Author Topic: Use caution when interpreting "Sold Item" prices on eBay  (Read 11456 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Birdman

  • Supporter
  • Global Moderator
  • Trade Count: (+19)
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1886
  • Karma: 137
Use caution when interpreting "Sold Item" prices on eBay
« on: September 05, 2015, 08:01:20 AM »
I have always considered "Sold Item" prices to be a valuable tool to determine what current market value for various coins are.  True, you need to keep an eye out for obviously fraudulent sales, indicated by various red flags.  And, yes, if a "Best Offer" sale is made there is a green line through the price, and you need to use some tricks to figure out what the negotiated price was.  However, I just sold an item on eBay in a new way, and I observed that the true selling price is not visible.

Basically, a member sent me a eBay message asking if I would accept a lower price for one of my Buy-It-Now listings.  Within the message, eBay now has a new option "send an offer directly to the member".  I clicked on it and proposed a counteroffer price to the member.  He received the offer, accepted, and paid.  That is all great.  But, when I look at the sold listing this morning, it has the price of $2388 in green, with no indication that it actually sold for a lower price.

This development would seem to have important implications.  People who are putting together price guides or people who want to buy a coin will look at past sales.  They would look at this sale, see that I am a very reputable seller, and would assume that the true price paid was $2388.  Since the "send an offer directly to the member" was used, however, the true price will not be visible, and incorrect information would be concluded.  This scenario probably doesn't happen too much in every day transactions.  But, could it be exploited with frequency by those individuals wishing to pump coins?  If I wanted to establish a few high price points for thinly traded coins.  I could just have my accomplice buy a few from me using this method.  Or I could list it high as a Buy-It-Now, and encourage people to contact me on the forums.  For anyone who contacted me, I could send them an offer with a great "deal."  After they bought it, however, the "sold item" search on eBay would display a higher, apparently-legitimate price point.  Unsuspecting future buyers may be misled that that is the true market price.

Bottom line, here is another thing to keep in mind when interpreting the green sold item price on eBay.

Offline Birdman

  • Supporter
  • Global Moderator
  • Trade Count: (+19)
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1886
  • Karma: 137
Re: Use caution when interpreting "Sold Item" prices on eBay
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2015, 10:22:53 AM »
I have always considered "Sold Item" prices to be a valuable tool to determine what current market value for various coins are.  True, you need to keep an eye out for obviously fraudulent sales, indicated by various red flags.  And, yes, if a "Best Offer" sale is made there is a green line through the price, and you need to use some tricks to figure out what the negotiated price was.  However, I just sold an item on eBay in a new way, and I observed that the true selling price is not visible.

Basically, a member sent me a eBay message asking if I would accept a lower price for one of my Buy-It-Now listings.  Within the message, eBay now has a new option "send an offer directly to the member".  I clicked on it and proposed a counteroffer price to the member.  He received the offer, accepted, and paid.  That is all great.  But, when I look at the sold listing this morning, it has the price of $2388 in green, with no indication that it actually sold for a lower price.

This development would seem to have important implications.  People who are putting together price guides or people who want to buy a coin will look at past sales.  They would look at this sale, see that I am a very reputable seller, and would assume that the true price paid was $2388.  Since the "send an offer directly to the member" was used, however, the true price will not be visible, and incorrect information would be concluded.  This scenario probably doesn't happen too much in every day transactions.  But, could it be exploited with frequency by those individuals wishing to pump coins?  If I wanted to establish a few high price points for thinly traded coins.  I could just have my accomplice buy a few from me using this method.  Or I could list it high as a Buy-It-Now, and encourage people to contact me on the forums.  For anyone who contacted me, I could send them an offer with a great "deal."  After they bought it, however, the "sold item" search on eBay would display a higher, apparently-legitimate price point.  Unsuspecting future buyers may be misled that that is the true market price.

Bottom line, here is another thing to keep in mind when interpreting the green sold item price on eBay.

