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  #1  
Old 09-27-2009, 04:08 PM
BobbyVCP BobbyVCP is offline
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Default Ebay style auction houseq

Over the past 4 plus years that I have seen at least 3 eBay style auction houses try to compete with the beast and all have failed. Why do you think so and what needs to be done to make a successful auction site like them? I am in discussion with another company about the possibility of making a Graded Sports collectibles only auction site just like eBay 5 years ago. A few points that I think are needed to make it a go but how do you get the community that hates the old way try the new way?

Keys:

Feedback system with full disclosure.
Sniping
Mass lot upload application for large sellers.
Seperate sections by eras
????

I have the programmers and the people in place to make it a reality and think the others that tried failed because they went after everything and we are only going for a small sector of their business.

Any feedback would be appreciated and hope to make a go of this shortly.
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  #2  
Old 09-27-2009, 04:21 PM
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leftygrove10 leftygrove10 is offline
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I would make sure that it had a powerful search engine, one with which you could do includes as well as excludes for your searches. For example, if you wanted to find all of the Babe Ruth cards, but didn't wanted to see the Goudeys you might type:

Babe Ruth -Goudey

eBay has this ability, although it may have been degraded with their recent changes.
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  #3  
Old 09-27-2009, 08:06 PM
DavidW DavidW is offline
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Method of payment should include credit cards and paypal. Starting off everyone would have zero feedback so should be some other way of determining trustfulness of buyers/sellers. Perhaps some background checks at registration time. Good luck with the venture.
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  #4  
Old 09-27-2009, 09:22 PM
BobbyVCP BobbyVCP is offline
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Registration will have the sellers and buyers giving their eBay id as reference.
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  #5  
Old 09-28-2009, 05:07 AM
mcap100176 mcap100176 is offline
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I agree that your search engine must be excellent. If you can replicate both the VCP search page and the Want List section, that should be more than adequate. This way users can search by a range... Ruth, PSA 3 - 6, etc., or by type, T204, T206, etc.

I assume that there will be a link to VCP included in each auction to see realized prices???

Will it be ALL graded cards? What about BCCG? The search engine should be able to differentiate between the grading companies.

I don't think Ebay should be the main reference. I think your Ebay ID should be optionally included in each auction that you list. I prefer that this new company require credit card verification of each member. This might include a small transaction fee (50 cents) but worth it to keep the hacks out. For bigger money cards (say $500) then you might require an Ebay feedback of 5 (or 10) or more to be able to auction items. While I know that this is controversial and will not keep out all of the fraudsters, I have no problem verifying my identity.

This might be hard to program but it is a pet peeve...people who don't leave feedback...and there should be a way to force people to leave feedback. It is incredibly annoying to ship out a card the next day and the buyer never recognizing your efforts. If there was a way to "force" feedback, that would be fantastic. Example: I mark an item shipped regular mail on Monday, 3 to 5 days to arrive. After 12 days, the buyer can't bid on items until they leave feedback. This gives the buyer and extra week after the item should have been received to leave feedback.

Keep the site uniform. I get irked when I log into Ebay and they change the page layouts/setup as somehow I became a beta-tester and the next time I log in it returns to the previous layout/setup. This happened a lot when they were "upgrading" My Ebay. Just a pet peeve of mine.

Require, at a minimum, a front scan or picture. I know that is will be tough for the large sellers but it is a mechanism to combat fraud, via the grader's label.

Once you post an auction, you can't take it down. No communication permitted from a buyer to the seller to Buy It Now.

No reprints permitted. Just original cards.

Feedback based upon lifetime earnings and showing 6 and 12 month breakdowns.

