Sunday, November 27, 2011

Are You Ready for Christmas?

These girls are keeping me busy these days.  My sister in law, Melissa, took this beautiful picture.  You can see more of her amazing photography here.  


Hi there!

Are you making me a proud yard sale mommy and selling your toys like crazy?  I hope so!  It's time to get rid of everything you have and start fresh for the new year!  If it won't sell now, it probably just isn't going to sell!

Sell now so you have time to just enjoy Christmas with your family.  I'll list things this week but after that, I'm taking the month off.  Decorating, shopping, baking, card making, and just plain enjoying my cozy home and my girls are going to be at the top of my priority list.  Don't let ebay cause Christmas to pass you by!

Speaking of card making, tonight I'm getting our Christmas cards together on Shutterfly.  They're pretty much my favorite cards ever!  Despite the card companies bombarding us every year with deals and steals on cards, we always end up going with Shutterfly Christmas cards.

I always have such a hard time choosing our Christmas card.  It's something I look forward to every year, though, mainly because I know it is a picture I'm actually going to be in!  There doesn't seem to be too many of those...hmm...

I also use Shutterfly to make each girl a "yearbook," a photobook every year that highlights all the pictures and activities we've done in the past 12 months.  My vision is for my girls to head off to college one day and have 18 shutterfly photobooks under their arm, a history of moments both big and little.  The girls love these...and I think they might be their favorite Christmas gift!

I'm pretty excited to get our Christmas photo cards done!  My sister in law, Melissa, graciously took pictures of us over Thanksgiving...she's a pro and they turned out great.  She actually took pictures of the whole family...all 21 of us.   She deserves some kudos for turning chaos into a beautifully and artfully arranged picture!


All of the Shutterfly photo cards are so beautiful, I'm not sure which one to choose...but I'm off to do that now.

I'll be back soon.  Until then, list your little hearts out.  And then, mail each package off, wish it God's speed...then love your kids, warm your home, forget about ebay and enjoy celebrating the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Tuesday's Ebay Selling Tip: Kick the Tires

You gotta kick the tires.  Ok, so this probably goes without saying.  But maybe if I would have done a little more tire kickin' I wouldn't have had such a rough go of things last week.  What do I mean by kickin' the tires?  And what can we learn?  Here you go.

1.  When you're at a yard sale, see if what you are about to buy actually works or has the necessary pieces and parts.  The first step with this is to actually ask the seller if it works, has all the pieces, etc.  My cousin almost bought a wagon this weekend that was BROKEN.  And I can't tell you how many times I've asked a seller to go back in the house and see if she can't find those Pat Pat rocket action figures.

2.  Test your electronic toys BEFORE you sell them.  I am so bad about this.  I always assume it works, but sometimes it just doesn't.  At least if you know, you can be up front with your descriptions and there will be no surprises when your package arrives.  Though I must say, in all my glorious laziness, sometimes my listings say, "This toy may or may not work with batteries.  I don't know though, I haven't tested it!"

3.  Don't feel the need to send your toys with batteries.  You can if you want to, of course, but remember it makes your package heavier to ship (especially D batteries).  It is enough to tell your perspective buyers that the item has been tested, it works, and will require batteries.

4.  If you kick the tires and find something doesn't work or a battery compartment is corroded, don't despair.  Sandpaper is your friend and that is often all it takes to reestablish a working connection.

5.  If you are selling clothes, dress ups, etc., examine your item closely in natural light.  Look for rips, stains, tears.  How many times have I sold something only to find a missed stain when I'm packaging it up?

Do you have any kickin' the tires stories or tips to share?  Please do so in the comments!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

My American Pickers

Pumpkin pickers, that is.

Give me a farm and a Carolina sunset in October and I'm a happy mommy.

Give Charlotte a new pair of kicks and a red wagon and she's a happy baby.

Give the big girls the promise of a hayride and what you have is simply the best...night...ever.




This part of Saturday is my favorite.  I love yard sales, but it's the on-a-hayride-watching-wheels-
turning moments that I love the most.  How many more years do I have before she no longer wants to wear her pumpkin bracelet to the pumpkin patch?

Refusing to believe they will ever choose to spend a Saturday night with friends over a Saturday night with mom and dad, I snap pictures of what I know are fleeting moments so I can revisit them again six months from now or a year...or ten years.

Happy pumpkin picking to you and yours.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Saturday's Yard Sale Spoils: O Christmas Tree Edition


Saturday morning I had VERY high hopes.  Two big neighborhood yard sales and one little ol' me.

I can't believe this is all I have to show for it!

Not that I'm not thankful for everything I find.  I am.  But it seemed like I was two minutes too late at every house I would stop at.  Deals were being made everywhere for the items I wanted.  Ugh!  Oh well.  There's always another Saturday morning right around the corner.

I was super excited to buy a fake Christmas tree for five bucks.  My mom has been buying me Hallmark Barbie Ornaments since they first emerged on the scene in the early 90's...and after many years and sometimes multiple Barbies each year I have quite the collection.  My dear husband grumbles each year when our tree is covered in Barbie ornaments.  The girls love this, of course, but he's got enough pink in his life already...he doesn't need it on his Christmas tree too.  So this year we'll put a tree in the girls' room and they can put all of their girly ornaments on it.  I think they'll be thrilled when they hear the news!

