves the site to make the rules as fair and reasonable as possible. If you want to come up with another word besides "fair", then have at it.

DHJenkins
August 11, 2009, 05:21 PM
Auction sites charge fees for setting reserves, so I was pointing out that it's not in the sites best interest to attempt make things "fair". Reserves have been part of auctions for a very long time, and will continue to be - online or not.

jakemccoy
August 11, 2009, 05:30 PM
Auction sites charge fees for setting reserves, so I was pointing out that it's not in the sites best interest to attempt make things "fair". Reserves have been part of auctions for a very long time, and will continue to be - online or not.

OK, I understand that. Note that you said that auction sites charge a fee for setting reserves. So actually, the site is stepping in to make things "fair". Generally, whatever is going to keep the auction site running and profitable is naturally going to be fair in the long run. The bidders won't participate in a system that they think is clearly unfair for the bidders. So, the market will decide what is fair, whether we like it or not.

scottaschultz
August 11, 2009, 07:44 PM
Auction sites charge fees for setting reserves, so I was pointing out that it's not in the sites best interest to attempt make things "fair". Reserves have been part of auctions for a very long time, and will continue to be - online or not.
Have you actually sold anything on Gunbroker? I have!

Here is their fee schedule:
Standard Fees
Insertion Fee NONE!
Registration / Membership FREE!

Optional Services
Counter $0.50
Boldface Title $1.00
Colored Title $1.00
Thumbnail Image $.25
Highlight $2.00
Featured Listing $2.95
Showcase Listing $4.95

Of course there is also a "Final Value Fee" based on the actual selling price, but there are no fees of any kind, at all, whatsoever for setting reserves... period!

As far as being fair, the post their rules and even though they are known primarily for selling firearms, no one is holding a gun to your head making you buy there!

As my ex-wife's attorney told me after my reaction to the divorce settlement, "Mr. Schultz, FAIR IS A WEATHER REPORT!"

So, the market will decide what is fair, whether we like it or not.
I fixed it for you!
So, the market will decide what is fair, whether I, Jake McCoy, like it or not.


Scott

nwilliams
August 11, 2009, 08:25 PM
The reserve serves two purposes.

One purpose of the reserve that it allows you to safely test the waters by seeing how high people are willing to bid on your item. Unlike Ebay on gunbroker you only get charged once the item sells, so you can list it as many times as you want without relisting charges. So I always list a gun and then set a ridiculous reserve and buy it now price the first time around. Once the auction ends and the item doesn't sell it gives me an idea of what people are willing to bid up to. I'll then relist the gun and adjust the reserve closer to or even meeting the highest bid amount placed on the auction the first time around.

The second purpose of the reserve is to keep you from loosing money. Never place a reserve for less than you are willing to accept for the gun being sold, unless you are really desperate to sell.

earlthegoat2
August 12, 2009, 01:30 AM
While gunbroker can not stop you from putting a reserve on an item, they do advise against it since they get a lot of complaints.

Doubt it man. Reserves make items sell for higher prices IN GENERAL and GunBroker reaps the rewards. Of course people complain. They are gun people. Gun people are without a doubt the most picky yet not specific, opinionated, hard to please, and stubborn folks out there. Naturally they are going to complain about reserves. We are talking about people who do not want the gun out of the display case because other peoples hands have touched it and it is supposed to be a new gun or that there is a used gun and there is a scratch on it so it should be even less than the used price. Then of course anything that influences price would also enrage them.

I am a bottom feeder. GunBroker is not friendly to bottom feeders. They have tools at hand that protect sellers from bottom feeders. Mainly reserves that are free, listings that are free, and any start prices that are free. Use the Advanced Search function and search for "pure auctions" (penny starts and no reserve) that is where the bottom feeders congregate. This is where you have the only chance to get a sweet deal and believe me you are not going to because everyone already knows about this.

Change that "serious" to "bottom feeders" or "bargain hunters".

Hey take it easy. I can read this too you know. ;) That is why I only bid and watch items with no reserve.

mustang_steve
August 12, 2009, 01:41 AM
Simply put....it allows a seller to find out what the community considers a fair price for it, without the risk of selling the item for less than he desired.

