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Bidding war
Old 10-12-2016, 03:09 PM   #1
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Bidding war

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago in the "Your recent repair" thread that I was attempting to repair our plasma TV that stopped answering the bell and refusing to power on. Rather than continue what was obviously a futile effort, I gave up and decided to buy a new TV. Being the frugal type I started lurking on the Sam's Club auction site, looking for a bargain.

Long story shortened: One of the TV's up for auction (three to five were listed for auction each day) was exactly what I was looking for, a 55" Samsung that got good marks from Consumer Reports. The regular Sams.com site sells the TV for $598, including free delivery.

Observing the auctions for a couple of days revealed the winning bids for this TV ranged from $385 to $475, with most bids ending up around $440. Most of the sets sold after a total of 20 to 25 bids.

I was successful in getting one at $401, but out of curiosity kept watching the bids as other TVs of this same model were auctioned. This morning two people got into a bidding war and, after going back and forth a total of 62 times, one finally "won" - agreeing to pay $606 plus delivery.

Of course the TV could have been purchased for considerably less (with free delivery) from the same company, but I'm sure the "Guess I showed you!" sense of satisfaction must have been well worth the extra $200.
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Old 10-12-2016, 03:14 PM   #2
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I've seen this happen before too. It was at a model airplane & parts auction, and some guy paid a bit over $100 for what was essentially a box of miscellaneous engine parts, worth at best maybe $5.

On the rare event that I get involved in an auction of any type I set a price cap and stick to it.
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Old 10-12-2016, 03:20 PM   #3
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Yes, I have seen this many times on eBay too - it's part of the business model, I think.
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Old 10-12-2016, 04:10 PM   #4
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I used to sell proof coin sets on Ebay. Every week I would list the same sets. I found it fascinating how the same item would sell for a wide range of price from week to week, with the high being sometimes 3X the low. It just depends on who was involved in the bidding in a particular week, and if two people were determined to win then the price could soar.
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Old 10-12-2016, 04:37 PM   #5
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I was at a salvage auto auction where a fully loaded Jeep Grand Cherokee was up for auction with no warranty and a salvage title due to a 'lemon' take back by Chrysler. The two bidders both had their 'trophy' wives with them and both women wanted the car. The Jeep actually sold for more than what a new one would have cost at full retail, and with a full warranty.

I suspect one husband ended up sleeping on the coach that night but at least he had a full wallet for company
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Old 10-12-2016, 05:25 PM   #6
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Bidding wars are great fun to watch, but horrible to be involved in.

We sold a house once that became the subject of a bidding war. The buyer lived over 2,000 miles away and bought it sight unseen based on the internet photos, paying roughly 45% more than our initial asking price.

I talked with him several times after he moved in, and he was very happy with his purchase, so you never know.
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Old 10-12-2016, 06:04 PM   #7
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I've seen this on eBay as well. Generally, I know the fair market price of something, so I try to get it for 1/2 to 2/3 of that price. I do lose a majority of the time, but I don't get emotionally-invested in the bidding process. I like to win, but if you overpay for something, most of the time you have really lost.

Reminds me of the old poker adage - "if you can't spot the sucker at the table, it's probably you."


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Old 10-12-2016, 06:04 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by braumeister View Post
We sold a house once that became the subject of a bidding war. The buyer lived over 2,000 miles away and bought it sight unseen based on the internet photos, paying roughly 45% more than our initial asking price.

I talked with him several times after he moved in, and he was very happy with his purchase, so you never know.
Wow. I'd have been afraid to ever speak to the dude again.

Ha
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Old 10-12-2016, 06:25 PM   #9
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I used to have Virgin Mobile and because I don't use the phone much, my credits rolled over and accumulated. Periodically, I'd use the credits to buy a phone from Virgin on sale, then I'd sell it on eBay as soon as the sale was over. I always made money after eBay fees, as people would consistently bid up the phone over retail.
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Old 10-12-2016, 06:35 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by btdt22 View Post
I was at a salvage auto auction where a fully loaded Jeep Grand Cherokee was up for auction with no warranty and a salvage title due to a 'lemon' take back by Chrysler. The two bidders both had their 'trophy' wives with them and both women wanted the car. The Jeep actually sold for more than what a new one would have cost at full retail, and with a full warranty.

I suspect one husband ended up sleeping on the coach that night but at least he had a full wallet for company
Guys with "trophy" wives show up at salvage auctions?
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Old 10-12-2016, 06:44 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by COcheesehead View Post
Guys with "trophy" wives show up at salvage auctions?
Maybe that's where they got them.
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Old 10-12-2016, 06:51 PM   #12
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Guys with "trophy" wives show up at salvage auctions?
In some segments of society, a woman with teeth is a trophy wife.
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Old 10-12-2016, 06:52 PM   #13
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In some segments of society, a woman with teeth is a trophy wife.
Or maybe the women had really nice bass boats.
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Old 10-13-2016, 05:17 PM   #14
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In some segments of society, a woman with teeth is a trophy wife.
And she doesn't even have to have all of them...
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Old 10-13-2016, 05:21 PM   #15
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I bid on stuff occasionally on ebay, but just "buy now" most of the time. I just put up the most I will pay and I never sit and wait till the last second. I'm about 50-50.
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Old 10-13-2016, 05:29 PM   #16
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I didn't even realize Sam's Club had auctions until this post... I now have a 9x9 canopy tent for out summer BBQ (didn't have enough shade outside last year for all the people who came)... and it's got the Dallas Cowboys all over it! Cost just over 50% retail price after shipping and tax. So, thanks for the heads up
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Old 10-13-2016, 05:38 PM   #17
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I didn't even realize Sam's Club had auctions until this post... I now have a 9x9 canopy tent for out summer BBQ (didn't have enough shade outside last year for all the people who came)... and it's got the Dallas Cowboys all over it! Cost just over 50% retail price after shipping and tax. So, thanks for the heads up
Uh oh. I didn't intend to become an enabler...
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Old 10-13-2016, 08:58 PM   #18
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Most of the time when I buy something on ebay, it's trying to replace some loved/useful item that broke and I need to replace. One was a cheap crystal bowl that my Mom loved - she used it at every holiday meal until my sister broke it. We found an exact version on ebay. The bowl probably originally sold for a few dollars, but my sister would have paid an absurdly high amount for that bowl just so she didn't have to hear at every holilday how she broke my Mom's favorite bowl.
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Old 10-14-2016, 03:36 AM   #19
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We used to go to police auctions when I went to college. The main purpose was to get a cheap bike that you wouldn't mind losing on campus. Once, we took another friend to one and he started the bidding at $50 for a stereo system. This started a bidding war and it ended up going for $250. He also spotted a bike worth $300 he wanted. We almost had to hold him down to keep him from starting a $50 high bid. He ended up getting it for $15 after the bidding died down. Just goes to show you how easy it is to get one started.
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Old 10-14-2016, 12:46 PM   #20
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The TV I bought at auction arrived via FedEx today - complete with a cracked screen.

The good news: Sam's offers a full refund, including pick-up service.
The bad news: No exchanges/replacements on auction items - I have to do the auction thing all over again.
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