I also bought a handful of fifty cent dvd's, a nice collection of Rainbow Fairy Books at 25 cents each, Toddler Wise book so I can brush up on my toddler babywise skills, a couple of loveys, a stroller for Charlotte for Christmas, lots of dress up dresses and a few clothes for the baby.  I also picked up a vintage fisher price little people house which will be delivered to a nephew, some Thomas stuff, a few my little ponies and a few more odds and ends.  I won't even tell you what I DIDN'T get because that will cause me to relive the big fishes that got away and I might get sad.  I hope you had a better Saturday than I did!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

What to sell Wednesday: Parts and Pieces and Stuff Like That



What day is it, anyway?  Oh well.

Once you've been at this for a while, you might find yourself with random parts and pieces of things at the bottom of boxes and storage bins.  Or, maybe you bought something thinking it was surely a gold mine, only to find it wasn't worth your time to sell.

Well don't go throwing anything away just yet.  I've got a collection of "randoms" I intend to sell...very soon.  Parts to extremely popular, not sold anymore toys...things like baby doll pacifiers and doors to pirate ships and caps to castles...you get the point.

Now I'm not claiming you'll get rich off a random care bear castle topper or a door to a fisher price pirate ship, but I'll happily pocket ten bucks for each and go on my merry way.  These little trinkets are easy to ship, easy to store, and easy to list, and sometimes you can even set the market and get seemingly outrageous asking prices if you're the only one out there who has one to sell.  You'll likely tap into two buyer markets:  moms looking for a missing part to a favorite toy, or an ebay seller hoping to get that last little piece that will make a complete set.

Things to think about:  research everything.  When you buy a bag and see random stuff in it, spend time searching said random stuff to see if you can find out what it is.  When you identify it, see what others are selling it for and undercut them by a buck so yours will sell first.  And don't list it for 99 cents or something silly like that.  When it comes to random parts and pieces, make your start price what you expect to sell it for, or do a fixed price.  Keep your shipping low since at most these little things will only cost a couple of bucks to ship.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Tuesday's Ebay Selling Tip: Don't take advice from Yard Sale Mommy

The buyers out there in ebay world have really been raking me over the coals lately.

Which leads me to believe that maybe you shouldn't be taking my advice.  I've been dolling out refunds these days like I'm Santa and it is Christmas.

Here's a look at some of my recent ebay communications:

1.  Dear so and so, I regret to inform you that I shipped your item in a box that used to contain wine and it has been sent back to me, where it sat on my doorstep in the rain while I was on vacation for a week.  Who knew you couldn't ship using a box with alcoholic beverages on it?  Well,  I guess I did but I just forgot.

2.  Dear such and such, I regret to inform you that the dress I listed as a size 7 is really a size 4, yes I am a big dummy so here is your money back.

3.  Dear blah blah blah, I regret to inform you that I can't find your item.  I've looked all over my extremely organized garage full of junk (ha!) and it must have been stolen in the middle of the night by the toy thieves.  So sorry.

4.  Dear Miss You Are Totally Lying and I Know It, here is your money back because I just don't feel like arguing with you today.

5.  Dear Miss Brand New to Ebay,  Thank you so much for the negative feedback.  I knew it was coming and it's good to just have it over with.  And thanks, too, for not contacting me first to let me know you were displeased...that was so kind and courteous.  Most importantly, thank you for buying 5 of my items and leaving me bad feedback for ALL of them.  You know, 'cause if you're gonna go, go all out.

I'm sorry, I must go now.  All of a sudden I am dripping with sarcasm and I need a towel.  But at least I feel a little bit better.  


Anyone else have any recent interesting eBay communications you'd like to share?  Leave them in the comments!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Jumping Back In

From one vacation to the next, here I am.

Jumping back in is hard.  Especially when you have nothing but (good) excuses and very little to show for two months.  Writing a catch up post overwhelmed me to the point of paralyzing me...so I...ahem...did nothing.

Well, I've been doing a lot for the last couple of months.

There has been camping.

There has also been tennis...

And baby kissing...



And special projects with Grandpa.


And there has been so much more, with pictures to come.  And of course, there has been yard saleing.  'Cause there's always a yard sale somewhere, and Lord knows I'll be trying to get there.  I don't know where you live, but where I am there has been lots and lots of RAIN.  Mostly on Saturdays...ugh.  It has seriously cramped my style this fall season.  But despite the drops I have been out in force whenever I can...and loving it.  The garage is still full from a September consignment sale so even though I'm finding little at the yard sales the Lord has been good to me.  Hope the Lord has been good to you, too.

Are you gearing up for Christmas selling?  It's time to get jiggy with it, ya'll.  More on that soon.

For those of you who still have me bookmarked, thanks.  I have learned as much from not blogging as I have from blogging, and perhaps I'll share those thoughts too.  See?  There's so much more to say.  And if you are still around to listen, well, put your ears on.  You'll be hearing from me soon.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

I'm Alive!

