Sunday, April 15, 2012

Bye Bye Maternity Clothes

I finally got something of my to-do list and I'm glad I did because several pieces have already sold. After two kids and no plans to have another one for at least 3-4 years, my maternity clothes went up for sale this week. It turns out maternity is high in demand and it's been selling like hot cakes. Which means, yay, I can buy more clothes that fit me now. Or after I get my dream body from the Insanity 60 day challenge I started yesterday! Here's a few pieces that I've already sold.
Sold for $15

Sold in a matter of hours for $7. Yes, I think I priced it too low.

I didn't wear all maternity brands. This is a Matty M maxi dress from Costco that fit through my whole pregnancy and was a gift from someone. Sold for $24.99.

This one I'm a little nostalgic about. Not a maternity dress, but my husband bought me it because he thinks these Cinnamon Girl dresses look so pretty. They also retail for $90+. It's just not my style anymore. Sold in days for $15, again I should have priced it higher but not a lot of Cinnamon Girl was selling according to the completed listings.

Old Navy Bermuda Shorts sold for $7. Sold in hours too, I could have priced higher but I'm sure I only paid $9-10 for these.
I'm slowly chipping away at the inventory pile, which makes me happy because I want to redecorate the ebay room and seeing piles of stuff to list always diverts my attention. Can't wait to be caught up and try to keep up with the inventory every week, i.e., buy and list, buy and list, instead of buy and store and buy some more. How do you guys keep up?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Best Week Ever!

A couple weeks ago I had my best week to date. I sold $619.00 worth of junk to net $509. In fact, I made exactly $509 for the entire month of February, while in that one week I made the same amount. Strange, but gratifying experience.

Have you ever heard of reel to reel sound recording tape? I haven't. But it was new, sealed and looked like the old VHS boxes so I knew it must be obsolete. A quick search on my iphone told me that my instincts were correct. I bought all seven of them for $14 and flipped them over the course of two days. Both lots sold to the same buyer.

I just purchased Quickbooks Pro 2012 to help me with accounting and tax season. I had a $75 off coupon for Costco and the software costs around $160.  Quickbooks Pro does not work on a Mac, unfortunately I was supposed to get the Mac supported version which is EXPENSIVE and not carried by Costco. It's not a problem though, because I can easily return the item.


I bought this at the thrift shop for $2 and sold it for $169 overnight! So now I'm wondering if I should hold off on returning it and waiting a year. Maybe that $75 will make me a little extra cash? What would you do?

The last item below is a Snoopy plush doll that was sold by Macy's as a promotional item. This is the second time I've found these, but the first time with the FM Scanner Radio attached. They cost me $2 each. I listed them for $24.99 each and a buyer bought both of them. Fist pump for one shipment and prompt paying buyers!

That was a fun week. I look forward to getting to a point where those types of sales become my norm, instead of being exceptional.

Hope your week is going well. Happy Sales!

Clarification on Why Thrifting Has Changed My Life

I sometimes wonder if people who know me don't approve of what I do. I think they view this business as stealing from the poor and selling to the rich because I always buy the top brands at thrift shops or new with tag items. Some people might view it as they donate to these charities to help people in need, but then I buy it. 

I had a little bit of an "aha" moment last week when I walked into a booth at the monthly storage swap meet and saw a bag of curtain rods for $5. Those exact rods were at the salvation army not long ago for $2. I'm sure of it. I remember noticing them because Tina at My Secret Ebay Diary has talked about shower curtain rods before, but they weren't in great condition so I put them back. Now I know who bought them. And is reselling them. For a split second, I thought it was tacky. Buying and then reselling at a garage sale type swap meet. But I soon realized it's no different from the business model I've been using all along. And there's nothing wrong with that.

I started thinking more about what I do and I realized that thrifting for me is so much more than buying and selling. Its become a part of who I am as a person. I used to spend a lot of my lunch hours scouring the racks at Macys, spending a lot of money on clothing that I no longer wear. I used to shop a lot. I still do infact. Shopping has always been my outlet for stress release...a way to pass the time. I do some of my best thinking while shopping. Thrifting has given me the outlet to shop, without spending an exorbitant amount of money to do it, and in return I can pay for things for my family and treat myself once in a while.

And since none of you have ever been to my home, I can assure that most of our furnishings come from thrifting. The only furniture that's new in our home is our couch and beds. Most large items were hand me downs from my parents and others were found at moving sales, garage sales, thrift shops, etc. It really gives the house character knowing that most of my decor has been thrifted. My large Samsung LCD tv was...yup you guessed it...purchased at a moving sale. One of my favorite stories is about the time my mom and I spent two hours taking down curtain rods and fixtures ourselves at a moving sale. I think about it every time I look out the window into the beautiful valley across us and my curtains are pulled back.

Anyway, for those of you who know me personally and are starting to learn what I do, please don't think I'm trying to rip off people with my business. Not everything I buy is for resale. In fact, here's a few things I bought recently that I absolutely love and kept all for my greedy little self:

I see so many possibilities with these letters. Find a matching Mrs and mount these over our bed? We have his and hers closets, how cute would they be mounted over our closet space? Anyway, I love these little letters that cost me barely anything.

