View Full Version : What a letdown this auction was. What could I have done better?

07-07-2012, 09:21 PM
In my opinion, this auction fell several hundred dollars short. I thought I had all the bases covered for a quality listing. Can anyone shed some light on where I may have lost some bids?

Quick review:

1. Clear title with no spelling errors. Check.

2. Informative description. Check.

3. High quality scans. Check.

4. Favorable ending time. Check.

5. PSA/DNA certified. Check.

6. 100% feedback with 13+ years as an Ebay member. Check.

7. Free expedited shipping with tracking/insurance. Check.

The only reason I ask is that I'm about to start the process of listing the rest of an estate lot I picked up, and am not sure if it's worth my time to go with an auction house or stick with Ebay.

Thanks in advance for any advice.


07-07-2012, 09:56 PM
I'm a publication guy, not an autograph guy, so here is my opinion fwiw..... I actually think that you did very well with it. The program without autographs is a $50 to $100 program at best. It looks like you had 7 or more different bidders, so to me you had good interest from different buyers.

I think that you should have included Brooklyn Dodgers & New York Yankees in the title. Both Yankees and Brooklyn Dodgers are very popular searches. Perhaps the cover being clubhouse signatures combined with authentic autographs on the back even with the authentication is a turnoff? Why only 3 pictures? I would have shown pictures of the condition of the inside and when I auction a ws program I always include the team photos. I also think that because the Cy Young autograph is on the back, it makes the piece difficult to display.

Just my 2.


Cardboard Junkie
07-07-2012, 10:05 PM
Aloha, I think the "main" scan should be of the cover. Using Yankees, and Dodgers in your title would be good. The scans might be better if using a black background. Free shipping is good. Also I think some collectors from the states just flat out wont buy from canada. I do think you might have gotten a couple more bucks. Go figure. dave.

07-07-2012, 10:14 PM
Only thing I can see is ending on a Saturday during the summer, you may lose some bids from those who are travelling, on vacation or engaged in outdoor activities when the weather is nice. I realize that every auction can't end on Sunday evening, but that does seem to be a popular choice to catch folks when they get back in town (assuming they will have to be back at work Monday morning).

Yes, lots of bidders use sniping programs these days so that it really shouldn't matter when the auction ends, but you would be surprised how many still "snipe" the old-fashioned way: by sitting at their computer and manually putting in a bid in the last few seconds. If they can't be at their computer when the auction ends, they just won't bid.

07-07-2012, 10:14 PM
I think people were a bit scared of, maybe figured value was lowered a good amount by the forgeries, even if u did describe them .

07-07-2012, 10:14 PM
Thank you all for some insight. A pity if there's some bidding bias going on, but I agree that having Dodgers/Yanks in the title might have attracted more visits. Since space is limited, I decided to focus on Cy Young instead.

I'll take this advice and apply it to some other items in the lot. Thanks again.

07-07-2012, 10:17 PM
Several things FWIW:

Format of description. Larger font, some color or bold the main description. Break down the names in a list format and cut down on the bios.

More pics as said before

This doesn't help IMO:PLEASE NOTE: Bidders with an overall feedback of less than 25 and/or 98% positive will need to contact me first before bidding. I realize we all had to start out somewhere, or may have had an unfortunate outcome to a transaction in the past, but that doesn't mean I don't want this transaction to go as smoothly as possible. Communicating with me before bidding will probably go a long way toward achieving that for both of us. Bids from these members without contacting me first will be deleted. Thanks in advance.

How many page views did you receive? That will tell alot about whether it was an effective title.

07-07-2012, 10:41 PM
I only got about 250 views, which was also disappointing. Right category, bold title, etc...

In hindsight, I probably should have avoided the blurb at the bottom. However, I thought the comments on each indivdual was a nice touch. After Young, I'd bet most bidders were unfamiliar with who signed the program (even HOFers Clarke and Connolly).

Water under the bridge now. Again, I'll try to incorporate some of these suggestions in the next round. Thanks.

Jay Wolt
07-07-2012, 10:51 PM
Keep in mind the economy is hurting and many items aren't reaching the heights of a few years ago.
Did you spam the lot on the B/S/T section? If not, this could have alerted a potential bidder or 2.

07-07-2012, 10:56 PM
Good point about the economy, and no I didn't post on the B/S/T because I'm brand new here and am not entirely sure how that works, etiquette-wise.

