- Business and Employment»
- E-Commerce & How to Make Money Online
1 Cent Opening Bid for Spider-Man on eBay--What am I? Stupid?
This is going to be a most unusual article.
I'm drafting it in creative writer freefall. Like in a bad dream, I've jumped over the proverbial cliff only to discover that I somehow forgot to pack my parachute. My body is plummeting to the earth below, and I am simply too terrified to even scream. The only thought I have at this moment in real time is the curiously odd sensation that I'm actually jetting upwards towards the ground.
Man, I've done some crazy things on eBay. But this time, it may have been the stupidest thing I've ever done.
Time of Impact: 8 hours, 22 minutes, and 18 seconds.
Bid Amount: $ 0.01
What I Did
Three evenings ago, I decided to list a Spider-Man bobblehead figurine on eBay. I initially thought about doing a Buy It Now and set the fixed price at, say, $19.99, with the buyer paying for USPS Priority Mail shipping.
Impulsively (a key word that usually precedes stupid moves I make), I changed my mind and instead opted to list it in a penny auction. Recently, you see, I read a terrific article written by a fellow HubPages writer about the benefits of utilizing auctions with a 1 cent starting bid.
Inspired by the article and its author, my notion was reinforced by the fact that a Spider-Man movie had just been released. I've been so busy and preoccupied with my ebay business that I haven't had time to tend to the other things going on in my life, never mind checking out the reviews for the movie as well as current trends related to Spider-Man memorabilia. I just saw a huge green traffic light in my head, and because visualization is such a huge concept in my life, I went with the gut (literally and metaphorically a larger part of my body than my brain) feeling and tapped the necessary keystrokes.
I could go 7 days with this auction. Nah, it'll pull in more traffic if I list it for just 3 days.
That was my thinking. Was I wrong? Am I slated for a happy ending tonight? Or a miserable and embarrassing fail?
After two+ days without any watchers or bids, and just a handful of viewers, my heart started to sink. I was just about to chicken out and terminate the auction when...
...Someone placed an initial bid...
Usually, I'm elated when I see the board light up in green. This time, I was devastated!
Oh, no! Now I can't end the auction!
Well, actually, I could cancel the bid and terminate the auction and come up with a story for the buyer suggesting that I'd lost the item or that remnants of Hurricane Sandy had somehow mysteriously made it this far west, sweeping through the Walla Walla Valley in some kind of quirky meteorological vacuum and sucking up the ebay inventory in my home. Shades of Dorothy, Toto, and Kansas! But, when I stopped to consider the last twelve years--and especially, the past year of selling on ebay that I've chronicled in my HubPages articles--well, I couldn't disgrace my blessings by turning my back on old school integrity.
Just like my wife and I have taught our children for the past twenty-plus years, we need to take responsibility for our actions.
Besides, this could end up being a valuable lesson for me in the long run. Something about things paying off if I just diligently do my homework.
Time of Impact: 7 hours, 55 minutes, and 43 seconds.
Bid Amount: $ 0.01
So Why Write About This? And Especially on HubPages?
The human condition is fraught with successes and failures. Gains and losses. Advances and retreats. Accomplishments and setbacks. Pluses and minuses. Yin and Yang. Chin and Chang. Feng Shui and sushi. Whatever. You get my drift.
For the last nine months, I've been writing about my Hawaiian Odyssean adventures on eBay. Thus far, I've reported fun and positive events.
But I got to thinking about what I'm doing as a writer. And I came to the following conclusion.
Yes, thus far, I've been blessed and have had great feedback from dozens of wonderful fellow writers on HubPages. Nowhere near the awesome numbers of the elite writers, but certainly somewhere in the middle of the HubPack. Yet, if I'm to have any substantial integrity as a writer, I need to be forthright about my whole experience, not just the upside.
My mission continues to be as simple as this humble and earnest prayer:
God, help me to be a blessing--not a curse--in my community.
In my life here on earth, I am doing the best I can to live up to that mission statement.
Here on HubPages, I am aspiring to do the same. This is, after all, a community in its own right. I am, after all, one of its citizens.
To do the right thing...to be a living example...to coexist peacefully, harmoniously, and happily with my fellow writer citizens, I need to have an honest, transparent, credible voice.
So, here I am, taking a potentially disastrous ebay incident and reporting it to you in real time. In so doing, I hope to demonstrate a couple of things--that overall success in entrepreneurship always involves some level of risk; that the level of risk can be mitigated with proper planning; that failure is an integral part of business ventures; that failure can actually be a good thing (if only as a stepping stone, or part of the learning curve, that leads to success); and, most importantly, that I'm willing to share my embarrassing FAILS ( almost) as readily as I'm eager to share my triumphant scenarios.
