May 19th, 2005

Camp

I don't get it ...

I've been trying to recall if there was some point in time when this sort of thing was important to me (i.e., that my current head-scratching is simply Fogeyism rearing its befuddled head), but I really don't get the need that several people on my Friends List seem to have to making the very first clock-strikes-midnight showing of a movie (or, alternately, the wailing and gnashing of teeth when they're for some reason prevented from doing so). I mean, I have at times in my life exhibited odd behavior in regards to movies (I sat through Space Odyssey 2001 three times straight when it came out), but this must-see-it-before-anybody-else mania just confuses me.


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Hero

Speaking of being confused ...

OK, so it has been explained to me that some people "do eBay" without the intent of deeply minimizing the amount they're having to pay for a certain item. As folks familiar with this space will recall, my "target" for getting Pokemon stuff is 1/7th of retail, but I've been told that many people might be happy to save 10% or so.

However, it just plain confuses me when folks get into a "bidding war" over something that they could make a few clicks and outright buy for less money elsewhere on the web! Yesterday I knew I was going to be away from the computer when some auctions closed, so put in bids early (I really prefer to wait for the last 5 minutes or so on an auction to bid, but I've been burned a few times when I've missed out on cards ... that closed with no bids ... because I could not get back to the computer in time). I ended up not winning any of these, but some of them had me scratching my head because somebody (or multiple somebodies) went far into the "retail price" zone. Of course, in each of these cases there was somebody with a bot (easy to tell when new bids shoot out every 6-7 seconds!) which will frequently inflate the price in a hurry. What was odd, especially in the most-bid-on one of these, was that it appeared that both the bot guy and the gal with the high (and eventually winning) bid were live on the auction! I could surmise this becaus the bot first ran up five bids over 31 seconds, then did nothing for 7 minutes, only to start up again with another 3 bids in quick succession. The winner responded to the bot with a new high bid right after it started, which is odd, since the first bid from the bot was not over the winner's earlier high, but she came in with a new bid before the bot hit bids 2-5. Maybe neither was live, and both were bots ... dunno. As it was the winning bid was just one cent higher than the bot guy went ... being an object lession in why not to bid in round dollar figures! Anyway, both of these folks (who, admittedly "were new", having only 2 and 4 feedback points each) would have saved themselves some money by going to the "low reference site" and just buying the damn card!

Yeah, I know ... nobody fucking cares ... I'm just trying to refine my mental model on this eBay thing!


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