|Re: crazy ebay|
Message #4 Posted by Glynn on 20 Sept 2000, 7:36 p.m.,
in response to message #3 by Rupert
For those not willing to run to a different bbs to see what Rupert has referred to, the story, by "dburkett", is called "a 71b for .99" and tells of his find:
He noticed a listing for an "electronic abacus", and saw that the seller was not really aware of what he was selling-- an HP 71b (as identified by the keyboard).
It was indeed a 71b, plus 4 32K modules, plus an HP-IL interface-- all housed in an aluminum box with templates, one template saying "Abacus by Calculus Inc."
"dburkett" was the only bidder on the item, and it is apparently in great condition. Obviously, "dburkett" is one lucky dude with open eyes and a willingness to go at least a dollar for a "pig in a poke"... and this time, it paid off.
I have heard in the past of people actually giving away calculators; I have heard of the occasional dustbin find. We all hope to stumble in on that one yard-sale where the red-dot HP-35 sits next to the rubber-ducky on the ten-cent table. It happens.
"dburkett"'s moral is: ya gotta look, and that is true. eBay is a nice place to look, for sure: some of its charm is the convenience of visiting HUNDREDS of garage-sales from the comfort of your computer.
It is mostly always going to cost you more on eBay: lots of buyer competition results in the seller's market we see there. Only the most common things give us a vendor competition-- and only as long as oversupply to the market exists (and the market on eBay is huge).
But as the story Rupert pointed us to proves, IF you are expert enough to see what others don't, and willing to place your bet on a potential "hidden treasure", you CAN be a "winner".
What I don't "get" about eBay is this: what drives a BUYER to bid prices up on items that appear there at least every other week?
The psychology of the auction notwithstanding, it is a constant inflationary pressure that makes effective buying on eBay a long, slow and iterative task-- being second or third or fourth place on many auctions while the newbies fight for the right to pay lots more than an item can be had in the local classifieds.