I agree that the deposit is of little consequence. I just listed my Hunter 37-cutter on Ebay with disappointing results. About half the real value (9/06 survey: $43,700) although on a 10 day listing with a lot of promotion outside Ebay (25 websites including my own http://www.buymyboat.net
) there were more than 8000 visits, 138 watchers and 12 bids.
I think ebs001 has got it right. It is difficult for anyone to gather all the information and come around to the decision to pay tens of thousands of dollars on Ebay and most of the lurkers are just that - lurkers. So the real market that is addressed by an Ebay offering are the buyers who are willing to pay only a fraction of the real price for the risk of buying through Ebay.
FWIW, although located on lake Eire in Sandusky, OH, my bids were from Seattle, WA, Washington DC, Houston, TX, North Carolina, Florida and even St. Thomas USVI so looking at a $6K - $10K shipping cost.
Interestingly, the only SCAM offer came from the US Boat ad. Buyers father and law buying for their wedding present - big check - return the balance via Western Union. Argggggh!
Ebay is a fantastic market and I have had great transactions buying some things at 10 cents on the dollar and selling other things for more than they cost me 15 years ago. It just doesn't work for high-ticket items.
To verify this for yourself, log on to your Ebay account and review all of the completed auctions for sailboats on Ebay motors. Very few bidders ever exceed the reserve price and there are, therefore, very few sales.
All that said, you can't beat the exposure for a $65 cost. And - maybe the lucky buyer will have been influenced by the Ebay auction.