Purchasing HP Calculators on EBay



#31

I was purchasing an 48SX with a equation library card and a 32K ram card. I state "was" since someone managed to outbid me two minutes before the bid closing time of 4:00 AM EST. I am slightly irritated that I had persued this calculator for several days, made the appropriate bids, allowed a $15 bid pad for it and I'm picked off at the last minute. As you can tell, I do not deal with EBay much nor am I motiviated to do it again after this. Does anybody have any alternates where someone can purchase the older HP's without having someone pick you off?

Thanks for reading my rant.


#32

post a wanted ad here at MoHPC---go to the main page and youll see a link to the classifieds.

#33

If you are going to buy it on Ebay or some auction sites then there is really no way to prevent what happened to you. I buy many things on Ebay because for certain things it's the only place you can find. What I do is to wait to relatively near the end of auction and put in a bid for the highest amount I want to buy the item for. If someone outbid me, I don't care as I already predetermined not to pay more for the item.
For HP calculators, I had good luck buying them from the classified ads here in the hpmuseum. I know that many of the ads now are for ebay auctions which bring you back to square one.


#34

You say:

I buy many things on Ebay because for certain things it's the only place you can find. What I do is to wait to relatively near the end of auction and put in a bid for the highest amount I want to buy the item for. If someone outbid me, I don't care as I already predetermined not to pay more for the item.

I say:

That is the best advice that anyone can give. Biding early only runs the price up.

The ONLY time I ever bid early is to outbid "coburlin".


Edited: 13 Sept 2006, 3:18 p.m.

#35

I'm sure "sniping" would not happen if eBay changed their auction format so that an auction would always stay open for, say, 5 minutes after the last bid -- but until they do that, your only choices may be to avoid eBay or to become a sniper yourself. You could try using http://www.auctionsniper.com/ to do the dirty work for you (note: I have no experience with that service myself and am not affiliated with them; I prefer the old-fashioned approach and do my own sniping, manually).

- Thomas


#36

Quote:
I'm sure "sniping" would not happen if eBay changed their auction format so that an auction would always stay open for, say, 5 minutes after the last bid

In other words, just like a real auction (which ebay is not) so that would be the "going, going...gone!" part of the auction.

#37

I wrote eBay about implementing this feature. They declined.

I think the automatic extension of auctions can lead to emotions getting out of control (especially among addicted eBay bidders .. OR .. those who want to have fun with the emotions of other bidders), leading to really outrageous winning bids, which may well NOT get paid once the winning bidder goes back to his sense. An increasing number of non-paying bidders is a headache for eBay and can hurt its reputation.

Think about it!!!!!!

Edited: 11 Sept 2006, 12:43 p.m.

#38

If the auction ends at 4am, there is no way to avoid being outbid unless I'm awake OR bid a huge amount.

If I'm only willing to pay $50 and no more, someone who wants to pay $55 will win every time, whether they bid ahead of time or not.


#39

Yes, that can be a problem. And so the basic solution is to go for auctins that end in the normal times. And yet I have won auctions that were ending in middle of night, and for a reasonable price. I think since everyone is asleep, it just oges to the rue higherst bidder, whereas daylight auctions get a lot of active bidding.

#40

True. The problem I had, along with the "sniping", was my inability to respond to the counterbid. If the bid end time was at a more appropriate hour (10:00PM for example), I would have been able to counter.


#41

Of course, an "inappropriate" hour for me is just fine for someone in Europe or Asia.

:-)


#42

Touche.

#43

Gene,

I can vouch for that as I often travel to Europe and look at eBay auctions for items sold back in the US. On a few occasions I had to wake up in the middle of the night to follow up the end of such an auction!!

Namir

Edited: 11 Sept 2006, 3:49 p.m.

#44

Don't counterbid. It's your eBay technique that's at fault.

If you were willing to pay more for the item, then why didn't you set a higher maximum in the first place?

I've bought lots of calcs on eBay. It's simple: figure out the maximum a calc is worth to you and bid that amount. Worst case, you're forcing the sniper to pay more than they would have had to pay otherwise.

