Wednesday, July 30, 2014

What the eBay?!? Wednesday 7/30/2014

Just a quick one today in honor of Comic Con:

Here is a blog post by Ms. Goodwill Haunting on how to use the website Watch Count to find best offer accepted prices.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

BOLO - Les Mills DVDs

Les Mills is a group fitness organization - group fitness instructors pay big bucks to be certified through the Les Mills programs.

Check out the sold listings of these Les Mills DVD's

Some of their classes include:
Body Combat, Grit, Body Vive, Body Flow, Body Pump

These DVD's might be hard to come by, but you never know!!!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Sum it Up Sunday 7/27/2014

I was out of town over the weekend, and it just happened that I had to pass by the Hampton Goodwill Outlet on the way. I stopped both times and got a bunch of backpacks, Pampered Chef, ink stamps, and miscellaneous things to list this week. I spent a total of $35 from the two trips about $.75/item.
Today there was a fight that broke out over the bins. It was ridiculous. Today was only my third trip there, and I had never been there when they were rolling bins out. It was like piranhas stripping a carcass clean. But you better believe when the next round came out I was right there in the middle of the chaos (the thrifting chaos not the fighting of course).

I had nine sales this week totally $196. I had three $40 range sales, one being these wooden plates. There are no seems, so they are made from a single piece of wood. They were hand made in Haiti in probably the 60's.

Paid $12. Sold $45 + shipping to a buyer in L.A.
I also sold this Harry Potter Quidditch Stick for a $20 profit:
Also this week:
- The Post Office called me back and assured my they are taking care of the package pick up problem. We finally have a new full time postal carrier and she is GREAT. I've told her about my business and she has not forgotten my packages once.
- I got my TRS Status; Yay discounts!
- I sold a few pieces of fabric, so I should have listed it much sooner. If you have fabric waiting to be listed, let this be your motivation!!
- Five of my sales were mugs or glasses. Just when I was thinking about slowing down on buying mugs. One was this set of gorgeous Knobler Japan Mugs:
Paid $1. Sold $39.99. They took three months to sell.
Hope that you had a great week! I'd love to hear about any cool sales you had, or recent thrifting experiences.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

What Do You Do?

Sum it up Sunday will be Monday this week because we're traveling. In the meantime, how do you respond to buyers who message you with "pity" stories?

I've had a couple strange messages about illness and circumstances, and I'm never really sure how or if to respond.

My family gives charitably on or own terms. eBay is my business. Period.

Is there a way to politely respond? Or do you generally ignore these messages? I'd love to hear how you handle these types of buyers?

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Lego Table

This week I made my oldest son a Lego table in anticipation of his upcoming birthday gifts being mostly Lego related.
I started out by thrifting this old TV stand. I went to several thrift stores before I settled on one.  I knew I wanted solid wood so it would take spray paint well and hold up for years to come, but I just kept finding crappy particle board ones. I also wanted it to have doors or a space for storage.
Finally found a solid wood stand at Second Chance (SPCA) Thrift
Paid $22
Then I bought some bright orange spray paint. I picked the paint that will "stick to plastic" my thought process here was, if it sticks to plastic it will stick to wood without sanding...
Halfway there.
It took four cans for a total of $20ish dollars.
Then I contact cemented the two baseplates on top. That stuff is strong and they aren't going anywhere! I ordered the baseplates online for about $6 each.
Corralled the Lego from around the house...
And Ta-Da!
Total cost $55ish
I am very pleased with the outcome!
If you've made something similar I'd love to hear about it, link to pics if possible:)


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Paypal Automatic Defect

Ahhh the D WORD!

So, I was checking my seller dashboard and saw that I had a defect for a cancelled transaction. This was weird because I didn't have any cancelled transactions for any reason that would cause a defect (cancelled by seller for being out of stock).

So I checked the item ID and saw the situation. A few weeks ago a seller paid $11 shipping to California for a small bag I was able to actually send first class. I messaged her that I was sending it cheaper and sending a partial refund via Paypal. I did this because I was afraid she would give me low ratings for shipping (resulting in a defect) because they actual cost was so much less than $11.

