Ebay Auction Site Review

There is a fine line between a collector, a hoarder, and full-on-lost-your-mind- 2nd –mortgage-the-house- compulsive shopper.  I assert that the distinction lies solely in how you handle your Ebay account.  For example, say you and a buddy decide to start back up some card collecting (see Matt’s review on the ‘87 Topps Wood Grain Set) to recapture a little of that excitement you felt as a kid.  Remember the thrill and anticipation of opening a pack of cards that could hold untold fame, fortune, and glory.  The search was amazing but the find, when it happened, unparalleled.  When you collect that way as a kid, you get approximately 1 card of value every 3-6 weeks, particularly if you were dirt poor and a pack of cards meant no school lunch for the day.  Sorry, that’s the cost of doing business when you are of limited means.  Plus, it didn’t hurt my pudgy frame to skip a few once in a while.  My point, it was worth it at the time. 

Now, start the process again 25 years later, but now you have adult kind of money and credit cards with available balances.  Then, take EVERY card you ever wanted as a kid and make it readily available in one easy location (that takes Paypal) and see how you handle the situation.  You don’t even have to put on pants to do your collecting.  You order online and they deliver right to your door.  Sure, it starts out innocent enough.  You look for mint condish David Robinson rookie that you were positive should have been in a box somewhere but can’t seem to find.  You spend $13 which includes shipping and are amazed that you just spent that much for a single card.  As you browse, you drop a few bids here and there and pick up some other sentimental fav’s from the old days.  Here is where it gets weird.  Flash forward 4 weeks and you have won 65 Ebay auctions and have 5-6 rookie cards being delivered every day….and they aren’t just guys like “The Admiral” from the late 80’s and early 90’s.  You have people like Joe Montana, Terry Bradshaw, and Walter Payton showing up, all mint, all rookies.  You buy 50 screw-down cases on Amazon, which you only use for cards over $25 value, and run out.  You buy a Beckett and highlight every card of value after 1967 that you own in blue and highlight all that you need in red, and there isn’t much red.  You take your retirement funds from 2-3 paychecks and divert it into cards using the weak argument that they are an investment.  When your wife walks in the computer room at 2am and finds you sitting in the warm glow of the monitor in your tighty-whities, you quickly switch the screen to porn so that she doesn’t know you have been looking at more cards.  (A guy has got to cover his tracks.)  You create spreadsheets for tracking and actually know what a phantom bidder is, and further, have no less than 10 auctions in its queue at any one time.  

What do you think?  Collector, or someone that needs help?  Real help.  The “It’s been 10 days since my last auction and I’m starting to pick the skin off my arm” kind of help.  Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time this has happened.  In the mid 90’s right after Ebay started the same person did something similar with Star Wars toys.  Yup, the first step is admitting it.  Ok, it was me.  Yes, I collected Star Wars dollies.  I basically went after the entire Kenner line and still have the student loans to show for it.  Needless to say, they didn’t hold up value-wise as much as some strategically placed purchases of Apple stock would have, but they do take up lots of room in the attic, so that’s a plus.  

Needless to say, I’ve officially fallen off the wagon again, which is tragic because I had been auction clean for almost 10 years now.  Ebay offers everything a collector could want, makes it easy to buy, and now even offers a deferred payment plan.  It is, simply stated, the best and worst thing that has ever happened to collecting.  You can now find everything that was previously impossible to find… which makes it no longer impossible to find, umm yeah, I’ve got to think through that logic again.  Anyhow, I’ve danced with this devil before and almost lost the farm and I am heading right back down that path.  Please offer a special prayer for me tonight, because I am going to get through this thing.  Today, I start again.  Hello, my name is Meatwad, and it has been 1 day since my last auction.


Helena said...

That is what I love about Ebay and their vendors, tons of stuff that has anything for everyone. I started with the ebay bandwagon late after I heard that they have improved their fulfilment services out of their vendors.

Isaac Burrowes said...

I love it when an ebay warehouse is moving or an ebay office is relocating. They hold out an auction followed by a moving away sale via removals sydney. Lots of quirky items up for grabs.

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