If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.

- George Washington

Saturday, 27 March 2010


n, medical condition, characterised by having an item for auction on a famous auction site, accompanied by the obsessive desire to check one's visitor numbers, bids and watchers every twenty seconds during waking hours.

There was over a week between agreeing to purchase the Bonneville and being able to collect it. It needs one or two things doing to it in the workshop before sale, and as it is presently untaxed, the dealer is taxing it for me, and it makes sense to wait until 1 April so that I get the benefit of a full month for my £66.

This waiting period of about ten days gave me a chance to put the Pan on eBay and see if I could get a better price for it there than the part-exchange price the dealer was offering. I know what price I have to get in order to make it worthwhile selling privately, so that is my reserve price, and I have put an optimistic Buy It Now price on as well. It attracted several bids within 24 hours of the auction start, which is a good sign, and there are currently 43 people watching it and one guy who seems to be serious, asking pertinent questions and requesting more photos.

But it's ruining my ability to do anything else with my life. Every time I pass the room where the laptop is, I have to just check one more time. The auction has reached the point where, after a few lowish early bids, it has gone quiet. With the number of people watching, I expect it to get lively in the last hour or so, but right now absolutely nothing is happening. But I keep checking, just to be sure.

Ebay, swallower of people's lives.


  1. You sell on ebay but would you purchase?

  2. I have done, many times. I've never had a problem. Once or twice I have been disappointed with my purchase, but that was more my own naivety than anything to do with eBay.

    In fact, buying off eBay is easier than selling - all the dice are loaded in the buyer's favour these days.

  3. I phrased the rhetorical question imprecisely. I meant would you buy A BIKE through ebay? When I was looking for my GS I saw a machine advertised in the BMW owners club magazine that the seller had previously bought through an "ebay dealer" - what is the bike equivalent of a cut and shut? I saw it that day!
    I saw your ad on ebay and very professional and honest it looked too and doubtless I would buy from you without hesitation (actually I'm looking for an XT to keep in Greece!).

  4. I bought the XT on eBay, and my Series 2a Land Rover. Both have needed work, as they were at the point where things were starting to go wrong all at the same time, but I think that's just one of the risks you take buying secondhand. I was quite prepared to refuse the deal if the thing was not as described, but both were honest sellers. I would buy a vehicle through eBay again, certainly. It's just that you have to be more careful and read things into what you can see, and only go ahead if you are sure.

  5. Oh, and thank you for your kind remarks about the advert!

  6. I doubt much will happen now 'till the last few moments of the sale.

    I'd also presume a number of the watchers are planning to have Pans for sale themselves and want to see what you get for yours rather than be potential purchasers.

  7. There are currently 48 watchers. I know some friends from various forums are watching, and I'm sure a lot of people are doing what I often do, which is to watch something I am vaguely interested in, just to see how it goes. I would guess no more than 3 or 4 serious bidders are among them.

    As to your first point, I think I already acknowledged that.

  8. I'm watching - just curious! Hope you see some epic last-minute action: the bike compares favourably to the other Pans on offer.

    Amusing article - I do exactly the same when bidding on stuff. Costs me a fortune, since I'll usually remember there was something else I wanted - might as well, while I'm there already...

    Have to say in answer to Nikos, I would happily have bought bikes on eBay if I'd won any of the auctions. As long as the price is right, the bike's described accurately, paperwork's there and the seller has a reasonable reputation, why not? It's no more chancy than a private sale (or some dealers I've come across). Agree whole-heartedly with the professionalism and honesty in Richard's ad - I've bought bikes from dealers with less information than that in the owners pack!

    Voyager - used to read your comments with interest on Visordown (lurking, not posting) before its recent slide into obscurity. Just like to say thanks for some of the links and information you posted: certainly broadened my knowledge, and reinforced a few things I'd always felt but never seen studied in depth.

  9. I'll respond when I have stopped blushing :)

    I have eBay benders. I don't go near it for months (I know myself too well) and then go there 'just for a quick look'. I find myself looking at wildly inappropriate items, usually with two wheels, and have to force myself to go cold turkey before I blow the lot on a classic Guzzi or a clean YPVS. Or both, of course.

  10. I'm not sure if this qualifies as sad or not...but specially watching the end of an auction where one is neither the seller nor a bidder...?

    Not as much interest as might have been expected, but it looks like it made the reserve. Hope your buyer's a good'un.

  11. It went for exactly the reserve price, which means I am better off than if I part-exed it, but not by much. I'm a little disappointed, as I had lots of interest through the week and even two cash offers that didn't work out when we started talking timescales and payment methods. There were 61 watchers by the end, and I thought it would take off a bit more than it did.

    The guy who won it lives near Edinburgh. He contacted me asking if I could deliver (in this weather?), and I pointed him towards Googling for a bike transport firm. I don't know if this is what he plans to do, as I haven't heard from him since.

    I just hope it isn't going to drag on. That Bonnie will be taxed and ready to go in a couple of days.


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