E is for:
I mentioned in yesterday’s post that I have been selling my clutter on eBay to bring in some extra cash and while I was doing it I noticed that I joined eBay in 2000. Eleven years ago – I was a bit taken aback by this as I still remember the very first thing I bought and was looking at it just the other day.
The first thing I bought on eBay was a set of commemorative prints, featuring Cecil Beaton’s sketches of Audrey Hepburn’s costumes for My Fair Lady. I bought it from a lady in America (paying IN CASH) and I loved it.
I’d only just started working in my first ‘proper’ job and was shown eBay by someone I worked with and I was amazed that the types of things I liked from movies and TV were available to buy without me having to go anywhere – I’d only ever been to Forbidden Planet and memorabilia fairs before and they were generally expensive and a bit too ‘sci-fi’ for my tastes.
Back in those days (so long ago…) I primarily dealt with people in the USA and as I said, it was totally safe to send cash – I’d never heard of PayPal at the point and I’m not sure whether it existed or not. I used to go down to Thomas Cook and change up the correct amount into US Dollars and send them off. I never got ripped off and my items always duly arrived. I also dabbled in selling things back then, mostly movie posters and postcards and, again, accepted cash for them – I trundled back to Thomas Cook and was changing piles of about $50 at a time back into sterling, although towards the end of my first bout of selling it did become noticeable that people were less willing to trade in cash.
I didn’t sell anything else until recently, but I did continue to buy things (hence some of my trouble with clutter!). My main areas of interest are James Bond stuff and the obscure movies I like that no-one else had heard of, like The Slipper and the Rose, The Cutting Edge or Dancin’ thru the Dark, and only today I received a Japanese cinema flyer for Dancin thru the Dark in absolute mint condition – I am unreasonably happy about this!
I have recently though started looking at eBay for things for my home like art and furniture – trying to get into the Kirstie Allsopp spirit a bit – and I’ve been helped by a site I saw mentioned on the Frugal Family blog, called Local Bargain Finder. The site lets you search eBay for items that are near to your postcode and that have a ‘pick up only’ specification on them. I’ve not explored it in all categories, but have got some bargains in the art category and have a couple of bids in on some other things.
I know eBay does get a lot of stick for how it treats sellers sometimes, but I like it and have – so far – been lucky as both a buyer and a seller, but I’m not generally selling or looking for high value, technical items, but rather the quirky little things that generally have no purpose, except if I win the lottery and can start a museum (that only I would visit cos the items in it would be too obscure!).
If you’ve never had a go at eBay, either as a seller or a buyer then you should – it’s very easy to get started getting rid of any old clutter you have and something you have and think is worth little might be worth a lot. Obviously though seller fees do apply. I’ll leave you with this: I was helping my Nan do some clearing out as she said I could sell some things on eBay for her. She set aside an old cosmetics compact on the ‘chuck out’ pile, but I saved it and listed it for 99p. It sold for £31.