As an example of how quickly and widely misinformation can unintentionally spread, I see just now that a different coin forum has already highlighted the sale of, and provided a link to the sale price of, this exact coin (1991 G1oz Proof Panda. ebay 121700916786).  There is nothing wrong with such a post, as I would be interested in knowing of such a sale too.  But, if I hadn't said anything here, it would appear to many that I sold this coin for $2388, over 10% above the latest Pricepedia list price.  If I were unscrupulous and had several of these, I or my partners could have proclaimed something on this forum like "wow, strong price!"  Then sold another one at an apparently higher price and said, "wow the price is rising, get them before they go even higher!"  And so on, walking the reference price up and generating buzz to lure other purchases at manipulated high prices.  And no one would be the wiser. 

Perhaps someone smarter than me on this website can figure out how we could detect if such shenanigans occur in the future using the "send an offer directly to the member" tool.  Collectively, this forum has historically been pretty good at putting our minds together to solve puzzles, and thereby inform people on how to avoid being taken advantage of.

andrewlee10

  • Guest
  • Trade Count: (0)
Re: Use caution when interpreting "Sold Item" prices on eBay
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2015, 12:33:45 PM »
Has Peter pricepedia follow the wrong price for this case so it is no longer valid. damn ebay

Offline KeepOnTrying!

  • Supporter
  • Trade Count: (+23)
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1786
  • Karma: 56
  • Gender: Male
Re: Use caution when interpreting "Sold Item" prices on eBay
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2015, 01:20:41 PM »
As an example of how quickly and widely misinformation can unintentionally spread, I see just now that a different coin forum has already highlighted the sale of, and provided a link to the sale price of, this exact coin (1991 G1oz Proof Panda. ebay 121700916786).  There is nothing wrong with such a post, as I would be interested in knowing of such a sale too.  But, if I hadn't said anything here, it would appear to many that I sold this coin for $2388, over 10% above the latest Pricepedia list price.  If I were unscrupulous and had several of these, I or my partners could have proclaimed something on this forum like "wow, strong price!"  Then sold another one at an apparently higher price and said, "wow the price is rising, get them before they go even higher!"  And so on, walking the reference price up and generating buzz to lure other purchases at manipulated high prices.  And no one would be the wiser. 

Perhaps someone smarter than me on this website can figure out how we could detect if such shenanigans occur in the future using the "send an offer directly to the member" tool.  Collectively, this forum has historically been pretty good at putting our minds together to solve puzzles, and thereby inform people on how to avoid being taken advantage of.

Another aspect of this issue is that the eBay sale reporting screen may not report an item for up to 24 hours or more under the "sold listings" tab although it can be found under the "completed listings" tab. In the latter case it is not immediately obvious if the item actually sold or not as it will be classed as "ended" and not "sold". This is relevant in the rapidly escalating market scenario you have described. I am however not yet conversant with all the nooks and crannies of eBay so there may be other useful options on the dashboard.
KeepOnTrying and Never Give Up!
That lion is also after you!

Online PandaCollector

  • Supporter
  • Trade Count: (+5)
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2607
  • Karma: 82
  • Gender: Male
    • Pandacollector.com
Re: Use caution when interpreting "Sold Item" prices on eBay
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2015, 03:15:54 PM »
Has Peter pricepedia follow the wrong price for this case so it is no longer valid. damn ebay

I have not been a fan of eBay for many years. Its failure to clean house in regards to counterfeits, as well as other choices the company has made, has reduced my confidence in the site. In any case, I almost never report anything but actual auction results from eBay; not Buy-It-Nows nor best offers. This latest development just makes it harder for people who mostly rely on eBay for coin market information but is of little to no consequence that I can see for China Pricepedia or its readers.

