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How to Sell Your Mugs on eBay

Updated on December 31, 2016
Hilo Hattie Hibiscus Mug
Hilo Hattie Hibiscus Mug | Source
A 2009 Starbucks Mug I Recently Sold
A 2009 Starbucks Mug I Recently Sold | Source

Motivation in a Local Starbucks Store

As a cold and overcast late autumn day prepares to close its sleepy eyes, an hour or so away from the blanket of evening covering the southeast Washington town of Walla Walla, I find it most appropriate to begin writing this article about how to sell mugs on ebay while sitting in one of my favorite local coffee shops.

I might be drinking my venti-sized eggnog latte from a covered paper cup, but literally ten yards away from me in this comfy and cozy Starbucks store are dozens of beautiful coffee mugs, close cousins to their vintage predecessors whom I've been blessed to have sold on the awesome global marketplace of ebay.

Case in point: To the right of these opening paragraphs, check out the lovely Starbucks mug I just sold for $27.99. It was sitting on a Goodwill Store shelf just waiting for me to pick it up for a paltry $1.99. A little bit of research, a simple title and description, a few good pictures, a reasonable price, a bit of visualization (seeing the item being sold), and a sprinkling of patience later, I had a sale.

I make it sound easy, but honestly, it takes very little effort to sell mugs. In this article, I'm hoping to share with you a basic plan--one that I encourage you to tweak to your heart's content--for marketing and selling your mugs.

An Otagiri Mug (Judy Matthews Wood Ducks Design) That Sold for $9.99
An Otagiri Mug (Judy Matthews Wood Ducks Design) That Sold for $9.99 | Source

The Hawaiian Odysseus Plan for Selling Mugs

I believe in keeping things simple. Life is too short to be tripping over discombobulated complexities. So the plan I follow is just that--extremely simple!

Here's an outline that covers every aspect of selling mugs on ebay while maintaining a down to sand (I'm an island boy at heart, remember?) and easy to follow approach. Feel free to tweak the plan to your heart's content in order to form-fit it to your individual style, working environment, and accessibility to product sources.

  • Where to Find Your Mugs
  • What to Look For in Selecting Your Mugs
  • Cleaning Your Mugs
  • Taking Photos of Your Mugs
  • Creating Good Titles for Your Mugs
  • Creating Good Descriptions for Your Mugs
  • Choosing a Format--Auction or Fixed Price?
  • You've Made a Sale! (Now What?)
  • Packaging and Shipping Your Mugs
  • After the Sale

Mugs at a Local Thrift Store
Mugs at a Local Thrift Store | Source

Where to Find Your Mugs--My Mission Statement

There's no rocket science to any of this, especially when it comes to product sourcing. There's only one caveat--the mugs I advocate selling are used mugs. If you're interested in selling new mugs, then I suggest that you find articles on wholesaling and drop shipping.

Personally, I prefer the aspect of mug rehabilitation--of finding throwaways in need of TLC and restoration. As was and is the case with my personal journey, there is joy and blessing in finding that which has been lost and giving it worth and value. The Hawaiian Odysseus mission in life is to thank God by giving back through the redemption of fringe items and teaching others to do the same.

When it comes to why I sell on ebay, that's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

Okay, then, so where to find the mugs that we can sell on ebay? The following are some suggestions. Hopefully, by reading through the following list, you may come up with a few innovative ideas of your own.

