Here's a chuckle for you. I really take to heart all that I read in your articles and on the forums and try especially to remember flashpoints. I was out book shopping at our local senior center recently and found a book titled "God Wants You to be Rich" by Paul Zane Pilzer (ISBN 068480767X). "Hey," I said to myself, "this is exactly what Craig's been telling us about, times two - religious books and investment books!" I knew it didn't match any of the flashpoints I was carrying around in my mind, but it was only $0.25, so I figured what the heck. Yup, I bought it; and nope, it wasn't worth much. It's sitting now on my bookshelf, facing out, as a reminder of my ultimate goal (getting rich) and what I have to do to get there (educate myself about books and book lingo; memorize flashpoints; write book notes and titles in a notebook and carry it with me; impulse buying is ok if based on knowledge and instinct, etc.). I have another year to go before I can start to sell books but, many thanks to you, I'll be learning and positioning myself well between now and then.
[EDITOR'S NOTE: the following letter refers to an eBay auction featured in a recent BookThink article, Top Ten on eBay.]
The bidder had bid on and won several other auctions for various volumes of that set, and it appears that the lot represented by the auction referenced in your article would just about fill out their set, although it is obvious they have a few duplicates!
In an effort to make sure they won the auction, the buyer put in an outrageous proxy bid, probably never thinking anyone would test it!!! It is also possible that the buyer meant to type a different number and made an error. However, there was plenty of time to retract their bid. My gut feeling is that they wanted those books and they were going to get them! :)
Another bidder came along quite close to the end of the auction and tested the buyer's bid twice with bids of $45.21 and $49.02. Then that same bidder compounded the problem by making an exorbitant snipe proxy bid of $2448 or higher. There was still one minute and 5 seconds left on the auction, but the bidder may not have been savvy enough to go in and cancel the bid. You would have to be pretty quick on the draw to do so, especially if you were on dial up!
Voila! Auction history was made for 5 Time-Life books whose value should run around $5-$10/volume or even less!
I looked at other auctions by the same seller and other auctions bid on by the same bidders, and I found no evidence of shilling or even just pushing up the bidding in a similar fashion. Seems like it was just one of those "moments in time!"
Thank you for the 50/50 editions.
< to previous article to next article >
Questions or comments?