Easy Money on Ebay?

Ebay was only two years old when I discovered it.

A friend I worked with was also starting to sell on Ebay at about the same time, and we exchanged ideas and experiences constantly. Since we were already working together on our Ebay ventures, we decided to combine our resources into one company and grow it while we were still both working our regular job. We found our niche selling technical books and manuals as our little company began to grow and prosper. Our co-workers at the company we worked at during the day came to consider us the "Ebay Experts". We were answering questions about online auctions on a daily basis, but one coworker had the same comment every day.

"Hey, show me how to make easy money on Ebay!" he would ask. It became a standing joke between My partner and I that usually came up around two or three in the morning during a marathon packing or email answering session. One of us would look at the other and mutter in a disgusted tone "Yea, Easy money on Ebay.."

In January of 2002, we had more sales, and more auctions running than ever before. We were looking at 100 to 150 auctions a day closing, and enjoying a sell-through rate of close to 75%. Our shelves were piled high with books and manuals, the shipping area was well stocked with supplies, and we were ready for long hours of fulfilling our orders.

Then, as if fate stepped in to see just what we were made of, a huge ice storm hit our part of Oklahoma taking out large sections the electrical grid. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that online businesses can do without many things, but electricity is NOT on that list! On the third day of the blackout, we were able to learn from the radio (battery powered) that it wasn't just our area, but over HALF the state of Oklahoma. Worse yet, the damage was so extensive it was going to be at least TWO WEEKS before power was restored! A quick calculation and we almost panicked. We would have over two THOUSAND AUCTIONS END, and no way to contact the bidders! If we didn't keep up with the sales, payments, and shipping on a daily basis, we were in deep trouble... We couldn't imagine what a mess it would be in TWO WEEKS!

The fourth day into the blackout, I made an executive decision. I grabbed the company checkbook, and headed for our closest Lowe's Home Improvement center (about 70 miles away..). The little roadtrip turned into quite the adventure. Strange thing about a massive blackout is gas stations can't pump gas without electricity, and you are burning gas while you are driving around looking for a gas station that was open for business. I was running on luck and fumes before I finally found a station and filled up. With a full tank of gas, I made it to Lowe's and purchased a generator. We assembled the generator in record time, put oil in the engine and then realized... Uh Oh, we need gas for the generator. No local gas stations were open for business, and we didn't want to risk another road trip. Using an old trick I hadn't used since I was growing up on a farm, we were able to get enough gas out of my pickup truck to fuel up the generator.

The little generator fired up on the first pull, and with the help of a few extension cords and power strips, we had a computer network up and running at My partners house. It was then we made another interesting discovery. Cable internet connections do not work without electricity. I had a DSL internet connection at my house, so off we go with a partially charged battery in my laptop to test my internet connection. SUCCESS! DSL works off the phone line power so it was still functional. We made a quick drive back to My partners house to tear down the computer network and load the generator, then back to my house to set it all up again. At 4:30 the next morning We had the network online and a couple of lamps for light. We were self-contained, and open for business. Now we could get to work, and so we did, for the next straight 48 hours. We had a pickup truck load of packages ready for the post office when it hit us, "Is the post office open?". A quick phone call ( by the way, cell phones and cordless phones are useless during a blackout. The simplest plug-it-in-the-wall phones work great.) found us with another problem. Our local post office was closed (no electricity there either.) They did tell us the regional USPS hub had power, and was open 24/7. The bad news is, the regional hub was 75 miles away in Oklahoma City!

Meanwhile, back at the fuel issue... We were relieved to discover that two local gas stations had rented generators and were open for business. We gassed up and headed for Oklahoma City. With the load of packages on the way to customers and most of the other urgent tasks completed, we took a much needed break. We shut down the network and use the generator to power an electric griddle and make a hot meal. The little generator wouldn't power both at the same time without throwing it's breaker.

