The Porpoise Driven Life on eBay
DISCLAIMER: This writer apologizes for taking marine biological license in using the terms, porpoise and dolphin, interchangeably. In the SEO keyword-saturated online business world, however, the practice is necessary.
If you happen to be a purist reader and are thus distracted by my liberal and perhaps erroneous use of the word, porpoise, I apologize for the inconvenience of my limited knowledge. Please consider taking solace in the following comforting statement.
NEITHER PORPOISES NOR DOLPHINS WERE HURT IN THE WRITING OF THIS ARTICLE.
One Can Only Wonder
My HubPages handle is Hawaiian Odysseus, and as the pen name might suggest, I've done a bit of traveling on the high seas.One of the sights that will never cease to hold me in the grip of sheer fascination is the way of a porpoise or a dolphin as it glides effortlessly over, through, and just under the surface of the water. Against the subtle melding at the horizon of azure sky and turquoise sea, the shining, glistening, and mesmerizing silhouettes of these amazing ocean ballerinas hold many a mariner spellbound. Were these the ancient sirens that hypnotically lured Homer's Odysseus to the brink of madness? After viewing these majestic creatures propel themselves through the sea at fantastic speeds while maintaining a graceful and fluid choreography, one can only wonder.
Intent, Hope, and a Springboard
My intent with this hub is to share with you an account of one dolphin figurine that I've sold along with recent porpoise or dolphin finds my wife and I have found in various places in the Walla Walla Valley that I will be listing on eBay shortly. By doing so, it is my earnest hope that you'll incorporate some of my ideas into your eBay selling methods or use them as a springboard for your very own innovative strategies.
10-1/2" Handcrafted Art Glass Dolphint
Whenever I'm out hustling (synonymous with picking or treasure hunting), I'm looking for three things:
- Proven sellers--things like Starbucks or Disney mugs; the June, 1985 issue of National Geographic featuring the green-eyed Afghan Girl; Beatles, Elvis, or Marilyn Monroe memorabilia; books about the Civil War or WW II; Andrea by Sadek figurines; remote control sets
- Vintage collectibles--Beatles, Elvis, or Marilyn Monroe memorabilia; copper teapots; pewter plates; NFL or college snapbacks; Star Trek memorabilia; Betty Crocker cookbooks; old license plates;
- Oddities and rarities--handcrafted tin biplanes; handcarved wooden toys; Arabia Finland kitchenware; paintings with the artists' signatures; old movie posters; autographed baseball gloves.
In addition, I pay attention to my body chemistry. There's something to be said about the Hustler's X Factor (and, no, I'm not talking about Larry Flynt's iconic magazine, the one that most of us men might have browsed through because we were so interested in the articles).
The Hustler's X Factor is simply that hard to define trait known as your gut instinct. You can't describe it, and you either got it or you don't. It's a quality that makes you stop on a dime as you walk through a thrift store or the lawn at a yard sale or the living room of an estate sale or the foyer of a church rummage sale. Your head, turning on a swivel like Linda Blair's noggin in The Exorcist, spies a certain something hidden beneath the rubble. You reach for it, your hands sweaty as you make like a pirate finding a trunk full of doubloons (I was going to say, booty, but I already got my one pass with the Larry Flynt crack). Anyway, I think you know what I mean.
So that's what I felt like when I saw this gorgeous art glass dolphin figurine at a church youth center sale not too long ago. And you know where I saw it?
In my wife's hands.
Yeah. You got it. That whole spiel I just laid out for you? In this case, it applied to my wife. She beat me to the draw. Hey, what can I say? All I can do is report the event as it happened.
Okay, so maybe next time I'll see the prize first.
Anyway, on this particular day, the people running the sale were offering half off on everything. The listed price on the glass dolphin was $12.99, so our cost would be $6.50.
Now, here's a key thing to remember if you want to be a successful hustler. Please, if you take nothing else away from this hub, be sure to take this...
The profit you'll make on your eBay sale is determined at the point of your purchase.
I'll say it again, and this time with emphasis.
THE PROFIT YOU'LL MAKE ON YOUR EBAY SALE IS DETERMINED AT THE POINT OF YOUR PURCHASE.
That's just basic ECON 101, folks! But you'd be surprised how many eBay newbies overlook this important concept and then wonder, months later, why they aren't making more sales or profiting as much on the sales they are making.
