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Turning on a Dime

Updated on July 10, 2013
Sedona, Arizona Mug
Sedona, Arizona Mug | Source

Great Rationale for Our Current Economy

Turning on a Dime

In the business of hunting for treasures to re-sell on eBay, I've learned that you don't have to travel far from home to unearth something of value.

My wife and I had just negotiated the stop sign at the north end of our block when we noticed a bunch of cars at a friend's home. Shirley had recently lost her husband to the dreaded and mysterious Lou Gehrig's Disease, and she was thus in the process of downsizing her possessions.

We found a little dirt and pebble area to park our car on the crowded little street. As I approached the home, I saw another Walla Walla Valley eBay seller, Mike, hard at it. We have a congenial relationship, but there's also an unspoken territorial imperative that we respectfully establish with each other. I give him space, and he reciprocates the gesture. A bit of honor among gypsy pickers, you might say.

Another friend, Dan, approached me and began inquiring if I would be interested at some point in selling some of his stuff on eBay. I'm always open to the idea of earning money through consignment, so I listened to what he had to say. At the same time, however, my antennae was up as I visually scanned the items on the various tables.

This was my favorite kind of yard sale, the kind where the hostess is genuinely interested in getting her superfluous items sold. A lot of cool things were selling for fifty cents or less, and I was dying to explore the or less thingamajigs.

Dan droned on, and I improved as the seconds ticked by in my ability to time my Mm-hmm! and You don't say! and Oh! responses with just the right variations in pitch and nuance to make it appear like I was listening. 31 years of conversations with my wife have taught me well, even if she has busted me dead to rights half the time.

And then I spied it. The Starbucks mug. The (cha-ching!) Golden Chalice of the coffee shop kingdom. Smiling quickly at Dan and then glancing at my wife, a social cue that I was calling for a pause in the one-way conversation, I called out to my better half, "Honey, grab that Starbucks mug!"

She looked at me quizically. "What Starbucks mug?"

I wanted to tell her in sotto voce, "Shh! Not so loud! Don't arouse the sharks!" Instead, I pointed at the mug in front of her. "There, right in front of you!" Sometimes, a man has to gesticulate and articulate to his wife the map he already sees in his head and mistakenly assumes she is capable of seeing.

"You mean this one?" I silently cheered as she picked up the large mug with huge embossed letters and a desert scene on it.

"Yeah, that's it!" By this time, I'd forgotten all about Dan. At yard sales, there's no doubt in my mind that friends and neighbors quickly diagnose my attention deficit disorder.

"This isn't Starbucks!" my wife said, graciously omitting the "you idiot!" adjoiner that her tone drippingly insinuated.

"Oh, you don't say. Mm-hmm." Okay, what was I supposed to have said?

Shucks! It sure looked like a Starbucks city mug to me.

Disappointed, I approached the table of mugs to get a closer look anyway. Sure enough, my wife wasn't an eBay newbie anymore. It really wasn't a Starbie find!

That's when I noticed the price. What? Only a dime? Hey, what am I, stupid? I'll take it! It's still a great-looking mug. Who knows what might happen? I certainly won't if I walk away from it. There's just something about this mug!

What's a Dime Worth Today?

When I was a kid, a dime bought me one or two candy bars. Today, it is nearly impossible to buy anything for a measly ten cents.

What an effective eBay seller worth his or her salt does, then, is to leverage that dime into something with much greater buying power that matches today's ridiculously inflated economy.

This is best accomplished by restoring a product and infusing it with perceived value through the use of compelling language and images. Every now and then, the eBay seller will come across an item that is so aesthetically pleasing that it virtually sells itself.

Case in point: This gorgeous mug that cost me only a dime.

The oversized mug with the beautiful southeastern desert scene and raised letters that spelled out the name of the Arizona city, SEDONA, turned out to be an Americaware product. At first glance, mugs distributed by this corporation are reminiscent of any one of the popular Starbucks city mugs. Large letters and picturesque backdrops are very appealing to a lot of consumers, which explains my excitement when I saw this item from clear across a crowded lawn.

