Does very low price make you suspicious?

@LittleMel (14059)
Canada
January 8, 2009 8:45pm CST
I am usually OK with break even when selling on Ebay, even if I use flat rate shipping so sometimes I lose money in it. But I noticed a few days ago, an item that can easily break even at $ 20 or 22 is listed at $5. The shipping cost is calculated by location so he is not earning from shipping either. I find it strange though because I know the supplier of this item and there is no way the seller can get this item at a price lower than $ 10, even if it's on sale. I don't have the same item in stock but I know where to order it. So when someone asked me about the very same item, I gave her my quote and she said 'well someone else sells it at $ 5 so I'm gonna bid on that'. I told her 'ok, at least I gave you a quote and you can decide'. I really can't compete with a price that low and I don't want to. Do you find very very low prices suspicious, even if the seller has a big number of transactions and over 97% rating?
2 people like this
9 responses
@polachicago (19143)
• United States
12 Jan 09
I am not suspicious about low price. In fact I get few items very low and I was surprised by good quality. price depends on location and it has nothing to do with wholesale price.
1 person likes this
@LittleMel (14059)
• Canada
12 Jan 09
actually no, pola. price doesn't depend on location. shipping and freight is. wholesale price is good as a pointer in both purchasing and selling. the rest depends on the seller, honest or not. sometimes they are honest, selling at very low to make room for inventory. sometimes they are not and the item is damaged, thats why they have to sell it that low. sometimes they do sell very low because they are using certain courier service that will charge recipient brokerage fee on top of shipping, so the only way that people buy their product is to lower the product price to make up for shipping and brokerage fee or else they won't be able to compete. I never list lower than wholesale price and people still purchase it. Unless a lot of people sell similar items at way lower than mine, I would not go lower than wholesale. even at the wholesale price I still don't make profit due to ebay fees anyway.
@polachicago (19143)
• United States
12 Jan 09
what I mean is: If company pay 5C for product and sell it for $5, someone else has a right to make lower profit and sell it for $4.... I didn't mean selling for wholesale. Shipping is separate issue.... Prices are different by location. Everything is twice as much in Europe as it is in USA...
1 person likes this
@LittleMel (14059)
• Canada
12 Jan 09
ok if using your example. the product is bought at 5c, then this person is selling it at not $ 5 or $ 4 but 1c. I don't see $ 5 suspicious or even 5c but 1c? where as he could sell it at 5c and still grabbing buyers? I had good experiences buying cheap items too, but they were not listed way way cheaper than others if you frequently buy on ebay you will see that certain items are rarely listed in very low price, doesn't matter location or shipping custom brokerage etc because even in times of crisis, quality speaks, maybe not as loud as before but wouldn't it better to spend $ 22 if you can trust the outcome then spend $ 5 yet not sure about it? or perhaps even better, not spend at all?
@speakeasy (4215)
• United States
12 Apr 09
I only get suspicious when it is an extremely low "buy it now" price. Then I really scrutinize it to see if it is used or a "look-alike"/knock-off. I have seen items that start out very low, get a lot of bids and seen the price go way over what the average person would pay for it while things that are "reasonably priced" will just sit there and be ignored. One way to tell what is going on with an item is to check the closed auctions and it shows whether the item sold or not and the final or buy it now price AND how many bids were made. That gives you an idea whether you would be better off taking a chance on a low opening bid or setting it at a higher amount. Of course, it is possible you might end up taking a loss on an item every now and then; but, you should make more over the long run.
1 person likes this
@speakeasy (4215)
• United States
13 Apr 09
Personally, I think that ebay revising the rates to encourage more "buy it now" and fewer auctions was one of the biggest mistakes they made; especially with the economy in the condition it is in. Their last quarterly report supports that belief; because sales are down and in a weak economy people are looking for bargains. Ebay used to be the place to find bargains. When the item cost + shipping on a used item is as much as or more than a brand new item - they are no longer deals and I have found this more and more on ebay; so, I am buying less and am wasting my time and gas going to thrift shops, second hand shops, and garage sales searching for things I used to buy on ebay or I am just not buying those items at all. I quit selling on ebay when my post office removed the after hours parcel drop off and instituted the "13 oz rule". I no longer had an office to mail things from and mail pickup for my home is over a mile away from my home. With my working hours it is difficult to get to the post office when THEY are open and since I can no longer drop off any package that weighs more than 13 oz - I no longer sell.
