It was shortly after I joined eBay in July 1996.
I collected cookie jars and had recently seen the California Originals Count Dracula jar at a Cookie Jar Show for $400 or $500. Way out of my price range. But since the Sesame Street Cookie Monster is the one I consider the start of my collecting addiction, I really wanted it.
Well there it was, listed on eBay, a jar I had seen just a few months earlier and now mine for the bidding. At the time, and I remember this well, there were only SIX cookie jars listed on eBay. Six*.
Another thing to remember is that very few of the auction items even had pictures included, this one had a very poor picture somehow linked to it, but it was really hard to tell if it was the real deal or not.
So I bid on it. Very hesitantly because I never spent that much money on a jar before, I couldn’t tell what it really was and who the heck ever heard of “eBay” anyway? And I won it with no competing bidders.
Back then, there was also no Paypal and no one took credit cards, so it was pay by cash (yes many sellers requested that), money order or personal check — all by snail mail. So you had to wait for mail to get to the seller, wait for the check to clear and then wait for the return item. This could take two – three weeks by the time all was said and done.
And I waited. Worried that it would get here in good condition and that it was also the authentic jar. If it wound up being one of the reproduction jars sold by Hawkeye Collectibles , I paid way too much and if it was the California Original jar, I got a great deal.
It finally arrived, in great condition and it was the real deal.
My feedback from the seller: “Her check was good”. What was your first purchase on eBay?? Have a good story to share?
*(As a point of reference, at this moment in time there are 29,039 jars listed.)