Monday, November 06, 2006

Okay, so I'm an idiot.

For some reason I will never know (masochist?) I was checking out eBay auctions of mixed lots of Magic cards. I saw an auction ending in under an hour that was for 3000+ cards, and the bidding was only up to $19 or so. What the heck?

So, I investigated. The reserve price was not met yet. Ah, suddenly all became clear. In case you don't know, eBay allows sellers to auction an item with a Reserve Price, a price that they will not sell the item for less than. And this price is not revealed to the bidders. So, a person can bid, and have the high bid, but still not be winning because they didn't bid high enough to meet the Reserve. From what I have seen, Reserve Prices are pretty much universally loathed by eBay buyers. I don't think I would ever use one. And auctions with them tend to not get as many bids.

The item represents a chunk of a large batch of cards the seller bought from a card shop that was going out of business. He bought ~17,000 cards, and wants to sell them off in lots of 3000+ each.

I thought about what I was willing to bid. The shipping would be $20 in and of itself (the seller will use UPS, and this package will be heavy). So, I tried bidding $50. Now I was the high bidder (my bid was $36.01) but the reserve was still not met.

I sent the seller an email. What are the rarities of these cards? 3000+ commons is not such a useful thing, necessarily. No reply. I debate with myself some more. I try bidding $70. Still not met. $80. Still not met. Okay, at this point I gave up. A total of $100 for 3000+ possibly all or mostly common cards...I'm not willing to risk any more than that.

The auctions ends. No further bids. The item does not sell. I go off to eat dinner.

When I come back I have two emails waiting for me. First, a response from the seller: "To be honest, I don't know. Myself and others have been going through these and are still pulling out rares and uncommons. There are a lot of older rares that I wouldn't know that were rares unless I looked every single one up and I don't have that kind of time. It's a gamble. I bought 8 monster boxes from a gaming store that closed down and have no idea of what is exactly in all of the boxes." So, the lot will, most likely, be mostly commons. Remember, though, that in older sets the cards were not color coded for rarity as they are in newer sets, so many Uncommons & Rares may slip through, as he indicated.

The second email was a Second Chance Offer from the seller. He's willing to let me have the item for my "max bid" of $36.01!

Okay, I have to try this. Only $56 for over 3000 cards?!? Even if they're all commons I ought to be able to turn a profit on that!

So, I did it. "Lot 5" as it will be known will hopefully be in my possession before too long.

SIGH. I just don't seem to be happy if I don't have cards to process for this blasted Store. What is WRONG with me?!?!?!??!?!

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