front porch trash

front porch trash

Saturday, December 28, 2013


Merry Christmas it here yet?

That's what happens when you get sick at Christmas. You just want to sleep your way through it.

For our little family we have the grand kids, and the adults that go with them, over on Christmas Eve to do the food, gifts and such. This year I had a project I was working on for my oldest daughter and I spent last weekend trying to finish. I've had this idea in my head for a while to make a storage/drying unit for her etsy shop. She makes colored doilies here and when she gets a big order she has doilies spread out all over her kitchen and dining area. No way to dry them but lay them flat and let them dry. So I had a plan.

It was her big gift for Christmas. I got all my tools from my youngest daughter's house where we have been working on a window seat ...forever...and cleaned off my tool bench in the garage and went to work. Last Sunday it was almost 80 here. So I was outside working away when the battery in my drill went pffffft. I reached for the back up one, that was charged and ready to go...not. Two dead batteries for a willing to work drill/screwdriver and a deadline.  It was dried, vintage wood and no way was I going to put a gazillion screws into the wood by hand. The project didn't get finished and I got a head cold from it all. I ended up giving my daughter a gift certificate for the storage unit. I did show it to her and ask for suggestions for improvements. I've taken pictures and will spill the beans when I finish. I think it will be kinda neat. A vintage porta crib, plastic totes  and window screens turned into a drying/storage unit.

And now I feel like warmed over spit (blame that one on my grandmother).

Hope everyone had a wonderful and busy Christmas with family and friends.

And don't forget to eat black eyed peas(coins), greens(bills) and corn bread (gold) on New Year's Day for good luck. Go stuff yourself all in the name of good luck!!!

Friday, December 13, 2013


I just had to. I finally get to buy an American Girl Doll!!!....well sorta.

My two sweet Princess grand daughters are 7 3/4 and 9. The nine year old Princess is a great artist and dolls have never been a favorite of hers. She had rather dress up or draw and now she has discovered Mine Craft. The 7 3/4 year old Princess loves little things. Polly Pocket, Pet Shop and anything little and lots of them. So I was surprised when her mom said she was getting the American Girl (My Life) Doll type doll from WallyWorld. She had 5 different ones on her list. Santa is getting the mermaid and I got this one.
I can't wait.

My two daughters never really liked dolls. My oldest wanted a horse and she and her best friend, John, played soldiers, cowboys and boy games. My youngest loved books, and books and books. One year she asked for a front end loader to dig in the sandbox, and she got it. So I never got to make doll clothes.

Well, when Cabbage Patch Dolls were popular I had a friend who repaired dolls and she needed costumes for her booth at craft shows so I made 100's of CP doll clothes. (I never want to see another CP outfit.) Even though I made great money.

Now I get to make some American Girl doll clothes. I have a huge stash of fabric, (doesn't everyone?) so I don't need to buy any fabric. Maybe a few notions, and I am good to go.

I hit the $ store today for dog leashes and harness' for belts and backpack straps. I bought one pattern at WallyWorld. But there are lots of free ones online. I just needed a pattern to make sure of the size. And shoes to match, and jewelry and accessories and someplace to store it all. My mind is going crazy....crazier.

I hope that I can take a full day next week to knock out a few outfits. I'm so excited. I loved making doll clothes when I was little. My grandma let me use her treadle sewing machine.

This time I'm going electric!!!!

Monday, December 9, 2013


I was searching the big linen bin at the thrift the other day. I have a habit of grabbing a good sheet when I find it and then keep looking until I find a matching one or the pillowcase or just toss it back in the bin if I don't find a mate. Sometimes I will keep a single sheet if I think I can make enough profit.

So, I was checking out the sheets and saw this:
Sesame Street, a newer design because it has Elmo and it is still colorful. Not big bucks, but an ok find. Note to self:  find the mate to blue Sesame Street fitted sheet.

So I keep looking and don't find anything on this side of the bin and I move to the other side. First thing I see is a blue sheet and Big Bird peeking out at me. Yeah a fitted sheet to match the one I already found.

