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eBay was only two years old when I discovered it.
A friend I worked with was also starting to sell on eBay at about the same time, and we exchanged ideas and experiences constantly. Since we were already working together on our eBay ventures, we decided to combine our resources into one company and grow it while we were still both working our regular job. We found our niche selling technical books and manuals as our little company began to grow and prosper. Our co-workers at the company we worked at during the day came to consider us the "eBay Experts". We were answering questions about online auctions on a daily basis, but one coworker had the same comment every day.
"Hey, show me how to make easy money on eBay!" he would ask. It became a standing joke between My partner and I that usually came up around two or three in the morning during a marathon packing or email answering session. One of us would look at the other and mutter in a disgusted tone "Yea, Easy money on eBay.."
In January of 2002, we had more sales, and more auctions running than ever before. We were looking at 100 to 150 auctions a day closing, and enjoying a sell-through rate of close to 75%. Our shelves were piled high with books and manuals, the shipping area was well stocked with supplies, and we were ready for long hours of fulfilling our orders.
Then, as if fate stepped in to see just what we were made of, a huge ice storm hit our part of Oklahoma taking out large sections the electrical grid. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that online businesses can do without many things, but electricity is NOT on that list! On the third day of the blackout, we were able to learn from the radio (battery powered) that it wasn't just our area, but over HALF the state of Oklahoma. Worse yet, the damage was so extensive it was going to be at least TWO WEEKS before power was restored! A quick calculation and we almost panicked. We would have over two THOUSAND AUCTIONS END, and no way to contact the bidders! If we didn't keep up with the sales, payments, and shipping on a daily basis, we were in deep trouble... We couldn't imagine what a mess it would be in TWO WEEKS!
The fourth day into the blackout, I made an executive decision. I grabbed the company checkbook, and headed for our closest Lowe's Home Improvement center (about 70 miles away..). The little roadtrip turned into quite the adventure. Strange thing about a massive blackout is gas stations can't pump gas without electricity, and you are burning gas while you are driving around looking for a gas station that was open for business. I was running on luck and fumes before I finally found a station and filled up. With a full tank of gas, I made it to Lowe's and purchased a generator. We assembled the generator in record time, put oil in the engine and then realized... Uh Oh, we need gas for the generator. No local gas stations were open for business, and we didn't want to risk another road trip. Using an old trick I hadn't used since I was growing up on a farm, we were able to get enough gas out of my pickup truck to fuel up the generator.
The little generator fired up on the first pull, and with the help of a few extension cords and power strips, we had a computer network up and running at My partners house. It was then we made another interesting discovery. Cable internet connections do not work without electricity. I had a DSL internet connection at my house, so off we go with a partially charged battery in my laptop to test my internet connection. SUCCESS! DSL works off the phone line power so it was still functional. We made a quick drive back to My partners house to tear down the computer network and load the generator, then back to my house to set it all up again. At 4:30 the next morning We had the network online and a couple of lamps for light. We were self-contained, and open for business. Now we could get to work, and so we did, for the next straight 48 hours. We had a pickup truck load of packages ready for the post office when it hit us, "Is the post office open?". A quick phone call ( by the way, cell phones and cordless phones are useless during a blackout. The simplest plug-it-in-the-wall phones work great.) found us with another problem. Our local post office was closed (no electricity there either.) They did tell us the regional USPS hub had power, and was open 24/7. The bad news is, the regional hub was 75 miles away in Oklahoma City!
Meanwhile, back at the fuel issue... We were relieved to discover that two local gas stations had rented generators and were open for business. We gassed up and headed for Oklahoma City. With the load of packages on the way to customers and most of the other urgent tasks completed, we took a much needed break. We shut down the network and use the generator to power an electric griddle and make a hot meal. The little generator wouldn't power both at the same time without throwing it's breaker.
For the next two weeks, that poor little generator ran constantly keeping the computers running and the shipments going out, the questions answered, and our customers happy. Every other day I would make the 150 mile round trip to the USPS hub in Oklahoma City, stopping on the way back to fill the gas containers for the generator, and fuel up the truck for the next trip.
One evening we took a short break, and stepped outside for a breath of fresh air. We noticed something different.... THE STREET LIGHTS WERE ON! I ran inside and tried the lights... ELECTRICITY!
I went next door and asked my neighbor how long the power had been back on. "Oh, about four or five hours..". We had been so wrapped up working in our self-contained office, we hadn't realized the power had come back on! With our ordeal behind us, we couldn't resist the temptation to elebrate with a cold beer and a toast...
