In my post, “The Quiet Tycoon,” I wrote about my friend Iris’s success on eBay and talked about putting these boots up for bid and trying my hand at selling.
Since this was my first try, I had to poke around eBay a bit to learn how one went about being a seller, what exactly was required, what the fees were, etc., etc. Before writing my ad, I scouted Miss Capezio boots to see if others were listed. I found two identical pairs in different sizes, both listed as “Buy It Now,” one for $159 and one for $179. One listing even showed multiple pictures of Brittany Spears wearing these exact boots!
That got me to thinking, so in my ad I added “This is a rare, greatly sought-after style which is selling elsewhere on eBay for over $100, so grab these while you can!” I figured it couldn’t hurt and might help. I set my starting price at $24.99, since they were, after all, used boots. I made a point of the fact that there were no refunds or returns and thus, added many pictures, including one of the bottom of the sole. I also set the auction to run for 7 days.
After I had them listed, I sent the link to Iris, who thought it looked good. Then I sat back and waited…and waited. It took at least two days before I had my first bid…for $24.99. By then I was wishing I had set the starting price higher so that I could get at least $40 for them. Days went by with no action. Then I got an email from an interested party offering me $40.00 if I would sell them to her right then and end the auction. It was tempting, but didn’t feel right, so I resisted and encouraged her to simply bid on them. Still, nothing more happened.
On day six of the seven day auction, Iris emailed me excitedly, saying, “You’ve got TWO bids!” But the price was only $30 at this point. Iris predicted that I’d hit forty before it ended, but I had my doubts.
The last day was when it got fun. Little bids would dribble in, but nothing dramatic…until the last five minutes. By now, Iris and I were on the phone together, both at our computer screens, hootin’ and hollarin’. Every time a bid would register on her computer, she’d shout “Woo hoo!” She was clearly having a blast giving a running narration, “You’ve got 7 bids, no wait, make it 8!” During the last minute I got 10, then 11, then 12 then 13 bids, the last winning the boots for $56.00!!!! Woo-hoo, indeed!
It may not sound like much money to you, but here’s how I look at it. For almost twenty years I have moved those boots from house to house, where they have ended up sitting on a shelf in my closet. I clearly was never going to wear them again. Now I have more space and $56.00! It’s like free money!
The boots have been shipped and now I’ve taken to walking around my house and peering into closets, looking for unusual treasures to sell. Why, you might ask?
Well, because I think I’ve been bitten…by the eBay bug!
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