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The Pink Panther Soars on eBay!
Where's My Wife?
After a dozen years of selling on eBay, I'm still amazed at some of the things that happen on this online global marketplace.
Recently, my wife and I stopped in at a liquidation warehouse across the street from the Walla Walla Regional Airport in southeast Washington state. Over the last year, we've found a potpourri of items at this site that we've successfully resold on eBay--things like tin canisters, figurines, dishes, cups, vases, glassware, playing cards, games, ephemera, and other knicknacks.
On this particular day, my wife said she wanted to browse through the freebies that were sitting on the shelves outside of the giant warehouse. I'd gleaned that area with her recently and was quite sure she wouldn't find anything worthwhile. I decided to concentrate on finding newly stocked items inside the building.
It didn't take me long to find several interesting vintage tins. I also stumbled upon a unique and aesthetically appealing ship in a bottle. I was very excited and couldn't wait to share this find with my wife.
Where was she? Surely it couldn't have taken her this long to rifle through the junk outside.
I also didn't want to leave my finds unattended, especially the ship. What I needed was a box that I could place the items in. More accurately, I needed my wife to help me find that box.
While the Pink Panther Had My Wife Mesmerized Outside...
- My Ship Has Sailed--on eBay!
Visualization is an essential factor in realizing entrepreneurial success. Hawaiian Odysseus uses a true life anecdotal style to illustrate how he brings his impulsive ideas to fruition.
She'd Been Stalking the Pink Panther
"Oh, there you are! Where were you? I needed your help in finding a box. Didn't want to walk off and leave all of this unattended," I said as I pointed to the tins and bottled ship I'd found. I was having a difficult time masking my irritability.
My wife looked at me and replied, "I told you I'd be outside checking out the free stuff." You dummy. My words. Just wanted to throw them in there with her statement because her body language was saying it loud and clear.
"Honey, I know you were outside. I just didn't think you'd be out there that long ." Even as I uttered those words, I knew better. Thirty years of marriage, and I knew better. But it's that kind of familiar tension that keeps us together and cements our camaraderie all these years. I knew better, and maybe one of these days, I'll learn how to bite my tongue before I speak rather than do a long, slow chew afterwards.
I guess some of us men are slow learners. Or maybe, could it be? Just me?
Not a good time to pick a fight with the wife. It was past our lunchtime, and we had had a long day going to different yard sales and purchasing new inventory. The Walla Walla Auctions liquidation center was our last stop of the day, and it was turning out to be a promising one according to what I'd found.
But, you see, the problem with that last statement is that it wasn't team-friendly. My wife and I, after all, were a team, and in my manly pride, I'd overlooked that due to the excitement of my find. I won't go into the details regarding the ship in the bottle. You can read about it in the link to the upper right.
What's important is that I give credit where credit's due.
The truth of the matter is that on that particular day, my wife had made an important find, too.
Free is Good! But Don't Get Your Hopes Up!
I may be a fool, but I'm definitely not stupid. My wife gave me an opening, and I took full advantage of it.
"Honey, look what I found out there!" Clearly, she was excited about her discovery. I forced myself to look away at the ship in a bottle that I was holding and said, in a voice as sincere-and-polished-over-thirty-years-of-marriage as I could muster and said, "Oh, wow!"
I quickly looked back at my ship. My wife didn't seem too impressed with it, so I had to make up the difference in enthusiasm.
My wife continued, "I just think this mug is so cool! And there's nothing wrong with it."
I wanted to tell her that we'd seen it outside on the shelf before, but I was still chewing on my tongue from a few minutes ago.
"Um, yeah, it sure is!"
"I think it could do very well on eBay," my wife continued. Clearly, she was infatuated with the Pink Panther. I mused, silently, of course, about the possibility of a panther being the male equivalent of cougar. Hey, it made sense at the time!
I have to admit that I'd never seen a mug like that prior to a week or so before this day. It was indeed unique, and that can sometimes be enough to spark things up on eBay. But the Pink Panther? Nah, maybe $9.99 at the most with the customer paying for shipping. And, no doubt about it, the mug would probably sit around eBay for months before we'd ever see a watcher or two.
I just wanted to humor my wife so she could finish her browsing and we could get out of there. Man alive! I couldn't wait to get back home and research this Spanish frigate in a bottle.
More Mug Shots of Likely Suspects
- Starbucks City Mugs Are Hot!
Starbucks Coffee mugs are extremely popular collectible items. The author uses a real-life, real-time example to demonstrate how well some of these mugs sell on eBay.
- How to Sell Your Mugs on eBay
Whether you're an ebay veteran or newbie, collectible decorative mugs are fascinating items to procure and sell. In this how-to article, Hawaiian Odysseus engages in his favorite pastime--mugging it up for his readers.
- My Goodwill Store Haul, February 18, 2013
I thought it would be fun and inspirational to eBay newbies to present what I found at the local Goodwill Store on a Monday and see what I could earn from those very items the following week.
A Banner eBay Sunday
That Thursday evening, after deliberating over the strategy with my wife, I decided to list both items--the bottled ship and the panther mug--along with a few other things as three-day auctions.
Sunday nights are usually great times for auctions to end (unless both baseball championship series and football games are being televised). I didn't want to risk losing money on the Pink Panther mug, so I posted the starting bid at $9.99 with a $15.49 Buy It Now price. I seriously did not believe it would get a nibble.
That level of disbelief from a guy who's big on visualization and positive affirmations.
Sure enough, for two days, there was nothing.
And then, lo and behold, someone made an opening bid on it. When I first saw it, I called out to my wife who happened to be downstairs and announced the item's change of status.
I then forgot about it and was wrapped up in following the progress of the bottled ship.
A few hours later, I was aghast as I observed the bidding war that was taking place between two people over the Pink Panther. The bids were skyrocketing upwards at a frenzied rate.
Finally, at just before 6:41 PM Pacific Daylight Time, the results were officially in. Incredibly, there had been 56 bids for what I had considered to be just an ordinary mug. A woman from Canada had bought the Pink Panther Mug for $73!
Like I said, I may be a fool, but I'm definitely not stupid. I immediately went over to my wife, hugged and kissed her, and told her what a great find she'd made.
Yes, my bottled ship did well, but I'd expected that.
The Pink Panther mug, on the other hand, was a complete and utter surprise! What made it even sweeter is that my wife had found it in the freebies section.
I made the point several times with my wife that I was so very proud of her and super delighted that she'd found the elusive pink cat. Her smile said it all. She knew that her quiet and steady approach to making such wonderful finds would always trump my foolish and impatient ways.
Our joy notwithstanding, we still had to keep our excitement in check until the payment cleared. That was the first part.
The second part occured days later when we received a positive feedback from the buyer, thus indicating that the fragile object, carefully packaged and labeled, had arrived safely and without incident at the buyer's home.
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Okay, I admit it. I was wrong. My wife showed me up.
I'll gladly take what's coming to me like a man.
And if that involves eating crow, I'm game.
The only gripe I have is that when my wife serves it up to me, there'll be a tinge of pink fur all over it.