Best wishes,
Peter Anthony
China Pricepedia
www.pandacollector.com

Offline SANDAC

  • Supporter
  • Global Moderator
  • Trade Count: (+8)
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2265
  • Karma: 118
Re: Use caution when interpreting "Sold Item" prices on eBay
« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2015, 06:00:47 PM »
Birdman,
When I do a sort (from highest to lowest) of the completed sale over the gold panda of the 1990's, I see your sale is bracketed between 1990 1oz gold at $2390 and 1992 SD G50y at $2375.  So it seems eBay is unaware of the lower negotiated price and considers the sale completed at $2388 and therefore will charge the transaction fee accordingly.  I don't sell big item on eBay and not familiar with fee structure over $1000.  Are you able to tell whether you are charged at the $2388 eBay fee or the actual sale fee?

Edit:  what I'm getting at is perhaps eBay is not interested in the price-discovery aspect of the auction, but only wants to collect the fee associated with the original listing.  Thus encourages sellers to list higher price and negotiate it down directly with a buyer to complete a sale and collects eBay's fee at the original higher listing price.

Offline Birdman

  • Supporter
  • Global Moderator
  • Trade Count: (+19)
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1886
  • Karma: 137
Re: Use caution when interpreting "Sold Item" prices on eBay
« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2015, 10:00:10 PM »
Birdman,
When I do a sort (from highest to lowest) of the completed sale over the gold panda of the 1990's, I see your sale is bracketed between 1990 1oz gold at $2390 and 1992 SD G50y at $2375.  So it seems eBay is unaware of the lower negotiated price and considers the sale completed at $2388 and therefore will charge the transaction fee accordingly.  I don't sell big item on eBay and not familiar with fee structure over $1000.  Are you able to tell whether you are charged at the $2388 eBay fee or the actual sale fee?

Edit:  what I'm getting at is perhaps eBay is not interested in the price-discovery aspect of the auction, but only wants to collect the fee associated with the original listing.  Thus encourages sellers to list higher price and negotiate it down directly with a buyer to complete a sale and collects eBay's fee at the original higher listing price.

SANDAC,

Thanks for your question.  I looked at the fees I was charged, and I am relieved to see it was the appropriate amount for the negotiated lower value, not the original list price.  Regarding how it appears in the sold listings when you rank by price, it seems that eBay does everything it can to suggest things sold for a higher than they did, which will benefit them as they'll get more fees if someone uses the info for price discovery and pays the higher amount for his subsequent purchase.

As you know, it used to be very easy to see the negotiated price for any Buy-It-Now/Best Offer purchase, but they've made it increasingly difficult to find that information.  Now it appears as the original list price with a green line through it.  I only have one last remaining trick to figure out the true Best Offer price for a sold But-It-Now/Best offer sale.  Who knows when they'll close that loophole for our research.

Regarding the "send the member an offer" option, it seems that they are doing the same thing.  By having the coin show up in the "sort by price" option at the $2388 instead of the true price, they are suggesting it sold for the higher price.

Having said all of this, I'm happy I sold the coin  N38 and I think the buyer will be very pleased   N47  It's too bad that these other details distract us.

Birdman

Offline Pandaguy

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 388
  • Karma: -4
Re: Use caution when interpreting "Sold Item" prices on eBay
« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2015, 07:34:19 PM »


As you know, it used to be very easy to see the negotiated price for any Buy-It-Now/Best Offer purchase, but they've made it increasingly difficult to find that information.  Now it appears as the original list price with a green line through it.  I only have one last remaining trick to figure out the true Best Offer price for a sold But-It-Now/Best offer sale.  Who knows when they'll close that loophole for our research.


Sooo, in the interest of full disclosure and fairness to all, can you tell us your "trick" to discovering the actual Best Offer price that a sold item realized on an ebay auction????




Offline SANDAC

  • Supporter
  • Global Moderator
  • Trade Count: (+8)
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2265
  • Karma: 118
Re: Use caution when interpreting "Sold Item" prices on eBay
« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2015, 10:48:00 PM »
I don't know what trick birdman uses, but I know one method is to sort the completed sales and the items will be sorted by the actual sale price include shipping.  For birdman's example, the 1982 1/10 MS69 panda, if it is sorted with other completed sales, you can see it is bracketed by 1990 1g D&P PF69UC at $385 (free shipping) at the high end and 1982 MS68 1/10oz at 378.88 ($3 shipping) at the low end, so the best offer accepted price is from $381.88 to $385, shipping included.  This method obviously does not work with the  "send an offer directly to the member" sale, so it is now flawed.

