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And Magazines? Ha! They're Even Easier to Tear Up!

Updated on March 9, 2013
WATER BUFFALO (Bos bubalus) A NATIVE OF INDIA
WATER BUFFALO (Bos bubalus) A NATIVE OF INDIA | Source

In the course of looking for items to post on eBay for my vintage ads niche, I came upon a 1925 issue of National Geographic that contained a long article containing amazingly resplendent color illustrations of different kinds of cattle from all over the world. The magazine prints were of paintings from life , as the periodical referred to them, by the prominent artist, Edward Herbert Miner.

The prints were so appealing that I didn't have the stomach to toss them in the garbage after having carefully removed the ads. And if I've learned anything valuable from this interesting and uniquely challenging occupation of tearing up old books and magazines, it's simply this--follow your gut instinct!

I don't know about the instinct, but by choice and habit, not by desire, I do have a hefty Hawaiian gut to follow.

And so I did.

I have approximately 19 prints from the article theme, Cattle of the World, to list at this time. Since I am writing this hub simultaneously with the posting of these prints on eBay, I currently have ten of these ads posted. Because I'm experimenting, my term for the entrepreneurial learning curve, I listed the above print in my eBay store and will list the rest in auctions. (As of this writing, eBay is offering 23 days of free auction listings for eBay store owners. It's a fantastic deal that will save me quite a bit in overhead expenses, and I'm taking full advantage of it.)

Choosing a title is easy enough. I present the item's name, add a couple of key words that someone might use to search for the item, and--if space allows--include the artist's name. Thus, a title for the above item would be something like the following.

1925 Vintage Print Water Buffalo A Native of India Edward Herbert Miner Printing

I included the date; the generic category of Vintage Print; the specific subject and geographical origin, and the artist's name. This is my template title for the entire 19-print series. Accordingly, I will tweak it just a bit to include important information from each successive print.

While I sometimes go off on a tangent and craft some really off the wall descriptions, the main body of my text is usually straightforward and simple. My wife tells me I'm too wordy, and she's probably got a good point. However, what motivates me is that I've seen other eBay sellers with some really terse descriptions that offer very little personality and--at least for me--a lack of personal connection. When I come across other eBayers who appear to have and not be ashamed of their own voice, so to speak, I'm inclined to pay more attention.

I set my prices at $9.98 per print or vintage ad, and I include free shipping. After eBay, PayPal, and shipping costs, my profit is approximately $6.50, or roughly 2/3 of the selling price. I consider myself a middle of the road price-setter. I totally respect those who have been in this business longer than me, and I know for a fact that each individual eventually finds that certain specific comfort zone. Who knows? Maybe someday I'll set my prices higher. But for now, I'm perfectly content right where I'm at.

Let's take a look at three more prints in the series.

RED AFRICANDER BULL, OF SOUTH AFRICAN CAPE ORIGINS, A BEEF ANIMAL
RED AFRICANDER BULL, OF SOUTH AFRICAN CAPE ORIGINS, A BEEF ANIMAL | Source
DUTCH BELTED COWS, AN IMPROVED DAIRY TYPE OF NETHERLANDS ORIGIN
DUTCH BELTED COWS, AN IMPROVED DAIRY TYPE OF NETHERLANDS ORIGIN | Source
SHORTHORNS, AN IMPROVED BREED OF ENGLISH ORIGIN, VALUABLE BOTH AS DAIRY AND BEEF CATTLE
SHORTHORNS, AN IMPROVED BREED OF ENGLISH ORIGIN, VALUABLE BOTH AS DAIRY AND BEEF CATTLE | Source

MOO if You Like Cows

How many different kinds of bovine mammals--cows, buffalo, oxen, etc.--have you seen in real life?

See results

I'm thoroughly enjoying what I'm doing for a living. Not only do I have a great boss to work for, but I am stalling the early onset of Alzheimer's by cramming my feeble brain with all kinds of fun and interesting information.

Why, just this cerebral exercise alone today taught me not to take the cattle in Walla Walla for granted.

Do I hear an ACOWS out there?

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