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eBay is almost pointless now.

eBay "Buy it now"  

76 members have voted

  1. 1. Has "Buy It Now" Ruined eBay

    • Yes. Greedy Sellers have ruined the experience for all.
      29
    • No. People should be able to charge what they want - even if it is too much!
      47


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Is anyone else now fed up with ebay?

 

It's no longer an auction site - it's full of "Buy it now" items which do not represent good value for money for the buyers.

 

The retro computing and gaming catagories seem to have suffered more than most with greedy sellers often charging 4 times more for a machine or game than they are worth.

 

Has anyone else noticed this?

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Buy it now deals are not ruining ebay. All it takes to find a good Buy it now deal is to be patient and to sort the auctions by price + shipping lowest first.

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I consider myself somewhat of an ebay shark. In the past month or so I found a top-loader NES for $12, a CD-i (without cables, but working just fine) for 0.99, a Sega Genesis for 0.99 (working w/cables) and a few other goodies for well below value (of course, shipping jacked those up a bit, but still well below typical cost shipped for those items in general). You can still find good, even great deals sometimes.

 

That said, I feel your pain sometimes. I hate it when I find a great lot that I want to watch, only to see it sitting at some atrocious price like $1,999 (I think I saw a boxed Sega Master System II going for that, are you kidding me?). The flipside on BIN is that a few will price them a bit low. I've seen a few good deals like that as well in the past month. Best Offer helps too. I was able to get a cart-only copy of NBA Jam: TE for the Jag for $10 (down from $15) with Best Offer. The boxed copy sold for $55 I believe recently. So Best Offer isn't a bad deal either - though I've been rejected too.

 

Key with ebay now is to just be patient. I tend to be a big spender sometimes, relative to my earnings (sometimes too much for my own good I'll admit). Lately I've learned to keep my impulse buying/collecting in check and be patient in waiting for the good deals. I won't hesitate to jump on one when I see one, even if I don't need the item offered - I can always flip it for profit or trade down the road and go after an item I really want. Sellers will try to be greedy, but the prices will generally taper off if enough people hold out. There will always be those types trying to sell you their old 2600s for $150, and in all honesty, they rarely ever get a sale. I've been in the market for a Jag CD for a long time now, there are four listings for one on ebay by the same guy, all overpriced in the $250-300 range. They've been there forever, and they probably will be until he learns to lower the price or pulls them off. Smarter buyers always win in the end.

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Thanks for the post. There is some really good advice in there.

I guess I'm going to have to learn the ebay waiting game ;)

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eBay is all about patience, it always has been. What's different now is that the company is taking a bigger chunk of sellers' earnings, and trying to control shipping as much as possible. Most sellers with any sense are saying "Well, if I can't sell something at a huge profit, it's not worth the hassle." whereas 10 years ago, they'd be happy just to make $2.37, because that $2.37 was easy money.

 

It's still the place I go when I need something I know I can't get easily... but I don't cruise it for fun like I used to.

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It's all up to the seller. Buy it Now didn't really change anything. The think I hate the most are sellers who charge ridiculous shipping charges. I mean why put a $10 item for $0.99 and charge $20 shipping??

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If it's a popular item but also a plentiful one, the BIN's end up almost identical to the auction price, for the obvious reason that most buyers are smart enough to say "hey, forget this auction if it goes above the BIN for another one". So it kinda keeps a cap on prices in a way as well. I've noticed this with a particular Magic:the gathering card, "Force of Will", which is uncommon, and worth about 40-50. I thought "well, maybe the auctions go for lower than the BINs", since that's way out of my price range for something small like a card. I watched plenty of them for a while and the price was almost perfectly even across the board - no bargains. If the price was low, it always had a reason like more wear on the item, etc.

 

Some retrogame items are in that category: Plentiful, but desirable. There's also way more variation, since things are sold as lots often. I think you can still get a great deal on ebay if you are buying some of the more rare items - the seller does not typically have many other auctions to compare to and may post his or hers at a price significantly below (or above!) value. I think we're still experiencing fallout from the Air Raid sale, and I also think that the 2600 is somewhat of a pop culture fad right now. I mean, you can buy Atari shirts at Wal-Mart. That didn't happen five years ago, in fact, it would have been ludicrous. The exposure is simply jacking the prices on 2600 and related goods, and sellers are following suit with unrelated items, even though they're probably not going to have that same comeback. Gaming in general is more and more important to American culture, and that raises the prices. Some consoles have reached the point where they're beginning to fail in notable numbers, and those need replacing.

 

I don't get in on Craigslist (I'm not even entirely clear on what it is), but I assume it has a culture similar to Ebay. If the data and search functions are roughly equivalent, the posters may learn what similar items bring. Otherwise, they just come up with something. And there's always Junk Shop People. I have learned in my many years in junk shops and flea markets just what junk shop people are like and how to deal with them. They're very interesting folks. Many of them have bizarrely inflated ideas of what one item may be worth, while being totally unaware of the gem they are selling cheaply. I mean, an Atari 2600 E.T. (vintage 1970's, major movie license tie-in cross-collectible) has GOT to be worth more than Panzer Dragoon Saga (not even that old, and who's heard of it?!). So I'd imagine Craigslist to be a sort of mix between those people and ebay sellers, who I feel are actually fairly shrewd, though I'm not necessarily implying that they've earned that status through their own merit in all cases.

 

When I do ebay, I just do the BIN's anyway. I don't usually have time to be at my computer at the exact moment that something happens, and I dislike getting my hopes up and losing an item. The best policy with ebay excluding BIN's is of course to place tons of decently lowball bids, then go to sleep. 75%-95% of them will fail, and the others you will win at low prices. Sometimes you end up with two or three of something accidentally, but if you paid a third of what it usually goes for, you're still good. This also works with job applications, but does not work in dating.

 

Another thing to consider is the fun! Ebay can be kinda fun, but it's hardly as neat as working the wild. I'd rather tell people about my 10$ boxed Chrono Trigger or 2$ Akanoid VAUS controller than how I finally shelled out 60$ for something I'd wanted for a while. Of course, Ain't no way I'll find Fami games here, they're hard enough to find online (some of them) and I hear they're not that plentiful in the wild in Japan either anymore. So of course, imports, can't help it. Fami games seem to have low supply AND low demand. I'll see the same one float around for a while before bidding on it, and prices fluctuate more often. The low demand means sometimes you CAN get a desirable title for a much lower price than usual. Another great deal is when you find miscategorized items. Seller doesn't know the difference between Atari and CV (A fair enough mistake for someone not that up on older games, no?), and you can get some decent stuff that way. There's one more way to save on ebay - if you're the type of collector that I am, you'll happily pay as little as half-typical-value for an item with a torn label or some such drawback. I've done this more than a few times on ebay and often the item is in much nicer shape than they described. It's better for them to overstate how bad it is and not risk a customer complaint. Sometimes the item is not even damaged at all, and I have no idea why they said it was. I got the D&D genesis game this way, supposedly labeless, well, it a very nice label. I also got the harvest moon SNES game, which typically went for fifty at the time, for 20 - it had numbers melted into the back of the cart, some rental place's solution to how easy those silver VOID VOID VOID labels were to remove. I barely noticed them.

 

Our marketplace here is pretty great. Since this is the most Atari-savvy place on the web, nobody is ever going to risk the derision that would ensue when they tried to pawn off their Combies and E.T.'s as rare, and prices on random middle-era consoles like the GEN or NES seem consistently lower than Ebay (and consistent in general). I guess in general you might just say that the internet's ubiquitousness inevitably leads to a revaluing of antiques and collectibles, and that all items, even what we consider utter garbage now, will eventually become antiques. Time to start buying up those n64 wrestling titles! You first! CD based media, being more fragile, will be more collectible. All that PS1 garbage will someday have some small value, and the gems will be just awful in prices. I predict ridiculous prices for ps1/Sat/DC/ps2 games, and in fairly short order. Hell, I guess even Wii games will increase in value sooner or later. The question to ask is "Which game is hard to find now, maybe not popular, but soon to be regarded as a "hidden gem"?" I vote Baroque! Probably not, though. The coming advent of all-digital-download gaming (2-5 generations, I'm predicting exactly 3) does away with any collection aspect (unless the files are somehow transferable, but impossible to copy, and timestamped or edition-marked in some indelible way. That's pretty sick.) Ironically, any items designed to be collectible or widely perceived to be collectible will not be. I should dump my he-man toys pretty soon, now that I think of it. Wonder what's up in that attic?

 

One useful comparison I like to make is original price vs. current market value. It'll be a long time before some games are ever worth more than they cost when they came out. A rare(ish) SNES/GEN title might bright 20-30 bucks, and that could be half of it's original value! So even if you'd bought them new with plans to sell, you're losing money, not even counting inflation. Buying games new is very foolish, in my opinion. I am usually only foolish when it comes to Zelda titles. I subscribe to the two-year-delay plan. If you buy everything used, two years after it comes out, it's typically very cheap. You are experiencing the same rate of advancement as the other consumers are, just offset by a certain amount. You will still be wowed by new graphics (you must studiously avoid all commercial advertisements and social contact of any kind) and enthused about new, thrilling titles.

 

And since I typed so RIDICULOUSLY MUCH just now (this is a huge post), I'm just going to babble randomly for a bit. Let's do like a stream-of-consciousness thing starting with the random idea of a horse. That makes me think of the play Equus by E.E. Cummings, which makes me think of two things: horse-rippers, who are/were a strange breed of criminals who would injure the genitals of male horses in some kind of ritual sexual abuse (in the UK I believe) and also the balloon man whistles far and wee poem. Substituting Wii, we realize that a balloon and whistle peripheral for the Wii would be just as stupid as most Wii peripherals, but not necessarily more stupid. Peripheral is an interesting word, and the Jane's Addiction singer Perry Farrell actually created his stage name as a soundalike (I do not know his real name). Vincent Furnier, of course, is Alice Cooper. I enjoyed Alice's appearance on Space-Ghost-Coast-To-Coast, during a 'tribute to women' episode. Space Ghost was quite frustrated to discover that Alice was not, in fact, a woman. While Alice may be one of the better famous rock musicians to adopt a pseudonym, there are plenty of great ones out there, especially in punk, metal and hip-hop. Perhaps the greatest musical pseudonym of all time is "Englebert Humperdinck", who I believe was a real person in some far-fled dark age. That name jumps us to prince humperdink, the malicious would-be ruler of the land of Florin in the movie/book "the princess bride". Florin, and its rival Guilder, are of course currency. I did not believe for some time that Rupees were an actual currency (they're used in India), but instead that they were from Legend of Zelda games exclusively. My wife forcefully disabused me of this notion. Recently on the television series "Pawn Stars", a gentleman attempted to sell a fused chunk of sunken treasure consisting of many silver Rupee coins. He asked 700,000 and was offered 200,000. He declined. The Rupees were brought to the surface by none other than my favorite author of all time, Arthur C. Clarke. An avid diver and amateur oceanographer as well as a brilliant writer of both science fact and fiction, Mr. Clarke died several years ago. His greatest invention is so integral to the way of life on earth now that it's almost forgotten and taken for granted - he invented nothing less than the concept of the communications satellite. This technology is the basis for large parts of our civilian and government communication networks. I collect Clarke paperbacks, happily tossing a dollar down for an edition or cover I don't have yet. I think it's the collection my wife would most like to get rid of, though she's very lovely and tolerant. She is not bothered by my game collection, especially since it's so well-ordered and my spending is restrained. My wife lived in Arkansas as a child, and was kidnapped by her mother during a custody dispute. Her father, who was abusive in a number of ways, eventually found her and her mother, who'd been assisted into the underground by a network of volunteers who existed for that purpose, and re-kidnapped her. Though he had the legal right to her custody, it was this event that hurt her, rather than the original escape. One of the women involved in this network, Faye Yager, is known to be somewhat of a nut. My wife remembers being questioned intensely by this woman and coached to say certain things involving satanic ritual abuse, which did not take place. She was asked if she had ever been forced to drink blood or interact with animals in any way. This was baffling to her at the time, as she was very young. Very young girls were recently observed performing a very sexualized dance to Beyonce's "Single Ladies", causing a medium-sized media firestorm. After having viewed the video, I personally agree that the costumes, moves and lyrical content of the song are inapropriate for that age group. The song, I don't think is that bad. It has an eerie quality to it that seems to be popular in hip-pop right now, with it's scissor-like background noises and the odd delivery of such lines as "like a ghost I'll be gone". "Disturbia" by Rihanna is another example of this trend. Which I generally have little interest in celebrities, pop music, hip-hop or R+B, despite some notable exceptions, I find Rihanna fairly interesting. As I've previously stated publicly for all the world of the internet to hear, in some alternate timestream not too divergent from this one, I could totally have a huge crush on her.

