Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Deal of the weekend!

We went out of town this last weekend so I didn’t get to catch any of the garage sales or spend any money…almost…lol!

The day we left, Friday, I got an email from a Craigslist ad I had responded to about a Chicco Travel set (car seat, Base, and stroller) I’ve been checking on these on Craigslist and they run $300 new and $150-200 used. Amazing how much one will pay for one of these.


I liked the features of the base and the stroller, but not enough to pay more than half the value of it for! I thought maybe I could get a good deal at a garage sale this summer. But then one day I checked and there it was…no picture, just a listing on Craigslist for the travel set for $95. “Needs cleaning” is what she said. Never a good sign that it was well taken care off but I responded anyway. And responded, and responded. I can be very persistent when no one writes back to me. After a long week of no responses (and me sending an email daily) I had given up until she emailed me and said she was in town and do I want to come by. I said I could on Sunday so apparently she set up 3 ladies interested in the stroller but we all thought we alone were coming to look at it. As soon as I realized someone else was there interested I decided I couldn’t talk her down (there goes hoping for the most amazing deal ever!). And started looking the stroller over and trying the handles and buttons. It was stained but I like these car seats because I’ve never seen one that looks bad…so they must come clean. Well, this one looked pretty bad but I hoped it would come clean with a good washing. The other 2 ladies just stood there and watched. One asked why the lady was selling it and then there silence while I looked the stroller over. I stood back to let them look, and when no one moved I said a quick prayer and told the owner. “I’ll give $95 for it.”

She turned to the next lady and asked if she’d give more for it. Both other ladies said no and walked away. I’ve never seen Craigslist handled like that before! It was like she was hoping for her price to go up while we bid it out in front of a restaurant! So odd.

Well, I brought it home and cleaned it up. Should have taken some before pictures. But here it is all cleaned up!


I’m going to have to sew one small tear on the top of the stroller umbrella (You can’t see it unless you are really looking for it), but for for $235 off I think I can handle that!

The Car seat base runs $65 alone. While the car seat & the base is: $180. The whole set runs from $300-330. I see these resold for $150-200 on Craigslist all the time so I know I can get my money back out of it if I change my mind.

I’m pretty excited about this.

And I haven’t even seen how much my old Graco set will get me. It was just a little too old to use for my 3rd kid. It had been through 2 kids before mine and is rather used. Though it still works great. You know silly mom’s like me, I wanted something newer for this baby. But I was very willing to keep the old one if I couldn’t find something in my range.

Remember my bed?


I got $65 profit out of this bed and wanted that to go toward the stroller set. Then I sold this printer $60: (with a dog to boot! Read HERE)


Sooo…I was way under budget for the stroller set and didn’t pay more than I had wanted to for the whole ($100) anyway! (how my “how-much-I-want-to-pay & my budget were 2 different figures I’m not sure!)

Linking up to:

Thrift Share Monday

Thursday, March 24, 2011


Remember my post here where I talked about a garage sale that I stopped by as they were closing and scored all kinds of toys and things? Well, that was last year but all winter I’ve been saving this little sand and water table to resell.

water table

I wanted my kids to get a chance to play with it since I would never go buy something like this, but ultimately I did want to see how much I could get out of it.

Well, my kids got their chance with the gorgeous weather we’ve been having but I could tell lately that the pile of sand was getting more interesting then the cool table. Time to stick it on Craigslist.

This was a little tricky due to the fact that this table was very hard to find. Even though it is Little Tykes it is an older model. I found most tables sell between $55-100 and I’ve heard that little tykes hold their value even if they were faded, which this one isn’t. So I priced it at $35.

The 1st email was asking if I could go down to $20. I said I had just posted but would go down to $30, the next person who emailed said call her and she would buy it. She even had someone right then who could come to pick it up. Score! The table was sold and picked up with in about 2 hours of posting it. And no, I’m not going to beat myself up over whether or not I should have posted it higher! I got a great deal and my kids played with it for free and I still made $35 off it! Yes!

