The Consignment Assignment (Another Man's Treasure?)

Our first (of many? annual? and last? ) Consignment Assignment has come to an end. If you haven't read part one of our saga: Consignment Assignment (One Man's Trash), I am legally obligated to suggest you do so. If you've already met you quota for blogs read for the day, allow me to summarize:

My girlfriend and I each took five bucks and went shopping at Thiftko, a second (at least; possibly third) hand store. The goal was to use that money to find items that would sell for the highest amount on eBay. I listed them last week and seven days later, we have a winner.

Before we begin the coronation, I wanted to take a look a where the auctions stood as of Monday night; approximately one day prior to the auctions' close.

Keep in mind that my items included the Peter Pan doll and the Dragon puppet. My girlfriend's game pieces were the Native American Bear and the Electronic Keep Safe Diary.

With just under twenty-four hours left to bid, not many people had exercised that right. Only the Dragon puppet (my item) had any bids at all. Now, obviously these numbers are not what we were hoping for. We all wanted bidding wars; buyers fighting tooth and nail; taking out second mortgages on their homes to afford the Keep Safe Diary with most of Dannielle's name written on the front. But entering the final day of bidding, it looked like we would be lucky if the items sold, let alone funded a Hawaiian vacation.

All hope wasn't lost, however. Commonly the majority of bidding on eBay will take place in the last few hours (if not seconds) of an auction. Bidding ahead of time doesn't do the potential buyer any favors. Early bidding gives other perspective buyers the time to scrape together more money to trump your current bid. Because it benefits buyers so much to bid at the last possible moment, developers have created programs that allow eBay users to bid at the absolute last opportunity. This practice is known as sniping and sellers hate it. Buyers who lose out to snipers also hate it. The only way to beat an eBay sniper is to place a maximum bid higher than any sniper is willing to pay. Sellers like that.

Views represent how many times your auction has been accessed. It doesn't necessarily indicate unique hits, however, so the same person could have refreshed the Keep Safe Diary page 14 times. He sounds very indecisive. Watchers is a somewhat better indication of potential bidding. In order to watch an auction, you have to be logged into your eBay account and add the auction to your watch list. The intention is that a watcher wants to keep track of the auction to eventually bid on it, but many times people will watch an auction for an item they intend to sell themselves. I do that a lot. Sellers hate that. There really should be separate watch (with intention to bid) and watch (just looking) options.

That's enough stalling. Let's see who took home the gold.

I won!

Although I had some doubts about the Dragon puppet, my initial instincts were correct. The newer item with original tags outperformed the older, used items.

I'm honestly surprised that the Keep Safe diary saw such little action. There was a new, unopened version of the same toy listed at $14 that had no bids, so I wasn't expecting much, but I thought for 99 cents, that someone would take a chance. We did, after all.

Listing the Native American Bear proved to be the biggest challenge. The bear is dressed as an Indian squaw, so naturally I wanted to list her under the Native American category. But not so fast. Ebay further categorizes Native American items into at least 6 sub-categories. Even furthermore, once you have selected the category that best suits your item, you then have to choose a tribe and be able to provide legal documentation that your item is authentic.

I bought the bear at Thriftko. The only paper he came with was the receipt. I had to settle on Native American items: non-Native American items for fear of the auction getting shut down and ruining the entire game. Not that it mattered, considering the bear generated squadoosh in terms of bids.

In conclusion, we spent less than $5 and made almost $7.50. Not bad for a week's work. Also, if anyone wants a bear or a diary, check the garbage outside my house.


  1. lol. what a genius idea. I'm totally doing this sometime in the future. I love your hand-wringing over how to classify that shitty bear.

  2. I picked the dragon when you first posted about this venture. So, in essence, I won.