I am soooo sorry I have been absent.  I have lots of little excuses, all of which are valid but add up to an almost two week absence!  It started getting my family ready for a mini vacation, my husband and I to the beach and the kids off to my cousin's house...then the vacation happened, then it was recouperating from the craziness of being away, then it was feeling really tired and choosing to go to bed early which felt oh so good, and now we are back to getting my family ready to go on another mini vacation!  We leave tomorrow, I am so not ready, but wanted to say a quick hello before I say another quick goodbye.

Our beach getaway was to Wilmington, NC, where we discovered that we love chicken nachos (can you believe in 12 years of marriage we had never had those before?) and being away from the kids was really quite nice.  I have been accused on this blog (through comments I immediately deleted) that I am a bad mom for leaving my kids on Saturday mornings.  Well, if leaving my kids for time away with my husband is wrong, I don't want to be right!  We had a view of the river from our hotel room as well as a view of the USS North Carolina battleship.  It was perfect.  I tried to take lots of pictures I wanted to share with you, but after taking a ton on my phone and deleting them unintentionally, I was too upset to blog about it!

I will be unplugged again for this mini vacation just like I was during my last, so you won't be hearing from me until next week!

I hope you have been yard saleing!  I have not been...boo hoo hoo.  We have been traveling and then of course there was that whole Hurricane Irene thing that landed here on Saturday morning. I can't wait for the fall yard sale season to begin...I feel like it's about time!

Thank you so much for all of the kind emails (and prayers!).  I am sorry I could not respond...it seemed like every time I wanted to come and write the baby would cry or the girls would need me or I would simply not be home.  I lost touch with how to post from my phone unfortunately, and have just been off our normal routine.  It has been nice being unplugged for a while, though, I must admit.  Even tonight as I write this I am stealing a few minutes from my husband who ended up spending a few hours in the emergency room tonight with a friend and her son.  Long story, but needless to say it seems like there is never enough time to sit still these days even for 30 minutes.

I hope you have a relaxed weekend where you are, and with any luck you'll find a sale or two worth checking out.  I'll see you again next week!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

What to sell (Thursday): Big Stuff on Craigslist


Many of you have had great success with selling bigger, annoying to ship items on Craigslist, so I thought we would dedicate today's what to sell idea to that and maybe some of you pros can weigh in on the comments!

I know in thrifting and yard saleing you come across fabulous deals on some bigger toys and baby gear, but they are simply too big to ship or too space consuming to hold until a consignment sale.  Why not buy them and resell them on Craigslist?

Here are some great things to sell on Craigslist:

  • play kitchens
  • picnic tables
  • Step 2/Little Tikes big toys
  • playhouses
  • baby gear like swings, exersaucers, pack n plays, etc.
  • furniture
Before you decide to buy these items for reselling on Craigslist, however, arm yourself with knowledge!  Do your research!  Check out Craigslist and see what people are asking for these types of items.  Assume that you will ask/accept LESS than these prices (after all, if they are still listed on Craigslist, they haven't sold, right?).  Also, be willing to have them sitting around your yard or garage for a few days until you can get them sold.

Remember that not everything is a good seller on Craigslist.  People search the big stuff but often little things go unsold because people just aren't looking for them there.

For you experts out there, what have you had success selling on Craigslist?  What prices do you typically get for them?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Tuesday's Ebay Selling Tip: Make Buy it Now Your Friend



I don't know about you, but when I want something, I don't want to wait for it.

When I shop online, and I do a lot of shopping online, I don't want to have to wait 1-7 days before I see if I can purchase something (at an unknown price I might add!).

Sure, auctions are GREAT.  So fun.  I LOVE to watch an auction, especially when the price goes up and up!  There are tons of great people out there who live to get swept up in the possibility of getting something for a steal...people who love any competition or any chance to "win" no matter what the cost. Auction style listings work great for items you KNOW will sell and have a completed listing history of a consistent ending price.

But don't forget people like me who aren't competitive, hate to wait to buy something, and don't get into the whole "maybe I'll get it for a steal" mentality.

Consider putting a fair start price (see more on that here) and adding a buy it now price.  


Make your buy it now price at the top end of what you have seen your item sell for, or undercut everyone else's buy it now price by a dollar to get yours to sell first.  Or make your buy it now price your "Happy Price".

If nothing else, a buy it now price often encourages would-be buyers to place a bid early on to make the buy it now price disappear.  This will get the bidding started and create a sense of urgency for some buyers.  The earlier your auction gets a bid, the higher it will usually go.

Would I recommend you putting a buy it now price on something super rare, super fun or super unknown?  Probably not.  But for your average item you list with a selling ceiling, appeal to those buyers who hate to wait!


Monday, August 15, 2011

How was your weekend?

It was a busy one for us.  First soccer practices, church meetings, and another night closing down the pool.

Our mother-daughter American Girl Doll book club took on Aloha Kanani, and met for a pool party.  We didn't mention the book once, but the girls had fun swimming, eating Hawaiian pizza, and savoring some sweet shaved ice.