I washed the mug carefully and dried it. I then took several photos of it from different angles including a couple of closeups. eBay enables sellers to have up to a dozen free photos per listing, so it behooves one to take good advantage of this service. The way I see it, an eBay seller is a long distance salesman. He or she thus has to diligently and efficiently present a used product in its best possible light. Both the quantity and the quality of the photos taken to complement the written description are vital to the online entrepreneur's success. This is especially true when dealing with international customers who are not familiar with the English language and thus solely rely on captivating digital images.

When selling mugs, I take the following camera shots:

  • Mug with handle at right
  • Mug with handle on far side
  • Mug with handle to left
  • Mug with handle on near side
  • Inside of mug
  • Bottom of mug

With the Sedona mug, I also photographed closeups of the letters to feature their raised relief effect.

What's a dime worth today? Finding the answer to that question is what drives me to work harder and smarter at my eBay business every single day.

Come along to see how this one ended.

Putting the Dime to Work

I proceeded to draft my listing. Here's what I came up with:

  • 2009 Americaware Sedona Arizona Mug
  • Featuring a panoramic view of the beautiful Sedona Desert skyline
  • Sedona written in embossed, raised relief letters
  • Arizona written along the handle
  • Multi-colored images with black lettering on a white mug
  • Made in Thailand
  • Fabulous aesthetic southeastern appeal
  • Hard to find item--at the time of this listing, there was no other mug like this on eBay
  • Strong, durable mug
  • Microwave and dishwasher safe
  • Holds about 18 fl oz to the brim
  • Mug measures approximately 4-1/8" tall by 5-1/2" wide (including handle)
  • Diameter of mug is about 3-7/8"
  • Mug alone weighs 20.7 ounces
  • Very good condition--pre-owned; gently used; well maintained; hairline scuff marks above the "o" in Sedona (see second photo)
  • A perfect holiday, birthday, or all-occasion gift for that someone special
  • A wonderful complement to your home or office decor
  • A great novelty item for the mug collector or desert art enthusiast
  • 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

It's very important to mention any flaws in the description. Customers appreciate the honesty, and seller integrity may even be the deciding factor in making the sale. Upon careful inspection of the mug, I noticed a hairline scuff mark above the o in Sedona. I included the details of this in my listing.

I priced the item at $19.99, with shipping to be calculated later, based upon the geographical location of the buyer.

The item was listed on June 10, 2013. Less than three weeks later, it was purchased from someone who, ironically, lives in Arizona.

Cast Your Dime Upon the (eBay) Waters

Okay, so let's crunch the numbers and see what we come up with.

  • The customer paid $19.99 plus $8.75 for USPS Priority Mail shipping for a total of $28.74.
  • The mug cost me $0.10.
  • PayPal charged me a fee of 2.9% of the total revenue plus $0.30, or $1.13.
  • eBay charged me a Final Value Fee of 9% of the total revenue, or $2.59.
  • My shipping cost was $7.15.
  • Net costs came to $10.97.
  • $28.74 minus $10.97 equals a net profit of $17.77

I'll gladly invest a dime if I stand a good chance to get 177 dimes in return.

~ Hawaiian Odysseus

Hawaiian Odysseus Mug Shot
Hawaiian Odysseus Mug Shot

Comments

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  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
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    Hawaiian Odysseus 3 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Hi, CraftytotheCore!

    First of all, I love your HP handle, but should you ever care to share your first name with me, I'd love to address you in that old school fashion as well.

    Good morning to you, and thanks on this first day of the week for stopping by and sharing in this mug hub experience. MUG HUB...ha-ha! Try saying that ten times rapidly!

    Yes, I have fun selling mugs. This is a niche that fits well into the more general category of "smalls," items sold for modest amounts of money that cumulatively enhance a seller's success. I enjoy sharing these vignettes, if you will, in hopes that doing so might inspire and help others who might be interested in selling on eBay.