For the next two weeks, that poor little generator ran constantly keeping the computers running and the shipments going out, the questions answered, and our customers happy. Every other day I would make the 150 mile round trip to the USPS hub in Oklahoma City, stopping on the way back to fill the gas containers for the generator, and fuel up the truck for the next trip.

One evening we took a short break, and stepped outside for a breath of fresh air. We noticed something different.... THE STREET LIGHTS WERE ON! I ran inside and tried the lights... ELECTRICITY!

I went next door and asked my neighbor how long the power had been back on. "Oh, about four or five hours..". We had been so wrapped up working in our self-contained office, we hadn't realized the power had come back on! With our ordeal behind us, we couldn't resist the temptation to elebrate with a cold beer and a toast...

"Here's to "easy money" on Ebay!"

KL Bohn is an Industrial Engineer with a passion for technology and especially Ebay.

Ebay was only two years old when I discovered it quite by accident. 7 1/2 years, and over 85,000 transactions later I'm still hooked on Ebay as a seller, buyer, and shareholder.

In The News:


Sotheby's features abstract art sale in New York Latam spring auctions
Reuters
"So let's say we took this opportunity and we looked to put together this group." Stein added that he expected the upcoming Latin American art sales to benefit from the record-breaking auctions earlier this month, in which top-tier works sold for all ...

and more »

CBS News

Items from famed Apollo 13 mission up for auction
CBS News
The item expected to garner the most interest at the Heritage Auctions event Friday is an assemblage of Apollo 13 material, including the netting ripped from Apollo 13's Luna Module "Aquarius." The collection, with an estimated value of $20,000, also ...

and more »

Motor Authority

Original Fast And Furious Toyota Supra Sells For $185000 At Auction
Motor Authority
The 1993 Toyota Supra stunt car used during filming for the original Fast and the Furious movie that came out in 2001—and driven by the late Paul Walker—has sold at auction for $185,000. It crossed the block last week at the Mecum Auctions event held ...
Fast and not frugal: Paul Walker's Supra nets $185000 at Mecum AuctionsDigital Trends
The Fast and The Furious Toyota Supra Stunt Car Auctioned For $185kTop Speed

all 35 news articles »

Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog)

Atlanta investor admits to bid-rigging at foreclosure auctions
Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog)
There's money to be made from misery, and an Atlanta man and his cohorts figured a way to line their pockets as the foreclosure crisis hit Georgia. Real estate investor Eric Hulsman and co-conspirators rigged bids at foreclosure auctions in Fulton and ...
Georgia man pleads guilty to bid rigging at real estate auctionsReuters

all 3 news articles »

fox6now.com

Sold! Auctioned with no minimum bid, winning bid $5.8M for lakefront home in ...
fox6now.com
Industry leader Grand Estates Auction Company, with an unsurpassed closing success rate for luxury real estate auctions, sold a stunning six-bedroom waterfront estate in exclusive Lake Geneva., at absolute auction on May 19th. As a result of an ...

and more »

New York Times

Christie's and Phillips Have Auctions With Differing Results
New York Times
Toward the end of a week that saw $2 billion worth of art change hands, the question Thursday night was whether buyers in New York would have the energy — and money — to spend still more as Christie's and Phillips held auctions that overlapped a bit ...
New York's spring art auctions have raked in $2.6 billionBusiness Insider
Christie's Caps Spring Auctions With $50 Million MondrianWall Street Journal
Christie's and Sotheby's Contemporary Sales Demonstrate a Flush, Frantic MarketVulture
Bloomberg -CNNMoney -Reuters
all 199 news articles »

BLOUIN ARTINFO

The Finer Things at Auctions (May 22-28)
BLOUIN ARTINFO
This week, auctions to look out for include Bonhams' Fine and Rare Wine, Cognac and Single Malt sale in Hong Kong and Spa Classic sale in Brussels; as well as Sotheby's Finest & Rarest Wines Featuring Burgundy Direct from Maison Camille Giroud, and ...