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If it's a popular item but also a plentiful one, the BIN's end up almost identical to the auction price, for the obvious reason that most buyers are smart enough to say "hey, forget this auction if it goes above the BIN for another one". So it kinda keeps a cap on prices in a way as well. I've noticed this with a particular Magic:the gathering card, "Force of Will", which is uncommon, and worth about 40-50. I thought "well, maybe the auctions go for lower than the BINs", since that's way out of my price range for something small like a card. I watched plenty of them for a while and the price was almost perfectly even across the board - no bargains. If the price was low, it always had a reason like more wear on the item, etc.

 

Some retrogame items are in that category: Plentiful, but desirable. There's also way more variation, since things are sold as lots often. I think you can still get a great deal on ebay if you are buying some of the more rare items - the seller does not typically have many other auctions to compare to and may post his or hers at a price significantly below (or above!) value. I think we're still experiencing fallout from the Air Raid sale, and I also think that the 2600 is somewhat of a pop culture fad right now. I mean, you can buy Atari shirts at Wal-Mart. That didn't happen five years ago, in fact, it would have been ludicrous. The exposure is simply jacking the prices on 2600 and related goods, and sellers are following suit with unrelated items, even though they're probably not going to have that same comeback. Gaming in general is more and more important to American culture, and that raises the prices. Some consoles have reached the point where they're beginning to fail in notable numbers, and those need replacing.

 

I don't get in on Craigslist (I'm not even entirely clear on what it is), but I assume it has a culture similar to Ebay. If the data and search functions are roughly equivalent, the posters may learn what similar items bring. Otherwise, they just come up with something. And there's always Junk Shop People. I have learned in my many years in junk shops and flea markets just what junk shop people are like and how to deal with them. They're very interesting folks. Many of them have bizarrely inflated ideas of what one item may be worth, while being totally unaware of the gem they are selling cheaply. I mean, an Atari 2600 E.T. (vintage 1970's, major movie license tie-in cross-collectible) has GOT to be worth more than Panzer Dragoon Saga (not even that old, and who's heard of it?!). So I'd imagine Craigslist to be a sort of mix between those people and ebay sellers, who I feel are actually fairly shrewd, though I'm not necessarily implying that they've earned that status through their own merit in all cases.

 

When I do ebay, I just do the BIN's anyway. I don't usually have time to be at my computer at the exact moment that something happens, and I dislike getting my hopes up and losing an item. The best policy with ebay excluding BIN's is of course to place tons of decently lowball bids, then go to sleep. 75%-95% of them will fail, and the others you will win at low prices. Sometimes you end up with two or three of something accidentally, but if you paid a third of what it usually goes for, you're still good. This also works with job applications, but does not work in dating.

 

Another thing to consider is the fun! Ebay can be kinda fun, but it's hardly as neat as working the wild. I'd rather tell people about my 10$ boxed Chrono Trigger or 2$ Akanoid VAUS controller than how I finally shelled out 60$ for something I'd wanted for a while. Of course, Ain't no way I'll find Fami games here, they're hard enough to find online (some of them) and I hear they're not that plentiful in the wild in Japan either anymore. So of course, imports, can't help it. Fami games seem to have low supply AND low demand. I'll see the same one float around for a while before bidding on it, and prices fluctuate more often. The low demand means sometimes you CAN get a desirable title for a much lower price than usual. Another great deal is when you find miscategorized items. Seller doesn't know the difference between Atari and CV (A fair enough mistake for someone not that up on older games, no?), and you can get some decent stuff that way. There's one more way to save on ebay - if you're the type of collector that I am, you'll happily pay as little as half-typical-value for an item with a torn label or some such drawback. I've done this more than a few times on ebay and often the item is in much nicer shape than they described. It's better for them to overstate how bad it is and not risk a customer complaint. Sometimes the item is not even damaged at all, and I have no idea why they said it was. I got the D&D genesis game this way, supposedly labeless, well, it a very nice label. I also got the harvest moon SNES game, which typically went for fifty at the time, for 20 - it had numbers melted into the back of the cart, some rental place's solution to how easy those silver VOID VOID VOID labels were to remove. I barely noticed them.

 

Our marketplace here is pretty great. Since this is the most Atari-savvy place on the web, nobody is ever going to risk the derision that would ensue when they tried to pawn off their Combies and E.T.'s as rare, and prices on random middle-era consoles like the GEN or NES seem consistently lower than Ebay (and consistent in general). I guess in general you might just say that the internet's ubiquitousness inevitably leads to a revaluing of antiques and collectibles, and that all items, even what we consider utter garbage now, will eventually become antiques. Time to start buying up those n64 wrestling titles! You first! CD based media, being more fragile, will be more collectible. All that PS1 garbage will someday have some small value, and the gems will be just awful in prices. I predict ridiculous prices for ps1/Sat/DC/ps2 games, and in fairly short order. Hell, I guess even Wii games will increase in value sooner or later. The question to ask is "Which game is hard to find now, maybe not popular, but soon to be regarded as a "hidden gem"?" I vote Baroque! Probably not, though. The coming advent of all-digital-download gaming (2-5 generations, I'm predicting exactly 3) does away with any collection aspect (unless the files are somehow transferable, but impossible to copy, and timestamped or edition-marked in some indelible way. That's pretty sick.) Ironically, any items designed to be collectible or widely perceived to be collectible will not be. I should dump my he-man toys pretty soon, now that I think of it. Wonder what's up in that attic?

 

One useful comparison I like to make is original price vs. current market value. It'll be a long time before some games are ever worth more than they cost when they came out. A rare(ish) SNES/GEN title might bright 20-30 bucks, and that could be half of it's original value! So even if you'd bought them new with plans to sell, you're losing money, not even counting inflation. Buying games new is very foolish, in my opinion. I am usually only foolish when it comes to Zelda titles. I subscribe to the two-year-delay plan. If you buy everything used, two years after it comes out, it's typically very cheap. You are experiencing the same rate of advancement as the other consumers are, just offset by a certain amount. You will still be wowed by new graphics (you must studiously avoid all commercial advertisements and social contact of any kind) and enthused about new, thrilling titles.

