Last weekend, I ventured out to Napa Valley wine country to attend first annual BottleRock Music Festival. BottleRock is a 5-day music festival held at the Napa Valley Expo.
Having been slapped on the face with the reality of recession, I decided to set up an eBay account in order to get rid of all the junk (shoes that I never wear, sunglasses I can no longer pull off at my age, gadgets I never use, clothes that I'll never fit into...) I've amassed over the last few years. Although I am all for technology and trying new things, I have to admit that the experience of selling items on eBay can be very daunting. And it is not helpful that potential buyers/ sellers treat first time eBayers (such as myself) with the highest level of suspicion as if included in the box, is not only my "Pre-Loved, Gently Used, LIKE NEW Prada Patent Sneakers," but also a package containing gasoues fume just waiting to explode on their faces.
As an eBay-er with 0 credibility to my name, even the words "honor," "virtue," and "integrity" all fused into my user name, didn't help the barrage of e-mails from seasonsed eBay-ers asking me if the shoes were authentic:
Person A: Are the shoes authentic? Can you send me 30 more pictures so I can be sure of the authenticity?
Person B: WHY are you selling the shoes now? The timing is a little suspect.. hmm. JTILYK (just thought I'd let you know” in e-Bay lingo).
Person C: Name the sales person that helped you at the Saks Fifth Avenue store so I can make sure it's authentic, and also the cross street to where the Saks is located.
I was well on my way to selling my second pair of shoes, "Pre-Loved, Gently Used, LIKE NEW, ONLY WORN ONCE Gucci Sneakers - IMPOSSIBLE TO FIND, SOLD OUT EVERYWHERE, WILL SELL QUCKLY ACT NOW", when I noticed that the highest bidder was a first time eBay user with 0 credibility to his name. At first, I was opposed to selling to a first time user, because frankly we live in an ugly world, but than I thought, 'where's the love?' and with Marvin Gaye's song "What's Going On" blasting on my iTunes (Yes, I am well aware that Marvin Gaye wrote the song to bring end to racism, but if he were alive today, don't you think he would want to end the hate for first time ebay buyers/sellers?) I decided to send him a congratulatory e-mail. (actually, I guess it was more of a, where’s my money? e-mail.) What I got in response was so shocking that I almost fell off my chair upon reading the e-mail.
Here are some excerpts:
"hellow even thow ii did manage to win the silver gucci sneakers ii want to buy both your silber gucci sneakers and your red patent leather pradas
"o0ok ii will try and pay asap . . also fo you have any other shoes like these that you A willin to sell ?! if so then ii was thinkin mabey the more shoes ii could purchase from you then the more of an deal we could work outt"
If Obama ever needs proof of the failing education system in America, I could just present him these e-mails, and I’m sure he would declare code red right away! I know I'm no Harriet Beecher Stowe, or Gustave Flaubert (I read that he rewrote sentences over and over again until he got it just right), but I could not help but think, what was this dude thinking when he wrote these e-mails?
I started hyperventilating after I received these kinds of e-mails. I was convinced that I've been duped by some false eBay buyer out to get people like me, who just want to make an honest living. However, to my dismay, I was wrong. As the saying goes, never judge a book by its cover, he was actually really nice to work with (as in he paid right away), and I even learned not to be so suspicious of the world: that there are actually good people out there who just love sneakers although they can't spell to save their lives. Who knows, he might become my most valued customer in the future as I have 366660000023943820948209 more pairs of sneakers left to sell.
Swirl of the Moment: 2006 Bianco di Annibale