I managed to keep myself away from eBay for the longest time ... up until last week I'd only bought 3 things there (an out-of-print CD, and two of ana's artworks), although I had put bids in for some other things (mainly art of other LJ folks) from time to time.
However, a couple of weeks back, my elder Daughter began expressing an interest in Pokemon cards. I recall from my childhood how an obsession with this sort of thing can be quite satisfying, so I was willing to indulge her on this ... that is, until The Wife picked up a pack of the cards for her at 7-11 ... over $3.00 for NINE cards??? That's insane! So, being the internet creature that I am, I scurried off to Google to see if I could find some wholesale source on these ... a quest in which I have so far been unsuccessful. What I did find is that there are a LOT of Pokemon cards being sold via eBay (as of this moment, there are 6,201 Pokemon card auctions open!). Well, I found a set of 760 cards and bid on it, and eventually "won" with a bid of $26.00, to which a $3.50 shipping charge was added ... $29.50 for 760 (less than 4¢ a card), not bad versus $3.00 (or more) for 9!
While we are still waiting for those to come in (I sent the cashiers check out last Monday), I got "that itch" again, and was back searching eBay this morning. I just "won" a 205 card lot for $10.50 (plus $2.00 shipping ... for around 6¢ a card) that I bid on when there was just 3 minutes left in the auction, and have a "watch" on three other auctions (lots of 250+, 110+, and 650 cards). I would have bid on another big set this morning (for some reason, I only feel like bidding on auctions that are in their last hour or so ... it must be that "instant gratification" thing of knowing yes/no on them) but the seller was asking an unreasonable amount for shipping.
Now, I'm able to "justify" a lot of this Pokemon buying due to being able to get the cards for 1/5th to 1/10th of the local retail, and I'm able to figure that keeping Daughter #1 amused for the next 3+ weeks (her last day of camp was Friday, and she's going to be home with me until school starts!) is definitely in my interests, BUT this just doesn't seem to be something that I should be spending money on right now, especially with money being as tight as it currently is. (SIGH)
Still ... there is the lure of the chase ... finding the things I'd like to bid on, tracking the bidding, and constantly doing the math (i.e., "what's the per-card cost on this?"). I have pretty much successfully weaned myself off of all of my collections/hobbies/etc. since I've not had a paycheck, so there hasn't been any draw to eBay until this Pokemon thing came up. Now I can finally see the allure it has for so many of my other L.J. friends!
ACK! Stop me before I bid again!