 

And since I typed so RIDICULOUSLY MUCH just now (this is a huge post), I'm just going to babble randomly for a bit. Let's do like a stream-of-consciousness thing starting with the random idea of a horse. That makes me think of the play Equus by E.E. Cummings, which makes me think of two things: horse-rippers, who are/were a strange breed of criminals who would injure the genitals of male horses in some kind of ritual sexual abuse (in the UK I believe) and also the balloon man whistles far and wee poem. Substituting Wii, we realize that a balloon and whistle peripheral for the Wii would be just as stupid as most Wii peripherals, but not necessarily more stupid. Peripheral is an interesting word, and the Jane's Addiction singer Perry Farrell actually created his stage name as a soundalike (I do not know his real name). Vincent Furnier, of course, is Alice Cooper. I enjoyed Alice's appearance on Space-Ghost-Coast-To-Coast, during a 'tribute to women' episode. Space Ghost was quite frustrated to discover that Alice was not, in fact, a woman. While Alice may be one of the better famous rock musicians to adopt a pseudonym, there are plenty of great ones out there, especially in punk, metal and hip-hop. Perhaps the greatest musical pseudonym of all time is "Englebert Humperdinck", who I believe was a real person in some far-fled dark age. That name jumps us to prince humperdink, the malicious would-be ruler of the land of Florin in the movie/book "the princess bride". Florin, and its rival Guilder, are of course currency. I did not believe for some time that Rupees were an actual currency (they're used in India), but instead that they were from Legend of Zelda games exclusively. My wife forcefully disabused me of this notion. Recently on the television series "Pawn Stars", a gentleman attempted to sell a fused chunk of sunken treasure consisting of many silver Rupee coins. He asked 700,000 and was offered 200,000. He declined. The Rupees were brought to the surface by none other than my favorite author of all time, Arthur C. Clarke. An avid diver and amateur oceanographer as well as a brilliant writer of both science fact and fiction, Mr. Clarke died several years ago. His greatest invention is so integral to the way of life on earth now that it's almost forgotten and taken for granted - he invented nothing less than the concept of the communications satellite. This technology is the basis for large parts of our civilian and government communication networks. I collect Clarke paperbacks, happily tossing a dollar down for an edition or cover I don't have yet. I think it's the collection my wife would most like to get rid of, though she's very lovely and tolerant. She is not bothered by my game collection, especially since it's so well-ordered and my spending is restrained. My wife lived in Arkansas as a child, and was kidnapped by her mother during a custody dispute. Her father, who was abusive in a number of ways, eventually found her and her mother, who'd been assisted into the underground by a network of volunteers who existed for that purpose, and re-kidnapped her. Though he had the legal right to her custody, it was this event that hurt her, rather than the original escape. One of the women involved in this network, Faye Yager, is known to be somewhat of a nut. My wife remembers being questioned intensely by this woman and coached to say certain things involving satanic ritual abuse, which did not take place. She was asked if she had ever been forced to drink blood or interact with animals in any way. This was baffling to her at the time, as she was very young. Very young girls were recently observed performing a very sexualized dance to Beyonce's "Single Ladies", causing a medium-sized media firestorm. After having viewed the video, I personally agree that the costumes, moves and lyrical content of the song are inapropriate for that age group. The song, I don't think is that bad. It has an eerie quality to it that seems to be popular in hip-pop right now, with it's scissor-like background noises and the odd delivery of such lines as "like a ghost I'll be gone". "Disturbia" by Rihanna is another example of this trend. Which I generally have little interest in celebrities, pop music, hip-hop or R+B, despite some notable exceptions, I find Rihanna fairly interesting. As I've previously stated publicly for all the world of the internet to hear, in some alternate timestream not too divergent from this one, I could totally have a huge crush on her.

Probably the oddest, rambling, and interesting post I have ever read. :thumbsup:

Edited by ericwierson

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The thing I hate about these ridiculous BIN's the most is that the damn retro stores in my area are posting the auctions and taping them to all their items to try and justify prices. Sorry but that boxed NES is not worth $1999.00 just because some idiot listed it at that price.

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Greed has driven Ebay for a long, long, time. Over-zealous sellers have always been the thorn, and always will it seems. Remember when Ebay was just a site to get rid of crap you don't want, and make a few bucks off it? Then the heavy profiteers, and resellers, and otherwise make it your full time job people spread like a fungus.

I blame the morons who pay these crazy prices more than the sellers.

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The thing I hate about these ridiculous BIN's the most is that the damn retro stores in my area are posting the auctions and taping them to all their items to try and justify prices. Sorry but that boxed NES is not worth $1999.00 just because some idiot listed it at that price.

 

 

That is too true. One store around here had 'Pokemon firered' with an ebay printout listing it at 40$.

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I only use the Buy It Now feature on eBay.

 

It seems like every time I make a bid, it's automatically outbid once I push the button. It really hacks me off. Am I not doing something right?

 

I'm also not one of those buyers who buy stuff at a ridiculously high price. Screw that.

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I prefer buy-it-now myself when it's affordable and reasonable to me. It's just easy.. A game will pop in my head, I will realize I want to buy it, and if it's cheap with a BIN on eBay, I snag it. That's kind of the point of it.

 

The problem with it though is that when it comes to "rare" games, sellers seem to abuse it. Sure, they have every right to price their items at whatever they like, but once someone posts something high, everyone else seems to follow suit. Once you have everyone listing the same item in the same ballpark range, the whole system keeps the customers from determining the market value at that moment in time. Sure, eventually SOMEONE is going to snap and buy that overpriced product, but that's because that's ALL that's available. When everyone sets it in the same price range with no other options, is that what it is really worth though?

 

A friend of mine always points out these "expensive" items on eBay, but I always have to remind him to check the completed listings.. After doing so, he sees that the items typically never sell at the ridiculous prices people are listing them at, and the ones that have actually sold went for less and were typically auctions, not BIN listings.

