Most of my mugs sell for around $10 (with the occasional exception) + $10 shipping. That's right. $20 a mug. I usually sell a mug every other day. But people aren't buying these mugs because they need cups for their kitchens. Many times, they are buying memories.
My father is from Germany, and German was my first language. When I was about to start kindergarten, we moved to California. In high school, I spent my junior year living in Freiburg, Germany. I would love to own a Freiburg Starbucks mug. So far, the NIB (New in Box) Freiburg mugs I have seen on eBay cost over $100. I have set up a "saved search" for "Freiburg Starbucks." I'm not willing to spend over $100, but I would be willing to spend around $40.
A few months back I listed a mug from a random restaurant in Nevada. I sent my friend Jennifer an email telling her about the mug because I knew she was from the town in which the diner is located. Within a few minutes I received a reply. "Do not sell that mug. I want to buy it. I don't care how much you are asking for it. I want it." She was so excited.
Turns out that when Jen was in high school, her father would take her to breakfast at this exact restaurant. They would go once a month, and she was allowed to miss first period in order to go -- kind of a father/daughter ritual. What are the odds? Since her father has since passed away, this mug holds special meaning.
Of course, not everyone is buying memories. Some people use mugs as a form of self-expression. A drama queen may want to purchase my newly listed "Queen of the Road" mug, for example.
A fan of The Godfather probably purchased the "You Toucha My Cup, I Breaka You Head" mug I recently sold. I sold it to someone in the UK. I doubt the mug was purchased because it held special meaning to the buyer -- at least I hope not. The buyer is probably just a fan of gangster flicks and wants to let everyone know it.
(Note: I did not write "You toucha my...." in the title figuring that nobody would search for that specific phrase. Instead, I marketed the cup toward people who love mafia movies and anything Soprano-esque. I included the words mafia, mafioso, and gangster in the title. It sold, and it sold quickly.)
So there you have it -- the psychology behind coffee mug purchases. Speaking of psychology......if I can't buy that Freiburg mug, I think I will get back to watching Frasier in German on YouTube (my new favorite educational activity).
Don't forget to check out Bluefrogshoes.com for shoes in hard-to-find and standard sizes. My eBay shoe store features SAS, Nine West, Ferragamo, and other incredible brands at major discounts. For eBay selling tips and tricks, subscribe to this blog ....where I reveal a secret in every post!
Have a great Monday!