The Watchman

The Watchman

Thursday, September 2, 2010

I'm an Addict

So I have to confess - I've become an ebay addict. I'm not sure which has me more hooked - the rush of adrenaline as the last seconds count down on an item I'm bidding for and winning or the smiles on my kids faces when the boxes show up on the doorstep to reveal some item they thought they would never see again.

My obsession started as I worked on completing the required inventory for the insurance company. So many of the things we had owned are no longer available in stores. As part of the inventory, we were required to provide a replacement cost for each item listed. Since I could no longer walk down to my local WalMart and create a price list, I turned to the internet. For so many of the items, Google provided suggestions through ebay. I quickly realized that ebay would be my most affordable choice if I wished to replace many of the items on our wishlist.

The wishlist was something we sat down after the fire and created. We asked the kids to come up with the items that they felt they would most miss from our home. We knew we would never be able to replace everything, but we hoped to be able to replace the most important things.

One thing all my boys mentioned was their Heroscape game. This game is a cross between Risk, Dungeons and Dragons, and Legos. The game comes in sets. A couple of times a year, especially around Christmas, a new wave of the game is released. There are large, medium and small expansion sets, as well as Master sets that contain many of the pieces used to build the playing fields.

My kids have been collecting the game since it was first introduced more years ago than I can count. They owned every set that had been released prior to the fire. Every Christmas, hours would be spent on building the playing field and then a week long game would ensue. Originally the playing field would fit on a table, but in recent years it had migrated to the family room floor. When I figured a replacement cost for the inventory, the dollar amount for the game was over $1,300. Unfortunately, the original sets are no longer available in the stores and Amazon showed the price for the first Master set as $200. This would be way beyond our budget.

Then along came ebay. In the course of one evening, I was able to make a dent in replacing the collection and only spent a little more than the Amazon asking price for one master set. I was able to acquire three master sets and over ten of the various expansion sets. Today the first boxes arrived. My two boys that are home were so excited that I even got hugs. They then retreated to their room to plan their next game.

My first ebay purchase was a set of whales for Hunter. It included a killer whale and baby, bottle-nosed dolphin and baby, sperm whale and narwhal. When I opened the boxes, I was hooked and could hardly wait to email Hunter and let him know what I had found.

Hunter has always been interested in whales and his favorite place to visit is Monterey, CA to attend the aquarium. The aquarium has a series of scale model whales suspended from the ceiling. It is truly an amazing sight. The year Hunter turned eleven we took the family to Monterey and went on a whale watching tour. The family was able to see many dolphins and a few whales. Even though the weather was not perfect, the kids all had a wonderful time.

During that trip, we purchased for Hunter a scale set of whales and babies from the Monterey Bay Aquarium similar to those that hang from the ceiling. This set has been displayed ever since in his room, along with a corresponding poster. Since these are also items that are no longer available in the store, I was very excited to find that they could be found on ebay.

For me personally, my most important purchase has been a replacement for my Jim Shore Heartwood Creek nativity. This nativity had been a part of my collection for more years than I can remember and I was saddened to learn that it was discontinued. It was not even available on sites like Amazon. Even though I had owned many different nativity sets, this one was my particular favorite. So hurray for ebay. I have to admit the bidding was very intense since this appears to be a very popular item and there are not many offered for auction. I had already lost one auction for this item, so I was very focused. I even postponed eating dinner as the final minutes counted down, but this time I was victorious.
I don't know how long this addiction will last. Hopefully it will be like Diet Coke and come and go. I now find myself spending less time surfing the listings as I make a dent in the wishlists. I am currently bidding on a collection of Disney movies. Movies such as The Little Mermaid, The Lion King and Aladdin are no longer available in stores or on the Disney Movie Site. Since my girls love their princesses (Emily had been planning on being Jasmine for Halloween), I am hoping to win this one as well. Wish me luck.

1 comment:

  1. It IS addictive! I try to keep my e-baying to a minimum but have gotten some great stuff there. I got my son $500 worth of Rokenbok toys a few years ago for less than $100.

    That Heroscape game is awesome- Jen's boys have it too and love it. Glad the gaming will go on!