Ebay Changed my life! Really!
December 4, 2019
How ebay changed my life!
I have this pressure that I put on myself to write this blog. Since I sell quite a bit on ebay and each item I sell I include a little write up of my history and lately I have added a link to my blog that introduces “How ebay Changed my life”
This is the start of a series of blogs that will chronicle some stories and events in my life!
Anyway it is true that ebay changed my life. Maybe more accurately, I could say that I have learned how to effectively utilize ebay to accomplish some goals in my life that I previously had no idea of how I was going to “make it happen”
Along the way, I have gone down an interesting path both literally and figuratively which has lead me to discover new people, places, opportunities, and some things I didn’t even know I was looking for.
So, lets get started with “How ebay Changed my life” and maybe it can change yours too!
I signed up on ebay on January 27, 1999. It was back in the day before Paypal existed. People were not real comfortable with e-commerce as it was quite new. Amazon was only about 5 years old. A typical transaction on ebay went like this: Someone purchasing an item would send a check or money order through snail mail. Once I received the check, I would deposit it and if it was a personal check, I would wait about a week for it to clear before shipping. So it was quite a slow process compared to the instant payments we have now.
I was at a Pawn shop speaking with someone and they told me that they had just gotten a great deal on a Tag Heuer watch on ebay. That was the first time I had heard about ebay.
Once I signed up, I found some things I had to sell and just dabbled in ebay mostly out of curiosity. Over the years I bought and sold sporadically. I figured out a spreadsheet to detail the fees which increased all the time. There are listing fees, final value fees, final value on shipping, Paypal fees and that doesn’t include all the different fees for things like International Site Visibility, bold, large pictures, 2nd category listing, etc…. Before making money on ebay these days, you need to figure out “how not to lose money first”. Being good at basic math is important. There are many companies out there that will try to entice you to do a drop ship thing. They claim they will sell you product at wholesale and you don’t have to touch it. Just mark it up, sell it and keep the profit. However, it seemed like when I ask them for some sample pricing, then look them up on ebay to see what they sell for, it is often selling for less than the price they are supposedly wholesaling it to me for.
I make money on ebay buying products at garage sales, Estate Sales, rummage sales, etc. I also do consignment sales for people in my photography club, a manufacturer of a product called Canless Air, and I have tutored people on how to sell on ebay for a fee of course.
So, lets get back to that “how ebay changed my life”
I had this bucket list thing “Kilimanjaro” Yes, I wanted to climb it, so I put it on the list. Now that is an expensive trip flying all the way to Tanzania, the porters, guides, food, internal flights, safari, etc. Cha Ching! Prior to Kilimanjaro, I had only done one trip overseas and that was to Israel in 2006.
For some reason I decided in 2012 that I would check Kilimanjaro off my “bucket list” in 2013.
I opened an ebay storefront and started to get serious with my selling. That meant I had to go out and buy a lot of merchandise at the Estate sales, garage sales, rummage sales, etc. Some days I would make it to 30 or more sales and ended up with a nice load of treasures to sell.
In 2012 I did over $60,000 in gross sales on ebay with a net profit of close to $20,000. That was more than enough to do the Kilimanjaro trip. I have since gone to the Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador, Galapagos Islands, Mongolia, Japan, Thailand, Bhutan, a sailing trip in St Martin, Sailing trip from St. Lucia to Granada, and soon will be a sailing trip in Belize, then in 2020 a photography trip to Iceland. Who knows where I will go next. I really don’t have any goals like trying to visit every country in the world, but I do love to travel and my objective is to have an “authentic experience”
Hopefully you are starting to get the picture of how ebay changed my life, but this is just the tip of the iceberg! Yes, ebay has provided me a means to explore this incredible planet that we live on, but it has also lead me to explorations within myself. One day I was heading to a garage sale. It was a Sunday afternoon and when I pulled up to the address I had entered in my GPS, the garage was open and the homeowner informed me that “the sale was yesterday”
We started speaking and the next thing I knew I was in his house chanting to the Gohonzon in his Butsadan. This was my introduction to Nichiren Buddhism. March 3, 2020 will be 2 years since I have gotten my Gohonzon. The day you get your Gohonzon is like another birthday. I didn’t know I was looking for this, but I am very happy that I found it! Practicing Buddhism is a very important part of my life and it has enhanced my happiness, joy, peace, serenity and introduced me to a group of people who are the most loving, supportive, encouraging, up beat, positive, wonderful beings I have ever interacted with.
Before I started doing ebay, I was involved in sailing and did not have many opportunities to sail. So, one day I was in line waiting for an Estate sale to open up and I spoke with this woman who was a member of Pelagic Sailing Club in Boston. I think that was also in 2012 as I have been a Pelagic member for going on 8 years now. I sail as crew on other peoples boats, daysailing, overnight sails from Boston to Provincetown, and now I have more opportunities to sail than I could possibly take advantage of. It seems like I have another family… I have my Budhist family, my sailing family, my photography family, in addition to my “family” family!
I wrote this fast and it is not edited! But this is the start of something!