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What's your strategy for watching eBay coin listings?

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Valued Member
United States
292 Posts
 Posted 03/17/2012  5:05 pm Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add ContraJame to your friends list Get a Link to this Message

For the last couple months I've been refining how I watch coins listed on eBay. I'm curious how everyone else goes about it or if anyone even bothers?

Here's what I do:

First things first, your research is only as good as the data you pull in. I try to create a search query on eBay that's as refined as I can get it without losing information. Using the '-' search modified I remove noise terms. For example, I usually throw in something like -(copy, rep*, copper, album, mini*, rep*). With a dash in front of the parenthesis everything inside the parenthesis is omitted from my search results. The * searches for any word that matches any word with the letter sequence preceding the *. So my search will be :1921 Peace dollar -(copy, rep*, copper, album, mini*, rep*). After creating the search I go down to the bottom and copy the RSS feed link to the search.

Next I hope over to blogtrottr.com and paste in my RSS feed link. Blogtrottr is a free service that searches your RSS feeds for updates at a user specified frequency. I opt to get updates as often as possible which usually ends up being around once per hour. Every hour or so if Blogtrottr sees a new item listed on my RSS feed it sends individual email updates for each new item. New items listed seem to include true newly listed items as well as items that have had updates (pricing, shipping, description, etc.) It creates some redundancy but it's not overwhelming.

After I started receiving the emails I quickly realized how important organization would be. I'm lucky in that I'm a GMail user. GMail offers a filter function which lets you create folders and then filter incoming emails into those folders based on many different criteria including sender's email, subject line, and many other things. For my 1921 Peace dollars I created a folder that filters in anything with "1921 Peace dollar" in the title.

The only thing left is to review your treasure chest of coin emails. This is the part I struggle the most with. Reviewing every coin that walks through the door can consume major chunks of time. You can start to refine what you do and don't look at based on things like price and first impressions, but there's nothing obvious to me yet on how to perfect it.

I'm pulling in roughly 100 emails/day. Each email takes me roughly 10 seconds to review. In a week I'm investing maybe two hours reviewing my coin emails based on those numbers. If nothing else it's great exposure to the coins you're interested in. I'd love to hear your thoughts as well as how you're going about it.

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United States
14051 Posts
 Posted 03/17/2012  5:09 pm  Show Profile Check vermontensium's eBay Listings Check vermontensium's eCrater Listings Bookmark this reply Add vermontensium to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I watch interested items on my eBay mobile app and if I'm interested, I will place a bid in the last minutes of the auction. My method is simple, win some, lose some unless of course it's a coin I'm very interested in :)
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Canada
4264 Posts
 Posted 03/17/2012  5:56 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Canadian-Banknotes to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Sounds like you have this down to a science, ContraJame
Want to Buy: PCGS Graded 1878-S Morgan dollar (PO-01)
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 Posted 03/17/2012  6:05 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add DVCollector to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
You have really leveraged technology to your benefit--I ought to try your approach sometime.
I do more research on the valuation end, to see how high I want to bid--then I get my snipes in place.
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United States
746 Posts
 Posted 03/17/2012  6:06 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add basicbob101 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Contrjamie...your system is much to elaborate for me, sounds like it works good for you and that is what is most important. I enter a basic search, for example if I am looking for a 1936 Buffalo nickel that is exactly what I enter, If I find one I like I copy the item number and paste it in my snipe service which bids in the last 6 seconds of the auction, win some, lose sum, but win I win, I get it at my price. I will not be sucked in to competitive bidding and overrunning my common sense of what the coin is worth (total including shipping).

