Monday, February 29, 2016

Thrifting for Cookbooks – Coastal Carolina Cooking

I love cookbooks.  I actually love cookbooks more than I love cooking.  Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy cooking as well.  However, the kitchen cleanup that goes along with cooking can be a BEAST sometimes and that’s the part that I don’t like so much.  Because of my love for cookbooks, I am always looking for some unique cookbook titles whenever I am out thrifting.  If I really find some gems, I take them home.  Otherwise, I leave them for some other cookbook loving thrifter to pick up.

My most recent find is Coastal Carolina Cooking by Nancy Davis and Kathy Hart.  I don't plan on selling this one on Ebay.  This one is a keeper.  I was attracted to this cookbook first because I’m a Carolina girl.  What was great about it was that the recipes came from real people who lived on the North Carolina coast and were cooking these foods for their friends and family.  I think that food says a lot about who you are and where and how you live. 

Here is cool recipe from Coastal Carolina Cooking.  If you happen to be from the South you may be familiar with it.

SOUSE (or more affectionately known as Hogshead Cheese...LOL)

1 hog’s head, skinned, cleaned and split in half (remove eyes, snout, and brains; leave jowls and ears)
1 ½ tablespoons black pepper
2 tablespoons sage
1 tablespoon salt

Place hog’s head in a large pot.  Cover with water and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer until meat falls easily off the bone, about 3 hours.  Remove head from broth and cool slightly.  Save broth.  Remove all meat from the bone and chop finely or put in a meat grinder.  Skim as much grease as possible from the top of the broth.  Add black pepper, sage, and salt to 1 ¼ quarts of broth.  Add water if there isn't enough broth.  Drop in ground meat; mix thoroughly.  The mixture should be the consistency of a thin pudding.  Place in a glass loaf pan and put in the refrigerator to congeal.  Slice to serve.

The creator of this recipe suggested that you eat a slice of souse on crackers or corn bread. Now doesn't that sound DELISH??  I’m sure it is delicious to some people – just not me.  I’m not knocking it because I have actually tried it before.  Let me just say that it’s not going to be on my top 10 list of favorites anytime soon.

Regardless of how it may taste to me, I appreciate that people know how to make something from what others might see as nothing.  That’s all about survival right there.  Let nothing go to waste. Isn't that what thrifting is all about? I think so.

Hey readers, what about you? Do you enjoy cookbooks like I do? Raise your hand if you have ever eaten souse!!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Identifying the Thrifting Gene

I have not been a thrifter all of my life, but I have always been curious about things.  I am curious about long winding roads and where they might lead.  I am curious about old houses that I sometimes pass along the road that are grown up with weeds and brush.  I am curious about stuff that looks unique and interesting.  I am curious about things that have a history and a past.  I like the idea of reusing something if I can.

When I think about reusing things, it reminds me of my Dad.  He was a thrifter of sorts.  Maybe I got this thrifting gene from him.  My dad was a true Jack of all trades.  In our house we called him Mr. Fixit.  He was our MacGyver – before MacGyver even existed.  Give my dad some wood, he would make something out of it.  Take him something that was broken, he would fix it.  He was a collector of stuff.  If an appliance stopped working and he couldn't fix it – he would keep the cord to use for something else.  If a chair leg was broken, he would find a way to mend it so it was usable again.  Ultimately, maybe the correct term for my dad would be to call him thrifty – not a thrifter.

He didn't go to places like Goodwill or Salvation Army.  We didn't have any of those in our area.  He didn't buy things for the purpose of selling them.  He bought them because they were useful to him.  He was a person who appreciated getting a good deal.  He loved going to stores like Big Lots or Ollie’s for that very reason.  From hardware to groceries, he would check every aisle.  If it was the right price, he would buy several.  I remember growing up praying that the “scratch and dent” canned foods that we sometimes ate weren't going to make us sick. They didn't.

My dad would go off somewhere and come back with unique treasures that he often had some unknown purpose for. They weren't cute delicate things that he would come back with.  They might even be big and bulky. Right now, my parents have a “church pew” outside their house that never had any particular plan or purpose.  It has been there over 20 years.  The way I remember it, it was just something that my dad brought home one day  There are numerous stories that I could share like that.