Last week I posted this laser printer I got at a garage sell with full ink in it for $7. I used it and replaced the ink then my husband got a new printer and I inherited his old one and poof…this became a chance to make money!


Little did I know just how important this printer would become to me!

I first put it on Ebay, silly me, then when it didn’t sell put it on Craigslist for $65, just a little more than what I tried to sell it for on Ebay, but with no shipping cost. But before I could sell it, this showed up on my doorstep.


Cute, sweet, and not mine. She was a pug that was not fixed, and though I don’t like dogs, I’m not too fond of pugs anymore, not when they need washed and teeth brushed and hate to be left along, and when you do leave them they poop on your floor. Twice! Yes, she loved me but the feeling was not mutual. When I get a dog I want a puppy so I can blame all of her behavior on my faulty training. Besides, I knew my hubby would never let me keep her this close to having a 3rd baby!

So what does a dog have to do with a printer? Well, after looking for owners and having my husband threaten with the pound, and then having thought I found the owners, who claimed she wasn’t their’s and overall a terrible experience, I decided it was time to find her a new, and possibly better home then she had before.

So after offering her to our waitress at the restaurant we were at that night, I looked at my phone to see someone wanted to buy the printer. Jokingly I said it could come with a dog if she wanted it to and behold and low! She loves pugs!! Yep. I sold that printer for $60 and threw in a pug. She was willing to pay me the whole $65 but I was so grateful to have her take the dog I said no! (I know, I’m a terrible business woman!

All in all it was a happy story, except this part. The lady who took the pug has 3 boys and a hubby and the dog loves them all…but her. Not sure what happened cuz she liked me but shied away from boys while she was here. Well, at least the printer will like her!!!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Best Brands and Prices.

In an effort to sell more and have more knowledge of what sells the best, I’ve made a spread sheet of my best Ebay clothing sells in the last few months.

I’m going to try to keep this up so I know what brand sell, how much they sell for, and what to look for, though I know the later changes with the seasons.


This might not make any more sense to you that the saying “A hill of beans!” But basically what it tells me is that my best sellers are Old Navy and Ann Taylor. These brands not only have sold more but also this means they are the easiest to continually get at the places I shop. Since starting this spreadsheet I’ve been trying to grab up more Old Navy because I’ve realized that sells really well for me. Other resellers have said that Chico sells super well for them and though I have no complaints, they tend to sit on my shelf for a period of time before they sell. (Although I’m going to be looking for Chico Platinum jean Capris, because those were popular!)

I also know American Eagle and Banana Republic sell well for me, but according to this sheet they don’t sell for enough to make it to the sheet! Nor are they as easy to find.

Plaid seems to do well also. I’m going to keep my eye out for name brand plaid, but I’ll be careful because of the weather changing and never having sold this time of year before I’m not sure what everything will be like!

Round up!

Women's Tommy Hilfiguer size 16 Pink Flowered capris

Women's Tommy Hilfiguer size 16 Pink Flowered capris=$6.09

Women's Express dress fully lined 9/10 light green

Women's Express dress fully lined 9/10 light green=$4.33

Similac Four $5 off coupons. ($20 in savings!) exp 8/20

Similac Four $5 off coupons. ($20 in savings!) =$12.11

Women's Ann Taylor Loft Size M Black Top

Women's Ann Taylor Loft Size M Black Top=8.26

Lot of 2 J Crew Skirts size 0 Green with fun prints!

Size 0 isn’t suppose to be the best seller on Ebay but I couldn’t pass up these 2 J Crew skirts! I grouped them together and they were rather popular!

Lot of 2 J Crew Skirts size 0 Green = $12.39

Women's ADDIDAS workout blue capris size Med

Addidas and Nike never have problem selling, even though with these they didn’t “fly off my shelf” I’m still happy with a profit!

Women's ADDIDAS workout blue capris size Med= $4.73

Women's NY & Company Blue skirt s 16 w/white poke-a-dot

This skirt wasn’t as hugely popular as I thought it would be. But it sold and made me a profit so I’m happy!

