Usually the 1-cent offerings come with a mailing fee of 1-dollar or more - which makes the total price more than the stamp's value.
Not here. Free shipping.
Or is the seller avoiding the cost of putting a reserve on an item by bidding on his own items. His bid may be way more than the penny and what his higher starting bid would have been normally but this way he makes it look like there's a 'bidding war' and hopefully generates some interest and bidding from more than one person.
A lot of this seller's items go for under a dollar or two, and just a few bids after the initial one cent bid, and not by the same bidder as the one cent bid.
I am sure most protect themselves in ways. I perceive there is a lot of shill bidding.
Well, to repeat myself, the only "shill bid" I see is the original one cent bid when the item is first placed.
A lot of people place "marker bids" on items they wish to watch. If the start price is not ridiculously low, they simply will not mark it. eBay
's automated notification system sends hem a reminder before auction end - the real competition happens at the end of the auction anyway. I don't think the one-cent start is odd if the seller is intent on selling everything. The good stuff usually receives its due competition.
I do see evidence of this. The initial one cent bid is a one time thing done, I think, by the seller, not by buyers placing "marker bids." I why do that when you can just tell eBay
to watch it. eBay
will send emails to remind you of items you are watching before the auctions expire.
I've been reluctant to identify the seller because I don't want to make it seem like I'm calling someone out for improper behavior. I don't think that at all. I buy lots of items from this seller, probably at least once a week on average.
What I've wondered is this: is there a difference in the seller's expense in listing fees between an item placed to start at one cent, but doesn't get any bids, and one that starts at one cent, and gets one bid so that it sells at one cent? Cause that's what it looks like is happening to me.