Saturday, February 28, 2015

The eBay Surfer--A Tribute to Etsy's HappyValleyAvenue

2004 Lynda Corneille Character Collectible SWAK Mug
At a yard sale in College Place, Washington, about a year ago, I found the fascinating headless mug featured above. I am a sucker for things that punch me in the gut and make me do a double take. 

I think I paid 50¢ for this mug. But in the process of paying for it, I struck up a conversation with the personable and attractive woman hosting the yard sale. I shared with her that I sold on eBay, and in turn, I learned that she was an Etsy seller. Naturally, we spent the next fifteen minutes heavily animated in shop talk.

In the next few months, my wife and I must have bumped into this woman and her adult son a half dozen times or so in the course of shopping at yard sales, estate sales, church rummage sales, and thrift shops in the Walla Walla Valley. Because my writer's mind is constantly on autopilot, I mused about how cool it was to actually know others who had an established and successful online presence.

We go online and see a very cool store or shopping site. We see independent brand names that we intuitively know are small business presences on those respective sites. But we seldom think about the actual people behind the scenes.

It's definitely an encouraging and reinforcing quantum leap to actually meet and interact with the real people propping up those virtual storefronts. One walks away from that very special entrepreneurial connection feeling very good about what one does.

All across America, people are elevating the status of thrifting to new- found heights. Our thrifting friends, Jan and her son, Eric, are hard working, conscientious, and responsible Etsy sellers. Jan's amazing store, HappyValleyAvenue, is a testament of the wonderful success that people who demonstrate such old-fashioned and yet timeless proactive traits can accomplish.

Traits that--hey, sonofagun!--my wife and I possess as well. It's enough to make even us sexagenarians walk a bit taller and lighter! 

Because of Jan's example and influence, I am currently more active on Etsy. Although I only have four items listed as of this writing, my goal is to list at least one vintage item per day over the next year. At just 20¢ per listing over a four-month period, and with post-sales fees that are very easy on the bottom line, the prospect of cross-selling eBay inventory on Etsy seems to be a most practical strategy. Having dual streams of income makes great sense to this island boy.

Ironically, I got so busy with other projects that I never did list the mug. But my wife did. You can find her store at:

As for my rascal online presence, you can find what I'm selling at:

And if you enjoy reading short human interest stories about Trash to Treasure adventures, you can find me at:

Finally, be sure to check out Jan's shop filled with beautiful clothing, accessories, and other attractive vintage items at:

Until next time, ALOHA!

Monday, February 16, 2015

The eBay Surfer--An Inaugural Post

Surfer at Hanalei, Kaua'i, Hawai'i
(Family photo courtesy of RKA Photography)

I am kicking off a new niche for my Hawaiian Odysseus blog today. Actually, it will be comprised of tutorials and/or human interest stories, if you will, about a subject I have already covered here--my eBay experiences. What's new is that I am formally christening these shared anecdotes and what have you under the self-inflicted (I see you smiling!) banner of The eBay Surfer. 

Whether you're an online entrepreneurial veteran or a newbie to, arguably, the global marketplace that receives the most commercial traffic, I earnestly hope you'll enjoy my musings and maybe even metaphorically walk away with something new or vintage in your pocket.

As I always state in my eBay descriptions: Thanks for stopping by. Welcome back anytime!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

I Write for Bubblews

Bubblews Geyser
(aka Spouting Horn at Koloa, Kaua'i, Hawai'i)

In my spare time (what's that?), I enjoy writing short posts for Bubblews. Over the last year and a half, I've managed to write over 600 of these mini-articles. So far, my content has leaned heavily towards human interest stories about selling on eBay, my walking escapades, life experiences (past and present), and family. 

The site used to pay reasonably well, but growing pains contributed to its management team pulling back on the payout reins. The income, unlike the Spouting Horn above, comes in spurts these days.

Nevertheless, whether you just enjoy reading about a host of subjects or are looking for a comfortable setting in which you can hone your writing skills and/or revel in the joy of modern day pen-pal socialization, Bubblews is the place for you.

In any event, here's an invitation for you to enjoy some of the things I've written. Once you're there, it's a relatively easy matter for you to navigate around the site. 

Thanks for stopping by today. Welcome back anytime!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Happy Valentine's Day, Everyone!

A Bullfrog Stuffed into a Black & White Burrito?
I've been on blogging hiatus for far too long, so it's high time I get my writing act in gear and share my world with you. As some of you may already know, I love rambling in this venue about family, simple island boy philosophy, walking, writing itself, and--yes!--my livelihood, selling online, especially on eBay.

Yesterday, following going twelve rounds in the proverbial ring with tax returns, I found time to write a couple of posts for a favorite writing site of mine. I'm sharing the links below for your reading enjoyment. As time goes by, I'll be doing more of that, having discovered that in the sharing of what little I know about selling online, I'm able to learn and discover so much more in return from my readers. And that, my friends, includes YOU!

Here we go, then. Have fun, and have an absolutely delightful and memorable Valentine's Day weekend! And, don't forget, if you're so moved, please send me your comments and questions.


Joe aka Hawaiian Odysseus