I was Sniped

I watched this auction for the last 5 days. I placed my bid shortly after the auction was listed. I checked on it every day, multiple times a day to see if I was the highest bidder.

I was for all those days.

Ebay thoughtfully sent a reminder to my phone five minutes before the auction ended. I signed onto the account and watched the seconds tick down to 3, 2, 1.

Cool, I won this auction for a price that I thought was an extreme discount as my max bid was 100% beyond the starting bid.

I was excited to win this auction. After all, it’s been five days.

I was the sole bidder while the auction was online. I had a hard time believing that I was the only bidder. Certainly there were other interested people. The item was a vintage photo from the early 50’s and selling for less than the price of a pint of my favorite IPA.

I had fallen in love with this photo, imaging who the people were and what had become of their lives. I am developing an enthusiasm for vintage photos and have already purchased several from eBay.

A friend asked what I do with these vintage photos of people I will never know. I replied and said that a printed photo needs to be saved, if possible, so the memory of these people is persevered, even if I don’t know them, even if I am the only one who remembers, even though I never knew them.

Plus, I included, I scan the photo and add it to the slide show and my digital hoard. And, just to be transparent, the girls are cute in these photos and the cars are new and the homes are antique.

I told him I looked forward to adding this photo to my “collection” as I was clearly the winner in this auction. He walked away and mumbled something. I couldn’t decipher but maybe I heard ‘loser’.

When the counter ticked to zero the “You’re the highest bidder” statement was replaced with “you’ve been outbid”.

Seriously … at the very last moment … the very last second.

WTF. I was watching. How could this happen. Is this legal? Who would do this? I’ve been in this auction since the beginning. I was the only bidder. I’ve devoted time and emotion to this.

I had heard of “sniping” only through the Weird Al parody song “Ebay”. I can recite the lyrics if needed. I thought it was a myth.

I’ve lost a few auctions at the last minute, some that I was watching but didn’t have the ability to bid again. But, those auctions didn’t rise my blood pressure like this one where I lost at the zero second and there was absolutely no time to react. And, maybe I had fallen in love with the photo, maybe with the girls in the photo. That’s what losers like me do when they bid on eBay I heard someone say.

After I calmed down, I looked up the reasons why you can lose an auction at the last millisecond. And, now, I have some new strategies.

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