And we’re off!

Dollar Flipper Ebay Flip 5 Comments

My first item was a fast flip.  It was just something I found at a yard sale and sold by the next weekend using an eBay auction.
I bought this vintage, original 1978 Hungry Hungry Hippos game board for $1 at a garage sale.  There was no box, no marbles; just all the hippos.  It was priced at $2, but so were all the complete games. Because this one was no where near complete, $1 was pretty reasonable.

Ignore the ugly coffee table. My argument is that everything else looks better since the coffee table is so “worn-in.”  Also of note, this is one of my first listings when I started getting into the eBay biz.  I’ve since started to use Google Picasa to touch up and crop my pictures.
Here are some of the pictures I took of the board itself with some general notes:
  • There were no eyes that were on the hippo heads.  I don’t think these came out until the later versions of the game.
  • All of the stickers listing the hippos names were intact and in pretty good shape.
  • The game had a stamp that said 1978 on it.
  • All the heads moved perfectly.  A lot of these older games tend to break at some point, so some either have replacement heads or are listed as for parts.


This was listed as a 7 day auction.  I generally start my auctions at 6:30PM PST (9:30PM EST) so I can get some west coast traffic too. I didn’t include a BIN option on this item.
Listing price started at $14.99 with $7 shipping.
Because this is my first item, I’ll break down the costs.  Going forward, I don’t plan on breaking things down this thoroughly.
  • Purchase price – $1 
  • Listing fee (50 free listings a month, great for new eBayers) – Free
  • End Selling Price (including shipping cost of $7) – $29.50
  • eBay Fee (10% of selling price + shipping, known as Final Value Fee) – $2.95
  • Paypal Fee (2.9% of selling price + $0.30 transaction fee) – $1.16
  • Shipping costs (USPS Priority, plus a new box) – $14.48

Total Profit:  $9.91
Available Cash to go out and buy more: $10.91

In my book, that’s a pretty good flip.  Obviously, buying the box and the cost for shipping stunk.  I’m pretty sure this shipped ALL THE WAY to California.  I’m on the east coast so it costs a lot more to ship that far for Priority mail!  Minimizing the shipping costs is a huge area for improvement.  I’ve since learned some things about shipping that knock down some of that expense.  Keep an eye out for a post on some of those tips later.  

Throw in your two cents on this flip! 

Comments 5

  1. Nice flip! I am hoping to do more of this now that my wife is staying home with the kids. We should have a little more time and she can mail stuff out. That was my biggest challenge, getting to the post office when it was open.

    1. Yeah, shipping is one of the harder parts. I’m lucky that my post office is right next to my work and opens up at 815. I’m able to leave work at 810 and be back at my desk by 825. Sometimes, if I’m not into work early, I’ll just hang out in the parking lot of the post office and read a book for a few minutes until it opens.

      Heavier stuff is much harder to deal with since Fedex is usually the cheapest service. Their locations are not as close so to me though, so I try to stay away from heavy items unless I’m making a larger profit!

      Keep us posted on any good deals you get, and feel free to shoot me an e-mail/post a comment on with any questions you have.

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