  • Your own kitchen cupboard. When was the last time you actually took notice of the mugs you have sitting on those shelves? Like a good spouse, those mugs have been taken for granted for far too long. Man up or woman up and give them some long overdue attention.
  • Other people's kitchen cupboards. Admittedly, this could get a little sticky. Your mom, sibling, cousin, neighbor, bff, or bmf might just be concerned about your lack of boundaries if they were to find you rifling through their kitchen shelves. So do the right thing and let them know up front that you're a mug collector. Would they be interested in getting rid of any of their old mugs? Find creative ways to present your needs in a way that results in win-win transactions.
  • Yard, garage, and estate sales. Unless you're a Robinson Crusoe or Rip Van Winkle, you're already aware that these events are virtual goldmines for finding used items that you can resell. I've found dozens of mugs that were priced as low as a nickel, dime, or quarter each at these functions. The estate sales items may cost a bit more, so I simply amp up my human relations skills--i.e., schmoozing, shrewdness, and haggling--again, always keeping in mind how to turn a transaction into a win-win proposition.
  • Liquidation sales. In my hometown, I've come across two sites that sponsor ongoing liquidation sales. At these events, my wife and I stuff a couple of cardboard boxes with dozens of items, including mugs. We then present our finds to the person in charge. He or she roughly assesses our purchase and throws out a dollar amount. More often than not, we're happy to hear a very inexpensive price--say, $5 or $10. The most we've ever had to pay was $20. Once in a while, if the price is too high, we respond with a counter offer. Because we're frequent shoppers, the salesperson knows that by making us happy, we'll keep coming back. Thus far, we've never had to walk away empty-handed.
  • Church rummage sales. We absolutely love these non-profit functions! First of all, the proceeds usually go towards scholarships for church youth or for other benevolent causes. The win-win factor has already been worked into the equation. We walk in feeling great about contributing to a worthy endeavor, and we walk out grinning like the Cheshire Cat because we got such great deals. On the last day of these sales, the prices are often discounted 50%, and we've found some absolutely ridiculous deals. As in the case of liquidation sales, the parishioners are motivated to sell as much of their inventory as possible. The rest is then donated to local thrift stores.
  • Thrift stores. Goodwill. Salvation Army. St. Vincent de Paul. Value Village. These are just a few of the many thrift stores my wife and I have observed here in our town and in our travels. Thrift stores exist in every town and city across America. In every thrift store, you will find at least one section of shelves specifically designated for showcasing mugs. Be sure to carefully scrutinize other areas of the store, too, where mugs may be hidden among close cousins such as glassware, vases, and pottery. I have found many a treasure where I'd least expected to find them by carefully searching high and low in these thrift stores. Be especially cognizant of what's hidden from view on the lowest shelves.

Okay, so there you have it. This list is not intended to be exclusive. Hopefully, it serves to prime your Aha! factor, triggering even more ideas regarding the sourcing of your mug inventory.

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Set of 4 Tall Ships and Chinese Junks Mugs That Sold for $32.00
Set of 4 Tall Ships and Chinese Junks Mugs That Sold for $32.00 | Source

Okole Maluna! Bottoms Up!

Okole Maluna!
Okole Maluna! | Source
Bottoms Up!
Bottoms Up! | Source

What to Look For in Selecting Your Mugs

You're sitting at your kitchen table enjoying an early morning cup of joe. As you savor the last gulp of coffee, you whimsically revel in the unusual colorful designs adorning your mug. You're curious as to its origin, so you turn the cup upside down and read the brand name and accompanying information. In one fell swoop, you've unwittingly accomplished two essential steps for finding mugs to sell on ebay.

  1. Sure, you could do a lot of research on ebay to find out which mugs are selling, but I can tell you from experience that some of my best sales were with mugs that I didn't find by doing a lot of homework. On the contrary, and in keeping with a laid back and easy Hawaiian style of doing things, FOLLOW YOUR HEART! That's the best advice I could ever give anyone. There's an inner voice deep inside of you, the same voice that may have whispered, "He's the one!" or "She's the one!" Relative to mug selection, something will figuratively reach out and grab you. It could be the combination of colors; it could be a special swirl built into the mug wall; or it could be a three-dimensional human, animal, or object figurine cleverly attached to the mug handle (see the Pink Panther hub link to the right). Whatever that je ne sais quois element might be, it calls out to you...to the point that when you try to walk away from it, you find yourself compelled to return for a second look. THAT, my friend, is a mug you want to purchase.
  2. Use the okole maluna process for selecting mugs. Okole maluna is a Hawaiian concept that means bottoms up. Whenever I go on buying trips for mugs, I always look for valuable information on the bottoms. By practicing okole maluna, I discover important details like brand name, where the item was made, year of production, whether it commemorates a special historical or sociological event, and other pertinent information. Later, I incorporate some of these concepts into the respective title and description.

