When used improperly and without restraint, eBay can ruin lives–the eBabes have certainly lost a few friends to the site. Whether through selling or bidding, auctions can consume a person without much warning. If you think your friend might have an eBay problem, look for these signs:

1. You have confusing emails from them in the middle of the night.


Do you think Gaga used a Kleenex in Manhattan last Thursday??!?!!? It’s for sale I NEED TO KNOW GET BACK TO ME PLEASEEELKJS

2. They’re pale and sleep deprived.

eBay makes you stay up all night, guys. It makes you search for vintage wooden platform clog sandals until you can’t see straight. It makes the few hours of sleep you do get full of nightmares about street gang bidding wars. And eBay is certainly the best reason to avoid leaving the house. These auctions aren’t going to win themselves, OK?!

3. Their hands shake.

Bidding on eBay all day can take a toll on even the most experienced typer. Hitting the “Bid Now” button hundreds of times daily might prompt a kind of twitch in the wrist.

4. They start emptying out their apartment.

Once the buying habit gets out of control, she realizes she is going to need to do some selling to get their PayPal balance out of the basement. Your friend’s laptop, stereo, first edition novels…they all start disappearing. You know how you can’t find your iPod? We’re not insinuating anything, just saying.

5. They start alienating family and friends.

Your friend is distant and aloof, and you can sometimes hear her muttering, “Buy it, buy it now.” She rarely makes eye contact, and when she does, you see a crazed addict, not the friend you know and love. When you tell her you want to talk, she tells you to send her a message or check the FAQs.

6. They want to bid on everything.

Even a simple trip to the bodega becomes a hassle when your friend tries to offer a dollar more than the customer in front of her for the last box of Wheaties.

7. They start to smell funny.

Your friend has developed a slightly musty smell, mostly emanating from her retro clothing, and after you leave her company, your hands always feel dirty. Being shut up inside all day doesn’t do much for airing her vintage outfits out.

So what do you do?

eBay is unique. You sell your old stuff, and people buy it. You pay less than you ever would for designer and vintage clothes. It’s going to be hard to convince your friend that eBay isn’t that great, because it is. We’d recommend introducing other forms of shopping into your friend’s life: flea markets, vintage stores, even a basic discount mall could give your friend the same high she’s used to getting off of eBay. Hopefully after your friend sees that there is life after eBay, she can get her usage down to a normal amount. Maybe four or five hours a day, like us. That’s totally normal. Or you could recommend she go cold turkey.