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.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Bing Rewards

Ok, so this post isn't about yard sales or thrift stores, but I've been using Bing for a while as my search engine (even though I love Google) because Bing rewards me with $5 Amazon gift cards about once a month. It's kind of like Swagbucks, but not as annoying (I find that you have to jump through a lot of hoops to earn points through SB, so Bing has become my primary source for $5 Amazon gift cards for now). You only need 540 points to get a $5 Amazon gift card and you get some for signing up, plus you can earn about 15-20 per day so you can get a gift card each month without much effort other than a couple of clicks here and there and some regular searches (you get 1 point for every 2 serarches up to 10 per day unlike SB which is totally random and I've never gotten more than 10 without some serious effort). Sign up here to start saving those Amazon giftcards for the holiday shopping season!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Back in the Game

Hooray! I feel like I'm out of my eBay slump. A couple of weeks ago, I only had about 3 listings which were items that I'd relisted for probably the second or third time. Doesn't someone want to buy my LG washer/dryer stacking kit that I no longer need because we've unstacked ours? Oh well, I'll keep listing it until the right buyer comes along.

I didn't do any yard saling this past Saturday because when my alarm went off at 6AM, my husband convinced me to stay in our nice warm bed instead of brave the almost freezing temps with the tail end of a chest cold. So no new yard sale finds for me, but I did have some good finds from the previous week so I used this weekend to do some listing and have about 20 auctions going, which is just the right amount for me considering this is a part time gig.

I spent more than I've ever spent at yard sales, a whopping $35 but that's because I got a lot of NWT kids clothes. I'm most excited about the complete set of American Girl books (many first editions) that I got for $2. When I got home and separated them out by the characters, I realized that I was missing one Josefina book, but it was pretty much complete and a great buy at $2 for the lot. I've already got them up for auction in lots by character. Addy must be in high demand because I have the most watchers on that lot.

I love the surprise Buy It Now sales when my auction gets bought right away, like this Laura Ashley Girls holiday outfit that I got at a church yard sale for $2 (sold for $25 within a day of listing it).

It seems like even if it's not NWT, as long as it's the right brand and looks nice, it will sell well especially holiday outfits. Hoping to make it out to some yard sales this weekend!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Making a profit before even making a sale

So, a few weeks ago I bought these Vera Bradley purses and wallet for $5. I listed them a couple of days ago and already the purse with the matching wallet has sold for $30 and one of the other purses has a bid on it of $10, so I've already made at least $35 from this purchase. Tonight, I was checking the pockets of the wallet and purse and I found some loose change and a Target gift card. Out of curiosity, I checked the balance on the Target gift card and sure enough it has $8.97 on it. So even if I hadn't sold these purses, I'd already made a $3.97 profit. Just goes to show that you should check old purses and wallets before getting rid of them and if you're in the yard saling business, you can't go wrong by checking the purses and wallets that are for sale for some extra hidden treasure. Happy yard saling!

Budget Halloween Costumes

Is it really Thursday already? Hooray! That means it's Friday tomorrow and then I have another glorious weekend ahead of me. This weekend is completely open unlike last weekend when I tried to cram a month's worth of Halloween festivities into a 48-hour period.

I must say I am particularly proud of our family Halloween costume ensemble this year. It's the first year that we've all dressed up as a family and I think we just may stick with it.

Oz Family: Tinman, Scarecrow, and Dorothy

I got my daughter's Dorothy costume on Halloween clearance at Target last year for $5. I also managed to find a Toto-looking plush dog at Goodwill about a month or so ago for 99 cents. I reused her Easter basket as her Trick or Treat pail. I had bought this from a daily deal site that I had referral credit on, so it essentially didn't cost me anything. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to score a great deal on some ruby red slippers, so I had to cough up the $12.99 for them at Target the week before Halloween. I'm going to make sure she gets good use out of them though! So her costume cost about $20.

For my costume, I found some NWT Gap maternity overalls on CL for $5. I can't imagine anyone paying $60 for these originally and I'm not sure if I'll ever wear them again, but maybe I can resell them to another pregnant lady and recoup the cost. The shirt is a plaid maternity shirt from Goodwill for $4.99 and the hat is also a GW find for $1.99. I grabbed some hay while we were at the pumpkin patch so that I didn't have to pay for straw at the craft store. So my costume cost around $12.

My husband's tinman costume is the most budget-friendly costume of us all. I made his tin hat out of a paper plate and tin foil that we already had in the pantry. I also had some red felt on hand, so I cut out a heart and used a safety pin to attach it to his shirt. Since it was a warm Halloween, he ended up just wearing dark grey shorts and a grey t-shirt. Total cost for his tinman costume: $0!

