|A bidder can get cold feet in this village!|
But then, like a cold snowball thrown in my face, I received the below email from the top bidder. Appropriately, I'll call her "Debbie Downer."
"I want to withdraw my bid. This is up to you. I will honor the bid if you do not agree. The person behind me is only trailing by $1.00. I will go along with what you say. Thanks."
If you've ever received an e-mail from a bidder who asks to withdraw their bid, you know what a bummer it can be. Her request that I cancel her bid showed I was dealing with an eBay rookie. Debbie didn't seem to know a bidder can retract their own bids-they don't need a seller to do it for them. Making matters even worse, the auction only had one other bidder. By withdrawing Debbie Downer's bid, the price of my Dept 56 piece could potentially revert back to the opening auction price. It's sort of like playing Jenga-pull a block out from the bottom and the whole tower comes crashing down! What was doubly frustrating was trying to figure out why Debbie Downer bid so aggressively in the first place? She drove the price up-then changed her mind a few days later! What's up with that? Overall, the situation made me dream of a day when eBay would crack down on buyers for pulling these kind of stunts! But alas, I know that day is never going to come!
Reading over her e-mail request, I was now in a quandary. If I let her off the hook my auction would revert back down to the initial starting price of $35. But if I refused to retract her bid and forced her to buy the Dept 56 piece, she could easily seek revenge by posting negative feedback. It was a Catch-22 scenario! While wresting with this dilemma I decided to do what any seasoned eBay seller would do.....stall for time! I wrote back the following:
"I am sorry, I am not sure what you are requesting? You want me to withdraw the bid that you entered?"
Her response was a little more in depth, revealing that Debbie Downer apparently did not carefully read my auction description. But to her credit she admitted she made a mistake, explaining she bid thinking the piece was new. (Despite my clear description stating it was pre-owned.) Personally I think the piece could easily pass for new. However there are some extremely picky buyers who will find any little reason to criticize a piece-a tiny scuff, a mark on the ceramic, ect. If there's a minute flaw-they will try to find it!
Pondering what to do, I initially thought about rejecting Debbie Downer's request. I was hoping another bidder would come in and outbid her at the last minute. By doing this, Debbie would've at least served as a useful tool in driving up the price of the piece. However, after thinking about the Christmas spirit and all that holiday goodwill stuff that my Mother hammered into me as a youngster, I decided to let Debbie Downer off the hook. So like a good boy, I cancelled her bid and guess what happened? As predicted, the bid price deflated like air from a kid's balloon, dropping from the once soaring price of $70 back down to an earthly $30 dollars! Bah Humbug again! But I guess Mom would tell me it was the right thing to do at Christmas time, so uggh....whatever! Ultimately it all works itself out and I'll console myself with other great holiday sales, some of which I'll be blogging about in the near future.
How are your Christmas auctions going so far? Have you ever had a buyer get cold feet after placing a bid? If so, how'd you handle the situation?