I dislike reserve auctions in general....I feel if someone wants to do that, just set the starting bid at the price they want in the first place.

deadin
August 12, 2009, 10:15 AM
I am a bottom feeder.

earl,
At last! An honest man willing to admit it.;):D
I am one also but I don't let a reserve keep me from posting a low-ball bid. After all, it doesn't cost me anything and only takes a few seconds of my precious time. (Cheap entertainment.)

And then there's the philosophy that you can't win the lottery without buying a ticket.

RP88
August 12, 2009, 01:46 PM
the testing the market makes sense, though. It's what i would do. It's capitalism. You don't have to buy it. And at the same time, don't expect people to just give it away to you.

On a side note: It's funny how people looking for deals whine about the market and call sellers dishonest, yet when they do come across a steal, they'll lie and/or shut up about the price and not bother to say "Oh! only ____ bucks? That's a really good price! How come you aren't selling it for ______ bucks like everyone else?"

jakemccoy
August 12, 2009, 02:07 PM
On a side note: It's funny how people looking for deals whine about the market and call sellers dishonest, yet when they do come across a steal, they'll lie and/or shut up about the price and not bother to say "Oh! only ____ bucks? That's a really good price! How come you aren't selling it for ______ bucks like everyone else?"

I do that. I'm sure there are many other gun buyers that do that too. I do it for my benefit. I would like to poke around and see if it's at a low price because something is wrong with the item. An honest seller might say something like, "I can't in good conscience sell this gun at a premium because the darn thing jams on me at least once every 100 rounds."

There's nothing unethical about realizing that it's just a business transaction. The motivation behind a pure business transaction is making money or receiving a good deal. I'm a fair, honest businessman who tries to operate always in an ethical manner. However, make no mistake that my motivation in business is to get a good deal for myself, whether I'm the buyer or the seller.

stchman
August 12, 2009, 02:56 PM
Reserve auctions are 100% completely retarded.

If you want a minimum of say $300 on an item then start the biding out at that number. Don't start it out at 1 cent or something really stupid like that.

On any auction site I do not even bother with reserve auctions. I look for some kind of buy it now type.

RP88
August 12, 2009, 05:29 PM
I do that. I'm sure there are many other gun buyers that do that too. I do it for my benefit. I would like to poke around and see if it's at a low price because something is wrong with the item. An honest seller might say something like, "I can't in good conscience sell this gun at a premium because the darn thing jams on me at least once every 100 rounds."

that is why you inspect the gun yourself. Or maybe understand that you may drop some cash for replacement of some parts, but in the long run still get a good deal or at least save a bit of cash. You can also make sure that sellers have warranties or conditions for selling damaged merchandise in case he does sell you a lemon or a busted gun.

jakemccoy
August 12, 2009, 06:08 PM
that is why you inspect the gun yourself. Or maybe understand that you may drop some cash for replacement of some parts, but in the long run still get a good deal or at least save a bit of cash. You can also make sure that sellers have warranties or conditions for selling damaged merchandise in case he does sell you a lemon or a busted gun.

I do that too, thanks for clarifying.

NC Cruffler
August 12, 2009, 08:14 PM
Prior to my tragic boating accident, a large number of my firearms had been obtained from Gunbroker (A+61 rating) or Auction Arms (100% 10 rating).
I NEVER bid in a Reserve style auction as I thought they were a waste of my time. In fact, on my feedbacks from sellers I added a comment stating "OTHER SELLERS- I do not even consider bidding on RESERVE type auctions!"
I would rather the seller put a starting price at the level he would accept for the item and let any bidders take it from there.
Dave

WardenWolf
August 12, 2009, 08:20 PM
In my personal opinion, reserve prices are dishonest. They sucker people in with a low starting bid, then go, "Oh wait, your bid wasn't good enough, even though no one else outbid you." This type of thing discourages further bidding because you're not even bidding against someone else, you're just bidding against some unknown reserve price and your bid may be artificially inflated to the max you're willing to pay even with no competition. I will never use a reserve price on any auction I make, and avoid bidding in auctions that have a reserve price unless it has already been met.

