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Thread: Question about bid, ask & sold prices being DELETED after an item sells

  1. #1

    Question Question about bid, ask & sold prices being DELETED after an item sells


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    This is a general question about pricing info being DELETED after an item sells:

    I'm interested in upgrading to a GOLD membership and listing a large variety of NIB and NOS knives for sale. However, in reviewing many recent listings of items for sale, the majority of threads edited after an item has SOLD have had the original listing price, and presumably the counter-offer and SOLD prices in replies, deleted or obscured.

    This seems odd... typically, a great way to evaulate current market value of any item for sale on the internet is to peruse COMPLETED LISTINGS. By using this current sales data, a new "for sale" listing is more likely to feature a realistic asking price, and replies are more likely to feature realistic bids or counter-offers.

    Speaking only for myself: if I saw a series of recent sales close for $100 for a particular knife model, and I had one available and felt that $100 price to be reasonable, I'd go ahead and list mine for sale for $100. Conversely, if every comparable listing has had the prices deleted, I'd have no idea how to price the knife in today's market, and would be reluctant to attempt to sell it. Maybe no one wants this model? Maybe it only sells for ten cents on the original 1960 dollar? Without any realistic guidelines, a NOS knife that often sells for $100 might be mistakenly listed for $200, and might receive bids for $20 from buyers annoyed by the over-priced listing.

    Certainly, after much discussion, a realistic price should eventually be agreed upon by both buyer and seller. But, until then, much time & effort is expended, and much annoyance caused, when a seller repeatedly over-prices an item, and buyers repeatedly under-bid for the item.

    I don't like to waste anyone's time with unrealistic asking prices, but the absence of useful sales data is perplexing, and I don't know how to price many NOS items without any comparable sales for support.

    Is there some sort of rule that requires editing the O.P. listing to obscure the pricing once sold? Does the O.P. make these changes, or is it automated by the moderator? In either case, can someone explain the rationale? If this editing is entirely optional on the part of the sellers, this seems counter-productive, as it would inhibit future sales of multiple items, etc. Thanks in advance for any insight!

  2. #2
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    I too have been wondering about this. I for one did not edit the price in my for sale thread

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by pialia View Post
    I too have been wondering about this. I for one did not edit the price in my for sale thread
    Do you mean that your "for sale" thread ended intact, as-is, with no deletion of pricing... or, that it was subsequently edited by others to delete your price references? Thanks for your reply.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Don Jackson View Post
    Do you mean that your "for sale" thread ended intact, as-is, with no deletion of pricing... or, that it was subsequently edited by others to delete your price references? Thanks for your reply.
    The former, sorry if that was unclear.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by pialia View Post
    The former, sorry if that was unclear.
    Thanks for the clarification. I do see a number of "SOLD" listings which retained some references to pricing, either in the O.P. or in a quoted reply. But, the ones I was interested in... for example, for a particular Benchmade model... offered zero clues about the final sale price. Thanks for your reply - at least I'm not the only member who finds this situation mysterious!

  6. #6
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    I found it interesting, but the logic as explained in the past was sound. Here's the way I understand it:
    Since many knives are unique and many people buy them to look, hold, and then resell, the new owner would rather not have a perspective buyer readily know that the seller paid $XYZ.00 for the knife when he is asking $ZYX.00 for the knife. Buyers often feel that since the current owner has enjoyed the knife then he has extracted value from it and thus should sell it for less than it was purchased for.

    I personally wish that people would leave up the prices, but if I were selling, I'd rather not have to respond to the "but you only paid 112.45 for it to begin with so why do you now think it's worth 125.00 after you have used it for six months?"

    Hope this sheds some light on the conversation.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by swonut View Post
    I found it interesting, but the logic as explained in the past was sound. Here's the way I understand it:
    Since many knives are unique and many people buy them to look, hold, and then resell, the new owner would rather not have a perspective buyer readily know that the seller paid $XYZ.00 for the knife when he is asking $ZYX.00 for the knife. Buyers often feel that since the current owner has enjoyed the knife then he has extracted value from it and thus should sell it for less than it was purchased for.

