Thursday, August 16, 2012

Ebaying It

Until a few years ago, I had never sold anything on Ebay. I had purchased many items, but never sold. A good friend of mine got me interested in selling. I sold not only for myself but for others as well. I wasn’t loving the selling (too many crazies to deal with). We had things strung all over the office that I was planning to list, was listing, or had sold. There were constant trips to ship the packages. For a while it was ok but then just became too much. I ditched the selling and now I am not mostly back to just buying.

Unfortunately my stint as a seller drew my 9yo’s interest and it has opened up a whole world to him. He loves to look things up on Ebay. That’s his answer to where he’s going to purchase his next Lego set, or really, any other thing he might buy. The conversations go something like the one from this evening:

“Mom, can I look something up on Ebay?”

“Dude, you don’t have any money to buy anything.”

“Yeah I know, but it’s for Christmas. I mean, I know Christmas is a long time away but it’s never too early to start shopping!”

“Argh….what is it we’re looking up?”

“Uh…Legos sets 10174 and 4562.” (I just made those up; I have no memory of what tonight’s choice sets were.)

So I sat down to at the computer. Mind you, he had asked me more than once over the course of the past several days before I was worn down enough that I stopped what I was doing to look up a couple discontinued sets which are listed for hundreds of dollars and he cannot dream of buying.

“What is the first number again?”

“Lego set 10174.” I love that he tells me to type “Lego set” as though I still have not caught on to what we are looking up.

“Ok. Is that it?”

Once I had confirmation that it was, indeed, the set he’s looking to get his mitts on, I knew what to do next. Sort the items to “price + shipping, lowest first” and “Buy-It-Now” only. I don’t know where he gets that impatience…he doesn’t have any interest in waiting around for an auction to end. But I do appreciate his desire to get the most bang for his buck…I DO know where he gets that. I tried to point out that he might be able to snag something at an auction for much less but again, he has no patience for it. His prowess for a bargain doesn’t run as deep as I would have hoped.

After I sorted the items appropriately, I was directed to back away from the computer and let the expert take the controls. “Mom, can you just move and let me, uh, do this?”

“Sure.” But the problem is, I cannot back completely away from the machine, because I have logged in and I am too concerned that in an impulsive act lacking self-control, the child will “Buy-It-Now” but won’t have the fund to pay for it. That Star Wars ship I didn’t know about until a few days ago…I simply can’t live without it any longer! 

So why log in, you ask? Because on occasion the child will want a set that is a reasonable price and I would like to be able to save it in my Wish List to come back to it later. Like he said, “It’s never too early to start shopping.”

Unfortunately for him this evening, the sets he was eyeing cost about $200 or more. Not even close to the negative $3 he has right now (yes, he owes me a little bit).

So we will continue on…him seeking the latest and greatest discontinued set, and me continuing to put off looking it up before I squash his dream by pointing out the differential between what it costs and what he has in his wallet. It’s the perfect symbiotic relationship.

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