Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Outbid again

I was awakened at 3:30 yesterday morning by cell phone beeps.  I thought it was the beeps that accompany an eBay outbid notice, but the beeps kept coming.  I was annoyed, because I usually remember to turn down the volume so that things like that won't disturb me.  I tried to ignore them, but every few minutes the beeps would sound again.

Even though I was pretty groggy, I dragged myself out of bed and found that it was actually my wife's cell phone begging for a recharge.  I plugged it in and gave it a malevolent glare to warn it against such churlish begging in the future.

Oh, well. It was only an hour earlier than I usually get up. My phone and iPad were muted, so it wasn't eBay's fault.  I did check, though, and found that yes, I had lost a good number of bids overnight.  That's fine: many were lowballs thrown out there just in case there's a massive internet outage and the four million other people bidding against me are stuck pounding on their keyboards in frustration as I snag thousands of dollars worth of coins for a pittance.

Actually, internet outage or not, doing that is kind of a kick.  Picking up a $10,000 coin for a few hundred bucks is about as likely as winning the lottery - maybe even less so - but that's not what I'm doing.  I'm bidding $30 or $40 on $100 coins or perhaps $7 on $20 coins.  That can happen and the odds aren't completely impossible.  

But sometimes I look at the total number of items I am still supposedly winning and think "Man, that would put a dent in the checkbook!" and I get a queasy feeling in my stomach.   Soon enough a few more dings tell me that more realistic bids have chopped down that exposure and I feel better.

On the other hand, I do put in more realistic bids on some things. I don't use sniping software. That will increase bids as necessary without you watching, but you can't use it with two-factor authentication and I won't turn that off.  Aside from that, I'm not trying to get the absolute lowest price. If I'm willing to pay $60 for something, that's what I'll bid right out of the gate. That is and will be my maximum - if I instantly see that someone else's secret bid has raised it to  $61, that's the end of it for me and I move on.  If I had been willing to pay $62, that's what I would have bid originally.

But the lowballs are fun, too.  I don't recall ever winning one yet - if I did, it wasn't low enough that I noticed, anyway.  Yet in idle moments I amuse myself by placing a few dozen very cheap bids.  If they should ever hit, I'll have a great deal and if not, it passed some time and helped keep me up to date on current price trends.

Note:  All my coins are in a safe deposit box.  I keep nothing in my home. 

This week's Coinweek Giveaway:

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