As I said yesterday, I am always looking for a deal. I love deals, and so the day my brother introduced me to the online estate auction site – EBTH, Everything But the House, I developed a new obsession, which has taken over the very rare spare moments in my day.
EBTH lists sales from various cities, and provides very nice photos of all the items, and very detailed blurbs about the item, the condition it is in, the dimensions and all that other stuff (this must take someone an inordinate amount of time to research and compile all this information). It also provides the shipping costs of the item (which seem astronomical to me). If you happen to be lucky enough to live near a town where one of the EBTH warehouses are located, then you can pick your items up for free. Since I live over on the West Coast, and there doesn’t seem to be many estate sales here on this side of the country, other than the rare one in Los Angeles, I have to be very cognizant of the shipping costs.
I love this site! Initially I was very leery of bidding on anything for several reasons. First and foremost, I really don’t need any of this stuff. Secondly, I don’t need to be pissing away my money, and thirdly (is that a word – thirdly? – I Googled it, and it is a word) what the heck I am going to do with it once I have it. But like I said I am all about the deals.
So far I have bid on 2 pictures, framed artwork, and won! One picture was a drawing of a cowboy on a horse, and the second print of a jazz band in New Orleans. I bid $1 on one (the cowboy) and got into a major bidding war for the other, and won it for a whopping $5. Here is the catch – it is costing me $63 to have both items shipped to my house. And how do I justify this cost, well I tell myself they are both framed, and it would cost me more to have them framed than have them shipped.
I have been majorly outbid on some items. I found this really cool oil painting of a Samurai warrior by a painter who I had never heard of, and no one bid on it, and I was so excited about his painting, but then with just over 24 hours to go, the bidding wars started and I was completely outbid (because remember I have to factor in the shipping costs as well – so I pretty much have to stop at about $10 on my max bids). I was really disappointed, about a picture painted by an artist I never even knew existed. I almost went into a depression over it. That’s nuts.
Here’s the other thing I think about when I scroll through the items for sale, from these various estates across the country. Why are these estates being sold – did the people die? Did they get put in Nursing Homes and their families are selling off their estate? But then I came across this one sale with yoga pants, and exercise equipment and obviously this lady was quite young, and so what happened to her? Hopefully, she didn’t die. Maybe she was moving to Cost Rica and just wanted to get rid of everything, or maybe she went to jail, or who knows.
And here is the other thing – why do these people own this stuff? Expensive stuff, but what do you do with it? Apparently, other people want to own the same stuff, or else they wouldn’t be bidding on it – but why?
Anyway, this whole online auctioning thing is kind of entertaining and exciting and voyeuristic, and good way to get really cool items for next to nothing. It beats the heck out of watching You tube videos. I thought you might like to know about it!
Please don’t tell my husband about the shipping costs – actually it is okay if you do, because I already told him, and he guffawed – he said you bid $1 on a picture, but spent $23 to have it shipped, that’s funny. And I said, yeah – but it is framed.
Here is the link, if you want to see what it is all about.