Froggy Surprise--Sure to Elicit a Startled Response...Maybe Even a Scream
Froggy Surprise--Sure to Elicit a Startled Response...Maybe Even a Scream | Source

Cleaning Your Mugs

Incredibly, two of our best-selling mugs--a Pink Panther delight and a very simple white mug that had a green frog on the inside bottom--were found in a freebies section outside of a huge warehouse in an airport industrial area. Exposed to the elements, these mugs were absolutely filthy, and it was easy to understand why they'd been overlooked. True to our mission statement, however, my lovely wife--just as she'd done when I'd courted her--looked past the dirt and saw wonderful potential. (Someday, I'd like to give a layman's sermon based on that last phrase.) Although she never realized it at the time, she was practicing the concept of visualization--seeing something as if it had already happened. Sure enough, these items that we got for free from a liquidation center sold for $73 and $22.11, respectively.

While the mugs you come across won't always be as muddy as the above two, it is absolutely imperative that you clean your mugs thoroughly. Presentation is everything, and the first key step is to have clean mugs.

Dish detergent, hot water, and a soft sponge suffice for cleaning the majority of your mugs. Every now and then, you may need to gently use a scouring pad to get rid of the more stubborn stains. Be careful, however, to not scratch or compromise the aesthetic appeal of your item.

The sales stickers on mugs you've purchased will usually come off with hot water and a gentle scraping with your sponge or even fingernails. After the mugs are dried, however, you may feel a sticky residue from the labels. To remove this, simply dab a cotton ball or bundled tissue with rubbing alcohol and wipe the residue off. Fingernail polish also works, but use it as a last resort because it can remove the colors and lettering on your mugs.

Closeup of a Unique Spinning Soccer Ball on a Mug Handle
Closeup of a Unique Spinning Soccer Ball on a Mug Handle | Source

Taking Photos of Your Mugs

Empathy is as significant and integral to the entrepreneurial process as it is to the health professions.

The success of an eBay seller is directly proportional to his success as an ebay buyer. A successful eBay buyer studies the seller's description and photos carefully and deliberately before making the purchase. The key to taking good pictures, then, is to ask yourself, "What would I, as a buyer, want to see about this item?" Remembering your experience as a buyer enhances your presentation as a seller.

Basically, take photos from all angles--front, left side, back, right side, top, and bottom. You may also want to include a closeup of pertinent lettering or an iconic image or the name of the artist/designer.

Find a nice background that helps showcase the appeal of your mug. I use everything from a dark sweater placed on my bed to my computer desk to the kitchen table to a solid color towel or blanket draped from a piano keyboard over onto the bench to the same fabric draped over a portion of the stairway. Good lighting is important. If you're using a flash, be sure to choose a shot angle that doesn't leave a glare on your item.

1993 Life's a Croc Florida Mug Cup
1993 Life's a Croc Florida Mug Cup | Source
Source

Creating Good Titles for Your Mugs

Again, it's important to see yourself as the potential buyer when contemplating a good title. While I love to write with tongue firmly embedded in cheek, I am usually very straightforward in putting together my titles.

Search engines being the zealously literal robots that they are, it is imperative that a seller place as many key words into his or her title as possible. ebay generously provides the seller with 80 character spaces with which to do this.

Important data such as date, brand name, mini description, mug size or amount of fluid ounces it contains, and iconic references should be included in your title.