Feedback could be:
1. Did the seller invoice you within 24 hours?
2. Did the seller mark the item shipped?
3. Was the item packaged as described?
4. How was the item packaged?
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  #6  
Old 09-28-2009, 06:47 AM
BobbyVCP BobbyVCP is offline
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Great feedback, in regards to graded cards only was going to keep it to:

SGC
PSA
GAI
BVG/BGS

The BGGG label is not a true graded IMHO and keep out all the other bogus grading companies as well. And yes having at least a front image is mandatory with no Image coming soon signs.
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  #7  
Old 09-28-2009, 07:01 AM
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Default Hey Bobby....There will be a link on this front page!!

Since you told me last night you weren't certain you were going to do an ebay like auction site, and that you were still undecided, I just want to let everyone know, as I stated recently on the board, Matt and I ARE GOING TO do an ebay auction site AND there will be a link to it on this front page. So please keep the suggestions coming in. If there is more than one ebay like site then then best one(s) will prosper. I think whoever does it will have somewhat of an uphill battle. regards
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Last edited by Leon; 09-28-2009 at 07:03 AM. Reason: typo
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  #8  
Old 09-28-2009, 08:44 AM
iggyman's Avatar
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My two bits worth.....

1. Don't have 102 different rules and regulations. Too many guidelines and you are going to piss people off. I'm already completely disagreeing with the prior suggestion to force mandatory feedback. Keep it simple!

2. No down time or slow response time allowed. This was a major problem during the rookie years of eBay.

3. Just throwing this out there, as a stupid idea. But I always thought it would be neat, to have certain groups of prewar cards end on a given time/day of the week/month. For instance, T206 cards would end every Sunday and Wednesday nights (with one minute intervals between each auction). T3's and Exhibits would end Monday nights. Goudey's would end Tuesday nights, caramel's every Thursday night, etc, etc, etc.

Thus, the auction house would offer three styles of auctions; the standard 7 day auction, the buy-it-now auction and the "group" auction. All cards in the group auction would have to start at .99 cents. To make-up for this, perhaps they could run a little longer then 7 days (10 to 15 days). Thus, on Wednesday night you could have three-hundred-and-sixty T206 cards for auction (running from 7:00 pm to 1:00 am at one-minute intervals). As a buyer, I could plan for T206 Wednesday. As a seller, I will definitely get more eyes on my auction (which is half the battle).

4. In order to really succeed, you need to reach a larger audience then the hard core collector. Advertise, advertise, advertise! American loves baseball cards...

A little ramble.... I already spend way too much time browsing and bidding on eBay, looking at monthly catalogs from major auction houses, glancing at the B/S/T section, keeping track of the latest Mike Wheat offerings, selling cards to finance everything, and updating my want lists. So you are asking alot, if you expect me to devote more time to an eBay-like-auction site. You will have to to emulate what eBay gives me. On any given day, I can find rare cards, and perceived bargains. On any given day, I can sell cards and be pleasantly surprise with the bidding. Give me that, and I will take more then a peek.

One quick shot......"Graded Cards" only, that is way too narrow for me. Especially, when there is nothing wrong with including raw cards...

Lovely Day...
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  #9  
Old 09-28-2009, 08:49 AM
mcap100176 mcap100176 is offline
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One other thing...
Start all auctions at $0.99. None of the garbage of "starting bid of $99.99" for a $100 card.

Uphill battle, most definitely. I see the key is marketing/advertising (when isn't it). Google "baseball card auction" and Ebay isn't on the front page. You'll probably have to do a lot of hyper local advertising along with national trade publications. Would a good "official" launch day be at the National next year? Especially after ESPN covered the event this year.
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  #10  
Old 09-28-2009, 08:53 AM
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A lot of good ideas for something that is needed.

My only idea would be anyone starting a site should purchase a really large collection (multiple vintage sets/lots) and then use the site to sell it over time, sell the cards by auction format. Plan to take a loss on a number of those cards while you build up the service/bidders, consider those losses marketing to get buyers to use the site. Anyone who has a good expericence (a good deal on the early cards) on your site will come back again. The key is getting quality cards for sale in auction format and the buyers will come. Now just having a functioning auction site will not get you sellers, there is too much initial risk of getting a low sale price on using the auction format with no sales history, thats why having a bunch of good material to sale early on would be key. This gives other sellers a benchmark of what they can expect their cards to sell for.

