Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Sidelined - Part Two

I have been sidelined for a month now.  My family is still going through a difficult time, but in a different way.  My mother-in-law passed away this week.  She was diagnosed with a benign brain tumor the day after Thanksgiving.  She had surgery a week later, but things did not go as expected.  After surgery, she never truly “woke up.”  Days of waiting for her to become responsive turned into weeks, and 25 days after having brain surgery, she died.  It was heartbreaking to see someone who was full of life before brain surgery be so lifeless afterwards.  So this weekend we will be mourning the death but celebrating the life of my mother-in-law.  


Even in death there is a lot of “business” to take care of, so I expect that eBay will continue to take a back seat.  Truthfully, though, it feels like I lost my mojo.  Ebay was going pretty good as long as I stayed active and consistent with it.  Since I have not been able to do that, I feel a little disconnected to it all.  I haven’t lost my interest, just my motivation.  Hopefully that will come back soon.  In spite of this, I managed to sell 17 things during the month of December.  Most of it was small stuff that only resulted in about $250.  Considering that I put in minimal effort, that’s okay with me….Maybe I will be back on track by late January.

What do you do when you feel like you have lost your motivation?

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Sidelined

Life has a way of making you pause. Things don't always go as you expect them to. I am pausing right now to focus on my family.  There is so much I could say, but let me just share that right after Thanksgiving, I  had a family member unexpectedly hospitalized and requiring a MAJOR surgery. Their recovery is primary in my life right now. I will post here on the blog only as time allows and I will only be ebaying as time allows.  I don't expect to stop completely, but there is only so much you can do in a day.   Pray for my family. Thanks.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Thanksgiving Reflections

This morning I woke up reflecting on how thankful that I am for this time in my life.  I am thankful to have a loving family and friends, a roof over my head, and a job that pays the bills.  I am thankful that in spite of some poor decisions that I may have made in the past, my life did not get derailed and go off course.  I have typically been someone who was a cautious decision maker. As a young person,  I would think about what kind of trouble might occur and what if my mom and dad found out.  Nevertheless, I have been some places that I shouldn't have been.  I have done some things that were not in my best interest.  I have hung out with some people that were not good for me.  I have made some choices that could have put me in some precarious situations. Any of those times could have resulted negative consequences.  Yet, in spite of all that, I am here to tell my own story and I am thankful to my Heavenly Father for ordering my steps so that I could be right where I am today. 

Fortunately, with age comes wisdom.  As I prepare for this Thanksgiving Holiday, I truly realize that every day is a day of Thanksgiving.  Happy Thanksgiving from me to you!


What's your story?  What are you thankful for?  Please share in the comments below.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Never a dull moment on eBay – November

I am always amazed at the things that can be bought and sold on eBay. Here is a list of things that I found particularly interesting  while I was scrolling through recently sold items.  I bet you will see something that is just what you've always wanted!!  LOL

Patti's Pies

First of all, let me address the phenomenon that is currently known as Patti's Pies that seems to be sweeping the nation.  These $4.00 Wal-Mart pies are currently selling on Ebay for crazy amounts of money. As a seller, I get it. It is all about the money.  As a buyer, I don't get it.  There isn't a sweet potato pie out there that I am going to pay enormous amounts of money for. It's just not gonna happen. I am from the South. At the right time of the year, all I have to do is find the right spot and I can dig all of the sweet potatoes that I want and have pies for days.  A sweet potato pie is a staple around my way....not a specialty item. Maybe that is why I don't get what the hype is all about........ BUT if any of you want three of MY sweet potato pies for $7000.00, let me know.  I promise you they will be good. LOL

Grandaddy's Dentures

Fortunately I don’t have dentures.  Not yet anyway.  But isn’t it good to know that I can buy some off of eBay if I need them?  I mean really, wouldn’t it be a good think to get a deal on some dentures and have them shipped to you in just a few days?  That saves you money from the dentist and everything.  Just pull all your own teeth and rinse with a swig of vodka followed by some Listerine and you should be good to go, right?   Personally, it seems kind of disgusting to me, but if I was really in need I wouldn’t rule it completely out.  You can't just go down to the corner store and pick up some false teeth.  Yes, I know, it is a good thing that you can’t.  But, being toothless isn't cute and if I was in dire straits, I’m telling you, getting me some false teeth off of eBay would cross my mind.

