SecondMoonshot is the result of my misery in the corporate real world. 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 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 put a loose (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 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.
Then I looked at numbers, projections, making average sale price assumptions and decided that my 2 year milestone is to have 3000 listings with average sale price of $20 or higher and based on projected volume would give me a revenue of $X per month, then grow from there. I still think the basic plan is viable, but wars happen, inflation occurs, stock markets go down, recessions start, pandemics happen, gas prices go up…while the growth hasn’t happened as expected, I am committed to the plan and like one should buy stocks when low, I am using this time to source and build inventory so when better times come, I am well positioned.
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, 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 designed/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.
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 it is too damn fun…but…once it is work, I won’t do it. I will not be miserable again. Started doing custom picture framing when I picked up a lot of equipment and supplies at an estate sale for a local artist; just pure enjoyment and satisfaction. We primarily sell on eBay, a couple oddball items may go on Facebook Marketplace or CraigsList.
We recently moved into a 20’ x 20’ warehouse (ok, storage unit which should be enough space to get me through 2022. Read more here. In 2023, the goal is to move into a larger warehouse.
If you still thirsty for more about our history, go here for another variation.
In addition to eBay selling:
- I occasionally will do consignments if you are in NC, SC or VA and handle all operations. Payouts on sales occur in first week of the following month at my standard rate of 50% of net proceeds. Contact me if you have interest.
- Custom framing, cost effective using recovered frames and glass/acrylic or all new materials. Contact me if interested for a quote. I do my own mat board and glass/acrylic cutting. Read more about this and some examples my work here.
John & Zabrina
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