Time of Impact: 7 hours, 32 minutes, and 30 seconds.
Bid Amount: $0.01
Please Rate the Spider-Man Bobblehead
One Way to Salvage This Potential ebay Fail
I challenge myself to think outside the box all the time. Probably stems from unhappy childhood memories of being kicked out of the kindergarten sandbox by my more aggressive peers. And those were just the girls.
In any event, I'd like to invite your help, dear reader, in restoring the blue and red human arachnid's dignity by rating his movie memorabilia item. At the time of this writing, HubPages is generously sponsoring a review contest. I'm submitting this article in that contest and hope that it will be an acceptable entry.
Thank you so much for your help.
Here's to redemption, everyone!
Time of Impact: 6 hours, 46 minutes, 11 seconds.
Bid Amount: $0.01
Like I Said...This Hub is Being Created in Real Time
Okay, as I stated at the beginning, this was going to be a most unusual article.
True to my word, the remainder of this article will be updated in real time to report the progress--if any--of the Spider-Man bobblehead penny auction.
I will therefore publish this article as is and tend to the affairs of my day.
Please come back periodically to check on updates or sometime after 7:13 PM PST tonight, Thursday, November 8, 2012. The auction will have ended by then, and my final entry will have been written.
Hopefully, there will be more bids on the movie memorabilia item. We'll just have to wait and see.
Here are the Updates!
It's 3:51 PM as I write this. I'm at a coffee shop (where else?) in downtown Walla Walla, the place so nice they named it twice!
Trying to stay upbeat about this auction, and I have to admit, I'm jazzed that there's been what I think is a hopeful change.
I have a watcher!
What's a watcher? Well, no offense to anyone, but the best way to define a watcher for ebay newbies is to utilize a contemporary colloquialism. A watcher is like, well, a social media troll. He or she has earmarked the respective auction. Now, this may or may not mean anything significant to the seller. Watchers may not be buyers. This particular watcher may be another seller who has a similar item to sell and, unlike me, is doing the necessary homework.
Or, it might even be a fellow writer on HubPages following along for entertainment value.
Ideally, it's a savvy buyer reconnoitering for strategic leverage, biding his or her time and waiting patiently for the last possible second--literally--before posting a bid.
Whatever the case may be, I'm encouraged. It's a personal horizon for me, but I'm all about nurturing a healthy marriage between what I do on ebay and what I do on HubPages.
Another update, but in a different way. (I told you that this was going to be a most unusal article.) In just the last couple of hours, I've had five wonderful writers who have dropped by to read and leave their encouraging comments. I am so thankful for them! Further reminders and reinforcements as to why I love writing for HubPages!
Time of Impact: 3 hours, 3 minutes, 0 seconds.
Bid Amount: $0.01
It's 4:43 PM, and I now have two watchers. Whoohoo!
Time of Impact: 2 hours, 27 minutes, 30 seconds.
Bid Amount: $0.01
It's 6:37 PM, and there have been no additional bids or watchers. However, the number of views has gone up a little to 69.
Time of Impact: 33 minutes and 50 seconds.
Bid Amount: $0.01
Final Update and Some Closing Comments
At 19:12:44, Spider-Man passed...
At 1 penny, the bobblehead was sold to a customer in California. Ironically, this same gentleman was a customer of mine on Yardsellr earlier this year.
In my invoice, I congratulated him for winning the item. Additionally, I told him that while I hated to sell the item for just a penny, he won it fair and square, and I thanked him for his effort.
Win or lose, it's important to be a gentleman and to honor each and every business transaction. Am I disappointed? Yes, of course I am. But am I bitter? Am I discouraged? Am I putting myself down? A resounding No! to all three questions.
As stated above, there were enough good things that came about through this experience, most importantly of which was the experience itself. Life is full of hard knocks, and the measure of our character isn't in the winning as much as it is in how we deal with the losses.
I want to thank all of those who joined me in real time for this event. Thank you for sharing in my experience, both indirectly in your observations from afar and directly in your sharing of comments with me and your participation in the review aspect of the article. Thank you, too, to all those who will read this article sometime in the future. Whether you laugh at me or with me, it doesn't matter. What truly matters is that you cared enough to share vicariously in this social experiment.
After all, it's but a small picture of life in general.
Aloha and Mahalo!