If you’re like me (and if you were able to find this website this will probably apply to you) then you are a very curious person. Though, I have bought and sold hundreds of things on eBay over the last 7 years, I got to thinking… Any time I learn how much items are worth it’s just from personal experience. This led me to a new thought: why not spend a few hours every week actively looking and researching “random” things on eBay and report back to a spreadsheet that I can build up? Ideally, I would love to be able to jump into a garage sale and know how much every piece of junk out there is worth. Is that ever going to happen? Well, maybe, but not before DECADES of experience.
There is that researching side of it and there is also the luck side of it. Luckily, I have gotten lucky more times than I can remember with seemingly small ticket items.
Enter ‘Tom Swift and his Cosmotron Express”…
I actually happened to be up early on this specific Saturday morning and heading home. I stopped at one garage sale – it was the right one that day 😉
Bought a collection of books paying 25 – 50 cents for each book. 5 Tom Swift books and I think there were some other Twilight and American Diary books – so I paid $3 or so all together. Rest assured I didn’t know the value of this specific Tom Swift book; I have gotten a few before and these types of vintage children mystery type books usually fetch a decent $3-5 each if in a nice sized lot (think Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, etc.). For all you youngsters out there, Boxcar Children is not vintage; I’m 22 years old and I read that series. Besides, if you think that’s old school, you need to come back in a decade or two. Any book like this is just not as old and hard to find – could be someday, just not yet!
Upon further research, I found that good old Cosmotron Express happens to be one of the 3 rarest Tom Swift books. I knew the value of this book was $50-60 looking through different sites (and most importantly a couple recent auctions). With that said, it’s going to be a fairly small niche market of people that are interested in paying that much for 1 Tom Swift book. This is what convinced me that I needed to start this book at a higher price than usual – in this case $27.99. That way, if only one person was very interested during the week of the auction I still made a nice amount of money on the book. My book was the only one of it’s kind to be on auction at the time and a bidding war spiked the price up 26 bucks the last morning.
Bought = $0.50
Sold = $83.00
Gross Profit = $82.50