I remember the first time we met. It was way, way back in the MSN days. I was sat at my dial up computer, surfing through my limited amount of web pages that I was allowed to access via my AOL child account. More than likely searching the cheapest place to buy a husband for my lonely tamagotchi, when my eyes happened upon it. Ebay.
The place where dreams are made. The place where you bid on things that you didn’t realise you ever wanted, like Britney’s nose hair and old car parts. It was one big, online bric-a-brac sale that was constantly running. What was not to love? I knew instantly that I had made a strong connection (and it wasn’t just because nobody was trying to use the landline). Your first bid, is something you never really forget. Some lose their first bid to objects they never really wanted, they do it just to fit in, but for me it was different, it was special. My pocket money was too little for me to do anything but add to my endless ‘watch list’ for a long time but I slowly saved and one day I was finally ready. Only those who have truly suffered the eBay fever will understand the overwhelming feeling of elation at outsmarting sxi***bbz123 at the last minute and thus winning a statement MK one t-shirt, covered in bobbles and smelling of mothballs. That great victory sparked an affair between eBay and I that grew and grew.
I bought books, clothes, I bought DVD’s and candles, but I was young and I was foolish and the relationship was all ‘take take take’ on my part. Many years later (three weeks back from now in fact), finally came the day to take the big leap from buyer to seller. I knew it wouldn’t be easy, but it was time for me to give back a little. At first, it was fantastic. I roped in my flatmates to model my clothes and took a couple of snaps on my new camera. They looked great, I was certain that this would all work out so perfectly.. how wrong I was.
First, came the fees.
All those years of e-mails, empty promises that I’d be able to list things for free, but life just doesn’t work out like that.
I thought that eBay had meant the things that it said to me, that our relationship was built on honesty. I came to learn the hard truth- that it was simply telling me all the things that it thought I wanted to hear; eBay lied to me, betrayed me.
Then, came were the clothes that didn’t sell.
Tears spilled onto my keyboard as I envisaged my items stood alone and unwanted in the cyber-market that had promised me so much. I gave eBay everything, but so much of what I gave just wasn’t good enough.
Then for those that did sell, came the crippling costs of ‘postage and packaging’. It all sounded so fun beforehand, I don’t think I knew what I was getting myself into. I didn’t realise quite how much time and money I would have to invest, paying out for eBay to send off some nice dress of mine or a new bag. I was starting to struggle to remember the days when it had ever been about me. The only thing eBay seemed to care about was when I was going to send the next delivery. No nice surprise in the post anymore and yet I was expected to do so much! I just didn’t feel appreciated anymore. When finally came the day that it all fell apart.
One chilly November afternoon, eBay contacted me, informing me that a lady in Milton Keynes had not received an item that I was supposed to have sent.
I’m such an idiot, I thought to myself. I had completely forgotten to send out this one particular button up peter pan collar shirt. How could I have been so foolish? And yet I made no attempts to rectify the situation. It was almost as if I couldn’t be bothered anymore. Our time together had ran its course and I dealt with it immaturely, by simply ignoring it and not returning it’s messages.
Oh, and messages it did send. Message after message, desperately trying to win me back. It even started making all these threats “We’ll close your account” “We’ll take money back” but I wasn’t falling for that. I was done with it’s games, I had had enough.
So that leads me to where I am now. No eBay account, no buying, no selling. I know people often pretend they are happier alone, but I truly think that this decision was one of the best that I have ever made. You really just don’t need the kind of shopping platforms that are going to bring you down. I’ve learned a lot from this experience. Love hurts. Sometimes it is harder than you might have ever expected and sometimes it’s just not worth fighting for. But never forget that there is a site out there for everyone.
I’m done with eBay and the uncertainty of how my next bid is going to go, wether or not my shoes are going to sell or wether designer***mama99 is really a reliable seller despite her 100% positive feedback rating because I just don’t feel like trusting her. What I need right now is security, outright buying, a basket that will stay full without me running out of time.
So with sadness and with fond memories of times that are now behind me, I close this tab and return to my Amazon wish-list.. To new loves.
all gif’s: giphy.com