Here's an example of a good title with the actual mug featured in the photo to the right:

1993 Life's a Croc Florida Mug Cup Unique 3-D Crocodile Clinging to Side © Hz

Smiley Face Mug
Smiley Face Mug | Source
American University Mug with Unique Handle
American University Mug with Unique Handle | Source

Creating Good Descriptions for Your Mugs

There are two basic formats for writing your item description--a narrative style and a bulleted listing style.

I've used both styles in drafting my ebay item descriptions with equal success. The narrative style came easy for me because I love to schmooze. My wife observed, however, that I was taking too long to post my listings. In time, I modified my approach and am now more inclined to use bullets in highlighting the important elements of the specific item I am listing.

My suggestion is that you set aside a few minutes each day, at least in the early going, to study different styles that ebay sellers are using to sell their products. You, and you alone, need to make the important decision as to what style works best for you.

An Example of the Narrative Style of Describing Your Item

Just in time for the festive holiday season, one of the items we're offering up for auction today is this gently used 2007 Starbucks mug. Appropriately representing the Emerald City, corporate home to Starbucks, is this emerald green, clear glass, mug that can hold up to 16 fluid ounces.

This handsome mug is approximately 4-1/4" tall by 5-1/8" wide with a mouth diameter of about 4". It is as strong and durable as it is appealing.

Whether you're at the office or relaxed in front of your living room fireplace, you'll look grand with your Grande-sized coffee mug as the light dances through and highlights its jade-bejeweled aura.

PayPal is our preferred method of payment.

We will ship to either USA or international destinations via USPS Priority Mail.

An Example of the Bullet Style of Describing Your Item

  • Starbucks 16 oz Emerald Green Clear Glass Mug
  • Raised scripted white lettering spells out Starbucks brand name
  • Strong, durable mug
  • Mug measures approximately 4-1/4" tall by 5-1/8" wide (including handle)
  • 4" mouth diameter
  • Mug alone weighs 20.1 ounces
  • Holds 16 fluid ounces
  • Excellent, gently used condition
  • From the Emerald City, a classic emerald green beauty
  • Bearing a look that says, I've arrived!
  • A perfect holiday, birthday, or special occasion gift for that corporate executive, yuppie, or very significant special someone
  • A wonderful complement to your home or office décor
  • A great novelty item for the Starbucks mug and/or Seattle memorabilia collector
  • Sure to be a topic of lively discussion among family and friends
  • PayPal is the preferred method of payment
  • Shipped via USPS Priority Mail to either USA or international destinations

At the end of my description, no matter what style I'm using, I include a note of appreciation and an invitation.

Thank you very much for viewing and participating in our ebay listings. Welcome back anytime!

Large Green Shamrock Mugs
Large Green Shamrock Mugs | Source
Sleeping Cow Mug
Sleeping Cow Mug | Source
Starbucks Mermaid Logo Mug
Starbucks Mermaid Logo Mug | Source

Make An Offer Option

Within the fixed price or Buy It Now format, the seller can also provide the potential buyer with a Make an Offer feature. This can be an effective method for obtaining a quicker sale. ebay provides the seller with the technology to determine the high and low parameters for the buyer's offer. Each buyer has up to three consecutive offers he can send to the seller. The seller can either accept an offer or send the buyer a counter-offer.

Choosing a Format--Auction or Fixed Price?

In a phrase? Do both!

The nice thing about ebay that sets it apart from most of its competitors is that the seller actually has the best of both worlds. You can auction off your items, or you can list them at a fixed price.

