Ebay, I love it like a rich old guy loves his twenty-two year-old girlfriend. I spend lots of money on it and have a great time doing it. Damn the consequences. Until the money runs out. When I come to my senses, and freeze the spending, Ebay will whisper sweet nothings in my ear via push notifications. “Item you looked at has been discounted!”. “Auction is ending in 10 minutes!” “You have been outbid!”- to be honest sometimes I’m not even sure what it was that I bid on in the first place.
This morning I dodged an Ebay bullet which would have amounted to about $250 smackaroos. It was a Kiev 88 medium format camera. This camera is a beautiful Russian copycat of a Hasselblad. I have always wanted a medium format camera in that style. There are four brands which produced similarly built cameras. Hasselblad, Mamiya, Bronica and Kiev. The quality is generally listed in that order as well. The Kiev though was the most financially attainable for me.
Bing! “An item similar to items you have viewed is ending in 10 minutes!” A Kiev in good working condition for less than $200. It only took as long as it takes to read that lovely little Ebay notice to convince myself that I truly needed it. With dollars to euros conversion and shipping it would be nearly $25
Like impulsively buying a candy bar at the checkout counter, I bid. Instantly, I felt dirty. I have bills to pay like everyone else. I have, kids, animals and a husband to feed. I need cash to support my film habit. I need cash to support my coffee habit. And worst of all, I have so many cameras and accoutrements that I have no more room to add to my collection. As a responsible adult, I failed.0.
I put my phone with that blighted Ebay app in the kitchen. I started a second pot of coffee, my guilt even blacker than the liquid in my cup. I went downstairs to fold laundry for the last 8 minutes of the auction before I had to pay the bill.
After what I had deemed about the right amount of time, I went back to my phone to see what exactly I owed.
First I read “You are no longer the highest bidder! Bid NOW!”
Then “Auction ends in one minute! Bid NOW!”
Followed by “That one got away from you!”
And lastly “Don’t worry, here are some similar items!”
I started to scroll through their suggestions. I found another Kiev 88 for a similar price. I thought about, I really did. I took a long swig of coffee. After plopping my phone down on the counter, I grabbed a camera and went outside to photograph my kid chasing chickens. Not today Ebay, not today.