Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Ebay Shuffle

Being snowed in has been bad for my pocketbook because I've discovered Ebay. OMG!

Years ago my daughter set up an Ebay account in my name to buy a baby gift. I never thought about it again until we had a blizzard and the snow held me captive for several days.

I just came off a stint of on line classes, one on psychic research that got my curiosity and my creative juices flowing. At the same time, I was in the process of having flooring laid in my bedroom. I retired all the old decor, painted the walls and ceiling, and bought a new bedspred with the tree of life woven into it. I dragged out all my dragons to display (I collect them). And inspired by the dragons and tree, I decided to make a macrame lamp and create a wall hanging to decorate the space behind my bed. I bought the twine and rings that I needed and started the lamp.

While working out the design for the wall hanging, I decided to use natural jute and black and green macrame twine. I have a tree of life in mind with a leaf design and amber colored tear drops dangling from the branches. That's when inspiration struck and I thought of Ebay. I could go on line and order something to use for the tear drops.

My first excursion into the Ebay realm was a wallet opening experience. They have everything!!! And then some. You could get lost for eternity just surfing the site. I think I spent a week there one day.

Typing in crystal was the wrong thing to do. Especially when I'd been doing research on Wicca, psychic phenomena, witchcraft, and the tarot. Why? Because crystal balls came up. All sizes, all colors, all types of quartz and crystals, and with all kinds of stands. And considering the direction my research and my new decor were taking me, I of course couldn't resist checking them out.

I've been doing meditation to try and relieve my stress, and trying to learn to stretch my psychic muscles, too. And I thought a meditation ball would help. I soon (after 24 hours of surfing) setttled on a clear quartz ball with a wooden stand that wasn't too terribly expensive. And no one had bid on it, yet. So, I posted my bid and sat back to wait and wait and wait.

I did not wait very well. The longer I waited for the auction to be over, the more anxious I became. Because---my daughter preceeded to inform me about Ebay snipers. Snipers are people who wait for the last few minutes of the auction to swoop in and post a bid higher than yours and win the thing on which, by that time, you've set your heart on owning.

GRRRR. Jump back, Jack. This crystal ball is mine!!

My anxiety level rose even higher. And it wasn't that I couldn't purchase a ball somewhere else. It was that I'd set my sights on that one. My stomach churned kicking up pizza like an Italian soccer player, I checked my email every few minutes to see if someone else had bid on the ball, and waited some more.

The next day, I got the green apple two-step. And I still had five hours to go before the auction ended. I popped Imodium like peppermints and hoped my suffering would be rewarded.

The last fifteen minutes were the worst. I hovered over the computer, watched the clock count down by seconds, and waited for the snipers to descend. When the numbers clicked down to zero I actually yelled. A message came into my inbox that said the auction was over and I had won my crystal ball. I was excited and relieved.

I've learned from the experience. I'll never apply for a job at an auction house, or even attend a real auction. If I had to bid in public, I'd have to see an internist. But every time I turn on the computer I find myself fighting not to go surf the Ebay site to see what else they may have that I just can't live without. It's exciting. And addictive.

And I didn't get my amber teardrops. They were more expensive than the crystal ball.

Write on,
Teresa R.


Tracy Stewart said...

Haha! Ebay is so addictive. It's almost as bad as gambling.

You wanna talk addiction, though--visit the book section! You'll never make it out alive.

Great post! ...green apple two-step... lmao!

Teresa Reasor said...

I didn't know they had a book section. OH NO!!! You know I've never met a book I didn't like or want.

Anonymous said...

eBay is SOOOO addictive. I am a sniper...but nothing like my husband. He does that all the time.

I haven't been to the book section. Kid-candy store problem.

Teresa Reasor said...

So glad to hear from you. I know what you mean. I'm already an addictive personality when it comes to books. I just can't resist. I resigned from all my book clubs hoping to save some money. But then, of course, there's always Amazon.

Tell your husband he's a bad-bad boy. LOL

Anonymous said...

Congratulations, Teresa! You won the ball!

Terry Odell said...

When visiting my brother, he was busy bidding on a donut-making machine, and he showed me how things worked. I was curious about the possible value of an old cast-iron bank we have, so he set up an account so I could find one and follow it.

That's about all I ever did, although I'm amazed to find alerts for my books there. Why anyone would pay three times retail for one of them is beyond me. I wonder if any of them has sold.

