Yuhui's Explanation on Online Auction in Singapore (eBay)

indi's picture

I cannot agree more with Yuhui on the importance of educating the online auction participants on the benefits of sticking to the rules. Even my wife and I have been puzzled by this for quite some time, too.

Yuhui wrote:

Here's how it's done in eBay America:

1. Seller lists item.
2. If buyers have any questions about the item not mentioned in the listing, they email the seller, and the seller replies.
3. Buyers either buy item at the fixed "Buy It Now" price or start bidding.
4. Auction ends.
5. Winning buyer pays seller at the auction's final value price.
6. Buyer sends money to seller.
7. Seller sends item to buyer.
8. Both sides leave feedback for each other.
9. The End.

Easy peasy, right?

Now here's the Singapore version:

1. Seller lists item.
2. Buyers email seller, asking either or both of these questions:
1. "Can I meet you to see the item?"
2. "Can I buy it from you now?" (with the implication that the seller will cancel the auction)
3. Seller responds to buyer.
4. Buyer haggles for a better price
5. Seller may or may not relent.
6. Buyer most likely buys item at a price fixed outside of eBay.
7. Seller and buyer meet to exchange item and money.
8. Feedback may or may not be left.
9. The End.

So what's my problem? It's in step 6. According to eBay's policies, the seller is not allowed to make an offsite sale, i.e. a sale on the item outside of eBay. Also, let's say the seller agrees to sell an item to a particular buyer at a certain price. If the auction's price goes above the agreed price due to third-party bidding, then the buyer has to outbid in order to secure the sale (though he won't be bound to it by the seller). This may be viewed as shill bidding, i.e. bidding by parties to push the price higher for the seller's advantage.

Everytime I tried to buy something on eBay Singapore or Yahoo! Auction Singapore, I always get disappointed because sellers do not really honor the auction rules. I guess you really have to experience the beauty of American online-auction mechanism first before moving on to the Singapore one.

PS: I believe it is still acceptable for both parties to meet to view the merchandise as long as they honor the auction rules, i.e. no quick deals outside eBay arena.


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