Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Alas, Ebay

For the past several years, I've taken advantage of spring--and my passion for passion flowers--to post plants up for auction on Ebay. I've got a decent collection of passiflora, and there's usually a run of a few weeks where people go simply nuts bidding on plants, along with a few weeks on either side of that where bidding isn't fevered, but still steady. These sales in the past have generated a few dollars which I've used to finance 1) my passion flower habit 2) comic books 3) telescope repair and 4) camera stuffs, among other things.

Last year was something of an anomaly, as I was selling off my Dr. Demento CD collection and using that unexpected revenue stream to buy a lot of photography equipment. Some of it verging on high-dollar. I didn't have the luxury of a huge stash of rare radio programs to auction off this year, but I knew there was the old reliable spring planting season.

Except that this year, spring planting season never materialized on Ebay.

I don't know exactly what it was. The unseasonably cold weather that gripped much of the nation through April and May? The crummy economy and unemployment rates? Suppression of the people's vote in the Iranian election? A combination of all three? I dunno. The fact is that sales of plants and seeds have been lukewarm and sluggish. Even largish, semi-rare plants rarely attracted more than a minimum bid, if that. I just finished a 10-day period with exactly one sale. Nobody's even watching my auctions now, much less bidding on them. Drat.

No way I'm going to save up for that Kinks Picture Book boxed set now. And I was so looking forward to it. (Cue sympathy music)

Now Playing: Antonin Dvorák Dvorák: Symphony No. 2; Legends 6-10


  1. I've heard from some book and magazine salesmen that they've had the same experience.

  2. It's not like I'm losing out on a lot of money--just a little hobby cash--but when the whole of my take-home pay is already spoken for via mortgage and car payments, the kids' college funds, groceries and utilities, there's precious little left over for non-necessities.

    But yeah, the Ebay slowdown is definitely noticed. I wonder if it'll pick back up next year, or if this is a trend...

  3. Bethe Bugbee7:53 PM

    I don't know how your sales ranged geographically in the past - but the weather might be as much a factor as the economy. We're in drought where I live and our MUD has us on critical water rationing (thought I've heard that has more to do with them not being able to keep the pumps working.) We're just trying to keep what we already have alive and can't even think about adding anything new.