Monday, March 28, 2011
Late for the party
I am not much of a shopper. At least not in brick-and-mortar stores. I don't enjoy the "experience" of shopping - browsing for just the right item. I much prefer Amazon.com, Zappos and online shopping in general. What's not to love? Easy price comparisons, delivery right to your home or office, no-hassle returns. All that's missing (for me) is being able to touch or try-on the items, and the instant-gratification that buying at a store provides. I do most of my gift buying - and a fair amount of my personal shopping - online. Which makes it all the more puzzling that I have only recently discovered the wonders of eBay, first-hand. Credit my wife. Donna had a Dooney & Bourke all-weather-leather handbag when we met. She loved it, but gave her purse to a friend a few years back. After that, it seemed a fading memory. Until I started teasing about her "man bag" - the not-particularly-attractive purse that seems more like a small piece of luggage; once an item finds its way into it, and settles to the bottom, there's not much chance of it ever being seen again. I've been told in no uncertain terms that they are quite "popular." My comments and her work friend sporting a "vintage" Dooney & Bourke that her husband bought her online spurred Donna to Google research. That led her to eBay and a breathtaking assortment of D&B items. After a quick and steep learning curve about auction bidding, she purchased a beautiful purse. Then another. Then I got hooked, and added to the growing Moon family Dooney & Bourke collection. Again, what's not to love about eBay? It can be online shooping at its best. A massive inventory, which changes by the minute. The fun of competitive bidding - it's almost as addictive as gambling - so that you control the price you're willing to pay. All the watch lists and instant notifications to keep you continually informed about the status of your bids. The social element of sharing photos and descriptions of items with friends. And of course, the ease of PayPal to complete your transactions, and encouragements to rate the sellers. Now Donna teases me about my "murse" - the man-purse D&B satchel I bought to carry my iPad. It's a good thing that I'm confident in my masculinity. Usually.