A couple of years ago I got a yearning to relive some of my childhood by collecting some Barbie doll items that I had way back when. Years ago I capitalized on my dolls and clothing, selling them to a place in Buena Park that is probably gone by now. At the time, it was a doll “museum” and collectors paradise…cutting edge, actually. I should look them up sometime.
Anyway, when I decided what was needed for my sense of nostalgia was to recapture some of that girlhood excitement, I started the search on Ebay.
Now, if you’ve ever been there, I don’t have to tell you that an innocent venture into Ebayland may take you on a journey into unknown territory. The auction process, the anxiety of wondering if you will, indeed, win the coveted item of your dreams; it’s all a little daunting to the newcomer. The first time you win a bidding war by waiting until the last possible second with the magic amount…it’s thrilling. It’s addictive, which is what fuels the phenomenon of Ebay as much as the desire to own it’s treasures. Beating someone else’s bid, outsmarting the other guy with a strategy or, sometimes, just dumb luck can make you feel like more than the winner. It’s the power of Ebay. Pennies can make the difference, and when you’re on the losing end of that, it deflates the dream momentarily. It won’t stop the true believer, though. You move on.
So, Barbie in hand, my search continued for the outfits that “my” Barbie wore all of those years ago. And then, the outfits that I had wished for and never owned. Shoes. Vintage Barbie shoes are magical and sometimes even rare. Suddenly I found myself with cork wedgies and Dinner At Eight, an ensemble I had merely dreamed of when I was 9 years old. That was intoxicating…I won that one easily.
The next category I ventured into was The Beatles. It was innocent enough. I got out my Sgt. Pepper cd, played it for the first time in a couple of years and was struck by Beatlemania all over again. It was something totally unexpected, and the ease with which I could acquire more of them was magical. It was Ebay. It was great.
My refrain regarding all of my purchases became a mantra of sorts. If you’re going to have a collection, have a really good collection. Boxes and envelopes were coming daily, it seemed. People were talking about it now. I even received a Christmas ornament with a computer and the words Ebay inscribed on it. I thought that was extreme. This wasn’t as compulsive as it looked. Until I looked at the totals.
I will admit now that I have bookcases full of Beatles’ books and albums. There are dvd’s and cd’s, plus the new box set and two copies of A Hard Day’s Night, one of them still sealed. I have Help in two versions, the regular and the deluxe version that has all the wonderful “extras”. Posters. Did I mention posters? I did a loft area with Beatles’ posters, and it is now the Beatles lounge. Brilliant, actually. People like it, and nod approvingly at my deft skills of acquisition.
I recently decided that, in spite of the nostalgia and pleasure of recaptured childhood memories, the Barbies had to go. The thrill was fleeting and the actual benefit marginal. The detail of the vintage Barbie clothing is amazing, and after 40 plus years, most of what I had accumulated was in excellent condition. It seems that what I did manage to acquire is mostly desireable to other people as well, so, back to Ebay! “Let the selling begin”, said I.
Having begun the process, I’m now culling through the various items, comparing them to similar pieces that are selling, trying to be a savvy Ebayer. It’s interesting, and it’s rewarding in a strange way. Unlike real estate, it’s possible in this economy to get a return on your investment. When all else fails, buy Barbie. Nostalgia will always trump inflated economics, and the heart will direct us to the real values in life.
I need to go now. I think I just sold something.