20 August 2008

NEARLY made a small child cry

I learned some eBaying lessons today. Thankfully, I didn't learn them the HARD way.

I am looking for a particular set of children's books and while I was researching, I found three secondhand books and a video that Sonny Ma-Jiminy would like.

Mistake 1: I told Sonny Ma-Jiminy about them before the auction was won*.

Lesson 1: Never allow your kid to fall in love with an item until the auction is WON. By YOU.

The starting bid was $4.00 and since there were no other bids and the auction closed in 30 minutes, I decided that my maximum bid should be $4.00. After all, if a new bidder wanted to put a higher bid on in the closing seconds of the auction, then I'd just look around for something else.

Mistake 2: I wasn't really sure about whether I really wanted the item, so I let my low bid be a form of "casting lots" to see if the transaction was meant to be or not.

Lesson 2: Be sure about whether you definitely want the item or not. And if you decide you are serious, put a decent bid on.

I love the excitement of the closing stages of an auction, and I shared it with Sonny today. I explained that the minutes and seconds showed we were getting closer to the end of the auction, and that we were still winning the auction each time I refreshed the screen and our screen name was there.

Mistake 3: I got Sonny all excited about the fact that "at the moment... the books and video are OURS!!!"

Lesson 3: Just win the darn auction yourself, pay for the items, and then tell your kid that the books and video will be coming in the post.

He was hanging on to each screen refresh, and as the close of the auction drew closer I got an uneasy feeling that if a higher bid was put on in the closing seconds, I'd have one disappointed little chap. But surely nobody would bid, would they?

Refresh. 3 minutes 12 seconds left. Still ours.

Refresh. 2:34 left. Still ours.

Refresh. 1:29 left. Still ours.

Refresh. 0:52 left. Still ours

Refresh. 0:37 left. DISASTER! Another bid had been placed and we were losing this auction. Sonny burst into tears and started howling. Hm. So it turns out the $4.00 bid was a risk not worth taking. Interesting.

And now I had to protect my offspring from the stupidity of my three mistakes above. (I don't protect him from his own mistakes, but it's not fair he should be howling because of mine. My three mistakes.)

I thought as quickly as I could with my head addled from this stupid cold. What about putting a bid of $5.00 on? Better still - what about $6.00? I'm glad I did, because I'd failed to notice that the other bid was for $4.99, so $5.00 wasn't going to be good enough anyway.

Then I went cold as my stupid cordless mouse failed to register my clicks as I submitted my bid, and my computer decided to go VERY slowly. Surely we'd lost. Surely I'd made my boy sad. Surely I'd been a total eBay schmuck.

At last the page loaded, telling me that in the final eleven seconds of the auction my bid had been accepted, the auction had ended and I had been the winner. Thankfully!

Sonny Ma-Jiminy switched off the crying and switched on the celebrating. Then he got a little bit quiet and asked, "Are the other people crying now?" "Probably not," I reassured him. "They'll look at these other books -" I pointed to the seller's other items "- and they'll buy one of those.

Books and video won. Lessons learned. Another day put to bed.

* Note, I say the AUCTION is won, not the ITEM is won. I'm not one of these silly people who believes that you're getting stuff for free on eBay. So please don't comment to that effect. It just makes me groan.


tinsenpup said...

You're a master (mistress?) of suspense. You had me very much on my toes over a piffling eBay auction (oh, and Sonny's not so piffling psyche, of course).

Hippomanic Jen said...

Well done that you got it. I'm certain that computers stuff up and go slow just to give our blood pressure exercise, but it was nice of yours to still let you win for Sonny's sake.


I think it's really sweet & thoughtful that he wondered if they other people were crying over their loss.
Congrats on your win!

Lynda said...

Awww...your boy is a sweetie pie.

heather of the EO said...

such a roller-coaster of emotion, that ebay.
truly funny post.

Darcie said...

Gotta love ebay don't ya? Well, as long as you win that is...

Glad it worked out for you!

Adelaine said...

Ugh, I have done that before - not good. Atleast you won though. I was not that fortunate!

Crazy Sister said...

Your 'page refreshing' recounts always have me on the edge of my seat! Nat is very special to think about the other people.

Jen said...

Ok this was another of your best posts ever! I loved it. LOL FUNNY!

Givinya De Elba said...

Hey everyone, I wasn't sure about thispost, myself. I nearly deleted it. You really liked it that much?

Hi CrazySis, Well, you can't get mad at other people now for blowing your pseudonym on your blog!

It's a good thing that my readership is full of lovely people! Otherwise I'd have psychos tracking down the Australian Family who has a small boy called Nat and they'd rock my roof and take photos of me bending over in the back yard. Scary.

Nevermind though CrazySis. I'll just blow your cover. Hey everyone - she's really called Hortense and has a husband called Cyril. Her kids are Grievous and Hilda-Gertrude.

So there!

Sunangel said...

Just don't take him to a real auction. He would want to buy everything there.

I love the name of your blog and want to share it with my friends here in the United States so I hope you don't mind but...

Tag! You're IT! See my UN-spectacular blog post. :)

Whiney Momma said...

Ebay can definitely be a thrilling thing...just don't let it become an addiction (coming from a ebay addict myself)!

Crazy Sister said...

Aw crumbs. After nearly a year of perfect anonymity. Kicking myself -it was late, and I was tired.

Sorry, Sonny-ma-Jiminy.

Aunty Doofus

tinsenpup said...

Ah, he'll always be Sonny-ma-Jiminy to us scary Internet strangers. Try not to blame Hortense. After a long day caring for Grievous and Hilda-Gertrude and seeing to Cyril's needs, anyone would have slipped. :)

Tracy P. said...

Good grief, your comments are as funny as your posts! "Are the other people crying now?" What a kid!