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ebay - ‘There is a light that never goes out’

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condeesteso

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[sub-title credit: Morrissey/Marr]

When I was young, shops were closed for more hours than they were open. I recall ‘The Dolls Hospital’ in Doncaster, all back-lit at night and powered-up with displays of Dinkys and Hornby in the window.
My mum once told me off for getting so close to the window to gaze that my nose left a smudge. I hadn’t been the first, and wouldn’t be the last. That glass was as close as you could get to the dream.
Now we have ebay... 24/7 as they say. Christmas day shopping and all. Progress is good and the future is bright.

I have bought some fine things on ebay. And a few dogs too, though that isn’t how they were described by the seller. Here’s a tip - never mix your favourite tipple with a paypal account.

What is a Paypal account? It’s a sort-of money thing that allows you to feel detached from real counting or budgetting. It’s a bit like Monopoly money but smarter, because it is umbilically attached to your actual bank account. In the cold morning light, the two become one... with charges.

What is a seller? - I find they fall into categories. The most interesting is the ‘pollypocket43’ selling me a Millers Falls drill. She (very probably a hairy bloke anyway) may have a pink petal-shaped animatic as their avatar. One soft-focus shot, a one-line ‘description’. It could be a total blinder, this one... we want to believe we have found the one, don’t we?

What is postage? - pretty much anything you can get away with. And it’s p&p... the second bit is packing. I find some sellers charge quite a premium for this (say about £40 an hour or so). And actually, what is packaging? Well, be prepared.

I recently had a Choco Rice Crispies box arrive early one morning. Bit of brown tape and a torn half-sheet of A4 stuck to one side with parts of my address on. It was stuck with something off-white and viscous - may well have been flour and water. There are a few points within this that I feel are worth pausing upon.

First, let’s close one circle here. Soft-focus product shots, and dodgy but plain packaging... now where was that learned from? Frankly, I’d go for the she-devil if she was shot all nice in soft-focus.

The Rice Crispies pack? A few old screwdrivers within, but the postman didn’t know that. I remember he muttered ‘miracle it got this far’. I don’t know if he was referring to the package, the contents or the address. I like to think it was the address, which was considerably incomplete. Now, we live in a nice area and have done for quite a few years. I have come to know that postman, but I sense a reluctance to make eye contact on his part since that morning.

Of course the new way is the right way. Ebay will never suddenly go Monday to friday, half day Saturdays. It’s a dangerous place, is that internet. Let the buyer beware, 24/7.

And the cast plaque (probably for sale right now on ebay): Morrissey Marr. Salford.* Purveyors of sound advice since 1983.

(That’s my ebay rant done for now... any humourous experiences with ebay should be added below.)

* I appreciate the involvment of Mike Joyce and Andy Rourke also, but the writer credits are M&M).
 

Pete Maddex

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Hi, Douglas

I boufht an from Ebay amplifier in came wraped in two cardboard banana boxes, the ones with the holes in, nothing else!!!!


Pete
 

condeesteso

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Very good indeed Pete... just describe where the address label was please? It's a detail but could be important.
 
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