Friday, January 13, 2012

New Year, New Sales

Happy new year! I had taken a break from reselling to focus on family over the holidays and I am just now getting back to posting things on eBay. Since I haven't been yard saling or thrifting for a while, most of the items I'm posting are things around me house that we no longer need.

I had a couple of sales before Christmas that really discouraged me. One was a mirror that we had sitting in a closet. I didn't weigh it before listing it and grossly underestimated how much it weighed. I also underestimated how large of a box I would end up needing for it. And, I took the first offer that I got on it since I was anxious to sell it and get it out of the house (we're trying to get baby's room in order and it's still a work in progress). Well, I think the buyer ended up paying $40 for the mirror including shipping and I ended up having to fork over $15 for a special picture box to ship it in and $20 just to ship it to California. So I made a whopping $5, although probably not even that when you take into account the eBay fees. Lesson learned - I'll be sure to box up and weigh large items before I even list them.

The other transaction was the sale of the Target Missoni sweater dress that I had found on clearance. Someone bought it within a couple days of listing it for $100 with free shipping. I think I paid $16 for it. Well, the buyer never paid and I had to open an unpaid items case. By the time the case closed, I had missed the Christmas shopping window so I gave up on relisting it. Fast forward to this week and I finally got around to relisting it. I lowered the buy it now price slightly and kept the free shipping. I always list my stuff that I will ship worldwide because it really isn't any more work to ship to another country than down the street. Well, one day after listing the dress I was pleasantly surprised to see it sell for my buy it now price plus shipping to Australia. I made about $75 profit on this dress after all was said and done. I've still got a Missoni blouse and romper to sell, but now I'm not as discouraged as I was before.

The other pick me up to get me back into the eBay game was my Pottery Barn girls bedding set Craigslist find. I've been looking for a nice twin bedding set for my daughter so that she can transition out of her toddler bed and into a twin bed before the baby comes. All the Pottery Barn bedding on CL is crazily overpriced (I guess because it's overpriced to begin with). I finally found a set for $30 close to home that included the quilt, sham, fitted sheet, flat sheet, dust ruffle, curtains, and two valances. It is the Michelle quilt with pink sheets and green gingham curtain/valances. The quilt and sham alone sold for $45 on eBay, so I'm quite happy with my $30 find. The icing on the cake is that I don't really need the curtain/valances. I'm still undecided on the valances, so I'm keeping those for now and might use them, but I'm definitely selling the curtain because it turns out it is actually a shower curtain with dimensions of 72"x72". I'm not sure how they used this as a window treatment, but I prefer the look of two curtains as opposed to one. This one sold recently for $42 plus shipping. I'd be happy with $30 to make my bedding set find for my daughter be free so we'll see how it goes.

After the dress and the curtain, I think I'm feeling a bit less discouraged now. I hope new year sales are up for everyone else too!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

DIY Framed Silhouettes for Grandparents' Gifts

We live in Texas, but our family all live in Arizona (where we're from originally). We took their one and only grandchild away from the grandparents and great grandparents just shortly after she turned one. Although many of them come to visit, it's just not the same as living in the same city.

For Christmas last year, I made snowman handprint ornaments for all of the family members to remember just how big my daughter's hand was in 2010. I boxed these up in cute little ornament boxes with gift cards to suit their interests and personally flew them (and my daughter) back to Arizona to deliver them.

This year, I'm due to have baby #2 in 6 weeks so we're not traveling back to Arizona for Christmas. Somehow, December seemed to go by faster than I wanted it to and I was at a loss for what to get everyone in Arizona for Christmas. I wanted to do something personalized that they could keep out all year, not just display at Christmas like the ornaments. It also had to be easy to ship. We've sent photos of my daughter and although I'm sure the grandparents would love more photos of her, I wanted to give them something different. So, cue the framed silhouette idea. I'd seen some silhouettes throughout the year on various blogs so I guess they're trendy. I found this tutorial online and here's how it turned out (please forgive the poor quality iphone photo):

I found 5x7 frames at Michael's for $3 each plus I had a 20% off coupon. Then I just needed some off white cardstock (was able to cut 2 5x7 backgrounds from 1 sheet) and the darkest black cardstock I could find. I ended up only needing 2 sheets of the black cardstock because those big scrapbook sheets go a long way for this sizes silhouette. I've got enough leftover for the next kiddo :)

The most expensive part of this project was the priority shipping because I finished these up at midnight on Monday and shipped them out priority on Tuesday to make sure that they made it to our family in Arizona in time for Christmas (or Hanukkah for some of them). I'm quite pleased with how they turned out and I've got one for us to display on our bookshelves now too.