"Here's to "easy money" on eBay!"
KL Bohn is an Industrial Engineer with a passion for technology and especially eBay.
eBay was only two years old when I discovered it quite by accident. 7 1/2 years, and over 85,000 transactions later I'm still hooked on eBay as a seller, buyer, and shareholder.
Onlookers attend the Coyote Johnson Vanderbrink Car Auction on Sept. 14, 2019 in Red Oak, Ia. Coyote Johnson of Red Oak has collected over 90 muscle cars ...
DAVENPORT — A 1936 Academy Award is among the items going up for auction next month from the collection of the late Turner Classic Movies host Robert ...
The bed still has the original fabric-wrapped metal wire webbing the designer patented in 1879.
More than 400 deals were ready for potential bidders Saturday morning at Bonnette Auctions on McKeithen Drive.
AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - Utility regulators say Maine has received nearly $2.5 million in the latest auction of carbon dioxide emission allowances. Maine is ...
Google has spent the last few months testing the outcome of running first-price auctions across 10% of its Google Ad Manager inventory. The tech giant has now ...
Bo Pilgrim's 15 million dollar home going up for sale.
Clare County Livestock Auction, LLC. Sale every Monday at 3 p.m.. September 2 results: Choice colored steers, $85 to $109; choice colored heifers, $80 to $104 ...
Some Missoula city leaders told us more abandoned cars are ending up on streets and in lots. Cars either end up in the Missoula County Junk Vehicle Program ...
There are two online auctions for storage units from the Storage First facility in Conshohocken (101 Barren Hill Road). One auction is underway. The description ...
Kiko Auctioneers will host two online auctions starting Sept. 23, featuring commercial kitchen, cleaning supplies and furniture; and beginning Sept. 30 for ...
Following are results from the Tulelake-Butte Valley Fair Rotary Junior Livestock Auction held Sunday, Sept. 8:
Dallas city councilman Lee Kleinman will be looking for new digs if his North Dallas mansion sells later this month.Kleinman's 7154 square-foot...
London (CNN) A small British auction house has withdrawn from sale a rare Maori cloak which apparently once belonged to a tribal chief, after receiving online ...
For Decades, Red Oak's Coyote Johnson has collected over 100 classic cars and he's auctioning off at least 94 of them Saturday morning. Cars and parts from ...
Scarce in all grades, the 1853 Dahlonega quarter eagle is rare in Mint State and unknown any finer than the MS62 level, assigned by NGC to a coin that we.
U.S. government-bond prices fell anew Tuesday, with the Treasury Department and a crowded slate of corporate issuers adding to the supply of *fresh* debt.
A 1936 Academy Award is among the items going up for auction next month from the collection of the late Turner Classic Movies host Robert Osborne.
TULSA, Okla. (KTUL) — The Berryhill Fire Department responded to a tent fire at the Swick's Auction near West 51st Street and the Gilcrease Expressway ...
Matt Roloff is selling off items on the farm after ex-wife Amy sold him part of her stake in property.
Eagles receiver DeSean Jackson is honoring his late friend Nipsey Hussle this season by wearing custom cleats that he will auction each week, with proceeds ...
The public had the chance to purchase some Topeka history at an auction on Thursday.
An extremely rare original copy of Hitler's sinister plan to invade Britain has surfaced and will be auctioned in the U.K. this weekend.
A Red Oak car collector is auctioning off 94 classic vehicles this weekend. When Bill “Coyote” Johnson looks at his collection of classic cars, he sees decades of ...
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KFVS) -The 2019 Unclaimed Property Auction for Missouri was held at the University Plaza Hotel in Springfield on Sept. 10 and 11.
The Bradford Area Chamber of Commerce will hold its BACC Oktoberfest/27th Annual Public Auction on Thursday, Oct. 24 at the Bradford Club, 32 Boylston St.
Actress and singer Olivia Newton-John is auctioning off her famous black leather jacket and skintight pants from the movie Grease to benefit her cancer center.
A Porsche that was expected to sell for over $20 million flopped on the auction block Saturday night, after the sale was thrown into disarray by a technical error.
BRANSON, Mo. — Branson will be having an online auction of a surplus of things that are no longer needed by the city. The auction will happen Tuesday, Sept.
Higher auction volumes are testing the strength of the housing market recovery.
