and I'm kinda ticked off about it.
Earlier today I noticed 2 sets of some items I want for a set I'm making. They were ending 5 minutes apart from each other at around 8:30 (my time). They had a reasonable starting price ($49.95, free shipping) and no bids. There were also 2 sets available for a BIN ($69.95, free shipping) from the same seller. I decided to bid on the first set and wait. I bid $69.90 so I wouldn't pay anymore than the BIN sets.
At about 45 minutes before the set ends, someone else starts bidding. They bid 7 times in 102 seconds and finally outbid me. They're winning the coins for $70.90. That made very little sense to me. Why would they have done that when there were sets with a BIN availabe? The coins weren't ending for another 40 minutes so it couldn't have just been the "heat of the moment."
I moved to the second set. It still had no bids. So I entered the same bid I used on the first set. In retrospect a smarter man would have waited until closer to the end but I'm not suspicious by nature and I just wanted the coins. Just a few minutes after I bid, the same person starts bidding on the second set. They bid 7 times in about 4 minutes and they're again winning the coins for $70.90. I was stunned. Was this person just stupid?!?! The coins were available as a BIN for cheaper than what he was bidding! and he'd done it twice now!
Since I'd been outbid, before those auctions had ended, I went ahead and just used the BIN option from the same seller. NGC only graded 105 in this grade with this designation and I want the set to match. I did this before getting a second chance offer. The seller sent me one just minutes after the auction ended. He noticed this shortly thereafter, canceled the offer, and sent me an email thanking me for the business. It would appear that the seller added another set to the BIN auction after I ordered one. (There were 2, I bought 1, leaving 1, suddenly 2 are available again?!?)
The seller has 100% positive feedback and everything he has said has been polite.
Now, I'm not the kind of person that normally believes that people are out to get me, but something feels wrong here. I have no proof and I still want the coins, but to the core of my being I suspect that I've been cheated. I'm still debating whether or not I should share my thoughts with the seller. Like I said, I have nothing other than a gut feeling and saying this to the seller, if I'm wrong, would be exceptionally rude. All the same, I'm going to have to think long and hard before I place another bid with him.
I'm mostly writing this up as a learning experience and as a reminder for later. In the final analysis, I'm not mad so much as frustrated and disappointed.
Ah well, here's a coin I picked up 2 days ago for a nice price. it'll go into my Lincoln cents set(s). I'm also hoping to pick up a nice 1943 S in NGC MS 67 in the next couple of days. If I can do that I'll have all 3 steel cents in MS67 (not bad IMO).