I can’t believe it. My colleague and I have been talking a lot about creative ways to market products on eBay. Eveyone has heard of eBay, bought something, sold something, or maybe even been “scammed”. My colleague has been a Gold Power Seller on eBay for some time and recently sent me this ebay completed listing. He recommended that I have all clients do a listing like this every once in a while. Check this out:
I’m selling a bunch of Pokemon cards. Why? Because my kids sneaked them into my shopping cart while at the grocery store and I ended up buying them because I didn’t notice they were there until we got home. How could I have possibly not noticed they were in my cart, you ask? Let me explain.
You havenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t lived until youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve gone grocery shopping with six kids in tow. I would rather swim, covered in bait, through the English Channel, be a contestant on Fear Factor when theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re having pig brains for lunch, or do fourth grade math than to take my six kids to the grocery store. Because I absolutely detest grocery shopping, I tend to put it off as long as possible. There comes a time, however, when youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re peering into your fridge and thinking, Ã¢â‚¬ËœHmmm, what can I make with ketchup, Italian dressing, and half an onion,Ã¢â‚¬â„¢ that you decide you cannot avoid going to the grocery store any longer. Before beginning this most treacherous mission, I gather all the kids together and give them Ã¢â‚¬Å“The LectureÃ¢â‚¬Å“.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“The LectureÃ¢â‚¬Å“ goes like thisÃ¢â‚¬Â¦
MOM: Ã¢â‚¬Å“We have to go to the grocery store.Ã¢â‚¬Â
KIDS: Ã¢â‚¬Å“Whine whine whine whine whine.Ã¢â‚¬Å“
MOM: Ã¢â‚¬Å“Hey, I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t want to go either, but itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s either that or weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re eating cream of onion-ketchup soup and drinking Italian dressing for dinner tonight.Ã¢â‚¬Â
KIDS: Ã¢â‚¬Å“Whine whine whine whine whine.Ã¢â‚¬Å“
MOM: Ã¢â‚¬Å“Now here are the rules: do not ask me for anything, do not poke the packages of meat in the butcher section, do not test the laws of physics and try to take out the bottom can in the pyramid shaped display, do not play baseball with oranges in the produce section, and most importantly, do not try to leave your brother at the store. Again.Ã¢â‚¬Â
OK, the kids have been briefed. Time to go.
Once at the store, we grab not one, but two shopping carts. I wear the baby in a sling and the two little children sit in the carts while I push one cart and my oldest son pushes the other one. My oldest daughter is not allowed to push a cart. Ever. Why? Because the last time I let her push the cart, she smashed into my ankles so many times, my feet had to be amputated by the end of our shopping trip. This is not a good thing. You try running after a toddler with no feet sometime.
At this point, a woman looks at our two carts and asks me, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Are they all yours?Ã¢â‚¬Â I answer good naturedly, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Yep!
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Oh my, you have your hands full.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Yes, I do, but itÃ¢â‚¬Ëœs fun!Ã¢â‚¬Â I say smiling. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve heard all this before. In fact, I hear it every time I go anywhere with my brood.
We begin in the produce section where all these wonderfully, artistically arranged pyramids of fruit stand. There is something so irresistibly appealing about the apple on the bottom of the pile, that a child cannot help but try to touch it. Much like a bug to a zapper, the child is drawn to this piece of fruit. I turn around to the sounds of apples cascading down the display and onto the floor. Like Indiana Jones, there stands my son holding the all-consuming treasure that he just HAD to get and gazing at me with this dumbfounded look as if to say, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Did you see that??? Wow! I never thought that would happen!Ã¢â‚¬Â
I give the offending child an exasperated sigh and say, Ã¢â‚¬Å“DidnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t I tell you, before we left, that I didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t want you taking stuff from the bottom of the pile???Ã¢â‚¬Â
Ã¢â‚¬Å“No. You said that you didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t want us to take a can from the bottom of the pile. You didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t say anything about apples.Ã¢â‚¬Â
With superhuman effort, I resist the urge to send my child to the moon and instead focus on the positive – my child actually listened to me and remembered what I said!!! I make a mental note to be a little more specific the next time I give the kids The Grocery Store Lecture.
A little old man looks at all of us and says, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Are all of those your kids?Ã¢â‚¬Â
Thinking about the apple incident, I reply, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Nope. They just started following me. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve never seen them before in my life.Ã¢â‚¬Â
OK, now onto the bakery section where everything smells so good, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m tempted to fill my cart with cookies and call it a day. Being on a perpetual diet, I try to hurry past the assortment of pies, cakes, breads, and pastries that have my children drooling. At this point the chorus of Ã¢â‚¬Å“Can we getsÃ¢â‚¬Â begins.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Can we get donuts?Ã¢â‚¬Â
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Can we get cupcakes?Ã¢â‚¬Â
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Can we get muffins?Ã¢â‚¬Â
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Can we get pie?Ã¢â‚¬Â
YouÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d think theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d catch on by this point, but no, theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re just getting started.
