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 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 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.
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