Anyway, I accidently hit "refund" on Paypal instead of typing in the $6 and doing a partial refund! Oops. A couple back and forths with her and a new invoice was sent and she was VERY nice about it.

A little eBay shipping humor to get you through this hard core eBay post

So why the defect? eBay automatically gives you a "cancelled transaction" defect if you refund the whole amount on Paypal! (Not for the normal return process - only in abnormal cases like this one).

So, for example, a buyer says a $5 item arrived broken, and instead of doing a lengthy return process on a cheap item, you just refund them: DEFECT!

The rep I spoke to was clear that they are still working out the kinks in the defect system, and she thinks this will drop off. But for now, beware when fully refunding a buyer!

If you have recently fully refunded someone (for a reason other than being out of stock or a return) I would love to know if that is showing up in your Defect Report. Thanks!

What the ETSY Wednesday?!?

Recently I was browsing for some bath salts and somehow wandered into What the Etsy?!? territory...
I LOVE this cross-stitch saying
 and all the others at Bananya Stand
this one pretty much sums up how I feel about the following...

Did you know you can pay for Spell Casting services on Etsy? (I would be very wary here in case they work!)

You can also buy every product you ever need to take care of your... Beard!

And if you don't know the term Family Cloth, I am happy to introduce you to this phenomena most recently seen on TLCs Extreme Cheapskates.

... and finally if that last one grossed you out don't click here.

Please note if you love/use/make/sell any of these products... WHAT THE WEDNESDAY is all in good fun!!!

Have you come across any funny, unique, bizarre, ridiculous, or silly etsy or eBay listings this week?

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Sum it Up Sunday 7/20/14

I did not list much this week, and I did not sell much either! I only about $90 worth of sales (7 items). I also cancelled a sale after an "accidently bid" message. Those are annoying! It was a $40.00 Christmas ornament.

I earned my turquoise star for 100 feedback! That was exciting. I would say I get feedback from one out of every three sales.

Pokémon fabric. Paid $1.20/Meter
I finally got around to listing a whole bunch of fabric. I bought this fabric in Tokyo Fabric Town, the fabric district in Tokyo where there are 85 fabric stores within several blocks! I got most of it for 100Yen a meter, which is less than $2/yard (average priced fabric in the US is $8-$15/yard). This place is a quilters/crafters paradise. We lived within two hours of it before moving a year ago. But I've read many blogs where Australians (and some hard core Americans too) will make an airplane trip to Tokyo just to buy fabric!
I've been dreading it because I knew I didn't have full yards, and it's all cut. So I measured out panels and fat quarters and finally listed it. This is "waiting for the right buyer" stuff so we will see how long it takes to sell. I pinned all the fabric so hopefully it will get more exposure...
I generally Pin my listings that are especially beautiful or unique. I had this stationary listed for a couple months. I went through and pinned some listings that weren't selling or getting many views. This sold within one day of pinning. Coincidence??
Vintage Retro Cocktail Invites
Paid $1. Sold $9.99
I also sold another Walkman this week:
Walkman with Original Booklet
Paid $3. Sold $24.99 plus shipping.
I'm always on the lookout for these now, they are an easy $25+ I just check for corrosion in the battery slot. But remember even with issues some still sell for parts, like this one.
How was your week? Do you pin your items? Have you seen any direct correlation to an item selling after you pinned it?

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Pretty Thrifty

Attention Local Readers!!

Vintage fashion blogger Arielle at Young & Thrifted is hosting a thrifting extravaganza at Thrift Store USA on Saturday, July 26, 2014!

