Author Topic: ebaY's "Mr Helpful"  (Read 20576 times)

Offline Sargeguy

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ebaY's "Mr Helpful"
« on: May 11, 2009, 09:33:57 PM »
You know the guy I'm talking about, the good citizen who e-mails the eBay seller of "vintage black rotery dial phone" and tells them they have a "Western Electric 302 desk set from the 1940s" which, when added to a description, pumps up the price due to all the noobs searching for that exact phrase.  Mr. Helpful has been really active lately, dispensing his unsolicited advice to sellers who he apparently has no intention of doing business with.  

Here is an example.  The "I can't be bothered to do even a little research" seller takes one photo and writes a vague title and half-assed description.   Sellers like that are my bread and butter.  A potential $14-18 phone now jacked up to $26 thanks to Mr. Helpful.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=120416028478

This behavior is unfair to bidders who spend hours scrutinizing blurry photos in the phone section looking for poorly described deals (me), as well as for the sellers who take the time to write the correct, accurate description (also me).  It may also be unfair to the buyers who are looking for a simple 302 and end up with a ringer-less 250  or some godawful wiring scheme like a 333 that they will never be able to figure out, because they bid on a phone based upon a faulty assumption on Mr. Helpful's part.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2013, 11:51:41 AM by AE_Collector »
Greg Sargeant
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Offline bingster

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Re: Mr Helpful
« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2009, 10:27:32 PM »
I hadn't noticed that before.  I can see where it would be an annoyance.  I do occasionally give help when it seems the seller is seeking information, but I certainly wouldn't make a steady practice of it like this guy does.
= DARRIN =



Offline Steve

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Re: Mr Helpful
« Reply #2 on: May 11, 2009, 10:56:46 PM »
 I see this all the time. they have all the 302's they want, then they want to impart their knowledge onto the know-nothings. it's like they are looking for a cyber pat on the back.


 ARE YOU CRAZY?!?! THATS A RARE XYZ. cancel the auction then blah blah blah.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2009, 10:58:48 PM by Steve »
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Offline McHeath

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Re: Mr Helpful
« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2009, 11:21:23 PM »
Ah yes, the human urge to be helpful to ones fellows and show off a little knowledge to boot.

Don't look at me, I never tell anyone anything about an auction.  I figure that if they don't want to do a little easy online research then that's that. 

Of course if I start bidding on a phone it's a sure sign that it will end up selling for about double its real value.   :(

Offline Sargeguy

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Re: Mr Helpful
« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2009, 11:50:11 PM »
The secret to getting a good deal on eBay is to bid low and early and then high and late.  Better yet use the "watch" feature.  Decide the maximum you are willing to pay in advance.  Put your highest bid in in the last few seconds and cross your fingers.  If your highest isn't high enough then walk away.  Don't panic.  There will be another one along eventually.  Keep it cool.  I hate it when guys drive the price up early on, then come back and outbid you in the last minute.  Keep it cool and don't lose your head.  Slightly less annoying is when almost outbid you but drive the price up in the process.  On the 466 I recently acquired, I had to go out so I couldn't babysit the auction.  It was at $35 with 1/2 hour to go when I bid my max of $75.  It sold for $70.  Another bidder bid up the price in the last minute. Looking at the bid history it looks as if he would have won if he hadn't ran out of time:

http://offer.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewBids&item=280338748774


He bid with 15 seconds left and then again at 6 seconds.
Greg Sargeant
Providence, RI
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Offline BDM

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Re: Mr Helpful
« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2009, 12:36:29 AM »
Or the other end of the spectrum, are the guys who try to sell common 302s or the like, for $150 to $250 a pop :o But hey, more power to them ;) Sometimes they get it, sometimes they don't :P Of course those who put plenty of work into the set (like Frank) deserve every penny! I'm referring to those who wipe it down and called it restored ::)
« Last Edit: May 12, 2009, 12:29:31 PM by BDM »

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Offline Dan/Panther

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Re: Mr Helpful
« Reply #6 on: May 12, 2009, 01:26:39 AM »
I've gone both ways on this one. I liked ebay better when they didn't post questions and answers.
D/P

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Offline foots

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Re: Mr Helpful
« Reply #7 on: May 12, 2009, 12:51:31 PM »
I wonder if this is the same guy, that when he notices someone may be winning a phone for a decent price, always puts in only 1 bid  (to drive up the price) near the end of the auction but ALWAYS with enough time for the winning bidder to outbid him?
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Offline Dennis Markham

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Re: Mr Helpful
« Reply #8 on: May 12, 2009, 02:15:19 PM »
I think with buying phones, the most important question that I can ask, if I can only ask one.........Are there any cracks or breaks in the plastic?

Offline bingster

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Re: Mr Helpful
« Reply #9 on: May 12, 2009, 02:47:27 PM »
And "Can you ship it so that it won't arrive in a hundred pieces."
= DARRIN =



Offline Tonyrotary

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Re: Mr Helpful
« Reply #10 on: May 12, 2009, 02:51:00 PM »
That MR. HELPFUL did the same thing to the 302 I won recently. Still no else bid on it. I had caught the auction with literally a couple of hrs left and no bids on it. I put in a bid at the last minute and crossed my fingers. I had noticed it seems to be the same person but could be wrong. Ask a question or two, yes, but why go around and volunteer information? Then not bid on it?

Offline Dan/Panther

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Re: Mr Helpful
« Reply #11 on: May 12, 2009, 02:55:00 PM »
Some people never get over the hall Monitor phase of life.
D/P

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Offline BDM

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Re: Mr Helpful
« Reply #12 on: May 12, 2009, 03:18:48 PM »
Some people never get over the hall Monitor phase of life.
D/P

LOL...............

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Offline Sargeguy

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Re: Mr Helpful
« Reply #13 on: May 12, 2009, 06:34:29 PM »
Speaking of mislabeled 302s, I was outbid on this beauty:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=270387062903

Looking at Paul F's site, it looks  like is a 332.  Judging from the price, I would guess that the winning bidder is not expecting a 302.
Greg Sargeant
Providence, RI
TCI /ATCA #4409

Offline bingster

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Re: Mr Helpful
« Reply #14 on: May 12, 2009, 07:45:53 PM »
I don't think the phone had much to do with the price.  Cowbell subsets are very sought after.
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