There was some time spent on ebay shipping, and of course there were the dreaded "I took the toy apart to put batteries in and make sure the toy works and it fell apart" moments.


And yes, there were yard sales, but only a few.  I had to be home by 8 to grab dear husband and head to church for sunday school teacher training.  It was painful to drive by the signs and not be able to stop.    But I look at my garage full of stuff and know that God has blessed me and will take care of me like He has the birds of the field, so I'm okay.  I did buy some Happy Family Barbie stuff (man is it dirty!!  ugh!!  it will take forever to clean it I'm sure), an exersaucer, ten cent books, clothes for the girls, and some other random fifty cent box things.

What did you find?  Would love to see!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Auctions are Closed...The Highs, the Lows...


Hello Barney Figures!  Thank you for netting me a $27.00 profit.  I love you, you love me, we're a happy family!  Would love to send a great big hug and a kiss from me to you!

A terrible flop...because of a terrible title...was I asleep when I wrote it?  Actually yes, I think I was.  Did I mention sweet streets and I have a love hate relationship?  Sweet streets, goodbye...I'm into Barney right now...will someone please remind me to never buy sweet streets again?

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

What to sell Wednesday: Stuff that looks...interesting

After missing out on the yard sales on Saturday, I was itching to get out and find some deals.  The thought of couponing at the grocery store or stalking the clearance aisles at Target didn't seem to scratch the itch, so I headed out to Goodwill.

Armed with a fist full of dollars and a baggie full of goldfish (aka Goodwill shopping babysitter), I walked in and cased the joint.   All the usual subjects were spotted.

Super friendly but quirky check out lady?  Check.

Grandma with summer vacationing grandkids in tow?  Check.

Old guy with book scanner scanning the videos and hardbacks?  Check.

Middle-aged guy thumbing through polos while piping music through his earbuds?  Check.

Husband and wife with a cart full of...everything?  Check.

I can size up the room in zero point five.  Only one thing catches my eye.  The tall, two-tone cowboy (and I do mean cowboy) boots on the top shelf.  The stroller makes a bee-line to check them out.  But there's only one problem:  I'm not the only one interested.

So another guy was checking out my boots.  I wait until he moves away...pick them up, check the price ($15-wow!) and the manufacturer (Justin).  These boots are cool...like, show me a bull and I'll rope him cool...

like Pioneer Woman's Marlboro Man cool...

like make my pink shirt, green pant, rope belt wearin' husband cringe cool...

I can tell Mr. I'm On My Lunchbreak Goodwill Shopping is still interested, so to be fair (and nice) I walk away to see what happens.  He sits down on the grody old sofa and tries them on.  I head to my ebay app to check out Justin cowboy boots.  I see closed auctions ranging from $10-$100...so I'm thinking just for fun I'll take a chance (IF he puts them down).  He gets his feet in...will he buy them or put them back?

Because I'm too cool to care (yeah right!) I busy myself checking out some other things but in a few minutes look up to see he put them back.  So I buy them.  Taking a risk?  Yes.  Are they interesting?  Yes.  Remember the fun-for-the-whole-family, shrunken head kit?  Yes.  Am I interested to see how much they will sell for, IF they sell at all?  You betcha.  I'll keep you posted.

So today's What to Sell Tip:  If it is interesting to you, and seems pretty interesting to someone else, it's likely to be interesting to someone else out there in the world.  Take a chance...you never know if it will leave you with great pair of cowboy boots your husband will never wear or money in your pocket...but isn't that the fun of it all?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Tuesday's Ebay Selling Tip: There will always be haters. And that's okay.


Many of you worry about your ebay feedback...the seller star rating system...the emails you get from buyers.

Ebay is just like life.  You can't please everyone.  You can't and you won't.

There will always be haters.  And that's okay.

Right now, my feedback is over 2,000 and I don't have a negative feedback (yet).  It will happen, I know it will.  That day will come...I might be sad for a moment, but I will get over it.  Life will go on.  I will still need to refill the sippy cup.  There will still be laundry to fold in the dryer.  Dinner will still need to be made.

Here's the deal.  Be honest and fair.  Do the best you can.  Don't be bullied, or pushed around (because some buyers will try to push you around) but be kind, respectful, and understanding.  If a buyer wants a refund or to send something back, even if you say you don't accept refunds, give em' a refund or let them send it back.  It will be okay.  If a buyer sends you a nasty email, insults you, chews you out, threatens to leave you negative feedback...it will be okay.  Go make dinner.  Give your baby a kiss.

Truth is your worth is not tied up in what some random joe schmo buyer from anywhere, usa thinks of you.  No, negative feedback or not, you have worth because you were created by an almighty God who knit you together in your mother's womb, knows every hair on your head, has ordained every one of your days before any one of them ever came to be.  You have worth because God loves you, cares about you, and has a plan for your life...a plan that is sure to involve hard times, trials and difficult circumstances...feedback both negative and positive.  When others put you down, look up.  God loves you and cares about you so much that he sent his son, Jesus, to take the ultimate negative feedback that we deserved.  He lived a perfect life, we did/do not...yet He suffered death on a cross.  In our place.

