Editorial

My Bad eBay Motors Habit

I've never been into shopping, let alone buying useless crap off the internet. We all know someone (perhaps even yourself) who continuously has packages showing up at their front door containing the latest online buying splurge. Wow, an $89.95 portable steam pocket iron with time saving accessories! Were you drunk on the floor one night and somehow believed this is actually useful? Even if you were sober there's still no excuse, hence the reason why so many people are in debt today.

And now, I too must admit a similar weakness, albeit one that has yet to fully spread into a consistent habit. It's only a matter of time and there's no known cure. For those who love cars of any type, one of the greatest gifts we've been given in the past decade is eBay Motors. Along with Craigslist, for the first time in automotive history there is an almost limitless selection of used cars and countless hidden treasures that are accessible with just a click of the index finger. One doesn't even need to stand.

Although I've never actually bought or even bid on something, it's only a matter of time before I do. More than likely, it'll be irrational and not well thought out. It may harm relationships with family and friends. The financial damage could range from uncertain to attempted suicide. Let me give an example. Scrolling through eBay one afternoon, I came across a 1958 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spider for a starting bid of $3,500. It needs a complete restoration and at the time of viewing, there were no bids and the 'buy now' price was also quite low.

So my thinking was this: buy it for no more than $4k, budget up to $10k for restoration costs, drive and enjoy it for a short time, then sell for the highest possible profit. Sounds simple enough, besides the fact I've never restored a car and have no financial background. It has 56,502 original miles and spent part of its life in Texas and has been in New England covered in yearly snow since 1967. Yes, this is undoubtedly a disaster waiting to happen and should top my list of bad ideas (buying a hybrid/EV remains # 1). But still, it would be a fun project if the necessary funds weren't an issue.

In reality that's not the case and the eBay Motors habit continues. I checked out some really magnificent cars ranging from a 25th anniversary Lamborghini Countach to a 1964 Shelby Cobra. Neither affordable in the least, but they do provide a nice 5 to 10 minute mid-afternoon daydream. More to the point, there's still plenty of wonderful cars to buy on eBay that won't force potential grandchildren into future debt as they pay off my auto loan. So how about instead of planning to restore said Alfa, why not buy one that's both wallet friendly and in good condition?

Genius genes are working well today. My search now turned up a 1974 Alpha Romeo GTV (with the rare sunroof) in wonderful condition with 76,000 miles. Buy now price: $19,995. Somewhat pricy, but still not quite worth the price of admission to a future bankruptcy hearing. There's a seemingly endless supply of Miatas, classic MGs, Willys, and plenty of other affordable treasures added daily. Searching on eBay Motors has, dare I say, never been so much fun and even tedious at the same time. Fun because, hey, they're cars and tedious because it can be impossible to choose.

eBay has everything from so-called never worn socks from the Gap to purple dragon figurines. Even so, people should be more in control of their materialistic urges. The same fiscal discipline must also be applied to eBay Motors and...oh wait - vas ist das? Check out this '66 Olds Toronado with only 36,000 original miles for less than $15k! My selective German and eBay Motors habit are equally laughable.

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