Now That’s a Good Price

For a while I sold lots of stuff on eBay. It was fun to see what I could get for things I no longer wanted. Some of them I found to be useless and they sold anyway. One man’s junk is another’s treasure and all that. I had fun trying to figure out just how to sell stuff. What starting bid price made sense? Should I offer free shipping? How many pictures did I need to include? What was important to include in the description?

I learned that two things sell items the most often: offer a puny staring bid and offer free shipping. This is not always easy to do. I sometimes didn’t care what something sold for; I wanted to get rid of it and get something for it. But other times I couldn’t bear to get a couple bucks for something that was worth much more. Even so, that low price seems too much to resist for some people, or so it seems. If the bid price is too high, it may not sell at all. If the shipping price is too high, it may not sell. So even though it seems crazy to offer something for a low price, it typically pays off.

I had one bad experience where I actually lost money by selling something on eBay. I don’t remember what it was–some item of baby clothing or a cassette tape or who knows what. It sold for $1.99 and I had offered a flat rate for shipping, another couple bucks. The buyer, however, had an APO box. I had never mailed anything to an APO box before and I did not realize that, because of the razor wire and guard dogs that secure them or something, it costs way more to mail to an APO box than your standard address. I think I paid $14 to mail some small item. That hurt.

Today, after a gap of over a year, I decided to sell a printer we got a while ago but never opened. We got a free one by accident–they shipped us two when we only ordered one and then told us just to keep it. I did a few minutes of research and then posted it for sale with a 10-day auction. When you sell an item on eBay, if you are not familiar with the process, they try to be helpful. They offered a stock photo of the printer so I didn’t have to take one myself. And they also offered this tip about choosing a starting bid, copied and pasted verbatim:

Items like yours that sold successfully have an average starting price of $1,217.00 and an average sold price of $4,943.00.

Now I can’t say I know that much about computer printers. I mean, I hear they may have rare earth elements in them, maybe even some gold. But $1,217? Is eBay trying to waste my time here or what? I can’t deny that getting close to $5,000 for an item I got for free would be a grand thing, but my guess is that this fantasy is going to hang out with Alice down the rabbit hole for, well, forever.  I’m hoping I can get 50 bucks for this thing. I probably couldn’t get 100 times that price if I tried to sell it to the military.

Here is the listing if you are looking for a good printer (seriously, we use the same one and it is a gem). Feel free to offer the low price of $1,217. Do that and I will ship it overnight at no extra charge.

 

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Snow All Day

We got the call yesterday afternoon. School would be closed. Work was closed. We weren’t going anywhere. And we stuck to that. And it snowed all day. OK, it did stop for a brief time, maybe an hour, but otherwise it fell and fell. It falls still. The stuff is deep. Typically we get the “January thaw,” a period of warmish weather above freezing. That is when the basement floods and the snow turns to slush and all the dirt starts to show. But not this year. It stayed cold and we got lots snow.

We kept the fire going in the woodstove and cozied up. I made pancakes for breakfast and zucchini bread for the afternoon. I took the failing produce in the refrigerator and made some soup stock. I made homemade macaroni and cheese for dinner. I kept the house warm by cooking.

We skied in the field and sledded on the hill and dug tunnels. We made roads for toy trucks and fell backward into the poof. We had a good time, outside and inside. My gauge for the depth of snow is the snowman my son and I made recently. Here is how it played out:

The Benchmark: Four Days Ago, Just Born

1:19 PM: Snowing Like Stink

4:20 PM: Still More Snow

5:32 PM: Snowing Like Stink Again

And it is forecast to snow all night. Sleep tight, Snowman!

Update 2/3:

8:11 Next Morning: Good Thing He Has That Pipe

Update 2/5: More snow is forecast for today, but our snowman, in the meantime, has some sun to take in:

February 5, 8:22 AM: Melting Has Begun But More Snow Coming

Update 2/6: Lots of snow last night again–snowman buried after I found the hat blown into the trees:

February 6, 8:06 AM: Put Your Hands in the Air...