Not sure what we'll do for Halloween next year as I decided that I wouldn't get a costume on clearance this time. I might go the handmade route next year - we'll see. I've got a year to figure it out and 4 people to outfit for next year. I would love to hear any other budget Halloween costume ideas! There's so many great ones out there!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Recapping after Vacation

It's been a while since I posted about my yard sale finds. Mostly because for the past month or so I've either been in preparation mode for vacation, on vacation, or doing laundry after vacation. Ebay land has been slow for me, but I'm guessing that's because I've been slacking in eBay land. I did manage to go to a couple of yard sales the weekend before we left on vacation. One sale in particular advertised lots of girl clothes and maternity clothes, so I was particularly looking forward to this one as I was still in need of some maternity khaki shorts for vacation. It's amazing how a good sale can motivate you to get out of bed that early in the morning.

Thankfully, the Lord provides and I was able to find a small pair of khaki maternity shorts, a small pair of maternity khaki pants, a couple of maternity dresses (one NWT from Motherhood no less), 2 pairs of shoes for baby (StrideRite and Pediped), 2 Janie and Jack sweaters for baby (one NWT), a swimsuit for my 3 year old, and a Caribbean style dress for my 3 year old (perfect for vacation). All for just $10. This was an ideal sale because obviously the wife had priced and organized all of the things beforehand and then told her husband to go man the yard sale while she looked after the kids. He didn't even look at what I was buying or the prices, so I probably could have offered him less than $10, but I think it was still a good deal considering I got what I was looking for and more.

My next stop was a neighborhood yard sale in a neighborhood that's not allowed to have yard sales except for one or two times per year designated by their home owners association. I was short on time since I had to be home by 9 AM to relieve my husband so he could go have a guys' day out of paintballing, so I didn't stop at all the sales, but I did manage to pick up 3 Vera Bradley purses and a matching wallet for $5 from one sale (photos below). I think these will do well on eBay. Apparently my husband is not a fan of these purses since he made a comment that he hoped I was selling them and not keeping them for myself. Hopefully someone else will appreciate them enough to buy them. Just have to figure out what pattern they are and how to list them now.

I'm hoping to get back into the yard saling and eBay swing of things this weekend as life returns back to normal. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Goodwill has replaced yard saling for now

I've lost my momentum somewhat with this blog, hence the long break in posts, partly because I've been so busy at work and home, but also partly because my favorite blog Yard Sale Mommy is on hiatus. I must say that I miss her Monday morning link ups that offer a chance to show off my spoils and see everyone else's spoils from the weekend. I sure hope she comes back soon! In the meantime, I figured I should still keep up my momentum since I do have a few followers (thank you!) and it's fun to share this venture with the world since my husband just thinks I'm a little crazy when I bring home more "junk" (to him).

I must admit that I have taken the last couple of Saturdays off from yard saling. Both of these were because my family was up earlier than usual and I felt guilty for leaving them. Plus, the week before had been a fairly unsuccessful yard saling adventure which added up to a lot of driving for a whole lot of nothing. It was partyly my fault because I planned my route around a house that advertised vintage toys. When I got there, I came to find they had some neat things, but wanted eBay prices for them. I did end up getting 7 vintage Little Golden books and Wonder books, but totally paid more than I usually do for books ($2/book, ouch). I had seen closed auctions for these individual books at $5-$7 each so I'm still hopeful. I'm on the second go round at auction and if none of them sell this time, I will combine them as a lot.

Since I haven't been yard saling, I needed to get my fix another way so I've made several trips to Goodwill over the last few weeks. We had a birthday party in a different area of town and I stopped at a new-to-me Goodwill, but there were no toys to be found. I did pick up some I Can Read books and American Girl books and was pleasantly surprised to find that their books were priced cheaper than my local Goodwill. Unfortunately, it's not worth the gas money to reap the savings, so I'll have to continue to pay 99 cents for paperbacks and $1.99 for hardcovers at my local GW. It's not so bad since just yesterday I picked up a complete set of Diary of a Wimpy Kid hardcover books for $10. They should bring in $20-$25 hopefully. On this same trip, I got a Burberry plush collectible bear for 99 cents and a plush dog that looks like Toto for 99 cents (for my daughter since she's going to be Dorothy for Halloween this year). I've been picking up more plush recently since they're cheap at GW and seem to be in high demand for the most part.

