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 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 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, 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 $10-$ 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 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 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 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 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! 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 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.


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 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?"

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 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.
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