I’m still a newbie to the whole Ebay thing. I first tried to use Ebay two years ago to buy a flokati rug. I must have bid on four rugs, in succession, and was outbid on every one. I became very frustrated with the process. I was sure that there were people who cruised the auctions with only hours or minutes left and managed to get the last bid in, before the previous bidder could respond. I couldn’t sit at home all day, waiting for an outbid notification, so I ended up buying a rug outright from a vendor in Colorado.
I tried Ebay once again in November. This time, I was looking for turquoise fabric, to make a bed skirt and pillows. I found the most beautiful fabric, and was, again, outbid at the last moment. I bid on three more pieces of fabric, all at once, and “won” only one. When my fabric arrived in the mail, the color was too green, so I ended up buying a turquoise sari from an Ebay store.
I must be an optimist, because I turned to Ebay once more in my search for a hanging lamp for the living room. I first bid on an orange, silk, hanging-style lamp. Again, I was outbid. By this time, I was convinced that the correct strategy was to bid on multiple items, hoping to “win” at least one. I bid on three lamps – a red glass and black iron lamp, a red fabric lantern, and an orange-red beaded lamp. This time, no one outbid me. I won all three!
The red glass and black iron lamp arrived first. It was broken and stunk of cigarette smoke. I am currently negotiating with the seller for a refund. The fabric lantern arrived next. I liked it, but put it aside until the beaded lamp came. The beaded lamp arrived in pieces. It took me over an hour to put it back together. Thankfully, all the beads were in the box. Some of the wire loops were missing, and I had to fashion replacements from paperclips in order to attach the beaded strands to the frame. The beaded lamp is my favorite, and I hung it in a previously dark corner of the living room. The fabric lantern is a perfect replacement for the heinous torchiere lamp in our bedroom.
Although I love the last two lamps, I wonder if Ebay is really such a good deal. After the costs for an unwanted item and shipping, did I get the lamps for less than I would have retail? Yet, Ebay has an undeniable pull. First, the selection is incredible. Second, I can shop from home or *gasp* work. Third, the items are often “one of a kind.” Last, bidding is thrilling, especially when you are hoping someone will outbid you so that you don’t have to buy everything you bid on. Overall, I’m happy with my purchases. Now I just have to deal with the credit card bill!
Click here to see the lamps I considered, bid on, and won.