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Tom Hall

Why No Bids?

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Actually that one was a way better buy than the one Kingpins wants to sell and, with its metal buttons and steel reeds tuned to A440, much more worth a bid of £500. Yet it failed to sell. :huh:

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Actually that one was a way better buy than the one Kingpins wants to sell and, with its metal buttons and steel reeds tuned to A440, much more worth a bid of £500. Yet it failed to sell. :huh:

 

I think this has more to do with "auction psychology" than with the quality or market value of the concertina.

 

We humans have a strong herd instinct. We're often unsure about doing something, but if somebody else does it, we'll try it, and when the next person sees two people doing it, he thinks it must be "a Good Thing", and does it too, and soon it's "the Done Thing".

 

Same with bidding on Ebay. If an article with a low starting price attracts a lot of bidders, we tend to think - perhaps subconsciously, perhaps consciously - that if so many people think it's a good lot, then it must be. Some of the bidders (we think) are perhaps experts, others will have e-mailed the seller for pertinent details and decided to bid on the strength of this info. So we join in and swell the numbers, thus encouraging someone to bid his darndest to win this "desirable" lot against all that competition.

Whereby the first bidder, who set the ball rolling, may just have though, "Hey, a decent concertina for 10 Euros! That'll go for a song!" and soon dropped out as the price rose.

 

If, however, the same lot has a high starting price, the first bids from the bargain-hunters will not materialise. Even interested parties who might gladly pay the starting price for the article, but can afford little more, may keep their distance, thinking, "If it's starting that high, the final bid will be way above my means anyhow." So the lot gets no early bids, and people who are unsure of the value, condition and overall attractiveness of the lot will decide not to take the risk at that price. So the lot goes unsold.

 

There was a case in point recently. A concertina was offered with a starting price of $1600. There were no bids. It was offered again, starting price $1250. This time, it did attract bids, and went for $1750 (or thereabouts).

So anyone who had bid the starting price just before closing first time round would have had the same concertina for a lower price than the eventual high bidder.

I would say that this seller got his tactics right!

An additional psychological factor might be that some prospective buyers were disappointed with themselves for letting this rather attractive instrument slip through their fingers, and this disappointment may have spurred them to bid second time round. They may even have reckoned with a similar lack of interest to last time, and hoped to get the instrument for the new starting price. But when one bids, another follows ...

 

I'm not a psychologist, but I've been watching how people tick for six decades now. I know enough about human nature to realise that the above is probably only one of several possible scenarios.

 

Cheers,

John

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An additional psychological factor might be that some prospective buyers were disappointed with themselves for letting this rather attractive instrument slip through their fingers, and this disappointment may have spurred them to bid second time round. They may even have reckoned with a similar lack of interest to last time, and hoped to get the instrument for the new starting price. But when one bids, another follows ...

When I put my Jones up on eBay it got lots of interest but not a single bid. Not long (a couple of hours) after the auction ended I got a series of emails with offers from several people in the UK & abroad all of whom were intending to bid late but had then forgotten to place a bid before the auction ended. In the end I accepted a decent offer from a bidder who had been in contact several times during the auction process, but he or the other bidders could all have got it cheaper if they'd only remembered to bid before the auction ended.

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