Women's NY & Company Blue skirt s 16 w/white poke-a-dot = $8.16

All in all I didn’t do too bad last week:

Sold: $177.45

Expenses: $32.57

Shipping cost: $38.46

Fees: Ebay: $9.96 Paypal: $7.77

Total Profit: $88.94

Friday, March 18, 2011

Thrift Store and Garage Sales. Spring is here!!

So today I was reminded about what I love so much about summer! Other people reselling!
My kids and I picked up my older sister today and headed to the Thrift store arriving just as they open on Friday’s at 9am. The flyers all say they open at 10 but it took me a little while to figure out that every day but Wednesday they open at 9. Even though the door says 10. I guess that gives the regulars an advantage! Anyway, today was the 1st day of their big “Everything 1/2 off Sale) which they do about every month to keep their donations able to fit in the store. It is a big sell and a great time because you are not looking at colors of tags or dates that they put stuff out. You know everything is 1/2 off.
The day before everything (except certain tags) that was miscellaneous (scarves, socks, toys vases, candles, tablecloths, dishes etc.) was 99 cents so my sister and I hit the store up and avoided anything that would be cheaper the next day. Here is what we ended up with:
I’ve had my eyes on these jars for about a week now! This sale came just in time because slowly they were disappearing one by one. I just couldn’t bring myself to pay the $4.95 price tag for them! My sister and I bough all 7 that were left. She took 3 and I took 4. They don’t seal so I will have to figure out what to put in them. I’m thinking cookie cutters in one and maybe the bags of chocolate chips in the other. The vase in the picture my sister got the day before for $.99. (I’m borrowing it.)
These jars were on sale for 99 cents each. I debated for a long time. I love these jars and want to put them in my pantry but without being able to find a big lot of them I’m not sure what sizes per brands will go together. They run about $2 at thrift stores so this wasn’t as much of a risk, but I still thought twice about it!
I got me a city purse. Now there is soemthing you should know about me. I didn’t grow up city, and I don’t do purses. I’ve actually been carrying around a very nice BAG for the last year, it is actually a bag because it is a rather sleek black diaper bag, about the size of this purse. However I was looking for something new, small enough but with pockets. This one fit the bill and the sale price was $2.50. It is leather (imitation, I’m sure) But I figured I can use it and if I don’t like it I might be able to get at least $2 out of it.
This metal tin was so cute! It was 1/2 off 45 cents. So I couldn’t pass it up. I sort of want to put my chocolate chips in here, but I’m thinking of saving it for my hot chocolate, since that is what it says…lol!
I did get one thing to resell! These size 6-7 name brand Crocs. I have no idea how well they will resale on Ebay but figured I could get the $2.49 I put into them back! If not I think my Mother-In-Law might be able to fit them.
And of course I had to get something for the kids at this fabulous sale. My son played with this for about 45 minutes the day before, of course, now it means nothing to him but I love the learning device it is and really got it for my next son, who is in the cooker right now. I thought it would be good for him to grow up with this. And it works with no battery replacement! It was very clean and I paid a whoopin’ $2.50 for it. I know, it was a lot for a toy, but I sorta really wanted it! I felt better when I realized they run from $4.99- $29 used online! Score!100_7349
Then onto the garage sale part of the day!!
Would you believe that I scored this complete, unused art kit for 10 cents!!!??? It was 50 cents but I have paints and it is a touch old for my son, so I offered 25 cents and she said yes then I gave her 10 cents and was digging for the rest out of my change jar (it was obvious I had the money) and she said, “Ok, 10 cents will be fine.” My jaw dropped!
At that same garage sale my son spotted this Leap Pad. I had just read an article on a blog about someone who sells these. It only came with the one book and no cartridges, so I didn’t want to pay the normal $5 they run at garage sales, but after my son pointed it out to me 2 times (very politely I might add) I finally asked. And I’m glad I did! She shrugged and said “50 cents?” When my jaw dropped she added, “Well, what am I' going to do with it?”
I would have been thrilled at $1 and might have bought it for $2! Now I need some cartridges and books. I might switch my son to this instead of the leap pad book I was letting him play with, this is easier and more his age. But eventually it will be sold….
I got this green basket for the tag price of .75 at anther garage sale. Love square baskets but they usually aren’t in this great of shape!
YAY! Garage sale shopping is back! now I need to have my garage sale so I can go get more stuff! Ha ha!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

New EBAY rules mean a great start to resellers!


