Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Upside-Down eBayers #2

I did a post similar to this one several years back, and in the past few days, this occurrence has emerged once again. Maybe it's an idiosyncrasy of mine, but I find it very intriguing when an eBay auction finishes at such a low price that the seller is actually losing money on shipping. I think it's the accompanying idea that the person selling these cards ultimately would have been better off just throwing them in the garbage. It's been over five years since I've reported on this phenomenon, and, oddly enough, the opportunity for another pair presented itself within days of one another. Here is the first instance.

Rifling through the 'Bay one night, I saw that a seller had some pretty decent stuff up for auction with free shipping. I've bought but a single pack of 2015 A&G, but when you have a chance to scoop up some minis of a few decent players, you don't hesitate very long. The auction I ended up winning was for mini cards of Edwin Encarnacion, Pablo Sandoval, Matt Cain, and Addison Reed. Not a major windfall, but a tidy enough score.

This was the stamp on the envelope that arrived earlier this week. Its safe passage was paid for with a Purple Heart Forever first class stamp from 2014. The post office itself confirms that this stamp was released on October 11, 2014, a full nine months after the most recent rate hike (from $.46 to $.49) went into effect. Fair enough, nothing to see here.


However...

Yes, it's true, I ended up winning the auction for $0.47. So this seller essentially paid two cents, plus a variety of other fees, to send me these cards. Not to mention, the value of the cards themselves. Now, you might claim that I overpaid by a bit, since these minis do end up in dime boxes, but you have to factor in the time and energy I saved by completing this transaction from the comfort of my couch.

Thanks, benjifire, we salute you and your collecting benevolence.

5 comments:

Zach said...

Since eBay takes 10% and PayPal about 3-5%, this guy basically forfeited $0.08 to give you baseball cards. He's a collector's bodhisattva.

GCA said...

Plus he listed them as a lot, and not each one individually, and it was a lot of four DIFFERENT ones. I hate those 90's investment bust lots of twelve of the same card. Nobody wants those. Take your 25 lots of 12 of the same card and make 25 lots of 12 different cards and then you might sell some.
OK, I'll stop before I go to much farther down that tangent. Kudos to that seller...

Anonymous said...

I decided to sell some of my Mike Piazza duplicates from the mid-90's this past week, thinking that interest in Piazza will never be higher ever again (except for maybe when he passes away or murders somebody at a nightclub or something). Thinking that I might catch more eyeballs to my mundane cards (we're talking some mid-90's Score base here), I offered free shipping. It didn't work out well. None of them made more than 40 cents and some went for as little as 17 cents. I was well underwater and pretty much paid several dollars to mail these out to people. But I have no idea what to do with these cards sometimes. I hate the idea of throwing them in the trash. It actually physically pains me to think about that as an option, to be honest. I know there are plenty of people that would want them, but I just don't know how to get them to where they need to go. It's a darn shame. Also, nobody has ever accused me of being good with money. But you probably already knew that.

BS

Zach said...

BS, when I've needed to move cards I know wouldn't be cost-feasible to sell online due to shipping costs, I donate them to Goodwill or Salvation Army and use it as a tax write-off. Let's face it - there's no other way to get rid of 1993 Upper Deck commons!

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