Thursday, October 14, 2010

The One That Got Away

Tonight I somehow made my way onto eBay. If there's anything that can suck me in for hours at a time, it's eBay. A long, long time ago, I registered with eBay through my office email address, because I didn't have a home computer at that time. And when my office cracked down on employee use of the office email, I drastically curtailed my eBay excursions--even though I could, by then, access it from my home computer. But every so often, to this day, I get dragged down into the quicksand that is eBay.

Like tonight. I started out looking for a particular line of semi-older fabric which, for me, is the gateway drug of auction shopping. From there, I moved onto pottery and glass, reminiscing about the auctions in the past that I let slip by or lost to another buyer. Like the covered pedestal cake dish that looked like a lovely red and white wrapped gift. Or the seductively curved chocolate pot. I have, though, managed to score several cherished pieces. Like the coin dot pitcher that resides in our hutch and which human hands are not allowed to touch; especially not clumsy male human hands. You can see it in the photo below--that white pitcher on the middle shelf behind glass.


It's a bit more "frou-frou" than my normal tastes, but there's something about it I love. I think it might be because it reminds me of agates a little bit, and I also love agates. One of my bosses gave me a Christmas gift in the form of lovely green cash, and I used part of it to buy myself that pitcher one year.

Every now and then, I'll get on eBay and search for the things I didn't win the first time I saw them, but rarely have I gotten lucky that way. I think the key is to make up your mind and try to buy them when you see them, don't you think? There are also a few things I look for to add to what I already have. For instance, awhile ago, I found a plate just like this one at Goodwill:


It's a line called Wild Poppy by Poppytrail which was manufactured by California Pottery. The colors are brilliant and the plate looks like a handpainted work of art. The one I found at Goodwill cost 49 cents. The ones I find on eBay cost more--particularly when you add on shipping and handling, which can often be a killer when it comes to heavy dishes and pottery.

Each piece in the line is a little different. For instance, here's what the dinner plate looks like:


I don't know why, but most of the sellers don't realize there's an "up" and "down" to this pattern--the poppy stems should point down. Duh! Anyway, all of the Wild Poppy pieces on eBay tonight were a little more than I wanted to spend, so I finally pulled myself away. But the day was not without its good deals. A lunch time trip to Goodwill netted me these treasures:


An oldish Pyrex pie dish (we're getting rid of all of our metal bakeware because we hate the rust that inevitably develops at some point, and I've got apple pies to bake!) and two Ball canning jars with the old screw on lids. I don't think I've EVER seen those types of canning jars at Goodwill; usually I come across them at antique stores or fairs, and the sellers want WAAAAY more than Goodwill's price of 99 cents and 49 cents--I'm still amazed that they had them priced so low!

And now that I think about it, I think that's what got me to log onto eBay tonight--after the excellent thrift store results, I probably felt it was my lucky day. But at eBay tonight, that wasn't the case, so I'll just keep dreaming about the ones that got away.

Do you shop eBay? If you do, what do you regret not "winning" and still think about?

13 comments:

Suzan said...

Before I bought my house, I was an eBay shopping fool. I added to my "good" china and my Christmas china. I bought glasses to match the holiday glasses I originally purchased through Arby's back in the 80s. I bought a couple of old quilts and I bought fabric. After I bought the house there was significantly less money to spend on things I THOUGHT I needed. Now I just stay away unless I find fabric to complete a project. (Of course, after your post I am now curious about what I have been missing!!)

Nancy said...

I was an ebay stalker a couple of years ago. I wanted enough of the 1950's tablecloths for all my Christmas tables... I finally got them and now I don't really go there. I now stalk Etsy and Flickr for ideas...

Quilter Kim said...

Love E-bay, but never let anything get away. (that's the problem) I did finally purchase a kit for the TB Safe Haven which I always regretted not buying when it was available at the quilt shops, so now I have a complete kit. Told my husband when I purchased it that he got me a nice Christmas present. Also bought a bolt of TB fabric at a great price. Now when I check out e-bay for TB it's mostly "buy it now" and the prices are what I can purchase it for at my local quilt shop without having to pay for shipping. Still searching for the good deals.

PunkiePie said...

I haven't been on eBay in 5 years. Ever since someone broke into my eBay account, changed my password and starting buying everything under the sun under my name and racking up a $2,300 bill. Luckily, PayPal was on the ball and none of the transactions were successful. But it still made me nervous. So I don't even look at the stuff on there. I don't need the temptation!

QuiltingFitzy said...

We use Ebay LOTS! It's more of a "shopping network" for us (make that dh!). We replace virtually any part for something broken, as long as we can find a part # for it. Parts for the pool pump, a tire rim, and new hub caps, etc! Dh once did win an auction for every size of dpns possible, along with another for every size of circulars.

We ALWAYS buy fully loaded, reconditioned laptops (avail in the $300 range!!!), can't beat that!

Vicky said...

I go in spurts buying on eBay. Lots of antique blocks, fabric, and some really old Pandolph fabric. I've purchased lots of wooden darners and textile bobbins. I tend to be a bit "over zealous" in competitive bidding, so it's probably best I stay away! Only lost one thing I regret now, and I still think about it from time to time. That's what I get for answering the phone five minutes before closing!

debbie said...

I'm with you on e-bay eating your time. I use to live 5 minutes from an auction house and spent 30 or more saturdays a year there...loved it. E-bay has brought some very good deals into my home, mostly car parts, a few fabrics, and my largest purchase (drum roll please) a 1958 Chevy CarryAll (aka Surburban) just like my dads. I bought it, but can blame my husband. He found it and encouraged me to buy it. That was 2 years ago and he's been in the garage ever since. I actually started it (for the 4th time in 2 years) and drove it down the street Monday for the first time. I can almost imagine driving it soon...legally ;~)

Erica said...

My first eBay purchase was Debbie Mumm quilting fabric way back, probably 10 years ago. My purchases have primarily been fabric or china. Now my husband is hooked on shopping for Disney pins through eBay too. I can't think of anything that ever got away and in fact, I think there are a couple things that I am really glad they did get away!

Kris said...

Never ebayed myself, but my husband and kids do enough for all of us! It is his go to for spare parts etc. I think the winner is my daughter who buys and sells all sorts. Especially baby's things and toys. She buys them, uses them, and then sells them again - usually for a profit. Not sure how she does that, but she does!

Sinta Renee said...

I love your story Kim! Mine is similar. I started out looking at Featherweights and kind of "researching" old sewing machines and toys sized ones. I also collect aprons. eBay is where I realized that I had a competitiveness side to me. And now that I have a black featherweight and a white one... I am disappointed to even look... did I mention the 100 aprons?

ROZ said...

About the only thing I buy on ebay is buttons. I need buttons for my knitting. Kid's cardigans. So I want bunches of buttons that are all the same, and the correct sizes. Have had good luck with that recently. I love your collection of plates and bottles.

Anonymous said...

I'm cutting back on my ebaying for now. But I have bought 4 sewing machines - 3 that I love, the 4th was sold to a family member. I usually make one bid, the top price that I'll pay for that item. If I don't get it, then it wasn't meant to be. So I don't have any regrets of anything getting away.
cindy

Jandi said...

I don't shop ebay much anymore. I do, however, stalk my local internet classifieds. I recently scored a really nice wingback chair, coffee table, and end table- all for a grand total of $28. I just need to find the right couch (for the right price) and I will finally have furniture in my livingroom!