Sometimes I like to bid on things at Ebay that I don’t really want to win. Scratch that. Don’t really want to pay for is more like it. I’m no welsher. I’ve paid for every auction I’ve ever won but sometimes I know I’m not going to win. My bid is way too low and way too early. Plus sniping happens.

For those of you who don’t know what sniping is I’ll define it for you. I’m big on defining terms. Sniping is the practice of waiting until the very last minute on an online auction before putting in a bid. That way you avoid a bidding war because no one can out bid you if you are the very last bidder. The danger is that the person who bid before you has a high upper bid and your snipe bid might be too low. Then you run out of time. But these snipers know what they are doing and can quickly raise their bid quite a few times in the last minute.

As a consequence if you are bidding on something that is fairly popular and you have the top bid hours before the auction is over you will rarely have the top bid in the end. That’s what I count on when bidding on things that I really don’t want to pay for. Someone will always snipe me. I watched something I bid on go from $160 to $600 in the last 30 seconds. That was some hard core sniping. I knew it was coming because $160 was way too low for this piece. It was the original art from a 1965 Family Circus Sunday strip. Yeah, I bid on some Family Circus art. Heh, heh, heh…

Sometimes it’s just fun to bid. It’s almost like owning whatever I’m bidding on if even for a brief few hours. It’s a little bit exciting too. Maybe no one will bid it up and I’ll be stuck with it. It’s a weird form of excitement when hoping someone outbids you on an auction. It’s somehow related to buyer’s remorse except nothing has been purchased. Maybe it’s the fear of buyer’s remorse. There sure are a lot of fears in life if that is one of them.

None of the stuff I bid on is very expensive. A couple of hundred dollars at most. I could pay for any of them if I had too. It’s just not in the budget. But I bid anyway. Maybe it’s a cautious person’s way of being reckless? I inevitably get outbid so there is no real danger but there is also disappointment mixed with relief when I get outbid. Relief that I don’t have to spend money that I can’t quite afford and disappointment that I can’t afford it. I wish I could indulge my bidding whims but alas that is not the case. C’est la vie!

I don’t indulge in this kind of bidding behavior often. It’s not an everyday habit. Maybe I bid expecting to be outbid once every couple of months. Something makes me say, “Yeah, I’d pay $120 for that” even though I don’t have the $120 on hand. Even though I know I won’t actually get the item for $120. Even though if the bidding actually stopped right there and I would win buyer’s remorse would set in. Even with all those thing I still make the bid. Sometimes it just gets me thinking about the nature of winning and losing. At least with an auction winning and losing is a cut and dried thing. Sometimes that type of clarity is a help.