There is something truly remarkable about human nature that makes people continue to bid on an online auction, long after the price has become so high that it is no longer a good deal.
I am in the market for a professional quality tripod, and have done some shopping and determined what it is I need. I have found the one I want, and several online retailers carry it for around $160 with shipping and handling. Since tripods like this don’t really wear out, I thought I’d check for a good deal on a used one. Craig’s List didn’t have much, so I went to eBay. There were several for sale there both new and used. Some were older models, but essentially the same item. I found seller with a good reputation who had pretty much exactly what I was looking for and placed a reasonable bid considering it was used.
My practice when bidding on ebay is to set the maximum amount I am willing to pay and leave it at that. I rarely raise my maximum bid once I’ve decided what I think is a fair price. Generally, if I get outbid, I’ll find another auction and bid on that. This practice is making it nearly impossible to find a decent deal on ebay, because people are illogically bidding more for a used item than a new one would cost. The most recent “did not win” notice I received says the tripod sold for $158, plus $10 for shipping and handling. They winner could have paid $8, less and received a newer model, that has never been used before, and includes a three year warranty.
I could understand it if these tripods were in short supply or if the older model was in some ways superior to the newer one. However, several first rate photography websites have them in stock for roughly the same price, and by all accounts the newer models are slightly improved over the older version.
The only thing that I can think of is that these people have more money than sense, and are merely bidding to win, without really caring about what the real market value is. O
Or maybe the tripod’s legs are stuffed with crack and these people are bidding on some sort of adult pixie stick.