I put an old video camera on Ebay this week. Within two hours of posting the auction I received three messages asking if I would sell it outside the auction format: "What would your Buy-it-Now price be?" or "What would you sell this to me now at?" Yeah, right. They think I would sell it to them below what it might get at auction at so THEY can auction it at a higher price later?? No thanks.
The last time I auctioned something six months ago I got only one of these, so this sort of strategy seems to be picking up some steam. My guess is that some "Make Money on Ebay" book came out saying to buy things on Ebay outside the auction and then sell it at auction later - so these messages are now more common. On my last auction I responded by saying No Thanks, but now I will just ignore them.