Wednesday, March 16, 2016

recent ebay experience

Remember ebay, that auction site?

Unlike Baywatch on ebay you watch auctions. (did you know "Baywatch the movie" is in production?)

Like many internet things (groupon, blogs?) I believe ebay hit its peak a few years ago. Perhaps you still use it. I did a few weeks ago. Many years ago I wrote a post about a memory I sold on ebay.

This time is was our daughter's old Ipod. Actually that’s another internet related gadget that peaked years ago. If you bother to look at recent Apple history you’ll see how the Ipod evolved into the Iphone. Add a phone feature to an Ipod, sell lots of them and soon people will forget the phone part of the gadget.

So our daughter excavated her old Ipod, its cord and charger. No original earbuds but we have an abundance of headsets. I charged it up and it played great.

This Ipod was a first generation one. It “only” had 5 GB and used a scroll wheel that actually turned. It was thick because inside was tiny spinning hard drive. She had not used it for more years than she did use it (did that make sense?). 

Turns out I had saved the original box because I was so impressed with Apple’s packaging. The box had a picture of Bob Marley singing on it. Here’s a picture I used in the auction.

After checking out a few similar ones being auctioned, I figured it would probably sell for about $100. That's a nice chunk of change and certainly worth doing an auction. I started it out at $89 and set it up for a 10 day auction.

After a day or two, I had received a couple of emails asking if I would offer a "Buy It Now" price. I replied back telling them no. In one response I explained that I'm not a business and therefore not worried about moving inventory. I could certainly wait out the auction duration. The first few bids move it to the mid $90 range.

While the bid sat at $94, I received an email from a "student" who wanted this Ipod for his "project" which just happened to have a deadline before the auction end date. We exchanged a few emails through the ebay site. In the end I told this "student" that unfortunately my auction and his deadline conflict. Days later the bidding jumped to over $140.

On the final day of the auction, just a few hours before ending, the bidding broke $200. Our daughter was excited to read my text about the latest value.

One thing about computerized auctions - lots of action in just seconds. A flurry of what I assume must of been automated bid generators kick in during the last minutes. Final price - $535.

That is more than the price tag when we bought it new and of course it's used. So keep those first edition gadgets with the original packaging. Assuming the gadgets didn't break from use you might get your money back.


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