Thursday, August 18, 2011

Generous people...

I have been meaning to share this for a while. A couple months ago I received a message from a fellow seller on E-bay. She was telling me that she just did better selling men's clothing & wanted to know if I would be interested in some ladies jeans she had. I said sure & asked her what she wanted for them. She said nothing, that she said that I had helped her a lot on the E-bay message board that we frequent. I told her I wanted to at least pay the postage - she would not hear of it. A couple weeks later a good size box arrived and much to my pleasant surprise it was full of nice jeans (including a NWT pair) & several tops. She will not give me her paypal address so I can send her money, but I do have her mailing address. I have been picking up men's clothing for her & when I have enough pieces I am going to mail them to her. It is just nice to know that there are such kind, generous & friendly people out there. E-bay is a big place and there is no reason we can't all be friends! :)

Happy Thrifting,

Monday, August 1, 2011

Craft booklets who knew...

these would sell like hot cakes? I remember at one point reading on one of the E-bay message boards that I frequent someone saying that craft booklets/patterns especially plastic canvas sold like hotcakes. I have a lot of random information floating around in my head - it is a wonder it has not exploded ;)!

Back in early May I happened to drive by a yard sale & it was getting close to their closing time. She had the usual clothing & I bought a few things to re-sell. As I was leaving I noticed a crate full of craft books (crochet & plastic canvas) so per usual that random bit of information moved to the front of my brain. I asked the lady working the sale, "what would you like for the crate?" She responded, "how about $5?" Well, I could not say yes fast enough. She pointed to another box across the way (I had not even noticed it) and said she would toss that box in as well. I was tickled pink, happily paid & loaded up the back seat of my car. I finally started getting them listed. I am guessing there are probably in the neighborhood of 400-500 booklets & magazines. I have listed probably 200 & so far my $5 has made me over $120. I am selling them for average of $1.50 each ($2.50 shipping for the 1st one .50 for each additional up to 6 - 6 and more $5 flat rate). I would definately recommend if you run across any craft booklets/patterns for the right price snag them up!

Happy Thrifting,

Betsy :)

Sad news in my world...

One of my favorite thrift stores closed it doors June 30th...It was the hidden gem I have talked about in a previous post (where I found my beautiful vintage quilts). I talked to the sweet lady who always ran the cash register about it and she told me they just told them without much notice they were closing. She thought it would be eventually re-opening in another town about 20 minutes south of me. While I certainly can not complain, I have to admit my heart sank when I heard the news. We have a lot of great thrift stores in the area, but I will miss them! I have found a lot of good treasures not only to re-sell, but also treasures for my home & family!

Happy Thrifting,

Betsy :)

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Method to my madness...

I have had people ask me how do I keep my items straight? I currently have around 1,100 different listings on E-bay (my next personal goal is to hit 1,500) so as you can imagine it is very, very important for me to have some method to my madness. I have everything stored in labeled totes. I keep about 2/3's of the totes in my office/living room & the other 1/3 in my laundry room. I usually the night before try to pull all the items I sold that day and put them in yet another tote. That way the next day I have a bit easier time getting things ready to ship.

I have totes labeled this way:

ladies cami's/t-shirts
ladies tunics
ladies button front shirts
girl's dresses
girl's shirts
girl's pants/skirts
plus size tops
plus size pants/skirts
ladies skirts
ladies pants - black/gray
ladies pants - browns
ladies pants - colors
men's shirts
men's pants
black dresses
casual dresses
formal/party dresses
skirt/pant suits

I am sure there are a million different ways to organize, but for me after a lot of trial and error I found this one is perfect for me!

Have a great day & happy thrifting!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Parker Vs. Goodwill

Parker kept a journal in 2nd grade and at the end of the year he brought it home. I was looking through it and found this entry:

So now, I wonder have I scarred him for life?! ;)

How did I get started on E-bay??

Today, I am going to discuss how I got started on E-bay. Back when my son was an infant until he was a toddler I dabbled in selling on E-bay. I sold my maternity clothes, his newborn-toddler clothing, old toys, some of my daughter's clothing, etc. After awhile I lost interest.

