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When I tried to sell my xda II online, I was surprised to find out that the logic of online auction is almost totally different in Singapore.
At first, I tried to sell my xda II in Singapore Pocket PC user group (PPCSG). However, I can say that, although PPCSG market place forum is a great place to buy stuff, it is not a great place to sell stuff. People from the forum would mercilessly bargain 40-50% from the initial price. Having been unable to sell my xda II with a good price in PPCSG, I looked for other alternatives.
It was not long until I find out the unwritten rules of the online auction game in Singapore, which is totally different from my experience doing online auction in the US and UK:
Perhaps ebay Singapore should open an alternative listing for reverse auction rather than having their system abused?
Nevertheless, I try to put my xda in ebay Singapore anyway, hoping to get a good price. I also put my cellphone number in the listing, and clearly stating thatpotential buyers can contact me to inquire about the item condition.
Well it turned out that putting my cellphone number is a bad decision. Nobody puts their bid in ebay, and instead, people would call me and bargain my xda cheaply.
My husband was concerned with me receiving so many phone calls. Finally he convinced me to not play according to the unwritten rule of online auction in Singapore. Indi suggested that I should just follow ebay rules as in the US and UK, also as an opportunity to educatepeople about the correct way of doing online auction. So we edited the ebay listing, put the photo of the real condition of my xda, and took out the cell phone number from the listing. Indi even suggested me to put in you are welcome to enquire about the condition of the item, but no negotiation will be entertainedto make it really clear that I wanted people to bid on the item rather than quick deal. We also revised the opening price lower in order to attract bidders.
As a courtesy, later I called Henry who earlier had contacted me about the xda, and notified him that I have revised the ebay listing, and ask him to register his bid in ebay. His subsequent responses went on like this:
But I dont want to bid.
I want to buy the xda according to the price that you just revised.
Yes, I revised the price so that buyer would be interested with my xda. But please register your bid, and if youre lucky you may win the bid. We will later deal according to the winning price. Thats how it works.
But if I bid, then the price will be higher than what I want!
Err... isnt it what ebay is all about? I put my item in ebay because I want to see if people are interested with my xda. And it will help me register other peoples interest. At the end the winner and the sellers are both happy with the winning price. (and actually I dont really care if the price is higher than what you want.. its your problem, really. What was this guy thinking?)
Well, OK lah, I will bid. But how if other people outbid me, and I cant buy your xda?
(speechless....)well, I hope youll be the lucky winner...
Cmon lah, well deal tonight, I want to buy the xda with the revised price. Well close the deal at the soonest.
But I dont want to close the deal tonight. I want you to just register your bid in ebay, and wait 5 more days until the auction closed, OK? Again, if youre lucky, you may be the winner. I tell you what, why dont you just hold your bid until the last minute, so that the price would not jump so high?.... (Imagine, as a seller I am giving him a bidding tip so that the price wont be so high!)
So that was the end of the strange conversation that I had with Henry from Malaysia. Shortly after that, someone bid for my XDA. Perhaps its Henry, I dunno. I just pray that its not Russian or Nigerian scammers that bid for my xda.
BTW, it seems that yahoo auctions Singapore has a lot more scams than ebay Singapore. This is also why I decided to put my listing in ebay Singapore.
In the mean time, while my xda II listing is cooking in ebay, I found a secondhand xda Iii of my dream listed by Marcus in the PPCSG marketplace (as I said, PPCSG forum is a great place to buy things, but NOT for selling). I managed to get a good deal from him. He was kind enough to come to my place to settle the deal.
After settling the purchase, Marcus noticed my old xda II, and he really wanted to buy it. I noted his interest, and asked him to register his bid in ebay. And his response was...
Cmon.. nobody bids in ebay! Everybody is doing quick deals there...
Yeah, but I am committed to the other ebay bidders there. How should I tell the winning bidder if I sell the item to you? I will get negative rating from him! So far, my rating has been positive, you know. I dont want to ruin my reputation.
Rating? Cmon! Nobody here (in Singapore) cares about ebay rating. You can easily make a new username. I was once banned by ebay, I dont know why, but I just couldnt access ebay anymore. I tell you what, I will just buy the thing from you according to the winning price now!
Thats really nice, but Id rather that you register your bid in ebay...
Finally Marcus gave up and asked to use my computer to register his bid through ebay before he went home. Its funny that he even forgot on how to put his bid, and I had to teach him step by step to do it. So, at that day, Marcus became the winning bidder.
In the mean time, ever since I removed my cell phone number from the listing, I received a lot of enquiries asking for a quick deal and bargaining for my xda through emails. Difficult it may be, but I persisted and refused quick deals.
A few days later, the bidding ended. Marcus came as the winner. He got the price that he wanted, and I got the selling price that I expected. So he happily came to my place to get the xda II and do the payment. Its so funny, if we knew that he would win the bid, we would just write a check with a lesser amount that already factors in his purchase. We closed the deal by writing positive ebay reviews for each other, and opened a new friendship. And BTW, I didnt hear from Henry anymore.
Only in Singapore, you can buy from and sell to a same person.