Thursday, March 27, 2008

Do you eBay?

I’ve been a big eBay fan ever since I found I could purchase some really unusual stuff with the click of a mouse. My first purchase was five years ago when I bought an antique light fixture for my daughter’s nursery, but I learned early on that it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of the bidding. And being a competitive person, I overbid a time or two just to win. Nothing that broke the bank, just spent a couple bucks more for something than I had planned. Now I watch items and only bid within the last 30 seconds.

Last year I took advantage of a promotion they offered to list some items with a reduced fee. I rooted around the closets and found three things: a light fixture (I had bought an antique pair for my daughter’s new room, when I only needed one), a smocked dress, and a collectible. I took photos, typed up descriptions, entered beginning bids, and waited. And waited. And not a single person bid on my lovely items.

Now I realize I was selling the wrong things. Instead of listing nice, quality items that someone might actually use, I should have been rummaging around my pantry for food items that looked like certain states. Two sisters from Virginia recently sold an Illinois-shaped cornflake on eBay for $1350. Come on! It doesn’t even really look like it to me. Trust me. I lived there. I know the shape of the state.

Eons ago I remember watching a woman on Johnny Carson who found some fascinating potato chips. (Lo and behold, here is Myrtle on YouTube, just as crazy as she was in 1987, proving you can find ANYTHING online.) Since I had an obsessive desire to be on The Tonight Show and possessed no entertaining talents that might land me a guest spot, I began searching my food for signs of something that might propel me out of obscurity. That lasted about a day. As I matured, I lost my desire to sit next to Johnny. Now it’s Oprah. Or maybe Letterman.

But still, I have a problem not just with people who make a fortune selling stupid, stupid stuff on eBay, but also with the people who have more money than sense and bid outlandish amounts for virtually nothing. Is it just me or is $1350 a lot to pay for a corn flake? You could buy cases of the stuff and donate it to a food pantry, right?

You tell me…do you eBay? What was your most memorable purchase or sale?


Anonymous said...

I don't ebay I Craig's List. Ebay seemed to confusing for me, where Craig's list was cut and dry. I posted living room furniture on Thanksgiving night around 7 pm. By 9:00 am the next morning it was sold and by 9:00 am Saturday it was picked up and cash in hand. I love Craig's list.

pamela hammonds said...

We have used Craig's List too. My son sold his air hockey table after we moved here and didn't have room for it. Like your furniture, it did sell fast and listings are free too!