A Lessoned Learned - Always Open the Box

I live in an area of Virginia called Hampton Roads. In my area, the thrifts stores that carry the highest of prices are the DAV and Salvation Army. When I go to those two stores, I normally only hit the hardgoods, because they have a tendency to retail price their clothing and shoes ($6.99 for used LulaRoe anyone?). As such, I have yet to find a Harley piece (even a t-shirt) priced less than $10.00. So imagine my surprise when I found this Harley Davidson coffee mug new in box at the DAV for less than $10.00 (paid $3.98). Now while I did open the rim and feel the top to make sure there were no chips, I never took it out of the box.

I get it home I clean my items and get everything prepped for listing. I get to the Harley Davidson Mug, thinking I’m going to get $20.00 for it (I offer free shipping), and I’m excited, because it would be my first piece of Harley Davidson for resale. I take all the pictures of it inside the box, and then I take it out.

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It’s upside down. The graphic printed on the mug is upside down. That’s why it was donated. That’s why it was still there new in box at the DAV for $4.

I decided to put it up for auction, with the hope that the novelty of it being a misprint would sell it. I put the starting bid at $14.97, free shipping. Sometimes misprints in products make them more valuable, sadly that was not the case in this instance. While it did sell for $14.97, after fees and shipping, I still ended up losing money on this purchase. Paypal and eBay fees were $2.25, shipping was $10.00 (it was a heavy stoneware piece), and the original purchase price was $4.22 with tax. All in I lost $1.50, and this is the only sale I have every lost money.

Let’s look at the positives of this loss. I learned to always check inside the box, unless it is a sealed item. I learned that auctions are better with calculated not free shipping, and to start the bid with the purchase price with fees. This means I should have started the auction at $6.49 with $10.00 shipping. Another positive is, I made an auctioned listing and a sale, which is activity on my store keeping it healthy and in eBay’s algorithm. The mug also made it out of the DAV where it could have been broken or tossed, and hopefully into the hand of someone who will love it for being different.