I'm sure that most of the private listings are done for a honest reason, if you can think of any then let me know and eBay.
I would ask yourself the following before parting with your hard earned cash.
What are the benefits to you the buyer, bidding on a Private Listing?
- You don't want your husband necessarily knowing you've bought "what, another dress?!"
- You don't want anyone to see what embarassing items your bidding on?!
- The seller doesn't want his/her bidders receiving unwanted e-mails?
- I'm struggling to think of any other benefit?
What are the benefits to the Dishonest Seller using private listings?
Trying to prevent other sellers contacting his / her bidders, so they don't get poached?
Some sellers are using private listings to make it less obvious that their "60 feedback / 100%" score consists entirely of 1p items
The ease and simplicity of not getting caught Scamming Honest Bidders
The knowledge of knowing you can't see who is Bidding Agains't You
Knowing you can't check bidding patterns on other items they have sold
Knowing they can get away with it
Also if their feedback is private, I would advise you to be ultra cautious.
How much feedback does he/she have and what sort of transactions?
Buying or selling and high or low value?
Over how long a period of time?
Do they take paypal? or Cheques
Personally, I'd ask them why the listing is private
I don't trust auctions with private bidders only, but that is just my preference.
Especially when they make a huge claim that the item has no reserve, how do you know the seller is not adding in his own bids to meet the so called 'no reserve' price.
You'd be surprised at the difference in bidding between two identical auctions, but one that says "no reserve" will always attract more attention, even if neither have a reserve on them.
This works especially well on higher value items with 99p starts - they are almost guaranteed to find their true market value, and with a bit of creative listing it is easy to convince you to make your bids.
Thanks for reading, please vote if this has been of assistance.