The Definitive eBay Buying Bible
In some circles, I’m considered a God. Not in religious circles, even though those are probably the only ones that matter. Not even in Kanye West circles, because I’ve yet to record a cover of ‘I Am A God’ (Which by the way, sets up the best comeback to “who do you think you are” of all time. Of all time!). But in the circles of thrift and smart spending – often termed the Jewish and Indian co-op – I’m revered. I’m the friend you go to when you broke something super expensive and need a quick replacement, or when you’re really interested in getting that one thing you think you want but that you’re really going to use once before it turns into a dust-catcher. It’s with this exalted position and great responsibility that I bring you the ultimate guide to eBay – the website of wonder.
Contrary to the rules of ethics, if you’re good at something, never do it for free. Are you really good at blowing air into a plastic bag and zipping it shut before the air escapes? Pretend it was from a Kanye West concert and make a few thousand off it. Has dismembering animals always secretly been your thing? Make some bread by castrating and skinning a raccoon! You see those Yu-Gi-Oh cards in your room you were considering giving your little cousin before he started being an asshole? You’d be surprised at how much they’d fetch if you put them in an aluminum foil wrap and called it an exclusive booster pack. People have paid tens of thousands of dollars to have dinner with Sarah Palin, even when you could just bang her daughter Bristol with a six pack and a few joints (also available on eBay). Or as it was in my case – are you good at exploiting dumb people? Then take an image of a grid, copy it a bunch of times, and you’ll have your final product – a PDF of graph paper. You might wonder how many people would buy such a thing – but remember, all you need is one person to make it worth your time.
You might be worried that the people on the other end of the transaction might just be as malicious as you – but they play by different rules entirely. They have a reputation to maintain, whereas you… don’t. The bigger the number is next to their seller name means that more people have done business with them, which is important because size matters. If someone says they’ll only do local pickup for an item, chances are that they either want to try and pick you up romantically, or pick you up and throw you in a conveniently nearby dumpster so they can steal your car. Don’t check their item or shipping ratings, but check their communication ratings – you don’t want some foreigner who doesn’t use articles in their sentences to try and help you through a return or a replacement. And even though you might be a social media whore, don’t judge them by the quality of their pictures – high quality or stock photos could be signs of a scam.
The early bird may get the worm, but we’re in the digital wild – don’t bother bidding on something early on. Other sly bargain-hunters like you might panic and bid up the price; just wait until there’s about eighteen seconds left, which happens to be the perfect time to prevent others from reacting and for you to enter multiple bids if you need to. Speaking of early on, try bidding at 3 or 4 in the morning in the middle of your usual masturbatory session – a term I’ve coined ‘bid it up and get it up’. Plus, those max bids of yours better not be an even dollar amount, since those extra cents can prove to be the winning bid.
You’ve probably heard of the concept of depreciation when you were trying to pay attention to that one car salesman or while wasting twelve bucks to watch The Big Short, but that rule doesn’t hold. If you were to – hypothetically – buy a used laptop, clean it out, put some cool software on it, and use some really nice angles to capture its better side, it’ll probably go for a hundred more bucks than you got it for. If Rod Blagojevich could fill Obama’s vacant senate seat via eBay, think of what you could possibly sell!
All the rules you’re used to, they don’t apply. Where is your God now?