All because we have great worth in the eyes our our Creator.  All because God loves us and cares for us.

So, don't let the idea of negative feedback hold you back.  And if you get a negative feedback, pick yourself up and keep at it.  'Cause you're worth it.

Monday, August 8, 2011

You're not going to believe this...

Wow.  This weekend was amazing!  Would you believe I got this:













And I got lots of this:











and some more this:







and I really needed this:






I am thankful to have found this:






Please don't adjust your computer screen.  No, your laptop isn't having trouble loading the pictures.  Truth is, there are no pictures.  On Saturday morning my alarm went off at 6am, and the thunder, lightning, and rain was loud enough to lull me back to sleep.  One hour later, still nothing but thunder, lightning and rain.  Even at 8am nothing but rain, so I called it a morning (I'm often home by then!).  I'm sure there were sales here in Raleigh in garages or they just waited until 9am but I was enjoying my pj's just too much.  So I took the morning off (the horror!).  Yes, that was hard for me.  Like, REALLY hard.  And I'm kinda tearing up about it as I type this.  And I'm going to say a little prayer that God will help me to not be jealous when I see all the cool stuff you bought at the yards sales on my list (and there were so many!!).

It was best that I stayed in, because little miss runny nose who loves to kiss mommy passed the cold to both mommy and daddy.  We spent the whole weekend in our pj's boxes of tissues in hand.  Then we finally showered on Sunday for church and an unexpected funeral.  It was busy but I did manage to take LOTS of ebay pictures, so at least I'm keeping it going I guess.

So, let me live vicariously through you please...what great stuff did you get?  Remember the link up rules...link to your post, not your blog, give me a little shout out link, etc. etc....

Friday, August 5, 2011

Blog Love


Charlotte's into kissing lately, and it's super cute.  Except she has a runny nose now and I don't want any part of it!  In honor of my sweetie, it's time for a little blog love.

I've learned a lot about saving and making money from different blogs out there in cyberspace, some big, some small.   I feel like I learn something new every day, and am always thankful for the information.  So here are some places you might want to check out if you've caught the ebay bug and can't wait to learn more!

Why not visit:

Dude! at Money in the Garage
Ebay Underground (great tutorial on there about international shipping, and you can learn a ton about selling shoes!)
Becky at Treasures in Thrifting Land
Kim at Mom's Paycheck

Also, to find consignment sales in your area, head over and visit Consignment Mommies blog.  You can put in your location and find the consignment sales in your area that are coming up!

Ohhh...one more thing.  Do you love shows like Auction Hunters and Storage Wars like I do? (Okay, so they don't trump the Bachelor but they are pretty good.)  Why not check out The Thrifty Teacher and her story of what going to a storage auction was really like?

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Another BIG ONE is coming up...KIDS EVERYWEAR Consignment Sale in Morrisville, NC


After a successful July kids' consignment sale, I'm itching to get at it again.  In September, I'm headed over the Kids Everywear Consignment Sale in Morrisville, North Carolina.

This sale is awesome.  Though not as big as the last one I participated in, this sale is in many ways even better.  The quality of items brought to the Kids Everywear sale is outstanding.  Every time I go, I'm sure to find American Girl, Little Tikes, Fisher Price, unique and boutique toys in EXCELLENT  condition.  I often find lots of brand new stuff there as well!

Even the clothes are better quality than the other sales I've been to.  Most of them are Gymboree, Gap, Janie and Jack, Crazy 8 or other name brand/boutique brands.  THIS is the place I love to get clothes for the girls.  Many times you can get not only the outfit, but the hairbows and shoes to go with it!  And while not yard sale prices, they are certainly very reasonable!

The ladies who run the sale are sweet, christian women who treat the volunteers extremely well.  There are lots of opportunities to shop early.  Check out their event schedule here.

The sale is held in the Morrisville Outlet mall, near the RDU airport, in a few of the empty stores.  It works out perfectly and I can't wait until September!

Here's some more information about the sale:


Kids EveryWear Helps Kids Everywhere
Local Consignment Sale Makes a Difference at Home and Beyond


Beth Pendola and Gail Walker, owners of the Kids EveryWear semi-annual consignment sale,  are tapping into an innovative business model to serve the community. Pendola is anticipating the 13-year-old sale’s potential to serve the needs of local families as well as aid the military and international orphans. 

“We didn’t envision how much blessing this labor of love would offer.  Everyone wins,” said Pendola  Shoppers at the 1,000-consignor sale are ecstatic about the quality they find at rock bottom prices.  Consignors are thrilled; they can recycle and re-outfit their kids for next to nothing.   Hundreds of local moms, dads and grandparents volunteer to staff the sale for the privilege of early shopping.  “It’s better than Christmas,” claims Lisa Weaver, who scheduled her family’s Disney trip around the volunteer preview sale last spring. 

