Move Over Ugly Christmas Sweater, Say Hello to the Ugly Christmas Suit

For those of us that sell on Ebay, we probably all know that Ugly Christmas Sweaters are pretty decent sellers.  I’ve actually never sold a Christmas one before (never see them by me), but I have sold a few ugly sweaters for really good money before Halloween.

There are currently 71,524 results for ugly Christmas sweaters on Ebay.  Might the market be a little oversaturated? I checked to see what the highest price for one that sold on Ebay and here it is:

ugly christmas sweater expensiveWow. That’s not bad.  Put this on your BOLO list!

But have you heard about the Ugly Christmas Suits?

ugly christmas sweater suitYou’d definitely win the Ugly Christmas Sweater contest with this suit.  Aren’t they awesome! They are sold by the Shinesty company.  They completely sold out of their suits by 3pm on Cyber Monday and are already taking orders for next year.

As a thrift store shopper, I could never pay that kind of money for that suit.  But we might be finding these in the thrift stores after the new year.  Keep an eye out for them, might be something you’ll want to pick up.  There was one on Ebay that sold for over $200.  ebay ugly christmas sweater suitSo either there’s something really special about this particular brand, or Ebay buyers haven’t yet realized they are available for cheaper elsewhere.

What do you think of these suits?

Auction Hunters – A Great Family Program

We stumbled upon this show on Netflix a couple of days ago.  Have you guys seen Auction Hunters yet?  It’s very similar to Storage Wars, except without any drama.  They buy out storage auctions and the show highlights their best finds.

Auction HuntersIt’s a great show and we are all enjoying it, including our 15yo, 13yo and 9yo boys.  They love watching it as much, if not more than my hubby and I.  Some of the stuff they find I’m familiar with, but a lot of it is new for me, so I’m learning a lot.

For those that haven’t seen it, check it out.  For those that have, what do you think of the show.  We’ve only seen about 5 episodes so far.  And they are only about 25 minutes long.

I also wanted to wish everyone and amazing Christmas and a fabulous New Year!

 

The Ultimate Guide to Thrift Store Reselling – Book Review

Some of you may know Meinard from The Thrift Store Reseller Blog.  I’ve been following his blog for a while and love reading it.

I just finished reading his book, The Ultimate Guide to Thrift Store Reselling.  I bought it a few months ago and have been reading it early in the morning (before the kids wake) for the last couple of days.

Reseller Guide eBook Cover 245 367I really like the book.  What’s great about it is that it’s a book that is a good read for both beginners, as well as a seasoned Ebay seller.

Here’s a list of the techniques and strategies that are discussed in this book that will help you increase your income, decrease eBay fees, and improve your ability to treasure-hunt:

- How to locate all the Goodwill & Salvation Army thrift stores in your area.
- Common mistakes and how to avoid them.
- What items and brands you should be looking for.
- How to research if an item you found is worth reselling.
- The Thrift Store Reselling Cycle, and how you can create a continuous revenue source!
- How to add more pictures to your eBay auction without paying extra!
- How to create a winning eBay auction.
- Suggestions to keep your eBay customers happy and coming back for more.

What I love about his book too is that he’s realistic and let’s you know that selling on Ebay is WORK:

1. It’s not a get-rich-quick scheme!
2. It takes time to develop an “eye” for treasure-hunting.
3. And you have to be patient: You will NOT find a treasure with every visit!

As a seasoned seller (I’ve been selling for 3 years…is that considered seasoned?!), I liked seeing is Top 28 Thrift Store Brands to Resell section of the book.  It is concise and all in one place.  I remember some of them, but I will have to read and re-read that sections many times so that I can memorize them all!

As a woman, it was great also to learn more about selling items from a man’s perspective.  Especially sports items, like shoes and jerseys.

But the main reason that I purchased this book was to learn from his Guide to Reselling Women’s Jeans.  The the thrift stores around me have huge sections of jeans and I now feel equipped to go through them and pick out the ones that I know are winners.  He discusses the ones that are bread and butter items.  The ones that you can easily identify and find and sell consistently.

The book is 119 pages of information that have helped Meinard consistently bring in some great extra income.  And I’ve gleaned enough from his book to make my money back many, many times over.  If you learn one thing from this book, it will already cover the cost of the book and every time you sell that item, you’re making a profit on your investment.  I think it’s definitely worth a read.

The best part about getting this book is the guarantee.  I really like it when people stand by their products.  Here’s Meinard’s guarantee:

guarantee

“Your success in using the Ultimate Guide to Thrift Store Reselling is completely guaranteed!  In fact, if after 60 days you are honestly disappointed with your results and/or have not found any valuable items worth reseling from your local thrift stores, then let me know and I’ll issue you a prompt and courteous refund.  That means you can try out all the information and strategies with absolutely no risk whatsoever.  The burden to deliver is entirely on me.”

