Great news everyone - my search for a Donald Duck outfit is over!
I've been bidding on Donald Duck costumes on eBay for about three weeks now. I've bid, and lost, on about one costume per day. And every time I lost another bid I learned more about the automatic bidding system.
The automatic bidding system doesn't work exactly as I thought it did. The way it works, for realzies, is that you enter the maximum amount that you'd be willing to spend on an item and eBay only bets as much as it takes for you to be the highest bidder. So if an item is $45 and you bid $75, if it only costs $46 to be the highest bidder then that's what eBay makes your bid. Then if someone else bids $50, eBay knows that you're willing to spend more than that so it ups your bid for you.
So my hobby for the past few weeks has been to ruin people's hopes for a cheap purchase. I'll wait for a Donald Duck outfit to have ten seconds left to be sold, then up my maximum bid and wait for another person's automatic bid to go into effect. I like to imagine someone jumping up and down screaming, "I'm going to win a Donald Duck outfit for $15!" then seeing them slump over when they end up paying $85, b/c I've sniped their bid within ten seconds of the sale ending.
eBay is like Warcraft, but instead of killing orcs and trolls I get to make real people shell out more dough for things that I want but know someone richer than me is willing to pay more for.
Consider me a Level 2 eBayer with +7 dexterity while wearing my Donald Duck outfit. Now if I can just get a handle on my newfound eBay addiction.
To Serve Man, with Software
4 months ago