#45

I've noticed that a lot of items that go for high amounts end up getting re-listed. I don't know if this is because of "shilling". Or because of non-paying bidders who got carried away and have buyer's remorse - or some other factor. But I have many times seen the same item relisted from the same seller. When you watch an item it comes up as "relisted".

Kevin

#46

You say:

I'm sure "sniping" would not happen if eBay changed their auction format so that an auction would always stay open for, say, 5 minutes after the last bid --

I reply:

Not true! You have to distinguish between "sniping" and "bidding late". All the people, as did this poster, that bid early in hopes of getting something cheap, will still be outbid. Your "5 minute" extension won't help that.

At the end of almost every auction with a great calculator, there are more than one person present. Extending by 5 minutes, doesn't help the early bidder. He likely won't even be around.

"Late bidders" will still wait, till the end of the auction, even if there was a 5 minute extension. Bidding early, on any type of auction, is a wasted effort.

Edited: 13 Sept 2006, 3:11 p.m.

#47

I agree that it's fustrating, but I don't think there is anything that can be done about it. It recently happened to me, I got sniped in the closing seconds to someone whose bid the minimum allowable increase. Very fustrating.

One counter could be to counter-snipe the snipers. Establish your max bid, and if you are still winning as the auction ends increase you maximum bid by an amount equal to the minimum allowable increase. Then you give the sniper a moving target, and you aren't significantly increasing the amount of money you could have to pay. You essentially snipe your own bid.


#48

Well, you *see* just the minimum allowable increase! The winning bid may have been much higher, but was not exhausted. So "countersniping" may take unexperienced bidders to levels they never wanted to be :(

Take care! Just bid the maximum you want to pay for the item - and if anybody is wanting to spend more, he'll get it anyway. Not nice but true. AFAIK it's called capitalism.


#49

I see nothing wrong with sniping or trying to countersnipe. Any bid place during time of the auction is legitimate (ignoring shills and those with no intention of paying).

Anyone bidding has to be personally responsible for their bid. If the bidding rises above a level higher than you can afford, stop! I disagree that countersniping puts inexperienced bidders at any more risk than they are already in. Anyway, all countersniping is is a low level bid war. If you don't want to engage in it, then don't.

Countersniping is not a tactic to be used if you do not have the highest bid. It is only a method (admittedly unproven) to try to protect the highest bid from a bid by someone else that exceeds the highest by the minimum amount. It can hardly take inexperienced bidders to levels they never wanted to be. If someone really wants to beat your bid in the closing moments, presumably they will bid more than the minimum alowable increase and will win the auction. There is nothing wrong with that. Everyone in the bid is free to bid as much or as little as they want, and the high bidder wins at the close of the auction. Capitalsim in action-a beautiful thing. The one who had the highest bid for the longest time is not entitled to the item.

#50

Walter,


Quote:
Well, you *see* just the minimum allowable increase! The winning bid may have been much higher, but was not exhausted.

EXACTLY!! When I first started buying on ebay, I would lose items by $2.50 (the minimum automatic increase). I would be mad. I'd think "If I had just set my max bid $5 higher, I would have won it."

Then one day it dawned on me. Just because the other person won the item at $2.50 above my max bid, he may have entered a max bid that was actually $100 higher. Without knowing what the max bid the other person is willing to go to, I'll never know how much I actually lost the auction by.

There's two forces going on here. On the one hand we want to win the item for the absoultely lowest price. We all want to say we won a $500 item for $20. So we enter a low ball max bid, hoping that we succeed. And occansionally we do. Then we are Happy Happy Happy and run around telling everyone else about our good fortune.

On the other hand, when we get outbid, we complain that someone snipped our low bid at the last moment. We are Mad Mad Mad and quickly tell everone else about how someone snipped us and complain about how ebay should fix this unjustice that has occured.

