There are people who make an absolute fortune selling stuff on eBay. And there are tradesmen, too, whose lives have been completely turned around by the commercial opportunities there afforded.
Witness the died-in-the-wool family butcher I saw on TV one night, scion of generations of family butchers – features florid as a Man United shirt, face broad as a side of beef – who had recently disposed of a chain of butcher’s shops in favour of working from home, shifting beef, pork and mutton by the ton via the internet.
Meanwhile, there’s a local guy who sells antique furniture for a living. Long-gone are his (rent-draining) shop premises since he’s been trading via the internet – gone, too, are the super-sized (gas-guzzling) estate car and the heavy (hernia-inducing) lifting of yesteryear. Since opening his e-Bay account the heaviest thing the guy has needed to lift is a telephone handset.
And his wallet.
Because every one of his business transactions bar none is conducted via the internet.
He’ll locate an item (or advertise it), then commission a local carrier to collect that item (or deliver it), and to pick up any payment that’s due to him, too.
He does bomb in the United States, would you believe it?
Not that he needs to travel thereto. Because, by prior arrangement his carrier will simply deliver items of interest to major show grounds in the south of England where the deal is done.
Meanwhile, another local couple – long-retired to St Mawgan Porth, Cornwall: sea views, milder weather, demanding Papillon terrier – ended up with a stack of Man United programmes due to a family bereavement. Every last one of these was sold on eBay – some in batches, some singly. Then with the proceeds the vendors treated themselves to a top of the range Ford Mondeo saloon.
Not bad if you don’t mind shelling out for fuel.
Which I do, it just so happens – which is why I love the Ford Focus 1.8 diesel estate I’ve now driven two models of. Which is the reason why I recommended such to my son and daughter-in-law, who nowadays have two bread-snatchers to run about – Alex (age 3) and Will (12 months). Put them on to a 2 litre version of the beast, locally bought and a good example of the model. Advertised their old car on eBay.
Oh dear. eBay sales and I do not mix.
Get this! Their Ford Focus 2.0 saloon in good condition, on which everything worked – YIPPEE! Sold for £495. Whereupon . . . The buyer (eBay calls them “winner”) must have changed his mind. Because the only subsequent e-mail I would receive from the guy invented an argument between us.
“I note you have declined to supply your home address so I can only assume you no longer want to sell this car. So I don’t want to buy it and will complain to eBay.”
You ever hear the like?
My complaint to eBay was not heeded by the inarticulate Ying-Tong-Tiddley-Aye-Po rep on the end of eBay’s telephone receiver – and I lost £70-odd in advertising fees.
Had one more attempt at selling, advertising half a dozen brand-new pine interior doors for sale.
RESULT – TWO guys claimed to have “won” the item, both Scousers and both dyslexic. (Because they’d made their own pricing up). Whereupon eBay very kindly permitted them to libel me on site.
Thank you, eBay sales.
Naturally, I no longer sell on eBay.
Not that I ever did!
(30 July 2014)
See Amazon Kindle books recently published by Bill Keeth: Every Street in Manchester, Manchester 9, Write It Self-Publish It Sell It, Boost Your Pocket Money and Pension