Edited by Austin

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If it's a popular item but also a plentiful one, the BIN's end up almost identical to the auction price, for the obvious reason that most buyers are smart enough to say "hey, forget this auction if it goes above the BIN for another one". So it kinda keeps a cap on prices in a way as well. I've noticed this with a particular Magic:the gathering card, "Force of Will", which is uncommon, and worth about 40-50. I thought "well, maybe the auctions go for lower than the BINs", since that's way out of my price range for something small like a card. I watched plenty of them for a while and the price was almost perfectly even across the board - no bargains. If the price was low, it always had a reason like more wear on the item, etc.

 

Some retrogame items are in that category: Plentiful, but desirable. There's also way more variation, since things are sold as lots often. I think you can still get a great deal on ebay if you are buying some of the more rare items - the seller does not typically have many other auctions to compare to and may post his or hers at a price significantly below (or above!) value. I think we're still experiencing fallout from the Air Raid sale, and I also think that the 2600 is somewhat of a pop culture fad right now. I mean, you can buy Atari shirts at Wal-Mart. That didn't happen five years ago, in fact, it would have been ludicrous. The exposure is simply jacking the prices on 2600 and related goods, and sellers are following suit with unrelated items, even though they're probably not going to have that same comeback. Gaming in general is more and more important to American culture, and that raises the prices. Some consoles have reached the point where they're beginning to fail in notable numbers, and those need replacing.

 

I don't get in on Craigslist (I'm not even entirely clear on what it is), but I assume it has a culture similar to Ebay. If the data and search functions are roughly equivalent, the posters may learn what similar items bring. Otherwise, they just come up with something. And there's always Junk Shop People. I have learned in my many years in junk shops and flea markets just what junk shop people are like and how to deal with them. They're very interesting folks. Many of them have bizarrely inflated ideas of what one item may be worth, while being totally unaware of the gem they are selling cheaply. I mean, an Atari 2600 E.T. (vintage 1970's, major movie license tie-in cross-collectible) has GOT to be worth more than Panzer Dragoon Saga (not even that old, and who's heard of it?!). So I'd imagine Craigslist to be a sort of mix between those people and ebay sellers, who I feel are actually fairly shrewd, though I'm not necessarily implying that they've earned that status through their own merit in all cases.

 

When I do ebay, I just do the BIN's anyway. I don't usually have time to be at my computer at the exact moment that something happens, and I dislike getting my hopes up and losing an item. The best policy with ebay excluding BIN's is of course to place tons of decently lowball bids, then go to sleep. 75%-95% of them will fail, and the others you will win at low prices. Sometimes you end up with two or three of something accidentally, but if you paid a third of what it usually goes for, you're still good. This also works with job applications, but does not work in dating.

 

Another thing to consider is the fun! Ebay can be kinda fun, but it's hardly as neat as working the wild. I'd rather tell people about my 10$ boxed Chrono Trigger or 2$ Akanoid VAUS controller than how I finally shelled out 60$ for something I'd wanted for a while. Of course, Ain't no way I'll find Fami games here, they're hard enough to find online (some of them) and I hear they're not that plentiful in the wild in Japan either anymore. So of course, imports, can't help it. Fami games seem to have low supply AND low demand. I'll see the same one float around for a while before bidding on it, and prices fluctuate more often. The low demand means sometimes you CAN get a desirable title for a much lower price than usual. Another great deal is when you find miscategorized items. Seller doesn't know the difference between Atari and CV (A fair enough mistake for someone not that up on older games, no?), and you can get some decent stuff that way. There's one more way to save on ebay - if you're the type of collector that I am, you'll happily pay as little as half-typical-value for an item with a torn label or some such drawback. I've done this more than a few times on ebay and often the item is in much nicer shape than they described. It's better for them to overstate how bad it is and not risk a customer complaint. Sometimes the item is not even damaged at all, and I have no idea why they said it was. I got the D&D genesis game this way, supposedly labeless, well, it a very nice label. I also got the harvest moon SNES game, which typically went for fifty at the time, for 20 - it had numbers melted into the back of the cart, some rental place's solution to how easy those silver VOID VOID VOID labels were to remove. I barely noticed them.

 

Our marketplace here is pretty great. Since this is the most Atari-savvy place on the web, nobody is ever going to risk the derision that would ensue when they tried to pawn off their Combies and E.T.'s as rare, and prices on random middle-era consoles like the GEN or NES seem consistently lower than Ebay (and consistent in general). I guess in general you might just say that the internet's ubiquitousness inevitably leads to a revaluing of antiques and collectibles, and that all items, even what we consider utter garbage now, will eventually become antiques. Time to start buying up those n64 wrestling titles! You first! CD based media, being more fragile, will be more collectible. All that PS1 garbage will someday have some small value, and the gems will be just awful in prices. I predict ridiculous prices for ps1/Sat/DC/ps2 games, and in fairly short order. Hell, I guess even Wii games will increase in value sooner or later. The question to ask is "Which game is hard to find now, maybe not popular, but soon to be regarded as a "hidden gem"?" I vote Baroque! Probably not, though. The coming advent of all-digital-download gaming (2-5 generations, I'm predicting exactly 3) does away with any collection aspect (unless the files are somehow transferable, but impossible to copy, and timestamped or edition-marked in some indelible way. That's pretty sick.) Ironically, any items designed to be collectible or widely perceived to be collectible will not be. I should dump my he-man toys pretty soon, now that I think of it. Wonder what's up in that attic?

 

One useful comparison I like to make is original price vs. current market value. It'll be a long time before some games are ever worth more than they cost when they came out. A rare(ish) SNES/GEN title might bright 20-30 bucks, and that could be half of it's original value! So even if you'd bought them new with plans to sell, you're losing money, not even counting inflation. Buying games new is very foolish, in my opinion. I am usually only foolish when it comes to Zelda titles. I subscribe to the two-year-delay plan. If you buy everything used, two years after it comes out, it's typically very cheap. You are experiencing the same rate of advancement as the other consumers are, just offset by a certain amount. You will still be wowed by new graphics (you must studiously avoid all commercial advertisements and social contact of any kind) and enthused about new, thrilling titles.