The reality is that someone else was just willing to pay more than we were. If you are ALWAYS only willing to pay up to some maximum price and are ALWAYS willing to bid that maximum, then you will NEVER be "snipped" - you will either win the item or you will be outbid by someone else who's willing to pay more for the item. It DOES NOT MATTER at what time you are outbid - whether it's 4 days to go or 4 seconds to go in the auction.


Bill

#51

You say:

One counter could be to counter-snipe the snipers. Establish your max bid, and if you are still winning as the auction ends increase you maximum bid by an amount equal to the minimum allowable increase. Then you give the sniper a moving target, and you aren't significantly increasing the amount of money you could have to pay. You essentially snipe your own bid.

My reply:

Accomplishes absolutely nothing! When I bid at the end, I'm usually way higher than the actual bid amount. Say you are bidding $200 on something that is being sniped at the end. You increase your bid, as you say, to $205 or something like that. You won't win because a sniper RARELY, IF EVER, bids only the minimum increase. If I was interested, I always bid much more than the minimum increase. And, in many cases, I check for such a protection bid. When you do that, you have two bids on top and anyone can see that.

If anyone wants to know how to win auctions, contact me, for tips.


Edited: 13 Sept 2006, 3:17 p.m.

#52

being outbid 2 minutes before the end is hinting at a fair bid - sniping usually happens 10 seconds or less before the end

I agree it couldbe frustrating though, watching items for days only to see the price jump above the personal limit seconds before the end - I learned to live with it :)


#53

If I found a calc that I wanted but didn't really need for work or my collection, then I would put in a decent bid up front and just let it ride. If it was a model that I really, really wanted, then I'd put in a small bid (if anything else it would deter the seller from ending the auction early and selling to someone offline due to apparent lack of activity,... or you could use the "watch item" feature). Then, at 30 sec prior to the end of the auction, I'd place about three consecutive bids (out-bidding myself each time) in an effort to thwart the efforts of snipers. I've only done this on a few models but on ones I really wanted badly. (BTW, I have not done it for over 6 months in case anyone was worried I sniped them recently.) It can be fun, but you do have to decide in advance what your maximum price to pay would be and stick to it, keeping in mind that your maximum might need to be rather high given the model you're wanting. E.G., suppose you use a 41CX at work and have for many years and your main calc is dying and need a replacement. Suppose you see a NIB 41CX on Ebay. Well, don't expect a bid of only $100 to go unnoticed and not get sniped at the last minute. Even if there appears to be no activity bid-wize, countless others are using their "watch item" feature.

Edited: 11 Sept 2006, 6:30 p.m.


#54

I believe in bid sniping. Sometimes I manually bid snipe, and sometimes I use a snipe-bot. When I bid snipe, I win most of the time. When I don't, I win about 50-percent of the time.

When I see something of interest, I'll usually watch the auction for a few days to see where it is going. Sometimes the early bidding puts the item beyond what I'm willing to pay. When I finally do decide to I want to bid on an item, I decide what I'm willing to pay (always taking into account what the seller's shipping costs will be), factoring in what the "market price" is for similar items.

The beauty of a snipe-bot is that I don't have to be awake at weird hours or try to remember to be around a computer at the end of the auction. Another benefit of the snipe-bot is that I don't have the emotional investment in an auction that I might otherwise have.

#55

Jeff:

I can't speak for others, but I always snipe for two reasons:

1. It is the only way to win if someone is using the automatic bidding software like the following auction

190029773308

If jimrainorg is the high bidder but has not reached the top of his allowable bid, the software will automatically bid it up. If I bid before the end, there is no way I can win.

2. In some auctions, a feeding frenzy will occur between two or more inexperienced and/or shill bidders. Although I couldn't find a very good example of this on ebay right now, an inexperienced or new bidder will bid over your bid every time you bid. A shill bidder will do the same until the price is where the seller wants it.

In any event I believe that the important things are these:

1. Whenever you bid, bid the maximum amount you are willing to pay. If someone else is willing to pay more, then they deserve to win the item.

