by June T. Bassemir
Addiction comes in all sorts of disguises. Right now I am addicted to Ebay selling and I am grateful the addiction is only that and not of another kind. Still, I get up in the morning, slip into my slippers, race to the computer; click on “my eBay” to see what has sold and what hasn’t. It’s compelling, surprising and fun!
This strain of addiction comes from having too many things in the house that I have collected over the years and displayed to family and visiting friends. But now my friends are moving on and hardly anyone visits anymore... so what’s the point? At the height of my addiction I remember being jolted by the remark of one new friend when after glancing around the walls of my den she said “Where do you rest your eyes?”
When I moved into my new house I cut down on the decorations and stored many of these items away. Now with Ebay selling, the treasures are being unwrapped, pictured and put up for the auction.
It has been an education in many ways but mostly in listing everything with the right description. I have found with the right words things that didn’t sell the first time around will, the second time around. For instance. I had a beautiful, flawless, colorful Royal Bavarian plate that graced my china closet for years. I listed it as such but for days no one bid on it. It was in danger of remaining in the china closet until I revised the title with these words: “Nude Aphrodite and Poseidon Royal Bavarian plate”. It sold within days of the new listing. This, along with a 1945 Esquire Varga calendar of scantily dressed women that sold for over fifty dollars, proved to me that in our world today, erotica sells.
One might wonder why I just don’t leave it all for the kids to clear out but unless I leave notes on everything they won’t have a clue who wore the old wedding shoes or who was the dandy that carried the gold headed walking stick. So all this selling helps me clear out the closets of things that long ago held fascination for me.
There is another thing that I discovered selling this way and it’s about wedding gowns. Do you know there are over 1,800 listings on eBay of wedding gowns? That’s because every bride keeps their wedding gown presumably for the next generation to use but in most cases the daughter is either the wrong size or she wants her own design. Now, the brides are getting smarter and selling their gowns after just a few short years when money is needed for the growing family or... for the divorce.
Right now my 1948 wedding dress in its original box is up for grabs on the eBay auction site... along with a picture of the bride. In the meantime it limply lies in the box surrounded with pink tissue paper waiting for someone to buy it for whatever reason. It carried me down the aisle to marry a good man producing four wonderful kids and 9 terrific grandkids (plus a bonus step grandchild. ). Now it waits for whatever is in store – either the dust bin or a theatrical group.
Part II Going, Going ... Gone!
I’m holding my breath... twenty two minutes to go. Twenty two minutes and then the item I listed on eBay will NOT sell. Yes, I am sorry I listed it. This desire to bring in more money to pay the dentist bill has overtaken my senses.
I have scoured the bureau drawers, the closet shelves and carefully hidden boxes with anything that I think is rare and saleable. That’s when I came across the small 2” x 3 ¼” book that once belonged to my grandmother who received it from her father when she was 18 yrs. old. His writing is in English but the book is all in German. He states that the book ”belonged to her great great grandmother”. It was published in 1647. It is the oldest thing I have in the house. How could I have been so greedy for money that I would sell this to a stranger? True I put a heavy price on it...a dollar a year... but it has generated much interest. 24 people have looked at it and one person is watching it.
Oh Dear.....Six minutes to go.....Of course I could decide not to send it if someone does bid at the last minute but then I would never be able to sell on eBay again. Did I mention what the book was about? Well I don’t read German but I have determined that it is the New Testament and there are pictures in it as well. Please.... let me keep it....dear Lord...... time is slipping so slowly....surely the six minutes are up.... why hasn’t eBay notified me that the auction is over?............should I go for breakfast and then check back?.......no... I’ll just wait.... ahhhhhhh.... I heard a click.... eBay notified me that it DIDN’T SELL. WOW... I am so glad! Thank you God.
June Tuthill Bassemir is the widowed mother of four and grandmother of 10. An artist and writer, she volunteers as a docent in a 1765 farm house. June loves old cars and antiques, and has also enjoyed furniture stripping and rug hooking. "I used to say I was a stripper and hooker.but with so many trips around the sun, no one raises an eyebrow anymore. They only laugh." June has given up furniture stripping, but is still an avid rug hooker.