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!).

What to Sell Wednesday: Sah-weet Sweet Streets


Happy Wednesday! 
If you're visiting for the first time, there are several places to explore here at yard sale mommy.  What are you interested in?
my family
my yard sale adventures
my thrift store fashion finds
ebay selling tips
what sells on ebay
my favorite yard sale finds
Also, don't forget to enter the latest giveaway!

Ok kids.  Sweet Streets (made by Fisher Price) and I have a love hate relationship.  I love to buy them.  I love that my kids enjoy playing with them!  But I hate that they never seem to come with all of their accessories.  And I hate that I always think they should bring a huge profit but sometimes they don't.

Completed Sweet Streets listings vary widely in closed auction price.  You have some that close really high and some that close really low.  The general rule of thumb is that if you have a ton of houses, people, and accessories, you'll be able to sell it as a lot for around $100 give or take (maybe more at Christmas).  Let that be your guide as far as how much you pay for a huge lot of it at a yard sale or consignment sale.  In the past, I think I have paid as much as $50 for a big lot of it, happy to sell it for $100 and make $50.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Yard Sale Daddy Doesn't Bring Me Roses...

He brings me boxes.  Okay, so he does bring me roses every once in a while, but nothing is sweeter to me than a big huge pile of broken down boxes he took the time to bring home from work.  If you're going to be a yard sale mommy you're going to need boxes.  Lots of boxes.  And you don't want to pay for them.

You also don't want to pay for all of your other shipping supplies, either.  I pay for tape (I buy the Target  or Home Depot brand) and big yellow envelopes, but I do not buy bubble wrap or bubble envelopes or packaging peanuts.   Instead of bubble envelopes, I buy a huge Sam's Club box of yellow (10x13 I think) envelopes, put the item in a ziplock type bag (I reuse the ones I get from yard sales and consignment sales, so I try not to use new ones), wrap it in newspaper to soften edges if needed, seal it up and ship (if it is small and flat enough to put in an envelope.  Otherwise, I use a box).



In the past few days I sold my Loving Family Camper for $24.99 (paid $4) and the vw Loving Family pink bug for $12.99 (paid $1).  Instead of bubble wrap, I used grocery and Target bags.  These are free, lightweight to ship, and it's good to reuse them for something!  Once I am out of grocery bags, I used balled up newspaper (we get the Wall Street Journal for free thanks to moneysavingmom.com).  Again, lightweight and FREE!


I also sold a Loving Family dollhouse for $22.99 (I paid $20 for the dollhouse plus people and accessories, the people and accessories are listed right now).  Because I didn't have a box big enough, I made a big box out of two same-size smaller boxes (this is a trick taught to me by a postal worker!).  I use Yard Sale Daddy's box cutter and made it fit (though I don't always need the box cutter to do this.

Also important to note, I try to clean things before I send them out.  I'll use Clorox wipes, or my favorite tool, the Magic Eraser.  The Magic Eraser can make a used, scuffed up toy look brand new.  It can even take permanent marker off of a toy effortlessly.  I highly suggest buying one to have around for cleaning time!

Once the items are packaged, I weigh them and head to my ebay sold page to print out labels.  There will be a little icon on the right hand side of the page next to your sold item that says "Print Shipping Label."  If you click on that, it will take you to a details page where you can put in the weight of the item (shipping addresses to and from should be automatically filled in).  Once you've verified the information, printing your label is just  a click away!  After I print, I affix it to my box and schedule a pick up at www.usps.com.



You also might want to have a good place to store your boxes.  If they're left lying around for too long, you run the risk of them turning into a robot!


I hope this information has been helpful.  No need to spend more money than you need to on shipping supplies.  Your toys and children's items will arrive safely without expensive packaging!

Tuesday's Ebay Selling Tip: Ship International Packages


Come on, you can do it!  It's easy!

For YEARS I resisted shipping internationally because...well...because...hmmm...well, I don't really know why.  It seemed intimidating I guess, all the paperwork, going INTO the post office which I hate to do, dealing with huge long addresses and language barriers.

