She’ll do fine

Sunday February 26, 2006

eBay is not a good place for sore losers to hang out. It’s very much a ‘some you win, some you lose’ kind of deal and if you can’t take the losing, it’d be much better not to deal at all.

Graham’s fallen foul of a bad loser who put up a couple of men’s shirts for sale, setting the starting price low, and who is now clearly not at all pleased that Graham succeeded in bidding with no competition, securing them at what is, frankly, a ridiculously low price. The venom oozed through her confirmatory email. And that’s so silly.

Now, there are two conflicting arguments when setting a starting price and you need to think about it. A low-end price is likely to attract more bidders but has the built-in snag that, if multiple bidders fail to emerge, you’re likely to have to part with the item at your starting price. Best approach, when that happens, is to conclude the deal with a smile and post the item off with a light heart. It’s supposed to be fun, and if you don’t feel the fun, or temporarily lose it, it’s best not to deal at all or temporarily to suspend your activities until the urge returns.

I feel for the seller of the shirts, really I do, but I fear that my sympathy is limited. eBay is not rocket science and it takes little in the way of thinking to work out the inevitable fact that, sometimes, you’re going to be disappointed. Set it against the good deals, and move on.

Me, I’m on a temporary suspension of eBay activity. I’m not inclined to add to our clutter at this point, and I can’t be doing with the hassle of maintaining a stock of suitable cardboard and packing materials when we need the space for packing of a more serious nature. I’ll get back to it when we’re in our new home, starting with all the stuff that doesn’t suit, or won’t fit.

This time there’s going to be nothing in the loft but Christmas decorations, suitcases, and empty cartons. I seem at last to have lost that fatal urge to keep stuff that might come in handy one day. I’ve no idea how many ‘one days’ I have left, nor any interest in knowing, but I do know that they’ll be better spent living free and easy. Thoreau put it well:

What man but a philosopher would not be ashamed to see his furniture packed in a cart and going up country exposed to the light of heaven and the eyes of men, a beggarly account of empty boxes? … I could never tell from inspecting such a load whether it belonged to a so-called rich man or a poor one; the owner always seemed poverty-stricken. Indeed, the more you have of such things the poorer you are. Each load looks as if it contained the contents of a dozen shanties; and if one shanty is poor, this is a dozen times as poor.
from: H.D. Thoreau, Walden

Speaking of serious packing, Graham had a good think yesterday.

“I think we should order a house-mover’s pack now and get cracking on the stuff from cupboards and such,” he said.

“Well, ok. It’s tempting fate, but I agree, it’d be good to get started.”

So I clicked on the supplier I’ve had bookmarked ever since the last move, and ordered a set of boxes, wrapping and tape. It’ll be here on Monday or Tuesday, and then packing can commence. Can’t wait. We’re tired of waiting, and dozing, and storing up energy in readiness for the mayhem to come. The time has come for us to hold our noses and jump.

I gave Dolly the Mega-cat a good cuddle and told her to gear up for changes. She regarded me solemnly for a moment until she was distracted by a stray tuft of hair on a back leg demanding her immediate and undivided attention. She’ll do fine.



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