eBay prices tanked

I have had just a few observations of prices on things that I am familiar with. And I think that outside of the realm of unsold
overpriced BuyItNow stuff, the prices for used industrial related things that actually sell, are tanking dramatically.
Here's one example.
I sold a 8 inch diameter steam pressure gauge this summer for $240 or so. (to someone who operates a real steam engine railroad, no less)
Just now, I needed one, and won a supposedly very similar condition steam pressure gauge, made of brass, 0-200 PSI, for just $31. The gauge was perfectly well described, all the right keywords were in the title, etc. This was not in any way any unusually lucky purchase. It just shows that the market that was willing to pay $240 for a steam gauge, can only pay $31. So whatever sorts of people who were buying steam gauges before, do not have any money left.
I am observing the same things occur in other sorts of things. A 8 inch three jaw chuck, L0 mount, great condition, $50. It is a little scary to see the extent of it.
What muddles this is that eBay changed its fee structure, and there is a lot of stuff listed with Buy It Now, that is overpriced and creates an impression of high prices, but it is a false impression.
The one implication is that if you stil have a job and money, and space in your shop, it is a great time to buy used stuff like this right on ebay.
The other implication is that if you go to liquidation auctions infrequently, it is a good idea to recheck the prices that you used to base your bids on, in order to not overbid.
Agree? Disagree?
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On Sun, 01 Feb 2009 22:34:42 -0600, Ignoramus13011

---------- Cash is king... try to hang onto it.
Unka' George [George McDuffee] ------------------------------------------- He that will not apply new remedies, must expect new evils: for Time is the greatest innovator: and if Time, of course, alter things to the worse, and wisdom and counsel shall not alter them to the better, what shall be the end?
Francis Bacon (1561-1626), English philosopher, essayist, statesman. Essays, "Of Innovations" (1597-1625).
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I hang onto some of it, but the time when cash is king is the time to buy, not the time to hang onto it. The time to hang on to cash is when everyone is exuberant.
The metalworking stuff is small change.
I switched all my and my wife's retirement accounts into all stocks late last year (Oct/Nov). I used to have cash in almost all of them them prior to that.
The best outcome for me, assuming my retirement is 30 years from now, is that the market would stay depressed forever. This would bring the highest total return (appreciation plus divvies). Events of last year show that there may be a good reason for "equity premium", which is that equities return a little more than bonds, over the long run, due to higher risk. Last year showed how bad is that risk.
Anyway, going back to the tanking prices, these are a very vivid illustration of deflation.
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wrote:

What happened to your euros?
-- Ed Huntress
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Nothing, I still have them.
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On Sun, 01 Feb 2009 23:14:42 -0600, Ignoramus13011

--------- That or the evaporation of the spodulicks.
Unka' George [George McDuffee] ------------------------------------------- He that will not apply new remedies, must expect new evils: for Time is the greatest innovator: and if Time, of course, alter things to the worse, and wisdom and counsel shall not alter them to the better, what shall be the end?
Francis Bacon (1561-1626), English philosopher, essayist, statesman. Essays, "Of Innovations" (1597-1625).
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There is no big downturn..yet. But with all the money they are printing, there should be one.
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Agree. From the looks of just garage sales I've been to in the last couple of months, prices are way down, and sellers are "motivated."
Steve
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Some of your points may be valid, Ig, but I see this same situation every year. Extra holiday gift cash has been spent, heating bills are peaking, and yesterday was a superbowl game (major distraction to some folks), so I believe other factors are involved (generally always).
About the end of March and into April, competive bidding will pick up again, in anticipation of tax returns, lower heating bills, warmer weather activities and other factors.
I'm surprised by some of the prices sometimes, generally when a new member gets involved in the bidding, and also a number of items that normally sell from moderate to high prices, that don't even get bid on.
I'm still bewildered at the over $150 that I got for a used music CD when I started selling in 1999. The ad had poor pictures but a detailed description, but I wasn't an experienced seller.
Experienced sellers will hold onto items that know will bring exeptionally good prices until things pick up again, IMO.
I watch a wide range of lot of different types of items from tooling, machine accessories, video, audio, some avionics, hand tools, certain vintage power tools, various electronic gear/parts, etc.
This is generally a good time to buy things that are sluggish at this time of year, but it's a typical annual situation, IMO.
I'm convinced that there are completely unpredictable circumstances, such as a buyer that's missed out on numerous attempts to get something cheap, finally decides that they're done trying, and go ahead and spend 2-4 times as much as they had been hoping to get the item for.
An 8" pressure gauge is definitely an obscure item, and I wouldn't have any idea of how to consider it being an economic indicator.
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I've bought things on Christmas night that went way cheap. I like to check Ebay for bargains on holidays when people might be busy doing other things.
The current economy has to have an effect on prices as Iggy said.
We may have sellers that didn't want to sell but need the money. Buyers in fear of their jobs don't want to spend much on things they don't really need. Ebay is filled with things we want but don't actually need ;)
Then there is a really twisted situation in my life, after laying off 1/3 of the plant we are all working OT to make shipping schedules so in this down time, I'm a bit more flush and able to buy. I doubt that one is happening for most.
I think that Wild_Bill and Iggy are both right. Like the market right now, it is a buyers opportunity on Ebay.
Wes
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Prices on EBay have never made any sense. I bought a Play station game for my daughter a while back. There were two sellers, offering the same game, new, unopened, very similar description. The one auction went for close to $100, but the other game, that bidding ended maybe 1/2 hour after the first, I bought for $35. You figure it out, I know I can't! Greg
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Greg O wrote:

