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Star Wars eBay Eccentricity
Buying Mark Hamill's Pen

By Kat
Staff Writer

June 21, 2005

Don't adjust your monitors, you read right. This is an article about buying Mark Hamill's pen. Yes, I know this article's topic sounds strange. The story is strange, but I really should start at the beginning.

I buy and sell Star Wars items regularly on eBay. One of my fascinations in particular is for Star Wars LEGO items.

That said, I was searching for Star Wars LEGO items - as I often do - when an auction caught my eye that was ending in about ten minutes. The title of the auction was "Star Wars minifig RARE Mark Hamill Pen LUKE SKYWALKER." (For those that don't know, the little people in LEGO sets are frequently referred to as minifigs.) LEGO happens to have a line of Star Wars LEGO pens, so I figured that the item up for auction was probably a Luke Skywalker LEGO pen. This item did not particularly interest me, but for some reason I decided to click into the auction anyway.

I quickly discovered that the item was not a LEGO pen as I had initially thought, but rather a pen that Mark Hamill had used to autograph a piece of Star Wars memorabilia. The news that the item up for bids was a pen used by Mark Hamill certainly gave me, along with many others I'm sure, a chuckle.

I looked at the picture, which, sure enough, depicted Mark Hamill autographing an item for a fan. The pen he was holding was highlighted, but regrettably somewhat blurry. The pen could be a twenty cent or a twenty dollar pen, for all I could tell.

Next, I skimmed the item's description. The seller mentioned something about the auction being a "once in a lifetime oppurtunity" (yes, "opportunity" was misspelled) and that the auction was valued at $1000. I glanced near the top of the page, noticing that the current bid was $1.03 with about seven minutes until the close of the auction.

On eBay anything is possible. Many bidders use a technique called "sniping" in which they literally do not bid until the last minute, or even last second sometimes. It was possible that last minute bids could significantly drive up the price of the item, but admittedly not very likely.

Out of mild curiousity, I watched as the auction wound down. I was not surprised when no further bids were placed as the auction neared its completion. Then a stupid idea wormed its way into my mind: what if I were to bid on the pen? Well, as it turns out I did bid on, and win the spectacular pen used by Mark Hamill for a whooping.$1.30 (plus $0.99 for shipping).

What cracks me up is, according to the seller, I just bought Mark Hamill's pen for about 0.2% of its real value! A real bargain, right? Well, actually I figure my purchase was a bargain. Not only do I get a pen but I get an offbeat story to post on my website as well. Now really, who could ask for more than that?

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