Pretty Thrifty, Pretty Cool!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

WTE?!?W 7/16/14

We've got two big dental bills coming up this month, so teeth have been on my mind. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of medicine right? So when researching fancy toothbrushes on eBay I came across these listings... (all complete and sold)

I had a Mickey Mouse singing toothbrush holder.. I am always on the lookout for it.
Six-million dollar man, three-hundred dollar toothbrush.
This one really cracks me up. It's literally a dirty old toothbrush...
that someone paid $274 dollars for.
AND may not be real, from listing:
For all the markings, these toothbrushes have been reproduced and I am unable to say whether it is absolutely genuine or not; and to be on the safe side, any purchaser should consider it as being for display or living history purposes only.
This is almost the exact amount that the dental bills are going to total.
Hmmm pay my bills or buy RARE DONALD DUCK TOOTHBRUSH HOLDER???
So BOLO for old character toothbrushes and toothbrush holders. I had no idea! Have you sold anything like this?  

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Oil Paint

I have a Bachelors of Fine Arts degree. Once, at a wedding in college someone asked me what I was studying. I told her proudly "drawing and design" and she responded: "Oops, you're gonna be poor!"

Haha, I can laugh about it now. Well today that degree made me some money, and hopefully this blog post will help some other folks make some money too. Let's share the wealth:)

I hit up Family Thrift this morning with a budget of $15. But when I ran across a bag of NEW quality water soluble oil paints marked at $24.99 I blew the budget. I recognized these paints as being worth probably $150-$200 depending on the colors.

There are many different levels of quality in art supplies. I see "starter kits" pretty frequently while thrifting, and 99% of the time they will not make you money in resale. But there are certain brands and key words to look for when you see art supplies that could bring big money.

Quality Brands to look for:

Winsor Newton
Faber Castell
Daniel Smith (water color)
Golden (acrylic)
Liquitex (acrylic)
Prismacolor (pencils)
and believe it or not Bob Ross brand

These are the biggies, there are others - so if you come across something that has a quality feel to it or is made in USA or Europe, give it a quick look-up.

What types of supplies to look for:
(the below are all linked to sold items highest to lowest)

Oil paint
Acrylic Paint
Water color
Colored Pencils
Soft Pastel
Oil Pastel
Inking markers (used for manga and illustrations)

Used items do sell if there is still product left!

What to look for on the products:

For resale purposes, avoid anything marked, basic, beginner, student, novice etc. unless you have a good feeling about it (a huge lot of liquitex basic for $2 for example)
Professional, or artists quality are worth the most
Most quality brands are not made in China

I really wish I had known about buying and selling supplies on eBay when I was in school, I could have saved tons of money!!!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Sum it Up Sunday 7/13/14

I have been concentrating on buying and listing higher value items. Because of this strategy change I am having fewer sales. This week I sold ten items, with an average sale price of $25, nothing to shake your fist at!

I LOVE mugs, and always pick them up for reselling (and some to keep) - but it had been a couple weeks since one had sold. So I was very happy when this one sold within a few days of listing.

Waechtersbach Turtle coffee Mug  W Germany
Paid $.75 Family Thrift, Sold $19.99 + shipping
For Christmas in July I sold this lot of three mice ornaments. The buyer wrote and said she only wanted the one on the far right. It is "Nibbley Do" by Thickets at Sweetbriar. I had already mailed her all three, but maybe when she sees how cute they all are in person she'll keep them.
Lot of Christmas Mouse Ornaments
Bought in a bundle at yard sale. Paid approx. $1 total.
Sold $18.99 + shipping
I had a plush success this week. This is the first time that I've actually made a chunk of change off plush! I picked up this vintage Woodstock with moving parts at a yard sale in a bundle for an average of about $.20
Sold $24.99 to a buyer in the U.K.
Overnight I got a bid on this Pfaltzgraff flatware:
Providence Pattern four pieces
current bid $18.99 + shipping
I usually don't mention items that only have bids, but I bring this up because I am excited about flatware right now. I like the profit margin it brings, and like I mentioned in my last post it's easy to store, and ship.
I'd love to hear how your week was!

Friday, July 11, 2014


So, in an effort to stop buying "junk" to resell; junk that I'm not making enough money on, junk that takes up too much space, junk I'm constantly worried about breaking, or one of the kids taking it out of the eBay closet and losing; I recently made a move towards buying flatware.

The Recyle-ista has a great three post series about "Flippin' Flatware" - I read her post and thought that flatware really fit the bill for what I need. Doesn't break, easy to store, and easy to ship! Not to mention, I really like bringing sets of things back together. Searching through those bins and pulling a set together can be very satisfying!

