Hamer Stellar 1: An eBay Lament

Well, someone outbid me on the Stellar 1.  Not a big deal.  I don’t really need another guitar.

But here’s the thing that frustrates me:

I’ve never won a guitar by sniping (putting in a last-second bid), but I’ve lost dozens that way. 

The thing that frustrates me is just what happened here.  If I’d won the guitar for $200, I’d have been pleased: a very good deal.  But someone else comes in and gets it for $202.  Virtually identical price.  Based on experience, $204 would not have been good enough for me to get it.  I’d have had to go up to $280 or so.

It seems like if I find a guitar extremely underpriced by $100 or more, if I participate, I might win or might not, but the final price is within $30 of what it is worth.  If I don’t participate, however, someone wins the guitar for at least $100 less than it is worth.

Why can’t I ever get a guitar for super cheap without a “buy it now” option?

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Hamer Stellar 1: An eBay Lament

  1. So that’s what it’s called? Sniping?

    My apologies, but I am a sniper. Here is my confession.

    I’m frugal. I like ebay (and craigslist) because they are a market for finding items I’ve long wanted at prices that can be reasonable. Bargains do come along, but usually items will sell for what the market will bear.

    But I learned years ago that if an item is crusing along underpriced, don’t bid until the last possible moment, and when you bid, bid as high as you feel the item is worth to you. Since Ebay will increment just beyond the current highest bidder’s highest bid, you’ll usually cover that “Oh, heck, I’d have paid an extra $5 for that” regret that comes when you lose, and you usually get the item for a lot less than your max bid. Putting a bid in early, or in the closing hours, is simply pumping up the price and hanging up a sign to others telling how much they have to bid to beat you… and giving them plenty of time for target practice.

    You just have to be there as the auction closes. Oh, and as with all things Ebay, be prepared to lose. You will sometimes, and that’s okay, because there will be another item along tomorrow or the next day. Unless, of course, it’s a Nelsonic LP copy. Haven’t seen one for over a year.

    “Buy it now!” can be a useful tool if you trust the item and seller and you know the going value of the item, and the seller apparently doesn’t. Just last week I missed a “Buy it now!” on an 80s Ibanez Roadstar, with original case and a practice amp and some other goodies. It was $200. I contemplated selling the amp versus the $40 shipping which put the combination just outside what I thought it was worth. While pondering this, something in the description caught my eye. If I was to “Buy it now!” the shipping was waived. Sold! Except at that moment someone else bought it. Ten seconds faster and it would have been mine. Oh well. Next train departs in an hour.

    • chiefmuser

      Hmmm… you make some very good points.

      I’ll have to consider it more, but you may have just converted me into an eBay sniper.

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