Sunday, September 4, 2011

On a Grail

I must have been the only one standing in line for the book sale that didn’t have a scanner, but I did all right in spite of my "handicap"; even after I factor out the keepers, I should be able to at least double my money on what I found. Mission to replenish my book "sales stash" accomplished.

(It also made up for today’s trip to the flea market, which was a washout - literally. Eh, we needed the rain.)

It’s been a busy three days: cleaned out my closets, finished two mini quilts, read two books, reorganized my quilting binders ("Must Do", "Might Do", and "Good Ideas") and packed up some sales items. If I hadn’t slept in this morning, I probably would have baked a batch of cookies, just for kicks.

A couple of bad incidents have made me focus my attentions on anything but the horses. One appears to be a tirekicker with negligible reading skills; at least I have only one more day of waiting before it goes to the next person on the wait list. (Note to self: change tirekicking policy to a three day maximum, not seven.)

The second incident was me being exceptionally stupid: I hesitated on a Buy It Now on eBay, with fatal consequences. The price wasn’t bad, but after paying out all the money I’ve had to in the past couple of weeks, I made a now incomprehensible decision to bid, instead of buy outright.

The auction got canceled a couple hours later, then relisted.

I was momentarily relieved (ah, it wasn’t auction interference!) But then realized then and there that I had already "lost" the auction, well before it was over. Sniping software was irrelevant: what I could afford to pay pales in comparison to what others can, and surely others would see what I saw.

And they did.

And I was sniped, with three seconds to go, with nary a creeper bid in sight.

It was a Chicago employee lot. With one of my grails in it. An item that I had been sniped before on, about ten years ago. Gah! Stupid, stupid, stupid!

Sometimes I wonder about the wisdom of sharing my wisdom via this blog. Why create more (unnecessary?) competition for myself? Every time I give away another "secret," I know it means I’ll be paying for it in ways like this.

But then I see hobbyists making very, very dumb decisions based on bad information, and my desire to correct it - to have them make a decision based on good data, not bad - overrides my own desire to succeed as a hobbyist. If you’re going to spend money foolishly, it might as well be for right reasons.

And I also feel a little bit guilty because I have such a huge informational advantage, and I’d hate to be seen as taking too much of an advantage (or profit) in that. I always forget that there are other hobbyists who do not have that compunction. (Indeed, as some of you have seen in the NPOD, some seem completely unburdened by it.)

I still do okay, in spite of myself.

Nevertheless, I’ll be beating myself up for months over that hesitation.


Helen said...

I think you've made a good decision by trying to educate other collectors. It may add to the competition, but I think it improves the overall hobby. (I also find model horse collecting much more interesting and worthwhile when it's about history.) I think your efforts will help the long-term development of model horse collecting! At the least, they've helped me enjoy it much more.

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I am also appreciative of your blog. Especially in light of other people in the hobby continually spreading horribly incorrect info and getting angry if questioned on the basis of their knowledge. :)

Anonymous said...

You've been referring to people having scanners at the book sale, what are they doing with them? That is not something I have encountered in the backwoods of nowhere that I live in.