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Subject: POLL for BGG auction sellers and buyers! Feedback for better auctions! rss

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Derek Bradley
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Poll: Feedback on BGG Auctions
There are lots of different opinions out there regarding BGG auctions. Every seller has their own justifiable take on what makes a good auction. Having done several auctions where I experimented with different rule variations, I'm curious how much diversity of opinion will surface through this poll. Thanks for participating and hopefully this will help future sellers with their auctions.
1. BGG Auction experience:
  Yes No
Have you ever sold items through a BGG auction?
Have you ever purchased items through a BGG auction?
Are you subscribed to the Metalist?
2. More on subscriptions and end dates:
  Always/Usually Sometimes Rarely/Never
Do you ever subscribe to individual auctions?
Do you ever subscribe to individual auction items?
Does the end date of the auction affect when you bid on an item?
3. How important to you are the following auction features?
  Always/Usually Important Sometimes Important Rarely/Never Important
BINs
Sniping protection
Seller accepts Paypal
Starting bid/reserve is lower than BGG marketplace or boardgameprices.com listings
4. Which would you prefer?
A specific end date/time with no sniping protection.
Sniping protection in the form of a non-specific ending time (i.e. "sometime in the evening").
Sniping protection in the form of an extension to the ending time if there are any last minute bids.
5. Assuming you are interested in an auction item...
  Always/Usually/Yes Sometimes/Maybe/It Depends Rarely/Never/No
If you are not already familiar with a seller, do you review their feedback/rating before bidding?
Are you more likely to bid on multiple items if a shipping discount is offered?
Would you ever bid in an auction where the seller charged a small handling fee/surcharge?
Would you ever bid in an auction where items had a higher starting bid/reserve to account for seller handling fees/surcharges?
6. Assuming the total cost including shipping that you pay in the end is exactly the same, are you more likely to bid on an item when the shipping cost is added to the winning bid or when the shipping is “free” but factored into a higher starting bid/reserve?
Lower starting bid/reserve with shipping added on
Higher starting bid/reserve but “free” shipping
Makes no difference—I always calculate the total end cost either way before bidding
I don’t understand the question
7. Does it bother you when auctions list a starting bid $5 below the BIN?
Yes, that's what the BGG marketplace is for.
No, I couldn't care less--let people do whatever they want.
Abstain.
8. Does it bother you when sellers set ridiculous asking prices and then demand no one comment on their price-gouging?
Yes, that's what ebay is for.
No, who cares? Get over it. If someone is stupid enough to bid on it, that's their own fault.
Abstain.
      244 answers
Poll created by Pandakai
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Dustin
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The biggest one for me is end time. If you end your auction on a saturday, you are flat losing money and my interest. People are out gaming and such on saturdays! Don't end them then.
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David C
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It would be nice if I could know/find the local auctions and marketplace entries to avoid shipping.

EDIT - I don't care about the rating, but seeing "New User" in the badge gives me the heebie-jeebies about buying from them.
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jflartner
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Biggest two for me:

I'd love if we could start a trend of including location/zip in more auctions. I'm much more likely to bid on items closer to me (cheaper shipping, less waiting) than on items coming from the other coast.

The Price Police annoy me. Also, it seems to me that people don't understand the word "gouge."

If Trump came in here and saw how much people whine about sellers trying to make money (on a luxury item) he'd accuse them all of hating capitalism. Do you really want THAT on your conscience??????
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Don Hansen
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bippi wrote:
It would be nice if I could know/find the local auctions and marketplace entries to avoid shipping.

EDIT - I don't care about the rating, but seeing "New User" in the badge gives me the heebie-jeebies about buying from them.


Yeah Exactly what he said
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CK Lai
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donbet69 wrote:
bippi wrote:
It would be nice if I could know/find the local auctions and marketplace entries to avoid shipping.

EDIT - I don't care about the rating, but seeing "New User" in the badge gives me the heebie-jeebies about buying from them.


Yeah Exactly what he said


Everyone's got to start somewhere...
 
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Clayton Stoffel
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jobin13 wrote:
Biggest two for me:

I'd love if we could start a trend of including location/zip in more auctions. I'm much more likely to bid on items closer to me (cheaper shipping, less waiting) than on items coming from the other coast.



I agree with this wholeheartedly. I know you can hover over the flag to see where someone is located, but that doesn't work on my phone which is where I do the majority of my auction browsing.
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Derek Bradley
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stoffelupegus wrote:


I know you can hover over the flag to see where someone is located...


