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Thread: Should I reveal my reserve price?

  1. #1

    Default Should I reveal my reserve price?

    This is my 3rd horn I've put up on eBay. I have a low reserve set for it due to the fact it needs an overhaul but I don't want to sell it for pennies, and a guy asks "What is the estimate on repairs etc. And what is your reserve price?" Like I said I haven't sold many horns on eBay so I don't know what really is the best move on that. Any help would be appreciated.
    "By seven o'clock the orchestra has arrived---no thin five piece affair but a pit full of oboes and trombones and saxophones and viols and cornets and piccolos and low and high drums." - F. Scott Fitzgerald ; The Great Gatsby

  2. #2
    Distinguished SOTW Member/Forum Contributor 2009 MyMartinTenor's Avatar
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    Default Re: Should I reveal my reserve price?

    I've given out my reserve price in similar situations. I've never seen any harm in telling folks what the reserve is -- its usually just asked to find out if they are wasting time (e.g., you set a reserve of $100,000).

    On the other hand, I do not give estimates for repairs -- varies too much from area to area, tech to tech, and is generally unpredictable. I wouldn't want to make a good guess, and then have the tech doing the work quote twice as much.

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    Forum Contributor 2014 patmiller's Avatar
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    Default Re: Should I reveal my reserve price?

    I've sold a few horns on eBay but this dilemma hasn't arisen for me because I never set a reserve. I realise it sounds risky but I've always found that the market has set a fair price for me in every case. You get the usual dumb questions from tyre kickers and the odd pertinent ones. I always answer them politely and post the answers (even when the information being sought is right there in the description. Sheesh!).

    Advertising "low start - no reserve" has always worked for me in getting a lot of interest which is the key to a good auction. Yet there seems to come a point in every auction I've started where the only real interest left is from serious bidders who appear to understand the value of the horn.

    Everyone has their own strategy when selling stuff, but if getting your reserve is important to you then perhaps an auction is not the way to go. Consider a classified ad instead.
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    Default Re: Should I reveal my reserve price?

    Unless I really want something super bad I have, as of late, just passed up reserve auctions. I dont care to be bothered with the guess work. I am willing to pay what Im willing to pay. I never cared to chase items. That is one of the reasons I use a program to buy. I dont want additional emotion in the mix.
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    Forum Contributor 2012 Rondalo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Should I reveal my reserve price?

    I've noticed that reserve prices set too high (even when a fair price) sometimes discourage bidders. I guess after seeing "reserve not met" for the 100th time they just give up. On several occasions I've seen the same instrument relisted with no reserve and gets bid up to a price probably higher than the original reserve. Revealing your reserve might encourage the bidders to keep on bidding. (Caution - I've never *sold* anything on Ebay, so consider my advice accordingly.)

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    Forum Contributor 2011 tenor71363's Avatar
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    Default Re: Should I reveal my reserve price?

    If someone really wants to know your reserve price they will be a very high amount to see if the bid surpassed the reserve. After that, they may just cancel the bid by claiming the wrong amount was entered. If the item is still wanted, the bidder will wait until the end to bid the reserve price if the price has not hit the reserve.

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    Indistinguishable Resident Buescher Bigot and 2014 Forum Contributor maddenma's Avatar
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    Default Re: Should I reveal my reserve price?

    I see nothing productive about saying what the reserve it. You might as well set a Buy-It-Now price.
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    Default Re: Should I reveal my reserve price?

    What's the purpose/advantage of having a "secret" reserve price? I seriously don't get it. Just set the opening bid at the lowest price you would be happy with. Like many people, I won't even bid on an item with a secret reserve price. It usually ends up being a huge waste of my time. If you don't want to lose this potential bidder, tell him what the reserve price is. And next time, no secrets.

  9. #9
    Distinguished SOTW Member/Logician Grumps's Avatar
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    Default Re: Should I reveal my reserve price?

    Quote Originally Posted by Buck Laughlin View Post
    What's the purpose/advantage of having a "secret" reserve price?
    Ebay gets a fee for it.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Should I reveal my reserve price?

    YES that is good for you because this person is guaranteed(if they actually bid) to set the reserve price(at least) as their bid...

    i find bidding on reserve price auctions generally a waste of time because if you are the high bidder,but not meeting the reserve price..the seller usually doesnt even have the courtesy to contact you and let you know what the reserve was

    for example you are selling a mark 6 sax and the reserve is 4000 dollars(lets just say ) i bid 5000 dollars but nobody else bids more than 3000 i win at 3025,but i lose..... and its just a big waste of time...............
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    Indistinguishable Resident Buescher Bigot and 2014 Forum Contributor maddenma's Avatar
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    Default Re: Should I reveal my reserve price?

    Seller does have the option of contacting the bidders after auction in the event that the reserve wasn't met and offering the horn to them at their high bid.
    1926 Buescher True Tone Series III Gold Plated Soprano -- Morgan Vintage 6
    1936 Buescher Custom Built Bare Brass Baritone -- Strathon 8*
    1938 Buescher Aristocrat "Custom Built" Silver Plated Baritone -- Strathon 8*
    1939 Buescher Aristocrat Silver Plated Series I Alto -- Ishimori Traditional Jazz 7, TW Durga 8
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    1949 Buescher Aristocrat "Big B" Lacquer Alto -- Ishimori Traditional Jazz 7
    1949 Buescher Aristocrat Gold Plated "Big B" Tenor -- TW Durga 8

    2000-something Yamaha YTS-475 (backup tenor) -- TW Durga 8



    Nothing works so well in gathering information as a display of ignorance. I've been learning a lot lately.


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    Default Re: Should I reveal my reserve price?

