OK, so today I was watching/bidding on a number of Pokemon card auctions, all from one seller, all being multiple-card auctions, of holos, reverse-holos, and mixed holos and reverse-holos from various sets (each auction being from one set). In general terms, there wasn't that much difference in the various auctions, while the content was different, it was thematically similar, and should have been flagged by various similar searches. Frankly, I bid on stuff that we didn't "need" because I saw I could get it for the minimum ($0.99) bid, and this particular seller has an amazing shipping policy of "combined shipping for all auctions for $1.00", so I knew I wouldn't be driving my costs up (aside from the actual bids) for adding on the extras (and I got 3 out of 5 for the minimum).
Now, maybe it was me, but (aside from obvious stuff, like the holo auctions being "more valuable" than the reverse-holo auctions, and ones with a couple of dozen cards being more valuable than ones with a half a dozen cards) these were pretty much on an even footing, with no "OH WOW" deals particularly standing out that would draw attention.
That said, there was ONE of these, out of all of them, that had two last-minute bidders swoop in and run the prices up. Now, a few of these had had some "action" previously and had moved out of my target price range, but those were all pretty much over by this morning. This one, however, had three previous bidders, but was (up to about 5 minutes till close) at only $1.50 ... I was watching it, planning on coming in over the top of the high bidder (who I knew was right at $1.50 due to the way the bid history played out) in the last minute or so. These two bidders came in, though, within seconds of each other, and had tripled and more the price within a minute or two. I could tell that these were likely "live" and not bots due to the timing of their bids, and they one-upped each other until about 1:30 out, when things went quiet ... the lead bidder "capped" his bid with a final extra with about :30 left, but it was over at that point.
What I don't "get" here is why THAT auction out of the 10 or so very similar ones? Admittedly, it was for a couple of dozen reverse holo cards, so had an obvious "value" level that anybody familiar with Pokemon card pricing would immediately recognize, but it was not vastly different from any of the others. Why did it get a bidding war, and not the others. Aslo, what would trigger two bidders coming in right at the same time? I assume this could be simple coincidence, but it likewise struck me as odd.
Once again, I find myself wanting "to get a handle on" the inner workings, the hidden currents, the unseen patterns of eBay! This just stood out as a "WTF" moment to me ... how did that particular auction get that level of attention, when others, closing at pretty much the same time, with similar descriptions, by the same seller, didn't? It makes my brain hurt sometimes.