Auction Happy: When Good Sense Escapes on eBay

2 Aug

“I don’t know what to do?”


” Abigail, you can unscrew the top of the bubbles?! Let me call you back.”

Fast forward 3 minutes after bubbles aka liquid soap has been wiped up off floor.

“So what’s the dilemma?” Ryan asked.

“I don’t know if I should get her the modern zoo or the vintage zoo. I really love the vintage zoo….sigh.”

“Sarah, I’ve got to go.”

Oh, right. You have real problems to face at your job.

Abigail has this hand me down Fisher Price Farm. That she loves. We play with it everyday, sometimes all day. When it comes to toys it totally lights up her life. Ryan and I can be pretty minimalistic about toys. She has plenty. PLENTY. But, we just don’t rush out and buy new toys for her all the time. Most of the things she has are from Christmas or her birthday. And, I kind of think that’s the way it should be…most of the time. She’s 16 months old, she doesn’t need a bazillion plastic things around, especially when she’d much rather play with an old receipt.

But I really think she needs…A Fisher Price Zoo. She has really shown responsiblity with the farm, keeping up with the animals and playing with it so much. She’s “earned” it. There are a couple of zoos floating around. The big “there are so many pieces your dog will eat them and hopefully pass them out later” one, a smaller but updated version, and the vintage one. You know, the one we played with. (Insert stars and dream music)

I cannot help the fact that I am impulsive and passionate all at the same time. She needed to have this zoo and right away! So I went to eBay. Oh eBay, nurturer of dreams. There were all the zoo sets I had seen, listed at various prices and packages. Ryan was not really any help as he had to rush off with his superman cape to save corrugated liner board. So I called my mom – who is always ready to talk at length with me about any of my silly dilemmas like they are the most serious of situations. And I love her for it. I went back and forth. Updated zoo – smaller and cheaper and would match the farm. Vintage zoo – glorious and perfectly wonderful and exactly as a zoo should be, but expensive. Expennnnnsive. Good grief! People pay ridiculous prices for toys from the 80’s.

Eventually, my mom had to go as she also has a job where people have to work.
So I was left alone with a napping child who needed a zoo and my sudden passion for Fisher Price Zoos. It had to be the vintage version. It has a vulture and zookeeper complete with a creepy mustache for crying out loud.

Then it happened. The longer I looked, the more I needed to have this zoo. Sure, they had cheaper sets with things missing, but who wanted a zoo without the “4 rare food trays” or the “illusive lion cub.” I kept looking and the perceived value I initially saw in this $30 toy was now much higher. I was getting totally out of control. Deep breath. Walk away. Walk AWAY from the computer.

After a chocolate chip cookie, I realized that obviously I was not going to pay $100 for this thing, and that didn’t include the astronomical shipping that must come to your door in a golden carriage hand delivered by The Duchess of Cambridge. I do enjoy being married to Ryan.

But I looked and found a couple of reasonable auctions. Two, in fact. The sets weren’t complete, but they were in great condition. I guess it would be okay if Abigail only had one parrot instead of two or if we didn’t have an “illusive” lion cub (that hilariously enough was listed in a separate auction for $1.99). So I bid. Immediately I was outbid. Of course. Oh well, I didn’t like that set as much anyway. It didn’t even have the vulture. Come ON. What was supposed to perch on the top of the tree nest? I decided to give up on that auction for now and focus my attention on the other one.

This one was way better. It was ending in 5 hours. I placed my bid. Congratulations, I was the highest bidder. I had a great super sneaky maximum bid that was sure to be a winner. My adrenaline was pumping now! I took Hank out for a bathroom break and when I came back in I clicked on the auction to see what had happened in the last 2 minutes. Outbid, darn! Oh I’ll fix that, I thought. You want to play hardball, miss s****7. Fine. I increased my bid. There. That should do it.

Shortly thereafter I realized that I had just increased my bid on the wrong item. Impulsive and passionate, remember? Please outbid me. Please outbid me. I said over and over in my mind. I did not know how I was going to explain to Ryan that we may or may not have a future with two vintage Fisher Price zoos.

