Hunting eBay

Target bags and 3D deer have suddenly appeared in our yard.

Target bags and 3D deer have suddenly appeared in our yard.

Danielle and I were on the deck last week, sipping cocktails, when I got a text from my hunting partner in Iowa. The texts went back and forth – strategies for our bow hunt in November, talk of food plots and treestand safety harnesses, pictures of deer in the backyard of the house he’d just bought on 20-some acres in Zone 5. When my attention returned to our time on the deck, a welcome evening breeze dropping the July temps a few degrees, she gave me a studied look.

“You guys,” she said with a slight shake of her head. “You’ve already started hunting.”

I thought about that for a moment. She was right.

Iowa’s DNR had published its draw results and, elated, I was checking the mail daily for the arrival of my out-of-state license and buck and doe tags. The bow had been brought down from the rafters and given a tune up. The 4-year-old lab Schatzie paid it no mind, but our new puppy Abigail had several times tried to scare off the foam deer target that now stood in the middle of the yard below the oaks. In the midst of a summer heat wave, in my mind I was 20 feet up in a tree in Iowa, shivering against the cold. And loving it.

Which brings me to eBay.

Most of my clothes and gear are for waterfowl, or warm weather hikes for Mule Deer. And I’m a few pounds lighter than the last time I bow hunted Whitetails, which would be good news if it weren’t also bad news. All my cold weather clothes are XL.

So I decided to put a stalk on some deals on eBay. Warm fleece, water- and wind-proof jackets and pants, and what the hell, I thought, why not finally give the Scentblocker® stuff a try? Maybe even grab some compression thermals for that achy right shoulder.

I’ve bought a few things before on eBay. A couple of DVDs of old TV shows like Perry Mason and Sea Hunt. The missing pieces in my collection of miniature duck decoys that Ducks Unlimited sometimes gives for joining. Not much. Nothing that worked up a feeding frenzy of buyers.

Finding the things I wanted now on eBay was easy.  The first thing I set my sights on was a mid-weight  Scentblocker jacket and pants set in Realtree Xtra® camo pattern, size L. Some quick online comparison shopping told me each set retailed for anything from $300-400, depending on if you bought it from the Nordstrom’s of the hunting world – Cabelas – or from a lesser known retailer. So the current bid of $71, with three days left to go in the auction, was mouth-watering. I placed a bid of $75, and was rewarded with a banner that announced I was the high bidder!

I checked back daily, then hourly on the last day. Still $75, still the winning bidder. Visions of a garage full of brand new top-of-the-line, high-tech garments danced in my head, bought for a fraction of regular price!

When it got down to the last half hour  – alerted by the several alarms I’d set to warn me – I pulled up to the Mac and waited to collect my bounty. The minutes ticked down slowly, and I watched the counter like a hunter watching a nice buck slowly grazing its way into bow range. But then at 3 minutes to go, just like a buck that suddenly stops, sniffs the wind and takes a step away, making your pounding heart stop, the price suddenly changed. Not by much, just $5. The buck was only hesitating, no cause for alarm yet. Then came another small step away, another $5. Then a flurry of odd increments until the price reached $119.52. With 1 minute to go, I snapped out of my stare down with the shrinking counter and rising dollars and made a move: a “max bid’ of $125! $50 more than the clothing coup I had planned, but less than a third of the price of the same goods elsewhere. I was high bidder again, the prize was in my sights, my finger on the trigger release, about to apply the feather weight of pressure that would send the arrow flying and claim that trophy. 5 seconds. 4…3… another higher bid registered! …2… I typed a new figure quick – $130 – and clicked the button …1… my bid was the last one. The counter hit zero.

And then my trophy and my elation evaporated, replaced by a banner that said Sorry, you were outbid.

What?! How could that be? I had the highest bid, time had run out on the other bidders! It was mine!

Apparently not.

It said zero time left on my screen, but it seemed that a fraction of a second before it said zero on eBay’s system, someone squeezed in between me and my new Scentblocker fleece. It was as if another hunter’s arrow had smacked into my deer right before my own arrow did. The auction details told the story. My bid: 18:00:04 PDT. The winning bid: 18:00:12 PDT. So I guess on eBay, a 6:00pm auction isn’t really over until 6:o1.

Lesson learned, I had a few more experiences “hunting” eBay before I finally scored on the three sets of Scentblocker hunting clothes I was after. They were all won pressing the Submit Bid button as the counter hit zero. If you plan on acquiring any hunting gear on eBay, be prepared to hunt it like you hunt Whitetails. Aggressive. Sneaky. Smart. You have to scout, and put the time in. And if you miss one, shake it off.  Another trophy will come along soon enough.


~ by SpeakingZenaphorically on July 25, 2014.

3 Responses to “Hunting eBay”

  1. Great story and many who’ve bid has had this experience. Please contact me, maybe I can help. Do you have my email addy?

  2. […] “” This entry was tagged eBay, Hunting. Bookmark the […]

  3. I also find Ebay auctions not that uncommon to the prey we hunt. Its as if some auctions wind you and you end up with the infamous “Sorry, you were outbid” as the item runs over a ridge to get blasted by another hunter. Great story.

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