Mrs The Millbooker did some ebay surfing the day before yesterday, looking to see if there were any bargain basement wood burners around.
As luck would have it, there were. Several.
One in particular looked interesting; it was shown as being in Looe (so not far, then), the auction was due to end yesterday and the current high bid was well within budget (i.e. minuscule).
I'm sure you all know the most basic trick in the book for winning auctions on ebay, but I'll go over it here anyway - because it works, and we're now the proud owners of a very very inexpensive (note - "never cheap, always inexpensive" ©Dong, photocopier salesman's handbook circa 1920) second hand wood burning stove which was only a few days ago languishing in a skip, only to be rescued by a bloke who calls himself "thesherbetfountain" and stuck up on ebay...So - the winning formula:
1. Decide what your maximum price is; if you win an auction with anything below that maximum - you've got a bargain.
2. Do not bid yet.
3. Watch the item and make sure you're watching it live from around a half and hour before the auction ends.
4. Still don't bid yet. Turn off the computer and walk away if the winning bid exceeds your maximum at any point.
5. Check the item about two minutes before the auction ends - is the winning bid still below your maximum?
6. If so get ready and whack in your maximum bid around 30 seconds before the auction finishes.
Worst case scenario - you've hoicked the price up (so the seller's happy and your rival bidder is annoyed), and still been beaten.
Best case scenario (and it works as often as not), you're the last person to bid; few others are either watching or quick enough; you win the item. Huzzah!
Mrs The Millbrooker and I don't spend much time or money on ebay, but sometimes we get a nice woodburner for next to nothing; a bit of fixing up, some extra expense in getting it fitted - hey presto, lovely cosy Millbrooker Towers come the next cold snap (well, next winter, anyway).