Teresa Reasor said...

My books have been on there as well.
And I've often wondered the same thing.
I look at it as good exposure.

Teresa Reasor said...

What a hoot, huh? I was thinking about Makhal (spelling) your character the whole time I was bidding on it.

Collecting crystal balls could become as addictive as everything else. The come in so many different types of quartz.

Thanks for stopping by and posting.

P.L. Parker said...

My son uses Ebay all the time for tennis gear - gets some good deals from what I'm told - I have no idea, I just have the paypal account. Hee hee.

Unknown said...

Oh my goodness Teresa! I just loved this post! I've had only a rare couple of experiences with Ebay. My dad sells on there all the time- old woodworking tools and things like that.

About 9 years ago he allowed me to use his account to bid on four Tanith Lee novels I wanted and I know the exact anticipation you described in waiting and I knew about the snipers, too, so I was on the edge of my seat waiting and hoping no one swooped in on me. I did win them and was so thrilled- they're out of print, but I got them for a great price.

My other experience was over a set of six small Oriental masks to add to my collection. Hubby bid on those via his account. I have yet to open one of my own, knowing I'd probably stumble across books, fairy or butterfly trinkets, blown glass, more masks or something else I'd just latch onto and not want to go another day without.

So glad you won your crystal ball and so glad you posted about this. You should blog more often. I truly enjoyed reading it!

Sushiboofay said...

I sell on eBay, but I almost never buy. I got into trouble a couple of years ago by getting into a bidding war for a Carnival Glass Butter Dish. Lesson learned - but is sure does look nice when I bring it out for special occasions!

Teresa Reasor said...

It's so good to hear from you.
I'm trying to control the urge to go to the site. It's very addictive. I don't think I'd start if I were you.

Teresa Reasor said...

My mother loves carnival glass. And she has a bunch. It's beautiful.
I'm glad you won your butter dish and enjoy it so much.
I don't think I'd have survived a bidding war.

Teresa Reasor said...

I have a collection of masks from different countries in my family room. The music teacher at school has bought me several from a multicultural store every year. They're beautiful and unusual.
I also made masks of my face and my daughter's and painted them gold. I and hung them in her bedroom with an Egyptian picture I have.
I had them in the bathroom and my son told me he didn't much like have them watch him while he went to the bathroom.
Thanks for commenting.

Jessie Verino said...

I've bought & sold on E-bay for years, and the rush does wear off after a while. What amazes me is that people get into the "I've got to have it frenzy" and bid higher amounts than what they can buy the item for on other sites. I use it now when I'm looking for something specific or price comparing.

Teresa Reasor said...

Thanks for visiting my blog.
I went to other sites and looked up how much other stores wanted for the crystal ball before I bid on it. I got an excellent deal. I just couldn't get past the nervous wait.
Maybe selling something isn't as stressful.

Amy said...

OMG! Teresa, that is so funny! My dad buys collectible trucks on eBay, and from time to time, if he's traveling and can't do his final bidding himself, he'll call me and ask! By this time he's put in his bid, and usually has the highest bid... but he'll tell me the "maximum" amount he wants to spend, and I'll log in as him and watch the clock for those last 20 minutes. Then, when there's like 45 seconds left, I'm supposed to go in and put in his "max" bid. Geez, it's nerve-wracking! But isn't it a rush when you win????

Great post, Teresa. You need to take pics of your new bedroom! I want to see your tree of life stuff!!

Teresa Reasor said...

Yes, it is a nerve racking rush at the end. I was hyperventilating and had to go to the bathroom. I just knew someone was going to snipe me.
As soon as I get the lamp done and the wallhanging I'll send you some pictures of the bedroom. It does look great. All mystical and all.

Thanks for posting a comment.

Unknown said...

This was so much fun to read, Teresa. I could just picture you poised over your monitor, mouse in hand, ready to battle anyone who might try to jump in at the last minute. Congrats on your purchase. Frankly, I'm afraid to try eBay for fear I'd get addicted but I enjoyed reading about your experience.
Carolynn Carey

Teresa Reasor said...

Thanks for visiting my blog. And yes I was posed over my computer just waiting for someone to get the last bid in 2 seconds before it ended.
Too nerve racking for my taste.
I'm not going to allow myself to get too obsessed with Ebay. And I have to say, it really is a temptation.

Write on,