    I personally wish that people would leave up the prices, but if I were selling, I'd rather not have to respond to the "but you only paid 112.45 for it to begin with so why do you now think it's worth 125.00 after you have used it for six months?"

    Hope this sheds some light on the conversation.
    My apologies if my original question was unclear. I was never referring to a seller's disclosure of the previous price HE PAID for any production item, when reselling it, and I was not referring to repeated re-sales of unique, one-of-a-kind items where pricing history could be traced.

    I was referring only to this example: a production item being listed for sale for $100, a buyer being found, the deal completed, the item shipped, everyone's happy... but then, the $100 price is subsequently deleted from the archived thread. This "Completed Sale" information is valuable to future buyers and sellers of the same or similar knife. Without any useful history of sales, the "wheel must be reinvented" each and every time this standard production item is up for sale. This doesn't help anyone.

    I did see in the FAQ a reference to sellers's having the discretion to either leave pricing intact, or to delete it, once an item has been sold. As you've suggested, there may be a good reason to hide pricing and sales history on unique or hand-made items, but this seems counter-productive when standard retail items are being sold.

    Again, the best way I can express this problem is: having a NOS standard-production item from 1970 available for sale, but not being able to find one single completed sale which includes any price or value range. Without any estimate of current value, I cannot reasonably list the item, as today's fair market price is a complete mystery, and the "best offer" method appears to be prohibited in the forums. I hope this clarifies my questions? Many thanks for all replies.

  8. #8
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    The best answer to your question is what swonut posted above. The moderators here will be by soon to reiterate as they have in the past that it's no business to others what someone has paid for their item so it is there prerogative to delete the price advertised or otherwise paid once the item is sold.

    I myself don't like the practice as it makes it seem like there is something to hide and like you would be a good source of information as to the market value of a new/used/discontinued or otherwise nowhere else price to be found item.

  9. #9
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    Don another way you can get at least a "feel" for how to price your knives is to check completed listings on eBay. This way you can see how much people were willing to pay, and at what prices the knives sold/didnt' sell.

  10. #10

    Question

    Quote Originally Posted by OvalmanPA View Post
    The best answer to your question is what swonut posted above. The moderators here will be by soon to reiterate as they have in the past that it's no business to others what someone has paid for their item so it is there prerogative to delete the price advertised or otherwise paid once the item is sold.

    I myself don't like the practice as it makes it seem like there is something to hide and like you would be a good source of information as to the market value of a new/used/discontinued or otherwise nowhere else price to be found item.
    I definitely see the distinction between publicly tracking the sales pricing of a unique singular item which has changed ownership several times on the forum, vs providing the sales activity, desirability and average pricing of standard items which are not INDIVIDUALLY being identified & resold, again and again, but instead are popular "commodities" for which the currently-accepted values are useful when setting bid & ask prices.

    So, let this discussion be focused soley upon retaining public records pertaining to sale pricing of edged commodities, not singular unique items.

    For example, let's say that I'm interested in either buying or selling a particular NIB Benchmade knife model. Thousands have been manufactured over the years, and hundreds have been bought & sold on this very forum. Let's also say that the average resale price of a NIB Benchmade knife hovers around 80% of the factory-direct retail price. This discount percentage would be known by reading completed auctions. With this info in mind, both buyers and sellers can reduce their haggling range to a minimum. Sellers will not expect to get 99% of the factory price, and buyers will not expect to pay 20% of the same price. Instead, a $200 knife becomes a $160 NIB commodity, and both buyers are sellers are keen to close the deal. If 20% off retail is currently considered high or low, the market determines the new discount.

    HOWEVER... if the pricing info has been deleted after the fact for unknown reasons, the actual going discount rate of 20% off is NOT KNOWN by either prospective buyers or sellers, and the laborious valuation process needs to be repeated for every single future sale. This type of redundancy is often called "reinventing the wheel". What's the purpose here? The buyers & sellers will likely end up at the similar price levels found mutually acceptable by others in the recent past. Why make this task more difficult and time consuming for future transaction purposes?