Example if I see the new site sold a bunch of T-206 common SGC 40's over the last month and the prices were comparable to ebay, at that time I would be willing to list a card or two to test the waters. If those got market prices then I would look into listing more items.


I had checked out the other failed sites in the past and the only cards I needed were all priced as high bin's type, nothing worthwile in the auctions. After checking them out a couple times I never went back.
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  #11  
Old 09-28-2009, 09:06 AM
barrysloate barrysloate is offline
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I feel that whoever decides to launch an auction site should try to incorporate the best of ebay, and to minimize or downplay its worst aspects. Try to offer as much incentive as you can to sellers willing to go with the auction format, and assess a fee/penalty on those who just want to park overpriced inventory in the listings and leave it there indefinitely. There's no free parking!

And I think that while the chance that such a site will succeed may not be great, the timing is right and there is currently a need for it.
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  #12  
Old 09-28-2009, 09:15 AM
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slantycouch slantycouch is offline
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I can't imagine the time and frustration involved with trying to "beat" ebay and meet all of the opinions/expectations of those here, and otherwise. The intricacies of such an undertaking must be innumerable. I think I'd end up pulling out my hair.
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  #13  
Old 09-28-2009, 09:17 AM
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Default Slanty

Quote:
Originally Posted by slantycouch View Post
I can't imagine the time and frustration involved with trying to "beat" ebay and meet all of the opinions/expectations of those here, and otherwise. The intricacies of such an undertaking must be innumerable. I think I'd end up pulling out my hair.
I agree. NO matter what anyone does, just like managing this site, they will never make everyone happy. What makes one person happy upsets another one. As for the pulling my hair out...I have that covered already. Not much more to pull??
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  #14  
Old 09-28-2009, 09:44 AM
barrysloate barrysloate is offline
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Come on Leon- you still have a few hairs.
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  #15  
Old 09-28-2009, 09:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leon View Post
I agree. NO matter what anyone does, just like managing this site, they will never make everyone happy. What makes one person happy upsets another one. As for the pulling my hair out...I have that covered already. Not much more to pull??
Haha well then you're all set!

I didn't mean to sound negative, if I did. I simply, and sincerely, think it will be a huge undertaking.

As you said... everyone has an opinion. As head honcho here you surely know that.
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  #16  
Old 09-28-2009, 10:28 AM
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Al C.risafulli Al C.risafulli is offline
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The key to making a competing venture work is the same as the key to making ANY online venture work: traffic.

Just putting it up and saying "here it is" isn't going to drive the traffic to the site that it will need in order to generate A) enough listings to make it worthwhile, and B) enough bids to satisfy the sellers.

This community, while a GREAT part of the hobby, is just that - a part of the hobby. When you start looking at the dollars that change hands on eBay in the card category alone, I think the magnitude of it gets daunting.

So basically I'm saying that the winner will do a LOT of marketing, pre-launch, will secure a decent amount of sellers, pre-launch, and will have people chomping at the bit, waiting to bid when the service goes live.

Once that's done, next comes the hard part of keeping the traffic steady after the launch is done.

I wish the best of luck to whoever tries it. I know that I'm barely looking at eBay anymore since they eliminated the "pre-1930" category. But I also know that there are lots of other, well-capitalized companies that have already tried to go head-to-head with eBay and thus far have failed.

-Al
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  #17  
Old 09-28-2009, 12:00 PM
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Default No cents

Reasonable, published bidding increments, as all of the legit auction houses do. Percentages or dollar amounts.

In other words, 100, 110, 121, etc., or 100, 125, 150, etc. BUT no cents, and no bids other than those published by the auction house accepted. No more losing lots by one dollar - or one cent.
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  #18  
Old 09-28-2009, 12:01 PM
CTDean CTDean is offline
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Default Sportscards only?

