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Step Twenty One to a Fortune:

photo of green plastic creative mat cutting templates


Experiment Title

Cutting Corners to Make Profits


I had a stack of mat cutting templates.

These templates were designed to help a picture frame maker design special mat cuts to enhance picture frames. If I wanted them bad enough to buy, maybe someone would want to buy them from me.



The next level (step number 21) allows for a risk of up to $5.56 for an expectation of $6.11 or more.  A search on ebay shows that nothing like this has been sold recently, but I bought them and someone sold them, so maybe I can sell them too!

From $131.34 in reserve investment fundsl, I can invest up to $5.56 in hope of expanding that to $6.11 or greater.  That should yield a gross profit of $0.55 or more. 

Step 21

Starting capital                                    $131.34

Planned investment     risk                      $5.56

Investment receipt goal                           $6.11



If only one person wants something you have, you can sell it!




I listed this on ebay with a picture and a description I hoped would attract some picture framer.

These templates had been stored in a pole barn for a while.  They smelled pretty bad. It was probably just old plastic, but we washed and dried these plastic items and laid them out to dry.  We spread baking soda over them and restacked them for a while, then washed and dried them one more time.  The smell was vastly improved.

My listing was as follows:


Creative Mats:  fancy picture frame mat corner templates


Excellent used condition.  Our art gallery and frame shop specialized in handpainted inner mats so we used the creative corners much less than our competitors. 

I don't know that these templates ever had an instruction book.  If they did we have misplaced it so it isn't part of this auction.  The corner designs are pretty much self explanitory.  Using the templates insure each of the four corners are uniform.  You mark them with the template, then cut by your usual mat cutiing method.

Click HERE to view my ABOUT ME page. I give plenty of personal info so you can feel safe doing business with me. Never hesitate to email me at with any question.


Creative Mats fancy mat corner templates

14 different templates to help any artist, craftsperson, or custom picture frame maker mark their mat boards for fancy mat corner cuts.  With these templates you can mark the matboard for precise fancy corner cuts in any  of the most popular fancy designs.  Once marked in this simple way, you can cut the boards with whatever mat cutter you have or even by hand.  You can use the fancy cuts on your cover mat, letting the undermat shine through, or you can let the artwork shine through the designs. You can also use these templates to draw fancy lines around regular cut mat boards.  Using inks, powders and the templates in combination you can create any number of beautiful French lines and designs around your mats.  You can recoup the cost of these templates with just a few professional looking fancy mats. 



One bidder was willing to buy this for a dollar.  She was also willing to pay $7.00 in postage.


Payment details:

Your payment instructions to buyer:
EBay payments or PayPal preferred for faster shipment. Money orders okay. Personal checks must clear.

Item price:

US $1.00




US $1.00

Shipping & handling

US Postal Service Parcel Post

US $7.00

Shipping insurance per item:

US $1.30 (optional)

Sales tax:

8.000% in TX

You may also contact the buyer via email to complete the sale at XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX. If contacting the buyer directly, please do so within 3 business days.


Listing fee was $.35  Item sold for $1.00 with $7.00 for postage.  Customer paid with money order which I converted to cash.  Total sale for item and postage was $8.00 final value fee was $.05  Ebay expense was $.40 total and shipping was $3.95. Maybe we had $.20 expense for the baking soda.  Total expense was $4.55  Profit on this deal was $3.45

                                        gross profit before deductions was $3.45




Ending gross capital  (before deductions)            $134.79



What good comes from a small profit?   A Well, you can't go broke making a profit, no matter how small.  Also, taxes are not so big when the profit is small. 

What did I learn from this step? I learned that you can sell almost anything if you find the right buyer.


Conclusion or Final Result


I started with $131.34 in capital. I was looking to risk $5.56 in hopes of growing it to $6.11.  I didn't get as much for the templates as I'd hoped, but I still made a profit on the postage.  After the sale before tax and charitable deductions I had  $134.79.

I sold this template for less than I'd paid years ago.  There should be no tax. 

10% for contribution from $3.45 reduces it by $.35 leaving $3.10

leaving $134.44 for investment and surplus to cover bad deals.ea



Next Step 22