 

And since I typed so RIDICULOUSLY MUCH just now (this is a huge post), I'm just going to babble randomly for a bit. Let's do like a stream-of-consciousness thing starting with the random idea of a horse. That makes me think of the play Equus by E.E. Cummings, which makes me think of two things: horse-rippers, who are/were a strange breed of criminals who would injure the genitals of male horses in some kind of ritual sexual abuse (in the UK I believe) and also the balloon man whistles far and wee poem. Substituting Wii, we realize that a balloon and whistle peripheral for the Wii would be just as stupid as most Wii peripherals, but not necessarily more stupid. Peripheral is an interesting word, and the Jane's Addiction singer Perry Farrell actually created his stage name as a soundalike (I do not know his real name). Vincent Furnier, of course, is Alice Cooper. I enjoyed Alice's appearance on Space-Ghost-Coast-To-Coast, during a 'tribute to women' episode. Space Ghost was quite frustrated to discover that Alice was not, in fact, a woman. While Alice may be one of the better famous rock musicians to adopt a pseudonym, there are plenty of great ones out there, especially in punk, metal and hip-hop. Perhaps the greatest musical pseudonym of all time is "Englebert Humperdinck", who I believe was a real person in some far-fled dark age. That name jumps us to prince humperdink, the malicious would-be ruler of the land of Florin in the movie/book "the princess bride". Florin, and its rival Guilder, are of course currency. I did not believe for some time that Rupees were an actual currency (they're used in India), but instead that they were from Legend of Zelda games exclusively. My wife forcefully disabused me of this notion. Recently on the television series "Pawn Stars", a gentleman attempted to sell a fused chunk of sunken treasure consisting of many silver Rupee coins. He asked 700,000 and was offered 200,000. He declined. The Rupees were brought to the surface by none other than my favorite author of all time, Arthur C. Clarke. An avid diver and amateur oceanographer as well as a brilliant writer of both science fact and fiction, Mr. Clarke died several years ago. His greatest invention is so integral to the way of life on earth now that it's almost forgotten and taken for granted - he invented nothing less than the concept of the communications satellite. This technology is the basis for large parts of our civilian and government communication networks. I collect Clarke paperbacks, happily tossing a dollar down for an edition or cover I don't have yet. I think it's the collection my wife would most like to get rid of, though she's very lovely and tolerant. She is not bothered by my game collection, especially since it's so well-ordered and my spending is restrained. My wife lived in Arkansas as a child, and was kidnapped by her mother during a custody dispute. Her father, who was abusive in a number of ways, eventually found her and her mother, who'd been assisted into the underground by a network of volunteers who existed for that purpose, and re-kidnapped her. Though he had the legal right to her custody, it was this event that hurt her, rather than the original escape. One of the women involved in this network, Faye Yager, is known to be somewhat of a nut. My wife remembers being questioned intensely by this woman and coached to say certain things involving satanic ritual abuse, which did not take place. She was asked if she had ever been forced to drink blood or interact with animals in any way. This was baffling to her at the time, as she was very young. Very young girls were recently observed performing a very sexualized dance to Beyonce's "Single Ladies", causing a medium-sized media firestorm. After having viewed the video, I personally agree that the costumes, moves and lyrical content of the song are inapropriate for that age group. The song, I don't think is that bad. It has an eerie quality to it that seems to be popular in hip-pop right now, with it's scissor-like background noises and the odd delivery of such lines as "like a ghost I'll be gone". "Disturbia" by Rihanna is another example of this trend. Which I generally have little interest in celebrities, pop music, hip-hop or R+B, despite some notable exceptions, I find Rihanna fairly interesting. As I've previously stated publicly for all the world of the internet to hear, in some alternate timestream not too divergent from this one, I could totally have a huge crush on her.

Impressive! That's almost like my Grandfather's stories that never go anywhere. ;)

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Doesn't really bother me - I've probably bought 2 or 3 things recently as BINs.

 

If the price is unreasonable, then it probably won't sell. Also, I believe that sellers can reduce the price without restarting the auction.

 

As an example, I picked up a 7800 for $20. Even though it came with nothing, they still normally fetch at least $25 and sometimes $40+ for a bare system here.

Another one, although gone now and I might have grabbed it if the postage wasn't so high - someone had a 520ST original+disk drive initially for 60 bucks then reduced it to about $45.

 

There's also the "Buy Now or Best offer" which IMO is a pretty good way to run an auction.

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BINs don't bother me... if they're ridiculous, they don't get bought. As someone said, look at completed auctions and you'll find out what the actual value of things is. And I think eBay is a pretty good way of determining the "retail price" of items that are no longer actually in stores, as it's essentially a perfect market environment -- almost everything is available, and people pay what they're willing to pay for those items. (Note that when I say "perfect" I mean as an economy, not that eBay itself is perfect -- clearly its policies have become increasingly stupid over time.)

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eBay has ruined eBay: with their current auction fee model, I'm losing almost 10% on each sale. Granted, it maxes out at $50, but $50 is $50. If they hadn't jacked up their fees I doubt people would have jacked up their prices as much.

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eBay has ruined eBay: with their current auction fee model, I'm losing almost 10% on each sale. Granted, it maxes out at $50, but $50 is $50. If they hadn't jacked up their fees I doubt people would have jacked up their prices as much.

 

And if members hadn't been taking advantage of things with scams, like inflated shipping (fee avoidance), side deals, shill bedding etc etc etc...ebay wouldn't have jacked their fees so much.

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eBay is all about patience, it always has been. What's different now is that the company is taking a bigger chunk of sellers' earnings, and trying to control shipping as much as possible. Most sellers with any sense are saying "Well, if I can't sell something at a huge profit, it's not worth the hassle." whereas 10 years ago, they'd be happy just to make $2.37, because that $2.37 was easy money.

 

It's still the place I go when I need something I know I can't get easily... but I don't cruise it for fun like I used to.

I think that's the bigger issue in brief.

 

Some complain about being stuck with Pay Pal, but if it wasn't for some of the other stuff (notably the higher margin ebay charges on top of the listing costs) it really would be almost a non-issue. (and doing so would definitely simplify tings on ebay's side and obviously make it much easier to moderate between buyers and sellers -and guarantee buyer protection, etc)

 

Of course, some sellers skate some of that by setting the price low ans S&H high. ;) (not sure if Ebay ever scrutinizes that though)

 

 

 

One of my biggest peeves of the recent changes is how limited the completed listings are: it used to go back a LONG time, making it easy to see how prices were going in the modestly long term and what good prices to look for as a buyer or seller: and also what tags/titles/descriptions got the most interest and what kinds of questions buyers asked. (do they even have public Q&A anymore?)

