Finding the Remarkable Among the Ordinary

Well, maybe this story isn’t so ordinary, but sometimes business ideas do fall out of the sky.

Tonight, as we were standing on our deck enjoying a cold refreshment watching a woodchuck pick through the millions of acorns carpeting the forest floor, I about died when Christine told me this story which was posted to the Internet Merchants Association a business networking group she belongs to:

Here is a wild story.....i have told it before...but
here goes.....

I am in Kentucky - acorns are plentiful - very
plentiful - too plentiful.

I was about to cut the yard at the dome, beer in one
hand ( I can be honest here, i usually just say cold
refreshment) and I was just looking at the yard seeing
all of these dang acorns.....kinda dangerous trying to
mow over them - the mower blades tend to pick them up
and throw them out at high velocities in random
directions.....I was wondering waht to do...

All of the sudden one fell out of the tree and landed
smack dab on top of that beer can in my hand.....PLINK
and to the ground it fell among the
others................a lightbulb went off! (It had a
question mark included, but i thought what the heck -
a lightbulb anyway!)

"Wonder if I can sell these on Ebay?" I grabbed a box
and started raking up a load of acorns and set them
aside. I completed cutting the grass (and some more
cool refreshments).

I hauled the box of acorns home and took a picture and
listed them on Ebay - $5.00 per lb......

I sold all that I had collected and actually had to
collect more when i returned to the dome to fill even
more orders - I had oversold them!!

That is when i knew that Ebay was going to be a very
good venue to get serious about. True story!

Blew me away!



What’s even better is Charlie’s web site, where he tells his story about living his dream, building a geodesic dome home, overlooking a 5000 acre lake, mortgage free. Yes… mortgage free. Charlie is a man living life on his terms. Some people say you can’t make money on eBay anymore… don’t tell Charlie that.

You can find a business opportunity in the most unlikely places, but you have to keep your mind’s eye open, discovering opportunity in the obvious and ordinary. In the things others discard or take for granted.

You can visit Charlie’s ebay auctions here.

I have five 100+ year old oak trees on my property. They dump so many acorns each fall that a stroll across the backyard is like walking across millions of brown marbles.

Christine and I have made a game of removing the acorns from our deck in which or sons race around our deck picking up acorns and chucking them into the woods.

Our first fall in the house, we heard cracks and pops on the roof and deck, which sounded like ball bearings being dropped from the sky. It’s dangerous to be underneath our oak trees certain times of the year.

Who wudda thunk it? We could’ve been turning our acorns into cash!

15 thoughts on “Finding the Remarkable Among the Ordinary”

  1. Hello!

    I am Charlie, the fella in the story. First I would like to Thank Steve for posting the article above. It was originally written to a thread on the IMA (Internet Merchants Association) message board.

    I was shocked to find that such an ordinary item would be in such demand on Ebay. What seems plentiful to one person may not always be plentiful or worthless to someone else. Keep this in mind as you try to find items for resale.

    I would also like to Thank Steve for including the link to my geodesic dome home project as well. Profits from my Ebay sales along with profits from my other online endeavors have funded the construction of the dome home. It is not complete as of yet, but I am very proud of the progress so far. I am also very proud of the fact that I am building this as Steve said – mortgage free! It is a slow process to build this way but also very rewarding knowing that I will not have a mortgage in the end.

    Again, Steve Thank You very much for posting the article.

    Charlie in Kentucky

  2. Charlie,

    Thanks for stopping by. An old friend of mine owns a HUGE dome home in Farmington MN. I’ve had the chance to spend many weekends on the 5 acre property. I can see why you fell in love with the design.

    They aren’t for everyone, but they sure give you a feeling you can’t get in a traditional home.

    Thanks for the great story and keep in touch!

  3. Like my father always used to say:

    some people have more money than brains.

    eBay merely allows them to compete against each other to see who is the stupidest.

  4. Holy cow, you mean someone might actually BUY those useless, tasteless ornamental chestnuts that fall off the chestnut tree in my front yard – by the thousands!!!

  5. Steve,

    Is your friends dome home a Natural Spaces designed dome? They are located in MN – it very well may be. Natural Spaces was who I bought my hubs and connectors from along with the plans and instructions. They also sell complete dome home kits as well.

  6. Charlie,

    There is lot of negativity about eBay out there. I don’t know exactly why. I’ve heard many people say you can’t make money on eBay. I think eBay is great and it’s one of Christine’s bigger markets.

    I don’t know who designed my friend’s dome home in Farmington. I don’t keep in contact with him much anymore. But I do see Natural Space at the State Fair every year.

  7. Looks like Charlie found his niche! 😀 Personally, I dream of straw bale houses. Cool that he’s getting what he wants out of life. Thanks for the links.

  8. Charlie in Kentucky,

    If you can get people to pay for what’s basically worthless to the rest of us, good for you. I’m just saying the people on eBay paying for it are stupid. They try to outbid each other. The stupidest wins.

  9. Steve,

    Thanks for the great post. A great bit of advice I was given once when I was wondering if I should do something bold or strange or scarey (I can’t remember which) was “What’s the worst that can happen? You can only get ‘no’ for an answer, and where’s the harm in that?”
    I guess the worst that can happen with some ideas are they don’t fly (or you get no bids), but who cares? It costs nothing to try, right?


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