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  #1  
Old 05-06-2021, 07:28 AM
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Default Is it all about the chase?

I had a card listed on ebay for buy it now $29 for about three months. Also accepted offers. Never an offer. Not a sniff. I finally got tired of looking at it and listed for a 7 day auction starting 99 cents. Card sold for $40. I have seen this play out many times. Is it all about the chase? Sensing competition and going in for the kill. To "win" something?

We used to feed 2 dogs at the same time. Each one would act disinterested by itself, but when we tried to feed them at the same time the jostling kicked in, and they were more interested in eating the other's food bowl than anything else.

Are we just in this for the chase and dopamine hit of being victorious about something?
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Old 05-06-2021, 08:33 AM
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I have told this story before. A few years back I sold a card through a public auction. I think it's back when I was still doing them with Scott. The card went for more than it did on my fixed listing site. The member who bought it, looked at my site and I hadn't taken it down by accident. He asked if he could buy it at that price. I said no. I think people like to know there is an under bidder at a certain price and it gives them some comfort to bid more.

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Old 05-06-2021, 08:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leon View Post
I have told this story before. A few years back I sold a card through a public auction. I think it's back when I was still doing them with Scott. The card went for more than it did on my fixed listing site. The member who bought it, looked at my site and I hadn't taken it down by accident. He asked if he could buy it at that price. I said no. I think people like to know there is an under bidder at a certain price and it gives them some comfort to bid more.

.
Yep. "I'm not crazy .. . .as this other guys wants it really bad too."

If you were the only bidder on a home for sale I think you might be pretty concerned you are overpaying or missed something obvious.
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Old 05-06-2021, 09:09 AM
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Mimetic desire answers for a lot of things. Rene Girard is the man to read on it. But the short version is that our desires are greatly affected by the desires we observe. We want what is wanted. There are a lot of interesting social experiments illustrating this - auction behavior, though not proctored for the purpose, is exhibit A. There is one experiment involving children and a balloon that is interesting. Basically, the children are getting along fine until one person claims the balloon on the string. Then they all want it, and all hell breaks loose.
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Old 05-06-2021, 09:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leon View Post
I have told this story before. A few years back I sold a card through a public auction. I think it's back when I was still doing them with Scott. The card went for more than it did on my fixed listing site. The member who bought it, looked at my site and I hadn't taken it down by accident. He asked if he could buy it at that price. I said no. I think people like to know there is an under bidder at a certain price and it gives them some comfort to bid more.

.
100% Agree with the under bidder portion. This way the winning bidder has confidence in the price they paid based on others willing to pay near that winning price
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  #6  
Old 05-06-2021, 09:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abothebear View Post
Mimetic desire answers for a lot of things. Rene Girard is the man to read on it. But the short version is that our desires are greatly affected by the desires we observe. We want what is wanted. There are a lot of interesting social experiments illustrating this - auction behavior, though not proctored for the purpose, is exhibit A. There is one experiment involving children and a balloon that is interesting. Basically, the children are getting along fine until one person claims the balloon on the string. Then they all want it, and all hell breaks loose.
Interesting. Sounds like Introduction to the Psychology of Marketing.
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Old 05-06-2021, 09:37 AM
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I would agree, that the chase is sometimes more entertaining and does give us a certain joy that comes with winning something. While I think we all are satisfied by acquiring a card through any means there's something about winning one that gives the situation more of a thrill

Another "chase" that I think we all find entertaining is the chase for the "right" version of the card we want. We all have cards we want to PC but we are always looking for the "right" version of it, whether it be centering, corners, general condition, at the right price. That's another chase I find enjoyable. Even if it takes weeks, months or years.
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Old 05-06-2021, 09:48 AM
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It is about the chase, but for probably a few of us, the chase is different.
I tend away from wanting what's wanted, and towards what is unwanted, unknown or forgotten.

I didn't really realize this until my wife pointed it out. She said I was often happier with a big box full of randomness, than with a single item bought to fill a space. She figured the hunt for unrecognized rarity or coolness was what interested me the most.
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Old 05-06-2021, 11:33 AM
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I've had similar situations. Auction something at a min bid. Doesn't sell, lower the min bid and it goes for more.

One of the most interesting cases is I had a 1950 R423 stip-- I think 13 stamp-like photocards with perforated edges. Had big stars such as Ruth, Cobb, Mathewson. The strip didn't sell numerous times, so I bit the bullet, separated the cards and auctioned them one by one. Three each sold for more than the original whole-strip prices.
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Old 05-06-2021, 01:15 PM
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The flip side of this is that, considered vs. a fixed price that we assume the buyer saw and thinks is a bit high, the buyer might be willing to risk paying more at auction to acquire the chance to pay less.

