When I sold some shoes on eBay last month, one of my winning bidders was the fetching Miss Boozie. I e-mailed her and told her that if she won the auction, I would include something extra in the package. She replied that she fully intended to win b/c she was Crazy Auction Lady: determined to win whatever she’d bid on, no matter the final cost.

So she got a box of gobs along with the shoes.I used to go to real-life auctions for entertainment. Despite what Hawk says, we got some good stuff from auctions (a desk, tables, a church pew, comfy fireside chairs, a cedar chest, Pyrex, lots of knicky-knacky stuff, etc). There were times that I got caught up in the auction and paid more than I wanted to just b/c I didn’t want to give the other person the satisfaction of winning my item (like the cedar chest: I paid $90).

If you watch Noggin with your kids (or just b/c you think Joe on “Blue’s Clues” is totally hot) , you know they’re having a charity auction. Most of the stuff is not stuff I’d buy. For example: no Backyardigans? WTF? And Wubbzy? Max & Ruby? Please. There are however some cute things and one was actually still in a decent price range when I looked: the watercolor from Jack’s Big Music Show. So I bid and was automatically outbid by proxy. This is how I was bid against on the cedar chest as well.

For those unfamiliar with auction lingo, a proxy bid works like this: you put in a maximum bid and the auctioneer (or the automatic auction, like this one or eBay) bids for you in your absence. This is where the person at the auction has the advantage. You can take the bid up as high as you want and eventually you’ll either drop out and make the absent bidder pay a whole lot or you’ll get the item.

So when I was automatically outbid, I put in what I thought was an outrageously high maximum bid. I was high bidder for a couple of days. I didn’t particularly want the watercolor; I didn’t love it but I liked it and my original bid was a good deal. But bidding against me in absentia? I decided either this proxy bidder was going to pay beaucoup bucks or I was going to win the auction. Then I spent the last two days thinking, “What if I win this thing? I’m going to have to pay that much for it and get it framed and everything.”

Today I got a notice that I was outbid. Whew! So that’s money back in my pocket, so long as this bidder comes through.

Auctions make me crazy and competitive and I should stay far away.

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