1 person likes this
@LittleMel (14059)
• Canada
15 Apr 09
not sure the weight limit for postal here but I noticed that for a parcel, one kg or lower is charged the same fee for same destination. I hope there are more courier choices that can ship at the same prices. about the listing fee, I do find it better buy it now. but some things I wish they charge same fee for auction with the same period of time, only because I want to sell them fast no matter what price I get. It seems offers take longer to gt than bids. My items are new not used but in this economy I was forced to drop the price so much to compete with other businesses that are closing down. I don't think they will sell so low if they are not in trouble. I hope things get better next year so prices won't go down bottom low like that for new items.
@speakeasy (4215)
• United States
16 Apr 09
We didn't use to have a limit; but, about 2 years ago, they instituted a "13 oz rule" that any package that weighs more than 13 oz has to HANDED to a postal worker. With me working and only getting a 30 min "lunch hour" it makes it very difficult to get to the post office during "business hours". I was selling used clothing and books and these easily end up going over 13 oz unless you sell each item individually and I found they sell much better in "lots" with fewer fees to pay than selling individual items. Oh well.
1 person likes this
@mjmlagat (3171)
• Philippines
27 Apr 09
Yeah, usually I'm apprehensive to buy cheap merchandise and even wonder if there's something wrong with it or isn't it expired or what. Better be sure than sorry at the end. It would be a waste of money to buy such goods if afterall they can't be utilized.
1 person likes this
@LittleMel (14059)
• Canada
28 Apr 09
true. it might be cheap but if it's not what it supposed to be then it is a waste of money
• India
26 Apr 09
I usually do not buy anything from the eBay, but it's a great place to look for goods when you want a discount. Yes, it always arouses a suspicion when you see an item priced way below its original market price, but since buying on ebay gives you protection, you can always make your purchase without feeling scared. You can always start a dispute if the item that is delivered to you is not what they showed or is riddled with problems. bourne
1 person likes this
@LittleMel (14059)
• Canada
27 Apr 09
that's true you can always dispute it but if you have a deadline and the item doesn't come as promised getting money back won't fix the problem especially if it's for a wedding besides you won't get the money back soon anyway depends on the seller
@riyasam (16582)
• India
10 Apr 09
sure it does make me suspicious,i do compare the same items prices with other sellers,and leave it thinking that it may be a used product or an old stock which i wouldnt want.
1 person likes this
@LittleMel (14059)
• Canada
12 Apr 09
yeah it could be used product but these days with many businesses closing down it can also be some businesses trying to clear the shelves before closing down maybe thats why they sell way way lower
@fasyahime (634)
• Malaysia
6 Apr 09
very suspicious..when they start the bidding price of $0.01,they will definitely charge the shipping fees expensively..i always check the shipping fess regardless how cheap the bidding prize is..to avoid been cheated..
@LittleMel (14059)
• Canada
7 Apr 09
yes it's wise to do so if it's flat rate shipping fee usually seller just generalize the fee regardless the distance, so sometimes they lose sometimes they get about a dollar something people can bid at any price but the ones that know the actual price will bid closer to this actual price so in the end the item will not be sold that cheap anyway but sometimes we can get lucky
@jammyt (2824)
• Philippines
9 Jan 09
I usually become suspicious when it's too low. Sometimes, I still get it though.However, when it conks out(whatever it may be), I don't feel bad since I got it for so low. LOL!
1 person likes this
@LittleMel (14059)
• Canada
9 Jan 09
hahah yeah that's a good thing about it
@eagle_f15 (2054)
• Malaysia
9 Jan 09
Hi.....well in my country, alot of sellers do put low prices including me. ITs either the seller wants a lot of bids or wants to clear stock. In my case is I want to clear my stuff so at least I still earn some money back. I go as low as RM1.00
1 person likes this
@LittleMel (14059)
• Canada
9 Jan 09
probably that's what he is trying to do too but in his case he could still go for $ 20 and still make a sell because everyone else sells it at $ 30 up or $ 40 something with free shipping
@JanMags (726)
• Philippines
9 Jan 09
i'm always suspicious with low prices but in e-bay i think some sellers intentionally price their products low in hopes that there will be a lot of bidders who will eventually jack up the price. but this is just plain risky isn't it under normal, non-auction circumstances, i would be very wary of low prices
1 person likes this
@LittleMel (14059)
• Canada
9 Jan 09
yeah it is I'm just glad I can use buy it now feature LOL the fees are not lower but it stays there longer and I know how much it will sell