Which one was the counterfeit?
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On Mon, 2 Feb 2009 19:17:27 -0600, the renowned "Greg O"

It's like that in real auctions sometimes. And sometimes people hold back waiting for the cheaper prices and then get into a bidding war for the few of whatever that are left so you see the opposite effect.
A lot of what's on eBay these days is not really in limited supply so the real auction dynamic doesn't show up.
Best regards, Spehro Pefhany
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    Well ... a few years ago, I was collecting tri-mikes (precision three-point contact internal diameter micrometers), and there were two auctions running at the same time for the same set (three or four mics, two setting rings, the extension tubes, and the wrenches, all in a nicely-fitted wooden box). Actually -- the poorly described set was a little more complete, though I forget what was missing from the other.
    One had lots of wonderful photos and detailed descriptions, the other had a much less detailed description, and only a couple of photos -- enough to tell me that it was the same, and that it was what I wanted.
    The poorly described one closed a couple of hours before the one with the wonderful description, and I opted to bid on that poorly-described one as the bids were *already* significantly higher on the wonderful one. IIRC, I got the poorly-described set for about three hundred less than the wonderfully-described one, and was thankful that the later one was drawing most of the attention of those who were interested. I don't know at this point, but the wonderfully-described one had the feel of a "Reliable Tools" auction of the period.
    I really would have expected more competition for the poorly-described set since there were two hours or so between them to give people a second chance at the well-described set, but apparently most were too dazzled by the description on the second set -- so I got the first set for a very reasonable price. :-)
    Enjoy,         DoN.
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wrote in message >

I built up a collection of about three dozen Vise Grip 11R, and other various clamps by simply watching "Vice Grip" auctions.
Steve
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Some things sell for a lot less than identical things that are better described or pictured. You told us a good story, I bought a well working TIG welder for $10, etc.
But that is not what I wanted to point out.
The point that I was making, was that the steam gauge that sold for $31 was NOT poorly described, it was well photographed and properly titled and so on. And still it sold for 8 TIMES less than a very similar gauge, sold by me last summer. So I was comparing apples to apples.
Here they are:
My gauge from last summer closed for $240:
http://yabe.algebra.com/~ichudov/misc/ebay/Brass-Steam-Gauge/ebayhist.html
The gauge that I bought this month for $31:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item%0361252136
When I was selling my gauge last summer, I did quite a bit of research. There is (was) a market for these gauges, mostly among collectors or well off people who want to have a gauge like that on the wall of their shop showing air pressure, etc. Some retired people buy these gauges in poor condition, polish and resell, etc. It was a real market.
These gauges are not unusual or rare items, but they were well sought after. Apparently, not any more. The market for them disappeared.
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On Feb 2, 11:33pm, Ignoramus32631 <ignoramus32...@NOSPAM. 32631.invalid> wrote:

But they are not identical gauges. They are different manufacturers. Sure they perform the same function. If someone needed one for say a correct restoration of an old steam engine only the correct original would do. That could explain the price difference. Also if someone collects gauges (I'm sure they are out there) it could be a rarer one. Take for example wood planes. They all perform the same basic task but some go for $10000,00 dollars while others you can't get $20.00 for. Not saying that's why just saying it could.
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    [ ... ]

    Hmm ... three things which could have affected the eBay price:
1)    The range. The 200 PSI ones are perhaps less common than     the 400 PSI ones.
2)    The white on black might be more collectible than the black     on white ones. (I would personally prefer that just for better     readability if I were in the market for one of that size.)
3)    The fact that the one which you sold did not have a legend     on it "First Cooler" to make it less suitable in some other     application such are restoration where an incorrect legend     might make it far more unsuitable than one with no legend.
BTW    I like your way of showing the size in the first photo. :-)

    Maybe not gone for long.
    Enjoy,         DoN.
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I think that, if anything, 200 PSI gauges are more suitable for people like me, who want to use them with regular shop compressed air. I would venture to guess that this makes the majority of the actual users of gauges. (not mere collectors).
Accidentally, the gauge that I sold on July 3, was bought by a guy operating a real steam locomotive. He told me that he will keep it as a spare for now. I just conversed with him yesterday about cleaning up brass gauges.

I agree.

That could apply, as well. Still, looking at completed collectibles with "steam gauge" shows prices that are rather lower than what I used to see.

Thanks... This guy is very interested in everything treain related.
i

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DoN. Nichols wrote:

How many people have their own rail road???
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