1st Edition

Everyday eBay Culture, Collecting, and Desire

Edited By Ken Hillis, Michael Petit, Nathan Scott Epley Copyright 2006
    324 Pages
    by Routledge

    328 Pages
    by Routledge

    Everyday eBay is the first scholarly analysis of the internet marketplace that has become a global social, cultural and economic phenomenon. The eighteen new and classic essays gathered here examine eBay from a wide variety of perspectives as a bellwether of taste and material culture; as a rich site of cultural, racial, and sexual discourse and practice; as an emergent media form; and as a facilitator of global consumerism. From old toys steeped in nostalgia to 'rare' limited edition shoes, the contributors demonstrate that value on eBay is never simply about 'price'.

    On any given day, more than two million items are listed for sale on eBay, from everyday objects to kitsch and collectibles to the truly bizarre. Since its debut ten years ago, eBay has quickly become a central destination for millions of web browsers. According to eBay itself, up to 165,000 Americans now make their living by selling through the website, and other business analysts project that hundreds of thousands of individuals worldwide now make their living through eBay.

    Introducing Everyday eBay Ken Hillis, Michael Petit, and Nathan Epley 1. My Obsession: I Thought I was Immune to the Net. Then I Got Bitten by eBay William Gibson 2. Ephemeral Culture/eBay Culture: Film Collectables and Fan Investments Mary Desjardins 3. Virtual_radiophile (163 *): eBay and the Changing Collecting Practices of the U.K. Vintage Radio Community Rebecca Ellis and Anna Haywood 4. Fortune Telling on eBay: Early African American Textual Artifacts and the Marketplace Eric Gardner 5. Reading eBay: Hidden Stores, Subjective Stories, and a People's History of the Archive Zoe Trodd 6. Immaterial Labor in the eBay Community: The Work of Consumption in the Network Society Jon Lillie 7. The Perfect Community: Disciplining the eBay User Kylie Jarrett 8. Black Friday and Feedback Bombing: An Examination of Trust and Online Community in eBay's Early History Laura Robinson 9. Return of the Town Square: Reputational Gossip and Trust on eBay Lyn M. Van Swol 10. Of PEZ and Perfect Price: Sniping, Collecting Cultures, and Democracy on eBay Nathan Scott Epley 11. Auctioning the Authentic: eBay, Narrative Effect, and the Superfluity of Memory Ken Hillis 12. Between the Archive and the Image-Repertoire: Amateur Commercial Still Life Photography on eBay James Leo Cahill 13. Virgin Mary In Grilled Cheese NOT A HOAX! LOOK & SEE!: Sublime Kitsch on eBay Susanna Paasonen 14. eBay and the Traveling Museum: Elvis Richardson's Slide Show Land Daniel Mudie Cunningham 15. The Contradictory Circulation of Fine Art and Antiques on eBay Lisa Bloom 16. My Queer eBay: Gay Interest Photographs and the Visual Culture of Buying Michele White 17. When Used is Better than New: Sex Panic, eBay, and the Moral Economy of Underwear Michael Petit 18. Playing Dress-Up: eBay's Vintage Clothing-Land Katalin Lovász The Editors and Contributors Index


    Ken Hillis is Associate Professor of Communication Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is author of Digital Sensations: Space, Identity and Embodiment in Virtual Reality.
    Michael Petit is Mellon Lecturing Fellow at the University Writing Program in the Center for Teaching, Learning and Writing at Duke University. He is author of Peacekeepers at War: A Marine's Account of the Beirut Catastrophe.
    Nathan Epley is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Communication Studies, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is a contributing editor for NMEDIAC: The Journal of New Media and Culture.

    "This book is a first, sorely needed attempt to learn from eBay, to understand it, and to situate it in the broader field of contemporary culture." -- Jonathan Sterne, McGill University
    "This is an excellent idea for a book; eBay is a fascinating and timely subject, allowing authors to touch on a large number of interesting issues that are densely interwoven in the practices that constellate around eBay: cyberculture and cybercommunity, consumption, material culture, cultural economy, collecting..." -- David Bell, author of An Introduction to Cyberculture and co-editor of The Cybercultures Reader