So, ultimately I believe he is the source of my thrifting gene.  Unfortunately due to his age, he can’t get out and do those kind of things anymore.  But he still loves searching the ads from the Sunday newspaper – just to see where the deals are……

So tell me, where did you get your thrifting gene?

Monday, February 22, 2016

Bring back the Seventies!!

I know that I’m going to be showing my age here but I just can’t help it.  There are some things about the 70’s that I just seem to get a bit sentimental about.  I have such fond memories of growing up with about 5 television channels, 8 track players and records.  Things were so much simpler when television went off at one in the morning to the tune of the Star Spangled Banner.  Oh the memories!!

I was transported back to the 70’s during a recent trip to my local Salvation Army store.  After a quick look through the book section, I headed to check out the toys.  To my surprise I saw a Cher doll! Yaaassss, I mean Cher of "Sonny and Cher".  If you remember anything about the seventies you absolutely must remember the awesomeness that was Sonny and Cher Bono and their daughter Chastity (now Chaz) Bono!! To  my surprise it was sealed in the original packaging, which in this case was a plastic bag with the name CHER written across it in cool lettering.  Right at that moment, I found myself singing a few bars of “I Got You Babe” and snatched her from the top of the heap.  Somehow, I couldn't just leave Cher and her “below her waist” length hair there among the misfit toys.  She had to come home with me.
Don’t get confused.  I am not a collector.  I didn't have any plans to keep Cher.  My plan for her was to list her  on ebay hoping that she could be reunited with a collector who has a Sonny Doll who needs a wife.  If that person is you, go here to find Cher.  Somebody out there had to appreciate this doll and I wanted to get them together.  So currently Sonnyless Cher is hanging out at my house waiting on her love connection.  Hopefully it will happen soon. 

Have you found something from your childhood that you just had to buy?  Let me know about it in the comments.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Valentine's Day Gifts for that Special EBay Seller in your Life

As I write this it is three days before Valentine’s Day.  My husband and I don’t really do anything big for this particular holiday.  Mostly it involves the exchange of cards and dinner out.  Sometimes we don’t even do that much.  But, I acknowledge that some couples really get into Valentine’s Day.  So…….. if you have somebody special in your life that is a serious reseller, here is a list that any EBay seller would love.  Any of the items below can be found on Amazon or Ebay. Affiliate links are included.

POSTAL SCALE –  I am amazed at the number of sellers who don’t have postal scales.  They just depend on the post office to take care of their postage for them. Learning the shipping game is not hard to do. As long as you have access to a printer and a postal scale you are in business. I remember when I started, my biggest challenge was learning how to ship items inexpensively.  I couldn't have done that without a good scale.  Weighing your items prior to listing is an important part of the process. Additionally, with the rate changes at the post office, this is a perfect time to buy a new scale.  They are not hard to find.  Make sure it displays ounces. You can check this one out on Amazon!

Accuteck ShipPro 110lbs x 0.1 oz. Digital Shipping Postal Scale, Black (W-8580-110-Black)

LIGHTING KIT – Lighting is so important for good pictures.  You can easily create your own lighting kit at home or purchase a fancier one.  If you’re like me, you are a part – time seller that is at work during all of those great daylight hours.  Sometimes my pictures get taken while I am trying to burn the midnight oil and get some listing done.  As a result, I need a little extra help when it comes to lighting.  Maybe your loved one will consider giving you a lighting kit for Valentine’s day or possibly even building you one.  Just to get you started you can look at these.

DYMO LABEL WRITER – I will be the first to admit that I don’t have a label writer. I am a small seller who is hoping to just blow up one day as a result of patience and persistence.  However, I do recognize the value of having a label writer. Everything that I have heard about them, tell me that this thing is the BOMB!!  How great is it to just print and stick.  It really sounds good to me so I am definitely keeping an eye on this item right here. It's a bit expensive for a seller at my level.  But if EBay is a big moneymaker for you it should be worth it, don't you think?

CLEANERS -  As a seller there is always something to clean.  Whether it is clothing or other items, sometimes getting off scuffs, ink marks, Sharpie, lint, gum, labels and a whole host of other things can be challenging.  This list of items would make a nice gift basket for that EBay seller that is near and dear to your heart.

This is a short list. There are plentyy more items out there to consider. We sellers are a practical bunch…….but if you think that special person in your life  would prefer a nice meal and a beautiful gift forget stop reading this right now and head to the mall.  LOL!!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Thursday, February 4, 2016

EBAY Scammers Beware!! I have a dog!!