Literally, from these two options, you can utilize one or more of four approaches:

  • Use only the auction format. On eBay, you can choose to run your auction for 1, 3, 5, 7, or 10 days. More often than not, I choose the 7 day auction. If your starting price is 99 cents or cheaper, the listing fee will only be a dime. The risk, however, is that someone may end up buying your mug for just that--99 cents! Even if you paid only 50 cents for the mug, by the time your eBay and PayPal fees are factored in, you may be operating at a loss. My suggestion? If you're going to use an auction format, start your item off at $9.99. You'll be charged 25 cents for a listing fee, but if the mug sells, you'll make a decent profit. The bonus is that your item may appeal to multiple bidders and thus end up with an even higher amount.
  • Use only the fixed price format. It may take longer for your item to sell, but at least you'll get the price you wanted in the first place. The listing price is generally less than that of an auction. Because I subscribe to a monthly intermediate ebay store plan, it costs me only a nickel to list fixed price, or Buy It Now, items, no matter what my asking price might be. As a lark and a marketing gimmick, I once listed my Lords of the Fly business on ebay for $100,000.00. My listing price? A measly 5 cents per month.
  • List some of your mugs as auctions, and list the other mugs at a fixed price. As a rule, auctions seem to get more attention from potential buyers than do fixed price items. A wise seller, then, would employ both auction and fixed price formats to gain more market exposure. In other words, there's a good chance that people bidding in your auctions will have some level of curiosity about other products you're selling. You might gain little or no profit from a 99-cent auction, but that same auction may lead an ebayer to purchase a Buy It Now item from you for, say, $25. In a way, then, the auction format is essentially an effective advertising tool for you.
  • Simultaneously, list your mugs as both auction and Buy It Now items. Depending on your budgetary constraints, you can give your item a starting price at auction for $7.99 with a Buy It Now for $9.99. The listing price will be more, but you'll have two ways to appeal to customers rather than just one. Psychologically, a potential buyer may like your starting auction price but not be willing to wait until the end of the auction. He'll look at the $9.99 price and reason that it's worth paying the extra $2 to get his item now. Especially around the holidays, this option makes great sense.

Whale Mug with a Tail for a Handle
Whale Mug with a Tail for a Handle | Source
Click thumbnail to view full-size
Preparing the Mug for Bubble WrappingThree to Four Wraps Shoud Do ItFolded Cardboard Taped Over the HandlePriority Mail Boxes Are So Handy, Not to Mention FreePadding at the Bottom of the BoxMug Secured and Padded Inside the BoxSealed Box Ready for Mailing Label
Preparing the Mug for Bubble Wrapping
Preparing the Mug for Bubble Wrapping | Source
Three to Four Wraps Shoud Do It
Three to Four Wraps Shoud Do It | Source
Source
Folded Cardboard Taped Over the Handle
Folded Cardboard Taped Over the Handle | Source
Priority Mail Boxes Are So Handy, Not to Mention Free
Priority Mail Boxes Are So Handy, Not to Mention Free | Source
Padding at the Bottom of the Box
Padding at the Bottom of the Box | Source
Mug Secured and Padded Inside the Box
Mug Secured and Padded Inside the Box | Source
Sealed Box Ready for Mailing Label
Sealed Box Ready for Mailing Label | Source

You've Made a Sale! (Now What?)

Congratulations!

I sincerely revel in the success of any individual who puts forth the effort to sell on ebay. By doing so, you've done your part to put to rest the cynical notion that The American Dream is a thing of the past.

Celebrate with your spouse! Tousle your kids' or grandkids' hair! Whoop and holler to your heart's content! Do whatever you feel like doing.

Just don't sit on your laurels. There's still work to be done!

Packaging and Shipping Your Mugs

It's true. You can scrounge around for boxes small yet durable enough in which to mail your mugs. I've certainly done my fair share of this.

But there's an easier way to address both the packaging and shipping of your mugs. And the best part about it is that Uncle Sam's postal delivery service will actually bring the boxes--in bulk amounts (multiples of 25, I believe)--to your doorstep. How? By simply choosing to mail your packages via USPS Priority Mail.

If you go online and check out the www.usps.com site, you'll find a link where you can order all kinds of free supplies. I use priority mail shipping for a good percentage of my products.

There's even a convenient size of priority mail box for mailing your mugs. It's the 7" x 7" x 6" size. The majority of mugs you'll encounter will easily fit within the confines of this particular priority mail box.

