Sometimes I have a really hard time falling asleep. My mind is racing about a work deadline, a blog post idea, my oldest got in trouble at school, my youngest decided to cut her own hair, random errands I forgot to run, a unicorn bell I sold on Chairish and totally forgot to ship. You know, normal life chaos that everyone deals with. When I can’t turn my brain off, I tend to scroll through my favorite vintage decor sites. From tufted navy blue velvet sofas to coral channel back chairs to mid-century lighting, slowly but surely these pretty treasures lull me to dreamy-dreamy land.
About a month or so ago, late one night, I was scrolling through Everything But The House and found some art I really adored. Like “I must have this” adoration. I’m not sure what really drew me in, I mean, it was just a picture of a white tank top. A plain white tank top hanging on a wire coat hanger with an “M” on a size tag sticking out of it. No color. Black and white. Simple. At first, I thought it was a photograph but after reading the item description, I learned it was an original pencil drawing. Signed, but by no one in particular…well, I can’t say that for sure…I can’t make out the signature. With every second I stared at it, I adored it even more. It was simply stunning.
Hmmm. The art was sitting at $28 dollars and the auction was ending in 19 hours. I marked it as a favorite and moved on. Before falling asleep, I went back to the listing a few more times and was giddy with excitement. This artwork was going to be mine.
The next evening I received a notification on my phone that the auction was about to end. I took another peek and said yep, hell or high water this sucka’s mine. This would be my first time using Everything But The House, but it seemed to be pretty similar to eBay. It was an auction, you placed a bid…no real need to read the rules, right? Mistake #1.
Now in eBay-land, I’m known as a “sniper”. If you’re unfamiliar with sniping rules, let me explain.
- You find an item you love and “watch” it. 10 minutes before ending, you get a notification stating the auction is almost over, and your login.
- Watch the auction clock count down. I go in with a top-dollar number in my head. I know I won’t spend any more than $X amount. At 2 minutes and counting, I start to get nervous. The bids start coming in. The price goes higher and higher. If the price goes beyond the original number in my head, I’m out. Game over.
- If at the 1-minute marker, the price is lower than the number in my head, I pop in my starting bid and press next…and this is where the secret sauce lies.
- You are given the option to place a max bid…meaning, if for some reason I’m outbid before the auction ends, it jumps to the next highest dollar amount. Normal people usually go $20 higher, $40-$50 dollars higher, or $100 higher on a max bid if they really want the item. Me on the other hand, I’m sitting on the sofa, heart racing, waiting to pounce. Here is why I need a desktop with a fast connection.
- I hold my breath and place my max bid in the final 5 seconds at a crazy high amount and press enter.
I get exactly what I want every single damn time. I pop in my crazy high max bid, and no one can outbid me in under 5 seconds AND here’s the key…max bid only outbids the other bidder’s bid by $1. So I’m always safe bidding crazy high. No one else is going to be stupid like that. The Boy has said, “someday your method is gonna bite you in the ass.” But over the last 12 years of eBay bidding, momma gets what momma wants. My sniping method works every time…that is until I tried it on Everything But The House.
Let’s go back to the simple white tank top hanging on a wire coat hanger pencil drawing that has my heart racing at 6 minutes and counting. It’s almost bedtime and the kids are acting like maniacs. Cooper wants me to brush his teeth and Zozo needs help putting her jammies on. The Boy is in the laundry room grabbing underpants for Cooper, and I just keep yelling from my office, “1 minute! I’ll be there in 1 minute!” Come on, come on, come, on… the countdown is happening. Zero bids are coming in. I WANT THIS ARTWORK! I have a number in my head. Please stay under the number. 5 minutes and counting. “Mommy! I can’t reach my rinse!” “Coming!!!!” Come on. Still no bids. Hmmm. This is not smart. Screw it, this art is amazing. No one is bidding. Just place your max bid, it’ll be fine…do I press enter? “Mommy! Cooper hit me!” Oh. My. God. “I coming! I’ll be right there!!!!!” 3 minutes. “Mommy!!!!” Screw it! I throw my bid in the ring. Ain’t nobody’s gonna catch that max. Boom! “MMMMMOOOOOOOOMMMMMMYYYYY!!!!!!” “Good grief! I’m coming!!!”
