(My eBay shop “majorxu” page above, 08-19-2023)
This would be my 18th year since I started to sell on eBay in the year 2005. I recall the year because that’s the year one of my nieces was born, and I visited her when she was a newborn in the southwest USA. It’s one of the few times I got to hold a newborn baby. At that time I was single and I didn’t have much chance to hold a baby. Later on, I had more chances to hold babies because my wife and I have 2 girls. I recall in late 2014, I put my baby girl (our 2nd) on my left shoulder, while I typed on my computer (laptop) working. Those are some of the highlights of my life for sure.
Back to selling on eBay topic. I understand nowadays some people would say eBay is slowly dying (here is an article I recently came across). But back in the day, 20 years ago, I recall Dick Cheney (the W’s VP), touted that “Four hundred thousand people make some money trading on eBay.” Note he gave that remark in the presidential re-election season of 2004: the economy then was not very good including the employment, note in year 2003 the US invade Iraq. I think eBay’s position then is like today’s Etsy, Uber / Lyft, and Doordash combined in terms of the number of freelance jobs being created. I know we call it gig economy now, a much fancier word.
Recently I came across James Sinclair’s YouTube video and he probably mentioned that “selling on eBay” is a hard business. I tend to agree.
Back in the days
I recall in those early days, I would buy and sell, monitors, digital camcorders, digital cameras, etc from websites such as dell.com, and using some discount codes. Then sell them on eBay. I sold quite a few. Again if you look at my eBay profile, I sold 215 items in all time. I believe most of the sales were done between the years between 2005 and 2007. I don’t think I made a meaningful profit from those (this again sorta confirms Jame’s assertion above). Once I had a complaint filed against me because the item got lost from the US to either Afghanistan or Iraq, which I have zero control. Note the USPS insurance also only covers shipping inside the US. I know this sucks but this is just life, and I think that’s probably another reason I decided to not continue selling on eBay, in addition to low or no profit, as well as in the next few years, iPhone and other smartphones got more popular and gradually replaced many camcorders and digital cameras (24 things that the mobile phone has replaced). I still remember the excitement I had when I got my 1st blackberry, and back in 2009 my coworker really hoped for the iPhone (note it was the early days of iPhone, and it was not available as the company device yet, but it was coming soon).
Different purpose: declutter
But nowadays, my main goal is to sell unused stuff, from a “reduce, reuse, recycle” point of view (refer to the picture at the way bottom to say the point). One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. That’s also why I don’t care much about profitability etc. of all this. It’s not my main goal. I know from time to time I really need to be more organized and reduce the things I keep at home. Until recently I watch Holy Schmidt’s video on the topic, I was not serious enough though. That day I got a bit unhappy about my own mess or the not-well-organization of my desk. So I decided to do a little cleanup. During that, I found out that I forgot to open the mail and quite a few checks from the dental insurance company. Some checks are over one year old and I can no longer deposit them 🙁
Schmidt’s example in his video is more extreme, per se. But I can see I am coming down this path if I don’t clean up the garage, the basement, and other rooms at home quickly. So there is my incentive. I don’t think it’s realistic to sell everything on eBay. I would probably give some large items away, or throw some away eventually.
Last but not least, something left an impression, is this YouTube TedX video, To be different is good, by Jon Jandai. I think I have a lot to chew on about the video in terms of living a simple life.