    Thanks for your great input. Have a wonderful week, my friend! Aloha from SE Washington state!

    ~Joe

  • CraftytotheCore profile image

    CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

    Excellent advice Joe! I love the way you described the coffee mug and all of the photos you took. "Mug Shot" LOL!

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
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    Hawaiian Odysseus 3 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    LOL! Yeah, Jackie, the older I get, the more I realize that we humans are more alike than we are different. If you ever give eBay another try, count on me to be a helpful reference. Thanks for stopping by and sharing in this hub experience. Aloha~

    ~Joe

  • Jackie Lynnley profile image

    Jackie Lynnley 3 years ago from The Beautiful South

    I have only tried ebay once with no good luck. I am a treasure hunter though, must be in the blood. Nice to see Hawaiian and North Carolinian's language is so much alike. Like thingamajigs! lol ^

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
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    Hawaiian Odysseus 3 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @Richard-Bivins

    Yes, my friend, I had fun writing this hub. Glad you stopped by and shared in the experience.

    So you're a fellow eBayer, too? How cool is that? I wish you continued success in your eBay ventures, Richard. Glad to have made your acquaintance! Aloha!

    Joe

  • Richard-Bivins profile image

    Richard Bivins 3 years ago from Charleston, SC

    Haha... great case study and I absolutely agree with you. I've been selling on eBay since 2002 and one of my favorite pass times is to go hunting for stuff to sell. Garage/Yard sales are the best because people are just looking to get rid of stuff no matter what and that is where I like to be.

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
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    Hawaiian Odysseus 3 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @ignugent17

    Hi, my friend! Thank you for stopping by. Yes, I'm always looking for fun ways to report interesting occurrences behind the scenes of my eBay sales. I'm therefore blessed when the feedback, like your gracious comments here, reflect a warm reception of those efforts. Have a wonderful weekend, and I'll see you at the next hub! Aloha!

    Joe

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    ignugent17 3 years ago

    As always your hub is full of details and wonderful information that is very useful to readers. Even to those who is not selling on ebay. You can even do this to your garage and maybe something you find useful that needs a little washing.

    Voted up and more. :-)

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
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    Hawaiian Odysseus 3 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    I'm on a mission to help others with my trial and error attempts at selling things on eBay, Rajan, so the good news is that I'll be writing hubs for this niche for as long as God allows me to. When time and opportunity are available to you, you most certainly can jump right on in. Please know that you have an open invitation to shoot questions and comments my way any time. Aloha, and have a great rest of the week, my friend!

    Gong zhu!

    Joe

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    Rajan Singh Jolly 3 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

    Very interesting and motivational hub! I always am fired up to try my hand at eBay after reading your hubs. Alas, time is a constraining factor but who knows one day...I may jump in all of a sudden.

    Thanks for sharing you successes at this business and keeping us motivated and entertained as well.

    Aloha and have a wonderful day, my friend!

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
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    Hawaiian Odysseus 3 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Why, thank you so much, Deborah! I imagine there are a lot of people thinking about getting started selling on eBay. If these human interest, behind the scenes stories can nudge them off the proverbial fence, then I'm happy and grateful to have been a positive influence. I appreciate you for stopping by and sharing in this hub experience! Aloha, my friend from Iowa!

    Joe

  • DeborahNeyens profile image

    Deborah Neyens 3 years ago from Iowa

    Love the story, love the mug. What a fun way to turn a 177% profit. By the way, I think you are a great writer. : )

  • epbooks profile image

    Elizabeth Parker 3 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

    LOL!! Too funny!

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
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    Hawaiian Odysseus 3 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    LOL! Liz, you just never know. Then again, when it comes to romances, I got stuck in time with the likes of "Love Story" and "Summer of '42." These days, I'm about as clumsy as a bull in the aforementioned blue willow china shop. Um, let's modify that...a bull refusing to go to the glue factory or wherever else it is that they send old bulls. Ha-ha!