COLUMBUS, Ohio-- The state of Ohio's property auction on Saturday features a wide array of items, including a jukebox, barber chairs, ATVs, walk behind ...
Christy has been covering news and sports in Wagoner County since 1988. She is a graduate of Oklahoma State University with a degree in Public ...
Legendary broadcaster Vin Scully's first Dodgers contract is on the auction block.
PROVINCETOWN–The annual Consignment Auction for the Provincetown Art Association and Museum (PAAM) is Saturday, September 21. The event begins at ...
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis's sister died at the age of 85 in February 2019.
One of the most iconic-costumes worn in one of the most memorable scenes from one of the most beloved films of all-time is going on the auction block.
Longtime restaurant/banquet hall building and contents now available in 649 separate lots in an online auction.
The son of a Holocaust survivor claims a struggling unaccredited Jewish museum is auctioning off a World War II artifact that he inherited without his permission.
Sotheby's will offer a single-owner collection of whisky, the most valuable ever to be sold at auction, with an estimate in the region of £4 million (US$4.8 million), ...
The state will put 31 properties owned by debtors up for auction immediately after the process for the settlement of debts to the tax authorities in up to 120 ...
During the event, Cardi B posed for a photo with Rihanna while in her tiered pink ball gown.
In 2017, an anonymous buyer paid $450 million for Leonardo da Vinci's "Salvator Mundi." But it was down to Alex Rotter, on the other end of the telephone, ...
The final five minutes of trading have become the busiest time of day for stock market traders in Europe.
Two extremely rare coins from The Poulos Family Collection - an 1876-CC twenty-cent piece and a Proof 1975 dime without the S mintmark - sold for $456000.
In the market for a bicycle, lawn maintenance equipment, or even a well-used METRA bus? Head down to the Columbus Civic Center Saturday morning for an ...
EMBARGOED DON'T PUBLISH UNTIL 11 AMThe house that chicken built can be plucked by an auction buyer.
The Monterey Car Week auctions left the collector car world in a state of shock. Sales totals were expected to be similar to 2018 when 850 cars sold for US$370 ...
The annual auction of tax-foreclosed homes and vacant lots in the City of Lockport is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Thursday in City Hall, One Locks Plaza. As of F…
The second auction for Movieland Speedpark has been canceled.
Browse, bid and save on more than 160 unique offers now through Tuesday in the World-Herald's fall auction block.
Former President Barack Obama's game-worn high school basketball jersey – nearly lost forever in the trash – has sold at auction for $120000.
The sprawling Pittsburg, Texas estate built for the late Lonnie “Bo” Pilgrim who founded Pilgrim's Pride, one of the country's largest chicken producers in the U.S., ...
Bulldozers, portable heaters, dump trucks and military clothing are just a few of several thousand items up for grabs at the Saturday, Sept. 14 auction of Dewey ...
A much-hyped car auction sputtered out in the weirdest way Saturday.
A long-lost Maya stone carving with an L.A. connection, scheduled to be auctioned in Paris, has an illicit history that should concern all involved.
The Ultimate Whisky Collection is being billed by auction house Sotheby's as the most valuable collection of whisky ever to be sold at auction, with a potential ...
So, do you need a used garbage truck? What about a weedeater? Or, maybe, just weedeater parts? How about a used Harley-Davidson motorcycle? If a Harley ...
The 2019 Coweta Band pie auction raised $38000 in just 90 minutes Saturday, which included bids by patrons to put cream pies in the faces of Coweta Police ...
A judge on Wednesday blocked the auction of a Jewish World War II artifact estimated to be worth millions that a Holocaust-survivor's son says was improperly ...
Oregon. EUGENE. (Eugene Livestock Auction). Sept. 9. Total Receipts: 855. Comments: Weaned vaccinated calves are bringing $10-$20 more than ...
Magic Johnson's 1992 Dream Team jersey is hitting the auction block!!!
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- The Missouri Treasurer's office is hosting an unclaimed property auction in Springfield. The auction is both Tuesday and Wednesday ...
The run-up in Treasury yields on Thursday accelerated after a lackluster U.S. debt auction for 30-year maturities weighed on prices for government paper. The...
Commodity traders Glencore PLC and Trafigura [TRAFGF.UL] have picked up a combined 70479 tonnes of aluminum over the past week by winning online ...
When Google Ad Manager tested the switch to unified first-price auctions this summer, it saw a handful of ad tech players start to win a greater share of ad ...
