In an effort to save money and be a teensy bit nicer to the environment, earlier this year I decided it was time to trade in my much loved car – Doris, a 1959 Morris Minor. I live close to the city and work, and figured a combination of car share and foot power would handle most of my transport requirements. Add to that a motorscooter to circumvent Sydney’s notoriously bad public transport, and I figured I was sorted.
Fast forward a few months and I’ve got my L plates and a dinky little 50cc scooter, named Juliet. It’s the automotive equivalent of a hairdryer with wheels, but after 10 years driving an old Morris I’m okay with that.
Unfortunately it also gave me a taste for the two-wheeling life. I’d find myself checking out other people's rides and browsing the net to see what’s around. It was one fateful Sunday evening that saw me cruising eBay, glass of wine in hand, peeking at scooters for sale.
I do a lot of shopping online, but there’s something about the thrill of the chase with eBay. I don’t know if it’s watching the countdown clock, or trying to out-do everyone else in those last few seconds of bidding, but there’s something tantalising about the auction process. (Buy it now just doesn’t have the same zing.)
This night, daydreaming of myself as Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday and fuelled by wine, I put in a bid for a very cute, blue 1950s Vespa.
And won it.
Buyer’s regret kicked in almost immediately. It was unregistered! I hadn’t even seen it! What if it didn’t work! I had Juliet! I still hadn’t sold the Morris!
I needed another wine.
Luckily, my story has a happy ending. The Vespa is in great condition and has just been registered. She – they’re always girls, aren’t they? – doesn’t have a name yet, and I have to go and get my learner’s permit for a manual bike.
I was fortunate, but my story might not have had a happy ending. There’s probably a lesson for me to curb my competitive nature. Or maybe it’s just that eBay and wine don’t mix.
In the meantime, so much for reducing my footprint – I still have my other scooter and a Morris Minor. Maybe I should put them on eBay?
Has the rush of the auction ever led you to make a regrettable eBay purchase?