Tuesday, September 20, 2011


Browsing eBay at the Coffee Connection Cafe
Main Street, Walla Walla
(Hawaiian Odysseus photo)

I am stoked!

True, the bottomless cup of Joe and the delicious mid-morning edibles are fantastic at the Coffee Connection Cafe in downtown Walla Walla.  The A-1 service I'm receiving from the waiter and waitress is superior to anything I've experienced thus far in southeast Washington.  And-oh!--the homemade biscuits are as big as bagels with a taste to absolutely die for!

What's amping up my excitement this very moment is that I sold something on eBay.  Something I paid a dime for and turned it around on the world's greatest online auction site for a 2,820% profit.  
(Bringing that staggering differential down to earth, in terms of dollars and cents, I made $2.82 for the magazine sale.)

Here's the breakdown.  

I found the magazine at St. Vincent de Paul, a noteworthy thrift store about a block west of the Valley Transit Center on Main Street.  It cost me a measly 10 cents, an absolute steal considering the near mint quality of the National Geographic issue.  

The Buy it Now fixed price listing fee on eBay was 20 cents.

After the issue sold, the final value fee was $1.29.

When the buyer made his payment, I was charged a PayPal fee of 59 cents.

Utilizing free USPS priority mail padded envelopes helps keep my shipping costs down.  Still, the service costs $4.95 per parcel.

Labor?  I work hard on my eBay business, but let's just say it's all a labor of love as I diligently attempt to make a living that is far more meaningful to me than slaving away on a graveyard shift baking 10,000 bagels a night for a boss who was just plain constipated about giving out well-deserved kudos, never mind a decent wage compensatory for the effort.  

But I digress.  Whew!  Did I have all that in me?

So, labor aside, my total overhead was $7.13.  

I charged my customer $9.95.

My profit, then, was $2.82, or--just as I mentioned earlier--a 2,820% net increase!

Do you think I'll keep looking for National Geographic (and other) magazines to sell?  

You bet I will!

You see, the thrill of it all was proving to myself that I could actually step out of my comfort zone and develop a new niche for my eBay business.  

For eleven years now, I've been selling fly tying materials and supplies.  With the cost of hooks rising, it was getting difficult to sustain a profit margin that made sense after all the numbers were crunched.  So, especially in the last three months when I moved back home to College Place from my sojourn in the Seattle area, I have been diligently trying to find new and maybe even multiple streams of income in an overall dry creek bed of an economy.

So every seemingly little move forward is, in my deeply appreciative soul, a HUGE accomplishment.

Any progress has been slow and clumsy.  In the spirit of open disclosure, as embarrassing as it is to me, I'd like to share with you the eBay item number so you can look it up and see for yourself just how clumsy.

Here, I'll make it easy for you.  Click on this link:

In the second paragraph, I completely forgot to include other articles that the magazine contained.

Ah, the foibles of an eBay entrepreneur!  But, you know, I'm thankful for the mistakes because I learn more from them than anything a hundred online mentors could ever teach me.

Today was a good day.  Today, I reaped the rewards of thinking outside the box.

And I am totally stoked!

Excellent Decor at the Coffee Connection Cafe
(Hawaiian Odysseus photo)

No comments:

Post a Comment