But did you know that 30% of my auctions are won by people living in countries other than ours?  Do you know what that means?  30% of my auctions are ending HIGHER and I am making MORE money because I am willing to ship to foreign countries.

And despite my initial wrong assumptions, you CAN ship international packages from home...Mr. McFeely WILL pick those up too (as long as you have the right supplies).

In a nutshell, here's the skinny on shipping internationally:

Monday, July 25, 2011

Reader EBay Success Story: Vintage Weekly Reader Books!


Alice from Farewell, Office. sent me this testimonial today and I thought you would enjoy reading it.  EBay is truly something anyone can do, and I believe anyone can make money at it!  Alice shares a recent ebay victory (and I promise I didn't pay her to write all these nice things about my blog, though I would have ha ha.)
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Vintage Weekly Readers currently for sale on etsy right now.

From the time I was very young, I was taught to be thrity. My father gave us freedom to spend the money that he worked so hard to earn, but he always followed every "Yes" with "Once it's [the money] gone, it's gone." He rarely told us, "No;" however, we knew that if the money wasn't available for future purchases we were going to have to do without; there would be no flashy plastic  to sweep in and "rescue" us. While thrifty, my father was never miserly. He would come home weekly with small gifts for me, mostly books, but they were always ones he'd picked up at the thrift store. I would gush, "Thank you," in that wildy happy childlike way, and he'd always reply, "I'm glad you like it; I thought is was worth 2 bits" (which I soon learned equaled a quarter). Some weeks he'd come home with a bag of candy, usually from the holiday that had just passed. I'd get Christmas candy on December 26 and Valentine's candy on February 15. From an early age my father taught me to enjoy the money we'd been blessed with, but he also taught me to spend it wisely because a blessing should always be treated responsibly, almost reverently.
 
When my son was born 7 years ago, I knew that thrift stores, consignment shops, garage sales and Ebay would be goldmines for toys and clothes, and I bought many of his best things there for a very small fraction of retail; however, I never thought of buying to resell. I only bought for our own personal use.
 
Several months ago after being an avid Ebay buyer, I decided to try selling some items I had around the house, mainly books, and I failed pretty miserably. I took pictures, calculated my shipping, determined my starting bid and posted. Many of the items did not sell and I was out my listing fee; the items that did sell only sold for my starting bid, barely covering my listing and Paypal fees. I had calculated shipping correctly so I did not lose any money there, but I lost a great deal of time for little to no profit. I considered myself done with selling on Ebay, until I found Yard Sale Mommy. Her blog gave me an Ebay education and gave me hope that I, too, could sell and make a profit worth my time.

Compromised.

Last Friday afternoon proved to be very interesting as I spent an hour on the phone with eBay (via someone in India) because my account has been "compromised."  Apparently, there is a link between myself and user ID urallbiters (get it?) and so I am now on "restriction."  I feel like I am in high school and I am now grounded.  So even though Mr. urallbiters is no longer a registered user, and CLEARLY this is not an account that is to be taken seriously or I have any clue about, I am being punished.  Right now, my account is being "reviewed" and is "under investigation" and hopefully they will clear this up.

If you are wondering why I am not broadcasting my user id on ebay (right now) this is why!  Some of you may know it, and that's okay...I don't mind.  In fact I am thankful for your suggestions and mistake spottings.

I do have listings on right now.  I am experimenting with doing more fixed price listings as suggested by many...we'll see how this plays out in the end.  I only had time for 35 listings this time, so I will probably do a "week 2" in August because my shelves are FULL of stuff from the consignment sale (so thankful for that!).  Plus I have another consignment sale coming up in September, and yard sales will pick up as the season turns to fall (yay) so I need to get this stuff out of here!

This is what my 35 listings look like behind the scenes:


Some things in the picture didn't even make it to listings.  With family coming into town for the week I was super busy,and I didn't even get a chance to box things up beforehand.  I suggest you do that so you can use the calculated shipping method for determining your buyer's shipping cost, you can read more about that here and about how you need a scale here.  Since I have been doing this for so long, however, almost everything you see pictured I have sold before, so I already have a registered weight in my saved listings and don't really need to weigh them to get my listings up.