The biggest drawback for me as a seller would be sportscards only. I've been a picker/flipper of antiques, Americana, vintage sports, etc for over 40 years and would need an auction site that is not limited to just sports for selling. As a buyer, I want the chance to search for ephemera, Americana, photographs, Civil War, political, etc. It's the chance for a discovery that draws a buyer to an auction site and in turn that draws the sellers. Mastro/Legends, Huggins & Scott, Heritage, etc have non sport lots in their catalogs, so please consider catagories such as Ephemera, Americana, etc.
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  #19  
Old 09-28-2009, 12:49 PM
BobbyVCP BobbyVCP is offline
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Incremental bidding would in essence eliminate snipe bidding and the buyer would have to enter a max like they do in regular auction houses. I think this takes a lot of the joy out of using an eBay type service. I like the rule that a end buyer has to have a bid in before the last 24 hours in order to be able to bid at the end. This will make there be some action on the lot before it comes to the last day.
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  #20  
Old 09-28-2009, 12:56 PM
Potomac Yank Potomac Yank is offline
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Default Graded only???

That means that I'll have to crack them OUT.
I don't feel that I'm alone in this.
There are still a few of us left from the old school.
We can do our own grading, and we're not bad when it comes to authenticating.
All my sets are raw, and in binders.

As much as I will root for a competitor to the current eBay ... Graded Only is NOT an inducement for me.

tobacco-r-us
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  #21  
Old 09-28-2009, 01:09 PM
BobbyVCP BobbyVCP is offline
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I look at it this way by having only graded cards by the 4 majors eliminates a lot of chance for the scammers to prey in the novice collectors and makes for a safer buying and selling marketplace. Yes you are experienced in detecting which is bad and good but for everyone of you there are at least 500 that don't know.
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  #22  
Old 09-28-2009, 01:16 PM
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Graded only could also serve to alienate novice collectors as well. And collectors like Joe.

As Al said... the key to this whole thing is traffic. Cutting out groups of people (i.e. raw collectors) from your target market might really hinder the success of the venture.
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  #23  
Old 09-28-2009, 02:45 PM
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22 posts in and no one has mentioned fees. I think that gives you a pretty good idea of our priorities...we just want access to the broadest base of collectors and dealers to give our stuff the best chance of success.
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  #24  
Old 09-28-2009, 03:05 PM
mcap100176 mcap100176 is offline
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In my first post I thought about mentioning fees but didn't care enough about them to say anything. I think it just comes down to a flat fee or percentage fee and then pricing models.

I think that fees could be an interesting poll...do you prefer flat fees upon insertion and sale regardless of price, flat insurance fee & percentage of price, no insertion fee and percentage of price, etc
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  #25  
Old 09-28-2009, 03:49 PM
Potomac Yank Potomac Yank is offline
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Default Bobby, graders are great with corners and sides .....

Quote:
Originally Posted by BobbyVCP View Post
I look at it this way by having only graded cards by the 4 majors eliminates a lot of chance for the scammers to prey in the novice collectors and makes for a safer buying and selling marketplace. Yes you are experienced in detecting which is bad and good but for everyone of you there are at least 500 that don't know.
*

Graders are great with corners and sides, but as to their authentication, they are a crap shoot.
Many of them are too inexperience with the different card sets in their hands for a couple of minutes.
Contrary to hopeful belief, they don't spent hours studying a card.
Time is of the essence.

Simply stated, the group that comes out with graded, and non graded offerings ... gets my vote.
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  #26  
Old 09-28-2009, 05:46 PM
darkpoet darkpoet is offline
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Default competing website

I stopped using eBay because of the PayPal monopoly. If a competing website allows checks/money orders for buyers and sellers as a payment method, and also allows sellers to post negative feedback for deadbeats, then count me in. Also, it would be nice to have categories for every type of collectible and have a collectibles auction site.
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