The last of the Sharpies

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The last of the Sharpies

3 years ago I had a great idea. OK it wasn’t that great an idea. Alright I’ll admit it. It was a terrible idea.

But it was fun.

I had just started out on my mailart365 project. For those of you who don’t know what this is, mailart 365 is a year long project to make and send 365 postal artworks in  a year.

Anyway, as I was sending so much mailart out, I decided to invest in some decent pens and after seeing others on the project using Sharpies I bought myself a pack and I was hooked. Pretty soon, Sharpies were on everything I touched and loads of 365ers were using them

83 - Indian elephant

#83 – Indian Elephant by Andytgeezer

Then one day, I was in the stationary shop and noticed that they were selling for less than half-price. I was getting through them fairly rapidly and decided that I’d stock up and bought myself 5 packs. On coming home I decided that, as I wasn’t using them all immediately, I’d put 3 packs up on eBay and see if I could turn a profit on them and use the profit to, yes you guessed it, buy more Sharpies.

[Editors note – this addiction is quite common amongst postal folk]

Even with a markup on them I was still selling them less than standard price, and all the Sharpies I listed that day flew out of my eBay shop. I couldn’t believe it. Nor could Elena. A cunning plan was forming…

In our household, Elena is the boss when it comes to finances. I haven’t the first idea what money does and so every decision that involves spending money goes through her. So I put forth my cunning plan and by some miracle she decided that it was a good idea.

So off I went and bought another 200 packs.

I have a lot of ideas and I always bounce them off Elena. She has the patience of an angel and a keen eye for a good idea, but more importantly she has a good nose for bullshit. So how the hell this idea ever got off the ground I’ll never know.

When the 200 packs of Sharpies arrived she realised that there had been a major malfunction but there was no turning back. The era of the Sharpie had arrived.

As you can expect, as soon as we had 200 packs of Sharpies in the house, the sales dropped right off. Down to zero in fact. At that point, I decided that, if I had 200 packs of Sharpies and had to draw 365 pieces of mailart anyway, I would pair the 2 things up and decided to drop the price so that the cost of postage was covered and I could send mailart without losing out to postal costs.

236 - Look what I found!

So I spent the next 2 years drawing on envelopes to strangers who bought their Sharpies at a bargain price from eBay. It was great, drawing on envelopes when people weren’t expecting it. Most the time, the buyers were indifferent, but every now and again I’d get some great buyer feedback! I mean, how often do you see sellers on eBay rockin’ feedback like this…

Excellent packing 🙂 , daughter loved it, many thanks

or

Excellent artistic seller. Love the smoking joint picture. Happy days! 🙂

or even (when I had lots of orders and not enough time to draw them)

Item as described 🙂 very pleased, only disappointed I did not have a doodle 🙂

I have to admit, I was really getting into drawing on that size envelope and with 200 Sharpies to draw on, I got better and better. 2 years after buying up the whole shop’s stock, and with 9 months to go before we were to quit our jobs and leave the country, I finally sold out of all the Sharpies I bought. Elena vowed never to make the same mistake again.

Then one day, I was in the stationary shop and noticed…

Yup. They were on sale again. After begging and pleading I bought another 100 more, and Elena had to concede that, although this would lead to financial ruin, the pleasure I got from drawing on them was kinda worth it!

With only a week to go before we head off to Romania I still have 2 packs of Sharpies left to shift, which I will of course hand draw to whoever wants them. If Elena has her way, they will be the last ever packs of Sharpies I sell, and perhaps the last time she ever wants to see Sharpies ever in her life.

So what are you waiting for? Help me clear my house and snap up a stationary bargain today! Hurry! These are up on eBay for one day only at http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/261271470330?ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1558.l2649 and http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/261271470833?ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1558.l2649

[UPDATE – WE’VE GOT BIDS ON BOTH OF THEM! YAY! FINALLY SOLD OUT WITH JUST 3 DAYS TO GO! THANKS! WE’VE LISTED SOME OTHER ODDS AND ENDS AT OUR EBAY SHOP AT http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/myrealwall/m.html?_nkw=&_armrs=1&_from=&_ipg=&_trksid=p3686 – bid now and help us clear our house. These are only up for a day as we’re moving out on Wednesday and heading for Romania for the first leg of our trip!]
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An e-learning professional and physics teacher by trade, Andy discovered late in life that he rather likes art. He set up my REAL wall and mailart365 to make and send as much art in the post as possible but spends far too much on postal costs

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By | 2017-01-10T11:06:42+00:00 August 21st, 2013|Categories: by Andy, handmade, News|5 Comments

About the Author:

An e-learning professional and physics teacher by trade, Andy discovered late in life that he rather likes art. He set up my REAL wall and mailart365 to make and send as much art in the post as possible but spends far too much on postal costs

5 Comments

  1. Mim (Richmond, VA) August 24, 2013 at 8:44 pm - Reply

    Oh Andy, what a tale. I can only image what the arrival of that huge amount of Sharpies into your life was like. Hustling Sharpies! I wish I had a need for them. I rarely use them up, in fact, the last large set I bought, dried up before I could finish them. Surely some one will help you out. On the other hand, your drawings have gotten better and better.

    • andy August 24, 2013 at 8:47 pm - Reply

      No probs Mim! The 365 was a great way to sharpen up my skills but when you are creating so many pieces and sending out it is a real strain on the wallet. Also with my attention span I found it hard to stay focussed. With the Sharpies, they kept my mind on task. If I made a sale I HAD to dispatch them, and I made a conscious effort to try and draw on every one. Tying the 365 and the Sharpies together meant that I could stay focussed, pay the postage and introduce mailart to the unsuspecting masses!

    • andy August 25, 2013 at 3:33 pm - Reply

      Just got bids on both packs Mim! Hurray! Just in time! I’ll draw on these as soon as I get back from carnival tomorrow

  2. andy August 30, 2013 at 3:47 pm - Reply

    I managed to get the final 2 packs out to the buyers on Thursday from Luton airport just minutes before jumping on the plane. Sadly, with all the house-moving and bag-packing for this big adventure, the doodles were terrible. I was rather looking forward to posting them up here but I’ll save the blushes as I swiftly drew a departure lounge sign on one envelope as I was in such a rush!

    Thanks so much to both of my buyers for clearing out the last of my stock and bringing the age of the Sharpie to a close for me. Happy drawing!

  3. […] with most of this stuff. We used every Free Listing weekend on eBay to list stuff (as well as our Sharpies!) and advertised on Gumtree, and after a while it got easier as we realised that most of this stuff […]

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