“Don’t forget to check eBay.” he said for oh, the tenth time that morning. The rewards for good behaviour were due. And, to save me a trip to Smyths and a few Euros to boot, the boys had all chosen Lego sets from eBay. Mostly second hand but will all the pieces intact and at a reduced price.
A very bad idea. Do you know how long it takes between bidding, paying, the five day wait for payment clearance and waiting for the toy to arrive? No? Well neither do I, because we are still waiting! It takes forever.
Anyway this morning, my eldest boys Lego Bionicle figure (used, no box) was coming to the end of its bidding time. I checked my emails. No, I had not been outbid. It looked like I was going to get a good deal. 99p for a much wanted toy. Later in the afternoon I had another look, just so I wouldn’t be pipped at the post. Still no email alerts. Then I checked the item. There had been four bids, the highest was now £8.04 and I was the winning bidder. How could that be? But there it was on the screen, only a bid more than £99.00 sterling would beat me. Panic stations.
Two long, fruitless and life shortening phone calls to eBay later, I realised what I had done. Like a complete eegit I had said that the highest I would pay was £99.00 instead of 99p. I actually remembered putting the dot in the wrong place. So now, every time someone else put in a bid, my eBay account automatically outbid them and would keep doing so until the magic number £99.00 was reached.
Yes I tried to cancel it and no that wasn’t possible. Bids cannot be retracted if there are less than twelve hours to go until the end of the auction. Even my rant at customer services was unsatisfying as there was a time-lag on the phone call and every time I said “I made a mistake! Why are you called the help desk if you can’t help?” at exactly the same time a very quiet, distant voice would say “And what is your issue today?”
When I checked again, the top bid was £8.90 and there was twenty two minutes to go. There was nothing to do but wait. Life seemed very unfair. I did the right thing yesterday, and now I was going to pay one hundred pounds (sterling!) for a used toy?
Well no, I didn’t. Bidding ended at £10.53 sterling, plus £4.95 shipping. Not exactly a bargain but a lot better than it could have been. The gods were on my side. Halleluiah.