  • epbooks profile image

    Elizabeth Parker 3 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

    What a great idea. Combine an eBay buying/selling experience with a love story. It will be the next best seller!!

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
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    Hawaiian Odysseus 3 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Liz, if I observe carefully and pay my dues, with the help of excellent writers like you and billybuc, I might just end up writing an eBay how-to...or mystery...or romance! LOL! I can just see it now...

    "Really? Are there such things as accidents? Or was it purely intentiona? I was stuck in the quicksand of wishful thinking, dwelling upon the way her fingertips had inadvertently grazed mine...there, on the face of the blue willow teapot, where the lovers flee from their relentless pursuer over the bridge to the enchanted forest."

    Okay, that's enough for my Walter Mitty escape into fantasy land. Anyway, a guy can dream, can't he? : ) Have a great day, my friend, and I'll see you at the next hub.

    Joe

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
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    Hawaiian Odysseus 3 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Trial and error are good teachers, Devika. If I've had one success on eBay, it's been the result of one or more failures. The secret is in keeping the failures monetarily smaller than the successes. I appreciate your gracious comments very much. Have a good day, my friend! Aloha!

    Joe

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
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    Hawaiian Odysseus 3 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Sue, that was an awesome eBay sale for you! There's a guy on YouTube, picking profits, who also used to be an active HubPages resident but left for some reason...anyway, he'll find books for a dollar and then put them up arbitrarily for big bucks, like $50 -$100...especially when there's little or no competition. He might wait six months, but he'll eventually hit pay dirt. It's all about motivated seller eventually meeting up with motivated buyer. Thanks for sharing your human interest story and for your attendance at my dime party : ) and your ever gracious comments. Aloha, Sue!

    Joe

  • epbooks profile image

    Elizabeth Parker 3 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

    I had to laugh at one part of your hub when you answered Dan with timed responses. I do it all of the time- my hubby calls it "filler." I'm so impressed with not only the way you literally turned a dime into a small fortune, but the pictures and even the detailed way you described the mug. It is, indeed, beautiful. I love eBay but never tried to use garage sales to my advantage. What a fantastic idea!!!

  • DDE profile image

    Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

    You have an impressive idea for sales on ebay an encouraging hub and you just know how to go about it.

  • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

    Susan Haze 3 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Joe, I always learn so much from you. Great job. I once sold a book on ebay that I purchased at a yard sale, read, and then put on ebay. I though maybe I would get a dollar or two. $20.5o cents later someone became the proud owner of this book. I still don't know why it sold for this price but who cares?

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
    Author

    Hawaiian Odysseus 3 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Thanks, Jared!

    Glad you like this, my friend! eBay does have its special challenges, but in the long run, I consider it to be the reigning online auction champ of the world. Should you ever decide to get started with it, you have my open invitation to tap my brain with your questions and comments. Aloha, and have a wonderful weekend!

    Joe

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
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    Hawaiian Odysseus 3 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Hi, Mary!

    Thank you so much for your kind words. Remember in the hub where I get all excited because I erroneously spied a Starbucks mug? Well, today, on the last quarter mile or so of my 9-mile walk, I came across a yard sale. I asked the young woman, "Do you have any Starbucks mugs?" She immediately walked over to a table and said, "It's the last one." The price was a buck, but I only had a credit card on me, so I asked her to hold it for me. I drove my car back, not wanting it to be sold to someone else. So very relieved to see that it was still there, I paid her the dollar and thanked her. It was a huge 1994 Los Angeles city mug with the image of an early '50's Cadillac Coupe de Ville on it. When I parked in my driveway, I took a look at it. There on the bottom was a huge chip! 99% of the mug is cosmetically beautiful...but then there was this chip! I still listed it for a one-day auction and will just have to wait and see what happens. Bummer! Serves me right for being so impulsive and not checking the darn thing out. Oh, well, such is the life of a wild and crazy Hawaiian! : ) Hope you're having a terrific weekend, my friend! Aloha!

