I follow stuff on eBay a lot. It's a morbid curiosity or "window shopping" sort of thing. I like to find stuff in which I'm interested, follow it, and see how much it winds up selling (or not selling) for. A vast majority of the time, I'm not ordering it. Just watching.
Another thing I like to do is, because a lot of the items I follow are cassette tapes, I will contact the seller to ask what the sound quality is because, more often than not, that sort of information is not included in the description. I really don't understand why not. This is a pretty vital piece of information since it's an item you would likely actually be listening to and one you need to worry about because the bare minimum age of a cassette is 20 years old right now (most mass production of cassettes ended around the turn of the millennium).
Because I "followed" the item and especially because I took the time to ask the seller a question, they obviously think that I am a prospective buyer. And it's highly likely, in order to entice me to push the button and make the purchase, that I will wind up getting an offer from the seller making the item cost less.
Yesterday, I contacted a seller about a tape. We went back and forth with messages a few times. Nice guy.
But, later that night, I looked at the stuff I was watching and noticed that he increased the price of his product. Clearly he thought he had the fish on the hook and he could do whatever he wanted while he reeled me in. Oh, and he likely figured I wouldn't notice.
Um, no. On both points.
This morning, I received a notification that he had sent me a private offer for almost 20% off his asking price... bringing the cost back down to what it was when I was asking him questions about it.
Maybe I'm missing something here, but this strikes me as pretty nervy. Trying to slip an increase past me and then making himself look all benevolent by offering me a private discount. I mean WTF?
Is there some sort of benefit here? Does a seller get some sort of special designation from eBay because they cater to customers by offering a discount? Help me understand this.