“When our friends timidly approached us about the idea of using the sale as a vehicle to help orphans in Mexico, we were thrilled,” said Pendola. In 1998, 15-year-old Missy Schlax of Pittsboro signed on as the first “marathon volunteer” to raise money for missions work. Missy purchased select quality items at yard sales, and earned enough consigning them to fund mission trips to Rancho 3M orphanage outside Juarez, Mexico.  In 2009, Missy moved to the Ranch to become a housemother, and her younger sister Abbey took over at the sales.  In 2009, Abbey earned more than $4,000 through Kids EveryWear to support Missy’s work at the Ranch.  Last fall, the Schlax family loaded a trailer with clothing donated by Kids EveryWear and sent it to the orphanage.  This year Kids EveryWear sent a large donation of clothing and equipment when the Schlax family relocated to Juarez to open an infant house.

This year, Pendola and Walker wanted a way to bless local heroes.  “We are so grateful to our military for their faithful service and protection to our country, we decided to create a way to benefit them as well. So the military and their spouses can shop early at the Kids EveryWear sale showing their military ID. It’s our way to say thank you.”

The Fall Kids EveryWear sale opens to the public Friday, September 16th, at the Morrisville Outlet Mall at exit 284 on Interstate 40. Volunteers shop first! Consignors shop next! Pregnant moms, first-time moms, teachers, homeschoolers, and military shop early too! Visit www.kidseverywear.com for shopping times and to volunteer. 

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

First Days...Cherished Moments

New backpacks have now been broken in.  Special outfits have now been worn.  First day nervousness is now a thing of the past.  The girls are now officially third and first graders, and their summer has come to an end before it really even seemed to begin.  Welcome to the world of year round school.  


But that's okay.  We're squeezing every drop of summer out of every free moment we possibly can.  Dinners will still take place by the pool.  Sunset bike rides on the greenway will still trump movie nights, and babies will still stay up way past bedtime.

This week we stayed at the pool until the lights came on, despite unfinished homework left on the kitchen table.


Baby smiles (in a favorite yard sale find) made us forget about all that.

Time with friends playing mermaids was just as important as filling out first day paperwork.

Babies watched on while fighting over Cheerios.

It was high-flyin' fun.

I cherish these moments more than anything.  Hope you are squeezing every last drop out of your summer.  The nights are getting shorter, and it will be over before you know it.  Enjoy it while you can!



What to sell Wednesday: Vintage Little Tikes Dollhouse Furniture


The facebook page has been abuzz this week and I noticed some people have been talking about selling vintage Little Tikes Dollhouse furniture, so I thought we would take a few minutes to discuss it!  This furniture dates back to the 80's and is no longer made today, which makes it a hot commodity!  Even the Grandma and Grandpa are hot!  Or you can get serious and sell the people separately from the furniture, too.

One thing I would caution against is trying to sell the big huge blue roof dollhouse that goes with this set on ebay.  I have done it and the past, and I still regret it!  It's a huge pain in the neck to ship, and you won't make that much more money than splitting up the accessories and people.

I would, however, suggest buying the Grandma's cottage and Horse Stable and truck/trailer that goes with the Little Tikes Dollhouse.  They are easier to ship and worth trouble.

GIVEAWAY WINNER: MAGIC SCHOOL BUS BOOKS!

I hope you haven't been on the edge of your seat waiting to hear who won the giveaway.  It's been a crazy 24 hours, and now that I'm curled up with the season finale of The Bachelorette (please don't think less of me...I've been a faithful follower of every season since #1 and even though this was the worst one ever I can't help myself), it's time to give something away.   According to this "Truly Random Number Generator,", the winner is #12.  #12 is none other than anonymous, aka Michelle G.  Congrats Michelle G!  Send me your address over to yardsalemommy@gmail.com and I will send the MSB books over to you.

I guess I'll sell costume on ebay, if I can pry it out of the hands of #2.  Maybe I'll give her one month with it before it goes out the door.  By then it will no longer be a size 5-6, however!!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Tuesday's Ebay Selling Tip: Make Your Auctions Pretty


Hi!  If you're somewhat new to Yard Sale Mommy, every Tuesday I try to give a little tip to help you be successful when selling on ebay.  Here are some you might have missed:


6.  Set the right starting price
7.  Ship international packages

On to today's tip!  Someone once asked me how I make my auctions "pretty."  The answer is simple.  I use a listing service called Auctiva (pictured above).  They are not paying me to tell you the following information, but they should!!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Insider Secret: Sell This--Children's Books


If you're a yard saler, something that will NEVER be in short supply are kids' books.  My girls LOVE books, so I buy them, or "collect" them, they read them, and once I have a nice group of the same kind of book (like these Junie B. Jones books pictured above), I sell them on ebay.

How much should you pay for books?  Paperbacks, I pay a maximum of 25 cents.  If someone has it priced for 50 cents, I politely let them know that at most yard sales paperback children's books are priced at 25 cents.  Church yard sales are a great place to buy good kids' books, and almost always they are priced right.  If you run across books you want to buy, you might consider putting a group of them together and offering a low price as well.  Hardcover books for children I will pay 50-75 cents if I HAVE to.  But I don't like to.

