Grand Cards: F it.

Friday, February 13, 2009

F it.

I will not be spending a single dollar more on baseball cards for the rest of the month, at least.

Context?

After I was outbid on the Granderson card, I shot off a quick email to the Mankato Moondogs (12:26pm):
Hello,

Is there any chance that you guys have an old baseball card team set from 2001--back when you were the Mankato Mashers? Specifically, I am looking for Curtis Granderson's card from the set, but would be willing to buy the whole thing if there happens to be one in an old box somewhere. If somebody has just the Granderson Card I'd be willing to purchase that as well. I work for a low-level minor league team and know how things like that can be packed away, so I just thought I'd ask.

Thank you for your help, and good luck in your upcoming season!

I was thinking, of course, that they had some old packs in some boxes in a back room and they'd be able to find a few extra sets, from which I could buy that card.

At 1:54 Dave over at Fielder's Choice posted matter-of-factly that I should have sniped the auction--a strategy that has been proven to work, but equally to "sitting" (aka the strategy I employed when bidding days before). Because of the time and energy involved with Sniping, and the limitations of bidding on items at work, I rarely try to snipe. When I do, I often miss the auction entirely. This will, in all likelihood, be the subject of a full post in the future.

To my surprise, I got a response from the Moondogs GM very quickly. The picture, it seems, was far less Rosy:
We didn't have any dealings with the Mashers. Their ownership group walked out in December of 2001 so we have very little left from the Mashers. I've tried to collect as much as possible over the years but since few people attended those games, there isn't much out there. We do have a few packs of the old cards but we've only managed to collect 5 or so of Granderson's cards and we'll be hanging onto those for obvious reasons.

If we would have more I'd love to help you out but with only a few remaining we're not going to be selling any.

Sorry we can't help

Timestamp: 2:17pm; T-minus 12 minutes until the end of the auction

This email gave me significantly more information on my likelihood of ever finding one of these cards again. My preferences changed to put me at the far left of the demand curve, if you know what I mean.

F it. I'm all in.

I pulled up the auction and dutifully hit refresh every minute or so to see if the price was escalating even further. Three minutes to go. My palms are sweaty--I'm trying to calculate exactly what bid will win this auction at the last minute. Two Minutes to go. I feel like I'm refreshing every three seconds now. This is torture. 1:50, 1:44, 1:37...Stop. Breathe. I pulled up a new article and pretended to read it while I counted slowly up to 30. Refresh. 50 seconds. Bid time.

Studies have shown that your likelihood of winning an eBay auction are no different if you bid at 59 seconds or 2 seconds--everything under a minute is good. 36 seconds. Confirm Bid...

Fail. 30 Seconds to go and I couldn't pull it off.

Yeah right. Bid Again. Confirm. Refresh to Check your Status. 24. Refresh. 19. Refresh 14. Refresh 11, 9, 7, 4, 2.

30 Seconds later I get this follow up from the Moondogs' GM (after I told him, "if you ever want to sell any, let me know"):
No problem. If we find a bunch we'll let you know but I doubt that will happen!

I guess it's a good thing I won.

Out of respect to myself, my wife, our current and future finances and the Grandness of this card, I will now be placing a moratorium on all new purchases until further notice.

5 comments:

  1. So wait - you did win the card? I'm confused. From your earlier post, I thought you lost. Or was this another auction for the same card?

    I'd highly recommend checking out Gixen - a free online sniping tool. All that you need to do is log in to their site, enter the eBay item number, and your max bid. They'll enter that bid for you when there are 5 seconds left in the auction. It works like a charm for me - I consistently get cards for lower prices than I did when I bid on auctions myself.

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  2. Sorry for the confusion! The "Sadness" post was written before the auction ended (with about an hour and a half to go). This post describes what happened in the immediate aftermath of me having reached what I thought was my maximum bid and giving up. The new information revealed in this post changed my preferences, made me reassess my maximum bid and got me back in the game. Result: Victory!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Try gavelsnipe dot co m. I have used them for over a year and it never fails.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Regardless, congratulations on winning the auction. You'd think that the people over in Mankato could have spared you at least ONE card...but whatever works.

    Sincerely,

    JayBee Anama
    bdj610

    ReplyDelete