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Yahoo Is Getting Too Expensive


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#1 DaveT

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Posted 02 August 2017 - 04:55 PM

I've been buying off Yahoo for over 16 yrs, the norm was that whatever you picked up was at least half price or even cheaper than what you would pay from a western dealer.

 

But now I feel it's ruined. eBay has become a ghost town for bargains, the Japanese inflate their prices for silly gaijin all the time, at first they were not aware that we had hoodwinked them and we buying the same items from their Yahoo listings cheaper.

Yesterday and today I witnessed two sales that were completely unrealistic. The items sold for three to four times higher than if they had been procured from an expensive dealer in Knightsbridge. What was once a great place to pick up a deal is becoming a joke.

Firstly, the Japanese sellers are now educated to gaijin buyers. When you bid on an item using a proxy bidding agent service they simply look at the buyer's feedback rating. Agents have a high turn over of items, so they naturally have a high feedback. My JAUCE account was over 2,000

 

Sellers will then bid against you and inflate the price. If their shilling backfires and they win it makes no difference as they can simply terminate the listing after the winning bid.

 

Now daily I'm bidding and fighting not only the seller's shilling but also other gaijin bidders that are prepared to pay more than normal. So if you want to win on Yahoo you need deeper pockets. 

Last month I conducted a little due diligence comparing prices set by dealers and Yahoo sellers for similar items. Mainly armour and polearms, coz that's my thing. In most cases, I could buy cheaper from a dealer, Kinokuniya being the cheapest. 

So my reason for this post is to say think about what you are spending on Yahoo, as we are in fact driving the prices up.

I would welcome some feedback from other buyers here, not what or who's service is the best, that's boring, but who are still getting a deal from Yahoo and their experience to the market prices. 

 

 


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Dave Thatcher http://www.yoroishi.uk Partner at Samurai Kyobai Ltd. Professional Armour Restorer (UK)

#2 Valric

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Posted 02 August 2017 - 05:04 PM

Do you know for sure its because of westerners and not the auction markets warming up? Is this effect restricted to Agent-based purchases? If its the latter then your agent needs to get smarter and create ghost accounts to get shill bidding out of the equation. 


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#3 rkg

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Posted 02 August 2017 - 05:42 PM

The shill bidding has always been there, but I have noticed that it seems like a LOT more auctions are getting cancelled after they close now.

 

In addition, it seems like there isn't anywhere near as much "interesting" stuff on yahoo!Japan these days, so I'd posit that another possible contributor is that the bidder pool has a smaller population of items worth buying to choose from so prices are goin' up...

 

 I've also noticed that there seems to be a large increase in the use of keywords that would cause the software that the bidding sites use to block access to gaijins - I wonder if your observation about the dealers catching on is part of the reason why this is occurring. Its only a minor annoyance dealing with it through the agent I use, but I know its a major pain for users of some of the larger services as they randomly won't unblock things and to make matters worse once they make the decision for one person apparently nobody else using the service will get to bid either...

 

Best,

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#4 Brian

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Posted 02 August 2017 - 07:21 PM

I think Dave has largely hit the nail on the head, and I think he's correct about rampant shill bidding.
The dealers in Japan are WELL aware of the Western market now..even on Yahoo, and are adapting.
Junk is selling cheap. Always has. Half decent stuff is selling for what fully decent stuff is going for. Is there not a penalty for cancelling an auction? Unless they do that, the situation will just get worse.
And yes..eBay is history for deals like we used to get. I suspect the market will shift back to dealers gradually. Maybe a good thing. With eBay selling fees, it can't be good for sellers at all.


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#5 Curran

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Posted 02 August 2017 - 07:37 PM

I've commented on this before. I think I began to grind an axe about it 2 or 3 years ago.

I largely agree with DaveT.

 

The quality of the items has thinned a bit while the number of competitors foreign and domestic have increased.

The shilling has gotten very commonplace, and seems especially evident to me when I watch higher end kinko pieces. Throwing gimei but pretty kinko pieces on Yahoo!Japan seems to be ideal.