NC Cruffler
August 12, 2009, 08:26 PM
Prior to my tragic boating accident, a large number of my firearms had been obtained from Gunbroker (A+61 rating) or Auction Arms (100% 10 rating).
I NEVER bid in a Reserve style auction as I thought they were a waste of my time. In fact, on my feedbacks from sellers I added a comment stating "OTHER SELLERS- I do not even consider bidding on RESERVE type auctions!"
I would rather the seller put a starting price at the level he would accept for the item and let any bidders take it from there.
Dave

deadin
August 12, 2009, 10:02 PM
Question and a comment....................
Question:
For you reserve haters that say you will not bid on a reserve auction. Does this mean you won't bid, period, ever or you won't bid until the reserve is met by someone else.

Comment:
I hope you mean what you say and refuse to bid on anybody's auction that has the nerve to use reserves. That just make less competition for those of us that reserves don't bother.:neener:

NC Cruffler
August 13, 2009, 06:58 PM
Question:
For you reserve haters that say you will not bid on a reserve auction. Does this mean you won't bid, period, ever or you won't bid until the reserve is met by someone else.

I ignore reserve auctions that show up in my recon emails.
I now remember bidding in a single reserve auction where the reserve price was listed within the item description. Go figure.

deadin
August 13, 2009, 07:30 PM
My question is - How do you know a reserve auction has a ridiculous reserve unless you or someone else bids on it?

jakemccoy
August 13, 2009, 07:39 PM
Some people are saying that as a general principle they don't bid on auctions that have any reserve. Hey, nobody said it's fair. ;)

scottaschultz
August 13, 2009, 08:12 PM
If you won't even bid on something just because it has a reserve, then you just don't want it!

If there is something I am interested in, I do my homework to see what I think it is worth and then I set my upper limit. I put in a bid and either it works or it doesn't. I cost me $0.00 to find out. If my bid does not meet the reserve price, then obviously the seller and I do not agree on the value. I don't take it personally and I don't go around whining about how "unfair" the auction is.

The owner of the item sets the rules. As has been said so many times in this thread and as Michael Corleone said to his brother Sonny in The Godfather, "It's not personal, Sonny. It's strictly business."

Scott

jakemccoy
August 13, 2009, 08:46 PM
Hi, I have money to buy when I show up at auctions. If I see a reserve, I usually whine, kick and scream if it's something I really want, and I take it personally. I've also been known to roll around on the ground and cry for mommy. Why do sellers do that to me? They know they hold the key to my happiness. It's not fair! I won't be bidding at your auction if it has a reserve, just to spite you.

jakemccoy
August 13, 2009, 08:58 PM
Seriously, I don't bid on auctions with reserve because I have no interest in revealing value to a seller who is unwilling to reveal value to me. Yeah, by using a reserve, the seller is unwilling to reveal what the seller thinks is the value of the item. However, the seller still wants people to bid and reveal what they think the value is. If that sounds like good business dealings to you, then that's great. Go for it.

Also, I like to have more predictability. Online auctions tend to last for days. So, bidding is like having money out there in limbo. If I bid on any online auction, I really want the item, and I'm likely to outbid any other bidder. However, who knows what the reserve is? I don't have the patience to wait and figure it out. Also, why should I put my money on the line only to be subjected to an annoying, unsure situation for a few days?

I just move on. That may not sound like solid reasoning to you, but it doesn't matter because it's not your money that I'm using to bid.

moewadle
August 13, 2009, 09:36 PM
I do not like reserves because I like to know the real minimum bid that will get the item. However, I do not think a reserve is unfair or unethical and I will not refuse to bid on a reserve item just because of the reserve. I will bid on something based on how much I want it. In the case I mentioned in my OP I said I stopped at $275 and the reserve had not yet been met. Later I did go higher and surpassed the reserve of what must be $285 because that is the current high bid amount by me and now the reserve has been met. By my calculations the item should easily be worth $285 and I am not sure how much more, if any, I am willing to pay. In the meantime thanks for all your thoughts on this.

deadin
August 13, 2009, 09:47 PM
However, who knows what the reserve is? I don't have the patience to wait and figure it out.

Last time I looked you know instantly what the reserve is if you bid enough.
Next excuse?

Regardless of what some of you "bidders" feel, I'm just not enough altruistic to offer things out there for your benefit. I'm more interested in my benefit and anything I can do to protect my investment and at the same time try to encourage a bidding war, I'm all for.

