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:


Westmoreland Coroner auctions off guns used in suicides, accidental shootings
WTAE Pittsburgh
The Coroner's Office is holding an auction Nov. 8 in which 97 guns will be auctioned. Several out-of-service county vehicles will be auctioned as well. Coroner Ken Bacha said state law allows coroner's staff to remove personal effects from decedent's ...

and more »

ABC News

U.S. Debt Auctions Gain Fewest Bids Since '09 for Shorter Notes
Bloomberg
The Treasury's $93 billion of note auctions this week attracted the least demand at sales of the series since July 2009 amid the end of Federal Reserve bond-buying and the lowest yields since May. The bid-to-cover ratio, which gauges demand by ...
Bonds hold losses after weak 2-year note auctionCNBC
Treasury Bonds Fall Before Auctions, Fed StatementNasdaq
Treasury Two-Year Note Auction May Yield 0.425%: SurveyBusinessweek
Wall Street Journal -RTT News
all 3,293 news articles »

NORA auctions off 129 houses and lots for $6.7 million
The Times-Picayune - NOLA.com
The New Orleans Redevelopment Authority got bids on all 129 properties posted at auction last weekend for a total anticipated revenue of $6.7 million, the agency said. NORA sold off 88 houses and 41 vacant lots in 7th Ward, Treme, Lakeview, eastern New ...


Wall Street Journal

A Blue-Chip Glut at New York Fall Art Auctions
Wall Street Journal
In these auctions, market-watchers will be looking for clues about an overall pricing trajectory but also will gauge the popularity and price levels for dozens of the world's top artists. Dealers say Cubist works could fare well, given the buzz lately ...
Van Gogh, Warhol Star in $1.8 Billion New York AuctionsBloomberg

all 3 news articles »

Indianapolis Airport Auctions Lost and Found Items
ABC News
Transcript for Indianapolis Airport Auctions Lost and Found Items. So, Taylor's coming up, but "Pop news," shall we? If you are looking far discount on a designer handbag perhaps, forget the sample Ales and check out the Indianapolis airport, my friends.
Extra airport equipment, lost and found items up for bid ThursdayFox 59

all 3 news articles »

Westmoreland County to auction guns, vehicles
Tribune-Review
State law requires the coroner's office to sell off unclaimed property, including guns, at public auctions. While the county regularly auctions its surplus equipment and office supplies, weapons haven't been sold since Bacha's father, Leo, was a ...

and more »

Wall Street Journal

Coffee Prices Soar at Online Auctions
Wall Street Journal
Most of the world's coffee beans are sold in bulk by farmers, cooperatives and trading companies; just a fraction are sold in online auctions. But booming demand is helping drive up the value of beans across the board, along with Brazil's worst drought ...

and more »

Just Jared

Rihanna Spends $135000 on amfAR Gala Auctions!
Just Jared
Rihanna excitedly bids on an item while attending the dinner and auction portion of the 2014 amfAR LA Inspiration Gala at Milk Studios on Wednesday (October 29) in Hollywood. The 26-year-old singer spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on two very ...

and more »

The Detroit News

Detroit to auction surplus vehicles for cash
The Detroit News
Detroit Chief Operating Officer Gary Brown on Thursday noted the auctions will be conducted in partnership with Hilco Industrial and Miedema Auctioneering and Appraisals. The city finalized a contract with Farmington Hills-based Hilco this summer that ...
City of Detroit to hold vehicle, machinery auctionsWXYZ
Detroit auction will offer surplus garbage trucks, trolleys, and snow plowsDetroit Metro Times (blog)
Detroit announces plan to auction 400 municipal vehiclesMLive.com

all 38 news articles »

Treasury Auctions for the Week of Oct. 27
New York Times
The Treasury's schedule of financing this week includes Monday's regular weekly auction of new three- and six-month bills and an auction of four-week bills on Tuesday. There will also be auctions of two-year notes on Tuesday, two-year floating-rate ...

Google News

Can You Really Make Money Selling New Release CDs & DVDs On eBay?

Being an active eBayer, I am often being asked about... Read More

From Ebay Zero to Power-Selling Hero: The Devil Is In The Details

If you've ever heard the expression "the devil is in... Read More

3 Unusual Formats For Auctions on EBay

eBay users are accustomed to only two "standard" formats for... Read More

How Pop-Culture Collectibles Can Increase Your Online Auction Profits

How Pop Culture collectibles can increase your Online Auction profitsWith... Read More

Online Auctions: 10 Secrets You Should Know Before Bidding At An Online Auction

You may have heard about ebay and other online auctions.You... Read More

Tips on How to Profit from eBay Buy It Now Auction Listings

eBay is an online auction site so it stands to... Read More

Dropship Your Way To Ebusiness Success

Q: I would like to start my own eBay business,... Read More

How to Make Money from Internet Auctions

If your business is not using eBay and other Internet... Read More

E-bay Auctions: Sell Better, Spend Less Tip #1

Just about everyone alive today has heard of E Bay.com,... Read More

Royal Memorabilia ? An eBay Prince or Pauper?

There has always been a fascination with royalty and as... Read More

Joint Venture For eBay Success Too!

Whether you're succeeding in your online auction attempts, just getting... Read More

Your Auction Headline Or Title - The Most Important Part Of Your Auction

The words you select to describe your item will have... Read More

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

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

Shipping Supplies For Your eBay Auction Business

Auction supplies are clearly an expense and major consideration for... Read More

Make BIG MONEY on eBay - Your Unlimited Cash Cow

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

Drop Shipping Increases Profits

You would like to increase your income by selling other... Read More

Get More for Your Money Shopping for Designer Shoes on eBay

The worlds online market place.In just a few short years... Read More

How to Survive the Jungles of Ebay Selling

Come with me, we are going to take a safari... Read More

eBay The Mega Marketplace For Everyone

eBay is one of the world's largest market places with... Read More

Profit through Other Peoples eBay Errors

There are many issues that influence how an eBay auction... Read More

How Drop Shipping Works

One of the most frequently asked questions on the Net... Read More

Online Auctions: How To Generate Fast Traffic From Online Auctions

Have you ever participated in any online auctions?Yes, people are... Read More

What Ebay Can Teach Us About Success

I flew back to New York from Atlanta a few... Read More

A Picture Paints a Thousand Words and Creates Auction Euphoria on eBay

Ever since I sold my first item on ebay I... 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