An evil opportunist – me and eBay

I must be evil. Not only have I sucked my mother into the world of eBay, but now I have pulled my poor, defenseless grandmother in with me, too.

Now, my grandmother is over 70, the Webmaster is her tech support, and she bribes us with lunches and dinners so that we will be up at their place to update/help with the computer. My step-grandfather seems to have a better grasp on things, but we still get phone calls (fortunately, we’re not long-distance) for help. Email seems to have gotten better for her, but checking websites is something that she’s still not comfortable with.

So what did I do? I’m spending her money on eBay.

As her mother before her, and my mother and me after her, my grandmother loves china, crystal and other collectible items. Currently, she is building up yet another set of china that she got a jump-start on at some garage sale. It is a beautiful Noritake china, but the pieces that she has are mostly serving ones and dinner plates, so she is looking for things like salad plates and the like. One place that she has kept tabs on is Replacements, Ltd., which stocks old china and china that is both current and discontinued, along with silver and crystal. But since they have stocks of stuff, and a mildly captive consumer market, the prices are often high. Enter eBay and the wonders of capitalism.

I found the china on eBay. Someone had obviously picked up a lot of the china at an estate sale or something, because the quantities were incomplete and they were selling them in a Dutch auction. Trying to explain a Dutch auction to my grandmother was not my finest moment, let me tell you. I personally don’t like them, but I’ve bought from them more than once. Regardless, with my help she walked away with 8 salad plates and 5 teacups and saucers, for much much much less than she would have paid through a place like Replacements – which, incidentally, has its own eBay store with its inflated prices as sort of a “place of last resort” for the eBay consumer.

But that wasn’t the end of it. Oh, noooo. You see, there is another set of china that she wanted to add pieces to – and this is where I became truly evil. This particular set of china is her wedding set from when she married my biological grandfather – and I will inherit it someday. So, helping her get more china in this set is sort of – ahem – helping myself out later on. Like I said, evil! Four more teacups and saucers later (and trust me, I was fighting every step of the way for what I got – that market for an over 50-year-old china is HOT) for the price that she could have bought one teacup and two saucers for at Replacements really is a fantastic steal, but I guess it still doesn’t mitigate the fact that I am spending her money for my own wants later. And getting the postive feedback to boot.

I guess I should feel more guilt. I really am trying. So far, no luck. I am trying to justify all of this by getting good deals on the china. And by telling myself that I am being a helpful granddaughter. But who am I kidding?

One Response to “An evil opportunist – me and eBay”

  1. linda and george
    July 26th, 2005 03:28

    Oh…so sorry, Deanna and [Webmaster]:
    We really didn’t know how loopy your Grandmother would get with the Internet and e-bay! Computers are a two edged sword!
    But, as you have addressed, you really will have great ‘end’ benefits from all of the computer update and ‘tech’ service updating!

    hugs and our thanks,
    linda and george