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July 1, 2017

Giving up ebay

Or how I stopped trying to save the princess and started trying to save the planet

eBay.
Its icon sits on my screen like one of my many games.
But no matter how hard I try, I can't save the princess.

One night on eBay my chin bought a bag. True story. My chin. I was shopping instead of sleeping, browsing for the ultimate bag to fit ALL my stuff (laptop, books, keep cup and spare bag, drink bottle and lunch, as well as my keys and purse and all my other random crap). Basically I fell asleep, dropped my phone on my face, my chin hit the buy it now button and next thing I know I've accidentally purchased a $99 faux fur leopard print bag. I mean, I didn't totally lament the purchase, the bag is fabulous and it fits ALL my stuff in it, but in hindsight... hot-damn carrying that much stuff puts a lot of pressure on my shoulders!!

So I guess you could say that back then my eBay game was strong! And I had literally turned it into a game. The $5 eBay challenge. You could buy anything so long as it was $5 or under (including shipping). Of course this led to a lot of purchases of absolute crap. Cheap scarves and sunnies, hair accessories and t-shirts, mostly from China and Shenzhen. No way they cost less than $5. And yet they did.

Where was the cost of transport, packaging, the lives of the workers being paid less than living wages? I wasn't seeing it. Until suddenly, I was. Everything I looked at I could see through it, cheap crap made to satisfy a moment.

Now it all just looked like a fleeting skerrick of retail therapy at the expense of other people and the planet.

So what now? No eBay? Well, let's start with some boundaries, eh?! So I stopped buying crap that I didn't need. Because the first step is always saying no! Or at least asking why? Then I started looking more closely at the seller, where are they, are they local enough to buy in person? If not are they at least in Australia? How will they ship the goods, in a cardboard box or a plastic satchel?

I've lost track of how much crap I've bought that I didn't need. This year I've used eBay a bit differently. I've tried to only use it for things I actually need that I can't source locally. It's a different way to 'play' eBay, and it'll never save the princess. But it might help save the planet.

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