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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.


TODAYS NEWS BY OFFICEJAX FREE ADVERTISING AND AD EXCHANGE SOLUTIONSMORE RESOURCES updated Mon. October / 22 / 2018

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Auction Watch – Restomod 1957 Bel-Air Ragtop Brings Almost $150K - Chevy Hardcore (blog)

Chevy Hardcore (blog)

Auction Watch – Restomod 1957 Bel-Air Ragtop Brings Almost $150K
Chevy Hardcore (blog)
Whether you like auctions or not, they're a good finger-on-the-pulse barometer of what hot rods, restomods, and kustoms are selling for. Each week, our “Auction Watch” column here at Rod Authority brings you some of the coolest cars and trucks offered ...


Yale Halfback's 1937 Heisman Trophy Drives To $312000 At Heritage Auctions - Antiques and the Arts Online

Antiques and the Arts Online

Yale Halfback's 1937 Heisman Trophy Drives To $312000 At Heritage Auctions
Antiques and the Arts Online
DALLAS — Numerous bidders made a run at the 1937 Heisman Memorial Trophy presented to Yale University halfback Clint Frank to drive its final price to $312,000, with buyer's premium, claiming top-lot honors in Heritage Auctions' Fall Sports ...


Roberto Clemente Game-Worn Jersey, World Series Trophy Up For Auction - CBS Pittsburgh

CBS Pittsburgh

Roberto Clemente Game-Worn Jersey, World Series Trophy Up For Auction
CBS Pittsburgh
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — One of Roberto Clemente's game-used jerseys and a World Series trophy awarded to a Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher are both up for auction. Clemente's 1971-72 home jersey is one of a number of items available from Robert Edward ...


Stolen and Seized Items from Municipalities and Police Departments to be Auctioned Off through PropertyRoom.com - PR Web (press release)

Stolen and Seized Items from Municipalities and Police Departments to be Auctioned Off through PropertyRoom.com
PR Web (press release)
From July through June, September, ten (10) Municipalities and Police Departments chose to partner with PropertyRoom.com to auction off their unclaimed stolen, seized or surplus assets and goods. PropertyRoom.com is an online auction site offering “$1 ...


Need a Porsche at bargain-basement prices? Saturday's state auction has you covered - WTOL

WTOL

Need a Porsche at bargain-basement prices? Saturday's state auction has you covered
WTOL
All vehicles must be paid for in full the day of the auction. Cash, credit and debit cards (Discover, MasterCard and Visa) are accepted. There is a 3 percent service fee on all credit and debit card transactions. Temporary tags are no longer available ...


Morphy's To Auction Wyatt Earp's Gun, Chief Rain-In-The-Face's Winchester Oct. 30 - AmmoLand Shooting Sports News

AmmoLand Shooting Sports News

Morphy's To Auction Wyatt Earp's Gun, Chief Rain-In-The-Face's Winchester Oct. 30
AmmoLand Shooting Sports News
Colt single-action Army revolver that belonged to legendary sheriff Wyatt Earp in the 1890s, extensive Earp family lineage and documentation. Est. $75,000-$100,000. DENVER, Pa. – -(AmmoLand.com)- While Morphy Auctions strives to make each of its sales ...

and more »

Oil study attributed to Thomas Gainsborough (Br., 1727-1788) will headline Woodshed's Nov. 1st auction - ArtfixDaily

ArtfixDaily

Oil study attributed to Thomas Gainsborough (Br., 1727-1788) will headline Woodshed's Nov. 1st auction
ArtfixDaily
The auction will be held on Thursday, November 1st, online and live in the 500 Gallery, at 475 Franklin Village Drive in Franklin. Live bidding will begin promptly at 5:30 pm Eastern time. People can register and bid now, at www.woodshedartauctions.com.


Over a Half a Million Dollars Raised to Benefit Tilly's Life Center - Business Wire (press release)

Business Wire (press release)

Over a Half a Million Dollars Raised to Benefit Tilly's Life Center
Business Wire (press release)
Sponsors, supporters and friends of TLC gathered for an evening of dancing, drinks, family style gourmet food, music, live and silent auctions accompanied by a TLC graduate's captivating story of forgiveness. Their overwhelming support resulted in ...

and more »

Yield curve flattens before auctions - Business Recorder

Business Recorder

Yield curve flattens before auctions
Business Recorder
NEW YORK: The US Treasury yield curve flattened to its lowest level in more than two weeks on Monday before the Treasury Department is due to sell $108 billion in new short- and intermediate-dated debt this week. The debt sales will include $38 billion ...

and more »

November Basrah Light Cargo Sold At OSP +$0.20: Dubai Mercantile Exchange Auctions - Exchange News Direct

November Basrah Light Cargo Sold At OSP +$0.20: Dubai Mercantile Exchange Auctions
Exchange News Direct
Iraq's National Oil Company SOMO Monday sold a 2-million barrel cargo of Basrah Light via DME Auctions, achieving a premium of $0.20 per barrel over the November Basrah Light Official Selling Price (OSP). SOMO increased its Basrah Light OSPs for ...

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