Spacefem (spacefem) wrote,

smurfs and auctioning

marc inherited all these 80s character glasses, the kind you get from pizza hut or whatever, some time ago, and I told him that I thought they should be ebayed. So now I'm moving the stuff, because isn't marriage about being able to ebay your spouse's old crap?

I actually think I'm super good at ebay... I was nervous about the glasses. I started last week with a set of six smurfs glasses dated 1982 or 1983. Before I listed them, I did some searches and found out that NOBODY BUYS THIS CRAP. I can't blame them, I certainly wouldn't want to buy them. What would I need more glasses for? I don't even like the smurfs. So there are listings all over ebay, and they all close with 0 or 1 bid. just great.

I put collectible glasses of all sorts in the "products for stupid people" category... I think a lot of people buy them because of the word "collectible", but when the person creating an item is the one who labels it that, I don't see how they get away with it. People are told that things are limited edition, or individually numbered, or whatever... but the fact is that if it's not that cool, people aren't going to want it, no matter how collectible it is. And usually when I surf ebay I find out I'm right. Go look and see what beanie babies are going for now. People list them for $20 or more but they get NO BIDS, because an item isn't necessarily worth the price listed in the Big Beanie Book, it's worth whatever people want to pay for it.

when I was in high school and got beanie babies, I immediately cut the tags off just to spite the machine. I don't believe in storing something in an air-lock safe just because somebody said it could be worth something someday. I don't store junk that "might" be worth something. I either own it because I like it, in which case it doesn't need a tag, or I get rid of it in the easiest or most profitable way I can find.

So my ebay principles are as follows: Act like you want to get rid of this crap, not like you want to make money. Start bidding at next to nothing. Offer cheap or free shipping... you're not best buy, you're a dork in your living room and everybody knows it, you cannot charge "handling". Think of it this way: people don't look at an item that's $1 + $12 shipping and view it as a $1 item, they view it as a $13 item. Maybe they would pay you $13, if they got into bidding. But they won't get into bidding, because $13 is your opening price. Less people bidding = a lot less money.

I started my glasses at $2, $5 shipping.... and got 16 BIDS! Nobody's vintage smurf glasses get 16 bids! I'm telling you people, it's all about getting the fever started... set a low opener, let people get into it, let them have fun. Today I am the proud owner of $23.51. I'm going to buy marc some pizza to celebrate and show him he did the right thing by telling me to do whatever I wanted with the his stuff.

And I don't know who bought my smurfs glasses but I really like to think they did it because they love the smurfs, think the glasses are cool, think they're the right size for mojitos, whatever, not because they're "collectible" or "vintage" or "limited edition"... because I really don't think any of that makes them worth anything, standing alone.
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