eBay "watchers"... who are they?

I have not been selling on eBay as long as I have on Amazon and would find it helpful if some of you who are seasoned eBay sellers could share your experience/insights about “watchers”. Is it your feeling that the majority of them are genuinely potential interested buyers, or do you think the bulk of them are drop shippers waiting to pounce or competitors monitoring your listings? Do watchers get notified when you update your price? Do you send them offers, and if so, are you willing to share your experience or successful strategy with doing this?
Many thanks for any insights you are willing to share!

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A watcher is a failed conversion.

(Does not apply to auction-style listings)

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I often watch items on eBay that I might want to sell in the near future. On a few occasions, I have received offers of discounts from sellers of Items I have watched.

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Yep. I will watch things I want to sell to get a price idea. I will also watch things I think are priced too high and wait for a relist.

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It is also really useful to do searches on items one might want to sell in the future that include closed auctions, many of which include items that did not sell.

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I have watched as a Seller, to see where pricing lands and/or if it even sells, and I have watched as a Buyer, when I’m not yet certain that I want that thing but should know closer to closing, or to give myself time to do some research.

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I watch items for pricing especially when it’s an usual or an uncommon or rare item and I have a similar one that I want to sell.

I sell mostly books and sheet music/songbooks on Amazon. Amazon often shows an inflated asking price for items. eBay shows what they actually sold for giving potential sellers a better idea what buyers are willing to pay.

I currently have a group (lot) of books listed on eBay which has had many views but no sale yet. I have already dropped the price a tiny bit and hope that it will sell soon.

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Do you get notifications on items you are watching? E.g. when price changes, item gets sold, rolls over at the end of the month, etc?

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Yes, yes and yes.

Sellers can also send out offers to watchers.

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I have most emails turned off, but just hit ebay and notices of a price drop on something I was watching and “ending soon” on another item.

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I’ll start with my favorite watchers/

They are collectors who have a limited amount of money to spend each month. They watch items I have listed which they will buy if there is still money left to buy.

Similar to them are the watchers who watch early in the week and buy on payday.

There are watchers who are waiting for a price reduction, which never comes on my listings.

There are the watchers who are sellers and want to know how much I can sell the item for so they can list their duplicate.

There are watchers who are planning to make an insulting offer when they have a little cash.

There are watchers who are planning to copy my listing rather than research the item.

There are a few who might buy if I send them an offer, but a lot fewer than in the past.

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Lake - thank you so much for your very helpful and insightful response. This encapsulates quite well what I was hoping to understand about how the “watcher” feature is used in actual practice on eBay.
From this, and the other also helpful responses above, I think I should assume that a good number of watchers on my listings are likely to be other sellers, not necessarily interested end-buyers. I will continue my current practice of only offering occasional very modest offers to watchers and not entertaining counter-offers or other attempts to significantly lower my prices.

Thanks to all of you for sharing your knowledge and thoughts!

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Especially a repeat buyer

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To add and follow up on this. If I am watching an item I want to sell and it’s a relatively rare item, I watch that other sellers item for two reasons.

  1. Get an idea of what price I should offer it at
  2. Wait for their listing to be done so we don’t step on each others toes.
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