And the Winner is….

Crap!  It’s me.  I won.  Dangit!

I won something on eBay and I really wish I hadn’t.  I bid on the item, that really had quite a good price, but I made the fatal, well, ok not fatal but certainly costly mistake of not checking the price for shipping first.   Upon checking the shipping cost I realized why the item was still so reasonably priced, why I was the first and ultimately only bidder.  The seller was trying to make their money not from the item itself but from charging at least five times what it will actually cost them to send it.

See, the item is a rock climbing harness (something that I probably shouldn’t be buying anyway.  I have been climbing quite a bit lately anything to get me out of the house and away from the kids and I intend to continue to do so, it’s a great full body workout and well, really fun, but you can’t climb alone and the gal I go with has a spare harness so I don’t really need my own what I really need are climbing shoes but they’re considerably more expensive.)  and the weight, or lack thereof, of a harness is an important feature, a feature that is easy to ascertain for the most part and even if one can’t find the exact specs for the harness that they were looking at on, say eBay, they could certainly find comparable harness and see that they weighed under a pound and it doesn’t take a postal employee to tell you that it doesn’t cost $15 to mail a small 15 oz item from Washington state to Utah.  Hypothetically speaking of course.

I hate it when people do this!  I think it’s immoral, they list an item for a low low price just counting on some idiot (in this case that would be me) coming along and bidding without reading the fine print.  I understand that it’s a great way to get your stuff sold and to make a little cash but at what expense really?  It’s not theft technically, but it is slight of hand (which I like as well as the next girl when it comes to magic tricks) it’s sneaky and underhanded and … wrong.  (Yes, I get that it’s my responsibility to read all the fine print before I bid, I get my responsibility in all this but … well, if you can’t see it then there’s no explaining it to you.)

As soon as I realized that the shipping cost was what it was I began hoping that I would be outbid, I thought that the chances of that were pretty good, I only bid 1 cent over the asking price after all, and people don’t win $90+ climbing harnesses for $25 right?  You already know the answer to that so we’ll move on. (The answer is no they don’t, they win $90+ climbing harnesses for $40.)  Obviously I was not outbid.

Upon winning I did send an email to the seller asking if they’d be willing to come down on the shipping but I’m not holding out a lot of hope and as I told them, if they won’t come down I’ll go ahead and pay in full since I did bid and not paying what I promised to pay is also not exactly right (I might have mentioned this before here or here or anyway) but either way I am the owner of two new climbing harnesses.

Did I forget to mention that just after I bid on the harness on eBay I found a brand new harness at REI.com for $30 with free shipping and (either thinking that I would surely be outbid or forgetting altogether about the harness I was in the process of buying on eBay (it was 2 in the morning, my thought processes were not exactly linear) or some kind of combination of the two) I bought it?  Whoops.

Hey, anyone want to go climbing with me?  I’ll supply the harness.

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8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. flip flop mama
    Sep 14, 2009 @ 15:31:40

    Dang, I hate that. You could turn around and sell it back on eBay, with the right shipping costs of course…

  2. Kristina
    Sep 14, 2009 @ 15:36:23

    Sellers do this all the time. I agree with you. Unethical. You have to sort of admire it, really.

  3. Julie
    Sep 14, 2009 @ 16:00:52

    I’m always bidding on stuff on Ebay and then secretly hoping I get outbid. I usually do, thank goodness.

    I’m with Flip — resell. Or enjoy having two. Your call.

  4. Migillicutty
    Sep 14, 2009 @ 18:55:06

    I’d love to go rock climbing, I had SO much fun when we went!

    Oh, wait… I’m actually a teensy little bit of a long ways away….

    Dangit.

  5. bythelbs
    Sep 15, 2009 @ 11:16:25

    If they don’t come down on the shipping then you should be sure to leave a comment about their outrageous shipping rates. I mean those ebay ratings are super important. Maybe you should actually threaten to leave a bad rating if they don’t come down on the price. Because when it comes to extortion and the trickery of “discounted” item prices and inflated shipping rates, extortion is obviously the lesser crime.

  6. madhousewife
    Sep 15, 2009 @ 11:38:11

    I’ve never won anything on eBay. But I usually don’t bid on eBay because I know I won’t win. My defeatist strategy has saved me a lot on shipping & handling.

  7. LisAway
    Sep 22, 2009 @ 06:23:50

    Well, I’ve always felt a girl can never have too many climbing harnesses, so you should really just start a collection.

  8. Sean
    Nov 28, 2009 @ 09:39:41

    I think you meant sleight instead of slight of hand.

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