Monday, September 08, 2014

The 9 Kinds of Buyers on eBay

These are my own personal observations about the various kinds of people who shop on eBay. Do any of these sound familiar?


  1. The browser.  The browser doesn't seem to ever buy anything. Their feedback rating is in the single digits, usually below 5, and yet they've been on eBay for years. They look around, but for whatever reason, actually buying isn't a priority for them.
  2. The Watcher. The Watcher does just that: They watch. They find listings they're interested in, and click "watch this item," but don't bid on it. They'll keep watching it as long as the seller relists it. Sellers don't like Watchers, because it looks like someone is interested in their item for sale, yet they don't get a bid.
  3. The Buyer With No Money. This idiot places bids on auctions, wins them, and doesn't pay. Maybe they can't figure out how to use paypal, maybe they never intended to pay in the first place. Always has a zero rating.
  4. The Low-Baller. The Low-Baller has two goals on eBay -- they look for auctions with starting bids way below the value of something (like 99 cents) and place a bid at the starting price only; alternatively, they look for fixed price listings with the Best Offer option, and offer a ridiculously low price for the item.
  5. The Researcher. This kind of buyer is smart... They have a specific item in mind that they want, and look at all listings for that item. They decide what the maximum price is they're willing to pay including postage, and bid accordingly. They have a saved search for this item, and are watching auctions for the same item in case they get outbid.
  6. The Sniper. The Sniper doesn't believe in bidding until the last seconds of an auction. Maybe they think they're being clever, or they get a thrill from outbidding someone at the last second.
  7. The "I Would've Paid That Much" Whiner. This buyer gets constantly outbid and complain about it because they didn't bid the maximum they were willing to pay. They never learn to put that bid because for some reason they're morally opposed to committing to that maximum amount until it's too late.
  8. The Non-Reader. This bidder doesn't read the description for the auction, they just look at the picture and place a bid, later complaining about the cost of postage or the condition of the item (both of which were specified). They will complain to the seller later, only to have it pointed out that this was covered.
  9. No I Won't Leave Feedback (or Leave it First). Some buyers don't believe in leaving feedback for sellers at all, while some won't leave it first. They may even demand that the seller leave it first, and then wait until feedback is left before contacting the seller about a "problem." Many sellers have lower ratings than they should because of these people, even if those buyers were  happy with their purchase.
Do you know of any type of eBay buyer who's not on this list?

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