Ebay driving prices down?

Thread: Ebay driving prices down?

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  1. #1

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    Question Ebay driving prices down?

    Yesterday, I was talking with a friend about things we collect. His collecting passion is antique fishing tackle and leans heavy to old lures. He said he's been collecting for over 30+ years and found that Ebay has really driven the prices down on his collection. When I asked him to explain, he said that "back in the day" you had to physically go to shows where collectors displayed their lures and at any given show you would only see a few examples of a particular item. With the advent of Ebay, everyone seemed to get in on selling their old tackle driving the price down on his collection.

    While I realize watches are slightly different in some respects do you all feel the same about this?

  2. #2
    Member Eeeb's Avatar
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    Re: Ebay driving prices down?

    I was a big eBayer long before I was a watch collector so I don't have any direct experience on eBay's effect in watches... but, eBay has certainly had a strong effect on the vintage car market. (Yes, people actually buy cars off of eBay -- I've done 8 to 10 over the years.)

    If you had a car that was not common, you could set your price and put in a few adverts in national publications and wait for the fish, er, I mean buyers, to swim up

    You can try that now but the market is far more liquid ... potential buyers see the same car listed by a joker in Joplin or a nut in Nantucket and they swim elsewhere if they don't like your price.

    Specifically what I noticed on eBay was at the very beginning it drove prices up... there were far more buyers than sellers of hard to find stuff... But as sellers realized the potential of eBay, more listed and prices went down.
    "Forever is composed of nows." - Emily Dickinson

    "The watch has to be surrounded by a history.
    You need more than just a great design. You need to create an atmosphere around the product.
    Who is the company behind it? Why are they using this material?
    People need to be able to identify the watch with themselves. It's based on emotion." - Ralph Furter

    ...that's just my opinion and I've been wrong before and will be again and might be now!

  3. #3
    Member pacifichrono's Avatar
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    Re: Ebay driving prices down?

    I've been buying and selling a lot of vintage watches on eBay for 2-3 years. I've noticed in the last six months that prices seem to be rising. I'm not winning nearly as many auctions using the same bidding/pricing approach. I'm in awe of how much some watches are now selling for versus a year ago. I should be moving up with the market, since I'm selling most of what I buy, but I'm chicken!
    Regards from Sunny San Diego..........Tom
    ____________________________________________________
    "There are two kinds of people in this world, my friend, those with loaded
    guns and those who dig!"................Blondie to Tuco in TGTB&TU (1966)


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  5. #4
    Member Eeeb's Avatar
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    Re: Ebay driving prices down?

    I attribute part of this to the dramatic decline of the Bush dollar... watches are truly a world market.
    "Forever is composed of nows." - Emily Dickinson

    "The watch has to be surrounded by a history.
    You need more than just a great design. You need to create an atmosphere around the product.
    Who is the company behind it? Why are they using this material?
    People need to be able to identify the watch with themselves. It's based on emotion." - Ralph Furter

    ...that's just my opinion and I've been wrong before and will be again and might be now!

  6. #5
    Member Ray MacDonald's Avatar
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    Re: Ebay driving prices down?

    I've bought some vintage watches on eBay and I always thought they were fairly priced - if you sniped and didn't get into bidding wars. Of course the price you pay is usually doubled at least when you add in the cost of a service/new parts for your latest "eBay folly."
    The big thing on eBay is the variety of items you can find - much more efficient than trolling antique shops in my view. Also it's a pretty efficient market - discontinuities in pricing get ironed out pretty fast when overpriced items don't sell.
    As a Canadian I have experienced a 35% reduction in pricing over the past few years so that also makes me happy.

    There are fathers who do not love their children; there is no grandfather who does not adore his grandson. ~ Victor Hugo

  7. #6
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    Re: Ebay driving prices down?

    I bought and sold (Mostly bought) pocket watches on Ebay starting in 1997. I agree that in the beginning, prices trended up, especially on items that were perceived to be relatively rare or beautiful. I suspect that there were fresh batches of buyers who were constantly being introduced to the huge world market that Ebay gave them access to. Perhaps they'd been looking for an item for many years, going to all sorts of auctions, flea markets, etc., but to no avail. Lo and behold, there it is on Ebay. More than likely there were similar bidders with similar desires discovering Ebay concurrently. This served to run up prices. Today, many of these buyer batches have been used up, having found what they'd been looking for. In addition, I don't believe that Ebay's growth of new users is anywhere near what it used to be, therefore the buyer market for specific items is shrinking. As the prices to more common watches suffer, the professional watch person has to be more careful in the watches he/she buys for resale. As someone above mentioned, there is still money being made, but I believe much more of that profit margin is dependent on being faster on the buy trigger and more savvy regarding marketability. There's that old saying in collecting that states, "buy the best you can afford." I believe that this has been shown to be true in watch collecting of late. The rare stuff, and of course the 14-18K cased stuff, has gone up, where the common stuff has suffered. It's a good time to start a collection. Certainly, times are better today than they were a few years ago for the beginning collector. This brings up another more macro concern I have. I wonder just how much of the mechanical watch collecting interest had its genesis in a fascination in things mechanical, like cars, etc. With fewer kids working on their cars today than used to be the case, and much of their lives revolving around computer games rather than machines, where will the new interest come from? But, I guess that might be a subject for another discussion someday. Cheers.

  8. #7
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    Re: Ebay driving prices down?

    Maybe.

    Everything seems to be going down, except whatever I'm bidding on.

    Buy high, sell low seems to be my motto.

  9. #8
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    Re: Ebay driving prices down?

    I want to do business with you.

  10. #9
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    Re: Ebay driving prices down?

    If the US dollar ever recovers, my ebay buying days are going to be severely dampened.

    That would outweigh even a 25% variance (up or down) on the cost of watches

  11. #10

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    Re: Ebay driving prices down?

    While I see a decent variety of watches on Ebay, I also see people getting some crazy money for watches (especially divers) that would normally go for a hundred plus dollars less at a brick n mortar store. I think at any one time, I have about ten to fifteen watches that I'm watching just to see what the final purchase price is.

    You can get some great deals on manual winds, quartz watches are generally overpriced, automatics depending on movement appear to be on the money mostly.

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