Slightly OT: Has anyone ever unraveled the "coburlin" mystery


I used to understand his madness. He would simply change the listing before it ended and sell a $5 item with $10 shipping and not sell it and recoup his listing fees. But eBay closed that loophole. Now, you are charged a fee, even if you change the listing. And therefore he has stopped doing that.

Now his listings surely accumulate selling fees of $7 to $10 for each of his listed items. He has hundreds of unsold items with fees and almost never sells anyting.


This is tops worth $100, in this below average condition for the 71B. I have sold mint condition 71Bs for $100 less than what he is trying to charge.

Below average 71B for nearly $300

Here is another:

Below average for nearly $500

Here is a $100 HP-75D for almost $600

HP-75C with pod

You can't give these away with these pods. The HP-75D has a hole in the side, ruining it's collectibility, doesn't ever have a battery cover, if you remove it from the pod and is in dented average condition.

Has anyone ever figured out how he can do this and not be taken to the cleaners on listing fees? I know about fees. . He has right now over 150 that have not sold. I don't think I have ever seen one of these sell, at these prices. I don't think it's a case of selling outside of ebay either, because the ones above have been listed many, many times.

I also realize there are some days where you can list items at essentially no fee (only .10 per item) but those aren't everyday and he lists far too many to have them all listed for $0.10 each.

Edited: 13 June 2006, 6:36 p.m. after one or more responses were posted


I think simply that his time has past.


It's funny, I think he will get stuck with a bunch of HP calcs that he really doesn't like.


He is most assuredly not a collector, though. So "stuck" would be the right term. He knows virtually nothing about what he sells. I doubt he ever owned an HP, before eBay came along. You can tell by his listings that he doesn't have a clue what has value and what does not.

All his prices are so high, that it covers up for obvious mistakes. For instance an HP-IL video interface is probably worth 2 or 3 times that of an HP-IL to RS-232 interface but he values them the same. Both are over priced though.

He has no clue about value, so just overprices everything. But the mystery is why?

Edited: 13 June 2006, 3:05 p.m.


It's fustrating that he has so many HP's that I would like a shot at getting, but his prices are ridiclously high. It's a shame that there are people who sell their HP's to him at very low prices. The occaisional person who will pay his prices must make it worthwhile for him.


And Butlin got positive feedback no less...becasue the person that sold it to him for $31.99 was a sucker!


That's how he gets all his items. He makes low-ball offers to unsuspecting sellers. I found this out, when he tried to offer me a low-ball bid. He can't even remember who he makes offers to.

He also made a similar ridiculous offer to Dennis.

I have checked with a few sellers and that is exactly what he does. Just search ebay for bidder as coburlin and see all that he is bidding on. Check the latest bids and if you contact any of the sellers, you will find he has made low-ball offers.


I suspect that he's found some other means of abusing the system. Never underestimate the creativity of the disreputable and amoral.


He must have some way of avoiding those listing fees. I know ebay offers $0.10 listing fee specials but not everyday or every week. He must have found another way to avoid fees.


And active advertising, I received a few minutes ago via eBAY a message from Coburlin, he was probably triggeres for I left a bid on the HP35 mark 1 at moment on e-Bay:
V: Hello, please check eBay# 7248170115 for HP-35 Scientific Calculator Original Box Set

I think this is outside allowed eBay policies



Why don't you snap it up? A $150 calculator, in average condition, for $475.00. What a bargain.

I think you are right that it's outside ebay rules. It is sort of auction interference to try to stear someone away from one auction, to one of theirs. But that would be hard to prove.

Here are all his auctions, included completed ones, for the past 30 days I don't see any sales:

All coburlin auctions

Edited: 13 June 2006, 6:12 p.m.


Well, he did sell a 25c by buy-it-now for $449 on May 9. And, a 128K ram card for the HP48SX for $99 on May 29. On May 16, he sold an HP71B for $575. On May 2, he sold an HP65 for $389. On May 13, he sold an HP41 wand for $189.

It does seem to have slowed down, but he did sell a good number of things in May. These were looked up by links from his feedback.

I do notice he displays an attaction for MS Office 2000 Developer edition and MS Photodraw 2000. These seem to be bought cheap and resold.

Capitalism at its finest, I suppose.


That list sounds like the profits might more than make up for a bunch of $5.80 listing fees.

I can't believe he's not making money. The only way to account for what we know about his buying and selling is to assume that he is making money. Sad, but probably true.



That list sounds like the profits might more than make up for a bunch of $5.80 listing fees.
I still wonder though. True, if you list one item 10 times, he still makes a nice profit, assuming it eventualy sells. But the majority never sell and never will sell. Listing items forever, that don't sell, isn't profitable.

However, I agree that he must be making a profit. I just don't see how, since probably much less than 1% ever sells.

But to put it another way, he could quadruple his profits (or more), if he cut his prices in half. He'd jump from selling 1% to 50% overnight and still be charging way too much. I mean his below average HP-71B that he tries to sell for $500 would have a better chance at selling at $250 and he'd still make $200 profit, since he probably paid less than $25 for it.


I suspect that he's found some other means of abusing the system.

Maybe he's less interested in selling right now than in driving up the prices of all HP calculator merchandise on eBay. If he could do that, then he could cut his prices a bit and sell lots of stuff quickly at a "discount."


That HP-75 looks a whole lot like one that sold a month or so ago for $25. If so he added the manual and wand.

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