EcommerceBytes-Update, Number 257 - February 21, 2010 - ISSN 1528-6703     4 of 7

First Item Sold Online: Buying Furbies and Selling Snark

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Do you remember the first item you ever sold online? Let us know by sending an email to and we may publish your story. Today we hear from Laura whose first sale online was a copy of "The Annotated Snark" by Martin Gardner. She also remembers her first online purchase - Furby dolls for each of her daughters!

Dear Ina,
I remember the first thing I sold on eBay very well. It was a copy of The Annotated Snark, by Martin Gardner. I sold it on January 22, 1999 (I still have the records from back then, if you can believe.)

I actually had two copies, having gotten one from my grandmother and one from my mother that previous Christmas (great minds think alike, or as Granny used to say "Small minds seldom differ.") It was item #59330504. I sold it for $20 (it’s available now on eBay for either $45 or $14.95, depending on which BIN you choose.)

My family has a long love of all the Lewis Carroll books, and having an annotated Snark was and is a joy. From there I branched out into art pottery and ceramics, and ephemera of all sorts. I focused mostly on postcards (as I do now, with both my seller accounts), and have done very well over the years. I took a number of years off in the middle (when we had a dairy goat herd I was milking goats twice a day and didn't have time to sell on eBay), but about a year ago started selling postcards and ephemera again, and now have two stores (one for me, one for the estate I am disbursing.) My usernames are VirtualAntiques* and Katydidscards, and you can see us here:

I also remember the first thing I bought on eBay, a Furby doll for each of my daughters for Christmas, in Nov. of '98. Still have them, if you can believe! (grin)
Thanks for the memories...
Laura Haggarty

About the author:

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to

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