2. Pay close attention to how many times a particular item appears over a two or three month period. If is shows up regularly, don't be too frustrated if you don't get this one.

For example, the HP equation cards show up very regularly. You shouldn't have any trouble getting one.

John


#56

Just to add a bit to this --

I've bought a lot of items on eBay, and I too have been most successful placing bids during the last 30 seconds of the auction or so, whether using sniping software or doing it manually. A broadband connection helps in this regard.

But one thing I've found that really helps is never to enter an even maximum bid amount. As others here do, I decide on a maximum amount I'm willing to pay, and then I pad it just a bit further. Say the max amount I'm willing to pay is $50. For that, I'll add some change to it -- enough to put the actual max over the next one or two bid increments above the decided-upon max, such that the max bid will be $53.87, for example. This seems to work pretty well because people tend to enter even bid amounts, and having just that little bit of an edge is sometimes all it takes to win the item.

Best,

Michael

Edited: 12 Sept 2006, 9:45 a.m.


#57

Hi!

Quote:
This seems to work pretty well because people tend to enter even bid amounts, and having just that little bit of an edge is sometimes all it takes to win the item.

Over the years, I have found out that many (most?) HP-collectors bid exactly like I do: The amount of the first bid is always the calculator model number in Euros/US-Dollars :-) Just observe some auctions (35, 65, 67, 97, ...)!

Anyway, I always bit immediately what I think it's worth and forget about it. Either, I get an email a few days later, or someone else has paid too much...

Greetings, Max

#58

You say
But one thing I've found that really helps is never to enter an even maximum bid amount. I'll add some change to it -- enough to put the actual max over the next one or two bid increments above the decided-upon max, such that the max bid will be $53.87, for example. This seems to work pretty well because people tend to enter even bid amounts, and having just that little bit of an edge is sometimes all it takes to win the item.

I reply

The change does nothing. If someone has beat your bid, you have to go to the next level, to get your bid in. You can't just be higher by "some change". Say the 2nd bid increment after your max bid is $53.00. Adding .87 does nothing, if someone has beat you with $53.00. Your bid won't be accepted, unless you reach the next level.

However, it is a good idea to pad your bid a bit higher but it must be at least 1 or 2 bid increments and extra change does nothing.

Edited: 13 Sept 2006, 3:25 p.m.


#59

Quote:
The change does nothing. If someone has beat your bid, you have to go to the next level, to get your bid in. You can't just be higher by "some change".

Yes, you can.

Say you're bidding on an item with a currently-showing price of $25, but unknown to you, that bidder's maximum is $50. If you snipe it at $50, the other person will win, because the earlier of two matching bids wins.

But if you snipe $50.01, you win, because your maximum bid is higher than the other maximum bid.

Similarly, if the other person had provided a maximum of $50.02, they would still be the winning bidder, despite only being a penny ahead of you.

Minimum-bid increments apply only to the difference between the prevailing price when you enter your bid and your maximum amount; they do not apply to the difference between your maximum bid and anyone else's. Otherwise you could end up in the perverse situation of having your bid accepted, and then losing to someone whose previously-entered maximum was less than yours.

Edited: 14 Sept 2006, 1:42 a.m.

#60

Perhaps I'm the only one who thinks this, but why is there any problem with snipers? I do not see the difference between making a higher, winning bid 10 seconds before the auction ends or 10 seconds after the auction is listed.

If Joe places a bid of $50 and only intends to pay up to $50 for some item, he will lose the auction if Sally is willing to pay $55, whether that Sally makes the bid of $55 right after Joe does or right at the end? You might argue that if Joe saw the current bid at only $5 higher than his own max bid AND had time to place a second bid, then he may have just done that (like in a real auction). But the sniping bid from Sally would not enable him to do so. However, shouldn't Joe have just bid higher than $55 to begin with? To me, it seems Joe would be at fault for not knowing just how much he is willing to spend, as opposed to someone else waiting patiently for the auction's end to come near to make a winning bid (should the price still stay right).

Edited: 13 Sept 2006, 3:49 a.m.


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