    I've been to enough 'live' auctions to know that many auctioneers will start the bidding at or slightly above the reserve price.
    If no bids to start then they drop back about 10 to get the ball rolling. Usually the item sells well above the reserve.
    You might just as well list your items accordingly on ebay. Ten bucks lower than your reserve and let nature take it's course.
    In reality you don't have to reveal your reserve. I too think that the ones who ask are doing so only to try to get in cheap at the last minute.
    Last edited by bandmommy; 04-04-2011 at 03:37 AM. Reason: spelling
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  13. #13

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by patmiller View Post
    I've sold a few horns on eBay but this dilemma hasn't arisen for me because I never set a reserve. I realise it sounds risky but I've always found that the market has set a fair price for me in every case. You get the usual dumb questions from tyre kickers and the odd pertinent ones. I always answer them politely and post the answers (even when the information being sought is right there in the description. Sheesh!).

    Advertising "low start - no reserve" has always worked for me in getting a lot of interest which is the key to a good auction. Yet there seems to come a point in every auction I've started where the only real interest left is from serious bidders who appear to understand the value of the horn.

    Everyone has their own strategy when selling stuff, but if getting your reserve is important to you then perhaps an auction is not the way to go. Consider a classified ad instead.
    I agree! I start all my auctions at 99 cents and they have always sold for a reasonable price. No listing fees and I only list one good picture. If the item has more pictures, I host them on picasa and put a link to it in the auction. Every penny saved is like a penny earned!
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    Distinguished SOTW Member/Forum Contributor 2009 MyMartinTenor's Avatar
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    Default Re: Should I reveal my reserve price?

    Quote Originally Posted by sirspinbad View Post
    for example you are selling a mark 6 sax and the reserve is 4000 dollars(lets just say ) i bid 5000 dollars but nobody else bids more than 3000 i win at 3025,but i lose..... and its just a big waste of time...............
    No, not anymore. Now if you bid above the reserve the reserve goes away and your bid rises to match the reserve. Ebay got rid of the old system where you could bid above the reserve and not win quite a long time ago. If you bid and the reserve is still there, its because your maximum is still below the reserve.

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    Default Re: Should I reveal my reserve price?

    Quote Originally Posted by Grumps View Post
    Ebay gets a fee for it.
    Okay, so if you want to save a couple of bucks on the insertion fee, what's the benefit or advantage of keeping the reserve price a secret from interested buyers?

  16. #16
    Distinguished SOTW Member/Logician Grumps's Avatar
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    Default Re: Should I reveal my reserve price?

    It's just protection for the seller, in case the item doesn't get bid up to where they want it. If you start the bidding at the price where you set the reserve, you'll get less interest in your auction. People are just funny that way.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Should I reveal my reserve price?

    I don't understand all the criticism I'm getting about setting a reserve. I merely asked if it was a good idea to tell the price to the person asking, as I'm not an experienced horn seller.

    But yes, I did tell the person, and explained the part about repairs.


    Now I have some other guy telling me that I need to put the horn in a smaller package so I can lower the shipping cost.
    "By seven o'clock the orchestra has arrived---no thin five piece affair but a pit full of oboes and trombones and saxophones and viols and cornets and piccolos and low and high drums." - F. Scott Fitzgerald ; The Great Gatsby

  18. #18
    Forum Contributor 2012 dubrosa22's Avatar
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    Default Re: Should I reveal my reserve price?

    I would reveal the reserve to the guy.
    Actually I never use reserves. I've sold a lot of rare records, books and a sax on eBay and in all cases if the item is worth $1000 I'll put it up for $950 and let the bids come in. Generally they'll reach the $1000 or even much more. If not then I was $50 off the target or will have to think about relisting at a lower price altogether. Either way everyone knows where the price is going to end up throughout the auction (except if things go way overprice ).

    I wouldn't even 'watch' an item with a reserve.

    With BIN almost the default sales type for eBay these days people no longer want to play the excitement factor of buying/selling auction items. That was 1996. Even with software bidding people would rather see where the $$$ are going to end up than shooting blindly. Also I think a reserve gives the tone of an auction where a bargain is not going to be had.

    Just my copper pennies.

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    Forum Contributor 2014 Smokey613's Avatar
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    Default Re: Should I reveal my reserve price?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigmund451 View Post
    Unless I really want something super bad I have, as of late, just passed up reserve auctions. I dont care to be bothered with the guess work. I am willing to pay what Im willing to pay. I never cared to chase items. That is one of the reasons I use a program to buy. I dont want additional emotion in the mix.
    I have followed this same philosophy for years. When I bid on an item I just bid the max I am willing to pay for it and if goes higher, oh well. When I list an item, I start at the minimum am am willing to sell the item for and let the market decide if it sells or not. I have actually gotten a second chance offer on some reserve items that did not sell but I was the highest bidder.
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    Distinguished SOTW Member/Contributor 2010 trice's Avatar
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    Default Re: Should I reveal my reserve price?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kontra View Post
    I don't understand all the criticism I'm getting about setting a reserve. I merely asked if it was a good idea to tell the price to the person asking, as I'm not an experienced horn seller.

    But yes, I did tell the person, and explained the part about repairs.


    Now I have some other guy telling me that I need to put the horn in a smaller package so I can lower the shipping cost.
    It is not you that is being criticized - it is reserve prices.

    I do have to agree. I would rather just see the 'reserve' as the starting price. Then everyone is on the same page. "I want at least $xx for this item." It is very clear. That is how I sell (when I have to use eBay).

    Also, what kind of horn and what is your CONUS shipping charge? I can tell you if it is reasonable.

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