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Subject: My greatest all time e-bay score! rss

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Mark Crocker
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Last October, browsing e-bay, I ran across a listing for a board game called "Logistics Command" by Westinghouse. I looked it up here at the Geek, and there wasn't much information about it, other than that it was developed as a teaching tool for the US military...and that it is EXTREMELY RARE. I don't know if it's fun, or even if it a good simulaton, but the rarity of it got my competitive juices going. I bid on it but lost it to someone who either had a sniper program, or a very high maximum bid. It went for nearly $70.00.

I saved the search, however. 3 months go by, then I get an alert, but alas...the auction was only for the rules, without the game...and they went for some $20 or so. I wasn't interested.

A week ago, I get another alert for the game, and someone had already bid the opening of $9.99. I tossed $11.00 at it and that was imediately climbed to $11.49 by my competition. OK, says I. "I'll just watch it for a week." And it sat at that price for 6 more days. But I had a master plan.

This afternoon, just for competition sake, I tossed a bid of 12 something which again was INSTANLY out bid. (I still don't know if I'm up against man or machine). The auction was scheduled to end at about 8:20 this evening, so I set my alarm clock for 8pm. I rechecked the listing and there was still no change. I set my kitchen timer for 15 more minutes, and when it dinged, there was exactly 5 minutes left to go (and still no change in the price). Now I had time to syncronize my clock, and refresh the page a couple of times. (Did I say how much that I really REALLY wanted this item?).

With 1 minute left I click on "Place Bid". With 40 seconds I leisurly type in the amount of $93.17 (Wah???!! sez you). With 20 seconds left I click the bid to get me to the confirm screen. Seconds tick...10..9..8...7, and at exactly 7 seconds I click confirm. It takes 4 to 5 seconds for the page to refresh and believe me, neither man or machine has time to climb the bid.

End result: I just got one of the rarest games out there, for $18.21 (a tad over 25, if you add shipping). Oh...the thrill of the hunt. I had more fun just getting this, than I probably will playing it.
 
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Rob
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I know how you feel. My wife is the queen of snipers, and gets great deals at eBay all the time. She brags that half of our house is furnished by eBay. Good work!
 
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Shawn Low
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Question is: Will you play the game?

I once got Jati on ebay for $1.00 because it was listed as Jeti.
 
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Jean Rioux
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I think you don't know how eBay works. It's not a regular auction, it uses a system called proxy bidding. A proxy bid is the max price you want to bet on an item. Let's see an example.

Item starts at $10. I bet $15. Right now, the item is shown as $10 and i am the current high bidder. You want the same item, and want to spend max $12 on it. Not know that my max bid is 15 (you only see the 10 in the auction description), you bid 12. Instantly, the new price is now 12.25. I bid more than you so i'm still the current high bidder, but this time the price is 12.25 beacuse you bid 12. You see where i am going? If a third bidder think $20 is a good price for the item and bid 20, the new high bidder would be him, but the new price would be 15.25. Depending on the range of the price, the increment varies between 1 cent and many dollars.

In your description, you were not beaten by a fast or quick bidder. Someone bid before you, and this person bidded a higher price, thats all.

Hope this helps,

Oeil (known as rpg-jsr on eBay).
 
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Larry Rice
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i would guess he's aware of that...since he put in almost $100 as his max bid...

btw...7 seconds is way too much time....i've lost auctions with less than 4 seconds to go after bidding a new high offer at that point.
 
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John Rodriguez
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I just use www.auctionsniper.com. Costs a little bit but it will snipe for you.
 
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Mark Crocker
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er..aah..Oeil. I didn't lose the item....I won it! And I won it because I know EXACTLY how it works (and how human nature works, too).

When the item sat for a week with no movement whatsoever, I was pretty sure I could win the auction. There are only 3 possible scenarios here.

1. The other bidder has no special tools (sniper program). His maximum automatic bid may have been $50.00, but because there was virtually no action, except a cursory bid or two by me, which was always out bid immediately by the next increment, there was no dramatic reason for him to re-think his maximum bid. Apparently his maximum bid was $18.01 and I upped him by 50 cents...if that's the case.

2. If the bidder is like me, and just watching and waiting on his own, then by me confirming my bid with 7 seconds left...2 or 3 seconds by the time that info gets to him...gives him no time to retaliate.

3. If the other bidder has a sniper type program, it still doesn't matter. No matter how fast your computer is, it won't be fast enough with 2 seconds left, because of the DSL connection.

There is a 4th possible ending. Let's say that the other bidder's bid was even more than my rediculous $93.17 (which would have made my total price exactly $100.00). That means he's more desparate than I am...you can have it! But then he has buyer's remorse and renegs on the deal. The seller will then e-mail me with a 2nd chance offer...which I can ignore.
 
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Greg Aleknevicus
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It doesn't sound to me that you know EXACTLY how it works because you omit another possibility:

5. The other bidder placed a maximum bid of $90 or so and you end up buying it for $92.50 (or thereabouts).

Considering that you did not want to pay $70 (or even $20) for this game this could hardly be considered a good move. Bidding so much more than you really wanted to pay was a risky move but you got lucky.
 