So, I am glad to know that somebody out there is selling false teeth on eBay.  Now these are promoted as being for dental students or for Halloween, but I’m pretty sure that somebody out there is fitting themselves with some bootleg dentures.  I am thankful that today it is not me.

Genuine Dinosaur poop











I have never seen a real dinosaur, which means that I definitely haven’t seen any dinosaur poop. Chances are you haven't either.  Well feast your eyes on this million year old petrified dinosaur poop.  There are a lot of things that I can say about this. But suffice it to say that I’m going to leave this one alone.  If you are interested in buying dinosaur poop, have at it.  With 2 kids and a husband at my house, I have enough poop at home that I don’t have to go out and buy some petrified version.  Hopefully this is some museum grade poop that will be going somewhere where it can be appreciated by others who have an interest.  As for me?  I. Just. Can’t.

There is never a dull moment on eBay.

What interesting things have you noticed for sale on eBay lately?


Friday, November 13, 2015

Fourth Quarter Success - Fact or Fantasy?


Well, well, well.  The illustrious fourth quarter is upon us and as a new seller, I don't have a clue what to expect.  When listening to others, you hear that fourth quarter is where the magic happens.  So here I am, waiting for some of that magic fairy dust to get sprinkled my way while I try to list, list, list.  So far for me, 4th quarter has been a pretty ho hum experience.  However, I know that the driving factor behind it all is holiday sales and there is still plenty of time left for that.

As a result, I am curious about when this fourth quarter engine is really going to crank up.  Will I be getting a sales thrill out of black Friday and Cyber Monday?  Will my slow sellers suddenly fly off the shelf?  Should I focus on listing particular items just for the holidays? Who knows.  Believe me, if it happens, that will be awesome.  If it doesn't, I will keep chugging right along, understanding that what I have to sell may not be at the top of anyone's Christmas list.  But hey, you never know. Somebody might want an emerald green Adidas track jacket to wear as a part of their holiday attire.  If so, I'm your girl.


What has been your experience with fourth quarter sales?

Monday, November 2, 2015

Cause of Death? Seller Envy!

    photo credit: USPS.COM

I am sure that you have seen the pictures.  People love to post pictures showing how many packages they have heading to the post office.  All those nice free priority mail envelopes are packed and labeled and ready to go.  Some people really have a lot of sales; and they are overflowing with packages and the cash that goes along with it.  Sounds, good right?  Yeah, it sounds good to me too. But I have to be cautions.  Seller envy can kill.

What do I mean by that?  Well, if you read my about page you know that I work full time and have a family.  I love an eBay sale just as much as the next guy or gal, but there has to be limitation for me. If I let my seller envy take control, my family would be eating frozen dinners and we would be taking vacations centered around where the best Goodwill store is located.  My rooms would be filled with boxes and inventory waiting to be sold and out the door.  I would be pressing toward having a thousand listing so that I can keep those solid numbers coming in.That's not the life for me.  That would kill me.  Cause of death? Seller envy!  I can see my feet sticking out from a pile of inventory that mistakenly fell on me while I was trying to locate an item.  Remember how the house fell on the Wicked Witch of the West in the Wizard of Oz and all you could see were her feet and those pointy shoes?  That would be me.

Every now and then I do have some fleeting moments of seller envy.  But when I realize what that means for me and my family I quickly come to my senses.  To all of you power-sellers out there, you get a high five from me!  To all of you whose homes are overflowing with inventory and you are raking in the cash, I salute you! To those of you who have jobs like me and still devote a significant chunk of your time to your eBay hustle, good for you! I'm not hating on anybody else. Whatever works for you is what you should be doing.  As they say "Do You, Boo!"   I just can't do it.  Not right now.  That takes more time and effort than I have to give.  Most of my free time is filled with a "honey do" list or a mommy request.  That's where my priorities lie.  Yes, I am the College Fund Thrifter.  I do have some financial goals in mind.  My motto is going to be "Slow and Steady Wins the Race." Balance is the key. As long as eBay doesn't go anywhere, I will still have time to make my million, LOL.

