Sunday, October 29, 2006

Ebay amazes me...

...in that if you have something to sell, just about anything to sell with certain exceptions, it gives you easy access to a worldwide market. I don't want to get into an argument about what they allow and do not allow to be sold on their site. Leave it to say I would like them much better if they allowed folks to sell firearms through their service, but they choose not to allow that. Nor will they, I think, allow folks to sell things like their immortal souls, Nazi memorabilia, or kiddy pornography. Now on two of these three last, I cannot blame them, and I'll give you a hint - I agree with them about not selling kiddy porn. They are their own business and they allow and disallow what they choose.

Still though, despite a few such regulations, you can sell lots of different things, or buy them too. I have sold such silly things as: a shaving kit (red cross issued in WWI), military patches from WWII, some old books, a couple of limited edition hunting books, and old fishing reel in need of repair, and so on. I got almost everything I sold at local 'tag sales' which are basically open house sales of the contents of a home either due to divorce, moving, retirement, or death as in an estate sale. Two of the books I sold I sold for hundreds of dollars each; the thing is I bought them for $5 each. That is great, and the saying is true: "One man's trash is another man's treasure"; but just not all the time. Sometimes the trash you find or buy to sell on Ebay just does not get sold. In my case, I hold onto those things for a while if I have room, then I try to sell them again several months later. That often does the trick and again I have some treasure even if only a few bucks worth. If not, well then I trash the item literally.

I made my latest sale, I think of only a total of about 39 sales over a few years. I placed a camera lens up for sale yesterday afternoon. I got back on the computer, I think, less than 2 hours later, and had already received an email that the item had sold. It was a Nikon camera lens, and therein lies a lesson at least for me. I probably under priced it even, and even though it was never a very expensive lens, I probably could have sold it for more than I did. Ebay is of course famous for being an auction middleman, but they also offer a "buy it now" feature so the seller can set a price at which the item automatically sells. I did that yesterday and someone bought it almost immediately. I guess the fact that Nikon recently announced that they are no longer going to make film cameras may have had an effect, the collectors will be looking for Nikon film cameras and accessories. h well.

Today, I may just have to go out to a tag sale or two if there are any local to me. I sometimes go to these now and then as a sort of diversion, and as sort of a treasure seeking expedition. I have been lucky a few times. Those two books I mentioned above were a great buy/sale for me. So was the fishing reel I got for $12.50 and sold for $125.00. As a matter of fact, I am pretty sure I got that shaving kit I mentioned for $1.00 or $2.00, I sold it for $75.00 on Ebay. I imagine someone with the get up an go could make a business out of going to tag sales and selling on Ebay; many probably have already, at least those with more get up and go than me.

Hmm, all of this talk of treasured trash has my blood going, I think I am off on a treasure hunt. Later for you guys. Bye.

All the best,
Glenn B

2 comments:

Chris Byrne said...

During the dot bomb, I supplemented my income by buying out bunches of old high end computer equipment from local bankruptcies, reconditioning it, and selling it on ebay. I made a few thousand a month doing it, and it was fun.

My mother was a wholesale jeweler; and for some time after she entere the last phase of her illness, she continued working through ebay and several other auction sites.

The problem is, for me, it could only ever be a side income because it's entirely inconsistent; but there are nor thousands of people, probably tens of thousands, who make their entire living doing nothing but ebay.

Pretty cool huh.

Draven said...

A friend acquired a partial set of George Chinn's The Machine Gun from a garage/estate sale a number of years ago and sold the set on Ebay for several times what he paid for it.

Of course, I wanted to ring his scrawny little neck for not giving me first crack at it...