The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Thursday, 19 February 2009

A Bargain on Ebay!

The Scarpa ZG65: my favourite boot. I walked 1000 miles in a pair last year and although they are now showing signs not just of wear, but also of neglect and abuse, they have been very comfortable throughout.

The only complaint I had about them was the silly light-blue colour. I ask you, is this a sensible colour for a walking boot?


Needless to say, my pair didn’t look like that beyond their first twenty miles, and even though I scrubbed them at some length today, they have not returned to anything approaching their original colour.

I’ve resisted binning them, on the basis that they’re still good for a few miles, but I wouldn’t put them through another two-week walk. So, I have for a while acknowledged that I will need to replace them before the TGO Challenge, and the obvious choice for replacement was another pair of the same.

I’m not sure whether it is my inherent tightness, or my lack of an income, or just the fact that I don’t need them quite yet, that has stopped me buying the replacements before now, but for whatever reason although I’ve looked at and fondled many pairs, I’ve resisted committing to the purchase.

Then two nights ago (coincidentally, I now realise, exactly a year since I bought my last pair), I was doing my one of my periodic tent and backpack searches on Ebay, when boredom and idle curiosity caused me to continue my searching by typing in Scarpa.

My eyes nearly popped out of my head on stalks when I saw a pair of brand new (with tags) ZG65s, in my size at a ‘Buy It Now’ price of £65 (the RRP is £120, and most shops seem to sell them in my size at not less than £110). The postage was an entirely reasonable £4 (I can’t even get to town and back on the bus for that!).

Now, I know that it is generally ill-advised to buy boots without trying them. However, both my pairs of Scarpas (I have some ZG10s too) fit me just fine, so at the price I thought it was worth the risk. Wondering what the catch was, I snapped them up.

This afternoon, there I was, hands in the sink, scrubbing mud off my old ZG65s, when appeared the Postie, clutching a boot-sized box.  Inside of it I found exactly the item that had been described: brand new, my size – and in a far more sensible colour than my old pair.

P2190001aYes, the pair on the left did once look like the picture at the top of this post!

P2190002aI hadn’t realised quite how worn down my old pair were until I compared them with the new 

I’ve worn them around the house all afternoon (they don’t half squeak on the kitchen floor!) and indications are that they fit just fine, albeit I know from experience that shoes that feel fine around the house can be crippling when twisting your feet every which way on a rough hillside.

I’ve never before had much joy with Ebay. When buying the price always goes too high, yet when I’m selling I find myself almost giving stuff away. Perhaps it’s because I’m not prepared to dedicate much of my time to the site in order to seek out the bargains and to work out the best way to sell. However, this week was apparently my time for bargains, as yesterday I made another purchase at what I consider to be a ridiculously low price. Hopefully that item will arrive tomorrow, then it will be time for the sewing machine to come back out…

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