I'm going to be redecorating the guest bedroom, aka ebay room and I'm collecting frames to spray paint and create a gallery wall. This frame will look amazing sprayed lime green.

These owl salt and pepper shakers are just too cute to give up. 

I'm still not sure about keeping this one. It's sooooooo cool...but there are none on ebay or amazon and I think it could be worth ALOT of cash. But seriously, who wouldn't want a football crockpot all to themselves?

This teapot, cup and saucer is too cute for words. I'm bringing it to work tomorrow so I can have hot tea sitting at my desk all day long.

Monday, February 27, 2012

My Time in the Black Hole

Apparently, I've been thrown in eBay's black hole for the last week and so far I haven't seen any signs of being released. For those of you who don't know what the black hole is, it's a unspecified period of time which your eBay store does not have views, new watchers or sales and you slowly begin to go insane with desperation for a sale until it consumes all your thoughts and you can't eat, sleep or function in the real world. For real, I looked it up in Websters. :)

Over on eBay Underground, we discuss being thrown in the black hole, digging ourselves out, experiencing fantastic sales and somehow being thrown back in again. Actually we discuss all kinds of topics. One of the best tips I've received was from an ebugger who suggested ending a "good till cancelled" BIN sale and "sell similar" to place yourself higher in eBay's magical search engine. Last week, I decided to end about six listings that were lingering for months and sell similar. Sold two of the items within the next three days.

Bought both of these little plush for $0.25 each a while back. While these are small ticket items, the markup is high enough that it ends of being a satisfying sale.

The black hole has made me desperate. I accepted an offer yesterday of $24.88 for this new Tommy Bahama beach towel, which I had listed for $39.99 or BO. My husband occasionally works at a multi-million development exclusive clubhouse to help earn us some extra $$ and they were giving away these towels, along with Tommy Bahama wet/dry clothing bags and bathing suit detergent, as an amenity to guest. Well guess who's the bosses favorite because he was given a leftover amenity to take home. I kept the other items but decided to put up the towel. I'm fine with my cheap Costco beach towels, which I think are actually better quality anyway.

I guess if someone is willing to spend over $30 for a towel, I might as well sell it to them.

While thrifting a while back, I found this Patagonia Capilene base layer shirt on one of the men's racks. What would you know, it's from the same multi-million dollar development my husband works for. The shirt had a stain but it is Patagonia, I knew it would sell. And sell it did....even with a misspelled title!

Lastly, I just wanted to thank Ms. Tina Shake over at My Secret Ebay Diary for the tips on men's western shirts. This classic mens wrangler shirt was thrifted from a rummage sale for $0.50 and sold for $24.99. It only took about a week to sell too. I love rummage sales like that one, all clothes were $0.50. I spent $11.50 on a bunch of stuff and I've already sold the wrangler shirt for $24.99, an Under Armour hoodie for $25.00 and Under Armour base layer shirt for $19.99. That's a $58.48 profit!

That's about it for this roundup of sales. Cross your fingers that eBay releases me from their black hole soon. I need to save for a wild bachelorette party with my bff's in April (an overnighter in Honolulu, one island away! Yipee) and a San Diego trip in June.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

I was featured in Hawaii Business Magazine!

It's official! Hawaii Business magazine, the top business publication in the State, featured little old me in an article on resourceful sales entrepreneurs. And it's the #4 most viewed article on their website.

I'm not going to lie, my head grew a little since this article came out. I have friends and acquaintences contacting me to tell me that they saw the article. It seems like I'm getting a lot of inquiries for consignment as well. Well, now that this article makes me an official seller, I better get listing or I might disappoint. :)

Monday, January 2, 2012

WTF Tuesday: Your Grandmother's Mug

Donating a mug from your grandchildren with their mugshot on it is not cool.

Cute kids, but why would I want to look at them while I sip my cup of joe everyday. Grandma, you should be ashamed of yourself.

Linking up to Sir Mix a Lot's WTF Tuesdays.

To Sell or Not To Sell?

I've decided not to do the obligatory Happy New Year post. I guess Christmas is still in my heart, especially since this was our first Christmas with two little sweet boys and since my baby was born on Fourth of July, I wanted to stretch out 2011 for as long as I could. In our house, the stockings are still hung, the tree is still decorated although it's been brown for a month and the garlands are still strung. Why does Christmas always come and go so fast?

I got the Hallmark Keepsake ornament above for $2.75 at a thrift shop in early December. It's a 2010 ornament, so there's a good chance it's brand new. Hallmark Keepsake ornaments are great sellers and this one is no exception. I checked completed listings of this ornament on eBay and I could make a quick $20 if I turned around  and sold it.

But something keeps holding me back. I get the feeling that next year, my two little boys will love this guy. And what's the fun in thrifting if you are only out to make a quick buck? Sometimes it's great to purchase a little something for yourself. Should I give him up or should I keep him? On the first day of 2012, that is the question.