Susie went out this evening for dinner at The Spaghetti Warehouse, and then to the 11:30 showing of The Rocky Horror Picture Show at Studio 35. So, it's just the laptop, the blog, and me here right now. (Susie flies back to Florida late Monday morning, but she has managed to see many of her good friends while she has been visiting here in Ohio.)
While I was in Florida, I ventured where I had never been--but in territory which is familiar to many people I know. I found myself in a bidding war on eBay.
A day or two before Christmas (and going down to Florida to celebrate the holiday), I set my sights on a Lafayette RK-710 reel-to-reel tape recorder. I picked the brains of my fellow members of the Reel-to-Reel Enthusiasts' group on Facebook, since I had never heard of Lafayette. All reassured me that the Lafayette Radio Electronics Corporation was a reputable company. So, I submitted a bid a dollar or two above the price listed in the posting.
To my surprise, eBay sent a notice to my email saying that someone had bid higher than I had. I immediately jumped onto eBay and raised the price by a dollar. It was after placing the bid that I realized that my "opponent" had only raised the stakes by about $0.11 or $0.12. I raised it a dollar, and saw that bidding would close the next day around 8 p.m. EST.
Steph pointed out to me that I was the one who was driving up the price. Apparently, the other bidder realized this as well, since he/she automatically set the account to raise the price a dollar each time I placed a bet.
I sat out the next 12 hours, although I set the alarm on my cell phone to go off five minutes before bidding closed. Patiently, I watched the timer run down, and discovered that the other bidder had placed a $40 ceiling on automatically raising bids. As time was down to about 15 seconds, I increased the bid by $0.50, and received the good news that the tape recorder was now mine.
A Facebook friend told me that there was another--far more universal--tactic for bidding on Facebook. It is called "sniping," and it involved not driving up the price by matching and exceeding bids. It involves sitting there quietly as the time runs out on bidding, and, as close to the last second as possible, putting in the highest bid.
The recorder came yesterday by FedEx Ground. Susie was home to take it off the porch, which was a good thing, since there has been a rash of package thefts here in SoHud during the Christmas season. She emailed me at work that the package was here, so I was on the edge of my seat the rest of the day, willing the clock to move more quickly to 5 p.m. so I could get home and try out the new machine.