I just got this email from EBAY today:

List Auction-style FREE--any start price, all the time!

We're writing with some great news:
Starting April 19, you'll be able to list your items Auction-style FREE, at any start price, up to 50 listings a month. Plus you can add the Buy It Now option to these listings FREE to grab buyers in a hurry. Set the price you want and sell it fast! This is not a limited-time special but a change in eBay Standard fees to help you list more for FREE all the time--even those high ticket items! Pay only if your item sells.
Also, because we know buyers take into consideration the total cost of an item, also starting April 19, to encourage sellers to keep shipping costs low, the Final Value Fee will be applied to the total amount of the sale--including shipping.
New eBay Shopping Cart
As an eBay buyer you'll soon be shopping on eBay with a handy, familiar shopping cart. Add multiple items--Fixed Price and Auction-style--from multiple sellers and pay in one easy checkout. The new eBay Shopping Cart will be the way to shop on eBay by the 2011 holiday season.
Best wishes for happy selling!
Your eBay seller team

If you’ve thought about selling then April 19th would be a great time to start! It won’t cost you anything to just go through you closet and start posting items that you don’t wear anymore. Stick with name brands, even OLD NAVY does well for me, and use the money you make to get more items at Garage Sales. Do it in moderation and you will be pulling in extra cash for very little effort!

Look HERE for a link to how to ship your items and save you money…as well as not lose money in shipping!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

How to Ship on Ebay

Today’s post is from Kelly at She is a wonderful blogger and along with her friend they have a very good blog I think every clothes reseller should visit!
Her insight on how she does shipping made my business a success. Just having a guideline for the cost of shipping makes posting, and defending your prices so much easier!

I'm sure there are many different methods for shipping, however, this is what has worked for me. If you have any tips to add, please leave a comment so we can all learn and benefit.

1. I use two different types of envelopes...
Envelope 1:

The flat rate priority mail envelopes are free from the post office- or you can go to and order them for free.
I use the priority flat rate envelope to ship anything that weighs 13oz or more. You won't believe how much you can pack in these envelopes. They cost $4.90 to mail and I charge the customer $6.95 (your handling fee will help pay your ebay and paypal fees)

Envelope 2:

I call this a manilla envelope. They have a metal clasp in the back. Mine measure 10x13 and I purchase them in a box at Sam's Club.
The manilla envelope is for items weighing less than 13oz (including the envelope and tape) I also use these for international shipping. You can ship up to 4lbs internationally in this envelope. Sending them first class mail will cost $1.80-$3.20 for domestic. I charge $4.95. They will cost anywhere between $5.00-13.00 to ship internationally (depends on weight and distance) and I charge $14.00. This higher handling fee covers three things

a. You will pay higher paypal fees because international shipping cost more and your fee is based on the total money sent to you. (item price plus shipping)

b. When shipping internationally you cannot use the automated machine. This means you may have to spend time waiting in line and you have to go during regular hours.

c. When shipping internationally you will need to complete a customs form.

International customers are generally very understanding about the higher shipping.

2. When I receive an email from paypal indicating a customer has paid for their ebay item, I fill out an envelope right then. First I look at the amount of shipping that's been charged, so I know what envelope to use. Next, I fill out the address label and lastly, I write what item needs to go in the envelope on the inside flap. They look like this...
On international items I write the price the item sold for so I can fill out the customs form when I pack the envelope.

3. Using my envelopes as my list, I go into my ebay room and pull everything that needs to be shipped. I bring my clothes, envelopes, tape gun and customs forms to my kitchen table. (You can grab a stack of customs forms at the post office)

4. If it's over 13 oz it WILL fit into the priority envelope. (I've only had 2 items, really bulky jackets, that wouldn't fit) People often ask, "how do you ship your jeans? They won't fit in the flat rate envelope." Jeans easily fit- with a little practice. To demonstate, I'm going to show you how to pack this size large denim jacket (much bulkier than a pair of jeans) Lay the item flat...