When you list on ebay, you'll do your bottom line a favor by knowing what the weight of your package will be and charging the customer accordingly. Because postal rates can differ according to your customer's geographical location, I suggest you use the calculated option rather than attempt to set a flat fee.

If you list your item with FREE SHIPPING, ebay has it set up where your item will have more visibility--i.e., rank higher on the search pages. I'm all for free shipping, and I utilize that strategy at times with my mugs. When I do, I make sure the estimated shipping costs are included in the actual price.

To the right, you'll see the basic steps I follow when packaging my mugs for shipment. You'll need a good supply of bubble wrap. The department store I shop at carries these huge bundles of bubble wrap. It saves me a lot of money in the long run to buy in quantity, so I don't mind paying the $15 - $16 to buy a big roll.

Running a green business means recycling our newspapers, cardboard, and plastic shopping bags. All three items come in really handy when packaging mugs.

  • Place your mug so that its top and bottom are equidistant from the respective edges of the bubble wrap.
  • Give your mug three to four wraps and secure with tape.
  • Cut or tear a piece of cardboard large enough to bend and cover the mug handle. Tape it to the bubble wrap.
  • At this point, you have the option of writing a thank you note along with the ebay item number as a reference. Tape this somewhere on the bubble wrap. As simple as this gesture might be, customers really appreciate the personal touch.
  • Loosely crumple up a couple of large newspaper pages and stuff them into a plastic shopping bag. Tie the bag up. The layered combination of paper, plastic, and air will form a nice cushion.
  • Place your mug into the box in such a way that the cardboard-protected handle faces a corner of the box.
  • Stuff your box with plastic bags, paper, styrofoam peanuts, or whatever else you might find handy for packaging. Make sure the top is well padded, similar to the protection at the bottom of the box.
  • Seal your box securely with 2" poly tape.
  • Write FRAGILE in block letters on all sides of the box, even the top and the bottom, if possible.
  • Print your mailing label, apply it to the top of your box, and voila! You've just professionally packaged your beautiful mug!
  • You can call the USPS to come pick up your packages. (Being a closet control freak, I like driving to my local post office and dropping the packages off myself.)

After the Sale

A good touch at this point would be to email your customer. In your note, thank your customer for his or her generous purchase and prompt payment. Include a report as to when you mailed or will be mailing the package.

In my post-transaction emails, I also include a link that references some anecdotal or instructional aspect of my work on ebay. For quite some time now, I've perceived my ebay entrepreneurship and my writing about ebay as a great marriage. I utilize every possible opportunity to promote their compatible union.

A nice photo complements the text of the email. This month, I'm using a beautiful shot of Hanalei Beach on the island of Kaua'i that my son brilliantly captured to grace the email message.

From beginning to end, the successful ebay entrepreneur--whether you're an old tar or a fresh new mariner on the ebay waters--is thankful, gracious, and mindful...

Mindful that none of this would ever be possible or would even matter if not for the favor of a loving Entity.

© 2012 Hawaiian Odysseus

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  • Blond Logic profile image

    Mary Wickison 6 months ago from Brazil

    I don't know how I missed this one. I love the idea of selling mugs on Ebay. I didn't realize there was a market for them but am pleased to see that there is.

    I love the thought that someone's cast off is still loved by many.

    I am always inspired by your successes on Ebay.

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
    Author

    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Casey, thanks for checking my hub out and for your gracious and enthusiastic comments. Mugs are staple eBay items that I can count on yet also need to be patient with. Every now and then, a remarkable thing happens with one of these mugs...such as the Pink Panther one or the Starbucks city mugs. For the most part, if I can make $5 to $10 profit per mug, it means $600 to $1000 a year for this specific niche alone.

    One thing I'm very pleased about is having easy online access to those free 7" x 7" x 6" USPS Priority Mail boxes. Along with recycled materials, these boxes provide adequate protection for the mugs we ship.