Offline Birdman

  • Supporter
  • Global Moderator
  • Trade Count: (+19)
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1886
  • Karma: 137
Re: Use caution when interpreting "Sold Item" prices on eBay
« Reply #9 on: September 06, 2015, 10:53:49 PM »
Sooo, in the interest of full disclosure and fairness to all, can you tell us your "trick" to discovering the actual Best Offer price that a sold item realized on an ebay auction????

Sure Pandaguy.  Here is my "trick" which somebody showed me a few years ago.  I saved the link and it still works today.

Example.  Note a recent Buy It Now/Best Offer sale.  If a Best Offer is used, the high "buy it now price" is in green and there is a green line through it, meaning that it sold but not for the full buy it now price, but for some lower unspecified negotiated price.

But, if you take the eBay item number and insert it after the "=" in the link below, it gives you the information from Italian eBay.  I'm not sure why it works, but it does.

http://offer.ebay.it/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewBidsLogin&_trksid=p2047675.l2564&rt=nc&item=121749386772

Bookmark the link.  There used to be a number of different ways to figure out the true sales price for Best Offer, but eBay seems to have been steadily blocking them, making the price discovery tougher.  This trick may not work for much longer, but enjoy it while it lasts  :thumbup1:




Offline Tao-Panda

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 231
  • Karma: 5
Re: Use caution when interpreting "Sold Item" prices on eBay
« Reply #10 on: September 07, 2015, 07:44:34 AM »
Thank you so much for the trick, Birdman.  N31 N31 N31

Often, I was asking myself which was the real price of a "Best offer accepted" sold item.

Offline Pandaguy

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 388
  • Karma: -4
Re: Use caution when interpreting "Sold Item" prices on eBay
« Reply #11 on: September 07, 2015, 10:30:00 AM »
Thank you, Birdman!!  I remember using the same "trick" a few years ago, but I linked to a different country-ebay site. As I remember, ebay, shortly thereafter, disabled that "trick" at that particular country-site. What a shame that ebay trys its best to hide full-disclosure. I guess it's all in the name of them trying to squeeze more fees from the sellers and future sellers. Thank you again.

Offline KeepOnTrying!

  • Supporter
  • Trade Count: (+23)
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1786
  • Karma: 56
  • Gender: Male
Re: Use caution when interpreting "Sold Item" prices on eBay
« Reply #12 on: September 07, 2015, 10:58:47 AM »
Let's see how long it takes eBay to block the current access route to accurate sale price determination!
KeepOnTrying and Never Give Up!
That lion is also after you!

andrewlee10

  • Guest
  • Trade Count: (0)
Re: Use caution when interpreting "Sold Item" prices on eBay
« Reply #13 on: September 07, 2015, 09:32:12 PM »
I have not been a fan of eBay for many years. Its failure to clean house in regards to counterfeits, as well as other choices the company has made, has reduced my confidence in the site. In any case, I almost never report anything but actual auction results from eBay; not Buy-It-Nows nor best offers. This latest development just makes it harder for people who mostly rely on eBay for coin market information but is of little to no consequence that I can see for China Pricepedia or its readers.

Best wishes,
Peter Anthony
China Pricepedia
www.pandacollector.com

Thx"s for clarification

Online PandaCollector

  • Supporter
  • Trade Count: (+5)
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2607
  • Karma: 82
  • Gender: Male
    • Pandacollector.com
Re: Use caution when interpreting "Sold Item" prices on eBay
« Reply #14 on: September 08, 2015, 05:20:10 AM »
Thx"s for clarification

The September China Pricepedia was sent out about an hour ago.

Best wishes,
Peter Anthony
China Pricepedia
www.pandacollector.com