What books do I buy to resell?  I am certainly not the expert in this field, and I am sure there are a million websites out there to teach you about selling books.  And if you play the yard sale/thrift store game long enough you'll see the older gentlemen with their book scanners or iphone scanners looking up closing auction prices of the books they find.  I stick to things my family loves, so that not only can we use them and love them, we can pass them on through ebay when we are done.  I like to sell:

  • Berenstain Bears
  • Junie B. Jones
  • Magic Tree House
  • Magic School Bus
  • Dear America type books
  • Dr. Seuss Hardcover Books
  • Groups of Character books like Dora, Clifford, etc. (though keep in mind these do not sell as well)
  • Complete sets of vintage books
  • There are others that I will sell if I can find all or most or many in a series (Captain Underpants, Whimpy Kid, etc) but since we don't read these I don't go out of my way to "collect" them.
What do I expect to make by selling these books?  I only sell these kinds of books if I have a lot of at least 10, and quite frankly I like to have more like 20.  Berenstain Bears books I wait until I have about 30.  The more you have, the better you do.  If you only have 10-20, you can expect to make about $1 per book in a group.  If you have more than 20, you can usually do a bit better.  To be honest, I don't like to sell a group of books unless I can make about $20.  So, I usually need at LEAST 20 books in my "collection" before I sell them.  Does that make sense?

Have any of you had success selling books?  If so, what kind do you sell?

Insider Secret: Sell This!


Got Boy Pollys?  Yep, that's right.  I love me some boy pollys.  This is an actual photo from one of my past listings.  I can sell boy pollys like this for $20-$30.  You don't even need four of them--2 will do!  Polly pockets are something you always see at yard sales...I'm always digging to see if there are some boys in there!

Need proof?

Yard Sale Mommy reader, please take this mental note:  making big money does not mean shipping big toys.

What would be a good title for these?  I always think, "What would a mom search for if she wanted some boy pollys?"
POLLY POCKET DOLL CLOTHES LOT BOY MAN GUY GROOM

Anyone got a few of these?

Do you have a nugget to share with us today?  If not, do you like little selling nuggets like these?  If I can hear from 10 of you I'll share another!

Baby Likes Her New Umbrella...and I Like Rain

This weekend I found a little mini umbrella for Charlotte.  And I prayed for rain to break this crazy heat!




The Lord was good and brought us rain, and Charlotte tried out her new umbrella!  Except she had no clue what to do with it.  She dragged it around but didn't use it...so she just took a rain shower.  That's okay, she loved every minute.

Later on today I'll be doing an insider "sell this!" tip, so check back.

Don't forget to enter the giveaway!  I'll pick a winner around 10pm tonight.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Saturday's Yard Sale Spoils: American Girl and Kitchen Littles Fever, plus Linky Party!

Truth be told, my heart just wasn't in it this morning.  I stayed up until 1am shipping all this stuff and watching the ESPN Fab 5 documentary (excellent by the way if you love college bball), and I was tired.  I even snoozed and didn't get out of bed until 6:38am (so obviously I was running late!).  I hadn't even gone to the bank the night before to get cash, so I left the house with $19 in my pocket.  I only had 4 yard sales on my list, so I figured I could make it work.

First yard sale, nice neighborhood, nice house, nice cars, nice looking people, JUNK.

Second yard sale, older neighborhood, I see brightly colored plastic and it looks good.  I immediately see a pile of toy story toys I want to buy, all for 25 cents each!  Score!  Wait...oh, sorry, you just bought these?  I apologize *frown*.  Mental note:  no more sleeping in till 6:38am.  Let's see...is there anything else I might like?  You betcha!


There was a complete American Girl camping set, with tent, camping chairs, fire with working lighted lantern, marshmellow and hot dog sticks, hiking backpack with binoculars and other accessories, sleeping bag, guitar and hat.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Friday Finals: Closed Auctions...How Did I Do?


Okay ya'll, let's hear it for My Boo. Three cheers for Boo!  Yay Boo!  Oh how I love you and your cute babbling noises...and apparently 40 watchers did too!  Paid:  $6.  Sold for:  $102.50.  *Happy Dance*  Buyer has already paid = *Even Happier Dance*

The HIGHS:

Fisher Price Snap n' Style Dolls lot:  Paid $7, sold for $35
Little Einsteins Singing Doll Lot of all 4:  Paid $6, sold for $49.99 at fixed auction
Wiggles figures plus house and big red car for them:  Paid: $7, sold for $64.99 at fixed price auction
Fisher Price Loving Family Dollhouse items:
  • Sweet Sounds Dollhouse sold for $22.99 (fixed price)
  • Camper/RV not complete sold for $24.99
  • Furniture lot sold for $43
  • Camping Tent sold for $24.99 (fixed price)
  • Camping Family sold for $15
  • Grandma and Grandpa sold for $16
  • Mom sold for $10
  • Pink VW bug sold for $12.99 (fixed price)
  • Dollhouse people sold for $15
Total end sales on my loving family stuff:  $185.  My investment:  $41
Mickey Mouse Clubhouse:  Paid $5, sold for $46
Blues Clues School House and Little Yellow House:  Paid $8.  Sold to same buyer for $54

