Monday, March 05, 2007

My First "Transaction" in eBay

eBay is one of the websites where you can find the real online hustles and bustles. Some people sell stuff there to earn some quick bucks, and some people find cheap stuff there. Some got ripped off, some got great bargains.

Just a few days ago I got my first eBay experience - I wanted to buy a slide rule.

nestler1 (by changyang1230)I have always liked maths, and a few months ago I came across a post in "Good Math, Bad Math" which talked about slide rules. I was tremendously captivated by its magic. Immediately after reading the post, I wanted to buy a slide rule as part of the "nerd's collection".

What is a slide rule? What's so special about a rule which can... slide? It's hard to describe a slide rule in a single paragraph, but put shortly, it's a mathematical instrument which can help you calculate all those things by sliding its parts:

  • 35.2 * 795000
  • Sin (54.3 degree)
  • 790 / pi
  • 1.2200
  • 5810000 / 390
  • 73^4
  • 1.015^100
  • log (528)

Yes, without a calculator! Basically it works by "logarithm" which I think everyone is familiar about, but the translation of logarithm to such a ingenious instrument is enthralling, to say the least, and that's what kept me so enthusiastic about it. If you are interested in how slide rule works, you can follow the link I gave above - it shows you how it works, and you can even play with a virtual slide rule online! :)

I guessed I have gone off-track here.. Anyway, ya, I went to eBay and looked up for a slide rule. There was this slide rule which looked quite attractive to me, and I decided to bid for it. It's my first time on eBay, you see, so I kind of read the help and "how-to" to guide myself along the way.

When I first bid for it, the price tag was at 1.54 dollars, so I thought, "wah so cheap". Mana tau when I started placing my bid, the price went up to 3 dollars, 4 dollars, 5 dollars. And I only managed to outbid others at 5.50 dollars. "Alright, that's about the price I am willing to pay for," I thought to myself.

So four days later it was the last day open for bidding. And it was a sad, sad day... I don't want to bother anyone with the details anymore, but if you are interested just have a look at the bidding history of that particular item here. Pay attention to the time for the highest prices... :( Those people are crazy.

In short, I lost my first bidding in eBay, and I am going for second round very soon. I would welcome veterans advice from any of you. I am going to win a slide rule, no matter what. :)


Anonymous said...

AU17 for a slide ruler from germany? wow..... interesting fact about slide ruler. i might search for it at my local germany bookshop, just checking the price.

-king ung

StanleyYP said...

oh yang, when i bought my multi cooker from Ebay, i stopped bidding after i noticed that someone was competing with me.

i waited until 2 min before the deadline, then i placed a higher beat.

n ya, managed to get my multi cooker for £10. hehe.


hL said...

yeah.. YP did it right. tht's wht i always to do.

don bid yet. watch the item first. bid at the very last minute.

if u bid to early, the price gonna shoot up much quicker. n if u bid near the end, u hav a greater chance of getting it at the price u want and if it's gone too high you can just forget about it.


youngyew said...

King Ung: Eerm, I think it's only made in Germany, not exactly bought from Germany. :)

Stanley: Haha yeah I knew about the tactic also, but if you look at the history, you would have known that even if I used this tactic I would still be losing out. The final price is freaking high.

hL: Ditto.