Thanks for the hover tip!!!
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Patrick C.
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Shipping costs are my big deal breaker.

I'm at the point now where I'd like the option of sending someone a prepaid USPS mailing label instead of them buying postage on their end. I'm seeing a lot of auctions with sellers who just automatically go to flat rate boxes. That's just painful when I can get postage for up to 9 pounds sent from Maryland to Maine for about $6.

I understand sellers do this for their convenience. But for me it's the difference between buying nothing and maybe several games. Plus, it's wasted profit for the seller because I'll bid higher as long as I'm not overpaying on the postage.

I've started to send prepaid postage to sellers in the Marketplace with prior permission. So far no one has complained and sellers were more than fine with it, especially since I don't even need to know the weight beforehand. I just get postage for at least a pound or two what would be normal (e.g. 5 or 6 pounds for a TtR type game) and that's it.
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Andy Matthews
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The things that would be most helpful to me are:

* Auction end time in the title of the auction
* The shipping postal code clearly called out, rather than buried in a list of the rules
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Slightly Alive
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jobin13 wrote:
I'd love if we could start a trend of including location/zip in more auctions. I'm much more likely to bid on items closer to me (cheaper shipping, less waiting) than on items coming from the other coast.


This is the big one for me. I do hover on flags, and click through when I get a generic "United States" on a US flag, but I'd love it to be front-and-center: "[Snazzy Auction Title (or not)] - Ending [Date] - Shipping From [ZIP or City/State]".

Honestly, shipping is usually such a killer on getting any kind of deal from an auction that I flag hunt specifically to see if the seller's within 50 miles or so of me (thankfully, that encompasses Baltimore and DC, and it isn't terribly further to Philly if the game's a compelling enough deal). Anybody within range? I'm looking at their auction to do local pickup? Anybody outside of it? I really don't care what you're offering; flat-rate shipping will ruin it if I only want one or two games.

TL;DR - I wanted a "I only do auctions from Local Pickup people" question somewhere in that survey.
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Kevin L. Kitchens
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BIN is the most important. I ran a poll on that several months back and the majority overwhelmingly want it.

An online auction IS NOT THE SAME as a regular auction. A regular auction the bidders are all there at one time, the timeframe is short, and the high bidder will win. Fine. With an online auction, it's a passing thing and not everyone can be around for the end. BGG is not a real auction site like ebay where you can put in your max and let it "ratchet up" as people pass by and bid.

So BINs are very important and unless it's something I really want, I don't bother. And then I'll subscribe to the item and try to remember to check back. It does me no good to bid early for someone to come along and be willing to pay $1 more and get it because I couldn't be there for the end.

Kudos for getting "couldn't care less" correct. Thank you.

Finally, re: handling fees. I don't care. I'm not paying the USPS/UPS/FedEx. I'm paying the seller to ship the item. I ask for the shipping cost, that's what I pay them. It's in their best interest to keep it low, but I'm paying them to ship. They are hiring a carrier. They are under NO OBLIGATION to pass that cost to me 1:1. If they need to recoup box/tape/packing cost, that's up to them.

One thing you left out that is VERY IMPORTANT is if the seller tries to cheat Paypal out of fees. You cannot ask the buyer to add on the fees. You cannot ask the buyer (or accept as the seller) "GIFT" payments for purchases. Yet we see it all the time. If I see an auction with sellers trying to cheat the system, I might warn them (most don't realize they are doing something wrong and are grateful). Others know they are and get very belligerent... and lose customers.

Nice poll...thanks!
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People who list USED in-print items at total delivery costs higher than the price of the game NEW at one of the main online retailers waste everyone's time and clutter the marketplace. Its not simply a case of "let them charge what they want and let idiots fall victim" because it is pinging subscriptions and makes sifting through all of the auctions more difficult. Its actively rude and offensive and annoying.

Auctions with starting prices within $5 of BINs are ridiculous and should just be listed on the marketplace.

People think bad auctions list in a vacuum but they don't. Every time a BGG user comes to an auction and sees hideous pricing, you run the risk of them never looking at BGG auctions again.

"What you paid for it" should be your BIN, not your starting price.
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James Wahl
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More detail: I never check feedback, but I check how long someone has been on bgg, if they have their collection on it, and how often they have posted. Never had a bad experience or a problem that couldn't be resolved amicably after (from what the system says) 154 marketplace purchases for a total of 5 or 10 thousand dollars.

