Spending other people’s money

The alternate title to this blog post is, “Mom, guess what I found on eBay!”

Due to having high-speed internet access (as compared to dial-up) and an account on a few different sites, and a clean record on eBay, I have been, um, “helping” people shop for a while. Mostly my parents. My Dad discovered the wonders of eBay before I did, instructing the Webmaster to bid on items that he had found – mostly racing memorabilia and models. Then I did a good chunk of my Christmas shopping on eBay this last year, and got some great deals. The other big chunk of Christmas shopping was done via Barnes and Noble, online (no sales tax!), which has free shipping for orders over $25. Since I am a “card member” (bought into their membership card program), I save even more.

But then I dragged my poor, defenseless mother into the eBay morass. She has collected, over the years, a certain kind of bear figurine that is no longer sold widely in stores like Hallmark or other knick-knack places. You can still find them in antique shops, but she isn’t looking so much to acquire new things as she is trying to complete old sets. Enter the thriving bidding block of eBay.

It is so much more fun to spend her money than mine. Not only have we expanded her collection, the Webmaster and I now have a blue star (over 50 transactions) which makes us look even better.

The other thing that I love is finding just the right gift for someone. It doesn’t matter if I find it online or in a store. I relish the thrill of the hunt. Sometimes the thrill is a little less present because of gift registries and wish lists, but I still enjoy buying other people nice gifts. And this now goes hand-in-hand with spending my Mom’s money, thanks to the wonder of online sales.

It is wedding season, and nearly everyone around this neck of the woods registers at The Bon (bought out and now renamed Macy’s – ick, ick, ick). The fun of looking at wedding registries (I like to look at fine china, myself) is now coupled with the imperative of getting a good sale from the registry. And sometimes, those sales are only available online. I don’t know why, but it works for me. So I have “helped” my parents more than once to finding the right wedding gift for the right price. Maybe this is my gift, to help others buy gifts.

Or maybe I just like spending other people’s money.

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