If only something as simple as having a dog would keep scammers away.  That would be great right? I have heard the horror stories about buyers and sellers all over the internet.  I have tried to be vigilant when it comes to protecting myself from being scammed, duped or otherwise bamboozled.  But this time the scammer came for me.  ME.  The unsuspecting mom trying to make a little extra cash on EBAY.  I was a bit surprised.

Let me tell you the story.  I have an Anchor Hocking Milk Glass Mug that I had put up for auction.  It might even be considered a Fire-King Mug – but it isn't marked as such.  If you are reading this and you’re a fire king expert you can let me know.  I am the original owner. 

After debating about it a bit and checking the selling history, I decided to put it up for auction.  Bidding started at $42.00.  Surprisingly, within the first 2 days of a 10 auction day I had this first bid.  I really didn't know if it that was good or bad.  I was hoping for the best.

Others had this mug up for sale as BIN for between $90 - $199.  As a result, I felt as if I started a good price that would not immediately turn buyers away.  So as time progressed, the bidding began.  I was hopeful that it was going to go HIGH!!! The bidding was going to end after my bedtime so I was hopeful that I was going to wake up to a windfall.

$80+ shipping sounded pretty good to me, so I decided to check out the auction winner. I clicked on their username and found 0 feedback and a private account?  What the heck!!??  Something just didn't
seem right about that.  So I figured that I would wait and see what happened.  I checked eBay again at a later time and I noticed that this username had 8 feedback ratings.  HUH?? How do you go from 0 – 8 just like that?? Still, there was nothing for me to do but wait.

After a few days of not being paid, I opened a case.  The result of the case determined that I was being scammed.  The exact words from eBay were, “we had to cancel bids for this buyer because they aren't registered on eBay.”  Say what??  How does this happen?  I. Am. Done. Why did they choose the mug I was selling?  Who’s going to pay me my $80?  Clearly I was out of luck on all accounts.  But the silver lining of it all was that I got away.  The scammer was not successful.  I really wasn't out of anything at all. Maybe it was even a blessing in disguise.

Have you ever been the target of a scammer?  Tell me your story in the comments.

Monday, February 1, 2016


January – Month in Review

I ended the month better than I started.  I sold 18 items in January.  I was pleased with that.  Somehow after that auction experiment, things started doing a bit better.  After listing so many auctions that didn't sell, I was able to relist them again in the same month.  This helped me to keep my listing numbers up and also resulted in a few more sales.  Although, I didn't sell a lot of things at auction, the promotion helped me because I was determined to list as much as I could during the short promotion time. 

So what did I learn?  I don’t have a store so I have limited listings (50) each month.  Anytime I receive a listing promotion, I should take advantage of it.  Although I don’t typically sell using the auction format – why let the free listings promotion go to waste?  Just because it was up for auction, that didn't mean that I had to give the item away.  So I listed as much as I could, using the auction format.  I got a few sales in the process and more listings in the pipeline.  Somebody also tried to scam me – but that story is for a later post.  Overall,  January turned out better than it started.

So what did I sell?

I sold 18 items.  The big seller was this Howard Miller clock that I sold as "nonworking.  Although it was up for auction starting at $42, someone messaged me expressing interest and wanting to offer $55 plus $25 shipping.  I was a little cautious at first, so I didn't immediately respond.  After receiving a second message, I figure that the guy was serious and we ended up making the deal.  Considering, I only had $10 in the clock, it turned out pretty good.  It hasn't been delivered yet, but I'm hopeful that this was a solid sale.

FFA charms/medals

My dad taught high school agriculture.  As a result, he was the adviser for Future Farmers of America.  He had some old medals that he had held onto.  These things are about as big as a thumbprint, but I sold 10 of them for $30 overnight.  I was shocked.  They were vintage 80’s I think.  Now if I could only find a few more.  Anybody familiar with FFA? 

Other than that, I mostly sold men’s shirts and sweaters this month.  I was glad to get rid of them.  They were attracting too much attention.  Anytime it looks like I have “too much stuff” my husband gets a little rattled.  So regardless of how much stuff I might have for reselling, it can’t look like that much, lol.  My husband just can’t take the clutter. He’s still a keeper, though.

What was your favorite January sale? I’d love to hear about it.