I photographed these 35 items in about 4 hours (2 naptimes).  It took me  approximately 4 hours to list them.  I'll let you know how long it takes me to box them up and ship them next week!  The auctions end on Thursday night...so far, so good!  And as for my fixed price listings, whatever doesn't sell this go round will be listed auction style during my second week of listings.

I am enjoying seeing your yard sale finds!  Don't forget to enter the giveaway if you haven't already!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Saturday's Yard Sale Spoils: Two weeks worth and a CHANCE TO LINK UP!!


I'm realizing I forgot to share last week's yard sale finds...although there isn't much to report.  I went to a handful of yard sales, but only one made the morning worthwhile, which is where I bought all this.  The bumbo seat and tray I scored for only $2 (always ask the "man" at the yard sale how much things cost--boy, was the wife hot when she asked him how much I paid for the seat!  Note--pricing your items prior to hosting the sale is always a good idea!).  These bumbo seats are so easy to ship and will bring a nice profit.  At the same yard sale, the clothes were only 50 cents, so I picked up a few things (including the darling Hanna Andersson outfit) that Charlotte will wear one day and then I will consign or ebay.

Yesterday, I did slightly better, but as I have said before, this is a slow time for yard sales (so I am thankful to the Lord for anything I find).  It was fun going out with my sister in law, too.  Here's what we found:

It's kind of a random selection of things!


My sister in law homeschools her three children and she bought all of these great educational books for $0.25 each!  It actually turned out to be less than that because the woman selling made it an even $5.  Yard sales are a great place to get educational and homeschool materials.


I have to speak for a minute about the crutches.  My daughters have watched Heidi one too many times I suppose, but they love to be injured.  Hospital is on our list of favorite things to play.  Last week we went to a local kid's museum where there is an ambulance set up and a pair of crutches and the girls waited for a half an hour until it was their turn, and then I had to fight them to give them up so other kids could play!  When I saw these three child-size crutches for $5, it was a no brainer.  I also found some vintage care bear figurines and vintage my little ponies, all from the 80's.  I paid three dollars total for everything above, 25 cent per piece.  The vintage 80's toys sell fairly well on ebay, and the more you have the better.  You might also notice Sophie the Giraffe in the picture above.  She needs a cleaning but she is so cute.  I knew her retail price is around $17 not including shipping, so at 50 cents I thought I could either sell her, consign her, give her to Charlotte to play or use her as a prop in pictures.


I bought this Kelty Kids Country Backpack to resell on ebay.  I literally had $22 dollars left, and offered it to the seller, even though the sticker said $30.  She took it.  I should be able to sell it for at least $50 but probably more.


The beyblades stadium and blades I paid $5 for.  Maybe this is too much but I can put it with the other beyblade things I bought at the consignment sale and sweeten my lot.  The pretty diaper bag was in the free bin...couldn't believe it!  It will be sold at a consignment sale.  Also for free is the little McDonalds happy meal Hansel and Gretel.  These are always in the free bin but some are collectable, so they can be sold on ebay or you could group them together and sell them at a consignment sale.


The  Fisher Price Super Star toy was a good deal at $6.  It still has the microphone and it was very clean and well cared for.  The paint your own tshirt craft (new) will be a nice stocking stuffer type present for my horse lover and it was only $1.


My sister in law also scored three boogey boards for $5 total, as well as a Taboo game she'll play with her kids.  I also bought a big bag of lighted Christmas garland for only $2 that I am excited about.

Overall, it was a good, fun morning!  What did you find?  What are you excited about?

Here's a chance to link up your recent yard sale finds!  This is my first time offering this, so I hope I'm doing it right!
Here are the rules for linking up:
1.  Your link must bring people directly to a blogpost about your yard sale finds, not to your blog "in general".
2.  Your link (or should I say yard sale finds) must be family friendly and appropriate!!
3.  You must include a link back to www.yardsalemommy.com somewhere on the blogpost you are linking up.  A simple "I'm linking up with Yard Sale Mommy" with a live link would be great so we can grow this linky party!

