Sniping has totally changed the landscape forever.
The other day, I was sniping what I imagined was a rather small item on ebay. It started at $1 and was bid up to $4 in 3 bids on the second day. It stayed at $4 all week, I checked a few minutes before the auction ended, and it was still at $4.
I was sniping it at $28, and I lost it at $35 on 5 bids.
This time last year, I spent about 3 months trying to get a good Model F AT. Apparently there were 2-3 of us in the same boat.
Throughout June and July, there was NOTHING available. About August, a few of them dribbled onto the market, and we bid them up ridiculously, $125-150 for anything. After buying about 4, I finally got a really nice one (for just under $100, by then) and sold the others in the $100-120 range.
There is no doubt that there were only 2-3 of us bidding against each other, but that was enough. Once our needs were satisfied, the market stabilized. I suspect that $150 is the new $100, if you get a nice F AT you are probably lucky.
Don't complain if somebody with deeper pockets gets it. Ripster has been predicting downward demand curves for buckling springs for the last few years. I think he is wrong.