BGG users are addicts, and are not going to throw it away for trivial ill-gotten gains. If the game shows up looking like crap, contacting the seller has resulted in partial refunds that made me happy 100% of the time. Also, more positively, BGG users are absurdly nice and pleasant to deal with. We're in the same tribe, even though I may like spreadsheets and they may like spaceships.

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Derek Bradley
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Just a thought (that I'm sure will spark yet another war), both the seller and the buyer are benefiting from the use of BGG auctions and Paypal, so why should only the seller pay? In all other circumstances, the buyer does pay but it's hidden in the price. While I've never done this yet because the ridiculous outrage that would result is not worth the pennies collected, I'm tempted to charge 1.5% to all winning bids for the use of BGG auctions (splitting the 3% between buyer and seller) and 1.5% for use of Paypal (splitting the 3% between buyer and seller). I would do that because I don't want to factor it into the cost of my starting bid/reserve because I think I'd be more likely to get bidders with a lower starting bid/reserve. I don't need to be reminded of Paypal's rules--I've read them in detail. The outrage just seems overblown and one-sided.
 
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Jonathan Schindler
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I agree that I would love if I could see local/regional auctions. I also avoid auctions where I see that flat-rate boxes will be used unless the items are priced to take this into account. Flat-rate boxes are convenient for the seller, but they are a rip-off for the buyer (usually).
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Kevin L. Kitchens
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Pandakai wrote:
Just a thought (that I'm sure will spark yet another war), both the seller and the buyer are benefiting from the use of BGG auctions and Paypal, so why should only the seller pay? In all other circumstances, the buyer does pay but it's hidden in the price. While I've never done this yet because the ridiculous outrage that would result is not worth the pennies collected, I'm tempted to charge 1.5% to all winning bids for the use of BGG auctions (splitting the 3% between buyer and seller) and 1.5% for use of Paypal (splitting the 3% between buyer and seller). I would do that because I don't want to factor it into the cost of my starting bid/reserve because I think I'd be more likely to get bidders with a lower starting bid/reserve. I don't need to be reminded of Paypal's rules--I've read them in detail. The outrage just seems overblown and one-sided.


Well, you will be reminded only as far as it would stifle bidding. I won't bid if you add an explicit surcharge for Paypal or for BGG.

It's simply your cost of doing business. The fees for PP are standard, but for BGG, 3% is a lot cheaper than ebay gets or Amazon... so it should be factored into either the price or you just accept it as business overhead.
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Bruce Gazdecki
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klkitchens wrote:
BIN is the most important. I ran a poll on that several months back and the majority overwhelmingly want it.

An online auction IS NOT THE SAME as a regular auction. A regular auction the bidders are all there at one time, the timeframe is short, and the high bidder will win. Fine. With an online auction, it's a passing thing and not everyone can be around for the end. BGG is not a real auction site like ebay where you can put in your max and let it "ratchet up" as people pass by and bid.

So BINs are very important and unless it's something I really want, I don't bother. And then I'll subscribe to the item and try to remember to check back. It does me no good to bid early for someone to come along and be willing to pay $1 more and get it because I couldn't be there for the end.

Kudos for getting "couldn't care less" correct. Thank you.

Finally, re: handling fees. I don't care. I'm not paying the USPS/UPS/FedEx. I'm paying the seller to ship the item. I ask for the shipping cost, that's what I pay them. It's in their best interest to keep it low, but I'm paying them to ship. They are hiring a carrier. They are under NO OBLIGATION to pass that cost to me 1:1. If they need to recoup box/tape/packing cost, that's up to them.

One thing you left out that is VERY IMPORTANT is if the seller tries to cheat Paypal out of fees. You cannot ask the buyer to add on the fees. You cannot ask the buyer (or accept as the seller) "GIFT" payments for purchases. Yet we see it all the time. If I see an auction with sellers trying to cheat the system, I might warn them (most don't realize they are doing something wrong and are grateful). Others know they are and get very belligerent... and lose customers.

Nice poll...thanks!


Yes, but I don't like BIN's because someone who can easily check BGG often has an advantage over people who only can check it once or twice a day.

Why should someone get something just because they happened to sign in first?

At the end of the day though, the seller can do whatever they want. it's their auction.
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Michael Berg
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- I extremely dislike BIN's. I don't like scrolling through auctions where everything has already been purchased. I don't like the idea that someone may come along and BIN when I am willing to pay over the BIN.

- I'm okay high soft reserves, but if starting prices are high on the first few games on an auction I won't bother reading through the rest of the list. This is mostly the case when those games are readily available on the BGG marketplace. I'm cool with high prices on hard to find stuff.

