There was a time, pre-extension, that I whiled away hours (they were apparently then not in such short supply) with whimsical thoughts of setting up an Ebay shop selling, of all things, vintage furniture. It was a flawed plan for a number of reasons…
I can’t spot a Conran from a Car Boot..
I have no direct route to supply..
I am by no means an experienced fair-goer… (despite my intentions – I have been known to buy Homes and Antiques for the fair listings alone and yet still have not been to any)
And bearing in mind the above you won’t be surprised to know that I’ve been done over (think doors) more times than I’ve ever come out on top.
Despite all this I fancied myself as an upcycler and bought, from eBay, a job lot of five vintage school desks engraved with graphics of a graphic nature…arriving only days before the back of our house was ripped off…which was to be a godsend it would turn out as they were too wide to fit through our back door enroute to their temporary shelter of our sagging shed. My ever patient husband rolled his eyes in exasperation at the sight of them stacked clumsily in the snug prohibiting access to our builders and their sledgehammers so set about blunting a screwdriver or two working free their rusty fixings in order to dismantle and relocate them out of our builders way, muttering all the while something about a pig in a poke.
I, however, was still obstinately convinced of success. I would keep one for O, I’d decided, then sand and restore the rest to make a tidy profit. Quite what else, aside from the four remaining desks, I would sell in my shop I hadn’t worked out. Nor where I’d create the mess created by refurbishing them. Minor details.
This week however, if the thought of spending my days eternally sanding wasn’t enough to put me off my venture…which by the way it is…the thought of dealing with the virtual public most definitely has. I’ve been dabbling with a Pebbledashed Pad Ebay shop as a way of getting rid of surplus to requirement materials ….with very little success. Half a square metre of our emerald green tiles have been left unpaid for when I suggested to the buyer that bus might not be the most convenient form of transportation bearing the heavy box. A good quality tap has been paid for…a nominal tenner….and abandoned following a number of unanswered emails when I wouldn’t send it before the required funds for its postage had been transferred and it has cost me three times as much as I’d naively charged to send the worktop waste bin and stack of grey curtain panels. This week yet another transaction was to turn sour.
Relieved that the dressing table was at last about to be removed from where it stood cluttering up our bedroom, I emailed the winning bidder with my thanks for his bid, my address and a strongly put hint to pick up the table pronto.
“I didnt realise how big this was can you give it to the next person please I’m really sorry” came the unpunctuated reply.
I jabbed at the keyboard angrily.
“What terrible eBay etiquette….” I vented. “I will be leaving negative feedback for you if I do not sell this.”
(In admittedly the wrong order.)
‘How to contact a bidder?’ this inexperienced eBayer wondered. Was that even possible? Searching the site (not the app….for any of you who might ever find yourself in a similar situation) I eventually found the option of sending a second chance offer to those who had been outbid by an enthusiastic buyer apparently unable to read. After a fairly painless click of a button, an enthusiastic response meant the desk was gone by Friday without the need for any further correspondence…unprofessionally spiteful or otherwise….with the original buyer. Disaster averted.
Meanwhile my job to cue up the required tradesmen needed to get us through this last painful stage of the interior refurb was proving challenging with each of the three…plaster, electrician and decorator…. being as unresponsive as some of my buyers.
The plasterer, having promised to come Friday but choosing to leave my question regarding price unanswered, finally made contact Thursday afternoon with a price that made us baulk. He was subsequently cancelled and the job added reluctantly to C’s list..one I’m trying my utmost to shorten ..not lengthen.. so that he can complete in the one day he has offered us before we all disappear on our holidays.
The electrician, having left me earlier in the week with the vague promise of “maybe Friday maybe Monday” avoided my calls completely so I’m none the wiser to his plans and the Child Catcher, with a price agreed, has also remained ominously silent despite a voicemail asking for more information as to his intended start date.
Feeling exasperated I called again.
“Hello” he answered.
“Hi” I said, relieved to have finally made contact. “I was just calling to see if you knew when you might be starting…you know…so I can get all the paint you need in good time etc…”
‘Im in Majorca” was his relaxed response.
“Gosh sorry” I apologised.
“Not to worry. Im flying home tomorrow. I’ll call you then.”
The following day he called as promised.
“Did you have a nice holiday?” I asked
“Lovely. Really relaxing” he replied.
“Sorry to have called you on your last day..” I said “reminding you of work.”
“Yeah…got me really down in the dumps that did. Wife said “whats wrong?” and I just sighed and said “work….”.Hahahaha. Kidding. Not to worry. We’ll be starting Monday…will you be in or will you leave a key?”
“Ill be in” I said before the realisation of his words dawned. “Crikey. I’d better get that hallway painted tonight then…cover up those coffee stains so its ready for you to start.”
“Why don’t you leave it for me?” he asked.
I paused as I considered the tantalising appeal of his suggestion. He continued.
“I mean, I’ll be there anyway…so I may as well do it”
“Another days work?” I asked finally.
“Probably not even that. Let’s just see shall we? Play it by ear” and with that I gratefully crossed Earthborning our hallway off my list….an unwelcome task which has found itself being moved on a daily basis onto another days itinerary.
Perhaps its time, as Fagin once sang, to review my situation. If the thought of painting, as well as sanding, fills me with dread I certainly wont be making my millions as a restorer of knackered old desks.
I think I’d better think it out again.