 

The end result is often people are paying more (often much more) for an item than they would through a Japan dealer site or by digging around a sword show or two.

The logic that Yahoo!Japan must be a discount is very flawed now. You can sometimes snag a good tsuba or whatnot from a junk seller cleaning out an estate, but

Yahoo!Japan is more about browsing the market bazaar.


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#6 DaveT

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Posted 02 August 2017 - 07:43 PM

My Yahoo Account has a small rating of 57, and I managed to get under the radar. When I first started I had sellers cancel my bid because my feedback was low. 

But this is the real issue.

When you win an auction the seller has to still agree to sell the item to you. They are provided with the winner's information, so if it says a Gaijin name and bank account, or JAUCE, FROM Japan etc they know who you are. They can if they so wish to terminate the auction and block you. One seller did this because he did not want the item to leave Japan. 

During the live-bidding, the seller can terminate the auction. 

So Yahoo is loaded completely towards the seller who can bid against you using a fake account, pull the auction even if you win. Yahoo will do nothing.

Next, we have the gaijin who wanna bid war, they are the biggest problem we face as a buying community, these people have very deep pockets and are paying well over the odds, which is rather selfish, but hey-ho, of course, this has an effect, this encourages the sellers to now hike the prices on anything that you may find desirable.

Today a Somen was pulled, it was made by the gendai Smith ichiro, it had a myochin gimei, the seller pulled the auction when the mask had already exceeded its normal going rate.  

Cheap stuff is getting cheaper, good to high-quality items are becoming overpriced. This is not a market reflection because I'm networked with a lot of dealers in and out of Japan.

This is unique to yahoo


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#7 Michaelr

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Posted 02 August 2017 - 08:35 PM

I agree totally. Although I have never dealt with Yahoo I have delt with eBay. They are both doing the same exact thing. Items are being listed with no reserve and being pulled right before that end and then being re listed. I was watching two items, one had 25 bids and the dealer just pulled it and resisted it. The other was in its last day ( when I usually bid ) and had about 15 bids. It had started at a penny and was about $850.00. When I went to bid it was pulled and resisted with a buy it now of $5250.00. My highest bid would have been $1500.00 figuring it was worth about $2000.00, certainly not over $5000.00 Maybe if the buyers start to become more aware and start to walk away form the fake frenzy, then maybe then Thease dealers will start to be more realistic with their prices and stop the BS of shill bidding and pulling and re listing their stuff. When this happens to me, as it just did, I feel that dealer is unreliable and not someone that I want to deal with anymore.
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#8 Vermithrax16

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Posted 03 August 2017 - 12:30 AM

Not for swords but saw all this same stuff on eBay when I used to buy coins. Just annoying really. For last 6 years only use eBay to get a feel for pricing/demand trends. Not interested in the headaches.


Jeremiah L.

 

"I wonder if we're being drawn into an ambush. Ultimately, it doesn't matter. We have to do this. We've already bought tickets for the last dance. And it's going to be a real gala event."  - Robopocalypse 

#9 Curran

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Posted 03 August 2017 - 02:46 AM

For last 6 years only use eBay to get a feel for pricing/demand trends. Not interested in the headaches.

 

I would disagree. I'd left eBay for dead, but one day a friend pointed me at a tsuba listed about 50 miles away from where I live.

Auction started at only $600 and I was the only bidder. That tsuba was worth about $3000.

 

Recently I picked up a very old Owari for very cheap. I've only ever had one other Owari that old and well preserved. I would have paid 5x to 10x what I did for it, if it were papered on a dealer's site. You have to be able to screen through the 2500 lumps o iron to find that one or two good ones.

I go through maybe once a month and come away with 2 or 3 good tsuba per year, but for pennies on the dollar (yen).

 

Conversely, eBay is the absolute worst place to sell fittings.

I've witnessed some very good tsuba go for a fraction of what they would elsewhere.


