I am a reformed eBay junkie. I stumbled upon the worldwide garage sale in the summer of 1997 when I was in my Beanie Baby phase (shut up). I only wanted the kitties and my interest in the stuffed animal trade waned a few months later.
But the damage was done. I was hooked on eBay. I’ve bought clothes (LOTS of clothes), fabric, sewing patterns, brand new Craftsman tools, a vacuum cleaner, bunk beds, cameras, jewelry, software, autographed books, an American Girl doll, and more. I’ve also sold stuff, but never with an eye for turning it int0 a business – rather, I was getting rid of stuff that I couldn’t bear to drop off at the thrift store.
EBay lost its shiny newness long ago for me. These days it’s my online store of last resort since Amazon usually has better prices for newer products PLUS free shipping. But it’s nice to go on eBay and look around.
My son, Epic Dude, has decided it’s time for him to wade into the online auction waters. He has money in his pocket that’s burning a hole and he wants some Skylanders figures for a video game. A video game that needed little figurines in order for greater game play was a ingenious marketing strategy on the part of the game creators. The game ships with three figures that you’re supposed to stick on top of a little glowing platform in order to play as different characters. I don’t know how many figures there are all together, because there’s the set of normal characters, then there are dark, legendary, silver, and gold characters. I think they’re just the regular characters but with different attributes. These little guys go for about $8 at regular stores. But we don’t live near any regular stores, so Epic Dude has decided that eBay is a good solution.
As I was writing this, an auction was ending for one of the characters he wants. We bid with 21 seconds left, and were rewarded with the news that we had the highest bid. Alas, with 3 seconds left, a sniper swooped in and snatched Eruptor away from us. Epic Dude is bummed and told me, “Let me hand the eBay stuff, Mom.” Ha! Fat chance, little man. Don’t you realize that Mom is an eBay champ? A pro? An epic sniper? Let me do the heaving lifting here, kid. Make me a list of what you want and I will get the best prices. Not only that, I’ll get some wicked good feedback in the process with my lightning fast payment and all-around good behavior (toward the seller, anyway).
Maybe sometime I’ll tell you the story about how I got a guy banned from eBay. That was a banner day, if for no other reason than the fact that he couldn’t use English properly. One of his e-mails to eBay about me said, “I didn’t fraud nobody.” Yeah, I’m getting the deals AND stomping out bad grammar simultaneously.
I’m that good.