jsinger - 4:38 pm on Feb 13, 2010 (gmt 0)
"Middle class living." Competitors aren't always driven by that typical goal.
In some fields there are lots of hobby businesses where profit is a minor consideration. One woman told me she made less than minimum wage but adored the little business she owned. I know the wife of a very wealthy lawyer who had a cookie shop. An even more prosperous wife, formerly a CPA, opened a tiny needle point shop. I'm sure she gave little thought to her margins on thread and thimbles; hubby was worth 8-figures!
I can't explain a lot of what I see on Ebay by traditional profit-driven economics. Some people just love buying and selling junk, perhaps seeking the thrill of a rare windfall. There's a gambling element to some eBay activity.
I knew a man who set up his ex-con kid in a business just to keep tabs on him.
And like I said, there are those who work to build large businesses to flip them for profit (or sometimes just ego).
We can't assume all webcommerce shares the "normal' goal of "making a living." I'm a believer in minimum pricing.