 

 

 

Ebay Earnings: An Extra $600 Payment on Debt plus a couple of tips

I’ll start this post by sharing last weeks number (ending 11/22)

Total Items in Store: 224
Items Sold: 8
Cost of Items Sold: $30.75
Total Sales: $284.91 (plus $16.99 Amazon)
Average Price Sold: $35.61
Returns: 0
Money Spent on New Inventory This Week: $0

This week was my highest for this year. It’s not much, but for a very part time seller, I’m really happy with it. I haven’t listed anything in about 1 month, but have already put $600 of ebay earnings towards debt this month. So I’m very happy :)

I feel that my cost of sales is a bit high though because I bought a leather biker car racing jacket this spring for $15 (see photo below) and never noticed that the zipper was broken. I thought I would be donating that sucker to a thrift, but it sold for $30 plus shipping. So at least I didn’t lose money. But lesson learned!

motorcycle jacketTip #1:  Take a moment to inspect your inventory..especially the zippers on clothing!  And if you miss something, go ahead and try selling it anyway!

I bought the holiday Pottery Barn mugs featured below in the beginning of the year.  I had them listed for $49.99 with a best offer and free shipping..when I used to offer free shipping.

I had several low ball offers come in that I declined and then I changed the best offers to auto decline at $39.99 (I don’t want to be bothered with low ball offers anymore).

Well, it sold for full price last week. Yeah baby!

pottery barn mugsTip #2:  List it and wait for that one right buyer who will pay a premium for your product.  I was willing to let these mugs go for $39.99, but just the right person came along and swooped them up at full price. I told hubby that if they did not sell by this Christmas, they were staying with me.  I love these mugs!

And Tip #3: Start charging shipping on your items.  I used to offer all free shipping because some of the Ebay selling gurus were proponents of it.  Just build it into the price of the item, etc., etc.  I would try to ask a higher price for the item with the free shipping, and then I started asking a higher price plus shipping.  My sales have not suffered because of it and I feel I’m making more money now.

How are you guys doing?

 

A Tie That Sells for $3,699.00?? – NOT!!

I was going through my listings the other day and looking at all of my ties when I noticed that I had listed one for $3699.00 instead of $36.99.  It’s been listed for several months and I’m shocked I haven’t received a message from someone asking me what I’ve been smoking!

EABY TYPOIt actually made me laugh out loud when I saw it.  How ridiculous is that? :)

Have you guys ever done anything silly with your listings?

Selling Shoes on Ebay – The Good and The Bad

I really enjoy selling shoes on Ebay.  I’ve sold quite a few this year.  Here are the most recent ones I’ve sold:

bootsI took a best offer of $50 plus shipping for these boots.  Purchased for $2 dollars at a garage sale.

THE GOOD

You can make a really nice chunk of change selling shoes on Ebay.  Jay and Ryanne from Scavenger Life made money and bought a rental home from the proceeds of selling old shoes and clothes on Ebay.  Miriam from Blue Frog Shoes on Ebay sells tons of shoes, upwards of $10K a month.  I know she has more accounts, I’m only aware of this one.  She also has a blog called The Ebay Life Blog, but it doesn’t seem to be working. She hasn’t posted much in the last year and I’m guessing she’s too busy to post now.

You can also pick shoes up pretty inexpensively at garage sales.  Even our Goodwill is pretty good.  Shoes are usually between $3.99 – $6.99.  But I usually buy mine for either $1 or $2 tops at garage sales.  All of the shoes pictured in this post were picked up for $2.

THE BAD

Shoes usually take a little more time to clean (especially sneakers).  A good seller of sneakers is Meinard over at Thrift Store Reseller.  He knows his sneakers!

I like to pick up shoes that are mint.  Even so, it’s important to take good photos showing all angles of the shoes and any imperfections.

via spigaThis was a pair that I also took a best offer of $50 for.  Unfortunately, I had to refund the buyer because when I pulled them from storage (had them for about 6 months), I noticed that the leather was coming apart from one of the back straps.  I have a shoe glue somewhere, so I will repair them and then resell.  But it sucks having to give back $50.

Here are a couple more pairs that I’ve sold recently.

nine westTook a bo of $24.99 plus shipping on the above.cole haanTook a bo of $28.99 plus shipping on these.

I had a large container of shoes and have only 2 pairs of the ones I’ve listed that haven’t sold.  I know some people shy away from shoes, but really, they are a great item to resell.

You guys sell shoes?  If not, how come?

Have a Garden? STOP! Don’t Bag Those Leaves!

leavesI was listening to a podcast on All Things Plants recently and they were discussing how they drive around their neighborhood and pick up all the bagged leaves so that they can have them for their garden.  It made me laugh as I’ve been keeping my eye out for that too.  However, in my hoods, they usually just rake them to the street and the municipality comes by and vacuums them up…WHAT A WASTE!!!

You see, it wasn’t until I started really getting into gardening last year that I started learning and researching about compost.  A natural and organic way to grow your veggies and flowers. And nature provides us with all we need to feed our plants and make an amazing soil for them to thrive in.

Kevin, over at A Garden for the House says that “Leaf mold (or “mould”) is the result of decomposed leaves.  It’s light, fluffy, rich, and crumbly. It retains moisture better than peat moss. Added to a garden bed, it transforms even crappy soil into beautiful, fertile loam. And it costs absolutely nothing.”

This video that I happened upon just a couple of days ago is great in teaching you about composting with leaves and is very funny.

