Monday, July 29, 2019

The Bed-time Story versus Auction End Time Dilemma

Anybody other dad-collectors have this problem?

I have two little kids who are totally awesome.  They, to be clear, are not the problem.  Being little, they like (demand) their daddy telling them bedtime stories.  Emphasis on the plural, one is never enough.  And I absolutely love indulging them. I have a pretty good repertoire of random stories based on a cast of characters I've built up over the years - Eddie the Excavator, Smoogy Woogy monsters, Captain Redbeard the Pirate, a cat named Nyan Nyan who sings in a high pitched voice and gets outraged when anyone tells her to stop singing,  and all the dinosaurs are regular players.  

So why am I going into this level of detail about bedtime story telling in a blog about baseball cards?  Because of Yahoo Auctions.

I get the majority of my cards on Yahoo auctions, and sellers on there almost always time their auctions to end in the evening, usually at the exact same time I am upstairs telling bedtime stories.  I used to be able to get the kids to bed a bit earlier, but now their falling asleep almost exactly coincides with auctions I have placed bids on having finished about 10 minutes ago.  And I've lost a lot of them!  Recently my evening routine has been:

1) Me telling the stories,
2) Me waiting for kids to fall asleep;
3) Once they fall asleep, me racing downstairs at light speed to get my tablet and check if any of my auctions are still going on;
4) Me cursing when I see they are all finished and that my "items won" page is empty.

The problem is with me really.  My usual strategy is to put in placeholder bids on stuff I'm interested in as I find them during the course of the week. Then I revisit everything that is finishing on a given evening and figure out which stuff I want to go high on and which stuff I will let go.  Sometimes I'll have 7 or 8 things I'm bidding on.  In that case I can't just bid high on all of them because my budget usually only allows me to afford one or two of the things I'm bidding on (unless its a bunch of cheap cards).  So I have to watch the auctions end in real time. If I win the stuff that finishes early, I'll drop out of bidding on the stuff that is finishing later because the early stuff will have exhausted my budget.  Conversely if I miss out on the stuff that finishes early, I'll put higher bids on the stuff that is finishing later because I still have some free funds.

But this strategy doesn't work unless I'm actually watching the auctions end one by one.  So I've been forced to rethink my bidding strategies and basically just toss up big bids on stuff I'm deadly serious about buying and ignore the "I'll take that if the price ends up being right" things I used to buy a lot of.  Its not as effective though and I wish the sellers would move their end times either up or down a bit.

Do American dad-collectors have this same problem with Ebay?


  1. Not a dad... but as an uncle... I've ran into this problem on more than one occasion.

    1. Ha, I knew I wasn't alone! Do ebay auctions usually end in the evening where you are (they usually end in the morning Japan time)?

    2. Yeah. And I'd say Sunday evenings are the most popular day of the week.

  2. No, I use Gavelsnipe for eBay auctions. Load in the URL, tell them what you want to bid on it, and how far before the close of the auction to bid, and then go do something else. They've also got an option where you can cancel a snipe (assuming of course that it hasn't been executed yet) if you win some other lot; that means that so long as the big item ends first you can cancel the snipes on all the small stuff if you win the big one.

    Unfortunately Gavelsnipe doesn't work for Yahoo Auctions, but there might be some similar program that does.

    As for bedtime stories: I run out of ideas pretty fast, and so end up defaulting to stories in which imaginary characters are doing whatever we were doing today. Works pretty well if we went swimming or something, but "this is the story about the time that Bear did the laundry" doesn't go over so well.

    1. AH that sounds cool, I don't know if there is a similar thing for Yahoo Auctions but I might look into it if this persists.....

      I've tried that trick of just having the characters do whatever you did that day but my son has put a stop to that and insists on all new material each night, which is tough. I can't say that quality hasn't gone downhill as a result.

  3. I use Buyee for my Japanese auctions so if I want the auction, I will usually bid high so I don't have to check it real time. Some stuff I get a notice that I have been outbid and that is enough time to rethink. I don't buy on eBay much anymore, but I do all my bidding real time there.