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Overpriced Ebay items


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I peruse Ebay every once in a while for '41 parts and am astounded by what folks are asking for parts these days:

- $495 for a totally crap steering wheel needing a total resto;

- $400 for 1 rear fender skirt spear

- $600 for the small cloisonne emblem on the front grill

- $275 for a totally pitted hood ornament (better ones offered for under $50)

What world do these people live in??

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The thing that confounds me more than the outrageous prices, to begin with, is the fact that these folks continue to re-list those same items at the same prices month after month. I see some things being re-listed for over a year! You would think that they would get the idea that no one is interested in them, at least at those prices. After a while it becomes laughable.

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Well I don’t like the prices and I don’t buy the stuff...that’s obvious and not my point. Hope none of these items was yours. 

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For years we’ve had an eBay store and we keep the prices very high so people will call us and we can deal on the phone. I’m sure that’s not the case for some small sellers with a few small parts. We always offer people a good savings on used parts VS eBay with all the fees and commissions. Figure a 20 percent discount on used stuff. Works better for all involved. 

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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That makes sense and I bet your initial prices aren’t off the scale as some of these are. I suspect the extreme offenders are just not familiar with Buick’s or ‘41s in particular and are just throwing it out there to see what they can get. 

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I was looking at a part one time for my 40 special,the chrome strip down the center of the grille. The best I could come up with was a dented one a guy in LaGrande Oregon had for $350 needing rechrome. Was'nt desperate at the time but I watched for a year, never wavered from the price. Called and got the familiar spiel( I know what I've got no lowball. I came up to $100 offer and you'd thought I had just stolen his wife and dog! So no thanks and the next day a guy in North central Washington put  a 40 special and century, both sedans on craigslist for $700 and one had a perfect chrome strip. Bought both and the special which was rotted beyond repair had a fresh 51 263 engine. Got all the spares I needed also and sold the hulks for $650. Can't always find parts cars cheap but I've done this on other cars also and it worked out.

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I find the parts listed on ebay to be overpriced about 90% of the time and wildly overpriced a good 50% of the time. As a result, I don't bother to look anywhere near as often as I once did. That said, when a real auction comes up, the price is often half of that for similar items with a "buy it now" price. It ought to be a lesson but the combination of greed, ignorance and too much television add up to fantasy thinking on the part of many sellers...

 

In another area of collecting (not related to cars) a good friend once said that it was usually cheaper to buy from knowledgeable collectors who knew what things sell for and who may well have a better example, thus not valuing the one that is for sale as much. I'm particularly amused by the catch phrases..." good for it's age" ...its either good or its not, the age is inconsequential. Also "best I've ever seen" - which only means he or she hasn't seen many. They are as bad as "ran when parked" (30 years ago).

 

I just bought a seat for one of my motorcycles...there were about 4 or five on ebay priced between $120 and $250. This sale was an auction, the item got 5 bids and sold for $42 + $20.00 shipping. Obviously there is interest but the buyers invariably know a lot more than the sellers.

Edited by JV Puleo (see edit history)
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Right now there are 1,899,394 "vintage" auto parts listed on Ebay. More than 5 would be needed to get a real grip on things.

 

Ebay is expensive. That $500 steering wheel will have a $50 seller's fee. Paypal will get $15 off the sale. I clude shipping when I sell (some buyers win on that sometimes I do). I am sure it would eat up another $50 bill. And you don't plant seeds to grow steering wheels. Where ever it came from there is a hundred dollar bill out of the seller's pocket in one way or another. The buyer would end up with $285 after his output, not counting anything for time. Then, if the buyer is unhappy Ebay will give all the money back without question. When you have a customer base that complains about prices that is a very real risk.

 

I don't sell anywhere near as much on Ebay as I did 15 years ago. Back then I would buy a barn or garage full of parts and redistribute them from the hoarding spot. I rented storage units for years stacked full of items. Today it is not worth it. I have seen piles of parts throw out for the trash, not worth monkeying around with.

 

When the guy says "You know, you can't get those old parts like you used to", I hear that in conversations, I just knod and say "Nope, you can't can you".

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Thanks to eBay, I have often bought a part that was better than the one I had, and then turned around and sold the old one for more.  I always list high, with the option of making an offer.  Some people just buy items without even asking.  You would be surprised.

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On 11/10/2020 at 10:00 AM, valk said:

I peruse Ebay every once in a while for '41 parts and am astounded by what folks are asking for parts these days:

- $495 for a totally crap steering wheel needing a total resto;

- $400 for 1 rear fender skirt spear

- $600 for the small cloisonne emblem on the front grill

- $275 for a totally pitted hood ornament (better ones offered for under $50)

What world do these people live in??

All I can figure out is these folks are waiting for THE RIGHT GUY to come along and notice that particular item for sale, he will gladly pay $400 for that fender skirt spear. My buddies and I joke about this when we vend at swap meets with our $1-$5-$10 parts. We sell manuals & hubcaps for $5 each cause, well, we actually want rid of them. Two rows over the same manuals are $50 and the same common hubcaps are $200 a set. 99 out of 100 people don't seem to be buying  anything two rows over but THE RIGHT GUY will when he walks by. Five years later over there those same hubcaps & manuals etc. are still for sale, albeit showing a little more dirt & wear and now their masking tape coverings are all dried out. Not to worry, THE RIGHT GUY will be by anytime now, certainly before sunset or tomorrow for sure.........