    Joe

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
    Author

    Hawaiian Odysseus 3 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Hey, Martie!

    Thanks for stopping by! You hit on a common theme, my friend--lack of space! My wife and I do not have the mindset of hoarders, but even with three storage units full of inventory, there are spots in our home that might have a visitor shaking their head. We try to be as efficient as possible with our limitations, but there's always something new to acquire that we just know will sell in a jiffy...and thus it goes. : ) If they weren't so darn expensive, I'd think about renting or buying a warehouse. Maybe someday I will! LOL! Always a pleasure to hear from you. Take care, and have a nice rest of the weekend! Aloha!

    Joe

  • tillsontitan profile image

    Mary Craig 3 years ago from New York

    It is so great reading your hubs Joe. It isn't about the money but the hints, tips, and great ideas. Hmmm, you are the sensei of eBay selling, not to mention our own font of information. You keep selling and writing and we'll keep reading!

    Voted up, useful, and interesting.

  • MartieCoetser profile image

    Martie Coetser 3 years ago from South Africa

    I love all kinds of containers and would have a large collection if only I had the space. Very interesting look into the thoughts of a long-distant salesman :)

  • Jared Miles profile image

    Jared Miles 3 years ago from Australia

    Congrats on a enjoyable read. :) I personally have never sold anything through EBay, and I certainly don't have the skill to pick out valuable items from a yard sale, but you've presented an interesting case :)

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
    Author

    Hawaiian Odysseus 3 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Thank you so much, Terry!

    You've actually hit on the emotional and spiritual reasons why I love doing what I do on eBay. If we substituted the word "items" with "people," and the word "anything" with "anyone" in your comments, we'd have a great mission statement about how to turn this entire planet on a dime. I'm grateful that you stopped by and shared in this hub experience. Aloha, my friend, and have a memorable weekend!

    Joe

  • point2make profile image

    point2make 3 years ago

    Another great informative hub on how to sell on eBay. Well done my friend. It is amazing to think of all the "10" cent items we use to ignore before eBay and how we are tuned into anything with "potential" now. Your hubs are an excellent source of "how to" for anyone interested in trying eBay......enjoyed and voted up.

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
    Author

    Hawaiian Odysseus 3 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Hi, Nick!

    I wish I was at a Starbucks in Seattle now. This one mug that can only be found in the Emerald City is selling at triple figures on eBay. Crazy! I can't wait for Walla Walla to make it to the Starbucks map of fame so we can generate our own mug hysteria. That would be Walla Walla SWEET! LOL! Thanks for stopping by, Nick, and sharing in this hub experience! Aloha!

    Joe

  • nanderson500 profile image

    nanderson500 3 years ago from Seattle, WA

    Another interesting article. That is a nice looking mug! I can see why you would have thought it was a Starbucks mug.

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
    Author

    Hawaiian Odysseus 3 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Yeah, Bill, and to think that this prize find was literally just a stone's throw from our place. I'm thankful that this lovely mug turned out to be a winner. The fact that it was purchased by a woman who lives in Arizona certainly adds a bit of irony. Thank you for your kind comments and for sharing this story with others. The weekend looks to be a good one, thank you, and I wish you the very same. Aloha, Bill!

    Joe

  • bdegiulio profile image

    Bill De Giulio 3 years ago from Massachusetts

    Hi Joe. I was hoping that this story would have a happy ending. I couldn't read this fast enough to find out how it all ended. What a great read. I know I keep saying this but you really have the ability to keep readers on the edge of their seats no matter what the topic. Great job Joe. Shared and voted up. Have a great weekend.

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
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    Hawaiian Odysseus 3 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Thank you very much, Pearl! Your words mean a lot to me. I'm always grateful when one of these special vignettes occur in my life so I can share with and hopefully inspire others to revel in a spirit of gratitude. Aloha and blessings from SE Washington!

