Buying Frenzy


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The Twilight Series, by Stephenie Meyer

The Twilight Series, by Stephenie Meyer

The Aesthetic Decline of eBaY

I’m working on a project that affords me a small temporary income, though I tend to forget the temporary part, and I am using some of this small, temporary income to purchase immediate necessities via eBaY, not having access to a car and not wanting to walk ten blocks (I don’t mind the walking so much, it’s the carrying home of heavy objects, uphill, that is off-putting).

Crystal deodorant

Crystal deodorant

If one shops patiently, one can find drug-store items on eBaY and pay lower prices than one would pay at the local pharmacy. One might make allowances for the extra cost of delivery; in my case, I have no car payments or expenses for maintenance, repairs, or insurance, so I’m willing to pay a not-outrageous shipping premium. Most of the items I’ve bought, however, from deodorant (not that you asked, but I buy the crystal type) to Claritin (loratadine) to lactase (for lactose intolerance), have cost less, including shipping, than I would have paid at Walgreens.

HP ink cartridge

HP ink cartridge

Next among necessities is printer cartridges. The problem with buying printer cartridges on eBaY is that, unless one uses them immediately, one might discover, weeks down the road, that either they are dried out or they are permeated with invisible ink, and one has already given positive feedback, and then what does one do?

Well, if one is moi, and A.D.D.-afflicted, one reads good book and forgets about ink cartridges for a while. I got hooked on the Twilight series and fell in love with Edward Cullen, the eternal seventeen-year-old. I bought the first two books in the series via eBaY auction and paid less than $10 each including shipping. I couldn’t wait for shipment of the final two books and bought PDFs instead, also via eBaY. These were presumably scanned, because there are glitches: The word I’ll is rendered HI on the scanned copies.

Clothes horse

TWILIGHT's Edward Cullen, portrayed by Robert Pattinson

TWILIGHT's Edward Cullen, portrayed by Robert Pattinson

I’ve also filled in a few holes in my wardrobe, again paying less than thrift-store prices for labels such as J Jill, Sacred Threads, and Fresh Produce (my three favorite clothing lines). It’s true that a $75 J Jill sweater is a bargain at $32, but I eschew such bargains; $15 is the most I’ll pay for item plus shipping, and I’m usually able to get the gorgeous blouse or the baggy pants, including the shipping, for $10 or less.

Where are all the pretty pictures?

What perplexes me is the decline in standards among the clothing listings. I’m used to seeing precise measurements and multiple photos. Even the sellers who use Auctiva, however, include one, maybe two, very poor images. The descriptions are sloppy, often not even including the type of fabric and its care — washable, dry clean only, et cetera.

It’s my guess that many eBaY-ers are opting for the $2.95 Auctiva package, but I wouldn’t be satisfied with so few photos (and so many of them are poor quality — a black shirt against a black background? please!) and such vague descriptions.

Fresh Produce sportswear

Fresh Produce sportswear

The research I’ve done indicates that I’m going to have to pay $9 or $10 per month to get decent templates and photo packages. Right now I’m leaning toward InkFrog, which seems to offer just about the right number of features for eBay listings — not too many, not too few. If I sign up before December 31, I’ll lock in the $9.95-per-month flat rate, WHICH INCLUDES IMAGE HOSTING.

InkFrog seems quite popular; the listings are good looking, there are thousands of templates to choose from, and I’m assuming it’s not terribly difficult to use, because there is usually quite an assortment of photos within the listing.

I’ll keep looking, though, and let you know if I find a better listing and image-hosting vendor… if you’ll do the same for me. Thanks!


…And may whoever is on duty bless you and your endeavors —Mary

4 thoughts on “Buying Frenzy

  1. You want to be in line with the new regulations, though if you read the comments above there seems to be some flexibility for travellers along the border area. ,

  2. Everyday items (clothing, cooking stuff, etc.) are usually a much better bargain in eBay than computers and electronic stuff, which often seem to sell for about what discount outlets sell the gear for.

    I bought an Armani sportcoat (probably used by didn’t show any wear) for $49 (worth $900 new) and a safari jacket new with the original $225 price tag still attached for $39.

    • Re anything at all technical, unless you count the magnifying glass I just ordered, I buy ink cartridges and that;s it. There are three brands of clothing I really like, and on eBay the prices are all over the place — $8 to $28 for almost identical items.

      An Armani sportcoat, huh?

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