Hobby Shop Business

For a short period of time I was the owner of a hobby shop. This was one of those random things that happen and are generally difficult to repeat. If you read the last post you know I finished up a modeling project and had started thinking about the next one. As the idea began to develop for the next diorama I found myself looking for a model of a railway car. There were of course, plenty of them available on eBay but I thought I would try Craigslist first. In my search for “model” I turned up an unusual ad. There was a fellow up in the Brighton area that had a rather large pile of “stuff” in the middle of his garage that he was trying to sell as a single lot.

In the pile of toys and action figures were models. Quite a few of them in fact. And although the picture was poor I could tell that they were the type of models that I am interested in. I contacted the guy and asked him how many models were in the pile and would he consider selling them separately. He would and he thought there were between 60 and 70 of them. So, that Saturday we took a drive in the Jeep, a large sum of money changed hands, and we drove home with a Jeep full of model kits. That afternoon was spent cleaning up the dusty kits, photographing and cataloging them. When all was said and done there were 65 model kits sitting in a stack in the basement. If you have heard the expression “kid in a candy store” you will have some idea of the excitement I was experiencing.

Now honestly, I had no intention of keeping them all…although the thought did cross my mind once or twice. So the more difficult task became which ones to keep and which ones to sell. I managed to whittle it down to a dozen which I set aside for later enjoyment. The remainder I began to list on eBay. We went out and purchased some shipping boxes and packing supplies. It took two weeks to get them all listed and each and everyone sold. Some for $5 and some for as much as $50. In the end, after recouping my investment, paying the eBay and PayPal fees, and deducting the shipping supplies, my little hobby shop turned a profit of $325. Plus I got to keep a dozen models that cost me nothing. Including the railway car I was looking for. Not too shabby for a random business venture. Oh, and special kudos to my “shop assistant” that supports me in crazy schemes like this. 😀