Italian Bathrooms are Somewhat Like eBay. Unless You Keep Moving The Lights Go Out.

You know you are the ultimate eBay geek when you can relate everything you do on your Italian vacation to some facet of eBay.

This one may be a stretch, but I thought my readers might get a chuckle from it –as well as making an important point.

I am not sure if it is for environmental reasons or just due to the high cost of energy, but every Italian bathroom I have been in for the past week has no light switch –they are instead controlled by motion sensors.  It took a few days but I finally realized that when you use the rest room in a restaurant, it doesn’t pay to sit or stand still. If you do, the lights go out and you are literally “in the dark.”  As most Italian bathrooms in public buildings don’t have windows –it is really, really dark.

For some unknown reason, the motion sensors work very well when you first walk into the rest room. The light comes on immediately.  But once the light goes out, you really have to wave your arms and jump around to get them to come back on.  It can be quite disconcerting –being in total darkness and wildly waving your arms. Even though no one can see you, you feel a bit silly.

The experience got me to thinking that Italian toilets are a bit like eBay. Unless you keep moving –you can quickly find yourself in the dark.

We are approaching our 10th year as eBay sellers. If I have learned one thing over the years it is that eBay is always changing. In recent months it has been changing so fast that sellers have to keep moving or the lights will go out on your business. 

Unfortunately, unlike in an Italian toilet, just jumping up and down and waving your arms doesn’t help. Yes –the little guy or gal can still make money on eBay, but you have to be nimble and able to adjust to change –and most of all you have to stress business basics such as good communication and customer service. And most importantly you have to select products that are less competitive –and therefore more profitable.


We checked out of our 16th Century villa in Asolo a couple of days ago and have been staying in the ancient city of Bologna.  Bologna is known for it wonderful meats and sausages and the oldest continuously operating University in the world. Nearby we visited Parma –home of parmesan cheese and Parma Ham. Then we went onto Modena and Maranello –home of Lamborghini and Ferrari. We are leaving today for Ravenna and Rimini on the Adriatic coast.

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