The eBay experience.....

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Blackjack, Feb 20, 2008.

  1. Blackjack

    Blackjack Monkey+++

    My wife and I have been selling stuff on eBay (off and on) since 98. For about a year or so, we did so well at it, that's all we did, but that was back in the "old" days when it was a LOT easier to make a buck there (and you had to learn html :) We would mostly go to auctions and garage sales to get stuff to sell, it was fun for a while.

    We've had a lot of good experiences, and a few bad ones, but overall it's been pretty good.

    I know there are some other regulars here if you'd like to share a story or opinion.

    I learned a few things along the way like:
    1) NEVER rely on a "price guide" to determine if you can make money on something.... the "book value" of an item and what someone will actually pay for the thing can be wildly different.
    2) No matter what it is..... somebody probably wants it
    3) Never sell for friends, it's trouble. And everybody thinks that their furby or beanie baby or harley collectors whatever is worth about 10 times what somebody will actually give you for it.
    4) Never take an auctioneer's word for it that something works. Plug it in and find out for yourself.

    Some of the interesting/weird/cool stuff we've sold over the years:

    1) A 500 lb ice cream machine to a guy in Nigeria. Shipping was crazy, but he paid for it all. I had bought 2 of them at a restaurant auction and ended up turning nearly $2,000 profit on the pair.

    2) An inert bazooka rocket.... ebay cancelled the auction, but we completed the sale. That was my very first auction

    3) An old doctor's bag that's in a museum in Lexington now.

    4) A really, really nice wheelchair that went to a guy who really needed it and was probably happier than any customer I've ever seen. Only made about 150 on the chair (it was over a grand retail), but it made me feel good to get it to someone who really appreciated being able to afford it.

    5) A cracked bowling pin.... I told my wife to throw it away because "nobody would pay for that thing". She proved me wrong, a bowling pin collector gave her 10 bucks for it.

    6) Made a MINT on a bunch of old "Transformers" toys

    7) Done pretty well on old slot car stuff, and old Atari, Nintendo, and the like videogames.

    8) Got $25 for a box of old, rusty keys. Another one my wife can say "I told you so".

    9) Had a little box of barbie doll stuff we figured on getting 10 bucks for went for over a hundred. Turned out the shoes were what everybody wanted.

    10) Got over 100 for an old cast iron motorcycle toy.... and the rider was missing his head.

    Anybody else?
  2. Tango3

    Tango3 Aimless wanderer

    Good for you! , I've been moving motorcycle swap meet parts for about a year, mostly a hobby; but it bought my 1911, and leather. Haven'tried selling any different you got me thinking....
  3. sniper-66

    sniper-66 Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Sold a railroad time table from 1996, the guy that won it was the only bidder. When I sent him the payment details, I offered five more for nothing more than the increased shipping cost of an extra three dollars..... nope!
    Had a flight helmet that was cracked, repaired, hoped to get $200 for it. In the last 30 seconds, the helmet was involved in a sluggo bidding war and when the dust settled, the helmet sold for $1,600!!! The guy instantly paid and within 30 minutes, I went to the PVS section and did a "buy it now" on a PVS-7 for $1,400! I'm still in shock over that one.
    What you think will go for alot, won't bring crap, but what you think is trash will sell for more than you can dream. It's all in the marketing.
  4. Blackjack

    Blackjack Monkey+++

    It was a LOT easier 6 or 7 years ago. Now, not only does ebay and paypal take more of your money, but everybody else out there is looking at the auctions and garage sales for stuff to sell too (the people having the garage sales and the auctioneers know it too).

    I don't mean to be discouraging, you can pick up some extra spending money no problem.... but making enough money to live on is really tough now.
  5. Valkman

    Valkman Knifemaker Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    In '97 I was buying tons of Civil War stuff and there were many deals to be had, even got a amputation saw set! I bought 1800's original books for $15 or $20 that the buyers were dumping because Gramps owned 'em and he died - unbelievable. Then it turned into 50 pages of RE Lee license plates and Stonewall belt buckles and complete crap.
  6. Minuteman

    Minuteman Chaplain Moderator Founding Member

    I swore off of ebay. I recently bought some things off of there for the first time. Within days I was recieving spam emails. I knew that they weren't legit because they were sent to a different email addy than the one I used to register.
    They must have used my user name and tried it with every email .com until they hit on it.
    I have used my credit card to buy things online for years with no problems but within a month of using it on ebay someone had gotten the number and was trying to access my account. So now I am in the process of cancelling that card and getting a new number.
    I won't be using ebay again. Too much exposure there.
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