So far what I am finding is that people don't need/want what I call butter knives but what are technically the "modern hollow knife" - this knife is fairly useless and I can't say I blame people for getting rid of them. The forks and spoons bins at the thrift stores are usually bare, and the knife bin is always overflowing.

A few weeks ago I picked up this set at new to me Thrift Store City. I have avoided this thrift store because honestly it looks totally sketchy from the outside. But I decided to go for it one day, and I was rewarded. I found the below flatware and paid about $4.50 for the set. I didn't recognize the maker, but it had a quality feel to it. Also, I could make a service for four. So I went for it without even looking it up.
Amboss Super Austria
Sold this week $85.00
(I was very happy for this sale because of the summer slowness)
I picked up these stainless and Bakelite pieces at a yard sale a couple weeks ago.
These are actually the pieces that set me towards exploring flatware more. It also had me researching how to fix the red Bakelite I thought I ruined by testing it in hot water. I found the Dish Sisters blog and they saved the day and one red Bakelite fork!
Goodell Co Stainless and Red Bakelite Flatware
Listed very high - I'm waiting these out.
Have you had any flatware successes?

Thursday, July 10, 2014

World Cup

This would be a fun trip!!!
I wonder what they retailed for? 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

WTE?!?W Gift Cards

I am so confused. I know there has to be a good reason for this...
At first I thought maybe this was a currency exchange thing, but look at the apple gift card. Ships to US from within the US. Is this like code for "I'm actually going to send you cocaine?" Someone please explain this to me, ha!
I did a little looking into this and it seems that most the winning bidders are scammers/using stolen credit cards. But I don't understand the process, I guess because I am an honest person.
To be honest, I wouldn't sell a gift card on eBay now, I don't want to deal with dishonest people like that...

Monday, July 7, 2014

*Update* USPS Carrier Pick Up

We've lived at our current house for a year. We had the same mail carrier for the first ten months. About two months ago, we started having new carriers almost everyday, the Saturday carrier is consistent, but the weekday ones are different. I talk to them and ask, "are you the permanent carrier now?"  and they are like "Oh haha, who knows when that will happen!" What does that even mean!!

One week we had the same guy all week, he was great, gave me a postal box and was super helpful. The next week he was gone, and so was my box:(

Well, over the past two months I have used the pick-up service at least 4x a week. And at least one of those times every week they do not pick up my packages.

I'm SO frustrated, because now a tracking number is not being scanned within the one day time frame - and it is going to start dinging me in August if this continues:(

I have talked to the people at the Post Office but I'll let this image tell you how that went:

I haven't even reviewed it. Validating, but not solving my problem.
Today was  my breaking point with frustration over this.  We left at 4:30 PM, and the truck was at the end of the street. When I arrived back at 10 PM I had a package from USPS and my outgoing packages were still sitting there. GRRRRRR. I just sent an email to USPS through their website, but I have a feeling this problem will continue.
One day doesn't usually make a different to the buyer, but it is going to make a huge difference to eBay soon...
I was printing out my pick up request every day after the first time this happened, and taping it to my mailbox, but then they still would forget so I stopped wasting the paper.
Any suggestions? (And yes, I could take the packages myself, but that is not the point here, this is a service they offer and should follow through with it.)
*** UPDATE***
I ran into the mail carrier who was doing the route today, and spoke with her. She said it was her first day on this route, but she was just a sub and would not be doing it regularly.
I explained that my packages hadn't been picked up the day before, and sure enough she had TWO pick-up requests for me (one from each day).
She said she would come back with the truck to pick them up.
Later I went out to grab the laundry basket I set them in and saw that she had taken all but one package! It was white and smaller and at the bottom but still COME ON.
I am so frustrated with this. Grrrrr. I will be going to the post office tomorrow. Stay tuned...

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Sum it Up Sunday 7/6/14

This was a relatively low-key eBay week for me. We got a bit of hurricane Arthur here in Virginia Beach. It wasn't bad, but enough that yard sales were cancelled, and the fourth of July festivities were rescheduled.