For the most part, my daughter does pretty well when she comes with me to GW. She thinks it's the toy store because we usually park ourselves in the toy aisle, which is fine by me since I don't have to say no when she asks for something, although that usually means I come home with more than I should. Oh well, she likes it and I can always sell it when she tires of it. Which reminds me - during our last trip to GW, she asked me rather loudly "Are you going to sell this mommy?". All I could do was smile.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Yard Sale Finds: Vintage Books and More

After my Friday night Goodwill trip, I was stoked to get up on Saturday morning and hit the yard sales. I even woke up before my alarm and was up earlier than when I have to go to work.
I was out the door by 6:30 on my way to 7 AM sales - this week I headed south instead of north to try my luck in that direction. When I got to the first 7 AM sale, there was no sign of life. There were a few boxes and an old dresser in the driveway along with 2 parked cars so I wasn't sure if they were just getting a late start, but I wasn't going to hang around to find out because I would miss out on other 7 AM sales. I was a little bummed because they had advertised a Britax car seat cover and some brand name shoes like Doc Maartens that I thought would do well. From reading the Ebay Underground blog, I've been itching to try my hand at selling shoes.
At the next sale, I got all of this for $10:

I'm hoping to sell the bumbo on CL for at least $15 (paid $5). Inside the bumbo are a pair of Pedipeds (I got some shoes after all) that I think could get $10. The baby bunting goes for about $15, maybe more as it gets colder since I can't imagine planning for winter in this heat. The cowgirl outfit has a lot of NWT listings on eBay so I'm not sure about a used one, but I'll try $10-$15 for it. If nothing else, my daughter will wear it. There are also two Eric Carle rattles/car seat toys that could fetch $8-$10. Finally, I love the look of the Pottery Barn owls, but not the price. I'm wondering if I can sell this owl plush as a cheap alternative.

At the next yard sale, I got this lot of vintage Dr. Seuss and Beatrix Potter books for $5. I separated out the large Dr. Seuss books and the smaller ones into 2 lots and am hoping for $10-15 per lot. UPDATE: I sold the lot of smaller books for $20 already. I also saw a closed listing for one Beatrix Potter book for $25 so I'm hopeful that these will do well.

I'm amazed to find unopened toys at yard sales because I can't even get from the store to the car most times before opening a toy for my daughter. I got this Thomas the Train take along Christmas set for $1 with a free DVD. I might hold off until closer to Christmas, but even in August these are doing well used and I have a new one.

At the last sale of the morning, I got all of this for $10:

The Lincoln Logs are almost complete, but I think I'll combine them with the other Lincoln Logs I got at Goodwill and see if I can sell them as a big lot like this one. I also got a Batman tote which might do well at Halloween for the little boy who wants to be Batman and have a matching bucket for candy. I also got several books including a decent number of Early Readers (may wait to collect a few more so I can sell these as a big lot), a new Dr. Seuss book, a Little Critters book, a kids Bible, and a couple of Magic Schoolbus books. I'll keep the other books for my daughter for now unless I find more Magic Schoolbus books and can sell them as a lot.

Overall, it was a successful morning and along with my Goodwill finds, I feel like I have a good inventory of items to sell. In fact, my guest room looks like a crazy mess with all my stuff to sell on eBay and various unfinished projects. I'm hoping to make my way throgh it slowly but surely.

I'm linking up to My Life on a Taffy Pull's garage sale treasures for the first time.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Friday Night Goodwill Trip

I took a week off from my usual yard sale adventures to travel to Arizona for my mom's 60th birthday party and engagement celebration. It was a whirlwind trip jam-packed with lots of visits with family. I had visions of hitting some AZ yard sales on Saturday morning, but the jet lag just didn't want to let me wake up that early. Needless to say, this past weekend I was definitely itching to get out there and find some good deals after missing a week.

When hubby said he had to work late on Friday night, I took that as an opportunity to do some Goodwill shopping with my daughter. It's a pretty good setup there since the toy aisle is in the back corner of the store so we just set up camp there - me with my iphone and her with every loud toy she can put her hands on. It's a win win for both of us. Here's what I picked up on our Goodwill outing:

Fisher Price Purse for $1.99. Not a huge profit margin (selling for $5-6). 
Fisher Price Piggy Bank for $1.99. Selling for $11-12.
Special Agent Oso figures for $1.99. Selling for $7-8.
LeapFrog Click Start Cars Game for $3.99. Selling for $12-13.

Set of 26 Alphabet Incrediblocks for $2.99. Hoping to sell for $20 like this one.

Timmy Time Night Night Timmy Plush for $4.99. Closing auctions on these were between $15 and $25 - it's a popular international seller. UPDATE: This sold for $25 within 1 day of listing it.

