Thursday, May 22, 2014

.99 Strategy Change

I paid $15 for a large tote box full of miscellaneous items (about 40 items) at a warehouse sale a few weeks ago. I knew that one of the items this Norfolk Southern Railway mug, would pay for the contents of the box and decided to list everything at .99 auctions.

Currently listed for $19.99 (comps sold $14.50 plus shipping)

What a mistake! I’ve seen many items on eBay start at .99 and make what they are worth, and more. But evidently that is not actually the norm.

I think this may have to do with perceived value. Something I vaguely remember from marketing classes in college. If I’m starting a listing at $0.99 then many consumers may think that the item is flawed somehow. If I start an auction at $9.99 the items perceived value is automatically higher, and therefore the item becomes more coveted.

I certainly learned my lesson on this one. I will be pricing items with higher start bid prices from now on. Even though the $15.00 is not a loss, it is still a bad feeling shipping off something worth $20.00 when the buyer won it for $0.99!

One resale blogger I read talks about the “Goldilocks” price he sets for his shoes: $39.99. He thinks that the price is “not too high, not too low, its just right” for buyers. See his post about this topic here.

Have you found any great items this week? Have you had successes or failures with the $0.99 starting price point?

1 comment:

  1. Auctions are not like they used to be in the "old" days. Nowadays, if you start an auction at 99-cents be prepared to sell it at that price. I do sometimes have 99-cent auctions on old stale stock. Otherwise, I start auctions at the lowest price I am willing to accept. On a couple of occasions this has worked to my advantage, as in the Disney tablecloth and sewing parts I mentioned in my post. I certainly understand what you mean by feeling "bad, but it least it was not a costly mistake! BTW, that's a neat railway mug.