There's just somethng about the PC Expo auction that had us being slightly reckless and needing to consciously keep ourself in check. Thank goodness the Chief was with us, really, to help figure out a limit to how much we were willing to spend on the items we were interested in (it was either the Garmin Nuvi 1350 GPS, the desktop, the Samsung Galaxy Tab or the Panasonic 42" LED telly).
Of course, the emcee would first inform us of the normal retail price and the promotion prices of the item to be auctioned, to make sure we were level-headed enough to not bid over the normal retail price.
Initially we never did plan to buy anything from the PC Expo, and then we saw some things we were interested in. So we planned to just take part in the auction, with half a mind to bid just for fun.
Bearing in mind, of course, that unlike playing some boardgame with elements of bidding (where sometimes the idea is to hike up the price of some item to an unreasonable price just because you know another player desperately wants it), if we bid too high a price in this auction, we were going to have to pay for it if we end up winning the bid.
And then somehow the Chief thought that we should actually try and bid for the GPS - we might be able to get it for, perhaps, around RM350 (normally RM545), or at the most, RM450.
And so the bidding began!
Everyone took part in the fun because the emcee enforced a minimum RM1 and maximum RM50 bid, rather than let some bloke bid a price that would just shut everybody else up, turning it into a game of The Price Is Right instead. And we must say that for items not too expensive, having everyone participate can be rather fun.
Because everyone would bid initially, and the starting bid of RM1 would just go up, and at some point most people would drop out, leaving only those who were actually interested to continue.
This was what happened to us! At some point past RM350, it came down to only us and another bloke bidding for the GPS. It's quite a feeling, when you realize everyone's stopped bidding and are watching you and your opponent duke it out.
And with a competitive streak, it's hard to stop sometimes! There we were nicely suggesting a price we were comfortable with paying, and then this other feller starts bidding at RM10 higher! Indignantly we would then raise the bid by another RM10 (because raising it by RM50 would only bring it much closer to the actual price which isn't our intention), and this will go own until we nearly lose track of how much we were willing to bid the item for.
And we let the other fellow have it at RM460. Or RM470. Towards the end when we were both bidding at RM5 increments there were longer and longer pauses as both of us were considering if we should keep raising the price (competitive as we were we managed to keep ourself in check), and while the both of us were at opposite ends we had a clear view of his anguished face every time we raised the price, forcing him to deliberate if he could afford to pay another RM5 more.
And no, we didn't stoop so low as to bid just RM1 higher. No patience for that!
Anyhow it's interesting because when we first entered the PC Expo, we never had the intention to get a GPS! See just how dangerous auctions can be? One minute we're walking in, figuring out a budget for a new desktop, next thing we know, we could have been happily forking out RM500 for a GPS!
Oh well. As for the rest of the items, we lost interest when the bid went higher than half the original price, and saved ourself from an impulse buy.