 

I can see how the increased amount of listings would limit such, but one of the biggest problem there is that when you limit the completed listings purely by date, you lose most or all older listings for items only appearing sparingly, or ones that only sell sparingly. (Say Crusader of Centy -BIN is rediculously high and rarely sell as such, but the ones that do go to auction reasonably may be much more reasonable -like $12-20 rather than 30-50 or higher)

Edited by kool kitty89

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Impressive! That's almost like my Grandfather's stories that never go anywhere. ;)

 

 

One trick is to tell 'em stories that don't go anywhere - like the time I caught the ferry over to Shelbyville. I needed a new heel for my shoe, so, I decided to go to Morganville, which is what they called Shelbyville in those days. So I tied an onion to my belt, which was the style at the time. Now, to take the ferry cost a nickel, and in those days, nickels had pictures of bumblebees on 'em. Give me five bees for a quarter, you'd say. Now where were we? Oh yeah: the important thing was I had an onion on my belt, which was the style at the time. They didn't have white onions because of the war. The only thing you could get was those big yellow ones...

 

 

 

 

Grandpa-Abe-Simpson.jpg

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I don't think BIN has hurt anything. Sure there are some obscene prices sometimes. But on the other hand, there's some bargains to be had, just remember, in stock, Ebay sorts by timeleft, goto youre settings and sort by price, and you can easily find deals.

 

BIN is sometimes the way to go when you want something but don't want to wait for he rare instances it pops up, or mess with price jacking through shipping.

 

Other than that, there's still the auction side of things.

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Yeah, I actually find this feature handy if the price is right. If it's not, well, I just let the item sail on by.

 

Good eBay auctions exist... my thirty dollar, twelve megapixel camera is proof enough of that.

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Is anyone else now fed up with ebay?

 

It's no longer an auction site - it's full of "Buy it now" items which do not represent good value for money for the buyers.

 

The retro computing and gaming catagories seem to have suffered more than most with greedy sellers often charging 4 times more for a machine or game than they are worth.

 

Has anyone else noticed this?

 

sorry but I still love ebay alot of stuff I can only find on ebay and as a seller and buyer (mostly the latter which is why I'm broke) should be able to charge what they like

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If it's a popular item but also a plentiful one, the BIN's end up almost identical to the auction price, for the obvious reason that most buyers are smart enough to say "hey, forget this auction if it goes above the BIN for another one". So it kinda keeps a cap on prices in a way as well. I've noticed this with a particular Magic:the gathering card, "Force of Will", which is uncommon, and worth about 40-50. I thought "well, maybe the auctions go for lower than the BINs", since that's way out of my price range for something small like a card. I watched plenty of them for a while and the price was almost perfectly even across the board - no bargains. If the price was low, it always had a reason like more wear on the item, etc.

 

Some retrogame items are in that category: Plentiful, but desirable. There's also way more variation, since things are sold as lots often. I think you can still get a great deal on ebay if you are buying some of the more rare items - the seller does not typically have many other auctions to compare to and may post his or hers at a price significantly below (or above!) value. I think we're still experiencing fallout from the Air Raid sale, and I also think that the 2600 is somewhat of a pop culture fad right now. I mean, you can buy Atari shirts at Wal-Mart. That didn't happen five years ago, in fact, it would have been ludicrous. The exposure is simply jacking the prices on 2600 and related goods, and sellers are following suit with unrelated items, even though they're probably not going to have that same comeback. Gaming in general is more and more important to American culture, and that raises the prices. Some consoles have reached the point where they're beginning to fail in notable numbers, and those need replacing.

 

I don't get in on Craigslist (I'm not even entirely clear on what it is), but I assume it has a culture similar to Ebay. If the data and search functions are roughly equivalent, the posters may learn what similar items bring. Otherwise, they just come up with something. And there's always Junk Shop People. I have learned in my many years in junk shops and flea markets just what junk shop people are like and how to deal with them. They're very interesting folks. Many of them have bizarrely inflated ideas of what one item may be worth, while being totally unaware of the gem they are selling cheaply. I mean, an Atari 2600 E.T. (vintage 1970's, major movie license tie-in cross-collectible) has GOT to be worth more than Panzer Dragoon Saga (not even that old, and who's heard of it?!). So I'd imagine Craigslist to be a sort of mix between those people and ebay sellers, who I feel are actually fairly shrewd, though I'm not necessarily implying that they've earned that status through their own merit in all cases.

 

When I do ebay, I just do the BIN's anyway. I don't usually have time to be at my computer at the exact moment that something happens, and I dislike getting my hopes up and losing an item. The best policy with ebay excluding BIN's is of course to place tons of decently lowball bids, then go to sleep. 75%-95% of them will fail, and the others you will win at low prices. Sometimes you end up with two or three of something accidentally, but if you paid a third of what it usually goes for, you're still good. This also works with job applications, but does not work in dating.

 

Another thing to consider is the fun! Ebay can be kinda fun, but it's hardly as neat as working the wild. I'd rather tell people about my 10$ boxed Chrono Trigger or 2$ Akanoid VAUS controller than how I finally shelled out 60$ for something I'd wanted for a while. Of course, Ain't no way I'll find Fami games here, they're hard enough to find online (some of them) and I hear they're not that plentiful in the wild in Japan either anymore. So of course, imports, can't help it. Fami games seem to have low supply AND low demand. I'll see the same one float around for a while before bidding on it, and prices fluctuate more often. The low demand means sometimes you CAN get a desirable title for a much lower price than usual. Another great deal is when you find miscategorized items. Seller doesn't know the difference between Atari and CV (A fair enough mistake for someone not that up on older games, no?), and you can get some decent stuff that way. There's one more way to save on ebay - if you're the type of collector that I am, you'll happily pay as little as half-typical-value for an item with a torn label or some such drawback. I've done this more than a few times on ebay and often the item is in much nicer shape than they described. It's better for them to overstate how bad it is and not risk a customer complaint. Sometimes the item is not even damaged at all, and I have no idea why they said it was. I got the D&D genesis game this way, supposedly labeless, well, it a very nice label. I also got the harvest moon SNES game, which typically went for fifty at the time, for 20 - it had numbers melted into the back of the cart, some rental place's solution to how easy those silver VOID VOID VOID labels were to remove. I barely noticed them.

