I dropped a hint about this last week but had to wait for the package to arrive in my mailbox before I could tell you the whole story.
It still gives me a thrill.
A few weeks back I wrote a series of posts about my egg cup collection. And in one of the posts, I mentioned that my Doc egg cup, part of a Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs series of egg cups that were made in 1937, has the most monetary value of any of the egg cups. Several years ago, the entire set (a rare find) could go for anywhere from $1000 – $2000. Nowadays, the individual egg cups routinely go for about $80 – $100, with $80 being closer to the norm.
Doc, the one I own, was an eBay win several years ago. I got him from someone in Australia. I’m not sure what I paid, but it was a flukey win. Maybe because the cup lived in Australia, maybe because of the timing, but I think I got him for around $40, which was a steal.
In the years since, I check out the Disney listings on eBay about once or twice a year. Very rarely is a dwarf egg cup available. Even more rarely (I can think of only once) is Snow White available. This year I took a gander when I was doing all the egg cup posts and there was a listing for the entire set – $699.
No can do.
There was also a listing for a Dopey egg cup. It was listed as Buy Now and the price was $95.00. I briefly fantasized about having enough cash to buy it, but I don’t. I also thought it was priced a bit high. There was an option to make an offer, and again, I thought about…maybe $80? But something made me hold off, most likely the reality of our budget, and I clicked on Watch Item instead. Eventually, the auction/buy now closed.
A few days later I received an email saying that the item had been re-listed. I clicked on over and the owner had decided to go the auction route and the starting bid was $19.50, which seemed surprisingly low.
What the heck, I said to myself, why not place a bid? So I did. My bid was for somewhere in the $30 range. For a couple of days I was the only bidder, which in and of itself I found shocking. Then one day I checked in and found another bidder had entered the auction. The initial bid of $19.50 had been changed to $24.50. I was still the winning bidder. I clicked over to the other bidder’s history and saw that he dealt in a lot of memorabilia, so I was immediately concerned that he would eventually outbid me.
A couple of more days went by. No more bids.
Now, I haven’t bid on anything on eBay in a long time, but in the days when I routinely bid there, there was a practice called Sniping, a paid-for, automated form of bidding that would put in a very, very last minute bid. If you were bidding by hand on your computer, watching for the auction to end, it was almost impossible to get another bid in after a sniping bid had been entered. It was just too close to the end of the auction. I lost out on many items that way and it always infuriated me because it seemed like cheating. It also took a lot of the fun out of it for me. Sniping still happens. So I was wary of a last minute sniping bid on the egg cup.
The final day of the auction came – last Friday. It was to close at 6:10 pm. I had a work commitment in the middle of the day which kept me busy. What I was hoping for was this scenario: I could quietly sit with my laptop around 6:00 – undisturbed by dog or man – and be ready to up my bid if necessary. However, I set a limit which was not much more than my original bid.
Don had no idea any of this was going on, of course. What he didn’t know couldn’t hurt him, right?
6:00. I click over to the auction. The clock is live, counting down the minutes. No new bid. At this point, I am sure that the other bidder is going to come through with a last minute bid. He’s just biding his time.
6:05. The clock continues to tick. No new bids.
Surely he’s going to snipe at the last minute.
My body starts to tense. I open up new tabs on my browser and look at other sites/blogs to keep me from completely obsessing. I click back to the site about every 30 seconds.
6:07. I up my bid – just to give me an edge if someone comes in at the last minute.
6:09. I consider raising the bid even more but I stop myself. It’s all too easy to go crazy in an auction and I’m not going to do it.
The seconds tick down. The muscles in my body are tense. Adrenalin is shooting through my body. Don is in the kitchen starting dinner and has no idea what’s going on. I’m praying he doesn’t want to start some sort of conversation because I’m afraid I’ll have to cut him off with a terse “I can’t talk right now.” Five words eat up seconds on the clock.
10 seconds left. No bid.
5 seconds left. No bid.
I just know I’m going to see a new bid in the last 5 seconds.
The clock stops.
No other bid.
Am I seeing things? I refresh the page.
I got it for $24.50. That’s $70 less than the original asking price.
Oh my heavens.
As I try to control the out-of-control adrenalin surge, I refresh the page and see the magic words, “You won.”
I still don’t trust it and wait for an email. It comes a few seconds later.
Then I tell Don.
Oh man, that was fun! And rare. And I know how lucky I was.
Meet Dopey. He’s pretty adorable, isn’t he?
You know my dream is to collect them all. That may be impossible as I see them all too rarely and often they are sold as a set which is way too much money for me to spend.
But you never know.
This makes me smile.
Welcome, little Dopey. You are so stinking cute.