I'm Hookin' Up with HoH this week.


Sunday, December 11, 2011

Thrift Store Sweater Dress

I found this post on Pinterest by Naptime Crafters for an easy to follow DIY tutorial on how to turn a woman's turtleneck sweater into a sweater dress for a toddler.

Around veteran's day, Savers was having a 50% off sale on their clothing so I went in search of a turtleneck sweater to transform. I found this cute rainbow colored stripe sweater for $3 (I didn't think to take a photo of the "before" until after I had started cutting it up).

I'm certainly a novice sewer, but even I was able to upcycle an old thrift store sweater into a fabulous sweater dress for my daughter to wear for this year's holiday photos. I didn't take a photo of her in it by herself, but here's one of our holiday photos to give you the "after":

I still need to do something to finish up the neck because it was the last thing I had to finish at 11 PM the night before our photo shoot, so I just cut the turtle neck down the middle to create the cowl neck. It needs a hem or ribbon trim or something, but I'm not sure what. Any suggestions from more advanced sewers?

Linking up to Project Run and Play this week. Super excited to participate in the sew along! I need some motivation and inspiration to create more cute things for my daughter and her baby sister (coming Feb 1).

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Target $10 Gift Card Coupon is Back

The Target free $10 gift card when you spend $50 offer is back! I'm glad because I was planning another $50 transaction there this week. They did this last week and it was even better then because they also had a $10 gift card deal with diapers, so I was able to do 3 separate $50 transactions and rack up $60 worth of gift cards ($20 of which I have yet to spend). I also was able to make my out of pocket money back by selling the Missoni sweater dress that I found on clearance for $100 (if only the person would pay already!). I still have the Missoni blouse to sell, but it hasn't gotten many views so not sure if that will sell anytime soon. I also picked up a Missoni romper for $8 at another Target, but think I might return it as there are so many rompers listed and it's just not the season for people to be buying rompers.

On another note, I'm fighting a chest cold at the moment, but I feel a little better since I was able to pick up cold medicine at Walgreens for $1.99 instead of the usual price of $5.99. It's good until 2013 so I'm thinking about stocking up. Is it just me or does saving money make you feel better?

Friday, December 2, 2011

BOLO: Missoni in Target Clearance

While I was out shopping at Target last night (taking advantage of their spend $50, get $10 gift card promotion), I was perusing the clearance racks for maternity clothes and sweaters since I had coupons for those when I came across a couple of Missoni items. I had heard that these do well on eBay because of the fact that they were so limited and are now sold out.

So, I did a quick lookup of the particular sweater dress I found and there were completed listings that sold for around $100. The dress was marked down from $54.99 to $27.48, but when it rang up at the cash register it was an even better deal at $16.48.

I also picked up a blouse that was marked down from $34.99 to $11.48. I passed on a pair of XL shorts because I didn’t think they would do well given the completed listings for them (I can’t remember the price on these, but might go back and check). I’ve got these listed and am hoping to net a profit to cover my other purchases (diapers for new baby and a FurReal dog for my daughter for xmas for $30 instead of the regular $60 pricetag). Plus I still have $40 worth of gift cards to use still! I might check out other Targets for more Missoni treasures hiding amongst the clearance racks.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Yard Saling is like Trick or Treating

According to my three year old, yard saling is just like trick or treating. I hadn't thought about it before, but I can see the similarities. You go up to people's houses and you never know what you're going to get; even the best CL ads promising oodles of toys can turn out to be a trick instead of a treat.

On Saturday, my daughter had a makeup gymnastics class (to make up for the one she missed on Halloween, how fitting) at 9 AM so I knew I wouldn't make it to the sales before her class. Her gymnastics class is up north near the area where I usually yard sale anyways, so when class ended at 10AM I checked my yard sale app on my phone and mapped out a couple of close sales advertising kids' clothes, toys, and maternity clothes.