Do you experience seller envy?

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The October Slowdown

Things started off pretty briskly in October - but by the end of the month it had all dried up.  My job responsibilities took priority and I had to cut back on my thrifting and listing. Ugh.  I've been so busy at work that I just couldn't find the time. I was even struggling to get this post written.  Here are some of my recent sales . 


        KAHALA Hawaiian Fishing Shirt.  Wilson's suede purse.  Men’s Black Burberry Shirt.
 
I sold the Burberry shirt for 41.00 as a best offer after paying 3.59 for it.  That shirt was a rare find for where I live. It made me nervous.  I did a lot of research to figure out if it was the real deal. But end the end I was glad to get a good profit from it. I also sold 7 back issues of WWE Kids magazines.  Six of them went to the same person.  I woke up  one morning to find 6 different transactions for each magazine.  Although I don’t say it in my listings, she requested combined shipping.  I didn’t have a problem with combining shipping but would have liked for her to make that request before she made her separate purchases.    I also sold an ECU Pirates kids football jersey.   Do any of you readers know anything about the Pirates?? ARRRGH  Another cool sale was this KAHALA Hawaiian fishing shirt.  I love this shirt because I love to fish.  If I could have worn it myself I probably would have kept it – but it was an Extra Large. It sold for 19.99 plus shipping and I paid 3.59 for it.  I had high hopes that it would sell at a higher price, but decided not to be greedy. I hope that the sales keep coming in.  The suede purse shown above sold for 16.50 plus shipping.  I paid $1.49 for it. My goal is to make $2500 by January 1, but I have really got to get back to listing in order to make that happen.

Will you be meeting your end of the year goal.

Friday, October 16, 2015

LOVE (not Thrifting) Will Keep Us Together!


My husband is a no nonsense kind of guy.  When he wakes up in the morning, he is thinking about all the things that he needs to get done.  So when he decided that he and I were going to go thrifting together......I wasn't really sure what to think.  If you read my post It's Time to get Started you may remember that I talked about needing to get rid of clutter. I believe that is one of my husband's missions in life.  He is a no-clutter king.  Does that type of person get jazzed about going to a goodwill or a thrift shop?

Let me tell you, it was interesting.  His first question was "What are you looking for?"  My answer was "nothing in particular."  This led into a discussion on how can you go into a store and not be looking at anything in particular.  So in order to make this easy on both of us, I had to give him some clear direction.  Books seemed like a good place to start.  So I advised him to check out the book section for some old books.  For me old books means at least 50-60 years old.  For him it meant the "80's" as he showed me a group of books about some baseball players from that era.  They were probably Time-Life but I didn't check.  "Older than that," I said.  "Scan for books that look old and then check their copyright date."  Why did I start him looking at books?  Because he likes books and I thought it would ease him into his first thrift shopping excursion.

While he stayed with the books, I got to move on to the housewares.  When he caught up with me I had a couple of milk glass items and some Vintage Pyrex in my hands.   I quickly asked him to hold it all while I looked it up on Ebay.  He was not impressed.  The resale value on the item I had wasn't good enough for me to hold onto them.  I knew in order for him to really get excited I would have to find something really great.

Next I wandered over to the men's clothing looking for sportswear.I had a couple of items in my hands and told him "It's all about the brands."  He gave me this you can't be serious look and moved on. I didn't find anything that I was really committed to that day, so I walked out with nothing.  The only thing I was even close to buying was a Majestic New York Yankees half-zip pullover.  But even that didn't really do it for me.

I think we traveled to two more stores that day.  He did find some comic books that had potential, but the return on them was minimal.  I remember him telling me "I can find better things to do with my time."  At the end of the day, it was a pretty good excursion.  Having him with me caused me to be much more selective about my potential purchases and I think that by spending the day rambling around with me he got a glimpse into the thrift store experience.  Overall, it was a pretty good outing. I thought it was an awesome way for him to show his love for me - even though it wasn't really his thing?

