posted 12-10-2023 07:54 PM
Some additional points to consider when buying an item in an auction vs directly from the seller at a set price:
1. If it's an auction such as eBay you may think you won the item only to find that you were outbid in the very last second. That recently happened to me on an item I really wanted and thought I had won, then saw that someone had placed a bid at almost the exact instant the auction closed.
2. You have to pay a buyer's premium of 20-28%, depending on the auction house, above the price that the item sold for.
3. Some auction houses also charge sales tax, which, depending on the sales price, can add hundreds or thousands of dollars to the final price.
4. Many (all?) auction houses will charge more for packing and shipping than an individual. Some auction houses also require the buyer to arrange for third party shipping and those shippers, even UPS, cost more than an individual will charge, sometimes much more.
5. When you're bidding against other collectors, as Chuck pointed out, sometimes the price will go above what similar items have sold for in the past because the bidders get into a 'bidding war.'
As I've mentioned above over the past 15 years that I've been collecting space flown artifacts I've passed on items that I thought I could get at a lower price but either have had to wait many years before another one became available or, in some cases, the item has never become available. Because I've missed out on several items that I really wanted hoping that I can find them for less I no longer wait until I can buy them for less. That doesn't mean I will pay an astronomical (pun intended) price for them but it does mean that I'm willing to pay a reasonable price above what the item has sold for in the past. But that's me.