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#10 Vermithrax16

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Posted 03 August 2017 - 03:09 AM

I would disagree. I'd left eBay for dead, but one day a friend pointed me at a tsuba listed about 50 miles away from where I live.

Auction started at only $600 and I was the only bidder. That tsuba was worth about $3000.

 

Recently I picked up a very old Owari for very cheap. I've only ever had one other Owari that old and well preserved. I would have paid 5x to 10x what I did for it, if it were papered on a dealer's site. You have to be able to screen through the 2500 lumps o iron to find that one or two good ones.

I go through maybe once a month and come away with 2 or 3 good tsuba per year, but for pennies on the dollar (yen).

 

Conversely, eBay is the absolute worst place to sell fittings.

I've witnessed some very good tsuba go for a fraction of what they would elsewhere.

I know about zero about nihonto. I know less than zero about fittings (except that I love silver ones!) so will defer to your opinion. 

 

Always an exception to every rule. Random good things do not outweigh the voluminous crap. I remember a post here on NMB from a member that was good at finding eBay poor blades, having them reworked, then passing Tokubetsue Hozon after that. Hope he is rich.


Jeremiah L.

 

"I wonder if we're being drawn into an ambush. Ultimately, it doesn't matter. We have to do this. We've already bought tickets for the last dance. And it's going to be a real gala event."  - Robopocalypse 

#11 DaveT

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Posted 03 August 2017 - 12:08 PM

Here we go, today's example. Now I'm sure the buyer is very happy with the purchase, but what I see is the following.
An armour without the front of the dou, a hanpo mask with an adapted nose. A nice sangu russet iron set and a kabuto with its shikoro detached. My estimate buying blind was a max of $1,000 as the sangu are worth that.

SOLD for: $5,885 / 651,000 yen / £4,448.00
Would you risk this kind of money on just three bad photographs? 

https://page.auction...1481487izse3q">

 


Dave Thatcher http://www.yoroishi.uk Partner at Samurai Kyobai Ltd. Professional Armour Restorer (UK)

#12 Stephen

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Posted 03 August 2017 - 05:20 PM

does yahoo charge 10% like ebay, im thinkng the seller bought his own item, thats crazy.

 

Ive used Buyee, but got tired of my bids being told its not high enough, seller needs higher mim bid!


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#13 BenVK

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Posted 04 August 2017 - 10:31 PM

My one and only experience so far of Yahoo auctions in Japan was asking Kelly to bid on this bronze falcon. 

http://www.militaria...y-and-the-hawk/

I think I got it for a good price considering the only other one I've seen is being offered by a New York art gallery for 4 times the price I paid. 

Whether there was any shill bidding going on, I have no idea but I wouldn't be surprised if there was. It would be interesting to hear Kelly's views on this because I would assume he knows exactly what goes on.

Yahoo auctions are ideal for such shenanigans because it's not like ebay with it's set time limit. With Yahoo, the last bid extends the auction for 10 minutes I think it is so the bidding goes on until your the last man standing. Bit like a real auction but not really because I ...

Went to my first "real" auction in person on Monday this week. There was a painting, actually a batik, that I was interested in, guide price £80 to £120.

I had done my research before hand and knew that this guide was ridiculously low but didn't expect what actually happened on the day. With about 400 lots to get through in one afternoon, they don't hang around! The bidding went from £50 to £800 in a heartbeat and I was stunned for a few seconds but then thought what the hell and bid £850. Another guy bid £900 so without thinking, I go one better at £950 just because I've not even had the time to get used to this yet!. Then the auctioneer asks is that it? no one responds and just like that, I've won it and it's on to the next lot! 

Not exactly what I was expecting after watching TV programmes about Christies and other auction houses. In those auctions, it takes them about half a bloody hour for the hammer to come down!

But anyway and sorry for the rambling, I bought the Yahoo Falcon just because I fell in love with it and had to have it. 

I was actually only intending to buy a couple of Tsuba.

