What Idiot Would Get Into a Bidding War For A Unit Crest


Me.

A week ago one of my pre-configured eBay searches triggered on an offering for a unit crest for the Army Map Service.

I see Army Map Service shoulder patches come up for auction now and then but I never saw a unit crest hit the auction site. This guy was offering just one (not the pair), but his opening bid was low – $2.50. So over the weekend I put in a top bid of $6.00 and figured surely, SURELY, nobody else in the eBay world would have an interest in something so esoteric. For days I was the only bidder and I figured I had the auction sewn up.

Then yesterday I get a notice from eBay that I had been outbid. Really? Someone had put in a series of bids, obviously to find out where my high bid stood. Well, they found my top price and outbid me at $6.50.

The challenge was on!. I bid $8.00 just to see where his high bid was, and found myself the top bidder again. Within a few minutes he came back and outbid me at $8.50. I went in and outbid him at $10.00 (by now you’re saying, ten bucks for a lousy unit crest?!). He shot back and outbid me at $10.50 (the other guy may have been persistent, but he was cheap). I went in and out bid him at $12.00. By now it wasn’t about the price. It was this guy trying to steal MY unit crest out from under me. Don’t laugh, eBay has made millions leveraging this weakness in the human psyche.

The other guy comes back and out bids me at $12.50. I figure it’s time to execute the nuclear option. I go in and place a top bid of $20.00. He comes back in and inches his bids up fifty cents at at time looking for my upper limit, but he reaches his at the $16.50 point.

Auction ends. I’m the proud owner of a $2.50 unit crest that cost me $16.50 (plus shipping).

AMS Unit Crest

But dammit, I WON!<

– Brian

2 thoughts on “What Idiot Would Get Into a Bidding War For A Unit Crest

  1. Brian,

    You’d likely have saved many bucks, had you simply watched the auction and in the last 4 seconds bid 2X the visible bid…called “sniping” it avoids exactly the phenomena you described….and often gets the prize cheap(er)!

  2. I’ve done that with old camp stoves sometimes. Ebay is great for producing the exact response you describe. I almost did that with an old Brunton Pocket Transit (Ser # 11xxx), but I just decided to set my max price and let the other bidder have it once I was outbid. Especially, because I don’t know what they’re worth in the first place and I’m satisfied with the 1980’s M2 and the Kalart M2 I already own. I collect enough stuff already!

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