Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
I bought your gift on eBay
cos I don't think much of you.
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At last it's nearly Valentine's day, a little oasis of fuzz filled romance slap bang in the centre of the mercifully short month of February. As we all know, the traditional way to commemorate the horrible martyrdom of a long dead Roman priest is to don flammable looking nylon knickers and exchange gifts which appear to have been purchased at a motorway service station. [cheap chocolate, personalised teddy bears, fragrance free roses, Celine Dion CDs].
Oh and 50 litres of unleaded. Pump 3
What's that? You expected more from me? I'm sorry, of course you know where to get this stuff. Generic hearts and flowers crap is available on every high street from the second the last cut-price selection box is taken off the shelves. Your true love deserves that little bit extra, don't you think? That thought that says "You complete me, and I've found the perfect gift to express our unity". No magic in this post, but plenty of madness - welcome to an eBay Valentine's Special!
Assuming you've decided against the traditional items above, there are a few simple rules to follow when purchasing a Valentine's gift on eBay. Those sellers can be crafty.
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Rule no 1 - Seasonal appropriateness
Even if his eyes do light up at the very mention of stockings, this was probably not quite what he had in mind. This seller clearly had some makes left over from the festive season and seems to think we'll be fooled by calling it a "Valentine Love Heart Sock with hanging loop". Whether you put a 'love note or small gift' inside it or not, the fact remains that this is a Christmas decoration - and a nasty acrylic one at that.
And who amongst us wouldn't be thrilled by a 'ladies designer handbag' chosen by our man? So far so good, except here's the picture:
LV or BHS?
Oh yes, it was chosen by someone else's now ex-boyfriend for Christmas, and whilst she apparently has the receipt to know it cost £225, she's not entirely sure of the colour. It's 'either black or brown'. Mystery presents are weirdly popular on eBay, but if I'm spending that much on a handbag, I'd really like to see more than the original buyer's taste in giftwrap. It's ok though, cos she's 'donating the money to charity'. I guess she didn't think of unwrapping it and returning it to the shop (or indeed the boyfriend), since she has the receipt and all.
Yup, if you're selling an unwanted Christmas gift on eBay, we need to see what it is. But sometimes not to imagine where it's been. If it's new - WHY DOES IT HAVE NO TAGS?
NEW UNWANTED XMAS PRESENT MEN'S ONE SIZE
HUNG LIKE A DONKEY G STRING
THIS WOULD MAKE A GREAT VALENTINES DAY PRESENT
We all know where that elastic's been, even if it was just the once. A second hand novelty g-string does not a great valentines present make.
Thankfully these knickers are new. And somebody's going to be thrilled come
Halloween Valentines Day. Could it be you?
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Rule no 2 - Not all hearts are created equal
As a general rule of thumb, French is good when it comes to romance. A stroll down the Champs Elysees, Parisian lingerie, champagne, meals cooked by Michel Roux Jnr - all acceptable and to be encouraged. You may find however, that something designed to clean the kitchen floor of Michel Roux Jnr goes down less well.
AN IDEAL VALENTINES PRESENT FOR YOUR LOVED ONE. A LOVING FRENCH HEART SHAPED MOP. I AM SURE IT HAS NEVER BEEN USED, YOU COULD BE THE FIRST TO TRY IT. LOVE AND HYGIENE IN ONE PRESENT.
The first to try a mop? Be still my beating heart! The seller rather unwisely invites you to let him know 'if there are any problems with your present'. I predict a sudden influx of correspondence relating to the difficulty the A&E doctors had in removing it.
Ok, so maybe that heart wasn't quite right. But who doesn't love a quirky expression of adoration? So here it is, a potato crisp - flavour unspecified - with a vaguely heart-shaped hole in it. Starting bid only 99p. Oh, and postage and packing - £4.00! That's a lot of bubble wrap. I think I'll stick to the traditional method of showing love through the medium of food - demanding the last rolo. Or writing 'BOOBS' in his alphabetti spaghetti.
No really, you shouldn't have.
As the old saying goes "if the present doesn't dazzle, don't expect me to vajazzle". Well, it's probably a saying somewhere. Or should be.
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Rule no 3 - Remember your Audience
Valentines Day is about the expression of romantic love. Even if the object of your affection is a Grandma,
I'm looking at you Wayne Rooney this is not the day to celebrate that fact. Think designer bag, not old bag.
Apparently it's also 'in need of a clean''. Lovely.
Insert joke about sucking eggs here
Speaking of things that suck, I must strongly advise caution when believing the seller who claims this book makes an ideal Valentine gift. Applying the secrets within for your man, certainly; being presented with the book itself - not so good.
Happy Valentines Day darling.
Did I mention you're crap in bed?
And on we go to the next Valentines 'don't'. Crap. There really is no reason to be in a relationship with anyone who might be pleased to add to their collection of anthropomorphic turd ornaments. Especially one called 'Rimbo' who fought against 'Saddam Asspain'. Leave now, a lifetime alone is preferable.
That said, I know some of you ladies love your kitsch. You might collect whimsical stuff which you liked as a child - I've seen blog posts waxing lyrical about everything from Care Bears to Cabbage Patch Kids. That's fine. You want to share your bedroom with the cast of Chucky, that's your look out. But surely we'd all look askance if presented with either of these by our beloved - they look like 'before' pictures from Redwings Horse Sanctuary:
beautiful my little pony figure with glittery blond hair, lovely eye's [sic] and flowers on her side and a heart on her leg. ideal valentines Day gift
Donate just £5 a month, and help us save more like Pinky from heartless abuse...
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Rule no 4 - Presentation is key
Whatever you buy, remember that first impressions count. The simple addition of a bow can elevate your gift from 'meh' to 'YEAH!'
The seller suggests using it as a vessel to 'deliver an engagement ring across a pond' (with the wise proviso 'if you are quick') and points out that it can also be "hamster bedding, or if ironed, can be used as a bookmark". Genius.
Also genius is the addition of a cellophane bag. That way, you can package up any unwanted bits and pieces you have lying around and charge a tenner by re-branding it as a 'Valentine Pamper Bag for Her'. Why, I just have to look at those make-up sponges photographed on a grimy carpet and I feel all my stresses melting away. Who knows how I'll feel when I receive my discontinued lipgloss and shower scrubber!
None of my suggestions float your boat? There's always the time honoured gift of yourself - carefully packaged of course.
Just don't rely on Royal Mail.
Love you long time!
Need more Valentines gift suggestions? Out-takes from this post are up on my Facebook Page. I'm not sure if it gets better or worse!
Linked up to: Valentines Party