It is said that the surest way to establish the value of a product is to find out what buyers are willing to pay for it. A friend who is a successful stock broker told me that a stock is only worth what someone will pay for it at the time of sale. In five years of buying, selling, and watching items, this appears to be true for a high percentage of ebay listings.
This has come as a shock to many sellers who have a skewed idea of what their item is actually worth. It is also a wake up call for those who are looking to make an unrealistically high profit only to find their sale come up short of expectations. If an item is viewed by five hundred people who may be interested, one would be hard pressed to claim that the opinion of value is off by a large margin.
A friend recently listed a Harley Davidson Motorcycle that fell short of his reserve and asked me to look at what went awry. It was listed properly and well written from a member with a 750+ (100% positive feedback). Conclusion: Nothing was out of place except his miscalculation of what the unit was actually worth in large part due to a desire to make a larger than feasibly attainable profit.
According to the counter, two thousand people viewed the motorcycle, ten members asked questions, and fifteen different members placed bids. After researching we later agreed that the bike's value was close to what the high bidder bid and the bike sold for close to that amount locally.
Yes, there are exceptions when items fetch more or less than expected. The bottom line seems to be that if enough people are interested in your item, regardless of one thinks their item is worth, the ebay barometer of value holds true in most cases.