Sunday, August 23, 2009

Can You Make Money From Ebay?

Scenario #1
I go shopping for a new dress. I find one I love for $20. I bring it home and try it on for my husband. He tells me, quite honestly, that it makes me look like a whore.* So, downcast, I bring the dress, with receipt, back to the store and get my $20 back.
Scenario #2
I go shopping for a new dress. I find one I love for $20. I bring it home and try it on for my husband. He tells me, quite honestly, that it makes me look like a whore.* I put it in the back of my closet, thinking, maybe he'll like it more if I lose ten pounds.
A year later, I find the dress and try it on again. His thoughts towards it have not changed. So, I list it on eBay as a way to get some "extra cash." I'm excited as the bidding frenzy goes up to $15! Of course, $2 goes to shipping, because I listed it as free shipping, and $1 goes to eBay fees, but still, I got $12!
In which scenario did I make a greater profit?
With the bad economy, eBay has been listed as a source of "extra income". But this is not income. This is getting some of your money back from purchases you should have never made in the first place.
My father actually lives off of eBay. It is his primary, but not only, income source. He goes yard saling and to small antique shops and he sells his antiques on eBay for a profit. But he is a brilliant man, an Oxford graduate, and he knows a lot about antiques, history, and niche markets on eBay. I know it is possible to do this, and some do, but most people who sell on eBay sell to get some of their money back, not to make money.
I am included in this group. Several months ago, I bought a bread maker on eBay for about $30, shipping included. I have used this bread maker and got a lot of value out of it. However, as I am paring down my possessions, I am kneading my own dough and baking it in the crock pot, which is actually faster, start to finish. I bought the bread maker because I thought I could never learn to knead dough. I was wrong. Now, I want some of my money back from this gadget that I no longer need. That is not income.

*These scenarios are not based on real life events. Please do not look down on my husband.


AnnMarie said...

Please share in a post how you bake bread in the crockpot. I haven't heard of that before!

(New reader. Someone mentioned this in another blog over the weekend or yesterday. I can't wait to read more about how you pare down expenses.)

Caroline said...

I am doing the same. I started with a bread machine, because the rising part scared me. It's funny, because that's the part where you do absolutely nothing! I am thinking of using Craigslist to save on fees; we'll see how it goes. I had never heard of using a crockpot for bread; I'll have to think about that...

Carla said...

(sorry, wanted to fix what I wrote)

I could never get into ebay. It never works out a good deal, unless I'm finding something I can't get anywhere else and I need it, like the cloth diapers that we used and still has a lot of resale value.

For the bread machine, I couldn't live without it! With my carpal tunnel, it is so hard to effectively knead bread. It costs 6 cents to knead and bake a loaf of bread, which is worth it to me! (note, I can't eat bread but the rest of the family loves it. I make three pizza crusts out of 1 dough recipe and freeze them on the pizza sheet. It takes less than 10 minutes for the pizza to be done at 400. :) ).

Anonymous said...

Or... "unflattering" instead of "whore" if you're worried about offending.

I like your blog, Emily. I applaud your devotion to your family and chosen lifestyle.

Post a Comment