- I like a fixed ending time with an automatic few hours extension if an item is sniped. I can check my subscriptions on my phone, and upping my bid isn't a problem.
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James Wahl
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Pandakai wrote:
Just a thought (that I'm sure will spark yet another war), both the seller and the buyer are benefiting from the use of BGG auctions and Paypal, so why should only the seller pay? In all other circumstances, the buyer does pay but it's hidden in the price. While I've never done this yet because the ridiculous outrage that would result is not worth the pennies collected, I'm tempted to charge 1.5% to all winning bids for the use of BGG auctions (splitting the 3% between buyer and seller) and 1.5% for use of Paypal (splitting the 3% between buyer and seller). I would do that because I don't want to factor it into the cost of my starting bid/reserve because I think I'd be more likely to get bidders with a lower starting bid/reserve. I don't need to be reminded of Paypal's rules--I've read them in detail. The outrage just seems overblown and one-sided.


What you're talking about is just a shell game. The prices of the transaction are billed to the transaction - neither the buyer or the seller; the seller pays with the buyer's money. If sellers started to charge back transaction fees, it would simply result in bids being less.

One major thing to know in business: you can't have all of the money.

CasualSax wrote:
- I extremely dislike BIN's. I don't like scrolling through auctions where everything has already been purchased. I don't like the idea that someone may come along and BIN when I am willing to pay over the BIN.


That's really what BINs are for - they're a gamey way to put pressure on people to act quickly and decisively. Nothing I love more than watching two people overbid each other $1 each bid when the BIN is an amazing deal, and someone entirely different comes in and BINs it.

I HATE DOLLAR BIDDERS. I'm going to do an auction soon, and the minimum bid increment is going to be the current bid/10 rounded down i.e. minimum bid after $65 is $71; after $71 is $78, etc... Dollar bidding is a waste of everybody's time.
 
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Derek Bradley
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klkitchens wrote:
Pandakai wrote:
Just a thought (that I'm sure will spark yet another war), both the seller and the buyer are benefiting from the use of BGG auctions and Paypal, so why should only the seller pay? In all other circumstances, the buyer does pay but it's hidden in the price. While I've never done this yet because the ridiculous outrage that would result is not worth the pennies collected, I'm tempted to charge 1.5% to all winning bids for the use of BGG auctions (splitting the 3% between buyer and seller) and 1.5% for use of Paypal (splitting the 3% between buyer and seller). I would do that because I don't want to factor it into the cost of my starting bid/reserve because I think I'd be more likely to get bidders with a lower starting bid/reserve. I don't need to be reminded of Paypal's rules--I've read them in detail. The outrage just seems overblown and one-sided.


Well, you will be reminded only as far as it would stifle bidding. I won't bid if you add an explicit surcharge for Paypal or for BGG.

It's simply your cost of doing business. The fees for PP are standard, but for BGG, 3% is a lot cheaper than ebay gets or Amazon... so it should be factored into either the price or you just accept it as business overhead.


So you're fine with me raising the prices to cover those costs as long as it's not explicit? I'd rather give people the option to pay less.
 
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Chris Willett
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Pandakai wrote:
stoffelupegus wrote:


I know you can hover over the flag to see where someone is located...


Thanks for the hover tip!!!


MIND = BLOWN
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Derek Bradley
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CasualSax wrote:
- I extremely dislike BIN's. I don't like scrolling through auctions where everything has already been purchased. I don't like the idea that someone may come along and BIN when I am willing to pay over the BIN.

- I'm okay high soft reserves, but if starting prices are high on the first few games on an auction I won't bother reading through the rest of the list. This is mostly the case when those games are readily available on the BGG marketplace. I'm cool with high prices on hard to find stuff.

- I like a fixed ending time with an automatic few hours extension if an item is sniped. I can check my subscriptions on my phone, and upping my bid isn't a problem.


Completely agree.
 
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Kevin L. Kitchens
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Pandakai wrote:
So you're fine with me raising the prices to cover those costs as long as it's not explicit? I'd rather give people the option to pay less.


Not sure what you mean. The paypal fee and BGG fees are yours and yours alone (as the seller). You either eat them or factor them into your price.
 
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Derek Bradley
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klkitchens wrote:
Pandakai wrote:
So you're fine with me raising the prices to cover those costs as long as it's not explicit? I'd rather give people the option to pay less.


Not sure what you mean. The paypal fee and BGG fees are yours and yours alone (as the seller). You either eat them or factor them into your price.


That's where I disagree. You're getting a benefit from the service just as much as the seller is.
 
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