    Joe

  • grandmapearl profile image

    Connie Smith 3 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

    Joe, I love your stories! Your articles are entertaining, and always helpful; but most of all, I'm on the edge of my seat until I get to the finish and find out what happened! You are a gifted writer and storyteller, my friend ;) Pearl

    Voted Up+++++

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
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    Hawaiian Odysseus 3 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Nevertheless, Jo, the fact that you tried when most would be content to rant yet remain spectators to the travesty is a testimony to your courage, conviction, and commitment to a cause. In my book, that puts you head and shoulders over the rest of us. Good for you! Aloha!

    Joe

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
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    Hawaiian Odysseus 3 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Thank you, Joelle!

    I find comfort in writing about a familiar theme with slight variations over time. It's a niche I'm beating into submission. It's knocked me down a few times, but stubborn old fool that I am, I keep getting up before I'm counted out! LOL! Aloha, and have a great transition into the weekend, my friend!

    Joe

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
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    Hawaiian Odysseus 3 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Hi, Kathryn!

    My philosophy has always been based on the premise--"At some point, everything sells!" I am engaged full time in this business of seeing the potential for "trash" to become "treasures." I am like the arbitrator between a yard seller and an eBay buyer. My job consists of bringing to the attention of potentially millions of customers what the old woman is eager to get rid of as she downsizes her possessions or the young couple is ambivalently leaving behind in the process of moving up in the world or what the thrift stores have hauled in by the truckloads from estate sales leftovers. In the process, I'm thoroughly enjoying finding these magnificent stories that virtually write themselves into the Internet ether. Thank you for supporting what I do and for encouraging my incorrigible habit of writing about these things. : ) Aloha, my walking friend!

    Joe

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
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    Hawaiian Odysseus 3 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    You ain't kidding, ologsinquito! Every week, literally billions of dollars are parlayed in the picking of yard sales, estate sales, rummage sales, thrift stores, antique booths, flea markets, tag sales, and all the other related venues. It's getting to where the economic charts would indeed show a downtick in the event that these things would somehow cease to exist. Thanks for stopping by to engage with me over this hub topic. Aloha!

    Joe

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    Hawaiian Odysseus 3 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Hey, Liz!

    Question of the Day: Is that the same shirt Picking Profits wears for each of the 130+ videos he's done, or does he have a closet full of black Tees? (Inquiring minds want to know...plus it might make for a great collaborative hub...)

    Ha-ha! How ya doin', my beautiful eBay newbie little sister? Hope things are picking up for you and Bruce, and that the little one is developing an eye for picking out treasures as well! Start her out young so she can have a store of her own before she's a teenager selling beaucoup apparel items for pre-teens, one of the biggest markets out there! Believe me, she can have bank for college in no time!

    The plumeria images on that mugshot make for a great-looking mug. I predict that one will sell withing the next few weeks. There are times I actually remember when and where I found certain items (I have so much stuff that it's hard to keep track), and it's kinda like having a little hub tale going through my mind. Silly as it sounds, it's kinda like having foster children, knowing what they've been through and struggling to raise them, and having mixed feelings when it's time to let them go off with their new parents. Like I said, silly, but I be tripping like that sometimes!

    I love writing about eBay stuff. And I know you do, too. Don't ever stop what you're doing because I would love to see more videos about what you're doing. I told you before that I bookmarked your hub about WordPress thingamajigs, and I'm itching to build a blog around eBay stuff and then link the heck out of those posts to my hubs and, somehow, to the items I sell.

