Nov 18, 2008

Taking Yet Another Stand This Christmas Season

I don't know about anybody else, but putting aside the free enterprise BS, those e-Bayer sellers who constantly run around buying up products just because they know they are the "in" product, or discontinued product, or the last item in a series so they can grossly overcharge an innocent consumer who wants nothing more than to see their child's eyes light up upon discovering that much-coveted toy is now theirs or to hand them something meaningful to pass on to their own children some day are yet grating my last nerve again this season.

I took a stand when the Hallmark Polar Express Bell was gobbled up by the greedy opportunistic e-Bay sellers in the hundreds of listings on e-Bay by the same sellers instead driving 30 miles away to buy them in-store (and buying some and holding them for other family members who also could not find them) as my children fell in love with the movie magic created by the movie release a few years back at the precious ages they were then. They were oh so happy to wake and find those tell-tale red and white striped packages under the miniature trees we keep in each of their rooms.

I took another stand a couple years back when they did the same and when my daughter desperately wanted the Butterscotch life-like pony that you could sit on, feed, and brush that made galloping sounds, chewing sounds, whinnies and neighs (sp?), etc. that already cost $230 in a regular store instead calling a local retailer every single day two to three times a day for weeks, having the manager take my note to place upon one in the next shipment to arrive, etc. - BINGO. I even called stores 100 miles away trying to find one.

I took yet another stand last year and got really miffed as I tried to locate, and well before Christmas, still in November, the 3rd baby ornament in the series for my youngest. I started a first Christmas through fifth Christmas series for each of my children. It was frustrating to discover that the series was being ended early and if you wanted the fourth or fifth Christmas, you had to buy all three. I managed to find the third and fifth Christmas, but not the fourth. Wouldn't you know it, TONS of them on E-BAY! Completely infuriating. Nope, I'll just tell my child what happened to his series when he is all grown up. He'll live. No way on earth I would pay someone 3 times the price plus shipping when I believe their tactics to be wrong.

I went out today to try to buy the eighth in a series Hallmark ornaments for my two oldest--Gone already. I won't even look on e-Bay. I KNOW they will be listed there and will continue to be listed there for the next couple of years. Who knows, maybe longer. Another stand.

I will start my city-wide and then state-wide search in earnest tomorrow. I would rather drive 300 miles or pay a gift store $300 to obtain them than I would pay an e-Bay seller.

I estimate it wouldn't take long for everyone to follow suit for the dream crushing and keepsake-prevention to cease. It is the over-eager, competitive, and/or willing consumer who enables this practice to continue.

Put it this way, I'd much rather see someone with the wrong intentions get saddled with a deficit/loss each year, and a few phrases jump to mind because it frustrates me to no end.....sit and spin, take that ___ and shove it, and I hope you choke on it.

I will, however, buy interesting, unique, one-of-a-kind, handmade, original items on e-Bay.

Sorry, as I don't really mean anyone any harm--just being as blunt as I can be and honest about it.

I fantasize that one day as my children help my grandchildren hang those ornaments and share memories of hanging them themselves long ago, part of the story will include something like "Back when I was a kid, there was this online auction/selling company where people tried to buy up things they knew others would want just so they could get paid 3 times the amount it cost in the stores, but not your grandma - oh no - she was stubborn and strong willed and she took a stand! She hoped enough people would do the same, and they did! That's why my fourth Christmas ornament is missing."

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