Big bucket of Lincoln Logs for $7.99 (not pictured, but it's this set missing a few pieces)

I was hoping to go back later in the weekend to take advantage of tax free savings on clothes and shoes, but I never made it back since we went to the circus on Saturday afternoon and then Sunday was spent catching up on loads of laundry backlogged from our trip. My yard sale finds on Saturday made up for it though.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

$5 and a little elbow grease

Today was a SUPER slow day for yard sale finds. That's not to say that there weren't many yard sales - there were quite a few on CL and I saw many signs while I was out and about. It was more about quality. I had mapped about 6-7 sales from CL that said they had toys, but when I got there their toy selection was basically one or two boxes of discarded toys that didn't even look worth sifting through. Very dissapointing in regards to the toy selection.

I did come across one sale that had a lot of kids' clothes and shoes for 25 cents each. If only I knew what baby #2 is going to be, I would have been able to get some good deals. My daughter currently has enough clothes, but I did end up getting her a pair of hardly-used soccer shoes that she can use in about a year when she's 4 and I sign her up for soccer. I also got a couple pairs of larger-sized water shoes that looked like they hadn't even been worn for when she outgrows her current water shoes. So far, I had spent a whopping 75 cents - I spent more at my Starbucks run on the way to the sales :-)

On the way home, I hit a sale that was in my neighborhood and this was my most successful stop of the morning. I've been wanting to get my daughter a vanity for her room for a while now and I've been stalking CL to find one that looked nice at a reasonable price, but hadn't yet found anything that fit that (I liked this one, but for $50 I'd at least like a stool). Well, at this sale they had a vanity for sale. At first glance, many people probably would have passed this vanity up because it was a little worse for wear. It was certainly well-loved by some little girl named Leslie who had scribbled all over it in blue pen and painted her nails dark green and black (as evidenced by several large pools of dried black nail polish on the vanity's top). However, I saw potential and for $5 I was willing to take it home and experiment with the Magic Eraser that Yard Sale Mommy had mentioned could work wonders on reviving old toys. I wish I had taken a before picture to do justice to the end result, but alas you will just have to take my word that this vanity started off looking a lot more shabby than chic. So, for $5 and a little elbow grease with the Magic Eraser (I'm a believer!) I was able to give my daughter a nice new-to-her vanity for her room.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Yard Sale Finds: Raggedy Ann and My Little Pony

Yesterday, I woke up at 6:15 AM and was out the door by 6:30 AM stoked about the yard sales that lay ahead of me. I can't even get up that early for work! If only work was like yard saling :-)

There weren't any yard sales in my area yesterday, so I ventured a bit further north into Cedar Park to see if I could find a few good deals. I had already mapped my route with Yard Sale Treasure Map (a little buggy, but useful to help figure out the optimal route for all the CL sales with toys posted online). Despite going to 6 or 7 sales (I lost count), I didn't come home with a whole lot.

I was a little bit overwhelmed and got sidetracked with looking up additional sales on CL on my phone and following signs that I thought said "toys and stuff" but actually said "tons of stuff" (I guess I need to bring coffee instead of milk next time, but our Keurig died). So I learned my lesson to just stick to my list of sales. I also learned my lesson that it's not worth going out of my way for just one sale even if they did advertise an exersaucer (not the right kind though so totally a waste of gas).

Here's what I ended up bringing home:

I saw this Ragggedy Ann Jack in the Box for $1 and thought it might make a good sale on eBay since Raggedy Ann is such a classic toy, and as a Jack in the Box, it seemed even more classic. I love old fashioned toys like this and the Radio Flyer wagons I picked up last week - they keep their value no matter what year it is. I looked up the completed listings and saw that there were a couple new ones and one used one that went for about $20. This one has a lttle dent on it, so I might not get that much, but even if I make $10 from a $1 investment, I would be happy. Plus, my daugther has gotten some enjoyment out of it so that makes it all worth while.

I picked up these skates for $3 purely as something for my daughter to use and not necessarily for resale value. I had a pair like this growing up and I wanted her to have the enjoyment I got out of learning to skate. My husband and I were avid rollerbladers when we were dating in college and I even tried out for the roller derby once (I might have stuck with it if it wasn't on the other side of town). They even came with knee and elbow pads so it seemed like a good value for $3, plus I think I might be able to resell them at a consignment sale once my daughter gets her use out of them. There didn't seem like a whole lot of demand for them on eBay.

