December 22, 2011

December 22, 2011

Hell is other bidders.

In the spirit of Donna Meagle's “Treat yo’self,” I have been perusing eBay for another travel mug. Like any other purchase, this one has very stringent requirements. My morning coffee has to survive for 60-90 minutes, on a bus and a train, in cold and hot temperatures, and possibly periods of zero gravity. Basically, it needs to seal tighter than the space shuttle.

Why eBay, you ask? For one, it strikes me as a gigantic virtual thrift store, and I love few things more than a thrift store. But mostly, because Starbucks has discontinued the style of tumbler I require in all continents except Asia.

Unfortunately, the Asians know what they have. So do experienced eBay users. That’s where the title of this blog entry comes in.

Just when I’ve navigated through dozens of listings for $80 tumblers (not happening, Asia), I find a “Lot of Starbucks tumblers” for $10. Perfect! Four tumblers in the style I want, shipping from nearby Quantico, Virginia! As extra insurance, I set up an Auction Sniper (sort of an automated bidding program) to bid at the last minute up to my (what I thought very generous) maximum.

Since I’m such a control freak, I logged into the auction as it was closing to watch the carnage live. And was astonished to see myself outbid by a***9 who was also using an automated program. (They keep the identities of other bidders secret; I assume so that the losers can’t hunt that person down in cases like this, because WHERE IS MY PITCHFORK?)

(Am I secretly pretending the “a***” stands for “asshole”? You betcha.)

Turns out that a***9 has bid on 90 items over the past 30 days. And the 579 feedback score after her name means (I assume) she has participated in that many eBay transactions. You know what my feedback score is? 9. Single digits, because I obviously am not doing enough treating of m’self.

Look, I just want this one thing. And because the universe decided to screw with me a little, this one thing has to be purchased over the internet from someone in or around Hong Kong.

Sit this one out, internet? Let me have a win?

0 Fish in a Sea of Diet Coke: