Ixnay on the eBay

Sitting at a computer for that long every day will make you put on pounds like my Aunt Elizabeth after her divorce.

Like my personal Web camera, eBay is a great tool for making money while sitting half naked in front of a computer.

Yet I believe its addictive nature is more dangerous to my welfare than the comparatively innocent sexual threats I get from webcam viewers.

(Author’s note: I’m just joking about that, grandma.)

EBay is a 24/7 garage sale for the world, and because everyone with crap to sell can get in on the action, I am, at all times, selling or bidding on something I don’t need.

One can buy darn near anything on the site, except, as I’ve learned, happiness. You see, lately I’ve spent more time on eBay than I do on Facebook. It’s that addictive.

My problems compounded when I found my eBay niche, which is guitars. For the past 16 years, guitar has been both an instrument and a hobby of mine, and I’m always trading or upgrading my equipment.

EBay made this process an obsession.

I snipe auctions to see what I can get cheap, and then I sell whatever I win. Sure, I make some money doing this, but I would rather regain the five hours a day I spend browsing new listings for vintage hollow-bodies.

Plus, because I’m so familiar with eBay, purchasing a several-thousand dollar instrument doesn’t feel any more profound than dropping a few quarters in a vending machine.

I’m sure my credit card statement would disagree.

Things started on a small scale, but then I started spending so much time surfing eBay that I moved up to a larger scale.

Literally. Sitting at a computer for that long every day will make you put on pounds like my Aunt Elizabeth after her divorce.

(Author’s note: You know I love you, Aunt Liz.)

I don’t even like eBay as a company.

It overcharges and monopolizes every facet of the buying and listing process, and I would theorize that each of its flamboyant, clickable Web site buttons has an addictive agent like tobacco. Internet tobacco.

Work with me, people.

EBay is a very successful company, but when it lures vulnerable, weak-minded customers like me (a typical American), they are doing a disservice to the general public.

This online company is giving us debt, making us immobile and flunking our math tests as it sits back and lets people buy and sell from one another on rented time.

God, I wish I had thought of that.

But seriously, just as with Facebook and MySpace among the college crowd, eBay should be banned just to see how much more productivity America gains.

Just don’t take it away from me now, though – I’m bidding on this really awesome DustBuster signed by Linda Ronstadt.

Mat Koehler welcomes comments at [email protected]