My wife and I are taking the opportunity of shifting house to do a bit of a cleaning, (or junk ridding session), of the house. We have started the process some months ago by having a yard sale. Now, we have put some old furniture up for auction on eBay.
One of these items is a bedroom suite that we inherited from my in-laws. They have updated their bedroom suite and passed it on to us. Since we did not have any cupboards or bedside tables at that stage, and be a pair of frugalist, we accepted them. Now it is time to get rid of them and update it. The bedroom suite is from the 70s, and my estimated value for it is about $60 to $70.
The auction just finished last weekend and was won by an eBayer. I was actually surprised that it got sold as we never got a bid until the last 30minutes of the auction. We started the auction at $65 and it got sold at $102.50. It was certainly much higher than anticipated.
The winner was from a town that is about 7 hours returned drive. The winner showed up at hour house this morning in a 4WD. I estimate that it would cost at least $90-$100 as it would have used about 80 litres @ $1.25 per litre.
Let do the maths.
Final price of the auction - $102.50
Fuel cost - $100
Total cost - $202.50
The thing that got me was the amount of travel that some eBayers would do. In this particular situation, I would have though that traveling 7 hours for something that is worth $102.50 is not a fair good outcome, at worse you probably could have spend that 7 hours searching on eBay for something in the similar price range that is located closer.
One thing that I failed to consider is personal financial situation of the purchaser. Spending $202.50 on a bedroom suite may have been a great purchase for them, and the time spent to pick it up is time well spent. A equivalent bedroom suite, brand new, would have been at least $500 to $600.
I have heard many stories of other traveling much further to pick up their auction wins, one of them includes an overnight stay.
If that was you, would you travel for 7 hours to pick up the bedroom suite?