Does your spouse enjoy thrifting?

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

An Ebay Return of Biblical Proportions!!



Ugh, it has been a weekend of difficulties!  First of all, I feel like I have been dealing with rain for the past two weeks here in North Carolina.  Although Hurricane Joaquin stayed off the coast, the various weather systems that came before it and after it were awful and dumped bucket-loads of rain on us.  I had my moments of thinking about Noah and the Ark and what it would feel like to deal with rain day after day for forty days.  But I digress….

My difficulties on Ebay began with a request for a refund.  I had a buyer message me that a magazine that I had sent him had water damage.  I didn't realize that when I sent it – but I did realize it when I was packaging it up to send him.  I didn't know if that would be important to him so I sent it anyway.  He messaged me, but didn't open a refund request.  I happened to be out of town when he sent  the message, so I messaged him back offering an apology and agreed to refund his money. I told him since I was out of town I would get it done within the next three days.  This is my first refund that I will have to make from Paypal.  He didn't open a refund request case, so I hope this will go well.  If any of you reading this have any particular advisement, let me know.

I also had a return request on a bible.  Hence the name "An Ebay Return of Biblical Proportions"... LOL. This was another first for me.  This buyer said the item was not as described.  Here is what happened.  This was a small bible with small writing.  He complained that the writing was smaller than the pictures showed. What?  I am not skilled enough to doctor pictures like that.  However, I did take close up pictures of the bible.  Actually, I take close up pictures of everything.  Anyway, he felt that the item was not as described.  Could I have given a better description?  Yes, and I have learned my lesson.  However, his refund request seemed to imply that I did something to the pictures, which I did not.  What’s a girl to do?  I called Ebay for guidance.  I started to process the return and have the buyer send it back to me…but I didn't.  I just returned his money.  This bible cost me $1 and I did not want to end up paying for shipping twice.  I realize this will result in a defect, but it is part of the learning experience.  I expect that I will survive.


On top of all that, I have an unpaid auction item to deal with too!
Well, they say when it rains it pours……I am a witness to that.  Thanks, Joaquin.

If you have any particular guidance for me about dealing with refunds, returns and defects - please share in the comments below.  I appreciate all feedback!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

5 Watchers, 1 Vintage Book - Can You Guess What Happened at Auction?



So.....this first edition book, Lord Of The Flies, has been up for auction for 10 days with a starting bid of $79.  As of 8:00 this morning, I have 5 watchers but no bids.  The auction ends today at 7:00 pm.  What do you think is going to happen?  Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Sentimental or NAH?



I will admit that I have a sentimental streak.  There are some things that just have a special place in my heart.  Those are the things that will never, ever be posted on EBay.  However, there are some things that I have held onto for no apparent reason.  When you have kids, you just end up with STUFF.  I still have clothes, books, and toys that my children clearly have grown out of several years ago.This results in me having extra clutter around my house.  Personally, I can deal with a little bit of clutter - but it drives my husband CRAZY with a CAPITAL C.  He likes things to be neat and in order.  So I am hoping that Ebay will help me to be a clutter-killer.

Let me tell you, the struggle is real.  Although I have all kinds of odds and ends that I want to sell, sometimes I just cant keep myself from buying a good deal.  It's ridiculous, I know, but I have a feeling that some of you reading this might have the same problem.  We need to start an Ebayers Anonymous......The good thing is, these new things typically don't have any sentimental value or strong attachment to me.  They just need to be posted and sold.  The bad thing is, new purchases certainly don't help with clutter.

The picture above is one of my favorite sales. Dick and Jane books are reminiscent of my
 childhood.  In spite of that, was I sentimental about it?  Surprisingly, NAH.  I had every reason to be sentimental about this book, but I just wasn't.  It was my mom's book.  She was an elementary school teacher who took particular pride in teaching children how to read.  This was one of her textbooks.  It was tattered and torn and well read.  I sold it on Ebay for $17.50.  I was surprised that it sold for that amount, but realize now that it might have sold for more. Dick and Jane books are classic!!