 

Our marketplace here is pretty great. Since this is the most Atari-savvy place on the web, nobody is ever going to risk the derision that would ensue when they tried to pawn off their Combies and E.T.'s as rare, and prices on random middle-era consoles like the GEN or NES seem consistently lower than Ebay (and consistent in general). I guess in general you might just say that the internet's ubiquitousness inevitably leads to a revaluing of antiques and collectibles, and that all items, even what we consider utter garbage now, will eventually become antiques. Time to start buying up those n64 wrestling titles! You first! CD based media, being more fragile, will be more collectible. All that PS1 garbage will someday have some small value, and the gems will be just awful in prices. I predict ridiculous prices for ps1/Sat/DC/ps2 games, and in fairly short order. Hell, I guess even Wii games will increase in value sooner or later. The question to ask is "Which game is hard to find now, maybe not popular, but soon to be regarded as a "hidden gem"?" I vote Baroque! Probably not, though. The coming advent of all-digital-download gaming (2-5 generations, I'm predicting exactly 3) does away with any collection aspect (unless the files are somehow transferable, but impossible to copy, and timestamped or edition-marked in some indelible way. That's pretty sick.) Ironically, any items designed to be collectible or widely perceived to be collectible will not be. I should dump my he-man toys pretty soon, now that I think of it. Wonder what's up in that attic?

 

One useful comparison I like to make is original price vs. current market value. It'll be a long time before some games are ever worth more than they cost when they came out. A rare(ish) SNES/GEN title might bright 20-30 bucks, and that could be half of it's original value! So even if you'd bought them new with plans to sell, you're losing money, not even counting inflation. Buying games new is very foolish, in my opinion. I am usually only foolish when it comes to Zelda titles. I subscribe to the two-year-delay plan. If you buy everything used, two years after it comes out, it's typically very cheap. You are experiencing the same rate of advancement as the other consumers are, just offset by a certain amount. You will still be wowed by new graphics (you must studiously avoid all commercial advertisements and social contact of any kind) and enthused about new, thrilling titles.

 

And since I typed so RIDICULOUSLY MUCH just now (this is a huge post), I'm just going to babble randomly for a bit. Let's do like a stream-of-consciousness thing starting with the random idea of a horse. That makes me think of the play Equus by E.E. Cummings, which makes me think of two things: horse-rippers, who are/were a strange breed of criminals who would injure the genitals of male horses in some kind of ritual sexual abuse (in the UK I believe) and also the balloon man whistles far and wee poem. Substituting Wii, we realize that a balloon and whistle peripheral for the Wii would be just as stupid as most Wii peripherals, but not necessarily more stupid. Peripheral is an interesting word, and the Jane's Addiction singer Perry Farrell actually created his stage name as a soundalike (I do not know his real name). Vincent Furnier, of course, is Alice Cooper. I enjoyed Alice's appearance on Space-Ghost-Coast-To-Coast, during a 'tribute to women' episode. Space Ghost was quite frustrated to discover that Alice was not, in fact, a woman. While Alice may be one of the better famous rock musicians to adopt a pseudonym, there are plenty of great ones out there, especially in punk, metal and hip-hop. Perhaps the greatest musical pseudonym of all time is "Englebert Humperdinck", who I believe was a real person in some far-fled dark age. That name jumps us to prince humperdink, the malicious would-be ruler of the land of Florin in the movie/book "the princess bride". Florin, and its rival Guilder, are of course currency. I did not believe for some time that Rupees were an actual currency (they're used in India), but instead that they were from Legend of Zelda games exclusively. My wife forcefully disabused me of this notion. Recently on the television series "Pawn Stars", a gentleman attempted to sell a fused chunk of sunken treasure consisting of many silver Rupee coins. He asked 700,000 and was offered 200,000. He declined. The Rupees were brought to the surface by none other than my favorite author of all time, Arthur C. Clarke. An avid diver and amateur oceanographer as well as a brilliant writer of both science fact and fiction, Mr. Clarke died several years ago. His greatest invention is so integral to the way of life on earth now that it's almost forgotten and taken for granted - he invented nothing less than the concept of the communications satellite. This technology is the basis for large parts of our civilian and government communication networks. I collect Clarke paperbacks, happily tossing a dollar down for an edition or cover I don't have yet. I think it's the collection my wife would most like to get rid of, though she's very lovely and tolerant. She is not bothered by my game collection, especially since it's so well-ordered and my spending is restrained. My wife lived in Arkansas as a child, and was kidnapped by her mother during a custody dispute. Her father, who was abusive in a number of ways, eventually found her and her mother, who'd been assisted into the underground by a network of volunteers who existed for that purpose, and re-kidnapped her. Though he had the legal right to her custody, it was this event that hurt her, rather than the original escape. One of the women involved in this network, Faye Yager, is known to be somewhat of a nut. My wife remembers being questioned intensely by this woman and coached to say certain things involving satanic ritual abuse, which did not take place. She was asked if she had ever been forced to drink blood or interact with animals in any way. This was baffling to her at the time, as she was very young. Very young girls were recently observed performing a very sexualized dance to Beyonce's "Single Ladies", causing a medium-sized media firestorm. After having viewed the video, I personally agree that the costumes, moves and lyrical content of the song are inapropriate for that age group. The song, I don't think is that bad. It has an eerie quality to it that seems to be popular in hip-pop right now, with it's scissor-like background noises and the odd delivery of such lines as "like a ghost I'll be gone". "Disturbia" by Rihanna is another example of this trend. Which I generally have little interest in celebrities, pop music, hip-hop or R+B, despite some notable exceptions, I find Rihanna fairly interesting. As I've previously stated publicly for all the world of the internet to hear, in some alternate timestream not too divergent from this one, I could totally have a huge crush on her.

 

This is so cool, it's like he's on SOMETHING!

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ahh, the old ebay debate.

 

It is simple, something is offered for sale, and somebody buys it. I don't see the problem. Trade and barter like this has been going on for thousands of years.

 

If something is too high priced, it will not sell.

 

Something is 'worth' only what someone will pay.

 

I see no room for complaint.

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