Monday, December 14, 2009

My first ebay sale!

I'm a relative latecomer to ebay. My first purchase was less than two years ago. I was never keen on the idea, and found that paying shipping and handling fees made every 'deal' too expensive. Haven't bought much on ebay. Mostly retro video game consoles and games. Think Atari XE, Colecovision, Pong, and whatnot.

As a compulsive bargain hunter, I've often bought things from yard sales and thrift stores that I might not need, or have doubles of (think video games again), with the rationalization that I could sell it on ebay for more than I bought it for. Of course I never do. I'm a packrat at heart I guess. You should seen my office. It is a constant battle just to keep enough space on the floor to get across the room. Mostly books and video games, my two collecting passions. Closet is stacked to the roof with games and systems. Bookcases overflowing with more games, gadgets, and books. I wonder if I subconsciously want to open a book/video game store one day and am collecting stock.

Six or eight weeks ago, we drove down to the city to do some winter clothing shopping for foster kid James. As usual, first stop was the thrift store on the way into town. I was poking around and found a knotted plastic grocery bag in a bin of junky electronic stuff. Had a peek and found an SNES (Super Nintendo) with some games inside. My personal collection already includes an SNES, but hey, I could convince myself I would one day sell it on ebay, and I don't have a heck of a lot of games for the Super Nintendo. No price, but the nice lady at the cash asked if $6 was OK.

Went home happy that day, since the SNES system is still relatively valuable considering it is approaching 20 years old. I figured my find was worth $40 or $50 depending on the games, I had my hunter-gatherer rush, all is good. Right? When we got home I quickly ran the half dozen game titles through ebay. Not terribly familiar with titles, but they weren't sports games, so might be worth a few bucks in themselves. Turns out one of them was Earthbound, an RPG with a cult-like following, that regularly sells for $70 to $100. I'd never heard of it, but hey, super score!!!

Fast forward to today. I've bought a bunch of things on ebay in the last few weeks. A new Wii remote/nunchuck set, some rechargeable phone batteries, and of course Mars' christmas presents. Been looking for Wii games as well. Figured I'd finally try and sell something from my stockpile to in effect 'trade' for something I'd rather have. Chose the Earthbound game since it is small, valuable, and in demand.

Took me at least an hour to navigate through setting up my first item for sale. Holy complicated, Batman. I'm pretty good at math, but all the various fees made my head spin. Options, more options. Way too hard, which is one of the reasons I'd been putting off the attempt. I did a lot of back and forth on setting a price. Finally got it set up for a "Buy it Now" at $140 US. Quite a bit more than some recent auction wins for Earthbound, but if it didn't sell it would have only cost me a five cent listing fee. I offered free shipping and hoped that someone would splurge for christmas. It sold in 90 minutes. Should've asked for more!

Shipped it the next morning, it was delivered 24 hours and 16 minutes later. Less assorted fees and shipping (and the $1 I arbitrarily decided it cost me out of $6 I paid for the bag), I netted $118.09 CAD. Probably my third sweetest bargain find ever! (First I've already talked about, second was a Vectrex system for $7 at a yard sale). I had some mild guilt since I profited off a 'good cause' thrift store. Rationalized it because I didn't buy it knowing it was really valuable, just knowing that the bag of SNES was a little better value than normally found at a thrift store. Of course, my 'net' doesn't count the countless hours and even more countless litres of gas invested in the bargain hunting hobby. When I think of the number of completely crap yard sales we've been to, or fruitless thrift store trips...

Still, it was fun to make that first sale, and Leaf is amazed. Too late for the christmas presents I've already bought on ebay, but it will be handy to have money in a paypal account for next time.


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