I skip to my lou from my office to the bathroom pretty much knowing the art is mine all mine. Brush your teeth? On it. Need your rise? Got it. Let’s say our prayers and read a story. Baddabing, baddaboom. Once everyone is tucked in, I waltz back to look at my newly procured artwork…and that’s the moment my heart sunk. OMG. Why the frick and frack is the auction still live??? I watched the countdown. Holy crap! I’m winning and that’s a really high bid! OH. MY. GOD. It’s counting down to 2 minutes…again…someone places a bid, another 5 minutes is added onto the timer and we’re now at 7 minutes and counting. Shit! I’m still winning. WTF! This is my worst nightmare coming true. PLEEEAAAASEEE someone outbid me! PLEEEAAAASEEE! What is this witchcraft?
And that’s when I read the rules. To keep it fair…i.e. to keep people like me from sniping vintage treasures and crushing dreams…if the auction has 5 minutes or less on the clock and a bid is placed, an additional 5 minutes is added to the auction clock. This gives other bidders the option to rebid. OH WHY OH WHY DID YOU NOT READ THE RULES KYLA??? Going back, they’re clearly stated. Plain as day. I put my head on my desk and want to cry. I hear The Boy coming out of Cooper’s room and walking down the hall towards me. Before he walks into my office, I change screen on my computer. La, la, la…nothing to see here.
“Did you get your artwork?” “Ummmm, not sure yet. I timed it wrong. It’s still going on.” (BTDubs, I didn’t technically lie…what was happening was all true. I just left out some minor expensive details.) He kissed me on the head and told me good luck and walked downstairs. If only he knew the kind of luck I needed. I switch screens back to the simple white tank top pencil drawing and my eyes bulge outta my head like a cartoon. I’m literally $1 away from being outbid. “COME ON!!!!! There are 3 minutes left you a$$holes. You’ve been bidding against my max bid for over 45 minutes at this point. I know you want it. You’re one friggin’ dollar away! BID ALREADY!!!!!!!”
I stare at my computer screen watching the countdown…praying to God someone will bid…2 minutes. BID!!!!!!! PLLLLLLLEEEAAAAAASSSSSSEEEE!!!” Don’t you understand my husband is going to kill me? He’s finally going to get to sing the, “I Told You So” song, and it comes with a dance, and I really don’t want to hear or see it. BID!!!!!!!” 47 seconds left. My armpits are sweating profusely. 24 seconds. No one is bidding. Dude on the other end…you’re so close. BIIIIIIIIIDDDDD!!!!!!! 8 seconds left. 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1….Congratulations. You won. I didn’t think my heart could sink any lower, but it did. I was toast.
I took a couple of deep breathes to calm myself down, and decided there was no time like the present to tell The Boy what had just transpired. I walked downstairs and sat on the sofa next to him. He looked at me inquisitively…”You okay?” “Yup!” “Did you get your artwork?” “Yup.” “Wanna watch Life In Pieces?” “Sure.”
I sat there, heart-pounding and dreading every second that went past. I wanted to cry. When the show ended, I turned to him, holding back tears, and said, “I did something really bad. Like really, really bad.”
“Uh-oh. How much is this going to cost me?” Snort, how does he know me so well?
“I’m really sorry, I didn’t mean to do it. I was trying to snipe, and I didn’t read the rules. I screwed up really bad this time.”
Now, I gotta say, I have THE best husband in the world. Even though this was an expenditure we didn’t need, and yes, he was a bit ticked at me, he knew I didn’t do it on purpose. For the most part, he laughed and told me I was an idiot (in the most loving way) and he hoped I finally learned my lesson about sniping.
So now that you know my little whoopsies, I’m hoping by writing this post, I’ll find out who I was bidding against. No, I don’t want to sell it…I’m keeping this bad boy forever. In fact, I’m just putting this out there, I wanna be buried with this tank top…I’m takin’ it with me. BUT, I’m dying to know who you are? What made you love it as much as I did? Where were you going to hang it? Were you going to keep it? Give it to someone? Do you know anything about the unknown artist? I’m hoping this little blog of mine will help me answer some of these questions…so, could you help me by sharing this post? I’m hoping to spread the word and possibly track this random person down. Besides, I think if we met, it would make for yet another fun blog post, don’t ya think?