COSHOCTON - The 14th annual Coshocton Business and Professional Women Cake Auction will be at 4 p.m. Oct. 19 at the Frontier Power Community Room, ...
On September 27th, international auction house Sotheby's will open bidding on "the most valuable collection of scotch whisky ever to be offered at auction"
More than a dozen properties owned by a Chicago nonprofit developer once run by the embattled Rev. Leon Finney Jr. will be sold to the highest bidder next ...
With every raised number, the price for the property at 3308 S. Cedar St. swelled. The building is a strip mall, home to Naing Myanmar Family Restaurant.
The No. 23 basketball jersey believed to have been worn by President Obama when he was a high school senior sold in an online auction for $120000.
A Ferrari, sold for £33000, is among dozens of items seized from criminals and sold at auction.
A Marlborough office building that's one-fourth occupied will head to auction in October.
When Ziggy's Building Material closed in 2016, Reno Babcock Auctions was hired to auction off items from the hardware store.
The highest bid for the rundown tuberculosis hospital, built in 1936 and abandoned since 1973, is currently $40100.
The Baltic nation is heavily dependent on energy imports. A plan for energy independence by 2050 foresees the large scale deployment of renewable energy ...
WEST MIFFLIN (KDKA) — A lot of Kennywood fans were upset when the decision was made to close to the Log Jammer, but one local realtor now owns a piece ...
You can take a look at auction items starting at 5 pm. Bidding starts at 5:45.
SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Two prized pieces of San Diego sports history will be placed up for auction this week. Two awards belonging to San Diego Padres ...
Last month, 95 foreclosed properties in Ingham County were auctioned to the highest bidder, and any money the county made above what was owed in ...
Good news for the Leelanau Christian Neighbors. A Kalamazoo man agreed to a “buy it now price,” for two tickets to tour the top of the Mackinac Bridge.
CHEYENNE – The Red Lion Hotel and Conference Center is for sale, with an online auction planned for Sept. 30-Oct. 2, Paramount Lodging Advisors have ...
THORNHILL AUCTION *SERVICE* - Ad from 2019-09-15: St. CharleS County land auCtion Unincorporated St. Charles County • ...
Avenged Sevenfold are offering one fan the opportunity to own one of their original bass guitars that they used to record their first-ever demo.
NYACK — Three former bar owners are hoping an upcoming auction offers better karma for their business than their relationship — including allegations of theft ...
Heritage Auctions has a collectible sports jersey up for auction through Saturday. As of Friday afternoon the bid was up to $62500. Sports junkies and.
Maybe the 2020 Toyota Supra isn't the hot ticket that we expected. When the Supra Launch Edition started arriving at dealers last July, we saw quite a few of ...
Despite a record number of cars hitting the auction block this year, the total value raised came in at a paltry $245 million, representing a 34% decrease from the ...
An uphill gravel road on the fringes of Cape Girardeau leads to the secluded home of 80-year-old Joan McPherson. Her husband passed away last year leaving ...
The sales will include paintings and sculptures by Barnett Newman, Jean Dubuffet, Zao Wou-Ki and others who were friends to the couple.
Here are the sales I'll be watching this week: On Wednesday, Dominic Winter Auctioneers sells Printed Books, Maps & Documents, in 410 lots.
Lack of interest has thwarted Pennsylvania's latest casino expansion attempt. The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board received no bidders Wednesday in a.
After more than 40 years collecting and working on vehicles, Coyote Johnson has decided to let go of 93 classic muscle cars.
A 7,418-square-foot home in Naples, Florida, is set to be sold in a live, no-reserve auction on Nov. 2, according to Elite Auctions, which is handling the sale.
DLRC Auction Highlights by David Lawrence Rare Coin Auctions …… Our Sunday Internet Auction #1082 offers Part 2 of the Mike J's #1 NGC Registry of ...
Some of Batman's most iconic props and costumes from the movies are going up for auction in the UK.
Disney and Apple fans alike will soon be able to bid on an ultra-rare collector's item. A “Toy Story” movie poster signed by Steve Jobs is being auctioned off ...
ORLANDO, Fla. — Some of the National Women's Soccer League's biggest stars are auctioning off items to raise funds for breast cancer awareness in honor of ...
In line with the industry's expectations, the government will auction mobile spectrum either by the end of this year or early next year. Further, the Department of ...
The Frederick home of a man convicted of killing his pregnant wife and daughters is no longer slated for auction this fall. Instead, the sale of the former home of ...
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