Second chance offerings

orchidnickApril 20, 2010

Be aware how second chance offerings work on Ebay. I bid on a plant 10 days ago and watched someone else get it for much more than I was willing to pay. Immediately afterwards I got a 'Second Chance Offer' I could buy the plant for the highest amount I bid, much less than the winning bid.

The moment you see this test the waters. I have since then got 4 more plants from this vendor, each time bidding the asking bid, then loosing the plant to someone else who paid more and soon after buying it for my lower bid. Each time I got the plant for considerably less than the winning bid. Obviously this vendor has too many plants right now or needs money to pay his taxes.

I'm going to milk this until he stops doing it. If you want to know the vendor email me.


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Sounds like a scam to me. Maybe there is no higher bidder - he has a friend bidding to bring up the price? Possible?


    Bookmark   April 20, 2010 at 11:21PM
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As long as I'm getting nice plants at the asking bid, I'm ready to be scammed anytime.


    Bookmark   April 21, 2010 at 12:01AM
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I doubt it's a scam, they're just making the most of eBay and several buyers that want the plant. If a seller lists an orchid for $20 and two people want it, the top bidder pays (for example) $41 and can also sell the other bidder another plant for $40. The seller gets $41 more than the list price for 2 separate listings, doesn't have to pay the additional insertion fees and doesn't have to wait another week while a second auction ends to get rid of the plant. I rarely see orchid nurseries on eBay listing start prices that are significantly less than catalogue price so if they have a lot of stock, it's in their interest to offer a second chance offer rather than relist and risk getting much less. As a result, the high bidder is happy because he won the plant, the second bidder is happy because he got won a plant that he thought he'd lost and the seller is happy because he gets more money for less effort. The downside of relying on this method is if (a) the seller doesn't have enough plants to meet the second chance offers or (b) a seller thinks they can make more if they relist rather than sell to a lower bidder.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2010 at 12:30AM
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You are close but if that's all there was I would not have posted it. Using your example, a plant lists for $20, I bid the $20 and then sit back and watch the bidding go to $40. I loose the plant but then the second chance offering is for the highest bid I put in, in this case $20.

I realized this by chance as I bid on something, then ignored it as I would not want to pay more than that amount. The plant sold for almost twice as much but the second chance offering was for the original amount. I repeated that 4 times now and have a couple of low bids in right now. There is nothing to loose as if the seller stops the practice, I simply don't get the plant but it does not cost my anything to try.

This is not the usual practice on Ebay and even this particular seller has not done this in the past. I don't know why he is doing it now, probably has an abundance of plants.


    Bookmark   April 22, 2010 at 5:04AM
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cjwatson(Z8 FL)

My understanding is that this is against eBay's rules unless the seller actually relists the 'second chance' plant, perhaps as a buy-it-now. eBay wants its commission. I have received several general warnings through the years from eBay about sellers offering a product not listed to eBay customers. The main problem for the buyer is that you will not have any protection or recourse if you get ripped off, and that the seller will be dumped from eBay if caught -- and maybe the buyer too but that sounds extreme. eBay asks that you report to them any seller doing this.

As they say in fancy legal letters, govern yourself accordingly. I can certainly understand the temptation.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2010 at 8:44AM
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It is offered as a 'Buy Now' on Ebay. What I don't know is if it is actually listed on Ebay as I never checked. I just receive an email with all the Ebay markings and a chance for me to click on a 'Buy now' spot. The transaction definitely goes through the Ebay books, I don't know if the general public has a crack at it too or if it's just a private offering. Next time I'll check to see if it shows up on Ebay.


    Bookmark   April 22, 2010 at 9:49AM
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cjwatson(Z8 FL)

That's fine, then. As long as it goes through eBay, they have nothing to complain about. Doesn't necessarily have to show up on their page. Sounds like a deal made in heaven. Do it!!

    Bookmark   April 22, 2010 at 9:59AM
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There is one pitfall. The initial offering often includes a picture of the actual plant you are bidding on. The second offer implies that you will get a similar plant, but it will obviously not be that particular plant. None of the plants I bought have buds or blooms but if the initial plant does, one cannot assume that the 'secong chance offer' plant does also.

I'm new to this also, the 4 plants I mentioned earlier will arrive in early May, there may be a couple more, these will represent my first foray into the world of 'Second Chance Offers'. I will report if the plants sent were of equal caliber than the one shown in the initial offering. I suspect they will be equal as the vendor has never disappointed me but if they are half the size it will be worth mentioning.


    Bookmark   April 22, 2010 at 4:29PM
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I've come across a lot of nurseries selling on eBay who will do it. Not for one off divisions and small batches but it's more common for standard sized batches of nursery stock. I'm not saying you're not on to a good thing and by all means take advantage of second chance offers and play the odds as to whether soeone will offer it to. I as pointing out that te benefit isn;t just onew way and there are also definite advantages to to seller in doing this, both in terms of total sale value and time saved. As far as how it is listed on eBay, it is treated as a fixed period, private "buy it now" sale. ie the offer is not displayed on the auction listings. You do, however, get to offer feedback on the sale as per usual and the "buy it now" listing is linked against your feedback in the same way that auction listings are. You don't appear as a buyer on the original auction. I imagine you should be able to check through a seller's feedback history to see whether they have a habit of offering second chance offers by checking their completed listings against the lot numbers in their feedback history.

As Nick said second chance offers occur within eBay and are covered by eBay in the same way a standard eBay sale would be. The practice is within eBay's terms of use. eBay has a problem with taking sales outside of eBay.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2010 at 12:46AM
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I'm not suggesting that I'm in any way taking advantage of the seller or that I've discovered sliced bread. Obviously it is in the inter of the seller to do this otherwise it would not happen and it is common practice. I have just not seen it happen with some predictability in the past.

I'm just pointing out that when you experience a seller doing this, it may imply that he is overloaded with plants and that there may be some bargains there for the taking.


    Bookmark   April 23, 2010 at 10:33AM
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