Oozing Goo - The Lava Lamp Syndicate

  I have been out of the loop with Ebay sales and prices for a few years on lava lamps. Most of what I see are very high "buy it now" prices with "best offer" also available. I never remember this many auctions with those terms. Is it something to do with Ebay fees ?

   I remember a lot of sellers were leaning to very high shipping fees offset by very low priced items. I understood they were not paying the Ebay fees on the shipping money, just the sale price of the item so it saved them $$$ in fees.

  Is there some trick or has Ebay gotten that bad ? I know their fees are crazy once you add in the Paypal cut too. I just find it odd so many auctions are set up the same today. I also did not notice many quality US made lamps like I did back in the day.

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I had a similar experience. I'd been an eBay member for over 10 years. I got some crazy buyer who left me neg feedback and ruined my 100% feedback rating. I could do NOTHING about it. eBay sided with the buyer, even though she was clearly a mental case. That negative feedback has been on my account for a year now and there's not much I can do about it. 


Between their shit customer service, them siding with the buyers most of the time, their fees (and don't forget, they own Paypal)... I only use eBay to sell if I can't do it any other way. They are a greedy joke of a company. 

E-Bay is just another place to shop. Just like any store you go to. Some stores the prices are high and others cheaper. The market will always dictate the prices of the lamps. Supply and demand. If the lamps are listed too high, they wont sell. The owner will be stuck with it. I often see lamps listed incorrectly, like a "50's" lamp, we all know they were not invented yet. Buyers need to know what they want and what the market currently is for that particular lamp, when the price is right, BUY !

Part of the problem for average enthusiasts in any hobby is that there are always well heeled collectors or one-time buyers who will buy some things at silly prices.  Then every seller after that thinks their little gem is of equal value.  You should see how this works for vintage musclecar parts!  I guess this all just makes finding a bargain that much more fun.  I guess.

Erin already more or less said this so I'm just being redundant, but this aspect is one that gets under my skin especially since I am much more often a buyer than a seller in any of my hobbies.  On the rare occassions I do sell some stuff I can never locate those crazy loons who buy at silly prices!

To Rich C:

I am also bothered about the prices of lamps on E-Bay. For me I always seem to pay too much for a lamp and when I go to sell one I never can even break even on it. I try to list one for a ridiculous low price to get some activity on it, then I get someone sending me a message to see if I will go lower than my crazy low starting price. That will get you worked up for sure. Then I find myself giving the guy an education with a bit of attitude stirred in my reply. So, (Trust me, I am still learning this) The lamp will ultimately sell at market value. Well healed buyers will eventually get the lamps they want and disappear, overpriced lamps wont sell, the market will return. Keep an eye out for a bargain, hopefully everyone here on this site will miss it, and you will win big.

Good luck !

By the way...Check out my photo's. I have a large collection of some very rare lamps as well as many really cool customs. All of which are going to be for sale. If you look at my wall of lava photos and you see something on there you like it will be on e-bay pretty soon, several of the lamps in the photos are on there now. Funny you mention the prices.... I have some of the ones I am fond of listed a bit high. I am testing the market. If they sell they were priced right, if they don't, just wait I will lower the price until they do. They are all going away. I have thousand of dollars invested in my collection. I am sure I wont ever get the money back on them, but I am not ready to dump it all. It's not a fire sale. I have time and patience to sell them off. But my ultimate goal is to sell. Time for my next obsession......

I always wanted that coffee/percolator lamp of yours, but I believe you sold it. 

I agree with you Dr.

I too received my first negative feedback from a crazy buyer not long ago after 15 years on Ebay!

I knew it would happen sooner or later.

There are simply to many crazy people in the world Today and it's getting much harder to avoid them. 



Dr. WHAT?! said:

yes I dealt with crazy buyer which in turn lead to a open case (which neither of us were found at fault so the case was closed by ebay) she left me negative feedback so I called ebay to try to have it removed and got transferred overseas to someone who barely spoke English and sounded like she was reading from a book in all her responses. Just to have them say sorry but the seller left you negative feedback about your disposition. I was like are you f-ing kidding me? 12 years of being a member not one neg feedback and they wont remove it. This seller was a nut job and lied throughout the entire ordeal so she could put anything in there she wanted. Whatever, ebay is a joke not to mention they take so much money from sellers. Its not even worth it anymore.

Are you quitting Lava totally?  What is the next obsession?

CRASHSUNDAYGUY said:

By the way...Check out my photo's. I have a large collection of some very rare lamps as well as many really cool customs. All of which are going to be for sale. If you look at my wall of lava photos and you see something on there you like it will be on e-bay pretty soon, several of the lamps in the photos are on there now. Funny you mention the prices.... I have some of the ones I am fond of listed a bit high. I am testing the market. If they sell they were priced right, if they don't, just wait I will lower the price until they do. They are all going away. I have thousand of dollars invested in my collection. I am sure I wont ever get the money back on them, but I am not ready to dump it all. It's not a fire sale. I have time and patience to sell them off. But my ultimate goal is to sell. Time for my next obsession......

I don't think most of the problem children on ebay are crazy, I think they deliberately act that way to get discounts or full refunds and thus get things cheap or free.  When they took away the ability to have seller's give buyers negative feedback, it totally empowered such shysters to take the advantage. 

This is the exact moment I lost faith in eBay. It was such a shitty thing to do - always assuming the buyer is right. Sellers are the reason eBay exists! 

Rich C said:

When they took away the ability to have seller's give buyers negative feedback, it totally empowered such shysters to take the advantage. 

Well, and how their fee structure has evolved over the last few years.  When they acquired PayPal the greed knob got turned up to 11.

If there was just a reasonable alternative to ebay....   Amazon is at least providing some avenues for competition, but the broad range of stuff available on ebay is hard to match elsewhere.  Places like Quibids are just a silly structure and really only provide outlets for new stuff.

Remember when ebay was fun and you could still find bargains there?  I wish Craiglist was easier to use on a nationwide scale but with its total lack of controls or oversights it would be pretty risky to use outside your own local area.  I've gotten some absolute fantastic bargains on my local Craiglist though and you can't complain about their fee structure.

Erin said:

This is the exact moment I lost faith in eBay. It was such a shitty thing to do - always assuming the buyer is right. Sellers are the reason eBay exists! 

Rich C said:

When they took away the ability to have seller's give buyers negative feedback, it totally empowered such shysters to take the advantage. 

imagine an ad-based craigslist with paypal and NO listing fees.  yeah, ebay sucks these days.

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