Author Topic: My Auctions aren't doing well  (Read 443 times)

Online LarryInMichigan

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My Auctions aren't doing well
« on: December 02, 2017, 08:59:10 PM »
I have a few phones and stuff listed on ebay (ebay link), including a red soft plastic 500, but they aren't attracting bids.  I have never been very good at creating listings, but this is a bit frustrating.  The last few things I sold went for cheap.  I need to learn how to get the big bids.

Larry

Offline WEBellSystemChristian

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Re: My Auctions aren't doing well
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2017, 09:37:45 PM »
Larry, I think I know why.

First of all, with your listings, you use the minimal wording that you would need to describe the phone. I know it sounds like you're trying to bid-hog, but try to incorporate every possible word that someone would use to search for that phone. I use words like "rotary", "phone" "vintage", "antique", "Western Electric", "Bell System", "Bell Systems", etc, when I search for phones on ebay. Try to squeeze as many possible search terms as you possibly can into the titles. Only a small fraction of collectors search for "Western Electric" without anything else.
Also, try to "dumb down" the title a bit, since many collectors use search terms that a non-collector would use. My favorites are "rotary phone", "push button phone", "antique phone", etc.

Second...I tried searching for some of your listings on my ebay app instead of my smartphone's browser. I couldn't figure out why none of them showed up with any of my search terms, then I realized that you used "Westerm" instead of "Western", and "plasc" instead of "plastic" for both the handset and Red 500 you have listed right now. I have honestly never seen any of your listings before using any of my usual search terms. The lack of bids and attention could be because of the titles.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2017, 09:57:52 PM by WEBellSystemChristian »
Christian Petterson

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Online LarryInMichigan

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Re: My Auctions aren't doing well
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2017, 10:02:41 PM »
Larry, I think I know why.

First of all, with your listings, you use the minimal wording that you would need to describe the phone. I know it sounds like you're trying to bid-hog, but try to incorporate every possible word that someone would use to search for that phone. I use words like "rotary", "phone" "vintage", "antique", "Western Electric", "Bell System", "Bell Systems", etc, when I search for phones on ebay. Try to squeeze as many possible search terms as you possibly can into the titles. Only a small fraction of collectors search for "Western Electric" without anything else.
Also, try to "dumb down" the title a bit, since many collectors use search terms that a non-collector would use. My favorites are "rotary phone", "push button phone", "antique phone", etc.

Second...I tried searching for some of your listings on my ebay app instead of my smartphone's browser. I couldn't figure out why none of them showed up with any of my search terms, then I realized that you used "Westerm" instead of "Western", and "plasc" instead of "plastic" for both the handset and Red 500 you have listed right now. I have honestly never seen any of your listings before using any of my usual search terms. The lack of bids and attention could be because of the titles.

Thank you for the help.  The mistakes are rather embarrassing.  I have always had a bit of a had-eye coordination issue, so I often push keys on the keyboard which are next to the ones I want to push.  I also don't see very well anymore, so I don't always notice my mistakes.

Larry

Online Haf

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Re: My Auctions aren't doing well
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2017, 10:42:33 PM »
Larry,

WEBellSystemChristian is right about the search words. And not to forget, "Date matching" and if possible, date in the title with the 500. I do search by the term "Western Electric" but as there are so many results I just scroll down and see what stands out of the crowd. You can't open everything as there are to much, it must attract me  somehow. An "All original red 1956 Western Electric soft plastic 500, restored and working" would, just "Western Electric 500 telephone" wouldn't- not even with the term soft plastic.
I know, selling and much words is not everyone's cup of tea- but with antiques and or collectibles you're not only selling a product- you're selling a piece of history and all the buyers imagination with it. Those key words help stimulate the buyers imagination. A good story is half the prize, my experience. Even if it's with an twinkle in the eye-" yeah it could have been like this- I just like to believe it maybe was." Dry facts are important but ... dry :)
I hope you get the idea what I want to explain.

And another thing- try to show things like luster and shine in your pictures. Most people buy with the eye, not with the mind.

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Offline Doug Rose

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Re: My Auctions aren't doing well
« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2017, 07:57:10 AM »
Larry....a few years ago, Dave (WDS) told me he could not find my auctions as he searched for Antique Telephone.  Now I always include it in my titles. eBay is a strange beast, I see phones sell for more than my auctions and I think my phone was a better choice. Just me!

I always start a phone for what I would accept for it. $47 for your 56 500 set, to me is way low. That is just me.  But you must have 30 people watching it.

I agree with Haf....matching dates is key in your description. Sometimes the things that we are looking for we omit when we are describing a phone. I know I do and Jan catches me. Sometime speed in listing can be a problem. I try to use a similar auction as a boiler plate, but sometimes I miss something that was from the former auction. Yikes! It is good to have another set of eyes checking my work.