I also think there is an element of people getting excited about owning a particular when they follow an auction for days (or weeks) where the current bid is well below market, something that is missing when looking at a card at full price. I don't know that this is the fun of the chase as much as it is that the person develops a longer relationship with a card they are bidding on while a card with a price on it is a pretty short time to pass/buy without days/weeks thinking about that exact card.
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Old 05-06-2021, 01:34 PM
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Quote:
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The flip side of this is that, considered vs. a fixed price that we assume the buyer saw and thinks is a bit high, the buyer might be willing to risk paying more at auction to acquire the chance to pay less.

I also think there is an element of people getting excited about owning a particular when they follow an auction for days (or weeks) where the current bid is well below market, something that is missing when looking at a card at full price. I don't know that this is the fun of the chase as much as it is that the person develops a longer relationship with a card they are bidding on while a card with a price on it is a pretty short time to pass/buy without days/weeks thinking about that exact card.
Kind of a corollary to that, but there are times when I have seen a BIN that I was tempted but then let pass. After it survived without a bid and is relisted I start to get more confident that I can get the card at my leisure, and maybe for an offer at a lesser price. Then at some point I see the card is listed as a straight auction, and it becomes more of a now or never situation, so I need to adjust my thinking. At that point and depending on how badly I want the card, I will bid up to and a time or two even more than I could have had it BIN (although not by much). Of course, there are occasions when someone else jumps on the BIN and the card is gone, but I've learned not to get too worked up over that.
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  #12  
Old 05-06-2021, 02:06 PM
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Yeah, I get that. Once something sits a while I think your immediate response can be (1) its overpriced and (2) no pressure to grab it.


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Kind of a corollary to that, but there are times when I have seen a BIN that I was tempted but then let pass. After it survived without a bid and is relisted I start to get more confident that I can get the card at my leisure, and maybe for an offer at a lesser price. Then at some point I see the card is listed as a straight auction, and it becomes more of a now or never situation, so I need to adjust my thinking. At that point and depending on how badly I want the card, I will bid up to and a time or two even more than I could have had it BIN (although not by much). Of course, there are occasions when someone else jumps on the BIN and the card is gone, but I've learned not to get too worked up over that.
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Old 05-06-2021, 02:12 PM
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Since I assume that most BINs are overpriced/full retail, I usually either skip right over them or only have auctions in my search. If there is something that I stumble on that looks to be reasonable, I usually go down a rabbit hole of looking at comps and studying the card to make sure that I am not missing something. More often than not, while I am doing this, it gets sold from underneath me. This has happened at least a half a dozen times and I still lament at the price I could have gotten those cards for if I would have just pulled the trigger (but I assumed something was amiss).

On another occasion, when I was building my 67 set, I came upon a Red Sox team card that had a reasonable starting price ($40-50 if I recall correctly). I watched it through two auction cycles not get a single bid. The price seemed reasonable, but I couldn't understand why no one was interested in it and just assumed that I was missing something. On the third cycle, there was finally a bid, so I put one in. Soon there were 10 bids. I felt like I needed the card and won the auction on a big snipe for like $103. Not my brightest moment, but I was convinced that I would have been a sucker to be the only person to bid at that lower price and there had to be an issue.
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Old 05-06-2021, 02:15 PM
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Maybe more like opportunity verses the chase.

I just bought a 1984 Topps Traded set for ~$25.00. There were two bidders the first bidder and me. I figured I would not get it at that price.

Last week I was squeezed out on an 84 Traded set that ended up going for $40.00 plus change.

There is no logic to this at all. But I did save some cash this week that I would have spent last week if I had won!
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Old 05-06-2021, 03:07 PM
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Humanity did not remove itself from the food chain on this planet by being stronger than tigers, bigger than lions, tougher than wolves, etc. We did it because we have evolved to be so competitive that we will tear each other and anything else to pieces over just about anything we want, real or perceived, to a far greater extent than any other species. We are brutal, nasty, hyper-competitive animals with the potential to be better. The Vulcans also understand how humanoids are driven by desires:

Spock: you may find that having is not so pleasing a thing after all as wanting. It is not logical, but it is often true.

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Old 05-06-2021, 03:20 PM
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From my 'New Directory of Collectorisms' thread...

