Thursday, January 13, 2005


I've been on eBay recently, shopping for a PDA and maybe some workout tapes. It's easy to see why eBay has succeeded so well. Beyond the concept of making money off your old junk and finding great items at low, low prices, there's something just addictive about the process. Browsing through all the junk and finding the one nugget that appeals to you; finally deciding to bid and coming up with the price you're willing to pay; fantasizing about all the cool stuff you'll do with your new treasure.

And then there's the adrenaline spike when you actually place your bid and find yourself immediately outbid by someone who had a higher standing bid than you. The process of deciding to bid is almost like taking ownership of the item in your mind; when you're outbid, you immediately want to strike back, bid higher, take back what is rightfully yours. It's a fever, like gambling, thrilling when things go your way, infuriating when they don't.

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