16 Nov 2007

The joy of eBay

The eBay marketplace for N gauge model railway rolling stock is quite vigorous, and getting a bargain isn't easy. Even when a listing isn't optimally described, people usually manage to spot it, and they bide their time, and up up up goes the price in a last-second sniping orgy. And then there are the bloody newbies who come in and spill silly money indiscriminately on both the good stuff I'm after and utter crap alike, and I snoop into what else they've been buying (can't help meself), and it turns out to be stereotypical GWR tripe and Thomas the bloody Tank and Cliff Richard albums. Pah!

So I wasn't too optimistic when I saw six Dapol Dogfish wagons described as hoppers, ending at a time when I had to be out of the house. But the bid history was a bit of a giggle. Bidder One (we'll call this mug with 85 feedback "Rotherham Tuesday") had started it off a couple of days ago at £9.99. Considering these things go for upwards of eight quid *each*, this was never going to be the last word, and sure enough Bidder Two (let's call him or her "Blackadder") popped in a more realistic bid the day after; exposing that Rotherham had bid *exactly* the starting £9.99.

Sure enough, three hours and a conjectural outbid notice later, back comes Rotherham Tuesday. Idiot bonce proceeds to pop in *ten* more bids in six minutes progressively trying to top Blackadder in one or two quid increments. His last bid - after a thirty-three second pause for reflection - was £24.99 and it had pushed Blackadder's original bid all the way to £25.01. Anyone with eBay nous will realise that Blackadder's bid had just topped out and Tuesday had missed out by three pee. And they were still looking cheap... so...

As it panned out, neither of them came back, and nobody sniped me. Blimey! Result!

How does someone get to 85 feedback without learning how to bid? Oh well, I've just written a cheque for six unboxed Dogfish at £4.83 apiece including postage. That'll do.

(Epilogue: there's enough information in this entry for an astute cyberstalker to work out what car I drive. In Scott McNealy's words, "You have zero privacy anyway. Get over it.")