Some people have shipping charges so high it is ridicualous. (mispelled, I know!)
"Basic research is what I am doing when I don't know what I am doing" Dr. Wernher von Braun, rocket scientist
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United States
16824 Posts
 Posted 03/17/2012  6:52 pm  Show Profile Check SsuperDdave's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add SsuperDdave to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Um, I look at coins on eBay and if I like them I put them on my Watch list.
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Australia
5010 Posts
 Posted 03/17/2012  7:09 pm  Show Profile Check trout1105's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add trout1105 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
If I see something I like I will bid to the limit of what I am prepared to pay.
If I win it I am happy If I loose , well there are always other opportunities
Aim to Enjoy life. You only get one shot at it
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United States
292 Posts
 Posted 03/18/2012  10:38 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add ContraJame to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Well...that's not what I expected. Ha.
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 Posted 03/18/2012  10:55 am  Show Profile Check specksynder's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add specksynder to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I really like your method, contrajame... I hadn't even noticed the RSS feed option on eBay before. I am currently trying your method in my search for a low grade 1921-d half.

Previously, I would just redo my same search every so often, adding items to my watch list when I felt like it, cleaning out my watch list when it got too big.
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United States
284 Posts
 Posted 03/18/2012  2:03 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add DM1975 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Unless it is a coin I can't find elsewhere I generally only mess with the BIN ads. When I do find one in bidding I want I set up my snipe for the max amount I will pay. I never go in early and bid my max as it seems to run the bid up too high and fast. I watch the items and get notifications on my iPhone of when the bid is about to end.
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 Posted 03/18/2012  2:26 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add stevex6 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Well, my strategy is a little less high-tech ...

=> I pour myself a glass of wine and then I slowly peck-in "coins eBay" with two fingers ...

... then after a few hours of useless and frustrating searching has passed-by (oh, and several more refresher glasses of wine) then I'm usually in "buying-mode"!

... hey, it might not be the most elegant strategy, but it works for me!

Edited by stevex6
03/18/2012 2:26 pm
Valued Member
United States
117 Posts
 Posted 03/18/2012  3:06 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add TheCoinGeezer to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I buy from eBay fairly frequently, although less now than I once did.
I still look under the general categories I collect (Canadian, Ikes, Roosies) for the newly listed BINs to scoop up any bargains
If a see a coin I might like to add to my collection that's in a regular auction, I'll "watch" it on my eBay summary and snipe it if it still is in my price range.
Valued Member
United States
292 Posts
 Posted 03/18/2012  4:26 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add ContraJame to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I should add that my goal when I started this process was to identify VAM's in the wild that had yet to be identified. I also wanted as much focused exposure to a particular coin as I could get. I think I was successful on both goals. Now I've decided that I want to look at a broader range of coins but only in the AU to MS range. I'm not quite sure how I'll go about removing the lower grade coins without removing anything I'd want to look at.
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1261 Posts
 Posted 03/20/2012  1:14 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add afcop13 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I'm another of the watchlist builders. I know a price & condition range I'm looking for. I always count shipping charges as part of the price. Example, a 1931D Mercury dime search recently left me with 4 coins I liked. Shipping ranged from free to $7.95. Yes, almost 8 bucks to ship a dime. The one I ended up winning had $1.95 shipping, and the seller sent it in a padded envelope with DC. I paid $4 less than I was willing to pay. I looked for this date/mm for about 2 weeks before buying. Its wierd, but my eBay buying is usually in streaks. I'll get 4-5 great deals in a 2 day span and then nothing for a month. Since I bought 2 mercs and a SLQ and some bullion last week - I've seen nothing on my wish list that I'd buy. And I look just about every night.

The OPs system is elaborate, but if it works for him - awesome.

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United States
132 Posts
 Posted 03/20/2012  1:22 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add TonedMo87 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Not nearly as complicated as yours. I just browse casually, if I see something I like, I'll add it to my watch list. Sometimes it can get a little crowded down there though.

Quote:

I should add that my goal when I started this process was to identify VAM's in the wild that had yet to be identified
.

I also tried searching, but found it too frustrating. Dealing with terrible, blurry, far pictures... etc

-Dan
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 Posted 03/20/2012  1:48 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add CaptainFwiffo to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I have a number of prepared searches for the top coins on my want list which I check periodically. When I see a promising listing, I put it on my watch list, then put in my bid at the last second in an effort to snipe. Then as soon as I get the coin, which is cleaned and had misleading pictures, I put it right back in the mailbox. A few days later I get my refund, the seller re-lists, then the cycle repeats.
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