BY SUE FLIESS / DEC 02, 2013
Ben Pagel's (user ID: buzzbookstore) love of books not only led him to his wife, but to what is now a highly profitable bookstore on eBay. In his quest to meet other sellers and learn more, he found the eBay for Business Facebook page. And we found him. After reading his post about books and marriage, we simply couldn’t resist a good love story.
In 2011, Ben Pagel found his true love: the woman he wanted to spend the rest of his life with. But he didn’t want to spend their lives together paying off his debt. He needed a way to pay down his credit cards—and buy her an engagement ring. So he looked to his other true love—books—and found the answer.
Ben’s life-long love of books led him to amass quite a collection over the years. He was always on the lookout for an interesting book to add to his shelves. So last spring when he saw local classified ad for a lot of 2000 books, Ben was not only intrigued on a personal level, but saw a way to pay off his debt. Fortunately for him, his girlfriend was an English teacher and shared the same passion for books. After discussing it with her, he purchased the 2000 books for $450, and the adventure began. He combed through the books—51 large Rubbermaid tubs of them—looking at each with a discerning book-lover’s eye. “It was a treasure hunt,” says Pagel. He decided which ones to resell, which to donate, and which could find a home on his own already-full bookshelves.
When he was ready to sell them, he opened an eBay selling account, started taking photos of the books, and began listing. “Getting started with eBay was really easy and I list exclusively from my mobile device,” says Pagel. He’ll often take pictures of his items before he leaves for work, and then list the items on the train when he has a Wi-Fi connection at each station.
Before long, Ben had made his money back on his initial inventory investment. And after bringing in $6000 for only 400 of those books, he knew he was onto something. He continued to sell the books from that initial purchase, and was not only able to pay off his credit card debt, but buy his girlfriend an engagement ring.