Fold over...

Fold in arms...
Roll once...
Roll twice...
Now push it in the envelope...
This doesn't look like it will fit, does it? Here's where you need to really pack it in. First I stand up the envelope and tap it on the table- This will settle the item in. Then I use my hands to tuck in the item as I roll the envelope over...

It may not be pretty, but it's in. I use a piece of tape to secure the envelope...
The post office will allow a piece of tape to go from indentation to indentation- no taping the sides. Where my fingers are in this picture is about where the indentations are.
Here's my packages all ready to mail. To conveniently transport them to the post office I stack them in these great recycle bags...

I don't like to have stuff laying around so I generally ship 3 days a week (Monday, Wednesday and Friday) My 18 year old daughter loves to drive and so is the primary person to do the shipping. If you're unable to go to the post office during regular hours you can ship domestic

items using the automated postal center...

Don't be afraid- it's wonderful. Typically there's no line and after a little practice you'll get really fast. However, if I'm going during the day, I usually let the post office workers do my shipping. You will be asked if you want delivery confirmation, tracking number, etc. Unless it is an expensive item (Over $30.00), I just send it regular mail. I have had 3 packages lost in the course of selling hundreds of items. When the customer says they haven't received their package, I usually ask them to wait an additional week and recontact me. If they contact me again in a week, I have to trust they're being honest and issue a full refund. I do not include a packing slip with my items. Computer ink is expensive so just the item goes in the envelope. The customer receives an email invoice from ebay when the auction ends and an email invoice from me. I have had 1 customer say she would have liked a packing slip. When I first started selling on ebay I really took each criticism from my customers to heart. I wasn't experienced, so if a customer made a suggestion I followed it. However, I've learned that some people can just be really picky and negative. If you have a system that works, don't let one comment change your method. If several people make the same comment, then it's time to rethink your strategy. We all want to keep our expenses down and our profits high.


I do things a touch different by sending out priority mail and posting it from home. I have to either do postal pickup (if I have no plans to go out) or I take it and drop it off at the nearby post office (which is inside a bank about 2 miles away!
As far as the kiosk, which I love, it is about 4 miles away but in-route to a lot of places I go, so I use it as often as I can, for some reason it seems cheaper then doing it with a person. I calculated it and I save the 19 cents confirmation charge -required to be paid online- and 17 cents per item just because their scales ring it up that way. That a lot of savings over time.
And no, I don't have trouble with not putting confirmation on my cheaper sales. If a customer is unhappy, a little confirmation number usually doesn't make them any happier and they still want their money back!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Vintage Envelopes from Recycled Junk Mail

Ever written a cute letter and after slipping it in a plain, bland envelope you felt like it just didn’t do the letter justice? I have. So I decided to do something about it using an idea from Thrifty Apron Girl’s blog.

I pulled out all of my magazines that I had been saving for some fabulous idea I knew I was bound to have!

Grabbed scissors, glue and envelopes that I pulled out of the trash. I had one from a group asking for donations, one from a random junk mail folder, and one from a credit card offer. Just as long as it hasn’t been sealed you can use anything!

First you will need the above supplies: scissors, small knife, glue, junk mail envelope, magazine pages.

For this envelope I chose a target ad that was brightly colored and will do well.

Knife cutting envelopeThen carefully cut along the glued edges, opening up the envelope ’til it lays flat.

Place it on your magazine page making sure the whole envelope fits. Sometimes you will have to glue it lengthwise.

Spread glue all over opened envelope, make sure to get edges.

Make sure you smooth it out so that there are no bubbles. Then cut the area with scissors.

Ta da! Now all you have to do is glue it back together and you have one eye catching piece of mail!

Glue down edges and fold together.

And you are ready to go! I paired this envelope with some tea dyed paper I made!