What about you?  Are you sentimental or NAH?  How do you deal with organizing your ebay stuff?

College Fund Thrifter

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Blue Bins are OFF LIMITS! WHAT??

I remember my first trip to the Goodwill Store.  I didn't know what I would find, but made a quick beeline to the books.  I knew that books were safe.  The only things that books suggested about me was that I like to read.......

Since that time I have made numerous trips to Goodwill, sometimes going twice a week.  I have moved past being the woman that was insecure about shopping at Goodwill.  This store isn't particularly large, but I am always surprised by the interesting things that I find there.  I have gotten to the point that I can browse through the racks and immediately see the things that pique my interest.

In spite of my comfort level with Goodwill, I still leave the blue bins alone.  Of course any good thrifter knows that the golden ticket just might be found in the blue bins. So why do I avoid them?  For me, it's personal.  I just don't want to dig through and touch all of that stuff trying to find the great deal. It's a growth process, I think. I am not a germaphobe or anything, but I am really particular sometimes about what I want to touch.  I will dig in dirt, pick up worms and do all kinds of other stuff.  But for some reason, digging through those blue bins just doesn't make the cut.  I'm sure that it's mind over matter.  But unless I experience a major change of heart, the blue bins are off limits.

Am I alone in this?  Does anybody else consider the blue bins to be off limits for similar reasons? When you are thrifting, do you find that they are some things that you just don't want to touch?  Let me know in the comments.

College Fund Thrifter


Tuesday, September 1, 2015

The Price is Right! Wrong


I think I have Ebay paranoia.  I feel like I am the person at the yard sale with the highest prices and nobody wants to buy!  What do you do about that?  I am a comparison shopper by nature.  But whenever I look at prices on Ebay for items that are comparable to mine, it appears to me that my prices are reasonable.  When I look at sold and completed listings too – it seems as if my prices are reasonable.  Then why aren't the items that I have listed selling??  I have got to figure this out.

Ebay has slowed down to a crawl for me.  I have sold 1 item in the last 2 weeks.  I have 80 things listed. Not a lot, but that is more than usual for me. I guess the problem for me is that I don’t have the right merchandise.  I’m still trying to figure out what it takes to be successful at Ebay.  I am trying to figure out the right prices, the right listing times, and the right products.  Somehow, I think I am missing something….who knows?  Maybe the key to it all is becoming more and more focused and not just throwing spaghetti on the wall to see if it will stick. 

Maybe it’s the time of year.  Everyone always talks about the 4th quarter sales.  I am wondering if I need to do something different so that I can benefit from 4th quarter sales too. All of this is making my head hurt.  And on top of that, my clutter free  husband can take a lot more stuff just laying around the house. So what am I saying?  For the moment, I am discouraged but not defeated.  I can do this!  This is just a bump in the road!  No pain, no gain! I’m going to keep on pushing.  Stay tuned and watch me win!!  Nothing is going to keep me from earning my baby’s college money!!

Help me out!  Send me your suggestions in the comments.

Friday, August 21, 2015

FLASHBACK - MAY SALES

As you know, I started this Ebay adventure in May 2015.  I was just getting my feet wet, trying to make a few bucks.  I only sold a few things - but it was just enough to keep interested.  I sold five items during the month of May.  Here's the breakdown of just some of the items.


Discover Kids Magazines.  This was my most surprising sale.  I had no idea there was a market for back issue magazines.  When I think of all the magazines that I have gotten rid of, I was just throwing money away!  These particular magazine are educational in nature and have different lessons in them.  I thought they would be great for teachers or homeschool parents.  I sold 40 of them for $50 plus shipping.



I also sold a 7th grade math workbook and this baby book that I got from the Goodwill store that together cost $1.50.  Both of them sold really quickly.  I got burned a bit on the baby book because of it's size and weight.  I hadn't quite figured out the ins and outs of shipping and it was underpriced on the shipping.