    Aloha from your daydream believer,

    Joe

  • Jo_Goldsmith11 profile image

    Jo_Goldsmith11 3 years ago

    Hello Joe,

    Yea, I tried and no luck. It wasn't meant to be. I wrote about it in my hub. I was going for the votes of the people, not their money. Doesn't work that way. :( Prayers and blessings from Ky to you. :)

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
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    Hawaiian Odysseus 3 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    PaisleeGal, thanks so much for stopping by! When you get a chance, please read my hub about the pink panther mug. THAT was an incredible freebie that sold for a surprising amount of money, and I have my wife to thank for that one. Mugs are surprisingly good sellers on eBay...sometimes, the waiting period is long, but just to give you an idea, I think I made about $600-800 net profit in mugs in the last year. Not bad for items that cost us about 25 cents to a couple of bucks each. Mugs that we buy for a dime are rare commodities. Good to have you aboard! Have a nice transition into the weekend! Aloha!

    Joe

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
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    Hawaiian Odysseus 3 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Thank you, Jo! That special mug was one I'd never seen before, nor was I able to find it on either eBay or Amazon. Should I ever see another one, you'll be the first to know. : ) Thank you for stopping by to read this hub and for your wonderful comments. Keep up the good political fight, my friend! I'm rooting for you! Aloha!

    Joe

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    Hawaiian Odysseus 3 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Aloha, Bill!

    My day was golden from the moment I began reading one of two precious hubs from billybuc this morning! Thank you for those gifts, my friend, and the gift of your presence at my most recent hub. I am less than a week away from an optimal time (after bills are paid and simple accounting is done) to pick up my very own copy of The Writer's Market. I have a feeling you are going to hear from me a lot the second half of this year as I forge my way along a new path. Thanks for your generous help and support along the way, and may we both be blessed with banner years. Mahalo, Bill!

    Joe

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    Hawaiian Odysseus 3 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Thanks, Jim!

    I'm glad my hubs come across with a spirit of sharing because that truly is my intent. I want to pay back and pay forward the blessings that have come from forging out on this adventuresome, challenging, and yet very rewarding business venture. Thanks for all the great comments that have always served to reinforce both my eBay work and my writing! And, remember, the door is always open for your questions and comments. Aloha, and have a great rest of the week and weekend!

    Joe

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
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    Hawaiian Odysseus 3 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Hi, Karen!

    This one was a minor triumph during the hectic 30 Hubs Challenge, so I'm just thankful that I got it listed in time to catch the attention of a woman from Arizona. Like wetnosedogs alluded to, it really was uncanny that an Arizona mug was purchased by one of its state residents. But that's the sweet and glorious mystery of eBay, and I for one am on a mission to capture these funny and often ironic stories. Aloha!

    Joe

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
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    Hawaiian Odysseus 3 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Ha-ha, Dennis, I am having a good chuckle over your metaphor about flies on rotten meat! I love it! It's uncanny that you should say that because my business name on eBay is LORD OF THE FLIES! LOL! Only on HubPages, I tell ya, can you get priceless humor like we just shared. I have had many a smile and, sometimes, that shared look between wifey and me that we better get in the car really fast because we feel as if we just pulled off a major heist! : ) Have a good one, my fellow baby boomer, and know that you are really appreciated and thought highly of by this island boy misplaced in SE Washington state. Aloha!

    Joe

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    Author

    Hawaiian Odysseus 3 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Thank you, WND! Yes, we were blessed to have this item sell as quickly as it did. And you didn't miss the part about it being sold to a woman in Arizona! Good for you! I really wondered about that; knowing the missing pieces might make for a good story. And I'm always up for a good story, especially the behind the scenes stuff related to eBay. I always hope that my stories come across as inspirational and with the spirit of sharing things that people can do and have fun with while strategically coping with this economy. Aloha, and have a wonderful day!

    Joe

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    kidscrafts 3 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

    Congratulations! I like all the details of the steps from your finding to the selling...with profit! Well done!

  • Kathryn Stratford profile image

    Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

    Joe, it is amazing how you can even make a yard sale purchase and EBay sale sound interesting! Great job in choosing a pretty mug, and making such a profit. It must be hit-or-miss sometime, but you seem to have a good eye for things.

