Wednesday, December 3, 2014

You snooze, you lose

I woke up to this message from a potential Ebay customer:
Would you do a "best offer" on this and let me pay you $50 now? That's all I can spend. Please let me know. Thanks!  Clint :)
Clint was referring to my Mattel Electronics Vintage 1977 Football Game with instructions that I had listed last week for $60.  I decided that it was too early in the morning (4:30 a.m. Eastern time) to quibble over $10, so I changed the Buy It Now price to $50, and sent Clint an email.
Within minutes, the game sold, and I figured Clint had been waiting by his computer for my answer and subsequent price reduction.  I happily packed the game, and took it to the post office on the way to work this morning.
I loved this game as a teen
Three hours later, I received this message from Clint:
Well I guess literally if ya snooze ya lose. I went on ebay first thing this morning to see if you messaged me yet and saw that eBay item number 301414143159 had been sold. If the buyer of that Electronic football game flakes out on paying, please let me know. I'll pay promptly. Thanks!  :)
I was momentarily confused, and logged on to Ebay to see just who bought the game.  Apparently, Jennifer from California was up either real late or real early (1:30 a.m.), depending on your point of view, and grabbed the vintage toy, and I didn’t notice the difference in names when I printed the postage.
Sorry, Clint.
I had the exact same hand-held game in the late ‘70s, and while it’s relatively common to see them at yard sales, it’s rare to find both the original box and the instructions.  Even without a box, these games sell for decent money, so always pick them up.
Speaking of vintage, I write occasionally about my love of old technology.  I grabbed this slide ruler at an estate sale earlier this year for $1, and it finally sold.  I tried one time to figure out how to use it, but decided that using a calculator was less trouble.
I still can't use a slide ruler
I also sold two new in package Betamax videocassettes.  If you are old like me, you will remember the format war between VHS and Beta in the 1980s, which was won by VHS.  Even though the last Sony Betamax was produced in 2002, apparently someone still needs tapes.

Someone still wants Beta tapes
Another BOLO that I run into occasionally is a Minnie Mouse cake pan from Wilton. I found this one buried in a pile of other less valuable cake pans at a recent church sale.  I found Mickey, which doesn’t sell for quite as much, and I kept digging until I found Minnie.
Minnie is still hot stuff
Sales have definitely picked up, and I’ve begun spending most of my evening and early morning hours packing items, not that I am complaining.  Given that mailing deadlines are fast approaching, I’ve begun using Priority Mail for most items, even if it means losing a buck or two on the transaction.
After all, there are only three weeks before Christmas.


  1. Now they have that feature in ebay messaging where you can send an offer to a buyer. You probably could have done that, but then, of course, it wouldn't be a BIN with immediate payment. That's pretty odd that someone was up at that hour and snatched it up before your inquiring buyer could. Poor guy.

  2. That happened to me once too, and I had changed the listing to free shipping because the buyer was buying something else and I was combining shipping. Someone else quickly bought it and I was stuck:/ ...But yes that best offer through messaging is great.. I use that all the time now instead. I have also created a listing combining things and put a picture of my cat and said "for USERNAME only" - and that worked well too. Thanks for the bolo on the minnie mouse pan, I see pans all the time but they are never worth anything, now I'll look out for that one!

  3. I didn't know about the best offer through messaging, so thanks for the info.

  4. Replies
    1. The booths are making rent plus a little more each month. I'm not sure we are actually making any money once cost of inventory and labor are figured in, but it's a learning experience that we are enjoying.