Another pleasant surprise was this Pokemon Red gameboy advance cartridge.  This thing had been given to my kids by my nephew, who is now 21 years old.  The fact that it was Pokemon and it was red seemed to raise its value.  Although the picture shows the case, I just had the cartridge - no case.Whatever the case, this "vintage"  cartridge sold for 21.95 with free shipping.  I may have been able to get more, but at the time I thought it was a decent price.

Overall the month of my ended with a total profit minus fees came out to be $76.70.  This resulted in at $15.34 average per item price and I was satisfied with that.  With a little more effort, maybe I can double that.

College Fund Thrifter

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

The Quickest Seller

My husband is a "car guy" who has all kinds of automotive tools, manuals and others interesting stuff just laying around the house.  Most of it is stuff that he doesn't want me to touch.  However, this Haynes Repair Manual for Chrysler Cars was one of my quickest sellers.  It sold overnight in just a matter of hours.  I have a couple more for older cars that are up for sale as well.  I sold this book for a total of $15 including shipping. It's perfect for all those shade tree mechanics out there.






































College Fund Thrifter

Monday, August 10, 2015

CHA-CHING.....THAT FIRST SALE

So here I was trying this new thing - Ebay.  I really didn't know what I was doing.  I just jumped in.  The only real way to learn how to do something is to just do it, right?  So I didn't know what to expect.

I remember sitting at my desk in my office and I heard CHA-CHING!  I didn’t know what it was!  Just for a moment I was trying to figure out where that now familiar sound came from.  After coming to my senses and realizing that the noise came from my phone, I saw the EBAY icon in my notifications. 

WOO-HOO!  I had sold my 1st item, a Nintendo 3DS game for $10.50.   I was really about to learn how EBAY worked from posting to completing the transaction.  And now???  Things are moving slow and steady.  I have made over $400 as I received my on the job training selling on Ebay.  The learning is just beginning.  What I really need to work on is quality sourcing.  I find that there are certain things that I am naturally attracted to and want to buy, even though it may not be a good resale product. I need to focus on what the market likes....not what I like.  Help me get better at this. I could use your support.

College Fund Thrifter

Friday, August 7, 2015

MAKING IT STICK


I have wanted to start a blog for a long time.  I can even say that I started a couple of them – but they didn't last.  I couldn't quite pull it together in a consistent fashion.  This time I hope that won’t be the case.  Previously, I had all these grand ideas about me starting a blog, gaining readers, developing a following and somehow making a little extra money as a result.  I did plenty of research in preparation for this venture and even set up a paid website to make it happen.  But I soon realized that the direction I was taking just wasn't working for me. 

Fast forward to today.  I started selling on Ebay in May of this year.  I’m still learning , but I enjoy the challenge of it all; and that alone gives me something to write about.  As long as I keep selling – there’s gonna be something to write about.  All of my previous research told me that in order to be a successful blogger, you really had to do it for the right reasons.  You have to be passionate about what your blog had to offer.  That’s part of the reason that I failed at it.  I was trying to create passion – which was all wrong.  So, you might ask, am I passionate about selling on Ebay?  Not yet.  I think passionate is a pretty strong word and I’m not sure I am there yet.  Do I enjoy it?  Sure.  Do I like telling people about it? Yep.  If those two things are part of the criteria, then maybe I am well on my way to being passionate.  Give me a little time, I’ll get there.  Meanwhile, I am looking forward to making this one stick.  

Friday, July 17, 2015

It's time to get started......

So here's the deal. I have 2 kids and a lot of stuff. Doesn't any mom of teenagers who is worth her salt have a lot of stuff? I thinks so. Now, however, it is time to get rid of some of the extra stuff that I have packed away in this house. It is time to minimize, clean out, and declutter. That's where EBAY comes in. As they say, one man's trash is another man's treasure. I am hoping that I can make some extra cash my posting these things on EBAY. Wish me luck as I begin this journey into a whole new world of selling stuff online. Officially, I started in May 2105. My goal is to make $1800 by December 31st. I don't know if that can possibly happen from mainly posting 20 items monthly, holding down a full time job and taking care of my family - but I am going to give it my best shot! If you have any suggestions for me, send them my way. I need them.