Monday, December 14, 2009

The gentle art of selling crap

I'm not very good at bargaining. In fact I really suck at it.

Here's me bargaining for a jacket a few years ago:

Me: "Yeah hi, how much is that jacket?"

Market Stall Shopkeep: "That one? $140."

[Me to friend: "Shit shit, that's heaps. Should I try to get him down?"]

Me to Market Stall Shopkeep: "Will you take $135?"

Market Stall Shopkeep: "Sure, ok."

[Me to friend: "Yes!"]

It's probably fair to say no government would want me working on their hostage negotiation team.

But while it's a little disappointing to realise the extent of my lack of bargaining skills, this knowledge has allowed me recently to take control of the buyer-seller relationship, to turn the tide on exchange, to grab capitalism by its hairy balls.

That's right, my new life goal is to become an eBay Super Seller. Selling, I see now, is the side you want to be on.

So I've created a naff eBay user ID, written some extra naff copy (including the lines: "With all the features a computer-desk-needer needs" and "Go on, take it home; you know you want to"), and what ho! I've made a sale. Here's how my auction went:

6d 23h 17m: $0.99 listing price, no bids

1d 10h 42m: $0.99 listing price, no bids

7 h 23m: $1.25, 1 bid

33s: $1.50, 2 bids

8s: $2.25, 3 bids

0s: $5.50, 4 bids and sold.

Extraordinary. What a ride. So minus the listing costs ($2.13) I'm $3.37 ahead AND someone is going to come and take my junk away. You couldn't pay for this kind of satisfaction.


Ramon Insertnamehere said...

What on earth were you selling Kettle, used socks?

Kettle said...

No, Ramon! Would you believe a computer desk? Clearly there's no money to be had in the trade of crappy second-hand Ikea desks (since my write-up made it sound so appealing). And I was so sure it would be a winner, what with its laminated wood surfaces and all.

Any suggestions for things to sell welcome.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...


They don't have to be yours, you know.

Veronica Darling... said...

There's profit to be made on ebay... not much of a profit but a profit nonetheless!

Kettle said...

Ha ha! And here I was harvesting my own organs like a chump when there's a whole smorgasbord sleeping around me every night.

Kettle said...

That's good to hear, Veronica. I like the idea of earning money (small amounts or otherwise) from eBay. Now I'm starting to wish I hadn't chosen such a naff user ID; I should have thought longer term and bigger scale!

Mad Cat Lady said...

this is somewhat dampening news - i was imagining myself hocking off all my useless debris via ebay for thousands of dollars - computer desks aren't sexy though - so perhaps it is still possible that small dragon statues I bought when I was 15 will take somebody foolish's fancy?

What are you planning on ebaying next?

and also ... do you know anybody who would make a stuffed toy version of nick cave? I really think I should send dan kelly a soft toy nick cave

the projectivist said...

have you thought about taking up crochet? you could crochet whilst you watch that horrible Rove show.

is it just me, or are those people taking over the telly? it's either packed full of TheRoveCast or TheStupidMorningShow People. that awful Kochie and Mel team. jesusgod they're on everything.

so my vote is crochet voodoo dolls of any or all of the above, complete with sharp pins.

Kettle said...

Oh no, MCL! Don't let your enthusiasm be dampened. When the chappy picked up the desk tonight he gave me $6 and said "keep the change." That extra 50c is a 9.09% increase on the sale price which makes it all worthwhile... ahahahaha!

No, you're right to be dampened. I'm not going to make my fortune, am I? I do have some magnetic travel games to get rid of but I suspect they may suffer the same fate as the crappy Ikea desk price-wise.

I'm possibly a sandwich short of a picnic, but what's the connection between Nicko C and Dan Kelly? There must be a Nick Cave doll out there already, or maybe an action figure?

And Ms P! Lovely to hear from you, although it sounds like you might have had a rough day, especially with Mel and Kochie types? I think your crochet voodoo doll idea is magnificent and I shall get started straight away. What a delightful pre-Christmas torture, eh.

Mad Cat Lady said...

i tried to google an action figure and got no where -sigh- ever since i saw cliff richard in concert and he had to stop half way through to ask women to stop leaving flowers and toys on the side of the stage because it was a trip hazard and to wait until the end, I've struggled with the urge to shower musicians with teddybears etc.

why Nick Cave? Well, there was a throw away line at the end of the latest installment where mired in self doubt and depression he asks himself 'what would nick cave do?'

Would not a plush soft toy version of nick cave be a lovely gift to give for him to cry into at night?

squib said...

I once sold a Saddle Club VHS video on ebay. I was so astonished when someone bought it

But this reminds me. Funniest thing I've seen recently (via Boing Boing). This unicorn for sale on It's made from a dead lamb

Mad Cat Lady said...

THAT IS SOO AWESOME! If i had lots of money and a housekeeper to dust stuff I would so totally buy that. I want a winged monkey too. With a little hat.

Kettle said...

Oh Squib that unicorn made from dead lamb is truly dreadful! And the high number of exclamation marks in the etsy description makes me worry about the maker's soundness of mind (!!!!!!!).

MCL I'll keep an eye out for that monkey for you in my eBay travels.