31 January 2011

Out. Of. Control.

I now own three perfectly good motorcycles.
I need another bike about as much as New York City needs snow.
So I gotta quit looking at bikes on EBay.

But with the near certainty of gasoline prices increasing dramatically I have been cruising there watching the price of bikes in general. I still think it's very likely that folks will be looking for ways to save on fuel prices, and many will consider buying a motorcycle rather than an econobox as a fun way to save on gas.
I'm just lookin'. There's no harm in lookin', right?
And then I saw this BMW...
A 1980 with only 30,000 miles. Always garaged. Clean as a pin. The owner listed his preventive maintenance program along with new stuff he had added to the bike. He's owned it ten years and loves it, but due to a financial setback he has to sell it. When I first took notice the bidding was at $2500. I showed it to Sara Jean...
"Honey, look at this beautiful thing! I think it's worth close to twice that price and it's only *** miles away, so we could go get it in a day."
Her response was instantaneous and at about 120 decibels...
"Are you KIDDING? A fourth motorcycle? The house needs a new roof. There are a ton of other things we actually need! "

I let that sink in for a few minutes. Of course she's right. But I KNOW this bike is worth much more than the present bid!
I thought about it some more.
The kicker was the notation "Reserve not met" beneath the present bid.
What would it hurt to bid the minimum increase just to see if I could find the reserve requirement, right? So I bid $50 over the present bid, and was immediately informed I had been overbid by someone else.
Well, it can't hurt to bid again and see if I'm overbid again, right? Right?!!
"You are the highest bidder!" read the response. "But you may be overbid. Would you care to increase your maximum bid?"

The auction would end in 18 hours. Uh - oh. What now?
I went to sleep last night wondering how I would explain myself to my loving, understanding bride.
I woke this morning and checked again...
I was STILL the high bidder.
Oh well. All I can hope for is that someone else will recognize what a wonderful deal this bike is and bid the price up shortly before the auction ends, (as often happens).

I was away from the internet most of the day and the auction occupied a little corner of my mind that entire time. When I finally was able to get online and check there was a note in my email box...
"You've been overbid".
And when I went to EBay to check the final sale price my suspicions were confirmed:
Sale price- $4100.
I would NOT have paid that for the bike. But if I could have purchased it for something in the vicinity of $3,000-$3,500, there was money to have been made in a few months.

Still, I want to keep peace in my marriage.
I'm gonna avoid the motorcycle section at EBay for a while.


Rita said...

Bob has learned the trick of a true Ebay auction is within MINUTES of the final bid. And as soon as the bidding is over, you send an email to the seller to ask about the item.

Alot of selling goes on long after the auction is over, especially is the reserve is not met.

It's all a game.

But I agree with Sara Jean, ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.

Capt. Schmoe said...

Never bid on something that you want to buy on E-Bay with more than one minute on the clock.

If you do, one of two things will happen:
A. You will get out bid and not win the auction.

B. You get into a bidding war, the price will go up and you will spend more than necessary.

I usually wait until there is less than 30 seconds on the clock, then submit my absolute max bid. If my bid didn't meet the minimum, then it was overpriced for me.

It usually works for me and I have bought quite a bit of stuff on E-Bay.

Good luck, too bad about that R-?? it looked like a clean bike.

Greybeard said...

It was an R100S Cp'n S, and it was set up almost exactly as I would build one for myself.
Damned tempting.
And the worst that could really have happened here?
I'd have ended up with a beaut of a bike and a smile on my face, and I would have tapdanced around my wife until she also was smiling.
True, dat.

cj said...

GB -

Next time you're tempted to surf the motorcycles on Ebay, ask yourself this question:

Which do I need more, another bike or my wife?

Then go play somewhere else.

It was a beautiful bike, though.


Old NFO said...

LOL- "Almost" got yourself in a bind, didn't ya... I gave up on ebay a long time ago... :-)

cary said...

Aw, go fix the rook and then get back on the ebay bike section ... unless there's something else that needs fixing on YOUR house!



Bloviating Zeppelin said...

I had a gorgeous 1983 BMW R100RT which, regrettably, I had to sell a short time later after my divorce. The bike would shake so much when I first started it up that I got to yelling "CONTACT" when I'd thumb the starter, like a WWI biplane.

Not particularly fast but beautifully-assembled, quirky, unique (at the time), splendid paint, and not one problem with it.

Older BMWs are a lotta fun.