Hope you enjoy seeing the yard sale spoils of others...share yours here!  (PS--Don't forget to enter the latest giveaway!)  And I'm linking up with her library adventures and My Life on a Taffy Pull!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Giveaway Day: Gymboree Fairy Costume or Magic School Bus!

We've been talking so seriously lately about ebay and consignment sales...it's time to have some fun!  And nothing is more fun than a little girl in a fairy costume!


            How excited was I to find this Gymboree Fairy costume at a yard sale for $1?  Yes, $1!  Not only was I excited because it was a great deal, it was a costume we centered a fairy themed party around when my daughter turned 4 years old.  


She wore the purple costume  and each invited guest got to dress up in their own fairy costume to take home, made possible by collecting fairy costumes at yard sales, of course.

















It was fun to relive a little bit of the preschool years with the new found costume (even though it was a bit too small for her).  
Gymboree knows how to make a costume.  The details are so fun.  Pretty wings, petal necklines...


skirts just right for prancing


...a crown and a wand for magical surprises.


Please promise me that if you win this delicious costume giveaway (it's a size 5-6 by the way) you'll find a grassy knoll and promise a little girl a round of frolicking.


   Lacking a fairy in your family or circle of friends?  You should still have the chance to win your own bit of magic.  If you'd rather, you may choose these wonderful Magic School Bus books.  There are 6 in all and they are in great condition.  It's never too early to start building your educational library!



You have two chances to win your choice of magic.  
1.  Become a follower and leave a comment and tell me which gift you would choose if you won. (1 entry)  You can become a follower by joining on the right hand side of the page.  If you already are a follower, just let me know that in your comment.
2.  For a second chance at winning, "like" me on facebook.  You can also do that on the right hand side of the page.  Leave a second comment letting me know that you did so, or that you have already done that in the past.

Check back on Tuesday, August 2nd in the evening to see if you've won!


Thursday, July 21, 2011

Not Sure About Ebay? How to Make Money Buying to Resell at Consignment Sales


Janessa's garage sale finds are ready for the consignment sale.

Today, Janessa over at Saavy Saver Secrets is sharing some incredible suggestions about how she makes money by buying things at thrift stores and yard sales and reselling them at children's consignment sales. This might be a great option for you if you don't have the time or gumption to try eBay.  Take it away, Janessa!
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I am a self proclaimed bargain hunting/money making junkie!  When I moved from Wyoming to Missouri almost 4 years ago and got my first taste of children’s consignment sales I was instantly obsessed and totally hooked!  Thanks to Jen, I have recently began selling on eBay again (I used to sell vintage clothing 6 years ago) and I think her methods are amazing and oh so wise, but even with this new found knowledge of the potential of selling children’s items on eBay… I still will be dropping off upwards of 500 to 1000 items to sell at the fall consignment sales in my town!
Here are my stats from the last sale I participated in:
811 items dropped off at the sale
sold 87% (705 items)
consignor check (my cut after fees) $2800

Important things to know about Reselling at Consignment Sales:

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Sunday Best for Less: Sunday School Social (Yard Sale Dress Find)



 If you live in the South, you know that people here like to dress fancy.  Especially for church.  Or, at least here in Raleigh at my church.  There is no casual church day in my little neck of the woods.  I'm talking heels and hairbows and pearls and perfume.

Last Sunday in my Sunday School class we had a little social to send off some missionaries and friends who were moving away.  I knew I couldn't get away with a sneak in-and-out of the back row outfit...I needed something special.

God is good.  On Saturday morning, while hitting the yard sales, I found a rack of $3 dresses (cheaper than the GW boutique).  While thumbing through, This sweet wrap dress caught my eye.  Sold.  Was it my size?  Who made it?  No clue.  Every single dress on the rack had the tags cut out for some reason, but for $3, it was worth the risk.












I thought it was super cute and super fun.  I looked at the yard sale "hostess" and she looked like she could be my size, so I paid my three dollars and was on my way.




















