this instagram account finds the weirdest shit on ebay so you don’t have to
From custom Gucci Princess Leia capes to marijuana leaf sunglasses, @ebayebae has something for everyone.
Image via Instagram
By day, Tae In Ahn works at The Metropolitan Museum of Art as the Collections Specialist for The Costume Institute, where she’s an authority on creating custom storage solutions for the permanent collection. By night, she posts about all the weird shit she finds on eBay. Ok, fine, she posts during the day too.
“One of my favourite pastimes has always been eye-shopping,” Tae says. “This escalated once I started grad school and got deep into object-based research. After my graduate studies, I had a job at the time that required commuting for long hours. Reading made me car sick easily, but eye shopping on eBay didn't. I found Instagram an efficient way of sharing many obscure listings with friends.”
From decorative bowling ball pins made from colourful vintage watches to poodle-shaped loo roll holders, Louis Vuitton post it notes to this rare Pleats Please Issey Miyake shirt, @ebayebae is an amusing catalogue of the most random eBay listings. Tae curates them into themes, celebrating the novelty in fashion, decorative arts, and everyday items. It’s a clever mix of high and low, of good taste and bad, archival fashion pieces and kitchy bric-à-brac. There’s something for every one of her 40K followers.
“I think I inadvertently came up with this game for myself to post in a thematic series, or at least try my best to connect one post to the next,” she says. “Other than having more followers and attention, the content has pretty much remained consistent. My earlier posts might have been freakier, though.”
When it comes to sourcing material, she’ll start by browsing through her saved searches. But most of her work is spontaneous, posting things she’s inspired by in the moment such as a specific product category, designer, event, object, material, word or combination of words. Once she starts a search she then refines and sorts the results.
“I typically do not add my own captions as I want the listings to speak for themselves,” she says. “I think doing @ebaybae helps as an outlet to release my consumerist desires, a virtual space to share my “wants” and “needs” without fully committing to buy them. I also find it a great stress reliever and coping mechanism for a long commute, or avoiding intense and scary parts in movies/shows. Most of all, the aim is amusement. I hope it brightens up people’s days to some capacity! Oh and an official eBay sponsorship would be great.”
Here she picks her top 5 posts:
1. Lucite barbed wire and razor blade toilet seat
Some of my favourite finds have been Lucite toilet seats embedded with barbed wire and razor blades, fishing lures, paper clips, playing cards and poker chips, marijuana leaves, dollar bills, and coins.
2. Butterfly scale microscope slide
This was such a magnificent find, which started with a simple search for microscope slides. One of my favourite assignments while studying textile conservation was using the microscope to identify fibres. This in addition to seeing my friend Katherine's personal collection of microscope slides sparked a desire to seek them out. While perusing through, I remembered the time I went to the Museum of Jurassic Technology in L.A. and saw Henry Dalton's micromosaics. I then refined my search and came across this beauty!
3. Rolex Ring Watch
This was posted to transition from the previous post, a series of small glass eyes for dolls that were displayed on the seller's palm, to the next thematic series of watches/clocks. I really like this seller's typographic choices for the title and listing price.
4. Maurizio Cattelan The End Sculpture
Sometimes I will post a listing referencing a current fad, event, and/or mood, such as a Poké ball-shaped diamond engagement ring during the Pokémon GO craze. This one was posted on January 20th, 2017, the day of the U.S. Presidential inauguration.
5. Gucci Watch Bezels in Lucite
This encapsulates a lot of the things I'm drawn towards: lucite, obsolete retail displays, desktop accessories, and luxury design house logos. Many of the listings that I share represent a combination of my personal aesthetic preferences along with my academic interests in material culture and consumerism.
This article originally appeared on i-D UK.