August 22nd, 2004


More eBay stuff ...

Sometimes I feel guilty ... for example, today we got a win of a bunch of cards and a used Pokemon binder on which I was pretty much the only bidder. Now, this was one of those "pig in a poke" sort of deals, where the seller had not described in great detail what was in the auction, but had a rough count of the cards (around 500), and a general description. In fact, it was a fairly odd mix, being from just two Pokemon sets (Gym Heros and Gym Challenge), and being mainly "common" and "uncommon" cards (although there were a few "rare" and "holographic" cards as well). We did manage to fill in four gaps in Daughter #1's collection and now she has a neat new binder for her "trade" cards, but it was one of those auctions where you bid and hope. However, in this case I wonder where the seller's head was at ... first of all, in the auction copy it said that they were starting bidding at $4.00 but the actual minimum bid was set to $1.50 ... I ended up winning it for $2.00 (somebody bid after my initial bid which brought it up from the open). Then they'd set the shipping for $4.00, but when the package arrived I noticed that the actual postage to send it out was $6.50 ... meaning that it had cost them more to ship it to me that the combined total they got from the auction (let alone being out the fees charged by eBay!). If this was a "frequent seller", I'd have guessed that they'd cut-and-pasted from a previous auction and neglected to update the information, but this seller has sold less than 20 items (in the roughly 2 months that they've been "active"), so I don't think it's that.

I'm not the sort to gloat over this type of thing ... I'd rather know that the seller got at least their "minimum" out of the transaction, which is obviously not the case here (unless they were really, really anxious to get rid of their Pokemon stuff) as they sold at a net loss. I mean, I love a deal probably even more than "the next guy", and am typically happy to "take" an eBay "Power Seller" for 1¢ cards (where they're paying 30¢ to list each) when I can, knowing that they're making it up on the bidders like my new U.K. nemesis, but this sort of deal bugs me. I hate to think that there's this seller out there who now hates me for winning their auction. Sure, they could have taken steps to assure that they came out on the plus side of things, but I really don't like feeling like I'd taken advantage of them.

Bleh ... sucks to be a nice guy, I guess.

Oh, speaking of my U.K. nemesis and others like him ... I just got outbid for the last 3 auctions that I was winning ... so my "score" for the past 24 hours goes: bid on 50, "lost" 44, "won" 6. Total card cost: $1.86 ... total shipping: $3.00 ... total out the door via PayPal: $4.86 ... not bad for cards that have a value of $20.00 (plus shipping) on the "cheap site", but disappointing that I was unable to get more (and so minimize the initial shipping charge). Yeah, yeah ... like anybody cares ...

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Spam musings ...

Although I have heard of people actually getting jobs based on these "degrees" (I guess a lot of these cookie-cutter HR people don't bother to check references), it amazes me that anybody would sign up for a degree from "a prestigious non-accredited university"! I'm still trying to figure out how a university could be prestigious while being non-accredited!

By the way, speaking of spam ... for those keeping score, it looks like my address is out of the "spoof file" for whatever damnable spammers that were using it ... I've only had 4 "bounced" messages show up so far in August!

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