Well we must fast forward 5 or 6 years. I was needing to make some Christmas money. I have a friend, Nelda who has been selling off and on for 12 years. She had inspired me to get back started on E-bay. So I hijacked my husband's e-bay account (we had long ago closed our original account) and started selling some of my daughters clothes she had outgrown, some of the kid's toys they no longer played with and other miscellaneous items I had just stored away. I was pleasantly suprised I was able to make around $500 over the course of 5 or 6 weeks plenty to provide a nice Christmas for my family.

I eventually actually ran out of things of my own to sell (which really was amazing as I have a lot of stuff!) Nelda introduced me to the local Goodwill Outlet (I will discuss this store more in a later post) and we started going thrifting at area thrift stores almost every Saturday. I was at the time working full time in Client Services for a major manufacturer of scrubs, but I had been desperate to get back home to be a full time mom. One year after I began to sell I set a personal goal of getting back home by that spring. My husband and I discussed it and knew what I had to do financially with E-bay to make that happen. When I set my mind to something I will accomplish it. Well in March 2010 I was able to leave my job and go back to the best job of all full time mom.

How do you get started?

My suggestion is to first start out selling things from around the house. This really is a win/win situation. You can make much more then you would at a yard sale or consignment store & you are clearing out clutter. Once you have thinned out your own items you should start looking at thrift stores/yard sales for things you are comfortable/familiar with. I sell mainly clothing and shoes. I was not a "connoisseur" of brands, but I discovered I have an eye for fashion (which if you knew me in person you would never guess I am a jeans and t-shirt kinda gal). I also dabble in some vintage collectables as well. What are you interested in? What do you know a lot about? These are some questions you should ask yourself if you are going to get serious about selling.

Have a great day!
Betsy :)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

My favorite day of the week...

Some people love Fridays, others Saturdays and many would vote for Sundays. I personally adore Tuesdays. I am sure you are thinking to yourself who in their right mind loves Tuesdays?! Well before you try to convince my husband to haul me off to the looney bin, let me explain why I love Tuesdays.

My very favorite thrift store (Catholic Mission) runs .50 sales on Tuesdays. Each week the manager picks 2 or 3 items to put on sale. This week was women's pants, dresses and all children's clothing. She only puts dresses on sale every 6-8 weeks so today was especially sweet (I love dresses they are among my best sellers). I spent $29.94 and this is a partial list of what I bought:

2 - New Without Tags Motherhood Maternity Sweater Dresses

A Pea in the Pod winter dress

An Alex Marie Pinstripe Pants Suit (jacket & pants) freshly dry cleaned and looks brand new - new retail on this one is $225+ my cost $1

2 - New with Tags Motherhood Maternity Dress Pants

2 - New without Tags Motherhood Maternity Jeans

Jones New York Dress

2 vintage 1980's cocktail dresses

2 paper back & 2 hard back Mary Higgins Clark books (I also love to read).

I also ventured over to a local thrift store ran by the mentally ill. They really are a hidden gem. Very few people I talk to even know they are there. They are only open Monday through Friday from 9:30am to 1:30pm. They are in a large uninsulated warehouse like building - it is HOT in the summer & FREEZING in the winter, but I don't mind either way (this is where I found my vintage quilts I talked about in my previous post). A sweet lady named Margie runs the store, but she was not there today. They had a couple of people I have met before seen running it. I always enjoy making small talk with the employees. They have great prices too! Everyday prices: Men's & Ladies shirts .50, Men's & Ladies pants $1 a pair, jackets $1, skirts .25 & children's clothing .25-$1. I found 3 dresses, 4 or 5 shirts, a couple of skirts, a few children's pieces, a vintage early 1950's purse and a like new hard back Dan Brown novel. I put my finds on the counter and the guy working said $5.35. I guess they must of been running a fill a bag sale, but regardless I was tickled.

I spent just over $35 and a conservative estimate on my profit will be in the neighbornood of $400-500 - this is even after I pay my fees to E-bay & shipping cost. A lot of what I buy is for other seasons. Which is not a big deal. I store them in totes in the shed and pull them out when they are back in season.