AL.com

State of Alabama auctions off unwanted goods, college tour bus
AL.com
Cars, trucks, Christmas trees, pianos and even a community college tour bus were just a few of Alabama's surplus goods on the auction block in Montgomery, Ala., today as the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs' Surplus Property ...


Record $2.7B auctions ignite buying at New York art fairs
Walla Walla Union-Bulletin
#“When you see the sensationalized prices, it's good for the market,” Steven Hartman, owner of Contessa Gallery, which had a booth at the Art Miami New York fair, said about auctions. “Rising tides lift all boats. At every financial level in which ...

and more »

OCRegister

See the coin that set $2.35 million record at Sotheby's auction for Corona del ...
OCRegister
The first lot of an Orange County man's trove of 650 rare coins netted $25.3 million at auction Tuesday. The 128 coins auctioned through Irvine-based Stack's Bowers Galleries and Sotheby's in New York were the first sold in a series of seven auctions ...
David Lawrence Rare Coins Auction Highlights - May 17, 2015CoinWeek (blog)

all 76 news articles »
Google News

eBay After Sales - as Important as the Listing Itself

Your eBay listing has finished and you have made a... Read More

Increase your eBay Profits the Easy Way

Sometimes the simplest things can boost the number of visitors... Read More

Dropshipping on eBay, Does It Work?

eBay offers any business owner a new global market to... Read More

10 Tips to Starting a Financially Successful Ebay Business Startting Right Now

Ebay is Perhaps the easiest and fastest way to start... Read More

Online Auction Sellers - Seize Control Of Your Business!

As the online auction model of business continues to evolve... Read More

Save on EBay Fees with Free Image Hosting

Experienced sellers at online auction sites such as EBay will... Read More

Five Tested Ways To Find The Perfect Drop Shipper

You've heard about it many times in recent months. Being... Read More

How to Sell on eBay Internationally without Risk

eBay allows you the opportunity to sell all over the... Read More

Auction and Its Benefits

An auction is basically a public sale wherein any object... Read More

Finding Antiques And Collectibles To Sell On eBay

Many people who decide to make a living selling collectibles... Read More

Join the Home-Based Business Revolution

Greetings, Friend. So you've decided to go into business. Great.... Read More

The Down Side Of Using Dropshippers In The Ebay Auction Arena!

Ok, let me just say right up front that I... Read More

Effective Online Car Sales on Ebay Motors

Remember back when selling online was a new experience? Dealers... Read More

From Ebay Zero to Power-Selling Hero: How To Learn New Tricks Without Spending

The Internet is the fastest-changing marketplace on earth. Million-dollar ideas... Read More

From Ebay Zero to Power-Selling Hero: Using Feedback Effectively

When I talk about feedback to new Ebay sellers, I... Read More

Dont Be A Victim Of Online Auction Fraud

The Internet Fraud Complaint Center (IFCC) reported that last year... Read More

eBay - Profiting With Books By Janette Oke

Janette Oke is a Christian writer whose books about life,... Read More

Selling through Auction Marketplaces

Consumers are increasingly feeling more comfortable in buying products through... Read More

Make BIG MONEY on eBay - Your Unlimited Cash Cow

Let me be brutally honest; until recently, I had never... Read More

How To Cut Your eBay Fees By More Than 90%

Now, are you ready for the REAL TRUTH about selling... Read More

Snipe Your Way to Auction Success

Bidding for a bargain is all part of the exciting... Read More

Six Steps Towards Successful Buying at eBay Auctions

Buying on eBay can be very rewarding, either in terms... Read More

Drop-ship or U-ship: That is the Question

For small Internet retailers, drop-shipping is one of the best... Read More

Louis Vuitton -- Avoiding the Ebay Nightmare Fakes

Without a doubt, eBay was one of the cleverest on-line... Read More

Why Its a BAD Idea To Promote Hot Selling Products on eBay

Do a quick search on Google, Yahoo, or your favorite... Read More