Well, tonight I found myself knee deep in a dilemma that I have found myself in a few times in the past. Here's the scenario...
You see a card on ebay. A card that is rare and one you consider to be a 'must have'. You see the starting bid sitting at .99 cents and there is no reserve on the auction.
You place a bid on the card. More of a reminder bid, a small hit on the price (I tend to wait until late in the auction to fully play my hand). I come back to the computer later that day, or maybe the next day only to find that the card listing has been pulled from ebay and all bids have been wiped from the board.
The seller decided to sell the card to someone who offered him a price to end the auction early.
It's stung - quite a lot in the past. To the point where I started asking sellers of rare items "are you planning on letting the auction run its course or are you accepting offers to end the auction early?" It was more of a buffer move rather than an attempt to swipe the card out from everyone's noses.
Well, the situation came up again tonight. A card appeared and I knew without a doubt that offers would be made on it. So I simply asked "are you letting the auction run its course? will you be taking offers?" The response - "Sure, fire away."
What to do? If I do nothing, I'm sure someone else will make an offer and I will be out of luck obtaining the card. If I make an offer, I will 'stooping to the level' that others have done to me in the past.
This has happened to me a couple times before. In both instances, I have been the first bidder (and one time the first viewer of the auction). My feeling is that, if nobody has yet bid on the item, then there is less of a chance of 'swiping it' out of someone's hands. If there is a bid on it, I won't even ask.
Back to tonight's item. So I'm the first bidder and the auction has been up only for a matter of minutes. I've been told by the seller that he is accepting offers and to 'fire away'. So, I do just that.
Within minutes, a deal is done. Unfortunately, in the meantime, two other people have put 'feeler' bids on the card. Now I feel bad. Actually, I feel more torn than bad.
What is the right move in this instance? Do you hope that nobody makes an offer and let the auction run its course? Do you refrain from making an offer and accept the fact that you might not even have a shot at it? Do you make an offer and go through the door that the seller has cracked open?
This subject always comes to the forefront of my mind when I see a rare card come up for bids. I'm still not sure what the best card to play is.
I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on the matter.