May 7th, 2005


a quiet night on the banks of the eBay ...

I wish I knew the patterns of eBay, because I could then make a lot of money there (or get a lot of deals). Some nights it seems "everybody and his uncle" are out to bid on the same stuff you are, and on other nights it's like a ghost town. I've picked up stuff over the past few months with the intent of selling it on eBay, and would (obviously) like to target the busy times, but as a buyer, it would be nice to be able to predict up front when there was going to be little or no bidding.

The past couple of nights have been "ghost town", at least around the Pokemon Cards neighborhood on eBay. I ran into an auction tonight that was for the "alternate holos" of all the regular holo cards in the new Deoxys set. On my "cheap" reference site, the 15 cards in this auction came in at just shy of $100, ranging from $5 to $8 a pop. I ended up winning these (with shipping) for $9 ... sixty cents per card! What (aside from how low these went for) amazed me was that there was nearly NO action on them. The bid was sitting at just over the opening ($0.99) for hours, with just two bidders. About 45 minutes to close there was a tentative bid (like $1.50), then nothing. I waited until about 5 mintues to close to start bidding, and it took me 3 bids to "fix" where the lead bidder was at, and then waited for the last 30 seconds or so to come in on top of that. As it was, I won this with a bid that was a buck less than I'd been targeting, and had zero competition beyond the bid that had been there all day. Amazing!

Now, Daughter #1 only "needed" about half of these, but she's really looking forward to this summer, as the kids at her "school camp" are much more into trading cards than the kids at her school. Hopefully, she'll be able to leverage some hot rare holograms with these "extras"! At this point she only needs holos of a number of sets, so it's handy to have spare holos to do equal trades.

But it wasn't just tonight that it was "dead" over there ... earlier today I also got a set of five reverse holo Deoxys cards for the opening bid (with shipping they came out to about 45¢ each, with "values" of $2 to $5 a piece), and last night I picked up nine reverse holo cards from the Skyridge set for a penny a piece, that (with shipping) ended up about 32¢ each (with "values" of $2 to $10 according to the "cheap site"). Come to think of it, the night before I got another block of Deoxys "alt holo" cards for a total cost of only about 31¢ each ... again, not too shabby, since that's just about in my "1/7th of retail" target zone even for the cards only "worth" $2.00, let alone on the rarer cards.

What's great is that nearly all of these wins are under $10 (and most of them are in the two to five buck range), which if I walk when I could be taking the bus, or take the bus when I could be taking a cab, or eat some of the kids' leftovers rather than buying a sandwich, I can "make up for" in day-to-day scrimping! Heck, it's cheaper than playing pinball for an equivalent amount of time.

Visit the BTRIPP home page!