Second Chance Offers on eBay
As a seller or buyer, should you use "Second Chance" on eBay?
We cannot answer the question for you, but we can make a few points
which may be helpful to members when deciding whether to use eBay's
"Second Chance" feature.
It is necessary to consider the matter from the point of view of both sellers and buyers.
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As a Seller
There are two circumstances where a seller may consider using the
"Second Chance" feature. One is where the seller has multiple identical
items, the other is where the highest bidder changed his mind, or
failed to pay. In this case, the second highest bidder may well have
lost interest or decided he no longer wants the item. There are at
least four reasons for this to happen:
He may have located another one elsewhere.
He may have spent his money on something completely different.
He may suspect that there is a problem with the
item, and the "winning" bidder has changed his mind because of this.
He may be exhibiting signs of "Frustration
Rejection". This is a well-known and very common psychological
condition, whereby if a person does not get what he wants when he wants
it, he decides he no longer wants it. Typically most
children exhibit this, and many, but not all, grow out of it.
He may suspect that there is a potential "catch" or fraud.
Our only real experience with "Second Offer", was following the first
few items we ever listed on eBay. These were all for items where we had
substantial quantities of stock. In fact we hardly ever use eBay to
sell items where we have only a single piece. A few of them sold for
prices so high, they totally surprised us, being substantially higher
than our normal website list price. As it requires at least one
"underbidder" to create a high price, except where there is a high
starting price and a single bid, we made a number of "Second Chance"
offers. None of them were taken up, so we stopped doing it. There is
also a question of whether it is fair on the highest bidder for us to
offer to sell at lower prices to others, and also whether we are then
undermining our own future sales of the same item.
Although the "Second Chance" feature sounds good in theory, we doubt if many reputable sellers actually make much use of it.
As a Buyer
If, as a buyer, you are offered a "Second Chance" to buy an item, should you accept it?
We suggest that you should resist the "Frustration Rejection" reaction, and think out whether you still want to buy the item.
You may wish to consider, or ask the seller why he is offering it to
you. If the "winning" bidder has rejected it, you may wonder why. If
the seller has a quantity of the items, did he mention this in the
original listing? If no, then why not?
One thing to be very careful of is that third parties may contact you
offering to sell you the same item, usually at a lower price, rather
than the original seller. It seems that a common fraud or swindle is to
follow up auctions of high priced items, and contact the underbidders.
In most cases, the third party vendor probably does not own any of the
items, and is simply trying to part you from your money. Although it is
possible that another bona fide member has watched the auction, seen
the item sell for a decent price, and decided to contact the
underbidders to try to sell his own item. eBay frown on this, but
mainly because it tends to avoid them getting their commission fees. In
either case, it pays to be careful. Our advice would be only to deal
with the original vendor.
It is possible that there could be a number of people, or one person
(the seller) with multiple eBay identities, conspiring with the seller
to run up the bidding on the item to the maximum, planning to offer it
to the "underbidder". In this case, there may have only been one real
bidder, you! If you have any suspicions that this is happening, you
should probably try to report it to eBay, but we doubt whether they
would take much action, unless they suspect that they are losing out on
So, for a number of reasons, many underbidders prefer not to take up "Second Chance" offers
Apart from crooks, we guess that the party who gains most from "Second
Chance" offers is eBay themselves as they get two or more lots of
selling commissions, and only have to host one auction!
Author & Copyright Notice
Any images shown are our own copyright images. Our text and description is also copyright, Lawrence Chard of Chard Coins.
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