    I'm happy to hear that you and your lady are actively engaged in eBay entrepreneurship. Casey, please feel free to contact me at any time should you have any questions or concerns about eBay. Currently, we're starting to see what hopefully marks the beginning of the holiday rush. There was one sale that I made today that I'm considering writing my next hub about. Stay tuned, my friend...

    Best wishes for a terrific weekend and continued success here on HubPages, in your eBay activities, and the good life in general! Aloha!

    ~Joe

  • abetterwaytolive profile image

    Casey Johnson 4 years ago from Sanger, Texas

    What an amazing article! Thanks so much for the valuable advice. My girlfriend and I have just recently begun an ebay store and it is beginning to take off so we are venturing into different items to begin purchasing. I had heard once before that coffee mugs were a good item, but you really broke it down! I can't believe how informative this article was. Thank you so much and please keep the good hubs coming. Voted up.

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
    Author

    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Thanks, KoffeeKlatch Gals! I needed your uplifting remarks because I've been noticing a sharp decline in sales. I keep telling myself that it's just the holiday season, but every year about this time, I have the eBay blues! : ( Anyway, thank you for your encouragement. This month, perhaps as early as this week, I plan to feature a little bit about my wife and her efforts on eBay. Should be fun and/or interesting. Take care, and remember that I'm honored to be a follower!

  • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

    Susan Haze 4 years ago from Sunny Florida

    I love reading your hubs, especially the ones about selling on ebay. I am learning so much. You are quite the marketer. Up, awesome, useful, and definitely interesting.

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
    Author

    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    See you next year, Rajan! Please check your twitter messages for a request from me. Thank you.

  • rajan jolly profile image

    Rajan Singh Jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

    Thanks my friend! and I wish the same for you and your family. Have a great start to a wonderful New Year.

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
    Author

    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @rajan jolly

    Thank you, good sir, for your kind comments. Yesterday, my wife went to a church liquidation sale. She found this Starbucks mug made in Aachen, Germany, and paid 54 cents for it. It has two red-orange images on it--one of Charlemagne and the other of Aachen Cathedral. After doing some research, I listed it for a good amount. Hope it sells to a worthy collector. I share this with you because I'm constantly amazed at how well some mugs do. Even the average ones can go for $5 - $20 each. Having fun, as I know you and your loved ones are, as we head into the new year! Aloha, and best wishes for continued success here on HubPages and beyond!

  • rajan jolly profile image

    Rajan Singh Jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

    This lesson in eBay selling is a real treat to read. You have laid it all out down to the last detail. Bravo, my friend! Very inspiring and I really admire the beautiful collection of mugs you have.

    Voting this up and awesome.

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
    Author

    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Thank you for the faithful following, ignugent17. I was reading a hub by chrisinhawaii about the relative impact our followers make...and what I learned was that one can have a huge number of followers, but what really counts are the core followers who actually read one's hubs. Just wanted you to know how much I appreciate you for possessing that neighborly quality.

  • profile image

    ignugent17 4 years ago

    Wow you are very clever. I agree with you that you can really make simple things into something beautiful. It is really a great idea.

    Your mugs looks so unique and worth collecting.

    Voted up and more.

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
    Author

    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Thank you, Tom! Even in the simplest of endeavors, there is universal good in a job well done. Encouraged and motivated by the wonderful neighborhood of writers like yourself here on HubPages, I aspire to do just that. Glad you dropped by, my friend. I am so grateful for your support, and know that you've got mine! Aloha!

  • kashmir56 profile image

    Thomas Silvia 4 years ago from Massachusetts

    Here is another great interesting and informative hub on selling mugs on eBay. Well done my friend and you even show us how to pack it in a box to ship it out, awesome !

    Hope your weekend is a cozy and awesome one !

    Vote up and more !!!

