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$120.28 For Less Than an Hour's Work on eBay!
I have been selling on eBay for the last thirteen years.
I am a Bronze Powerseller.
I am a Top Rated Seller.
I have 100% positive feedback from almost 7,000 unique visitors and approximately 10,000 transactions.
I am 100% compliant with all eBay policies.
In spite of this stellar record, sales have definitely been slumping these past three months.
So, in the mornings when I wake up and check the eBay app on my iPhone and discover that nothing's transpired over the last 24 hours, I'm bewildered, frustrated, and distressed.
What in the world is going on?
I have my morning cup of coffee, read and comment on a few hubs written by fabulous writers I'm following, and respond to comments left by those following me.
Then, I'm off for a morning walk that's anywhere from 4 to 10 miles.
When I return home an hour to two-and-a-half hours later, I anxiously check my eBay site again...only to have a reprise of the early morning scenario.
What the fudge?
Check Out SeeAnnSave on YouTube!
When in a Quandary, Who You Gonna Call?
Whenever I'm in a pickle and need to fix something, I drop in on the good folks at YouTube. There, for whatever ails me on any particular day, I can find a remedy.
On this day in early June, I found the video to the right. It's by an enterprising and resourceful woman who has adeptly combined her passion for selling on eBay with an understated yet powerful marketing of her brand on YouTube.
I've included her video as an audiovisual complement to my article. I heartily encourage you to watch it at your earliest possible convenience.
This woman offers a tremendous amount of practical tips for aspiring eBay sellers. Her handle on YouTube is SeeAnnSave, and her eBay store is called, Annabella's Gift Shop.
Ann did a very cool thing recently. Much like the 30 Hubs In 30 Days HubPages Challenge that this very article you're reading is intended for, she presented a different eBay topic for each of the thirty one days in May. Her title for the May 29, 2013 YouTube video was, eMay Day 29: Selling Bibles & Hymnals on Ebay!
The timing couldn't have been any more perfect. I was enthusiastically looking for new eBay niche ideas, and voila! Here was her new video! I refuse to call these events coincidence.
A favorite adage that rules my Odyssean journey on the eBay waters is this:
Serendipity is just another word for answered prayer.
I watched the video on two different occasions and came away from the experience with a singular thought: If she can do it, I can, too.
Dear reader, I want you to have that very same thought, too, whenever you read one of my eBay hubs.
Whenever I make a sale, I say out loud a very simple prayer of gratitude:
Thank You, Lord!
Whenever the business is in a slump, as it has been for the last dozen weeks or so, I'm constantly--if silently--praying, "Help me prosper, Lord!" While it's not a verbatim utterance of another man's simple yet powerfully effective prayer from an ancient time, I believe my prayer to be just as poignant and effective. My predecessor and mentor was the Hebrew man, Jabez. He requested success by way of asking the Lord to expand his boundaries. In a memorable and heartwarming book written about Jabez by Bruce Wilkinson, the author writes:
Attempt something large enough that failure is guaranteed…unless God steps in!
My eBay business certainly fits that description. The road to success as a writer is definitely an example of attempting something large with the perils of failure all around. Turning my once errant life around has also been such a gigantic endeavor. Being a strong and faithful family man is definitely such a gargantuan responsibility.
You, too, dear reader, have your own specific examples that you can plug into the bold-faced statement above.
Whether you are a believer or not, the point I wish to make is that nothing worth chasing after in our relatively short season here on earth is of any value without the absolute reality of failure staring at us square in the face. That's the moment when we are pushed to dig deeper than ever to find whatever it takes to make a heroic stand. At that universally optimal moment, when we're about to fall into the abyss, a shout out of faith in SOMETHING bigger than us can and will produce amazing results.
Location of Estate Sale in Milton-Freewater, OR
My Wife's Huge and Unusual Haul
So I went through the motions. I'm only human after all, and even with the precepts that time after time have proven true for me, I resort to infallible ways of thinking and living.
Simply put, I fake it till I make it.
In a moment of self-pity and doubt, while struggling to write an article one day, my wife returned home and called out to me to help her empty the car. A girlfriend of hers was having an estate sale the following weekend, and my wife had been invited to do some pre-sale picking.
After we finally brought her good-sized haul into the living room, my wife proceeded to show me all of the elegant glassware and figurines she had found. I was very impressed, naturally, but my attention was focused on ten large and heavy volumes that I assumed had taken a big chunk out of her treasure hunting budget.
My wife explained that this was a complete Bible commentary set published by the Seventh-Day Adventists. Her friend, eager to clear the clutter in her home, gave the set to us absolutely free of charge.
Hmm, FREE is good!
I'm On It!
I wasted no time whatsoever! Here are the steps I immediately took--
- Researched current as well as completed auctions and fixed price listings
- Confirmed that religious books are great sellers
- Grabbed my camera and took at least a dozen pictures
- Hauled the books upstairs and did my measurements
- Estimated the weight of the complete package by weighing the books separately as well as a perfectly sized cardboard box and packing materials
- Drafted an interesting and informative description
- Listed the item on eBay as an auction with the opening bid of $99 and a Buy It Now price of $149.99
At the end of the first week, I had three watchers but no takers. On the second week, I decided to forgo the Buy It Now option and re-list the item with an opening bid of $149.99. To my amazement, there was an initial bid a day or two later. In the waning moments, another eBayer came in at the last second and sniped the first bidder.
When the dust settled, the 10-volume set sold for $157.50.
eBay Final Value Fees came to $14.18. The PayPal fee was $4.87. The cost of shipping, since I offered free shipping to the winning bidder, was $18.17. Total expenses: $37.22.
The net profit for the SDA Bible Commentary Set was $120.28! The total time invested in this project had been approximately less than one hour.
$120.28 in less than one hour's time! I'll take that any day!
Thank You, Lord!