How to Start a Bidding War on eBay

A while ago, I read the results of a study that sold a few items on eBay. The researchers used two similar groups of auction items for the study: For group 1, they wrote standard descriptions of the items–size, color, wear and tear, etc. In group 2, however, they used the description space to give the item a backstory, a history.

Guess which group of items sold better?

Not just better–group 2 sold at significantly higher prices than group 1.

This got me thinking. I wanted to try it. And I finally had my opportunity when I found the perfect item for such an auction.

You can check out the auction here or read the description below. And no, it hasn’t exactly started a bidding war–not even close–but I like the nostalgia of the story anyway.

This rare booklet of football cards from the Buffalo Bills and the Washington Redskins was handed out to every ticketholder at Super Bowl XXVI. Thousands of fans tore them open and inserted the cards into the booklet.

My uncle didn’t.

Instead, he gave it to me for safekeeping. As a 10-year-old boy, I figured it would be worth millions of dollars someday. That’s what boys do with rare items. So I stashed it away for years.

This past weekend, I was back home for a wedding. While rummaging through my desk, I found the booklet, just as unopened and pristine as the day I received it. I looked at the date on the cover: Sunday, January 26, 1992. Over 19 years ago.

It made me feel old.

And so I’m selling it. It’s not worth a million dollars, but it’s a symbol of every boy’s dream that the things they collected would someday be special and rare to someone else. This booklet is every comic book, every baseball card, every semiprecious stone, every arrowhead, every action hero. It is all the things that made us feel like treasure hunters.

If you buy it, I’ll package it with care and cover the shipping cost myself. Boyhood dreams don’t come with a shipping expense.


9 thoughts on “How to Start a Bidding War on eBay”

  1. Are you sure you want to sell them now? Won’t they worth more when either one of the teams plays for the champ title or both teams go head to head in the Super Bowl?

    Can’t wait for the cute buns story. 🙂

  2. Psst, tour should be tore.

    I just recently moved with my father from southern CT to middle CT and we went through 20 years of stuff (crap) that has been in the garage and basement untouched. I need to hire someone to come up with clever stories for each item to sell on eBay. I keep telling myself one item a day… It was enjoyable to see things and remember certain moments, but eventually it turned into, “Why do we still have that?!” Your item is pretty cool, so good luck with selling it.

  3. Great story. I was puzzled when I looked at my eBay auction this evening which is scheduled to end tomorrow night for 3 1 gram silver bars (worth about $1.10 each) and there is already 15 bids at $36.00 and I started my auction at .99 cents.

    I guess it doesn’t exactly constitute as a bidding war yet but when it barrels down to the final minutes tomorrow night I’ll have a great story of my own to write.

    I do have to suggest that eBayers do their research before bidding on things you want but don’t know much about. I almost feel guilty about taking the money. But hey! They chose to bid on it so let me close my register! Dave


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