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
    Author

    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @benisan85745

    One of the things I learned from my father and that I appreciated about him even in the love/hate days of my adolescence was how to hustle...he and mom had me out of wedlock, and the 17-year-old boy had to go work in the sugar cane fields from sunup to sundown. He'd come home all dirty from the red Hawaiian soil and poison--sabedon--he had to spray in the irrigation ditches. His hair, when washed in the small, round, corrugated iron washtub, would always turn the water a muddy brown.

    So, I guess you could say that work ethic rubbed off on me. I'll do whatever I can do to help us meet our financial obligations over here...and sometimes that means selling mugs, or whatever, on ebay.

    In high school, I was the boy most likely to succeed. That boy went off the deep end and found himself in a cesspool of hurt, damaged lives, and regret. I made a vow that if God were ever to pull me out of that dung heap I was in, I'd serve Him for the rest of my life.

    And that's just what I'm doing, brah, one "mug" at a time.

  • benisan85745 profile image

    Ka'imi'loa 4 years ago from Tucson, AZ.

    Never would I Have guessed so much went into loving mugs that much. And to think, I use them for the excess bacon grease. Your world of ebay is something I really am interested in someday trying. You make it seem like it is the thing to do. Right on Uncle! I don't know about an Eggnog Latte, but hey, to each his own...much alo-ha bruddah

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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @wetnosedogs

    Thanks for stopping by and for your kind words, WND! I especially love your question about the items that haven't sold. This is an excellent question, the answer for which could very well impact a potential ebayer's willingness or reluctance to begin selling.

    First of all, whether it's overly optimistic and incredibe or not, I work on the premise that at some point in time, sooner or later, everything I have in my inventory (over 1840 items at the time of this writing) sells. That inventory number is dynamic, changing slowly but surely over time as I add new items or as items sell. Kinda like the number of hubs we have...some will be read a lot, and some won't have any visitors for a while...but, eventually, every hub gets read. Guess you could say it's like shooting a shotgun. The hunter blasts a whole bunch of spherical pellets into the air, hoping that a few of them hit the target. Same with selling on ebay, especially when one has been on this online marketplace for years.

    Auctions cost more than my store items to list. So if an item I have on auction doesn't sell for two rotations (usually the span of two weeks), I modify it so that it then becomes a Buy It Now item. Each month, I have it automated so that the unsold items roll over, at a cost of a nickel apiece, for the next month's listing. My ebay bill per month is approximately $250...would be over $300, but top rated sellers get a final value fee discount of 20%. My overhead is huge, by some standards, but that only indicates that my gross is even larger, and as long as that continues, I don't mind staying in business.

    I certainly don't have my business anywhere near where I want it to be, and that's a good thing because I believe in always improving on any project I am working on.

    You're absolutely spot on with this question, and I appreciate you for asking it. If you need further clarification, please by all means seek me out, and I will be more than happy to shed some light on any ebay issue.

    Aloha! (And ask Roscoe and gang if they have any old items they want me to sell for them. LOL!)

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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @carol7777

    Hi, Carol! Thanks for stopping by to read and comment on my latest hub.

    I've written several anecdotal ebay hubs and decided recently to finally begin dabbling into "how to" articles. Hopefully, the decision was a good one. Glad you liked this hub and that it triggered some thoughts about your past mug inventory. Honestly, I get a bit of a high anticipating what great mugs I might find whenever I attend a sale or visit the local thrift stores. Aloha!

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    wetnosedogs 4 years ago from Alabama

    Goodness! What a great hub packed with detailed plans to sell a mug. You are definitely the ebay teacher. I am sure I passed up gems in thrift store shopping and didn't realize it.

    And attempting to sell your ebay store, oh my. That must be a hub in itself.

    I do have a question. What about items that didn't sell? Do you relist? Try a different strategy? Maybe you mentioned this somewhere in other hubs and I just don't remember.

    Thanks for the share of great tips.

  • carol7777 profile image

    carol stanley 4 years ago from Arizona

    Interesting! I have given away more mugs over the years that would fill a room. I am down to a few basics now. People love mugs and what a neat idea. Fix up and sell.