And now I’m sitting here. Three hours away from owning the zoo of my dreams, I mean Abigail’s dreams. And I really want it. I don’t know why. I just really do. It’s a thing I can’t explain. The best way I can think of is this:

Abigail doesn’t really get the chance to go to my parents’ house and play with the puzzles my tiny hands did or the little kitchen that we lovingly called the Yum Yum Cafe. She doesn’t get to go to Ryan’s parents and read a favorite book or race an old car he had. Those old toys were the best ones. My sisters and I loved playing with my older cousins’ Barbies that we didn’t know were vintage but totally were. They looked different and made us play in old timey mode. (Sorry Becky and Kathy) I guess that’s what I hoped to accomplish with the vintage zoo. A little dose of nostalgia for me and some fun without batteries for Abigail.

And if we end up with two, I know where you can find a vintage zoo all of your own. I can drop it off right after I get out of the doghouse.

*Update: I totally rocked that auction and we have ourselves a vintage zoo! And after a victory dance in the kitchen Ryan informed me, “I think my parents have one of those.”


12 Responses to “Auction Happy: When Good Sense Escapes on eBay”

  1. Michelle August 2, 2011 at 6:33 pm #

    What a great story:>) Hey, were home…we could Skype :>)

  2. Heather Knapp August 2, 2011 at 6:36 pm #

    They totally do!!!!! Haha. I have a very expensive, I mean extensive set of micromachines purchased off of eBay with the same exact thought process – oh and don’t forget the playmobil spaceship Jackson, I mean me, had to have.

    • Sarah August 2, 2011 at 8:08 pm #

      A playmobil spaceship? Oh that’s a must-have if there ever was one!

  3. Nicole August 2, 2011 at 7:05 pm #

    LOL … I love your stories – they always put a BIG smile on my face =)

    • Sarah August 2, 2011 at 8:08 pm #

      Thanks, Nicole!

  4. Brooke lehrter August 2, 2011 at 7:50 pm #

    Sarah, I just wanted you to know how much I enjoy your blogs! You are a fantastic, vivid writer and each time I read something you’ve posted, I feel like I was there with you… The run, the bidding on ebay! Even though I dont know you and ryan that well anymore, thank you for sharing such special, initimate moments into your life. Somehow you make us all experience life a little more richly. And u make me laugh…love the ending to this story!

    • Sarah August 2, 2011 at 8:09 pm #

      Thanks, Brooke! Your comment means a lot to me! Hope you are doing well!

  5. Heather Cavaliere August 2, 2011 at 7:57 pm #

    Oh Sarah, I’m laughing (er…cackling) out loud because I read this story piece by piece and didn’t look at the pictures in advance, and when I got to the bottom and saw the picture of the Fisher Price Vintage Zoo, I totally just loved your whole story and we had that zoo too! And I remember that big huge vulture and the monkeys that hang, and the lion that fit in his cave and the little train cars…oh I have to find out if my mom still has ours. I loved that thing. 🙂 I almost just called you but it’s 11:00 here and Gregg said I should call you tomorrow on my day off. I love you friend. And I love your stories. They are perfect.

    PS: Doesn’t the hippo’s mouth open up when you drive the little tram cars over a little button on the pathway? I forgot about the zookeeper (I had to just refer back to him in the picture) and what fits under that orange thing in the cirlce indentation? The elephant?

    Oh I love the memory…the seal…everything! Isn’t there a spot for the little people person to sit in front of the lion (which by the way, I think that’s kinda dangerous!)?

    • Sarah August 2, 2011 at 8:55 pm #

      Now you have ME laughing. It’s all in the details of that amazing little zoo….they just don’t make them like that anymore. Come play with us!

  6. Joy August 3, 2011 at 4:28 am #

    Henry, Georgie and myself were playing with that toy at my parent’s this weekend! We love it (even though we are missing a few of the “rare” pieces)! I am with Heather, I love when the train rides over the little orange botton and the hipo’s mouth opens up! Thank you for giving me such great reading material while I had my morning coffee!

  7. jody August 5, 2011 at 8:00 am #

    Love your story! I can so relate – I find I get more enthusiastic about toys (esp. vintage ones!) than my kids do. Impulsive and passionate are great traits to have (in my humble opinion at least!)!

    • Sarah August 5, 2011 at 10:10 pm #

      My enthusiasm got us TWO zoos….oops!

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