When I saw the glass dolphin, I initially saw us selling this item for $49.99. Based on experience, I crunched the numbers in my head and saw us walking away with a $25 to $30 net profit.
So, after a short discussion with my wife, we agreed to buy the item.
Later, when I eventually listed the item, I had done more research as well as thinking about my pricing. I decided to set a $69.00 Buy It Now price with the customer paying for shipping and listed it in our eBay store.
Because it is my intent to share my eBay knowledge by way of these hubs, here is the actual bulleted template of the listing. You will thus have one eBayer's idea of how to draft a listing. I welcome you to incorporate my ideas while establishing your own unique style and variations of listing.
- Large Dolphin Art Glass Figurine and/or Paperweight
- Beautiful studio handcrafted art item
- Exquisite design, professionally formed
- Country of origin unknown, but our best educated guess is that this lovely piece was Italian-made
- Dolphin's tail extends to the left, its body thus forming, when viewed from the top, a reverse L-shape
- Strong, durable, and powerful
- Intrinsically majestic
- When viewed from certain angles, glass figurine takes on a liquid metal appearance, reminiscent of the T-1000 android in Terminator
- Figurine can double as a paperweight
- Approximate measurements: 10-3/8" tall by 9-1/2" wide by 7-3/8" from front to back
- Figurine alone weighs 7+ pounds
- Excellent, gently used condition
- A perfect holiday, birthday, or all-occasion gift for that corporate executive, yuppie, or very significant special someone
- A wonderful complement to your home or office decor
- A great novelty item for the art glass figurine or dolphin memorabilia collector
- Sure to be a topic of lively discussion among family and friends
- PayPal is the preferred method of payment
- Shipped via USPS Priority Mail to either USA or international destinations
Thank you very much for viewing and participating in our eBay listings. Welcome back anytime!
We sold this item not too long ago to a woman in Canada. Our purchase price had been $6.50. After I crunched the numbers, calculating the eBay and PayPal fees, we realized on this deal a net profit of $54.64.
4" Blue Glass Porpoise
Okay, so these next four items are figurines that I will soon be listing on eBay. For each of these, I will share with you my purchase price and what I hope to sell them for.
First up, we have this 4" Blue Glass Porpoise. By the way, a porpoise has a chunkier body and a smaller and blunter snout than that of a dolphin.
I paid 25 cents for this item. Originally, I thought about asking $14.99 in an auction, but I just noticed that the point of its dorsal fin is chipped off, something I didn't see at the yard sale, but for a quarter, what can I say? I'll honestly mention the flaw in my listing. You just never know. Someone may still want it. My starting bid? $7.49.
4" Hand Carved Ironwood Porpoise
The owner wanted $3 for this piece, and I haggled it down to a couple of bucks. Ironwood is a solid and enduring substance, and the fact that this was a hand carved piece gives it, in my opinion, an intrinsic value. In addition, this particular figurine was made in Hawai'i, and to finally be able to offer something made in the good old USA is worth a few more bucks. I'm asking $15.00 for this piece and listing it in a 7-day auction.
8" Ceramic Mother and Baby Dolphin Figurine
This lovely 8" pearlescent ceramic figurine features a mother and baby dolphin. I think the price on this one was $2.17. I'm asking $25.00 for it, with shipping paid by the buyer.
Another lesson I'd like to share with you is to never be shy about setting your prices at the high water mark. Think of it as a way of honoring yourself for the hard work you're doing. I never let other eBay sellers dictate my prices. Within reason 90% of the time (and just going plain nuts the other 10%), reinforce your self-worth as you simultaneously bestow value upon the goods you've rescued from someone else's trash pile.
2000 Christian Lassen Sunset Splash Bradford Exchange Dolphins Plate Art
This lovely plate art figurine featuring three dolphins cavorting in the waves is entitled, Sunset Splash. It was created by the world-renown Hawaii-based marine artist, Christian Lassen, for the Bradford Exchange.
My wife and I bought this piece at a yard sale in Milton-Freewater, Oregon, for $2.00. It's in great condition, so I am going to put it up for $35.00 plus shipping.
So, there you have it--a bevy of beautiful sea mammals with wonderful sales potential on eBay. What a great way to celebrate a porpoise driven life!