My experience selling on the auction giant eBay has been less than prosperous. About two years ago, in another of my genius ideas regarding how to get rich on the Internet (and elsewhere), I decided that I would begin selling old things around the house, buying items at yard sales, and put it all together with a fantastic gimmick to make a million dollars (more or less). The gimmick I had. I would become the "Masked Merchant". I would include a photograph of myself, my head encased in a bedsheet, holding the item up for bidding.
As displayed in the photograph, I chose an old Nintendo 64 game, Starfox, as my first item for sale. I figured it wouldn't bring much because A) Nintendo 64 games are not in particularly high demand these days and B) Starfox sucks. But it would be a decent learning experience, and I felt confident that my Masked Merchant gimmick would see me net a profit of at least $10. On this score, I was proven horrendously wrong. My Starfox 64 game sold for the whopping price of .01 after 7 long days of bidding. I had built shipping into the cost, so I wouldn't be out any money, but it wasn't exactly worth my time to sell my estate for a penny at a time.
Believing the fault lied in the merchandise, I made it a point to get up early the following Saturday and make the rounds of the local yard sales. Surely it was only a matter of finding some hidden gems, some precious artifact being sold for a dollar by a clueless housewife, to send me from (head) rags to riches. When I happened upon some cheap Beanie Babies, I knew I had hit the jackpot. I knew about these things. People were crazy about these things! I would make a fortune, and retire off the interest my millions made in a secure bank account. Combined with my masked merchant gimmick, I would not only make a crapton of money, I would become an instant Internet celebrity. I could see it now: spots on the Today Show with Matt Lauer, my own column in Consumer Reports, and a permanent place commenting on the week's stories on VH1's Best Week Ever.
What I failed to realize was that the Beanie Baby fad had long since come and gone. I had paid approximately $3 for each of the Beanie Babies, and failed to recoup this investment on eBay. The Today Show did not call. I decided that eBay was not my path to living the good life. The dream is not over, though. I know some fool out there is selling a mint condition Furby, unaware of its true value. I just have to wait. . .and strike at the right time.