Composting with leaves is super easy (as long as they are shredded – we have a tractor with a vacuum and bag attachment that collects the shredded leaves as we mow).  And according to this video, “Every agricultural study ever done says that 2″ of yard waste compost made of nutrient dense energy harnessed by trees through their leaves is all any plant needs to be fed and protected from disease for an entire growing season.” How amazing is that?!

If you haven’t a clue as to how to use the shredded leaves, here’s a great article on Fine Gardening that shows you how to use this amazing and free organic material.

Hope you’ve learned something new about how easy it is to compost and get the most beautiful and nutrient rich dirt for your garden!

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Walmart – Save Money by Checking Prices Online First!

So my 12 yo son was spoiled this weekend when his Godfather (my brother) bought him an IPad Mini.  Now, we would never buy that for our son (he was actually saving up to buy one), but my brother moved to Europe about 15 years ago and is here for a visit and it’s the first time he met his Godson in person.  So to make up for all of his missed birthdays, he bought him one.

So anyway, he was researching what kind of case to purchase and found that Walmart sells the Otterbox case for the best price.  (If you don’t know what an Otterbox is, it’s worth checking out as I have one for my Iphone and it has saved my phone quite a few times…I love it!)

otterbox for IPad MiniWe checked online to see if it was available at our local Walmart and it was in stock.  We knew we’d be driving past it last night and stopped in to pick one up.  I was shocked to see the price to be $68.88.  I checked with an associate (and showed him the price on my phone) and he said it was pretty common for the online price to be lower than the in-store price.  I asked if he couldn’t just price match it..he couldn’t.  He said to order it online and they will usually pull it off the shelf and have it ready for pick up (at the online price) within a few hours.  How crazy is that.

So the next time you are wanting to buy something at a Walmart and have a smartphone, take a couple of minutes to research it online.  Doing so saved me $22.89.  That’s a pretty great savings for a couple of minutes of time.

How to leave feedback for an Ebay Seller – Seller did good, but product sucks!

Cheap Chinese LenseSo I really want to get this amazing macro lens to do some macro photography of my flowers and other such things.  The one that I really want costs between $800 – $1000.  I started doing some research and found that you could get very similar results with some macro extension tubes that you use with your regular camera.  It has all the sensors for autofocus, etc.  You basically then just plug your regular lens into those tubes (which are attached to your camera).

Well okay, I’m not going to spend $800 on this lens at this point, so I thought I’d shell out the $20 for these extension tubes.  Well, what happened is that as soon as I put these extension tubes on my $3000 camera (yea that’s right – it’s one of my full time work cameras), it fried the electronics on the camera.  Luckily this is my back up camera and I have another backup too.  The damage isn’t horrible, about $300 worth, I think (from what I read anyway).

So how do I leave feedback for the buyer?  He didn’t do anything wrong, it was a product issue.  Is neutral okay in this situation, so that I can just warn other buyers that this happened with my particular camera?

I sell quite a bit on amazon too, and I’ve gotten a low feedback rating that pertained more to the product and not the seller performance.

What should I do?

Water Conservation – Saving Money and the Planet by Reusing/Saving Water

Are we willing to sacrifice our planet for convenience?

After reading Do You Water Your Garden, I started to wonder if there was anything else I could do to conserve water.  I have a large flower and vegetable garden.  Below are some recent pics of what’s currently blooming.


We purchased several rain barrels (well they weren’t rain barrels as they were from a food company who had these barrels that used to be filled with sauerkraut and pickles).  We got them for $15 each and then made them into rain barrels.  This helps with the watering as it catches a lot of rain water from the gutters.  I also have buckets that I use when I know it will be raining so that I can use up more of the rain water and empty out the rain barrels a bit.

IMG_0703My hubby also bought this tank that he uses for a small koi pond as an overflow for the rain barrels.  The koi also add nutrients into the water!

IMG_0702It made me realize that I can take a bath instead of taking a shower and use that water to water all of my garden plants.  So when my rain barrels run dry (which happens quite often) instead of using city water, why let the water go down the drain?  Instead, use the bath water to water the plants.  I know it’s a little bit of work, running in and out of the house (several times) with a bucket or watering can full of water.  But you know what, it is physical exercise..why go to the gym?

Some people are concerned about use grey water because of the chemicals/salt in the shampoos and soaps.  You can certainly use organic products (which is better for your anyway), but it seems that it is so diluted that it doesn’t become an issue at all.  I don’t use it on my veggies, just flowers and other plants.  Click here for more info on using gray water.

Both these methods help our family save money on water and help the planet a little bit.

Have you seen this picture that was making the rounds in response to the ALS challenge?

als-waste-waterI know that this campaign raised tons of money and awareness for ALS, but it was quite a waste of perfect good water too.  Check out all the articles that pertain to the wastefulness of water for the ALS challenge.  So I loved when Matt Damon posted his challenge using toilet water.  Did you know that our toilet water is cleaner than the drinking water most third world countries have access to?

Just something to think about.  If each person/family takes one little step in helping our planet, it’s incredible what we can collectively do!!

Don’t you agree?

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