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I found the best sales model is to list stuff as an auction at a price so cheap anyone even remotely interested will jump on it.  No Reserve and let it fly.  Sure some things you will lose on,  but the bonuses will usually more than compensate. Don't forget that the item that you think won't even sell,  usually seems to be the Surprise if it's rare to some degree(meaning something you haven't seen before) . I have probably made more money selling Nuts and bolts and other hardware than I have on nice chrome pieces. (just wish I knew about evaporust years ago)   I can't tell you how many parts lots I have bought and had the surprise far exceed every item I thought might the the good item. 

Now the best part is with this sales model,  your sell through rate is probably 95 or better percent and in 7 days most items are sold and headed out the door,  where buy it now usually sells the first day or up to months later, so you have to store and keep track of everything for who knows how long. I have literally sold parts 7 or 8 years after I originally listed them.  So glad I let most of it expire.   It was only put in my store after it didn't sell as an auction,  so it's just a click to put it in your store.  Probably why alot of those overpriced parts get listed over and over,  as they are in their store and just get automatically relisted. 

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I know of an early rear axle & parts that have been on ebay probably 4 or 5 years if not more.  It just keep showing up.  Obviously looking for "the right guy".

 

I used to sell on ebay, but when it is all over for a sale, the commissions from everyone is about 1/3 of the selling price.  And that does not take into consideration customer challenges.  

 

I just try to sell it at a swap meet and if it does not sell in several meets, then to the scrap bin, and I do not price much of anything very high.  Just trying to get it to a person that can use it. 

Edited by Larry Schramm (see edit history)
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I had another situation back in the mid 80s when I was hot into mopars. For years I would travel around the general 3 state area of WA,CA,OR, looking for parts. I had a 64 Sport Fury,64 Belvedere,65 Belvedere 63 Sport Fury and 63 Savoy all 2 drs. These cars were plentiful in the wrecking yards then.Started noticing the radio delete plates for these cars creeping up till they were asking 80 to 100 each on ebay. I had over two hundred of them from all my travels but never paid more than a dollar for one.So I see an ad for a mint one from a 64 savoy on hemmings for $75 which I had 15 or so of that style. That kinda ticked me off cause I could see the general upturn in prices for all mopars since the great HEMI stampede of the time. So I kept a couple for me and put them all for sale for a dollar each. Waited for the flood of inquires which was barely a trickle. I finally did sell them all after a year or so but in that period of time everybody quit advertising high priced ones.They are repro'd now.

Edited by RiKi5156B (see edit history)
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8 hours ago, RiKi5156B said:

I had another situation back in the mid 80s when I was hot into mopars. For years I would travel around the general 3 state area of WA,CA,OR, looking for parts. I had a 64 Sport Fury,64 Belvedere,65 Belvedere 63 Sport Fury and 63 Savoy all 2 drs. These cars were plentiful in the wrecking yards then.Started noticing the radio delete plates for these cars creeping up till they were asking 80 to 100 each on ebay. I had over two hundred of them from all my travels but never paid more than a dollar for one.So I see an ad for a mint one from a 64 savoy on hemmings for $75 which I had 15 or so of that style. That kinda ticked me off cause I could see the general upturn in prices for all mopars since the great HEMI stampede of the time. So I kept a couple for me and put them all for sale for a dollar each. Waited for the flood of inquires which was barely a trickle. I finally did sell them all after a year or so but in that period of time everybody quit advertising high priced ones.They are repro'd now.

 

In my pursuit of specific parts, I've had to buy the lot.  I'll peruse ebay or craigslist to see what is being sold and for how much.  As I'm only interested in getting the parts back into circulation rather than the dustbin, I'll sell for half the lowest advertised price.  I get most of my money back but still have the original part that I needed.

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4 minutes ago, kgreen said:

 

In my pursuit of specific parts, I've had to buy the lot.  I'll peruse ebay or craigslist to see what is being sold and for how much.  As I'm only interested in getting the parts back into circulation rather than the dustbin, I'll sell for half the lowest advertised price.  I get most of my money back but still have the original part that I needed.

 

One time I had to buy what was left of a car to get one wheel.  I have been selling off the rest since then.

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I've been doing a few swap meets a year for a long time. What I really like to do is to bring out as much fresh stuff (parts, literature, hubcaps, whatever I bring) as I can every show. It makes my display look more attractive to customers rather than bringing the same old parts over & over. In my experience anything fresh that is desirable & reasonably priced will sell the 1st time out. If it goes back home and comes out the 2nd time, I'll be lucky to sell a third of it, by the 3rd time out with the same stuff hardly anything sells at all. Why keep storing the same old stale stuff? By the last day of the meets now I mark prices way down so hopefully I don't have to take much back home. Let someone else carry it off, maybe they'll have better luck with it than I did. I've had people haul stuff away by the wagonload the last day of the meet. In a perfect scenario, everything gets sold. That happened one time, I sold the whole 2 spaces full to 2 guys with a big truck, I made them very happy and I went home with nothing. Perfect. Next year I went out and started over with fresh stuff. Works for me.

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