Tuesday, September 30, 2008

my eBay days are over . . . (at least for now)

This morning I finally met with success in purchasing a Kodak Duaflex camera!

It has been an intensive week of vying for and bitterly losing several auctions along the way. Up until this moment, the scenario has played out pretty much the same. As you can imagine, I have watched the cameras much like a lion hidden in the bushes as it stalks its prey. I don't even hint at my presence lest I force other predator/competitors to pounce first. No, my stealth is as much about these other predators as it is about the prey. Unlike the lion, however, I have to continually hit "refresh" to monitor the countdown to the end of the auction period. Unlike nature, there are deadlines in the jungle known as eBay.

Nearby, I glance at my atomic clock to validate synchronicity with eBay's clock. I have concluded that they are perfectly synched. With 20 seconds left (taking into account my dial-up connection and processing speed), I submit my bid price, find I am the highest bidder, and upon the final "refresh" learn that I have been outbid by $ .50 to some tool named "geodecember" or "bardb" or something equally offensive in its attempt at a cute alter ego identity. Undoubtedly they all cackled villainously in that last "refresh" moment proclaiming them the winner. This scenario played out several times and as such, I was becoming increasingly agitated and obsessed with winning. This is a mistake I recognize. Emotions were beginning to hold sway over cool, detached reason. Adding to my annoyance was the inflationary spiral in Duaflex prices: $20.49, $21.00 $14.50 (I have no reason for this drop here), $22.49, $21.00 $37.49, $40.00, $40.01!

At some point, one has to decide whether to continue the quest, waiting for the perfect item to recycle on eBay in pristine glory, or to choose instead to pursue an acceptable alternative. There are those coveted items that have been extensively photographed from every conceivable angle on eBay to seduce us into burning desire. They often do go for higher prices in a fevered bidding war. There are two Dualexs that fall into this category coming to a bidding close towards the end of this week. I debated over whether to engage in these forthcoming auctions, but opted instead to try today for a poorly photographed Dualex that lacked the "sexiness" of the others, but claimed to be in excellent condition. Whether this will prove a mistake or not, I'm still not sure. I do know that I'm weary of the time it has taken me to engage in the pursuit, so I decided to perservere one more time today in the hopes that this will all soon come to an end. And, as things turned out, I did win this morning's bid at a price of $21.50.

The seller lives in Colorado, a nice western location that makes me feel comfortable as it has the same regional sensibility of Utah AND a component of the seller's alter ego identity has "mom" embedded in it. I take these all as positive indicators of a good and honorable transaction with the product meeting my expectations of being in reasonably good shape both cosmetically and optically. After all, the primary reason I am buying this camera is to shoot photos through the viewfinder. The camera need not look brand new, nor does it even need to function as a camera. Thankfully, the quest is over. I can turn off the "obsession" knob embedded in my brain and free up space once again to return to the demands of the real world and everyday life. I now have three diverse ttv cameras: the Kodak Brownie Reflex, the Argus Seventy-five and finally, the Holy Grail of ttv cameras, the Kodak Duaflex.

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