My final purchase of the day was this My Little Pony Rainbow Wishes Amusement Park. I knew from reading Yard Sale Mommy that My Little Ponies are good for resale, so when I saw this set in its original (albeit tattered) box for $2, I couldn't pass it up. I offered $2 for this set plus 2 Curious George books and 1 Berenstein Bears book for my daugther (marked at 25 cents each) so it was like getting the My Little Pony set for $1.25. Plus the original set only came with 1 pony and I got 5 ponies with this set, so that should help to raise the resale price and bring in at least $20. My daughter has already become attached to this set, so I'll probably hold off on selling it for a little bit. Every week it's like Christmas for her when I come home with my yard sale finds. It's certainly a lot cheaper than Christmas!

At the same sale as the My Little Pony set, there was a bucket of Polly Pocket Disney princess dolls, clothes, and a couple of buildings (a Snow White bedroom set, a part of a castle, and some other building that I forget now). I wasn't sure about getting it because even though Yard Sale Mommy had said that the Polly Pocket Disney princess dolls do well on eBay, the clothes looked a little worse for wear. So I ended up passing up this $5 bucket of Polly Pocket and kind of wish I hadn't after coming home and looking at some of the completed listings for just part of what was in the bucket. Next time, I won't pass this up for sure!

So while I didn't come home with a whole lot this week, I still had fun getting up before the sun and having a couple of peaceful hours to myself.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Yard Sale Finds

I started reading Yard Sale Mommy last month and finally got a chance to try my luck at the whole yard saling experience these past two Saturdays.

My first Saturday experience was pretty good - I didn't get a whole lot, but then again I didn't spend a whole lot either. I figured I should start small and see how it went before diving in head first. I only went to two yard sales in my neighborhood since I didn't want to drive too far for my first yard saling adventure. The first yard sale was pretty small so I didn't get anything there. I then went to the second yard sale and as I was walking up their steep driveway (we live in the hill country after all), I saw a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and I quickly picked up the pace because I knew from Yard Sale Mommy that these are good sellers. I might exercise more if I knew there was a pristine Clubhouse waiting for me at the end. I paid $2 for this clubhouse (it had a sticker on it for $3) - what a steal since I figured I could get at least $30 for it. At first, I thought it didn't have any figurines with it, but when I got it home I discovered there was a mickey mouse in the mouse ear compartment so that made the deal even better. I currently have it listed on ebay and am up to almost $30 with 3+ days to go. Not bad for a $2 investment!
At this same sale, I got a big bag of Thomas the Train duplo. I also knew from Yard Sale Mommy that anything duplo and anything Thomas the Train sells well so I figured I couldn't go wrong with this purchase for $5. I loved duplo growing up and passed that love on to my daughter, so she can always play with it if it doesn't sell (so far, it's not looking good). When I got it home, I looked it up on eBay and found out it was the Load and Carry set and then realized that the most important piece of the whole set was missing (the Thomas face for the train). I went back to the yard sale and left the lady my number to call me if she found it, but I never got a call. There are some extra pieces that don't belong in the set, so I included those in the listing hoping it would make up for the missing Thomas face. Oh well, lesson learned on this one.

Last week, I read a post on Yard Sale Mommy that said that the switch-a-roo toys for Evenflo exersaucers are good sellers on eBay. I couldn't wait until Saturday to try my luck so I found one on Craig's List for $10 (I offered $7 and she took it). I was able to get about 7 toys plus a snack tray and a seat off of it to list on eBay. So far, I've sold 4 of these toys. I priced them lower than others to start since I wanted to sell them quickly. I had noticed that some of the toys were selling for $8-$10, but others weren't and since I'm a newby I tested out my toys at the $5 price point. I got a quick sale, but I'll probably try a higher price next time.

My 3yo daughter had to test out the exersaucer.
 This past Saturday, I tried the yard saling adventure again and was pleased with the first sale of the morning. I managed to pick up an exersaucer for $5 and it had a musical, light up arch bar that I knew went for $20 on eBay so I was giddy to get it for $5. My guest room looks like an exersaucer graveyard at the moment.

I also picked up two mini radio flyer wagons for $1 each (these people had twins so they had two of everything to sell it seemed). I found one completed listing that sold for $30, but others that didn't sell for $10 - I think it's all in the title as Yard Sale Mommy has taught me - so I'm going to list it exactly like the $30 one and try my luck with selling one of these. I'll let my daughter keep one and will sell that one when she gets tired of it. They're good for giving her dolls a ride.

I'm already looking forward to this Saturday when I can try my luck again at the yard sales. Thanks to Yard Sale Mommy for all the great tips and tricks for this newbie and for the opportunity to link up! I have a personal blog, but created this one so that I could share my yard sale finds and other shortcuts to make life easier as a working mom.