Despite it being so late in the morning, the first sale we hit up still had a good selection. The first thing I spotted was a Fisher Price Incrediblock with some Peek a Blocks (still haven't counted how many but at least 15 I think). It also came with the boat pictured in this auction, so it might fetch a few more bucks at auction. These sell well on eBay and hopefully shipping won't be too terribly painful. This is where calculated shipping is important! I managed to snag this and a cute maternity top for $5. Even better was the fact that the family was all outside including their young almost three year old daughter so my daughter had an instant playmate while I got to browse the sale. That's always been my fear with taking my daughter to the sales with me - that she would require my attention the whole time and I would miss the good deals. It was a win win for both of us.

At the next sale, I wasn't so lucky. Not sure if they had better stuff earlier in the morning and it was all gone by 10AM but when we got there it was slim pickings. My daughter found some transformer looking things to play with while I browsed (for all of 5 minutes), then we left empty handed.

The third and final sale we hit was a fluke because I was trying to find another sale from CL but they must have packed it in early, because there was no sign of it at 10:30. I saw a sign for a sale as we were leaving that neighborhood and although I don't usually follow signs for sales, I figured why not since we were so close. It was an older couple, but the lady used to be a Kindergarten teacher so she had a bunch of books and some dress up clothes. I looked through the books, but nothing struck me as an incredible deal. There were some leveled readers, but I already had some to sell so I didn't want more. The lady tried to get me to take the whole dress up set for $3, but a lot of it was too big for my daughter and more boyish. There was a cute bumblebee outfit and a construction hat that my daughter latched onto so I gave her a dollar for those and then we headed for home.

Overall, it was a fun morning and I got to spend time with my daughter doing something that benefitted both of us. My husband got to sleep in and rest at home (he's recovering from pneumonia, poor guy!). I don' t think I'll take her out on the 6:30AM wake up calls, but if I ever have another late start, I'll bring her along for sure.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

There aren't usually garage sales in close proximity to my house, so I either have to drive north or south about 20-30 minutes to get to any good sales. I've been going north a lot lately, so this past Saturday I thought I'd try going south. Although I got some good deals, I think I prefer the north better. I use Yard Sale Treasure Map to map out the sales from Craig's List on Friday night. I like it because it optimizes my route, although not necessarily with regard to the time it starts. I managed to get out pretty early and make it to a 7 AM sale and a 7:30 AM sale. I think I went to 4 or 5 sales total - although, I don't know if I'd count the last one as it looked like this lady's house had just thrown up all the junk inside of it. I felt bad for her and tried my best to find something to buy, but alas left empty handed from that junk sale.

Here's what I came away with (I can't break down the prices too well for all of the items, so let's just say I spent $14 for all of it):

Pictured above are a Dora talking backpack (50 cents, but it only came with 2 accessories), Dora schoolhouse ($2), and Dora castle with figurines ($2). I had remembered reading that Dora does well, so we'll see if that's true. I've got these for sale in a lot to see how they do and may break them apart if they don't sell as a lot.

Also pictured are a pink Gymboree dress (50 cents, for my daughter next year), 8 sets of hair clippies (also for my daughter), a Janie and Jack 18-24mo denim dress that I've got listed with a bid already ($2), and a Faded Glory denim romper for future baby (50 cents).
I got a lot of books this time around. Books have been good to me recently, especially after I bought a complete set of American Girl books for $2 and sold them in lots by character for about $60 total. Apparently Felicity, Addy, and Josefina do well. Molly, Samantha, and Kirsten are ok too but don't bring in as many bids as the other girls.

I found a bunch of Magic Tree House books to add to my collection so now I can list a couple lots of those (I even found one hardback one). I also got a bunch of Clifford and Little Critters books that I might try to sell as a lot or just keep for my daughter. Finally, I got a few Thomas the Train books. They're in good condition and I think I could sell these as a lot pretty well. Thomas the Train anything is always good this time of year. My daughter has a Dennis train that doesn't work with her generic wood train track, so I'm going to sell that too - not sure whether to include it with the book lot or not.

So there you have it, no spectacular finds but enough to keep me going and I'm still a bit backlogged in the listing department so I'm trying to get caught up since now is the time to sell, sell, sell.