I have been doing extremely well on CL lately, even shipping out of state. Same formula as I use on eBay. I can sell them lower as there are no eBay charges which are extreme. eBay even charges you a percentage of your shipping which is SO punishingly unfair.

Good luck, I hate eBay and I love eBay......Doug
« Last Edit: December 03, 2017, 09:37:14 AM by TelePlay »
Kidphone

Offline Payphone installer

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Re: My Auctions aren't doing well
« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2017, 08:11:19 AM »
The first thing is if you set a higher starting bid like the red desk phone for instance if there is nobody out there that wants the phone at that price they won't bid. You just decide if you want to sell it or not. I start almost all my auctions at 15.00 and just let it go. You have to remember that shipping will be on top of what your asking. The other thing I do is all the words in the title will hit on a search. So Western Electric Red Desk Phone Old Telephone Rare always works well don't stick in words that mean nothing like restoration. When creating the title you are marketing. You are also better off sometimes on the better stuff to do a reserve price auction. It is more expensive but you can recover it in handling charges. Do the start price at .50 it causes them to start bidding. If you are just stuck on a price you have to get then just do a Buy It Now and move on, I like the 30 day option on this.

Offline Ed Morris

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Re: My Auctions aren't doing well
« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2017, 08:40:19 PM »
Larry, I looked at your listing for the 50AL candlestick you just sold, and other than the typo mentioned by others, I thought the listing was good.  You had plenty of sharp, large photos, which is very important, and your description was honest and accurate.

Buyers also like provenance when buying vintage items, so I would suggest including any information about your phones if it is available, particularly if it is personal, such as "...this was my grandfather's phone...". Buyers go for that, and may pay more.

I proof my listing before posting, and then again after it's listed.  I invariable find one or more typos.  You can edit and correct your listing until a bad is placed.

Buyers are looking for gifts in December, so vintage phones may not be on everyone's list.
Ed

Online LarryInMichigan

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Re: My Auctions aren't doing well
« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2017, 09:26:32 PM »
I just watched this (ebay link) really nice restored soft plastic yellow 500 end for only $56.58 with two bids.  It seems that the phone market is dropping out.  I am apparently not the only seller getting lousy prices these days.

Larry
« Last Edit: December 10, 2017, 09:30:39 PM by TelePlay »

Offline WEBellSystemChristian

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Re: My Auctions aren't doing well
« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2017, 10:10:43 PM »
I just watched this (ebay link) really nice restored soft plastic yellow 500 end for only $56.58 with two bids.  It seems that the phone market is dropping out.  I am apparently not the only seller getting lousy prices these days.

Larry

I saw that one.

It didn't look restored at all to me. It looked lightly cleaned up, with pretty nice lighting and photography, but nothing really more than that. I see several people list their phones as "restored" when all they did was get it to work properly.

Also, this one is Mid-'59, meaning it isn't all Tenite. The handset caps and housing look like they're ABS, with a Tenite lift. Also, neither the fingerwheel nor line cord are original.

If this were a properly restored all-Tenite Yellow, it would probably have fetched a lot more. Nearly $60 was actually a pretty steep price for this!
Christian Petterson

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Offline AE_Collector

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Re: My Auctions aren't doing well
« Reply #9 on: December 10, 2017, 11:48:10 PM »
As discussed elsewhere, the coloured AE 40ís and 50ís prices seem to be off quite considerably lately.

Terry

Online LarryInMichigan

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Re: My Auctions aren't doing well
« Reply #10 on: December 11, 2017, 07:05:39 AM »
I realize that the yellow 500 has some shortcomings, but the consensus seems to be that phone prices are down all over.  Someone must have found out that I have a large number of phones and therefore dropped the value.  When I buy stock, the value usually drops, and many of the companies have gone out of business.  It is probably all my fault.

Larry

Offline jsowers

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Re: My Auctions aren't doing well
« Reply #11 on: December 11, 2017, 02:21:41 PM »
Larry, maybe you're being too hard on yourself? I think you got a good price for the red phone discussed earlier in this thread. You were discussing it before it ended, and all the bidding happened on the last day and it ended at $66. How bad is that? It brought more than the yellow one that had problems. Savvy bidders know to wait until the end to bid, so just because an item doesn't have any bids halfway through the auction doesn't mean it won't sell at the end.

Larry's red phone: https://www.ebay.com/itm/352216832940

I do agree with the proofreading thing. You need everything spelled correctly so searching will make hits. I don't always search by certain words and just look in the collectibles--telephones category that includes all the different year groups. Often sellers won't know the correct year, so you can't depend on that, and should just look at all of them. It can be a lot of repeats and Conairs and such to sift through, but you get almost everything.

The auction screen shot for the red is below.
Jonathan