    In this specific category of buying & selling "edged commodities", I personally can't see why deleting closed sales records brings any value to the readership, or to future buyers or sellers. In defense of retaining pricing in archives, I don't believe any other established on-line sales venue allows deletion of sales data or records, but that does not mean there is no rationale or justification in this forum... it may just mean that I'm missing the point. However, I may not be the only one here who doesn't get it.

    If a buyer or seller of this type of "commodity knife" would please suggest the reasoning behind deleting previously-visible price information after such a sale is completed, this would be enlightening. Thanks for all replies.

  11. #11
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    One reason would be if the buyer asks the seller to delete the price.
    Think LK.

    DC

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Doug C View Post
    One reason would be if the buyer asks the seller to delete the price.
    Think LK.

    DC
    The question on the table is not that a price was deleted, or that one or both party elected to do so; this is obviously standard operating procedure here.

    The question is "why?" and what benefit is gained? Without any reason, this action appears illogical. Why not take every transaction off line, if pricing secrecy is of such high value?

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by ndeezl View Post
    Don another way you can get at least a "feel" for how to price your knives is to check completed listings on eBay. This way you can see how much people were willing to pay, and at what prices the knives sold/didnt' sell.
    Thanks, and this is a tool I always use for pricing research. However, eBay does not allow business in automatic knives, so I have few sources of sales data other than gunbroker. So, it's disconcerting if a Google search for "Microtech" or "Hubertus" brings up many links to this forum, all with price deletions.

  14. #14
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    The official position here is that the parties can edit or delete the pricing if they wish.

    Personally, I encourage sellers to leave their selling price in their thread, for historical value reasons. Some choose to do so, others don't.

  15. #15

    Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike G View Post
    The official position here is that the parties can edit or delete the pricing if they wish.

    Personally, I encourage sellers to leave their selling price in their thread, for historical value reasons. Some choose to do so, others don't.
    I'm glad to hear that some folks agree: retaining pricing info in completed sales is both useful and educational. I for one will be happy to show the asking price, as well as the final sales price. I truthfully cannot see the value in obscuring or altering this info. Anyone who was actively reading the sales listings prior to the sale is clearly aware of the actual pricing. It's only future readers, who attempt to gain valuation insight, who are being deprived of the deleted info.

    For those who continue to see no reason why pricing should not be deleted, I'll offer this final comparison:

    Why not delete the description of the item, and leave only the pricing info? That way, future readers will only know that "Bob sold a undisclosed item to Steve last year for $100". Folks, that partial sale info is equally as useless as the current system: archiving the sold item description, but without the price! If the removal of informational value is the goal, why not just completely delete all posts which involve a sale? After all, who's business is it that anyone, ever sold anything, for any price, at any time?

    As I mentioned earlier, all of the major on-line auction sites and sales venues prohibit alteration of completed sales data. The reasoning is obvious: a seller could edit his closed auction and falsely RAISE or LOWER the price paid, in order to manipulate & deceive future buyers & sellers with that phony completed sales data. However, since the sales data archived on major internet sites is accurate and original, and cannot be deleted or manipulated by any parties, future buyers and sellers may examine complete, genuine and honest historical sales transactions with confidence. But, not here.

    So, for reasons that remain unclear, this site allows and/or promotes the deletion, alteration or falsification of sales data after the fact. I get it - this is the policy, so no one needs to repeat that fact. However, a legitimate reasoning remains missing in action. Opining that the data was possibly deleted "because the buyer requested it" is not an explanation for WHY the buyer requested it. This is about the same as explaining that the pricing was deleted... because the seller hit the delete key. Yeah, we got that part.

    Persons who post offers to sell or buy items in a public forum do not enjoy any expectation of privacy... so what actually happened in that public transaction IS the public's business. If you want confidentiality, then conduct your business in private. Altering the public record after the fact raises the possibility of fraud and collusion. If I'm wrong, please explain why.

    Although a reader might possibly step forward and offer a more plausible or logical explanation for this policy, I believe that the negatives in allowing sales data deletion or manipulation far outweigh any still-unstated positive benefits... and this is why eBay, GunBroker.com and similar sites do not allow this questionable seller's "option".

