Saturday, June 28, 2008

The Wild Wild World of Ebay

Yup, I must admit, I'm an Ebay virgin. It's a whole new world for me. Should I jump into it with both feet or test the waters first? The idea of buying something in ebay is exciting yet scary at the same time. Not so, my DH. DH is what you would call an ebay denizen. Even when it was in its infancy, DH was glued to the screen, waiting to bid on the last second, to snipe some complacent individual out of his/her bid.

I remember one of the worst fights we ever had. The year was 1998. Our computer was then a bulky desktop that was parked in the small landing between the stairs and our room. Our internet connection was through a dial-up modem, which was connected to our phone downstairs. Thus, if either of us was online, it meant that our phone was busy. It also meant that you had to be very careful walking down the stairs because of the cords snaking through the steps.

DH is an avid collector. He collects action figures, McDonald's Happy Meal toys (remind me to tell you about the time when he just had to have all the 101 Dalmatians, and no, he didn't go to ebay for them), antiquarian books about the Philippines... The list is endless. That summer he was into collecting vintage toys. Specifically, the toys he remembers playing with as a child. He even browsed his mom's family albums to search for photos of him with toys. He had these photos tacked in a board behind the computer and he patiently searched ebay for them.

That time it was a tin tank that runs over a flat giant gorilla. He had been waiting for days to bid on this item. And at 3:00 that morning, he patiently waited for his opportunity to make the tank and the gorilla his. I awoke from a deep slumber feeling very thirsty. I said "hi" to him as I groggily walked towards the stairs. And then disaster struck! In my haste, I tripped on the telephone wires on the floor. I heard him yell and while I steadied myself, he scrambled to re-connect the wires. Yes, my gallant husband didn't even care that I almost fell over the stairs. He was more concerned with his bid. And unfortunately for him, in those precious few seconds of disconnection someone outbid him by a mere $0.01. He never lets me forget about that. And I never let him forget that I almost died (okey, I am exaggerating) because of his preoccupation with outwitting, outsmarting and outbidding other toy collectors.

Fast forward to now. I finally got a paypal account, so now I could ebay. But as I said earlier, I was not sure how to go about the whole thing. So I kept bugging DH to help me. I wanted him to bid for me using his account because he has a feedback of 100%. I have yet to build a record and I was concerned I'd make a big boo-boo and be branded negatively forever.

It seems I have to test the waters on my own. So tentatively, I placed a bid for a Quickutz Moxie SkinniMinni Die set. It was less than 30 minutes before the close of the bid and it was still $9.50. I put in a maximum bid of $10.50 and then I waited. For what? I do not know. Hehehe. I guess I was trying to check if someone had set an automatic bidding for this item. I then got engrossed looking at other stuff in ebay and when I came back, the auction was over and I had been outbid by 50 cents. I had an a-ha! moment. I have to set a higher maximum bid if I wanted to win something. (Obvious ba? Hehehe.)

My next foray was another learning experience. The bid was at $9.50, so having learned previous lesson, I typed a maximum bid of $19.50 (medyo nagdalawang-isip pa ako bago ako nag-confirm, pero sige na nga...). Less than a nanosecond later I had feedback that I was outbid. Again. Wah??? So fast? How did that happen? I realized then someone had set a higher maximum amount than my $19.50. I didn't bid again. It was much too expensive for my taste already. I didn't want that diecut so badly anyway.

Three more attempts and I finally got the hang of it. I was having fun. I bid here and there, always stopping short of actually winning. So if you saw unusual activity on Quickutz items these past two days, that was me. LOL.

Bidding is actually quite exciting. It's a little bit like gambling so I can understand why some people are so hooked on ebay. And I know if I'm not careful, I could be like my DH was 10 years ago.


jeanie nieva said...

miss lee!welcome to the addicting world of ebay.:)mas nakaka-addict yan lalo na pag youget the stuff you want at a really cheap price, mae-enganyo ka to bid more. tapos they have some hard to find stuff in ebay so sobrang tempting talaga. :)

[AKA] CraftFairy said...

I've never tried ebay. I heard a few years ago sellers bid on their own stuff so they can sell it at a higher price. I wonder if they still do that?

Maybelle said...

Hi, Lee! Actually the sellers enter a certain amount which is their desired minimum price. (of course, the buyer has no inkling about this) If the highest bid falls below this, the amount entered by the seller automatically goes up and the buyer, even if he is the highest bidder before closing time, goes home without clinching the sale. It's sort of a fail-safe mechanism which saves the seller from loosing his shirt. Good luck and enjoy your e-bay experience!

Au Lim said... you finally succumb! good luck kapatid! basta wag mo lang ako matatapatan at mababatukan kita if you win over me or if you drive the price so high. hehehe...happy ebaying!