Y'all must like "Buy it Now", but that's not an auction. It just a classified ad. (and usually overpriced). You talk about it being a "waste of time" to bid on a reserve. How about the time you have to spend sitting around until the end the auction to make sure that you aren't outbid? With the 15 minute rule you can't snipe, so what in the benefit of bidding your max early and letting the nibblers work on it for a week or two? By bidding your max right at the end, you have to be on line to see if you win or not. Your money is still in limbo until the auction is over unless it's a BIN. (See above)

jakemccoy
August 13, 2009, 09:58 PM
I meant to say it's a waste of time and energy for me to think about a reserve auction. I did say the reasoning might not make sense to others. That's OK with me.

mgmorden
August 14, 2009, 02:31 PM
I generally pass on auctions with reserves too. Too much hassle. Don't wanna sell below a certain price point? Then set the starting bid there. That way you don't waste your time and I don't waste mine messing with an auction where we're not going to agree. A big issue is that the reserves are usually set far too high anyways. I hang out on Gunbroker a LOT looking for particular items. Far too often I'll see the same rifle on it's little auto-relist rotation going back up for sale over and over and over again. People bid on it every time. They never meet the reserve. The reality is that the seller is just not willing to actually let the gun go for market price. They'd rather hold out hope that some idiot will pay their inflated price. Meanwhile the same gun has been sitting on the "auction" site for a year or more just wasting people's time.

Other pet peeves of mine: credit card fees. I don't mind actually paying them one bit, but you better call it a fee or a surcharge. The instant I see some bullcrap about "final bid price reflects 3% cash discount" I leave. That trick was stupid when it was for fixed prices (a discount comes off of an advertised price), but for auctions where the bidders set the price it's even worse. Regardless of the final price being the same, the seller calling it a cash discount rather than a credit card surcharge to me implies a snakey and sneaky seller.

And also, you put what all a gun is NOT in a title, and I'll never look at an auction. Example, half the time I'll search for something like "Mauser 6.5x55". I'll get an auction with the following title:

Remington 6.5x55 NOT Mauser, Winchester, Ruger, Tikka, Browning, Marlin

No crap, if it's a Remington it's not those things. The idea on their part though is that their little auction pops up if you search for ANY of those. Again, this indicates a dishonest seller, and worse if I didn't search for Remington then you've now polluted my search results with an item I wasn't searching for. Even if their listing IS something I'm looking for I'll pass by these.

deadin
August 14, 2009, 03:38 PM
That'll show 'em!:evil:

Tom Fury
August 14, 2009, 03:47 PM
The reserve price IS the minimum they want for it...anything over is gravy; while you may know you only want to spend so much, the seller doesn't want to let it go for less than the reserve; it's a way of saying: "I think it's worth this much, and if I don't get at least that much of an offer, I don't care to sell it."
What ticks me off are reserves that are way out of line to begin with...$900 for a S&W 457?
Cheers, TF

deadin
August 14, 2009, 04:33 PM
How about a listing fee that commensurate with the starting price or reserve price, whichever is higher? If the seller wants to troll for suckers or just wants fool himself with what he thinks his gun is worth, make him pay for it.
Refundable if the item sells. Also, no free relists unless the price comes down.

jakemccoy
August 14, 2009, 05:43 PM
deadin must have two personalities...lol

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
August 14, 2009, 06:12 PM
To simplify this:

1. The purpose of a 'reserve' is to insure that the seller gets a set bare minimum that he/she decides upon, and the 'auctionees' agree to abide by that by participating in that particular auction; i.e. they cannot enforce their high bid as a contract if it doesn't meet the stated reserve. If it doesn't meet the reserve, the seller is not legally obligated to sell, and can re-list or not at his/her option.

2. There are two kinds of 'reserves' on gun auction sites and other types of auction sites, and both work essentially the same, but have a slight variation in form. (A) First, there are the TRUE traditional reserve auctions, where the word "Reserve" is used and the reserve price is clearly stated. This is the way things should be sold when there is a reserve; and (B) The auction STATES that it's a "No reserve" auction, which is really a bold-faced lie, because it most certainly is a reserve auction. But instead of there being an official technical reserve price, the auction site simply allows the SELLER to place his/her own "First Bid" or "Starting Bid" which is not a bid at all (again, bold faced lie), but it's the SELLER making a reserve while still able to (in a sense) defraud the public into getting excited by thinking it's a no reserve auction. Obviously I think it that auction sites should NOT be allowed to use type B with their reserve auctions, as it's just confusion and arguably fraud.

