Comrade Tom Tigers

Yet another Disclaimer

Please bear in mind that this is to some people a highly controversial and offensive article,
so if you don't like it.... that's though.
Remember that there are more people than just you around who might see things
a little differently thay you. Or like me... are completly insane...
At least they tell me I'm mad... so I might aswell behave like it and write stuff like this.

On Ebay no one can hear you Scream....

or the unbearable lightness of being an auctioneer.

Snipers on Ebay, I hate them.... Nothing is worse than tracking down an item for weeks, sometimes months, finding it, being the high bidder and than have it snatched in the last few SECONDS! Now that is cruel. So you start again.... hunting... hoping. It happened to me and it is going to happen to you if it allready hasn't. One day I found an item I was looking for... wel for months actually. Only to have it snatched or sniped in the last 30 seconds. But luckily another one popped up only a week later! So I bid and was the highest bidder again, finally I would be able to repair and restore.... but I was sniped again... in the last 10 seconds this time. My mouse went halfway across the room and I was cursing like there was no tomorrow.
So I spilled my guts into one of the forums.
I had it with Ebay and its snipers.
But instead of being shot down I got a lot of people who felt the same way, who had the same experiences. I was even contacted by several "snipers" who offered me the software to snipe and gave me tips on sniping! But more important someone on a different continent had just what I needed, broken but cosmeticly in such a good shape that I finally, after six BLOODY months, could repair and restore. Hurra! There actually are nice people!

But can I become what I hate? I know the saying is, if you can't beat 'em join 'em but could I? Well simply said.... No I can't. I can't snipe when I know what it feels like being sniped!
What about the poor sod who was hunting for it for months!
Did you ever think of him or her!
I do! I am one of those poor sods! So why should I start sniping?
Okay, best argument, it saves you money. Okay, Okay, that is true. Sniping will save you money. But I can't put that against ease of mind. I'd probably could get used to sniping. Do to others what they did to me but it would not save ME any money. Take a little revenge on the world of Ebay. If sniping software makes it so easy to snipe.... than I can go for more, A LOT MORE, auctions. Which wouldn't save me money. It would cost me more. Then there is the agrivation, the stress. Hey! Helloooo! This is a hobby. I like to unwind with my hobby not let it add to more and more stress. I get enough of that at work!
Besides that I'm too BLOODY NICE ! I couldn't live with myself!

Another example of sniping, once I was bidding on a book, second time, first one I lost. There were actually two books. One I was bidding on the other someone who I knew. So I felt safe. But he lost his auction, turned on me and sniped me on that book. So I sent him a mail to ask what was up with that. The reply I got was that he was feeling a bit bad about it but would help me in locating another book. Well.... I still have to hear from him on that. And I doubt I ever will. Still haven't found that book though..... and before you ask, little inside collectors info here, no it wasn't the Maizenberg Book. I have that one. And since I didn't use Ebay I got it without the nervewrecking tension. And I'm very happy with it.

I once won a set of cameras, 4 pieces, 1 Lomo LC-A, 2 Zenits 11 and a Zenit-E all broken, that is why no one bet on it. But I won and I could start repairs. I repaired them all except for the E. It never arrived. I mailed the seller about it but never had a reply. Okay... it still wasn't a bad deal. But one simple mail about it would have been nice, just a little friendlyness?

And there are the other things, bid or auction retractions. Bidding wars. I got caught up in one and ended up with paying more than twice what it was worth. Then there are the "hidden" costs, bankfees, yes some sellers do have them and shipping. Some things cost more in shipping than in winning the auction. And don't get me started on defective items, misdescribed items, items that miss items, broken items, mint items that are totally not mint items. If you get that you are in for the horror of returns.
Get this... you first go to the whole stressthing of finally winning an item. Then you play the waiting game. After weeks of waiting you finally get the item and it is BROKEN! AHHHHHH, oh God NO! What did I do to deserve this! I just wanted one little Russian camera, they said it was mint, this is a horrible fungus infected disaster!
So send it back..... well.... it took weeks to get to you so it takes weeks to get back. Oh damn... Then you get a mail from the seller that he will sent you a replacement. Hurra! Like Hell.... wait again? Just get me a refund. No... we don't do refunds, read the fine print. Well after about a few months and several "replacements" you will give up.

But it is not all doom and gloom on Ebay.
There are offcourse ladies and gentlemen among the fellow Ebay bidders. They see your name and don't bid because you are a fellow collector or photographer. Some even contact you to tell you this or ask to let them know when you bail out of the bid so they can take over. So there is honour among fellow users and collectors. Mind you these are allways people you allready know are who are in the same forums.

In fact, there are a lot of honest and good sellers around. A while ago I won a Fed 1 with snakeskin covering. I was bidding against someone else but won. The seller contacted me and told me I was paying way too much. I was suprised, you rarely see that kind of honesty on Ebay. So we made a deal, she sent me the camera with a lightmeter for the price that I won it. She even included a nice orange filter. Turned out to be a good deal for the both of us.

These things are the little sparkles of light that keep me going. The little things that keep me from making amok.

But returning to my dilemma, should or shouldn't I snipe?
I thought long and hard about this. It is tempting, very tempting. But I won't. I refuse to snipe or to become what I hate.
Ebay by the way has said that it is planning to do something about sniping. I have no idea what it is but... we will see....
Fact is that there are a lot of people like me who just want to be treated honestly on an auction. Like me they hate being sniped, they are fed up to the teeth by it!


Clock is ticking, Ebay.... Clock is ticking.... Tick Tock Tick Tock....

Are you though enough or for that matter crazy enough to read ....

Part 6, The Photographic Underground... ?

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