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EBay Acceptable Practice?

I don't really use ebay very much, so please forgive me for a silly question. If you had found a an item that you wanted, which didn't have a buy it now option, is it acceptable to email the seller and try to arrange a private sale, or would I be commiting a terrible faux pas?
Warm regards,
I've done it before, actually quite a few times. I have found as long as it is early in the auction and no onw has bid on the item, the seller is more likely to accept your offer. I did it on everything from some pirated dvd's (Star Wars around 3 years ago!!) or a brand new computer (just a few months ago) I have been very happy with the results. What is the worst that they could say "NO"? If they go for it you get your item faster and potentially cheaper than if some idiot wants to start a bidding war with you later (closer to the end of the auction). If they do say NO, then just bid on the item as normal! No harm, no foul!! I honestly don't care if its faux pas, if I get that beauty in my hands.


I forgot to add, Never offer what the starting bid is. Always raise your offering price a little to entice them to go for the deal. The last thing they want is to have the item go for the starting bid or worse no one even bid on the item.. If know one has bid on the item that IS a fear the seller will have, play into that fear and offer them a fair price, but a very good price in your mind, and you will probably have your offer accepted each and every time! :biggrin:
I think that would be a faux pas - once something is up for auction and has no buy it now option, it goes to the highest bidder (assuming any reserve is met). I also think the seller is prohibited from pulling the item for private sale.

However, I have contacted vendors directly when I want to buy something specific from them or, more commonly a combination of listed items and want to negotiate a bulk price/shipping charge.

So while I think you should just takes your chances and bid on the item you want, it may be worthwhile to see if the vendor has another one (which may not be the case if its an old/antique item) and agree to buy it outside of e-bay (which also means you don't get any of the protection offered by e-bay).

Good luck.
As long as the item has no bids, they are not prohibited from pulling the auction, if there is a bid than this techique does not apply. Hope this helps! :smile:
I think the rule is that as long as the item is closed and paid for through the ebay/paypal system, everything is legit. ebay gets mad if you try to get around paying the fees.
If the Auction has no bids, the Seller has the option to change the auction to a "Buy It Now'. I'd try writing the seller and asking him/her to change to a BIN.

Also, a seller receives notice everytime someone 'bookmarks' or 'watches' their auctions. If there are only a few 'watchers', I think you will have a better chance of it being changed to a BIN. If there are a lot of watchers, and no bids the Seller will most likely think there will be a lot of last minute sniping for the item.

Good luck!
I've tried this a handful of times. The sellers have always preferred to let the auction go forward but in each instance they thanked me for my interest and were not put out in the least. The few times I did it though there weren't any bids yet and I always offered more than the minimum. I would not suggest a BIN option to a seller if somebody had bid on the item.
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