Monday, October 25, 2021

Confessions of an addict



By Monte Lazarus

I’m an addict and there’s no 12 Point Program to help me. It’s bad. I’m a user and a supplier, and spend hours plotting my next caper.

My addiction began thanks to two beloved friends who took me under their wings as “consultants.” Oh, yes, they spent a huge amount of time and effort teaching me how to play the E-Bay Game. The problem is that they did not teach me how to deal with addiction. Every day, every hour, every minute of every day I’m now looking at the mass of junk we’ve accumulated trying to figure out how best to market the stuff on E-Bay. I can’t look at an alarm clock, tennis racquet or camera without putting a mental price tag on it.

E-Bay isn’t simple. You have to master the procedural spaghetti; you have to take innumerable pictures; you have to compose incredibly irresistible sales pitches – and you have to understand PayPal. After doing all that you have to go out and find an eight year old who will whip all that mess together and get it out to the public.

Once your stuff is on the Internet you wait, anxiously, for the bids to arrive. At three o’clock in the a.m. you silently stumble out of bed, race to your computer and silently curse those fools who haven’t bid enormous sums for those invaluable bargains you’ve posted.

When the final countdown comes you sit there, numbly staring at the screen as the real bidders finally emerge. Eventually, with luck and willing “collectors” out there you get a buyer. Then, you insure that payment has been made into the inner workings of PayPal.

Ah, yes – packing. Lots of bubble paper, sturdy boxes, and tape, miles of tape. Finally, when the signal arrives that the gnomes at PayPal received payment, you must figure out how to print a shipping label, and then you hustle to the post office or FedEx drop off.

A month or so later you look forward to a check in the mail…assuming, of course, that we still have postal service. Otherwise you’ll have to learn another new computer program to get the dough into your bank account…assuming, of course, that your bank is still in business.

There’s also the buyer’s side. I decided to get a digital camera I had been slobbering over for some time. My wife backed me completely. “What?” she queried, “Another camera?” I accepted this as a “Yes” and proceeded to bid. I advised her that I bid very low, and I was getting a real deal. Little did I know then, that the real bidding began about 2.8 minutes before closing bid time. I knew I had won after I put in an extraordinary bid with 30 seconds left.

With only two seconds to go I was in the dust. Some pro beat the rookie without any trouble. I wised up and went after another camera of the same ilk. This time I knew I had it. Rats! Only one second to go and I lost again. It wouldn’t, and didn’t, happen again. I finally found out how to sneak in that final bid, and I latched onto the camera. My wife was thrilled. “Now you have to get rid of two cameras,” she murmured softly. That, dear readers, is how you get to be a seller on E-Bay – whether you want to or not.


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