The LOWS:

Little Einsteins Transform and Go Rocket Ship (different from the pat pat rocket):  Paid $4, Sold for $10 (What???  Next time either fixed price or I'll wait for Christmas, because I have 4 of these!!)
Fisher Price A to Z Learning Zoo:  Paid $10, sold for $20  (again, say what??? None of them have closed this low, and my set was complete with extras!!  Ugh!!)
Blues Clues Toy Lot:  Paid$10, sold for $20 (my last Blues Clues toy lot sold for almost $50, so it must depend on which toys you have).
Scooby Doo van and people:  Paid $10, sold for $19 (are you kidding me?  maybe it was because I was missing Daphne, and she is the hot one after all!)

There you have it.  The good, bad, and the ugly.  Some of my fixed price items didn't sell, but that's okay, I'll relist them auction style next week.

Did you list anything this week?  What was your best seller?  Worst?

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Oh Lovey, Dear Lovey

I don't know about your kids, but all three of my girls have had unhealthy attachments to at least one stuffed animal at some time or another.  For my oldest, it was a TY dog (tag name Plopper) given to her by one of my former middle school students, we call him Woofie.  She had two of them, just in case one was lost.  And we did, of course, lose one at Cici's Pizza.  That was a very sad day.



My second daughter LOVED LOVED LOVED her TY Tubby.  So much so that she sucked on his tail.  In order to sleep...eeewww!!!  I had to wash that thing constantly, and to get her to stop doing that, I had to cut off the tail and sew it up.  We lost one of these, too.  She threw one off a pier into the ocean!  Luckily I had stockpiled a few!

Note grody sucked on tail!!

Charlotte has deviated from our TY obsession and loves her "sleepy bunny," given to her by one of my former sunday school students.  It's a blanket with a bunny head and feet by BABY STARTERS.  The problem is I have never been able to find a match, not even on ebay (and you know I would pay a pretty penny!!).  PRAYING we never lose this guy.  I have lost it in the mall before but found it in Gymboree (where they took very good care of him).


I've been thinking about loveys lately, thanks to a reader's comment somewhere or another (sorry, I wish I could remember so that I can give you credit!) and decided to see what it would cost to replace:
Plopper
Tubby
Sleepy Bunny (can't find her!)

I am inspired to dig through those stuffed animal bins this weekend!  I'm buying all the 25 and 50 cent loveys I can find now.

Just for fun, what lovey does your lovey love and how much would it cost to replace it through ebay?

Storage Wars

So many of you email me asking where I store all my yard sale "loot"!  Yard Sale Daddy is going to be VERY unhappy that I am posting a picture of this, but here it is:


I'm not sure if I am allowed to tell you this, but we have a two car garage...and only one car parks in it.  On the other side, we have exercise mats and a treadmill, my ebay storage, and a a little workshop for Daddy.  Somehow toys were not in Daddy's fantasy man cave, but over the years after a few "storage wars" he has come to terms with it.  He even set up this little aisle so I have two sides of shelves.

If you can't tell, I am lacking a little organization.  I'm kind of a big picture person, not so much a details person.  Not at all type A, more like type D for disorganized.  I'm sorry if you type A's out there are hyperventilating at the toy chaos, dying to jump into the computer screen and label storage bins "polly pockets" "little einsteins" and "mickey mouse clubhouse".  Every once in a while, yard sale Daddy tries to corral me and organize me, but it doesn't last long.


You can see that on top I store big things on one side, and boxes (broken down) on the other.  There is also a shelf for small boxes, like shoeboxes, which I don't break down flat.  It's nice to have everything in the garage.  When I come home Saturday morning, I can immediately unload the car and put everything on a shelf.  I've been doing it like this for years, even when we lived in a house with a smaller garage.

If you don't have a lot of space, I suggest making room in a closet or by using storage bins under your bed.  You might also simply have to be more selective with what you buy, or list every week or every other week to constantly make room.

If you are an ebayer, where do you store YOUR items?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Webkinz--Who Knew?


My girls love Webkinz and always have.  They never seem to grow old and there is always the frowny face when their 1 year animal's membership expires.  My girls have taught me a really good lesson this yard sale-ing season--dig through the boxes of stuffed animals because you might just find unused Webkinz with codes securely attached!  I have taken my daughters out twice this season, and both times they have come back with webkins purchased for .25 cents per piece WITH codes.  You better believe I dig through those Webkinz bins now, with success!

I was just visiting Mom's Paycheck and she has discovered that lots of Webkinz do sell fairly well on ebay, though it is probably hit or miss (and it probably depends on which ones you have).  I might experiment with our old, used, forgotten about ones before I start buying.  Often, though, at yard sales they are only 25 cents each!  Which means 20 for $5...so maybe it's worth it?  Check out her info and you decide!

Yesterday, my girls found the bin full of scrap fabric and trim, threaded their own needles and made clothes for their Webkins.  The clothes turned out much better than I expected!  Now penguin has a cape and shirt (with pom fringe!).
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