The dress was very well made, and I loved the side tie bow and the v neckline.  The print was adorable in an aqua blue and navy pattern.


The ruffles at the neckline and the covered button at the sleeves gave it my required fancy factor.


Perfect for a summer party or sunday school social.  Or lunch with a former student at Bojangles, which is where I happen to be headed in an hour.

I'm sorry, did the Bojangles thing ruin it for you?  Did I mention southerners love to dress fancy for church AND eat Bojangles?  Well now you know.


I'm linking up with The Pleated Poppy and her library adventures!

What to sell Wednesday: Baby Exersaucer Switch a Roo Toys


Replacement parts in the eBay selling world are huge.  Don't pass up a big ol' baby toy just because it would be a pain to ship.  Consider breaking it up into parts and selling off individual pieces.  There are many toys you could possibly do this with, but today we are going to focus on Evenflo Exersaucers.

Exersaucers have "Switch a Roo" Toys that sell well individually on ebay.  Many of them sell for over $10 a piece.  They are easy to ship and quick to list at a fixed price.  You can also sell the seat cover, usually for over $10 as well.

If you can get an Evenflo Exersaucer with lots of toys on it for a low price, you may be able to turn a $10 purchase into a $50 or more profit!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Tuesday's Ebay Selling Tip: Set the Right Starting Price

Hot dog!  Your frequently asked question, answered.


More than anything else, people ask me how to know how I decide on a starting bid price for my auctions.  It's a tricky decision:  if you start it too high, the buyers will be turned off and won't bid at all because there is no possibility of them getting a deal.  If you start your auction price too low, you may end up selling your would-be 25 dollar item for ninety nine cents.

Here are my thoughts:
  • If I am selling clothes, I start the auction with a "I would be happy with this" price.  Clothes don't sell as well as they used to, so I like to start the auction at a price where if it ended at that price, I would feel good about it.
  • As far as toys are concerned, I only buy things I feel confident I can sell for a decent profit (at least $10, but usually I'm shooting for more than that with my purchases).  
  • I typically start my auctions, even if it is something I think will sell for $200, at $7.99 or $9.99.  That's low enough to pull most anyone in and let them get emotionally invested in the toy, and let them think they might get a really good deal.  
  • Consider adding a "buy it now" price.  As an eBay shopper, I love buy it now and fixed prices.  I am not a see-the-auction-through-to-the-end kind of gal.  I pretty much only buy things on ebay if I can buy it right then and there (I guess I am into instant gratification...so if I am, other people are too!)  So don't be afraid to add a "buy it now" price to your listing, a price you would be really happy with when it sells.  If nothing else, it will inspire someone to place a bid right from the start, which is also key--once someone jumps in and gets the bids going, other people want to get in on the action.
  • During the slower months for toys, I often do a "fixed price" listing.  This is where YOU set the price and if someone wants it, they have to pay your set price.  You can also add an "or best offer" to your fixed price, which people LOVE because they can "feel" like they are getting a discount.  If you choose the "or best offer" to add to your fixed price, you will want to increase your fixed price to allow for the lower offer.  (Many people open an ebay store and have had great success with this, which is all fixed price listings.  I have not done this myself but am considering it!)
  • It's important to research completed listings of the item you are selling so that you can anticipate the final sale price of your auction.  If your item consistently sells for a certain amount, this knowledge will help you decide if you want to do an auction, a fixed price, and what kind of "buy it now" price you would like to add if you choose to do so.
  • I almost always list my items for 7 days and I like to begin my auctions on Thursday nights around 10pm Eastern Time.  10pm is not too late for East Coast buyers, and not too early for West Coast buyers.  Thursdays are great because I have the whole weekend to get my shipments together.  Please note:  be mindful of holidays and holiday weekends.  You want to avoid ending your auctions during these times.
For all my fellow ebayers out there, what can you add?  There's so much to say, I know I have probably missed something.  Feel free to comment and join the conversation!  We also discuss these things on my facebook page, so if you want you can like me on the right and join in.



