I am something of an eBay Queen. Or Princess. Or maybe Lady-in-Waiting. Anyway, I'm very good at finding what I want on eBay, and getting a good deal on it. Like my top hat. If I chose to go to Dover Saddlery and purchase the Grand Prix top hat, it would cost me about $500. Yes, $500. Orrrrrrrr... I can look on eBay, and get one that is almost brand new and in stellar condition for $65. Guess which option I chose.
eBay is also useful when one seems to have a penchant for things that have been discontinued or are no longer stylish. Like a Beval New Canaan square raised breastplate. Breastplates are pretty much not cool in Hunter World (guilt by association, here). Beval Saddlery discontinued the New Canaan line a while ago. Apparently plain, square raised is also not very cool. $50 on eBay (price new: over $200... moot, because it can't really be purchased new anymore).
My cohorts wonder how I am able to get such good deals. "How do you do it?" they ask. "I always get outbid!"
The truth really is this: I get outbid - a lot. Do you have ANY idea how many times I had to bid on rust breeches before I finally got mine? It's true. But I don't talk about it. Not because I'm ashamed or embarrassed (though maybe I should be, given how much time I actually spend on eBay...), but rather because it's not very much fun to talk about what you didn't win on eBay. I mean, really? Who wants to do that?
The other part of this truthfulness is that I. am. Cheap. Yes, with a capital 'C.' No, not as in easy. I decide exactly how much (or, really, in my case, how little) I am willing to spend on a given tacky item (pun intended), and if I get outbid, I wait until another rolls around.
So that's the truth behind my success on eBay. I'm cheap, and I'm patient. It's easier to be patient when you're buying stuff that you don't really need.