What I quickly noticed is that the quality of sword fittings on Yahoo is a lot higher but rarely do any of them sell for bargain prices. I've wanted to bid to on a few tsuba I've seen on there but they've quickly gone higher than I was willing to pay.

In comparison, I've seen some excellent tsuba sell on ebay for peanuts. But were they canceled after the auction ended? Very likely because I've had this happen to me before. The sellers reason?  "I have a shop in Japan and the tsuba sold without my knowing". Well, I knew that was BS but what can I do about it? nothing,

I've played this online auction game long enough now to know that you shouldn't really complain about the deals you lost.

If you really put the effort in to study, you'll usually come out on top.


Ben


#14 rkg

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Posted 10 August 2017 - 06:45 PM

I love this guy's explanation of the fine art market - the relevant part here is his lampooning of some of the dirty dealings that go on in auction houses/auctions....

https://www.facebook...k5o&pnref=story

 

Enjoy,

rkg

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#15 BulletSprinkler

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Posted 10 August 2017 - 07:30 PM

Sounds like we need to find someone in Japan who can set up local shell accounts and be a liazon for us gaijin on the boards.


Jay


#16 Brian

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Posted 10 August 2017 - 07:49 PM

You mean like the various services already offered and discussed here a few times? The OP is one himself....so if he is having issues.....


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#17 DaveT

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Posted 10 August 2017 - 11:09 PM

My issue is counter productive to business as I keep advising the bidders to walk from the item.

There was another mask that finished this week, sold for three times more than it was worth. I've now noticed that the sellers are setting the buy-it-now and reserves higher.

We have ruined it I'm very sad to say.
Dave Thatcher http://www.yoroishi.uk Partner at Samurai Kyobai Ltd. Professional Armour Restorer (UK)

#18 PNSSHOGUN

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Posted 11 August 2017 - 07:37 AM

Sounds similar to what is happening with boomers and the housing market.


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#19 IJASWORDS

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Posted 11 August 2017 - 11:52 AM

Like every market that is not regulated, supply and demand dictates the price. As the population of collectors increase, as does their purchasing power, you have competing demand for scarce items. On-line auctions are often like sitting at the casino table, the heart rules the head, and it is win at any cost.

Shill bidding is immoral, but not illegal, until the auction facilitators take some action, the practice will continue. But if they get 10% commission, its in their interests to have inflated prices. Like turkeys voting for an early Thanks Giving... won't happen.

My best buys have been off forum members, accurate descriptions, realistic prices and the sellers know that the pieces are going to a good appreciative home.


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#20 Shamsy

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Posted 11 August 2017 - 01:13 PM

If I offend - tough! It's still a free world right? Right?! Shill bidding is dishonest theft as far as I'm concerned. If you're not prepared to receive less than a certain amount for your item set that as starting or minimum bid. Don't cheat people. I hope karma bites those crooks.

I believe shill bidding actually saved me recently. I made a bid but was second highest and didn't win. Then I get a message that the highest bidder was from China, so the sword couldn't be sent and I had a marvelous opportunity to buy at my maximum bid. Luckily at that point I'd sobered up and realised the sword wasn't close to worth that.
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Steve
Always interested in seeing and buying Type 95 NCO swords

#21 BenVK

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Posted 11 August 2017 - 11:44 PM

I don't really understand what's been written here.

 

If you suspect shill bidding, why continue to bid?

Don't you set yourself a limit anyway?

Well, that's what I do. 


Ben


#22 b.hennick

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Posted 12 August 2017 - 02:39 AM

I find auction sniper is the best way for me to go. I see something that I like, set my bid at what I'm willing to pay and forget about the auction. I have often bought things for very reasonable prices. On Ebay, I bought two quality tsuba that were offered here at better prices than either I or the seller expected. 


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Regards,
Barry Hennick

#23 Curran

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Posted 12 August 2017 - 04:01 AM

 On Ebay, I bought two quality tsuba that were offered here at better prices than either I or the seller expected. 

 

As I said, if you have the knowledge and dig on eBay-   you will do much better on eBay than Yahoo!Japan these days.

