About SecondMoonshot

SecondMoonshot Logo v1.0, self designed!


SecondMoonshot is the result of my misery in the corporate real world. Don’t try to read anything on the name of the company. The driving force was no name similar and the domain name was available.

I had spent almost 30 years in the Healthcare IT arena culminating into a Director in software development (I was a developer early in my career before moving into management). I had been working from home for close to a year at that time due to COVID. The first 25 years or so were fine and I was reasonably successful, it got me through some rough spots, got me through my first divorce (and ironically my excessive work ethics was probably part of the cause), but the last 5 years were pure misery.  Looking over my finances, I could swing an early retirement (although not spend with reckless abandonment), so cut the cord and put my notice in in January of 2021. The first 2 weeks were great, played golf 2 times a week, slept a lot, putted around the house…my wife hated me. I realized I hated golf so put the clubs in the attic and much to my delight, I saw dollar signs on all my collectibles up there! I figured I would make a cool $20 grand selling those grape figurines, beans babies, and comics I acquired over the last 40 years.

Let’s just say it didn’t work out that way, but I did get hands on experience with eBay and knowing me and my wife enjoy estate sales, auctions and thrift stores….and the plethora of available time on my hands….and the fact I am not capable of not working, made a decision. In part based on my financial statement wasn’t so rosey that I could just spend money with abandonment. I also have 3 sports cars to think about that I really didn’t want sell (why 3? Because with 3, you have a “collection”), you can read about the cars here.

I am a very goal oriented individual and I have to have some target goal, so I put a loose (ok, very loose) business plan together to build this as a bonafide business. Got my business name registered in the state of North Carolina, bought the domain name (here, where you are at), got my tax use license for resale and off I went. Of course business cards were the top priority of the day…they tell others I am not unemployed, but in fact an innovator and entrepreneur.

We started off selling on eBay with books from thrift store, turns out there are a ton of signed books for a dollar or two out there so spent my days accumulating as many as I could find, looking for trends and eventually got 500 to 700 or so and growing (see how here). During this time my wife, Zabrina, felt the coffee mug market was ripe to supplement the book revenue. Once we got the basics operationally, the books started selling at a decent clip, mugs not so much (but at .50 cents a pop, I could live with that). Then we started hitting estate sales pretty heavy for a year and decided to not specialize in anything, but fundamentally just buy what we like with the idea that if we like it, others will…that actually turned out to be a good premise to build on. I still get books now and then and probably half my listings are books. This has also turned into consignments which accounts for over half of my new listing.

Enter Custom Picture Framing

I started doing some framing to repair or add as a way to better present the items I list on eBay. After getting Micheal’s to do one frame for me, it came out awful and figured I could do better (which I can!). In the end, I realized I enjoy the framing so much more than eBay. An opportunity came my way to make a major leap in equipment, an inventory of mat boards and moulding. But the biggest bonus was all the knowledge from Bill (whom I bought it from) and the purchasing / wholesaler relationships.

Oh, and I have a ball doing it and highly client-focused. I get to make all the decisions, treat customers the way they should be treated, ensure that every aspect is fun, maybe one day profitable, and allows me to enjoy the rest of my active years. Even the mistakes I make are fun…sorta, they don’t bother me anyway. 

My oldest daughter got into the mix as she is a UX designer/researcher/analyst with Adobe, she sharpened up my logo and we got some shirts, shipping tape, and stickers to share the word. She is the VP of Branding and Marketing. Zabrina is a natural picker and can find good quality items on instinct (where my method is by trial and error most times until I build up the experience)…so she is VP of Product Selection. Notice everyone associated with SecondMoonshot is a VP! Another key decision I made, treat those close to you well. They get no salary, but tons of my love and appreciation.

I have always enjoyed writing, so since I had the domain name, and no desire to build a web site from scratch, just created a Blogger account for the business. It’s mostly about what we are up to, our experience to pass on to other eBay sellers, or anything that comes to mind (I.e. Bad Verizon)

It’s not work because all this and the last couple of years is just too damn fun! I will not be miserable again.

If you still thirsty for more about our history, go here for another variation.

John & Zabrina


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