    Voted up and across.

    Have a wonderful day, my friend!

    ~ Kathryn

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    ologsinquito 3 years ago from USA

    Hi Joe,

    Yet another interesting article. Keep them coming. It's so true that one man's junk is another one's treasure.

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    Liz Davis 3 years ago from Hudson, FL

    What a great find! Oh, and I love the mugshot, too. :)

    I take advantage of those free photos, too. I remember back in the day they gave you only one for free. Having 12 gives you more of an opportunity to show people exactly what you're selling.

    Following Ann's advice, I got some of those Priority boxes for shipping coffee mugs. They make it much easier, and it looks nice for the customer, too.

    Thanks for being a trusted mentor and friend, Joe!

  • PaisleeGal profile image

    Pat Materna 3 years ago from Memphis, Tennessee, USA

    This hub makes me want to gather up some of my stuff and start selling on Ebay! Well done. Enjoyed the head. Great eye you have. Can't believe a mug sold for that. Guess I'm just not a mug enthusiast.

  • Jo_Goldsmith11 profile image

    Jo_Goldsmith11 3 years ago

    Now that is what I call business savvy! :) Too bad you already sold the beautiful mug. I think that is about as close as I am ever going to see of Sedona, Az. :( I would of given you $22.00 for it~! Great article, voted up +++ tweeted and shared. blessings & Aloha :)

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    Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

    Excellent advice from one who knows. I love your ability to spot a winner from the mountains of mundane and ordinary. Anyone interested in ebay would do well to read your informative articles on the subject. Well done my friend.

    Aloha, and may your day be golden!

    bill

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    Jim Higgins 3 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

    What an eBay Maven you have become, and what a great sharing attitude you have, Joe! This is a great success story, and the tips about the way you marketed the item are priceless.

  • Karen Hellier profile image

    Karen Hellier 3 years ago from Georgia

    This was really interesting. I enjoyed the whole story from start to finish. It's hard to believe you earned so much money by investing so little. That's fantastic and very inspirational. The mug is beautiful too...I agree with you. Thanks for inspiring me to go the Ebay route once again! Voted up and awesome.

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    Dennis L. Page 3 years ago from New York/Pennsylvania border

    The votes are in and tallied. Once again Joe, you have given your readers a winning composition.

    You continue to prove your prowess at both an eBay seller and a wordsmith, spinning one tale after another as you continue your money making journey. I've never been disappointed in your stories and enjoy hearing about your garage sale finds.

    I'm amazed at the number of people who descend on garage sales like flies on a rotten piece of meat. By and large the treasure hunters usually have smiles as they merrily walk back to their cars with the goods they have purchased.

  • wetnosedogs profile image

    wetnosedogs 3 years ago from Alabama

    Magnificent find. Funny the cup sold to someone in Arizona. But a great thing for you.

    How did your wife know at a glance it wasn't a starbucks? Nonetheless, good thing she was there to grab it for you.

    I will have to wait til after work to see the videos you put up here.

    Thanks for the great entertainment and teachings on how to display and write about an item and happy to hear you sold that mug so quickly.

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    Author

    Hawaiian Odysseus 3 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Thanks, Natasha!

    And just a stone's throw from my home! I'm always looking for these intriguing stories to share with others. Thanks for sharing in this experience. Aloha!

    Joe

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    Author

    Hawaiian Odysseus 3 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Will do, Georgie! I'll keep my eye open for it! Thanks for stopping by! Aloha!

    Joe

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    Georgianna Lowery 3 years ago from Slaton, Texas USA

    This is awesome! I wish I had an eye for this kind of thing, but I'm like a magpie once I see something shiny! You did a great job with this Hub (as usual) and it can help a ton if people who are aspiring eBay power sellers!

    PS. You find a Virginia mug like that, let me know!

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    Natasha 3 years ago from Hawaii

    Awesome job! That's a great profit.

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