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When Should I Use A Private Auction?

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I’ve been selling for a while and never used a private auction. Maybe you can consider the topic of private auctions in a future newsletter? When to use them…when not to?

Take care,

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Note: When this question was asked, eBay showed bidder information. Today eBay hides bidder information from everyone except the seller. See eBay Changes for information about recent changes.


I’ve never spent much time discussing private auctions. I’ve had people send emails to my buyers in the past with comments about me and my linage. EBay calls this bid interference and will suspend users who do this, but it still happens. That’s why I hid my bidder’s names.

It used to be using a private auction on expensive items made sense because it prevented people from scamming your bidders. That’s a common eBay scam – fake second chance offers. I once bid 700 dollars on an item on eBay that later sold for $3200. I got an email telling me the 13 bidders above me hadn’t paid and offering me the item for my $700 bid if I’d just wire the money to a guy in England – the auction listing had a Connecticut address.

I’m not that stupid, but evidently there are a lot of stupid people using eBay so they now hide the names of buyers when an item sells for over two hundred dollars.

Another reason for using private auctions is to hide the item numbers in your feedback. If you sell something that is easy to knock off, it makes sense to make it harder for competitors to see how many sales you are getting.


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