In the bakery, theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re giving away free samples of coffee cake and of course, my kids all take one. The toddler decides he doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t like it and proceeds to spit it out in my hand. (ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s what moms do. We put our hands in front of our childrenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s mouths so they can spit stuff into them. WeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d rather carry around a handful of chewed up coffee cake, than to have the child spit it out onto the floor. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m not sure why this is, but ask any mom and sheÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll tell you the same.) Of course, thereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s no garbage can around, so I continue shopping one-handed while searching for someplace to dispose of the regurgitated mess in my hand.
In the meat department, a mother with one small baby asks me, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Wow! Are all six yours?Ã¢â‚¬Â
I answer her, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Yes, but IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m thinking of selling a couple of them.Ã¢â‚¬Â
(Still searching for a garbage can at this point.)
Ok, after the meat department, my kidsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ attention spans are spent. TheyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re done shopping at this point, but we arenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t even halfway through the store. This is about the time they like to start having shopping cart races. And who may I thank for teaching them this fun pastime? My seventh Ã¢â‚¬Å“childÃ¢â‚¬Â, also known as my husband. While IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m picking out loaves of bread, the kids are running down the aisle behind the carts in an effort to get us kicked out of the store. I put to stop to that just as my son is about to crash head on into a giant cardboard cut-out of a Keebler elf stacked with packages of cookies.
Ah! Yes! I find a small trash can by the coffee machine in the cereal aisle and finally dump out the squishy contents of my hand. After standing in the cereal aisle for an hour and a half while the kids perused the various cereals, comparing the marshmallow and cheap, plastic toy content of each box, I broke down and let them each pick out a box. At any given time, we have twenty open boxes of cereal in my house.
As this is going on, my toddler is playing Houdini and maneuvering his little body out of the seat belt in an attempt to stand up in the cart. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m amazed the kid made it to his second birthday without suffering a brain damaging head injury. In between trying to flip himself out of the cart, he sucks on the metal bars of the shopping cart. Mmmm, can you say Ã¢â‚¬Å“influenzaÃ¢â‚¬Â?
The shopping trip continues much like this. I break up fights between the kids now and then and stoop down to pick up items that the toddler has flung out of the cart. I desperately try to get everything on my list without adding too many other goodies to the carts.
Somehow I manage to complete my shopping in under four hours and head for the check-outs where my kids start in on a chorus of, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Can we have candy?Ã¢â‚¬Â What evil minded person decided it would be a good idea to put a display of candy in the check-out lanes, right at a childÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s eye level? Obviously someone who has never been shopping with children.
As I unload the carts, I notice many extra items that my kids have sneaked in the carts unbeknownst to me. I remove a box of Twinkies, a package of cupcakes, a bag of candy, and a can of cat food (we donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t even have a cat!). I somehow missed the box of Pokemon cards however and ended up purchasing them unbeknownst to me. As I pay for my purchases, the clerk looks at me, indicates my kids, and asks, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Are they all yours?Ã¢â‚¬Â
Frustrated, exhausted from my trip, sick to my stomach from writing out a check for $289.53, dreading unloading all the groceries and putting them away and tired of hearing that question, I look at the clerk and answer her in my most sarcastic voice, Ã¢â‚¬Å“No. TheyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re not mine. I just go around the neighborhood gathering up kids to take to the grocery store because itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s so much more fun that way.Ã¢â‚¬Â
So, up for auction is an opened (they ripped open the box on the way home from the store) package of Pokemon cards. There are 44 cards total. They’re in perfect condition, as I took them away from the kiddos as soon as we got home from the store. Many of them say “Energy”. I tried carrying them around with me, but they didn’t work. I definitely didn’t have any more energy than usual. One of them is shiny. There are a few creature-like things on many of them. One is called Pupitar. Hee hee hee Pupitar! (Oh no! My kids’ sense of humor is rubbing off on me!) Anyway, I don’t there’s anything special about any of these cards, but I’m very much not an authority on Pokemon cards. I just know that I’m not letting my kids keep these as a reward for their sneakiness.
Shipping is FREE on this item. Insurance is optional, but once I drop the package at the post office, it is no longer my responsibility. For example, if my son decides to pour a bottle of glue into the envelope, or my daughter spills a glass of juice on the package, thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s my responsibility and I will fully refund your money. If, however, I take the envelope to the post office and a disgruntled mail carrier sets fire to it, a pack of wild dogs rip into it, or a mail sorting machine shreds it, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s out of my hands, so you may want to add insurance. I will leave feedback for you as soon as IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve received your payment. I will be happy to combine shipping on multiple items won within three days. This comes from a smoke-free, pet-free, child-filled home. Please ask me any questions before placing your bid. Happy bidding! 🙂
If you’re still reading now, you are definitely on you way to success. Commitment and dedication to read such a long description of a product will pay off for you. What can we learn from this:
- Sometimes a fun story about how you got a simple product can really help it sell. It doesn’t have to be something extravagant, in perfect condition, or even very valuable to you. However, you may find, as this seller did, that a good story about a product can really pay off.
- Include a “Make sure you check this out and forward it to all your friends” type invitation. This is called “viral marketing” and was probably the only way this eBay seller made over $150 on Pokemon Cards. They had tons and tons of views of the listing and many bids, most likely out of courtesy.
Best of luck in your selling on eBay. Let us all know how this crazy idea worked for you.