profile 9

Glacier Bay DVD

Anyone who says that no good can come from indulging your children hasn’t heard Randy Smythe’s story. Six years ago, Smythe’s nine-year-old son got swept up in the Pokemon phenomenon. His son was dying to round out his collection of Pokemon cards, so Smythe decided to help out by buying boxes of cards on eBay. Father and son began a little ritual. Every time a new box of cards arrived, they’d open and go through it together, picking out those cards that the boy needed for his collection. Smythe repackaged and sold the rest on eBay or to other indulgent parents.

Smythe’s goal in reselling the cards was to recover what he’d paid for them. He was only looking to break even, not to make a profit. But profit he did. “What I learned doing the whole thing was that if you bought correctly, you could make some money,” he says.

At the same time he was buying and selling Pokemon cards on eBay, Smythe was looking to sell his current business and move into something with better growth opportunities. He immediately realized that eBay was the answer, and began searching for something other than Pokemon cards to sell on the site.

Smythe, a former television producer living in Placentia, California, approached his old producer buddies and offered to sell on eBay the short instructional and informative videos they had made on such topics as cigars and kid’s soccer. He also cold-called video production companies and asked if they would let him sell their old inventories ...

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