Jay Wolt
07-07-2012, 10:59 PM
Many members post items for sale in the various sections or in the auction area advising us what they are listing on eBay.
There's a bunch of members who only post there w/o adding any posts to the main boards.
So feel free to post away and alert us of what you have for sale

07-07-2012, 11:08 PM
Okay, will do. Thanks, Jay. This item was only the tip of the iceberg. Over 40 other programs came out of this estate, along with a Dizzy/Paul Dean signed ball, a 1951 Dodgers silk scarf, plus several other interesting items.

I'll post a full list with scans when I can.

07-07-2012, 11:13 PM
Wow ! are you bragging or complaining ? I think the listing did pretty darn GOOD ! Congrats ! stop watching the "Antique Road show" and tune into "Final Offer" or "Pawn Brokers" More of the real world in terms of autographs reflected there. AND here ! don;t look at what is the "asking" prices on e-bay, they are hilarious ...look at the actual selling prices ! You did REAL swell !

07-07-2012, 11:15 PM
Since it sounds like you have a pretty good idea of the prices you would like to get for them, you might try posting them for sale in the B/S/T section, or using a Fixed Price type listing on eBay.

Auctions are definitely quicker, but I have found that, if you have a good idea of what the "value" of the item is, eBay auctions will hit below that mark more often than exceed it. The trade-off is you get your money back much quicker than if you fish around for that one high-end sale on each item.

07-07-2012, 11:21 PM
I actually think you did very well. Had each of these signatures been signed on a blank page where they could easily have been seperated, than your price would be a touch low, but there is NO WAY these things could be removed and broken up in an attractive way (hopefully nobody will try). And in that case your price is actually VERY strong for a multi-signed item with Cy young being the best.

07-08-2012, 06:52 AM
I agree with some of the others that you did well with it. I've seen you post the program in other forums so I knew what the item was going to be. I figured you'd get around a grand for it. Nice job!

07-08-2012, 08:04 AM
Same happened to me with getting way less than expected on some equally desireable vintage items. Unless it fits a real niche like vintage Dodger or Yankee- it seems only vintage rare signed cards are meeting the prices of a few years ago. Economy is down and alot of neat stuff (other than rare signed cards) are hitting the market. I still have 8 Barney Dreyfuss signed contracts but may hold them as I doubt they will get what they were once worth

07-08-2012, 08:22 AM
To Jim: I'm most certainly not bragging, but guilty as charged with some mild complaining! I was only trying to elicit some advice from this pool of knowledge so I can maximize the potential for future listings. This is my first foray into the world of selling vintage material, so I'm learning as I go.

A seal of approval from you all is most appreciated, though. If the consensus is that it was a solid price, then that helps.

I obviously had too high an expectation for the program, but only because I thought I was the only one who appreciated the significance of the theme and the rarity of some of those sigs (whether separate or all together).

07-08-2012, 08:33 AM
Using Yankees, and Dodgers in your title would be good.

Agreed. You only want words in the title that people are searching. Words like "with" and "alumni" probably did nothing for you.

Autograph, auto & signed...I often search all three.

07-08-2012, 08:43 AM
My initial impression was that the item was not attractive due to the Young singature being splashed across the woman's head. Had I been looking for a Cy Young I'd not have considered this one at the price realized, so I think you did well on the sale.

07-08-2012, 09:17 AM
I think you did fine with the price you got. Remember that EBay is not a place to maximize value, it is to sell quickly. You probably could have gotten more if you consigned it in a live auction.

07-08-2012, 09:19 AM
My experience on eBay ( I have been a seller since 1997) is that you get your best sales average when you list multiple items that are related. These items can be loosely related (i.e. all baseball related or all ticket stubs, etc.) or very specifically related (all Dodgers items). The ability to cross promote from your existing auctions and the ability to change up titles usually gets better views. BUT, the thing about eBay is that some items will still not perform to your expectation, some will exceed your expectations by a very large amount and some will hit the exact mark. When all is said and done, if you average the total, most times you will be in the ball park that you expected.


07-08-2012, 09:22 AM
I think you did fine with the price you got. Remember that EBay is not a place to maximize value, it is to sell quickly. You probably could have gotten more if you consigned it in a live auction.

Sorry, I totally disagree with this statement. I have sold in both forums (eBay & live auctions) and have had success and failures in both.


07-08-2012, 10:22 AM
I was never an autograph collector but I can appreciate that Cy Young signed in a bad place, and made this difficult to display. As such, the price seems decent enough.

07-08-2012, 10:32 AM
Sorry, I totally disagree with this statement. I have sold in both forums (eBay & live auctions) and have had success and failures in both.