I went thrifting one day, and to an Estate sale on the afternoon of the fourth. Since the city had rescheduled the festivities and everyone's plans were cancelled the estate sale was PACKED - I picked up some stamps, a pair of Foot Joy golf cleats, and a walk-man.

I had some decent sales this week, one being this lot of Barnum & Bailey circus themed party "stuff" - invites, cupcake toppers, favor bags, etc. I got it all at CHKD a couple weeks ago. I had it listed in a few different lots, but someone wrote me asking for all of it for a summer camp party. I jumped at the chance to get rid of it all in one swoop. I profited $47 in the end.

A small sample of the Circus Party Stuff
Another nice sale was this 1995 Hello Kitty Backpack
Paid $2, sold $35
And for Christmas in July I sold this super-cool set of mid mod Christmas notes and seals. They have been listed for awhile but I knew I could get my asking price to I stuck it out.

Paid $.25, Sold $14.99
Aren't those sooooo cool? I had a hard time selling them.
I checked my defects this week. I have two, both for item as described. One I knew was coming because the buyer left a soft positive. The other the buyer left good feedback, so I'm assuming this was a "three star" situation. Pretty frustrating, because buyers have no clue that three stars will ding our defect rating. They think its like "eh, pretty good" when actually it's got the potential to take away TRS status. The good news is I am projected to have TRS status starting next month!
How was your week, and your holiday weekend?  

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

WTE!?!W Christmas in July!!!

For this week's What the eBay!?! Wednesday post...Christmas in July!!!
All of the below listings are COMPLETE and SOLD! :)

 $5 each. Cheap enough to make a profit flipping them,
which is what I'm sure this buyer will do.
120 sweaters sounds daunting!
I have five ugly Christmas sweaters currently listed.
I don't get it.
Very cool jacket. Wonder what it retailed for originally?
This is for 25 bulbs. Not 25 boxes. WTE!?!
I've heard about these, but still don't understand it.  
What do you think? Seen any fun, funny, or crazy listings this week?

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

June Money

Before I get to this month's money summary, I just want to mention my trip to the Goodwill Retail Center in Hampton, Virginia yesterday..
Check out that fellow thrifter's haul!
She and her husband brought out two more carts after that!
Yes that building does look familiar! It is an old Target. The inside is split in half, one half being a regular Goodwill store, and the other half being the regional Goodwill outlet.  
I paid $5 for the above haul; Chuggington train set, Leap Pad book, Playskool bugs, Little People, a couple cups, Bakelite spoon, and eye and nose shaped salt and pepper shakers. The Littlest Pet Shop guys were a bust (Happy Meal toys:/) Luckily they charge by the pound and they weighed almost nothing.
# of Sales

All the numbers below are rounded:
Amount I spent on the items sold
Avg Cost of thrifted item
Amount of Sales

I just want to mention that the weeks were all different this month
1 - $420
2 - $350
3 - $190
4 - $515
5 - $50

Avg Sale Price
Highest sold item
Timberland platform boots $80
Lowest Sold Item
Playmobil Slippers $1.50
One unpaid buyer case, closed and credited
GSP sales: 6
One 30% refund on an item that ended up broken -$23
Last month’s Goals:
Add 100 new listings (YES!)
Make over 125 sales (No, but my profit margins made up the difference)
Increase average sale price to $15.00 (YES! to $19.50)
No more $0.99 cent sales!!! (YES! - my two smallest sales where for very small Playmobil items, which I am fine with)
Goals for next month:
Reevaluate how I look at my profit margin (start paying closer attention to how much I spend each shopping trip). Right now I am looking at what I spend on each item sold. This method is not accounting for the duds.
Concentrate on listing more high profit margin items, like flatware
Decrease my avg price spent on items to $1.99 while maintaining an avg selling price of over $15/item
Learn the ins and outs of Go Daddy Bookkeeping which I signed up for this month and am happy with, however I need to get some details worked out

So how was your month? I'd love to hear about how things are going for you!