A Great Find & A Defense of E-Bay

From: Douglas Quebbeman <dhquebbeman_at_theestopinalgroup.com>
Date: Thu Jun 15 10:11:22 2000


> Then, along came a few people who decided to auction stuff of on
> newsgroups, not content to sell it to the first person who contacted
> them, then, there was e-bilk, and many of the ads on Usenet
> disappeared, or else began to announce something that was going to be
> auctioned off on e-bilk.


> Now, do you understand?

I used to do the exact same thing. During a period of marginal
income, I sold an Altair 8800 manual I'd been holding on to
every since the Popular Electronics article (from which I
ordered just the manual). I sold it during an upswing in the
popularity of Microsoft stuff, advertising it as "the oldest
Microsoft BASIC manual." Asked and got $50 for it.

Then recently, when real estate taxes became suddenly due
(long story), I needed money fast. I had a 1983 Audi Quattro
sitting in the driveway, rusting, a project car that was
starting to look like it would never get a timeslice. So
I posted it for sale on the Quattro list.

I got 5 interested parties within 24 hours; within 48 that
became 3 serious inquiries. By 72 hours it was down to two
people, one came down that day to examine the car, brought
a check with him. I really didn't think he was serious and
had been certain the other guy would end up with the car.
I was wrong; the guy with the check was serious, I needed
the money immediately, so I sold it. The other guy was
furious and now won't speak to me.

I wish to God I'd sold it in auction format, whether on
E-Bay or not. I'd have gotten what I paid for it, plus
more, instead of taking a $1500 loss.

> I do agree with you that one can occasionally find bargain on e-bay
> and other auction sites, but it's still npot the same as finding
> things on Usenet or hamfests and haggling over the price.

R.D., you and others may have more faith that the long-sought-
after item in front of you on E-Bay will be available later
somewhere else in better shape for even cheaper; I guess I
lack faith. When I see what I want and I want it badly enough,
I'll pay the going rate to get it. Sometimes I regret it.

I do understand taking a stand; I won't eat at the McDonald's
that's closest to my office because one day I went there and
a busload of school children were on some kind of field trip
and being served to the exclusion of adults with 30-minute
lunch breaks. The adults supervising the children, and those
running the store, could not only not imagine why I was upset,
but thought I was out of place for even suggesting that they
should have scheduled their trip for another part of the day.

I don't like the way they do business so I won't do business
with them. Nyah.

But I love the new McExtra or whatever it's called and I gotta
drive way outta my way to get one because I've chosen to take
this stand. Maybe someday, E-Bay will piss me off enough I'll
take my business elsewhere. But for now, if I don't like the
price, I just don't bid.

doug quebbeman
Received on Thu Jun 15 2000 - 10:11:22 BST

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