She sells sea shells on the E-Bay not too far from the sea shore

E-Bay has launched its Singapore portal. So I suppose that means I’ll rummage through my room to see what I can sell that people who have lost their marbles will buy. (Replacement marbles, maybe).

When online trading first appeared (online), I went on a rampage, putting things up for sale left, right and centre. And sold all of them too. DIY books (how to make your own kayak, woodworking encyclopaedia, how to make your own fishing lures), racquets, hunting bows, home-made fishing lures. You name it, I’ve bought it – things I never really needed – and I’ve sold it, to people who, while online, suddenly decide they need DIY books, racquets, hunting bows and home made lures. It was great. I had a trading account of good standing on this site called GoFish (Australia), it had nothing to do with fishing, all to do with online selling, and unfortunately for them, not much to do with profit. My infatuation with selling trivial miscellany online died with the company some time in 1999.

My entrepreneurial streak was overshadowed by my brother’s far greater tech know-how at that time. He had, I swear, one of the world’s first CD burners, and together with a part-time DJ part time drag queen friend of his, compiled audio CDs of Madonna’s greatest hits, and sold them online to Americans who shelled out US$25 for each pirated CD! He made so much money he bought a 4X CD burner, which he used to make more CDs faster.

Unfortunately for my brother, his was one of the many stories of success leading to greed leading to unsound business decision leading to end of success.

Instead of sticking with the tried and tested market favourites, he decided to ‘make’ and sell pirated serial VCDs of every episode of every Star Trek television series ever made. Apart from tapping the (to him) surprisingly small nerd market, he couldn’t make enough to put towards his enormous capital outlay of renting from the video shop every single videotape of every Star Trek episode ever made.

He and his friend never partnered on another (pirate) venture. His friend was last seen behind the clerk’s counter at the local Ezy Video library at Katoomba. Whether or not he’s a drag pirate still, I don’t know. I haven’t heard any reports of whether he’s been added to the Three Sisters either.

A friend who caught the online selling wave and has been surfing it ever since is the greatest exemplar of how one can make a tidy sum selling to idiots. She can sell any damned thing and turn in a profit. If I remember correctly, she last sold one of her used pair of sneakers. She’s also bought things from me and sold them for a profit. Like my car for instance.

It has just dawned on me that the secret of her success is that she buys things from idiots first.

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