Wednesday, December 07, 2005

eBay bidding, shygost & more

Ideas for helping you find and win that eBay auction

There's a lot of Go stuff on eBay these days and, to date, I've bought two sets and two out-of-print book at auction. You can have a list of your usual eBay search mailed to you whenever new auctions are added. My preferred search string for title and contents (which filters-out items that are irrelevant to me) is:
("go game", "game of go") -pi -playstation -psp -gameboy -gba -reversi -nintendo -parker -payday -football -xbox -dvd -zatchbell -vroom -antique -skin -popcap -leather -ncaa -tibet* -phoenix -baseball
Of course, if you're just looking for the boards from Yellow Mountain Imports, this shorter string works for a title search:
go board (kaya, bamboo)
The winning bids at auctions reflect what the value of the product is to the bidder and not necessarily what the product is worth. Even a high (but reasonable) bid can be beaten if someone wants the product more than you do and is willing to pay a premium to get it.

I've been bidding on eBay since 1999 and here are some ideas that have helped me:
  • First and foremost, know what your maximum bid is and do not exceed it. Know when to walk away from an auction saying, "That's not what I'm willing to pay for it!"
  • Always check the feedback and rating of your seller. You want to see a generally good track record of buyer satisfaction.
  • Look carefully at the ending date and time for an auction. Auctions which end on weekday afternoons and evenings get a lot of activity before the close. Auctions which end late in the night or on Saturday evenings seem to get less activity.
  • If possible, bid at the last minute. This tactic is called sniping and, this way, you minimize telegraphing your highest bid. This is important if a similar item might come up for auction again.
  • Sniping also protects you from the risk of shill bidders; folks who might be in cahoots with the seller and who intentionally bid-up the price. This is very rare but I have heard of it.
  • There are for-fee services that will snipe for you automatically (within seconds of the time the auction closes) and I personally prefer eSnipe. eSnipe does not charge me unless I actually win an auction. You can also cancel your snipe at no charge as long as the auction has not ended.

shygost's Teaching Game

Those walls cost me plenty and the upper right is
littered with dead Black stones.

I've sat-in on a few of shygost's public teaching games in the LGD room (aka Lance's Go Dojo) on Kiseido Go Server. My understanding is that tetris (8k), GottaGo (19k) and nannyogg (-) take lessons from shygost. He covers a lot of ideas when using audio and he encourages a lot of questions.

After a friendly match with Jaydee (18k), shygost invited me for (Gulp!) an even-komi teaching game. The lesson was very helpful but it's also obvious to me that I have quite a way to go to understanding good shape, making healthy groups, and knowing when a move becomes urgent. In the post-game review, shygost pointed out to me where I had good ideas and where I missed critical and urgent moves.

shygost lives about 30 minutes southwest of my location so I might get to meet him at a SF Bay Area Go event someday. He's close to where Mingjiu Jiang's (7p) school is located.

Thanks again, shygost, for the teaching game!

In Other News

My goban from Yellow Mountain Imports is scheduled to arrive today, Wednesday, via FedEx. I may be doing my product review earlier than anticipated.

I've been taking advantage of ChiyoChan's absence to do more of my Christmas shopping and wrapping for her and ChiyoMama. I can't mention any more because I know that ChiyoChan reads this blog once in a while.

I've been feeling uneasy since ChiyoChan left for camp but not because that I'm overly worried about her. It's just that the house is now too quiet and it gives me an idea of how things will be eight years from now when she's grown-up and gone to college. ChiyoMama feels the same way but it affects me more because I telecommute from home.


At 4:38 PM, December 07, 2005, Anonymous Mark (a.k.a. Remillard) said...


Just as far as I know, the only one of those you listed who formally take lessons from shygost is GottaGo. There are others in the room who DO take lessons, but honestly the names aren't coming to me at the moment.

The teaching games are a lot of fun though. You can find a lot of teaching games in his room and with any luck the reviews will be consonant with his List ideas. (Well at least I try to make my reviews consonant with the List... not everyone else has come from the same homogenous background as me though.)

Anyhow, looks like it was a fun game. I came in on the tail of it... or the middle. Can't remember precisely.

At 7:20 PM, December 07, 2005, Blogger thrashor said...

I liked your eBay tips. Does eBay provide RSS feeds of search results (I think you can see where I am going with this)?


At 7:27 PM, December 07, 2005, Blogger ChiyoDad said...

Thanks for the comments remillard and thrashor!

Hmm. A VERY interesting idea, thrashor. Unfortunately, I haven't seen anything on eBay that suggests it could automatically generate a RSS feed for its searches.

An auto-listing of Go equipment auctions is something that the community would love to have. Perhaps someone might know if there's a way of creating it outside of eBay?

At 7:31 PM, December 07, 2005, Blogger ChiyoDad said...

thrashor! Try experimenting with this site!

At 8:50 AM, December 08, 2005, Blogger thrashor said...

This looks very promising indeed...

At 9:02 AM, December 08, 2005, Blogger ChiyoDad said...

My search text should be modified to be more inclusive. You may want to remove the "-dvd" (which I used to eliminate HNG DVDs) and the "-tibet*" which I had used to eliminate Tibetan sets. I'm sure that you'll find other areas where you can tweak it.

Good luck! I think Go Aggregator is a great idea!

At 10:05 AM, December 08, 2005, Anonymous Mark (a.k.a. Remillard) said...

The custom eBay search worked pretty well. I added -"on the go" and -murder as there were some specific things coming up that weren't Go related. The murder one might be a little specialized, but "on the go" might occur for almost any travel game, so might be a good all around exclusion.


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