If you are new here and just getting started on the whole eBay thing, you may want to read one or more of the following posts before reading today's ebay selling tip:

Monday, July 18, 2011

Consignment Sale or Ebay? How do you decide?

Many of you have asked me what things I decide to consign at a kid consignment sale instead of selling on ebay.  Here is a list of what I choose to consign over doing an online auction:
  • My girls' clothes.  By the time we are finished with an article of clothing, it has really been through the wringer.  With three girls, our clothes get used at least by two kids!  Plus many of my children's clothes come from a yard sale, so they have been worn by someone else's kids on top of mine.  I feel it is only worth your time to eBay unique, boutique, or specialty clothes.
  • DVDs I buy at yard sales for $.50 or $1 each.  Some Disney classics I do eBay, but for not-as-popular movies or TV show episodes I sell them on consignment and ask $4-$8 per DVD.
  • Things I don't feel like shipping, like some big dollhouses (remember I like to sell the people and the furniture separately?) or big plastic toys.  There are MANY toys I buy simply to sell off the accessories, pieces, or parts, so what do you do with the big structure they came with?  Sell on consignment.  It WILL sell, even if it doesn't have any of the pieces!
  • My "mistakes."  When God knit me together, he gave me that risk taker gene...which means I'm not afraid of making mistakes.  So I make a lot of them like the Dora Sheets or the Smurfette figurine I just HAD to have.  If I try to sell something and it doesn't sell, I simply tag it at my "happy with" price.  Remember ebayers have to pay shipping which is always at least an extra 5 or 6 bucks.  At a consignment sale, you can ask a bit more than you would on ebay because the buyer is not paying a high shipping price.
  • Baby gear.  Baby gear is just SOOO BIG!!  There are some things I will ship, like nice infant carriers or backpacks or bumbo seat sized things, but for the most part, if I run across a baby deal and feel like storing it until a sale, I consign it.
Stay tuned this week for more information on how you can make money by buying things at yard sales to resell at kid consignment sales (you don't need eBay for this one!).

Sunday, July 17, 2011

A Little Note of Encouragement

I'm so excited that so many of you are so excited.

There is money to be made here, no doubt about it.

Truth be told, right now the yard sale season is slow.  People are on vacation, it is so hot outside, and everyone is too busy to organize their life and their home.  So you might feel like you are waiting...



Thursday, July 14, 2011

Welcome to the New and Improved Yard Sale Mommy!



Welcome friends, old and new!

Things are looking a little different around here, but don't worry, you've come to the right place.  While I was toes in the sand last week, my friend was fingers on the keys, getting this place all gussied up.  I hope you like the new look!

If you're visiting for the first time, there are several places to explore here at yard sale mommy.  What are you interested in?

my family
my yard sale adventures
my thrift store fashion finds
ebay selling tips
what sells on ebay
my favorite yard sale finds

You might also want to join yard sale mommy on facebook to see more of the conversations we have about ebay.  You can like me on the right!  I appreciate you reading my blog and LOVE to see your comments and questions!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Consignment Sale Shopping for 6 hours = Tired Yard Sale Mommy

Whew.  I did it.  Again.  And it was so much fun.  I loved every minute.

I spent $400.  That's a lot of money.

I got a lot of stuff.   I have a summer's worth of inventory, for sure.


Somehow in the picture it doesn't seem like much, but there are some fun things in that pile of plastic.  Lots of ebay-able things!!
If you want to see part 1 of the details, click here.
To see part 2 of this shopping trip's details, click here.
If you would like to see what I bought on 1/2 price day, click here.

My ebay helpers are going to be busy tomorrow!!

Don't Go ANYWHERE. I will be there soon.

So we aren't allowed to "preshop" while setting out our things but I could help but notice some things as I passed by the long tables of toys.  I'm telling myself they probably won't be there when I come for them so I am not dissapointed if they get snatched up before I can get there.

Can you say dollhouses?

I can't wait to grab a few of these!

The blues clues house is a quick $40 if it stays around long enough for me to get it.

Not planning to buy any of this, but I love seeing the cozy coupes lined up!

Do any of you volunteer at consignment sales so you can shop first?
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