Ruth's Genealogy

“I don't know who my grandfather was; I am much more concerned to know what his grandson will be.” -Abraham Lincoln

Sunday night is the first night of Hanukkah and Christmas is only a few days later. I am finished with most of the shopping, I hope to get the rest done today. A digital camera for my granddaughter, a TCU wallet for my daughter Sarah and a Dallas Cowboys money clip for my son-in-law and soon-to-be new pappa Justin. I still need to get something for my getting-toaded-up-with-child daughter Debbie (she has to eat constantly to keep the morning sickness at bay!) and my co-worker for the party Saturday evening. I gotta get my Dad’s package in the mail today (it’ll probably be late, I know. Thank goodness that Hanukkah has 8 nights!).

So, what did I get for myself, you say? Well, how about a year’s free subscription to!

How did I manage that? Well, it’s all Randy’s fault!

Last fall, Randy posted about a site where he bought Family Tree Maker vs16 at a very low price that came with a free 1-year subscription to So, a bunch of us genea-fans bought that software and got the free subscription, too. A fantastic deal, I think the software was $17.99.

My free subscription ran out in October, and I’ve been wanting to subscribe again, but the $155 is a bit steep for me. The solution? eBay!

eBay has a feature where you can save a search, which basically means that you can set up a continuing search for a particular item, and eBay will notify you by email anytime that item is listed. I set up my search about a month ago, and was notified about a week ago that Family Tree Maker vs 16 Collector’s Edition (including the free 1-year subscription to had been listed!

I checked out the item, emailed the seller to make sure the subscription was still available, then monitored the auction. By the time the 7-day listing was almost up, the bid had risen to $38. Certainly beats $155! I decided first what my maximum bid would be (it’s too easy to get carried away with the thrill of the hunt if you don’t set a limit and stick to it!), then waited until the auction had less that 10 seconds to go, and placed my bid. It’s called sniping and it’s perfectly legal with eBay. Anyway, when you wait that late to bid, hopefully any other bidder doesn’t have time to change and submit their bid before the auction expires. Nerves of steel, let me tell you! Actually, it’s a lot of fun! Recently, another bidder beat me by sniping, but it’s ok, all part of the game.

To make a long story short, I got the $155 subscription for $44.52 + $3 shipping (69% off!)!

Happy Hanukkah and Merry Christmas, everyone!


4 thoughts on “A Hanukkah gift to myself

  1. Ruth Stephens says:

    Randy & Miriam,
    Thanks for stopping by! My daughter Deb taught me just about everything I know about eBay, and if I can do it, anyone can! It’s pretty simple to set up the search and certainly worth it. And be my guest!

    Happy Holidays!


  2. Randy Seaver says:

    Hi Ruth,
    Well done!!! Excellent work. I didn’t think of that, but then you would have beaten me on the snipe hunt, eh? I’ve never done anything on eBay.

    But now your cat is out of the bag… but I won’t tell anyone.

    Have a wonderful holiday, and i’m happy you were able to buy something special for yourself.

    Cheers — Randy


  3. Great idea, Ruth! I’m going to add this to my Frugal Genealogy program, if you don’t mind!


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