Have fun. :)

How about a listing fee that commensurate with the starting price or reserve price, whichever is higher? If the seller wants to troll for suckers or just wants fool himself with what he thinks his gun is worth, make him pay for it.
Refundable if the item sells. Also, no free relists unless the price comes down.

Absolutely; love it! That's kind of a no-brainer; can't believe it's not like that already. :scrutiny:

deadin
August 14, 2009, 08:30 PM
deadin must have two personalities

Not at all. I would have no problem with paying a fee for a "hidden" reserve.
My reason for using one is to protect myself while still trying to ignite a bidding war with a low starting bid or to "test" the market on something I'm not sure of it's worth.. It's only reasonable that you pay more for a higher reserve, just like you pay more for a higher sale price. I feel sellers should also pay for relistings after 1 or 2 if for no other reason than the clear out much of the chaff on the auction sites.

Now, why this won't happen. Auction sites cater to the sellers. Even though the buyers are actually paying the money, it's the sellers that are billed and collected from. If they didn't please the sellers, they will go somewhere that will.
Buyers are just the poor dumb sheep that are led around by their noses.
If you could truly start an effective "buyer's revolt", maybe something would come of it, but I don't see it happening.

jakemccoy
August 14, 2009, 10:20 PM
A buyer's revolt won't happen. The goods are just not that special. Also, the idea of buyers being poor dumb sheep doesn't make any sense. It's not that serious, dude. Go have a beer. Calm down.

mustang_steve
August 15, 2009, 12:14 AM
The reason I won't bid on reserve auctions is this: with very few exceptions, the reserve is always well above a reasonable price for the item in question. I'd rather go look elsewhere.

The way I figured that out was by tracking a good many reserve auctions in the past...it is the trend to set the reserve usually as high if not higher than the cost of a new item if it's less than common at the time of auction.

Defense Minister
August 15, 2009, 01:04 AM
If I see an online auction with a reserve, whether it be on Gunbroker, eBay, or another auction site, I just pass on by and go to the next item. When it comes to business, I'll skip the games.

KenWP
August 15, 2009, 01:11 AM
I dislike reserve auctions where they post the starting bid so high you can't bid on it as only a fool would pay that much. I worked a real auction for years and the fools that bought back their own stuff was amazing but they had to pay the auctioneer his percentage and found out if thay had of taken the last bid they would have been almost even anyways.

scottaschultz
August 15, 2009, 08:13 AM
Obviously putting a reserve on an item is a really bad idea!

As of right now, 6:00am August 15, 2009, Gunbroker has listed:
29,692 Rifles
11,407 Shotguns
24,544 Pistols
356 Cowboy Action Shooting guns

That is 65,999 firearms! So exactlty what would Gunbroker's motivation be for making things more restrictive on the sellers?

It is all about the sellers! The 2nd Amendment gives you the right to own firearms, NOT the right to get one cheap!

The reason I won't bid on reserve auctions is this: with very few exceptions, the reserve is always well above a reasonable price for the item in question.

And not all reserves are unreasonable. I recently sold a 70 year old Savage 99K 30-30 rifle on Gunbroker. I put a $1500 reserve on it. It sold for $2400!

Scott

heeler
August 16, 2009, 12:10 PM
Frankly i have a safe full of rifles and shotguns i bought from G.B auctions.
Have never once been burned and every transaction was handled very well indeed.
Now I am not wild about reserve auctions but I have bid on them and won.
Strangely enough each of the few reserve auctions I have won was my last bid on the gun that I thought was reasonable for that particular firearm in it's condition,availability today,or what I was truely looking for.
Knowing true values certainly helps cause if you dont you will get caught up in the bidding storm which I wont.
In fact last Friday there was a certain pistol up for bid with a reserve and i gave a third bid on the maximum i thought it would be worth and then i stopped because the reserve had not been met.
The listing did not sell and the guy relisted for one more day and then pulled it as no one bid on it.
It was a very clean pistol probably close to 98% and has not been made for at least twelve years now and eventually i am confident I will find another and will buy it reserve auction or not.
It's a free market guys.

rbernie
August 16, 2009, 12:20 PM
Seventy one posts - I think that this one has covered enough ground, and then some.

The free market is king. Nobody has any obligation to sell you anything that you want at the price that you want.

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