I am perusing eBay right now! For the first time!
Hard to believe, but true: I am not the hip blogging prodigy you all imagine. In many respects I am a Luddite no better than your parents. Of course I have always been aware of the existence of the site, but for many years, this thing called “eBay” held no significance to me aside from serving as the inspiration (along with the Backstreet Boys) of a hilarious Weird Al parody. Now, that’s not so.
Apparently, eBay is the place to go if I ever decide I need inexpensive open-leg restraints! Obviously, this is a crucial need among American consumer audiences. But I don’t quite get why eBay bothers selling anything else. Why encourage me to purchase a Karaoke Revolution bundle for Wii, at the best price (that I could see) of $64.99, when Amazon sells it new at $49.99? I’m more likely to trust something that came straight from Amazon.com –– assuming I did not buy the item through the Marketplace –– than some seller on eBay. But then, I don’t use eBay, so I’m an outlier by default.
No, you know what? All this philosophizing about eBay’s business practices versus Amazon’s and whatnot is just an excuse. eBay bewilders me. There, I said it. It’s too big, too varied. Where would I even know to look for what I want, if what I want isn’t neurotically specific and/or bizarre (e.g. a grilled Cheesus)? If there are 700 sellers of the nonspecific thing I want, how long will it take me to determine which price is lowest and therefore most cost-effective? What if by that point, that seller no longer has the lowest price, or it’s been bought by someone else on the Internet, probably someone who uses an iPad to read Wired and invented the ghost-in-a-jar trick? WHAT IF EBAY RUINS ANY AND ALL MENTAL ACUITY I’VE MANAGED TO GATHER TOGETHER OVER THE YEARS?
Because then I will have to go over to Amazon anyway.