Sniping and other random thoughts

I hate eBay.

Okay, that’s a bit excessive. I’ve managed to acquire cool stuff that I never even knew I needed from eBay over the years and I will probably continue to do so. My own efforts at selling on eBay haven’t been at all successful, but perhaps that’s due in part to not having anything cool to sell. Who can truly say?

What I really hate is the behavior of some people on eBay. The snipers.

Imagine for a moment an auction. You have the high bid, it’s been this way for four days, and no one has bid since. Then, one minute before the auction ends, someone tops your bid. One minute.

It happened to me, two days ago.

I collect Beatles bootleg albums. A difficult hobby, but one that eBay has made possible. After years of searching, a John Lennon bootleg turned up, a collection of demos he made in the final months of his life, several of which were given to Paul McCartney and were considered for completion, two of which became “Free as a Bird” and “Real Love.” I placed the opening bid, was topped three days later, and then placed another, much higher bid. For three days, no activity. Then, with the auction closed I received notice that I had been outbid in the final minute of the auction.

Perhaps I shouldn’t complain. If only I had bid more that second time, perhaps it might’ve been enough to top even that last-minute bid. If only I had been online at that precise moment I might’ve been able to retake my lead in the final seconds. If only.

But three days of no activity? I cannot believe that the sniper chanced across the listing in the final minutes of the auction. Even Spock, renowned for calculating odds, would find it impossible to determine the probability that a person would simply happen to place the winning bid in the final minute of an auction.

Snipers blow.

Yesterday I received an e-mail from Kevin Dilmore, mentioned on this page two days ago as the co-author of an article about Enterprise‘s relation to previously established Star Trek continuity in the most recent issue of the Star Trek Communicator. Kevin writes: “Note that the article is written by Kevin Dilmore and Dayton Ward, not Dayton Ward and Kevin Dilmore. This is an important distinction to make as the Dilmore/Ward billing always indicates a scholarly, well-reserched and thoughtful musing on Star Trek, whereas the Ward/Dilmore billing is reserved for writings of lesser import.” Kevin is, of course, correct. I erred in citing the article as Ward/Dilmore, and I offer my sincerest apologies. At least reading the article didn’t cost me thirty-five dollars, but even if it had, the article would’ve been worth every penny.

I realized with some horror this week that August 6th will cost me dearly. Five releases on DVD, all of which I simply must have:

Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan: The Director’s Edition
The Simpsons, Season Two
Doctor Who: Tomb of the Cybermen
Doctor Who: The Ark in Space

Better start selling stuff on eBay, I suppose.

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