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Are you addicted to ebay

are you addicted to ebay

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The online auction and shopping site eBay has mushroomed from a dot-com start-up in 1995 to become a multi-million dollar global business today.  The success of the site lies partly in the ease with which sellers and consumers can effect private transactions.  Some would say the site makes it too easy, and there are numerous instances where users have fallen into serious debt as a result of their eBay habit.  This is not eBay’s fault of course, people are responsible for their own actions, but the success of the site illustrates just how much influence the consumer world has on people.

The buzz of competition

The auction aspect of eBay’s offering is one that appeals to many.  It is in effect a form of gambling, a game to be played.  But when the game is over and all the other players have gone home, the winner is left with a bill to pay, and it is easy to forget that reality whilst you are in the midst of a bidding war.

I’m not a gambler, but if I see something I like on eBay – note: not necessarily something I NEED – and I’m tempted to bid, then the desire to win can be all-consuming.  I’ve lost count of the number of times my firm budget maximum has come and gone, and I’ve continued to increase my bids despite it.  The eBay system makes it easy to be reckless.  I’m more strict with myself now, but my home holds a number of items I triumphantly won, only to realise I neither really needed, nor wanted them.

addicted to ebay

For those individuals who find the buzz of competition irresistible, it is difficult to step down from the eBay forum and walk away from the good feelings it can deliver.  Winning an auction makes you feel on top of the world, especially if you secure the “prize” at the last minute with a sneaky late bid.  The sense of accomplishment can feed the self-esteem to a point where it becomes addictive, and that’s when it becomes dangerous.

Tips for Managing your eBay time

If you can relate to any of the above and feel like you are spending too much time on eBay, then the following tips may be useful in helping you to ensure that your own relationship with the eBay site does not turn sour:

  • Limit your time online – easier said than done, so before your type the night away give yourself an external alert system that encourages you to restrict your online shopping time.  using an alarm clock or beeper of some form can bring you up sharp.  Try setting your own boundaries in terms of the amount of time you want to spend on the site, and reward yourself when you stick to them
  • Cut back slowly – expecting yourself to go “cold-turkey” on your eBay time may cause you to relapse and ditch the attempt to regain control of your eBay life altogether.  Start slowly.  If you spend, say, two hours a night on the site, trying cutting that back by half and hour for a few days, and get it down to one hour after a week
  • Value your eBay time – constantly dipping in and out of eBay can distract from other responsibilities you may have.  There are cases in the US where people have been sacked for using eBay on work’s time.  So try to ensure all your other key tasks are completed before you indulge.  See eBay as your reward, and not something you do because you feel compelled to.  This will help you feel more in control
  • Develop a Support Network – admitting you have a problem with the time and money you spend on eBay can be difficult.  Confiding in a trusted friend can help.  You may even be able to call someone up as a buffer between you and the site when you are feeling the need to log-in.  Having a sympathetic ear on your side can help you remain strong

An addition to anything is unhealthy.  It is perfectly possible to regain control of your life and ditch the eBay habit, but as with any issue of this kind it is necessary first to recognise that you have a problem.  Once you’ve taken that step be proud that you are being proactive, and keep reminding yourself that you, not the site, is in control of your life.



About Cally Worden

About Cally Worden

Seasoned freelance writer Cally Worden lives with her family and dog in a quiet corner of rural France. A love of the outdoors, and a fascination with her children's ability to view life with fresh eyes provide the inspiration for much of her work. Cally writes regularly for various websites and UK print publications on subjects as diverse as parenting, whatsapp plus,travel, lifestyle, and business, and anything that makes her smile.

Website: Cally Worden

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