Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Adventures on Ebay

I have found over the past several years that one can sell just about anything on eBay. It’s not a matter of having something someone else wants, though that helps. It’s all about salesmanship, creating demand for your listing to anyone who manages to come across it.

Early on in my eBay experience I was dismayed to find useful items of reasonable (or better) quality that I had listed on eBay end up with no bids after seven days at auction. It’s frustrating and dismaying, particularly in instances where the item was something I myself might have purchased. But I learned that how I listed the items owed much to the measure of my success.

I soon learned that any manner of junk or bric-a-brac could be sold on eBay if I was careful in how I listed the item. This realization dawned on me several years ago after cleaning out the garage and ending up with a box of items destined for Goodwill or eBay. I had organized several plastic bins of cords: power supply cords, telephone cords, RCA cables and all manner of SCSI, mini-DIN and USB computer and printer cables. At last there remained a tangled pile of various cords and cables that I could not assign a function to. They had perhaps come packaged with electronics and remained unneeded or unused or were for cell phones or PALM pilots I no longer owned.

As I was listing a number of items on eBay (children’s clothes, CD’s and books, and unused house wares), I began to giggle thinking about the tangle of mystery cables in my garage, and, if only to amuse myself, listed them as “My Grab-Bag Pile of Mystery Cables,” imploring someone to take them off my hands but warning prospective bidders, “You don’t know what you may get in my Grab-Bag Pile of Mystery Cables.”

I sold the tangle of mystery cables and received positive feedback.

A week ago I went through a similar exercise in the garage, a seven-year-long process of reducing the amount of junk so that I can actually use the two-car garage for two cars instead of one. (I should admit at this point that it was my wife who, after cleaning the garage while I was on a business trip three or four years ago, managed to squeeze both cars into the garage, a situation which lasted perhaps a week until we started a remodel project. We’ve not achieved two-car status since then). Among the miscellany in the discard box was a small toy that should have been merely thrown out: three-inch high ghost that would waddle a foot or two across the floor when wound up. Most likely it was something that came home in my child’s Trick-or-Treat bucket many years before, and it was now among the miscellany preventing my wife’s Jeep from spending its nights out of the weather.

Instead of throwing it out, I put it up on eBay.
I received three bids and I ship it out tomorrow.

1 comment:

George said...

So, how much did you make on this? $1.50?