I get it. Christmas is coming. There are cards and trees and tinsel and badly played tinny renditions of carols on every other commercial on TV. (It’s only mid-November, so it’s not /every/ commercial yet)
But that’s not all that different. Nor are the “buy your kids 12 billion things to show you love them” undertones anything new.
Yesterday, however, after driving 300 miles back from Dallas (I drove up there Saturday for my mom’s birthday), I flipped on the TV to veg out a little and relax. And the first commercial I saw?
Scruffy Dude: “Hand-made Gifts for Christmas?”
Dude looks at his smiling grandmother, sitting across from him at the table. Dude stands up and goes into the garage with the (rather nice) hand knit mittens she just gave him.
Scruffy Dude: “Who wants that? Why not buy your friends something they’ll really like. Like a snowmobile. I hear you can get one cheap on E-Bay!”
<more e-bay paraphernalia, showing the Dude doing “fun things” with extremely expensive mechanical items out in the snow, Dude playing with expensive electronics. He’s wearing synthetic gloves.>
Scruffy Dude sniffs the mittens: “Smells like church.”
<Cue E-Bay tag.>
Alright. So E-bay takes pot-shots at Etsy. Great.
Just what I wanted to see after spending 25 hours over three and a half days frantically making some woollen winter things for my mother’s birthday (after she mentioned not having any before her move).
I’m sure every person who spends countless hours working on gifts so that they can be pushed aside in favor of shiny, “expensive” (previously owned/USED) things bought on E-Bay is just thrilled. I have enough of a time with gifts that I make for people. When you spend many hours working on something? Having that something get rejected … hurts. (Which is why some of my friends will not get knitted things. If I figure out that your reaction will be to act nice-nice and then shove it in a drawer? Nope. No knits for you.)
Now, am I actually putting any stock in this particular commercial?
Not really, though (as I’m sure you noticed) I’m slightly peeved.
To be honest, it reads like E-bay is feeling threatened by Etsy’s handmade offerings, and the fact that the makers of said handmade items are choosing to sell them via Etsy rather than through E-Bay (which has kinda become an odd shamble of used items and then huge shiny stores selling all kinds of things at normal (or higher) prices). Which, you know, whatever. If they’re threatened enough to take potshots at handmade items in order to shill their “Christmas Crap” campaign, they’ll just lose even more of their sellers to Etsy.
Still, though, I think the whole thing is misplaced and… well, not that funny.
Sure, I get that a new snowmobile is “more fun” than a pair of mittens. But you need mittens to ride a snowmobile without frostbite, and, quite honestly, I can afford to buy enough yarn to make some mittens (less than $20 even for REALLY NICE yarn).
TLDR version – Ebay is stupid, commercials are stupid, and having to put up with Christmas for three months every year is REALLY stupid.
Also? What the fuck does “smells like church” mean?