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Just for Fun (Inspired by the Pro Thread) - Ebay Old Days

I was reading the last few posts (right now) in the Pro thread and it made me remember the first days Ebay was a thing. It was amazing then. People were selling their old junk from the attic, not super high or super low. People could make more money selling on ebay than by taking it to the local used junk market. Others were selling crafts (no Etsy) and a lot of people sold used electronics, used cool toys, and there was almost nothing brand new on Ebay.

A friend told me about it back then and I told my boss at the time that I thought it would be big. I started making handmade Buddhist malas (prayer beads) with all kinds of neat glass, gemstone and basic wood beads. They cost me about 30 minutes, a lot of fun and $3-5 to make and I sold them for thirty bucks. I sold enough to make good spending extra spending money, but not enough to make it big. i wish I had seen the potential when I had that newbie Ebay account with a few hundred reviews on it!

My boss believed me more than I believed myself, and she bought stock when they went public. She made enough to pay off her house. Sigh… What’s your Old Ebay story? (No self promotion for current Ebay stuff or ilnks here - this is a fun thread, not an ad thread.)


My eBay story - I lost my job at IBM. So I didn’t know what to do. But what I had were literally thousands of books, being a voracious book reader since I was a child. I had earlier bought some of the books on eBay, and I thought why not become an eBay seller and sell my books - at least I could recover some of my investment made on them - which ran into thousands of dollars. So I opened a store on eBay and sold my used books. I was able to get rid of 80% of my collection, then bought more used books, cleaned them up and sold more.

Online shopping was just about taking off in India - this was from 2012 to 2014, so I made good money, but it was not a serious business. My expenses were too high - packing, shipping, making sure the product reached the buyer. Once I discovered I could make money by writing articles and blog posts for people on Fiverr, I got rid of my eBay business. Now, Fiverr, trust me, is serious money, at least by Indian standards.

My problem with eBay - I made money in Indian rupees, sold to the Indian market. So there was a limit on how much I could earn, no matter how many sales I was able to get. On Fiverr, I earn in USD, sell to the international market. That’s a big difference. [Right now 1 USD = 64.72 rupees]


Unfortunately I don’t have any old ebay stories I can share with you… but I do shop a lot on ebay, mostly to get some materials for my crafts to sell at conventions and such; chains, beads, rhinestones, stuff like that.

BTW I once bought a beautiful antique paste brooch on ebay, I wore to work all the time…
and one day it came off my shirt without me noticing it. sob sob sob…

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Shipping was a killer for me too. I think I could have done well on Ebay if I had really understood it’s future and known how to get around the problems, but I just didn’t see it. For me it was in 2003 or 2004. The internet was very well established, but digital goods were still not that popular. Sites were working through all the issues associated with selling digital goods.

I didn’t start selling digital content until years later when a company called Associated Content offered $3-10 apiece for short articles and I started to sell a few. (Yahoo bought that site later so they could shut it down to make their own version.) I did OK on Associated Content but it just didn’t last long enough. Fiverr was my second place to make some reasonable money on digital content and Amazon was third.

So far my earnings from print magazines and newspapers still outweigh my lifetime earnings in digital content, but I think I will see that number finally flip in 2018 sometime. I had a “real job” as well until just a few years ago, though.

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I’m very sorry for your loss! I have to tell you that at first I read that as “until one day my shirt came off”… :smiley:

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THAT’S where I know you from!
Heh… remember the Millionaire thing? God back when it started it was like $20-$25 a thing instead of the $2-$3 and then page views, ugh. LOL I’m so relieved I can stop wondering why your profile looked familiar, lol.

:stuck_out_tongue: That’s funny! My profile probably did look similar except that my experience years were a lot shorter! I didn’t use a real photo on AC and I used a specific pseudonym (I bet your memory isn’t good enough to remember it) but the actual profile was all about the same as here.

You must have started before I did. When I started it wasn’t nearly that much, though I did get $8 each pretty often. Then they went to that new thing where most people didn’t get paid up front, but they got a few cents in royalties for pageviews. I actually made more money when they switched to that. I don’t think that was long before Yahoo nabbed and murdered them.

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HAHAHAHAHA nope, my shirt stayed on my body!!! :smile: :smile:
The brooch was on the shirt collar, and dang, it broke my heart. I’ve seen similar brooches on ebay and I know I can go ahead and buy one, but I refuse to do so.
I’m just foolishly thinking that one day that brooch will soooomehow find its way back to me.
Or someone is randomly gonna give a similar brooch as a gift!! :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

Maybe I should write an early letter to santa…:christmas_tree:

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Some years ago, I bought a wonderful (judging from the pics) antique shelf for music sheets.
It was a really big investment for me, I was so excited when I opened the big parcel … only to see the pretty thing dashed to shivers.
Well not exactly that, but seriously damaged, the packing had been more than careless. :crying_cat_face:
I made photos and sent them to the seller, to maybe at least get a bit of the money back, because it was definitely the fault of whoever had stuck the delicate furniture into the parcel almost just like that, with a handful of newspaper sheets and some old clothes, everything rumbling around in the parcel very freely, but never got a reply.

Judging from the ‘never got a reply’ part, I guessed it might have been as well that the seller had the photos of the piece from when it still had been intact, but it had gotten damaged since and already been like that when s/he stuck it in the parcel.

I had it repaired then, which cost more than the piece itself. Since then, I haven’t bought anything on ebay anymore.

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eBay has something called Seller Guarantee…you should have contacted the eBay Trust and Safety - they would penalize the seller and give your money back. It works in the same manner as Fiverr - money goes into an escrow account held by eBay for 14 days, seller gets the money only if there is no complaint registered, or if the buyer gives a feedback. [This is true for eBay India, eBay in other countries may have different policies.]

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Yes, I know, thanks :slight_smile: but I had hoped I could settle it with the seller, and after they never replied, I thought they’d most probably tell them that I must have damaged it to get my money back and have the shelf, and my photos weren´t exactly a real proof of anything, I later learned that I should have insisted on the guy bringing the parcel to stay a moment, then I could have opened it in his presence.
I was young anyway and didn´t feel like dealing with all that, I would do that now probably, and if only to save the next person from such a seller perhaps.
I still have a nice piece of furniture, even if a bit more costly than I had thought and I don´t buy on ebay anymore which is good, because I don´t really need anything I´d buy on ebay, so it´s all good. :wink:


5 posts were merged into an existing topic: What can you buy with one gig in your country? (Around The Globe Discussion)

Is the end for ebay? I would like to open an acount with ebay. But for venezuelan people is very difficult about the exchange control. But to open an etsy account is very easy! What sale more?

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Guys your side conversation is really Off Topic and has nothing to do with Ebay’s Old Days.

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I saw the potential in it too. I actually went to NY and took a class on selling on ebay when it was still small enough to make some money. I had a studio set up in the basement (I was still in college and living at home) with lighting and a white backround. I sold lots of stuff around the house. I even went to the dollar store and sold some things from there for 5 times their value. I tried to turn that into something more, but the internet was not what it is now. I had signed up for dropshipping companies, had a business liscence, was doing keyword research, and wanted to make it something. But, never really got past the part of finding something to sell. I was in college, so I naturally moved on from ebay. I am glad I did. I like Fiverr better.