The 12 Steps to Overcome Being an eBay Junkie

Akron 293 AA Meeting
Image by watz via Flickr

If you’re anything like me, you’re an eBay junkie and there’s just something so materialistically fulfilling about logging onto eBay everyday and searching for every strange and completely unnecessary object that was ever made. Well, eBay addicts unite, and follow my 12 steps to eBay buying recovery.

Also, if you’re anything like me, my condolences. (Hmm, maybe I can buy some condolences on eBay)

Distract Yourself from Buying More Frivolity on eBay
– Admit that you are powerless over the shiny things you see on eBay auctions – because they are shiny and you are not. You can’t change this, you can only try to look away. Maybe do some sit-ups until you stop thinking about it. Me, I got an ab-circle (maybe on eBay) and swing on that every time I get the urge to start binge-buying.

Think of the Social Repercussions of All That Money Spent
– Come to envision your spouse glaring angrily at you every time the urge for an eBay buying binge arises – and envision them spitefully withholding sex from you when you give in and enter an eBay bidding war.  (Because they will until they see you in that new teddy thing you bought off of sexydoll845186 for $22.99 on your Ab-Circle-improved body…)

Think of the Future
– Make a decision to, instead of bidding on more eBay items, invest in your first-born’s college fund. Maybe even your second-born’s, but go ahead and bid away again after that because the third-born was a lost cause since his older brother made him eat toothpaste as a child.

Admit to Someone Else Your Obnoxious eBay Spending Habits
– There’s nothing like peer ridicule to curb your behavior – or exacerbate it, but that’s another matter. I mean, who really wants to be hazed? But how many people willingly submit to is anyway to win peer approval? Exactly.

Curtis Mayfield did the soundtrack for the movie “Superfly.” If eBay existed in the 70’s, it would be like this. This dialog could be between a couple of eBay junkies. Just replace any drug/pimp wording with eBay wording.

Acknowledge the Cause of Your Excessive eBay Buying
– It’s been said before (and who said I was original?) – sometimes we buy material things to fill the holes in our lives. Sometimes we want something shiny to distract us from another emotion we are avoiding – like the fact that you’ve graduated from college and you still feel adrift. Try keeping a journal of what’s going on right now to help you get to the bottom of the things you really need to address.

You can find a wide selection of nifty journals on eBay by searching for… Aw shoot…

Determine What it Really is That You Want at This Point in Your Life
– Isn’t this what I was just talking about? No. Dream bigger, dearest broke reader. Manic online buying is often aimless and excessive – a manifestation of being aimless in life.
Pull out the journal I had you (order) find lying around the house. Make a list of things you want to accomplish in the next year, in the next month and this week. These goals could be anything from finishing the novel your boy-friend makes fun of you for having worked on for two years and gotten nowhere with (wha’?? Why would you ask if I speak from personal experience? Stop being a loony and focus. We’re talking about your issues), to vacuuming your living room – because I know of no one who can go for so long without properly cleaning as you do (no, really, stop assuming I’m talking about me and my horrendously messy living room!).

This will give you focus on something other than perusing eBay all day for useless things like the low cut, cute boho dress, even though you know you’re too lazy busy to ever actually put the effort into looking nice.

Set a Budget for eBay Spending
– Hooray for money-saving 101! No, I swear I’m useful.

Seriously – set a budget for how much you can spend on non-necessities. Know that if you spend any of it on eBay, it has to come out of something else – like your budget for personal hygiene. I’ve noticed you smell… interesting lately.

Make eBay the Last Thing You Set Eyes on at the End of the Month
– Don’t allow yourself to even look at eBay until you’ve been a good little thrifty monkey all month and have saved your spending money (or haven’t) for this moment. Know how much of your budget is left for this sort of thing. Then you can be all monetarily glutenous and stuff.

Make a List of What Other Aspects of Your Budget This Has Harmed
– Well, you now have the best collection of Star Wars action figures bought off eBay out of all your equally weird friends, but a remaining $5.12 for this week’s groceries. Congratulations. Now what?

Remembering that month when you had Top Ramen for breakfast, Top Ramen for lunch and Top Ramen for dinner while staring at a two-inch Han Solo wishing he was a @#$!ing hamburger ought to curb your eBay spending appetite. Or not, because Top Ramen is good stuff. Nom nom nom.

Stop, Drop and Explain WTF You’re Doing On the Floor
– …because you’ll weird. Trust me, people will look at you like, “you’re a freak in ways I can’t even wrap my head around.” It hurts (my) a person’s feelings!

That’s why the next time you log onto eBay and are about to click “bid,” stop, drop onto the floor, and then proceed to awkwardly explain yourself to your visiting sister-in-law. This will pull you out of your mania and give you, and whoever is in the room with you, ample time to talk you out of it.

Take Up More Spiritual, Less Materialistic Hobbies
– …like meditation. Even an amateur session of meditating (which is all someone like me can achieve at this point) can help adjust your entire way of thinking. This helps throw off all your old habits, like walking in the door, throwing your stuff everywhere, and hopping onto your laptop (which half the time doesn’t want to bloody work) and logging onto eBay. When you come off your meditating session, you’ll be able to focus your energies on more self-enriching activities than eBay spending.

When Reaching to Buy Something Else on eBay, Make a List of Why You Need It
– Pull out the aforementioned journal and write out all the reasons you need this and why the current things you have won’t suffice. If all you can come up with is, “I like it,” walk away.

I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s episode and will find implementing these tips useful. Together, we can become people who occasionally still have money at the end of the month.

Here is a recovering eBay addict talking about his addiction. Note that eBay addicts speak in their own special, undecipherable language.

3d human with a tree in hand