i write because i'm happier when i write. not because i'm a good writer.

-shanita john-

A Lesson in Online Auctioning, Part 1

(An Extremely Dramatized, barely Spell-Checked, Mind-Dump of Today's Events In Difficult to Understand Chapters) 



Every great, epic journey has a long and substantial backstory; this one does not for it is neither great nor epic. The backstory, the character motivations, it was all so simple. I got a record player for Christmas. You see, I grew up listening to records and I loved everything about them.

[Fill in your own nostalgic monologue about records and vintage things, here].

To mix with the bags of random finds my father had already given me, I began hunting down my favorite albums on vinyl. The classics that I wanted to be the hidden gems of my collection. I knew it would be a challenge; some were limited edition releases, maybe even out-of-print making them pricy even if I did happen upon them, but whatever. It was an endeavor purely for fun. 

Seven days ago it became something more when I found a jewel I had once given up hope of ever owning. An item that, with frightening honesty, I can describe as the rarest of my heart’s desires: Sigur Ros, Takk…   2 Vinyl LPs and Etched 10" Record, Deluxe Sleeve. 2005. EMI Original. 

This was the day everything changed and my eyes were opened.

Chapter One: What is An Auction?

Online auctions, like gambling, are dangerous. I didn’t know this because I’d never participated in either before. The closest I had come to an auction was in tenth grade when I volunteered to be a waitress at my high school’s silent auction sponsored by E.S.P.R.I.T. All I remember from that night was walking smack into the center beam of these double doors while carrying a massive, china-heavy tray, with four shallow bowls of soups on it. Disaster was averted by some divine act of unmerited favor, but that was it; spilling soup was as close to the process as I’d been.

I was ignorant then.

Now, things previously hidden were made plain to me. Now, I understand the adrenaline, the sudden terror, and the subtle loss of control in the spiraling vortex that is first-time online auctioning.

For this item there was no “Buy Now” option only the path to placing a bid.

This tale, which I will in no way attempt to keep brief as I am feeling long-winded from all my musing, started 7 days ago when by some act of fate or happenstance, eBay brought to me my desired item, my preci—my thing I wanted.

The Takk... vinyl set had only been posted one hour before I searched for it. Zero bids, zero views. It was like I walked in on it getting dressed for sale. What serendipity! I thought. Then, it began in the pit of my stomach, the feeling that something was wrong. A strange and evil foulness fell over my joy and the long waited for joining of me to my precious Takk… vinyls. This perfect union was being marred by some dark trickery.

My spider sense was tingling.

Like many, I'd had an eBay account for a number of years but I used it only on items with the “Buy Now” option available. I treated eBay like Amazon for bargain shoppers. As turned out it was the absence of this button I was perceiving. For this item there was no “Buy Now” option only the path to placing a bid.

I felt my hopes wane. I didn’t like the idea of bidding on any item, but particularly one which held such powerful sway over me. Bidding and waiting was new and foreign territory and frankly it seemed like a terribly uncomfortable and bothersome ordeal. I wanted no part of it, but I had no choice.

I knew I had to rationalize my plan.

A Lesson in Online Auctioning, Part 2

A bit of unsolicited advice regarding your television watching.