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Mark Crocker
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Ahh...I was pefectly willing to spend $100.00. I'm just mighty glad that I didn't have to. If I wasn't willing to spend my maximum, then why didn't I make it $500.00 or more? I wouldn't have welched at 92.50.
 
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Ima Meeple
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Velusion wrote:
I just use www.auctionsniper.com. Costs a little bit but it will snipe for you.

Where's the fun in that ??

Even when I'm after an item I really really want (eg. DC white reviewer GD-Rs), I still prefer the adrenaline rush of the last few sec, the feeling of accomplishment when I succesfully snipe my prize ... it's my personal spaghetti western, and when the auction is opver only one man is left standing (cue: a Morricone score).

Crocker: standard sniping procedure would be to have to windows open of your item, in one window just type in whatever you're willing to pay, and go to the confirmation screen. Just keep refreshing the 2nd window, when it's down to 4-6 left you make your shot (in the first window).
 
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Tony Nardo
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Crockerdile wrote:
When the item sat for a week with no movement whatsoever, I was pretty sure I could win the auction. There are only 3 possible scenarios here. [...]

Scenario 4: with less than 5 seconds left, one or more people that haven't shown their interest at all pile on with their snipe bids. I've seen this when I've sold on eBay quite a few times on my items.

I tend to bid counter-intuitively. If there's a relatively common item I wouldn't mind having at a low price, I might put a marker bid on it. But if there's an obscure item that I really want, I won't betray my interest in it until the closing seconds. I'd been used as a search engine in my early days there too many times...

Not a bad score on LC BTW, but it's a game with, shall we say, uneven desirability. I've generally seen this one go in the $40-$90 range, with peaks around $200 and valleys below $20.

For my part, I landed an unpunched copy for $19.99 a couple years back... and was the only bidder! I think the (relatively) higher starting bid discouraged some people on that one.
 
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Dennis Ku
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My greatest ebay score was Princes of the Renaissance, unpunched, for $20.
 
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Mike Pranno
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Quote:
3. If the other bidder has a sniper type program, it still doesn't matter. No matter how fast your computer is, it won't be fast enough with 2 seconds left, because of the DSL connection.

Not sure this is true. The sniping software I sometimes use claims to be able to so this (if you buy the premium service). Of course, it could just be a claim, but they don't I have no problems getting getting bids in well under 10 seconds withouth the premium servce.

Edit: I should clarify that this isn't "software", rather a sniping service that you schedule from their website.
 
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Tony Nardo
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The bid packet that gets sent off to eBay is relatively small. I've been able to get a bid though on a dial-up connection with two seconds left.

Of course, if there are unexpected glitches on the eBay server end, all bets are off. I remmeber the bad old days where eBay's pages could go inaccessible for several minutes at a time. It's been a while since I've seen anything like that happen.
 
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Mark Crocker
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Well, I dunno. My method has worked perfectly on a few occasions. Perhaps it's just dumb luck. I like to think that it is superior planning and execution. If I'm laboring under an illusion, so be it. I'm enjoying the illusion.
 
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Keith Anderson
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Crockerdile wrote:
Ahh...I was pefectly willing to spend $100.00. I'm just mighty glad that I didn't have to. If I wasn't willing to spend my maximum, then why didn't I make it $500.00 or more? I wouldn't have welched at 92.50.


But would you have been happy to spend $100.00 when you were not dedicated enough to the game to spend $70 before?

Before getting into bidding, I make up my mind what my absolute maximum price will be based on what price I would be pleased (value for $) with. Many get caught up in the thrill of bidding and spend more than the item's worth. If your maximum 'happy' amount was really $25, for example, you could have bid that by your methods and still won this particular auction without the risk of overspending.
 
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Steven Quade
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I use http://www.fatfingers.com/ to find misspelled auctions to get some good deals.
 
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Mark Crocker
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Keith...last October, my final bid was $85.00, nearly twenty higher than what the winning bid ended up to be. When I went to click "confirm bid", with about 20 seconds left, my screen just froze (wouldn't let me confirm), until the exact moment the auction ended. Then everything went back to normal...with of course the "bidding has ended" screen. This is before I ever heard of "bidding services".

I know it sounds absurd, but I've always been suspicious that there was somekind of outside interference preventing my bid (Paranoia strikes deep), because I can think of no other explanation for what happened.

I was committed to the big bucks back then, just as I was yesterday. It's just that this time I was resolved to give myself every edge I could. In an earlier post I merely said that I COULD ignore a 2nd chance offer. I didn't say that I WOULD. Like I said earlier, I really, REALLY wanted the item.
 
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Kristian
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Crockerdile wrote:
Keith...last October, my final bid was $85.00, nearly twenty higher than what the winning bid ended up to be. When I went to click "confirm bid", with about 20 seconds left, my screen just froze (wouldn't let me confirm), until the exact moment the auction ended.


Ahh! I think that's why there's the confusion here, it wasn't stated in your original post that you were ready to outbid the $70. Congrats on your find... it's always nice to get a 'deal' on something you're looking for (is it worth $18.21 or $70? A question for the ages).

Hopefully you can add to the information on the game's page (it is pretty sparse) once you get it!
 
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