Ode to eBay
The marvelous thing about eBay is that it’s the biggest junk shop ever. It’s wonderful if you know what you’re looking for and can sort out just the right syntax to find it.
They basically hand you a magical little chalkboard on your way in the door – aka a “search box” – to help you find things. Each time you scrawl a different word in chalk, all the things in the shop jump off their shelves and reorganize themselves accordingly. My eBay explorations began years ago with concrete search terms such as “antique cast waffle iron.” Today, these adventures continue with more generous terms like “unusual” and “wonder.”
It is a combination of science and art that can lead you to the most interesting results. I’ve learned some key eBay search syntax rules, but still have far to go. Here is one of my current favorite search phrases:
“vintage, antique, old (machine, dispenser) -sewing -pez -marbles -adding -popcorn -oil -answering -slot -cotton -gun -tattoo -coke -coca -cola -embroidery -embroidered -cigarette -rhinestones -style -repro -retro”
It’s like a big rotating exhibit I just curated for you to walk through. 1428 items today, and a different list every day. Can I interest you in an antique cast iron fabric-fluting machine from 1875 that you can use to crimp your collars and cuffs?
What about a vintage cast iron woodpecker toothpick dispenser? The little woodpecker delivers the toothpick to you in its beak.
An antique manual clothes wringer made in 1898? How else you gonna dry your clothes?
An antique match vending machine?
A rope maker?
I just love digging into the past – through the geologic layers of eBay and the detritus of days gone by – looking for lost signs of invention and imagination. Whenever I find one, I’m inspired to live anew.
Here’s what’s on the shelves today…
[phpbay keywords=”vintage, antique, old (machine,dispenser) -sewing -pez -marbles -adding -popcorn -oil -answering -slot -cotton -gun -tattoo -coke -coca -cola -embroidery -embroidered -cigarette -rhinestones -style -repro -retro” num=”12″ siteid=”1″ customid=”Leafcutter” sortorder=”EndTimeSoonest” templatename=”columns” columns=”3″]