237. Thrillogical (also Prosposterous)
Having a card listed with a ‘Buy It Now’ price for quite some time and it never sells, but when you decide to relist it as a straight auction, the hammer price ends up exceeding what your BIN always was.
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Old 05-06-2021, 04:39 PM
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I always bid what I'm willing to pay and walk away. If I win great if I don't great. I don't feel the need to compete for cards or any other items I collect. I know some people who sit and watch auctions go out in the last minutes and usually end up paying more than they wanted by getting caught up in the last moments of competition. To each his own just not for me.
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Old 05-06-2021, 04:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wimberleycardcollector View Post
I always bid what I'm willing to pay and walk away. If I win great if I don't great. I don't feel the need to compete for cards or any other items I collect. I know some people who sit and watch auctions go out in the last minutes and usually end up paying more than they wanted by getting caught up in the last moments of competition. To each his own just not for me.
I am in that same camp. My bid will be my highest bid for that item. I either win it or lose it. I will check the progress but will not bump the bid, ‘just in case’.
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Old 05-07-2021, 06:56 AM
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So much psychology at work in all aspects of the "hobby," as in our (more or less) free-market economy in general. As a dealer, I was always tempted to think I had underpriced an item that flew off my table right away, and overpriced items that sat there through several shows, neither of which was necessarily true at all. As the saying goes, timing is everything. Something that has always intrigued me is the reality that every item in every auction has a stopping point, and I wonder why, when there are so many collectors who could afford to buy every entire auction every year and never come close to feeling it financially. If you're sitting on 35 billion dollars and you want something you know will make you happy and you also know you will probably never have the chance to acquire it again, what could possibly make you stop short of getting it? The answer is not wanting to feel stupid, I guess. But if another person has just outbid you, doesn't that validate your bidding, no matter what level it's gotten to?
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Old 05-07-2021, 07:23 AM
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. . . . . If you're sitting on 35 billion dollars and you want something you know will make you happy and you also know you will probably never have the chance to acquire it again, what could possibly make you stop short of getting it? The answer is not wanting to feel stupid, I guess. But if another person has just outbid you, doesn't that validate your bidding, no matter what level it's gotten to?
If you're sitting on $35 billion you likely did not get to that point by paying more than you value something at (which is not to say that someone else doesn't have a higher valuation).

Not likely that you would suddenly change your approach.
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Old 05-07-2021, 07:40 AM
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I've been unable to find it recently, but I once saw an excerpt from a book about the psychology of collecting on Google which mentioned how few collectors of sportscards regularly go back and look at, admire, page through albums of their collection, etc. etc. - after they are finally able to acquire what in many cases took so long to chase after. Indeed we know many truly high end collectors have items stashed away in safety deposit boxes which rarely see the light of day, and some even at the mythical PWCC "Vault" where the security of their items meshed with the ostensible prestige of such a service must evoke an entirely different type of psychological pride.

I'm a nerd and look at my cards all the time, hell even take them on vacations sometimes. Yep, I'm the world's biggest 44 year-old third grader. But I know that what that book described is far more common for many collectors than what I do. I would agree there is tremendous value in our heads tied to the chase only.
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Old 05-07-2021, 08:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jchcollins View Post
I've been unable to find it recently, but I once saw an excerpt from a book about the psychology of collecting on Google which mentioned how few collectors of sportscards regularly go back and look at, admire, page through albums of their collection, etc. etc. - after they are finally able to acquire what in many cases took so long to chase after. Indeed we know many truly high end collectors have items stashed away in safety deposit boxes which rarely see the light of day, and some even at the mythical PWCC "Vault" where the security of their items meshed with the ostensible prestige of such a service must evoke an entirely different type of psychological pride.

I'm a nerd and look at my cards all the time, hell even take them on vacations sometimes. Yep, I'm the world's biggest 44 year-old third grader. But I know that what that book described is far more common for many collectors than what I do. I would agree there is tremendous value in our heads tied to the chase only.

Me too. My wife calls me her man child. LOL. I have all of my collections out to enjoy and "play with". Binders/card displays, toy displays/dioramas and my man cave car garage. I swore to my self years ago I would never collect plastic tubs full of unseen collectibles like many of my collector friends do. I even pare down from time to time with my toys to just keep the ones I truly love. Haven't paired down any cards yet.
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Old 05-07-2021, 08:28 AM
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Sitting down in the evening with a little single malt and a binder of cards is a great way to relax at the end of week.

Writing that, I may just have a date tonight with my '58 set.
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Old 05-07-2021, 08:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timzcardz View Post
Sitting down in the evening with a little single malt and a binder of cards is a great way to relax at the end of week.

Writing that, I may just have a date tonight with my '58 set.
A great way to enjoy cards, although drinking and access to a computer has frequently led to me unintentionally improving my collection.
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Old 05-07-2021, 01:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timzcardz View Post
If you're sitting on $35 billion you likely did not get to that point by paying more than you value something at (which is not to say that someone else doesn't have a higher valuation). Not likely that you would suddenly change your approach.
Kind of by definition, does anybody ever pay more than they value something at? I think it's more accurate to say that nobody wants to feel that they're being stupid. Also, an enormous amount of money is inherited, so your answer wouldn't apply there.
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Old 05-07-2021, 06:58 PM
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In the Heritage auction that just ended, a signed 1953 Topps Mickey Mantle went for just under $20,000. There is one sitting on eBay right now for $9,000. It's not in as nice shape, but the condition difference alone isn't $11,000.
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Old 05-07-2021, 07:49 PM
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Dad used to tell the story of the time he was working in the local hardware store back in the early 1950s. They would have a display of paint brushes or screwdrivers that were not moving, so the owner would mark them up and put a 'Sale' sign on the display and they would fly out the door.

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