While Yahoo!Japan isn't as plagued by the chinese coaster tsuba,  it is awash in the shiny shiny gimei and the shill bids on anything with papers.

Nowadays, strolling through there is mostly just for shizz n giggles.

 

I don't sell much anymore, but have often jokes the last few years that I wish I had the ability to sell on Yahoo!Japan.

Monetize that Dave, and it will be worth a lot more than a bidding service.


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#24 Stephen

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Posted 12 August 2017 - 03:14 PM

Tagging along with this yahoo post

 

dont ya hate when they think they well sell better individually?

 

http://buyee.jp/item...akurakannnai299

 

nice set of kozuka kogai  


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#25 parfaitelumiere

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Posted 12 August 2017 - 04:19 PM

Other issue with yahoo is the bidding method, extending auction duration, no way to get lucky buying something with a bad picture or wrong description.
I saw a set of yajiri and some bonsai related antiques (most are chinese display stands or accessories) and the price was not so high, it was 2 years ago.
Happy, I am working with a small deputy, he has a very few buyers, he is not a deputy service so it can even be possible to get stuff when sellers don't want to sell outside of Japan.
Making searches to get Japanese swords and tosogu are new for me, but most of the good stuff I got it on ebay not on yahoo.
I think the even best choice is to choose already expensive listings on ebay ad make offers, better than biddings, because the emotionnal illness of bidding doesn't work on buy-now items.
I know my first sword was from a ebay seller who also is on yahoo.
I bought him 2 kozuka blade in the past, prices were quite high, but not so much compared to actual yahoo prices.
As I live in Europe, I am also trying to wathc the currency rates, euro dollar and yen, these days, it's good to buy in dollar.
I rememeber a time when the yen was 160 for one euro, and after it jumped to 90 per euro, crazy, bad time to buy, better now.
I mainly buy antique Japanese or chinese bonsai accessories on yahoo, because it's impossible to get elsewhere without paying 3 to 10 times the price, but even on yahoo exceptionnal stuff gets exceptionnal price.
There are more and more antique bonsai related stuff on ebay, but nothing decent for now, regarding Japanese swords, it seems the choice is much more interesting.


Patrice L

#26 Vermithrax16

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Posted 13 August 2017 - 12:52 AM

Like every market that is not regulated, supply and demand dictates the price. As the population of collectors increase, as does their purchasing power, you have competing demand for scarce items. On-line auctions are often like sitting at the casino table, the heart rules the head, and it is win at any cost.

Shill bidding is immoral, but not illegal, until the auction facilitators take some action, the practice will continue. But if they get 10% commission, its in their interests to have inflated prices. Like turkeys voting for an early Thanks Giving... won't happen.

My best buys have been off forum members, accurate descriptions, realistic prices and the sellers know that the pieces are going to a good appreciative home.

I am moving this way as well. Tired of listing scanning, ok quality swords with a 30% premium attached, etc. Better to deal with someone that knows what they have, knows what its worth (approximate LOL) and go from there. Auctions are annoying and would only be if I found a sword I HAD to have.


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Jeremiah L.

 

"I wonder if we're being drawn into an ambush. Ultimately, it doesn't matter. We have to do this. We've already bought tickets for the last dance. And it's going to be a real gala event."  - Robopocalypse 

#27 BenVK

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Posted 13 August 2017 - 09:06 PM

I remember when I first started buying stuff from ebay many years ago, my family and friends thought I was bonkers.

Now everybody's doing it and it's got to a stage where a lot of people just assume they are getting a bargain, no matter what the item.

I've seen people bidding like mad on stuff like TV's and end up paying more than the price in their local high street shop.

I think that happens quite a bit with swords as well. WWII Gendaito listed by ebay seller showa22 for example (which he seems to have an abundance of) always seem to sell for top dollar and in a lot of cases, more than a dealer would charge and definitely more than can be found here on this forum. His photos aren't the greatest either so it is a puzzle why people go nuts for his auctions..


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