    Although I'm certain that I haven't convinced anyone, this has been interesting! Thanks to all for providing their valuable insights and opinions regarding this odd matter.

  16. #16
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    I repeat my post with particular emphasis on one part of a line......

    The best answer to your question is what swonut posted above. The moderators here will be by soon to reiterate as they have in the past that it's no business to others what someone has paid for their item so it is there prerogative to delete the price advertised or otherwise paid once the item is sold.

    I myself don't like the practice as it makes it seem like there is something to hide and like you would be a good source of information as to the market value of a new/used/discontinued or otherwise nowhere else price to be found item.

    And I'm quite sure a mod will also let you know in no uncertain terms that this IS NOT public domain, it is like you are at Sparks (the owner of this forum) house so it's his rules and no one elses.

    Trust me I've been frustrated by this very subject and got these same answers!

  17. #17

    Question

    Quote Originally Posted by OvalmanPA View Post
    I repeat my post with particular emphasis on one part of a line......

    The best answer to your question is what swonut posted above. The moderators here will be by soon to reiterate as they have in the past that it's no business to others what someone has paid for their item so it is there prerogative to delete the price advertised or otherwise paid once the item is sold.

    I myself don't like the practice as it makes it seem like there is something to hide and like you would be a good source of information as to the market value of a new/used/discontinued or otherwise nowhere else price to be found item.

    And I'm quite sure a mod will also let you know in no uncertain terms that this IS NOT public domain, it is like you are at Sparks (the owner of this forum) house so it's his rules and no one elses.

    Trust me I've been frustrated by this very subject and got these same answers!
    I certainly agree that the administrators and moderators of this forum have every right to construct it, and operate it, in any manner they choose. I did not mean to infer that it is a "public domain". What I meant to convey is that www.bladeforums.com is a public forum, meaning, anyone can read the forum without first becoming a member, joining a private club, or paying fees. In this context, I then conveyed that persons who post messages on that forum have no expectation of privacy.

    This does not mean that contributors may not elect to alter the archives of their contributions, especially since such editing is clearly faciliated and condoned by the management of the web site. This is not at issue.

    My point was that such editing creates suspicion, and casts doubt upon the veracity of the archived information. Again, this really means nothing in the overall scheme of things. If a visitor wishes to rely upon edited archives as a basis for researching historical sales information, he does so at his own peril. Conversely, if a visitor to alternative sales archive sites, which prohibit editing of data, reviews those sales transaction histories, he may have greater confidence that the information is true and correct.

    So, based upon what we've discussed here, I would disregard any archived sales histories concerning any item I would either list for sale or consider for purchase, and obtain information elsewhere. It's unfortunate that independent valuations may be difficult to obtain for unusual items, but that's life. Caveat Emptor.

    Since it was confirmed elsewhere that items for sale may have both a fixed price as well as "OBO" (or best offer), there is not much risk to a seller in over-pricing an item for sale in these forums. Ultimately, the item will only sell for the best price offered by a buyer, and only if the seller also agrees to that price. It makes no difference if suspicious "sales data" indicates that the item has previously sold for more, less, or was withdrawn from sale. Of course, it would be nice if this wasn't the case, as accurate sales histories would facilitate fair pricing, and save time. A seller must simply ignore replies such as, "$150? Are you kidding? NIB Benchmade AFOs sell here every day for only $50!" Due to deleted prices, we will never know what this knife ACTUALLY sells for. So, arriving at the true fair value will be more time-consuming for both the buyer and the seller... but the deal will eventually get done.

    In closing, let me ask this question to those who might assert that previous sales data "is no one's business!":

    Did you purchase your house or car without first reviewing comparable sales, or confirming the current market price? Of course not. As such, applying a different standard to the purchase of less-costly items, is inconsistent. Q.E.D.

    Thanks to all for their contributions to this thread!

  18. #18
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    The staff have discussed this issue several times, and the consensus is that we merely provide a venue for buyers and sellers to get together, and ask that they follow a few simple rules. The price the seller asks is his business, and what the buyer pays is a deal strictly between them. We aren't here to get in the middle of their individual transactions.

    In the end, the market will decide the selling price.

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