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The Complete Guide to Reading Tarot Cards

Friday, July 07, 2006

Making a visit to the odd side of online auctions

The eBay auction listing was intriguing: 'Possessed Haunted Doll from Witches home Incredible!'
Below photos of a porcelain doll named 'Lil Missy' is a story of possession and fear.
'Hello & BLESSINGS!' the description begins. The rest that follows is rough, mangled syntax, but the gist of the story comes through: 'A friends, of a friends who was a REAL Witch passed to another dimension & she knew the paranormal, haunted items always amaze me! However this doll mADE OF PORCELAIN is a bit TOO much for me!!'
The problem? The doll seems to move and cry whenever water is running.
'While I run the water for the dishes or tub, you hear a crying sound coming from the area lil Missy is,' reads the description. 'Being psychic and a medium, i would say that the spirit that lies in this cute doll may have drowned in a past life!'
Hence, this warning: 'What ever happens from here on in when you receive I release all responsibility! I want someone who will be good to her and treat her kind, No Matter what She does!!'
By Tuesday, bidding on the doll reached $11.49, with a day to go in the auction.
What's the shipping and handling on a possessed porcelain doll? According to the auction site, $12.95.
Welcome to the fringes of the online auction world. We're no
longer talking books, CDs, records, antiques and collectibles.
We're talking paranormal items for sale, mystery boxes up for bid, witch-school memberships, haunted witch rings, religious images appearing on home pregnancy test kits.
'Enchanted Bottle with Beautiful Female Genie Trapped Inside,' reads the auction description on this item. 'Owned by a Rumanian gypsy witch who has passed onto the other side.'
Reading further, I discover this is an ancient, enchanted bottle someone's grandmother had hidden away for many years. Inside is a powerful female genie that appears as 'an orb of light' and has the ability to grant wishes.
'She is very powerful so word your wishes wisely,' I'm warned. 'How she grants your wish will probably exceed your imagination!'
You'd think a genie in a bottle would be worth a lot. But bidding on this amazing item reached $46 on Tuesday with one day left in the auction.
Apparently, bottled genies just aren't the hot items they used to be.
Shipping is only $2.95, so the bottle and genie must not weigh all that much.
Tarot decks, voodoo game boards, crystal balls, love spells, amulets, charms.
You can find it all on the eBay fringes if you're interested ' or
One popular category (for reasons I still don't quite get) is 'Mystery Boxes.' This is where people put up for bid boxes or chests with unidentified contents. It's the background story that apparently sells the product. You're bidding on the possibility of riches beyond imagination in these boxes. You hope to pay very little for a lot of potential.
Consider this auction item: 'THE $1,000,000 MYSTERY BOX YOU WON'T PASS UP!! THE WINNER OF THIS BOX WILL BE THE HAPPIEST EBAY WINNER EVER!!!! THIS IS THE REAL DEAL,' reads the title.
What's inside? Ah, that would spoil the mystery. The only hint the seller offers is, 'it is something you can't even imagine in your wildest dreams.'
Bidding was up to $76 on this item by Tuesday. That's small
change compared to other mystery boxes that have drawn hundreds and thousands of dollars in bids.
It's interesting to note that in most of the mystery box auctions, it's stated that you are bidding on just the box itself ' the contents are a 'free gift' from the seller to you. This, apparently, is done so disappointed buyers can't come back and complain about broken promises or being ripped off.
The buyer is bidding on a box, not the contents ' even though it's the contents that are played up in the auction descriptions.
To browse the other side of the online auction world, go to pulse.ebay.com. This is where you can learn, at a glance, what are the most popular auctions, online sellers, auction search terms and more.
In the drop down menu next to 'category,' go down to 'Everything Else.'
When the page loads, go once more to the menu and, this time, select 'Mystery Auctions.'
But keep this in mind: As in the real world, the Latin phrase, 'caveat emptor,' or 'buyer beware,' applies in the digital world, too.
(Keith Darnay is the webmaster and designer for bismarcktribune.com.His Web site, featuring this column going back to 1995, is at www.darnay.com/iec.)

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