See what I did?

I didn't until I got home and was getting everything ready to go in the wash. TWO fitted sheets and no flat sheets and no pillowcases.


Does you brain work this way? I hope not.

Saturday, December 7, 2013


I hesitate to say I made a thrift score, because it usually comes back to bite me....somewhere. But I think I did on my thrift trip this week.

The first thing was a Tommy Bahama embroidered silk shirt.
It seems from the current listings that this blue is a more popular color than some of the others. This is XL, silk, and embroidered, ka-ching. One is listed for $39, $49 and $69. The blue one is the $69 one.

I hit the housewares section and found zilch, that is until I got to the plastics section. I had no idea what this was but it looked upscale.
Turns out is is ZOKU, the instant frozen pop thingy. The latest yuppie thing to have, I guess. This does not make the frozen pops, it stores them in your freezer. There are six pop sticks that fit into the red base so you can store them in the freezer. Fancy, smancy. Whatever happened to dixie cups with a popsicle stick? The other stuff is baby alpaca yarn. 10 balls of 50g each. A nice neutral color and sealed in the factory bag. And the triangle on top of the yarn? That is a bakelite and wood belt buckle. Love it

Moving on to the men's shirt section I found two Orvis trout bum shirts, two more men's silk camp shirts, and this "lovely" sweater. Well made, but  not the style of anyone in my family

Handmade intarsia, for what its worth. I can see some other grandpa sitting around the club house with this on, not SweetiePie.

Linens yielded this. At first I thought it was a full size, but tag says queen. Yes, I did see the gaping hole and it won't be gaping for much longer. There aren't any listed on ebay, at least at a reasonable price, so I can  maybe get a little more than I paid ($1).

Never leave an area that is not thoroughly scoured. Case in point.  I saw a Pentax camera in the "showcase" at the register. I had good luck with one in the past, $85 for a K1000, and I saw one sitting there just begging for a new home. But it won't be mine. They wanted $25 for the camera body with no lens. Camera just sitting there with no cover over the lens mount with who knows what getting in there. No thanks.....but wait....what is that stacked up on the other end of the shelf? Calculators? Let me see those.....

Wow they look interesting. That is $5 each with the gray one going for $2 (after I pointed out that there was no battery cover!) These look nice....let's see what is under that cover 

 Graphing calculators? Why, I believe I'll just take all of them. Thank you very much. I found a battery cover for the gray one online for $6 and bought fresh batteries and tested them and they WORK. I hope to make $200-$250 off of this lot if I time it right.

 And don't forget the free section. It was raining and one of the stores I went to had a big rolling cart outside under the entrance with free books. Most were paperback romance novels but I did find these

The cookbook is empty and is one of those that you write your own recipes and has envelopes to put clippings in. I have an orange one I got for a wedding present that is crammed full of stuff and I keep all of my family recipes in there.

The other store I went to has a huge area outside that is covered. The building was once a Southern States farm supply and they stored all kinds of animal feed in that area. They have lots of bins with everything you can imagine and some things you don't want to imagine. At the back they have about 9 bins with free stuff. You can find everything from broken mugs, toys, stuffed animals, tents, and lots of books, magazines and just stuff. I really didn't take long to dig through the bins because it was getting late and I wanted to have time to check out the stuff inside. I picked these up for free.
The Mister Rogers is kinda rough (inside is fine), but I'll ask $9.99 and it may take a while to sell. The Iceland Fisherman is a translation from a 1896 French book. The spine is in rough shape and the next to last page is torn. Currently listed, cover not like this one, for $1 to $40 for newer editions. Again, $9.99 and let it sit for a while.The practical mathematics, 7 total, I'll probably ask $9.99 for them also. And they will sit also. They aren't a complete set so I'll sell individually. So I have 9 free books that I'll list for $10 each. Not bad for free.

I spent about $80 total at both stores and hopefully I'll make between $500 and $600 on everything.

Have I mentioned how much I love to thrift?

Thursday, December 5, 2013


Do you ever do something not realizing that you are really doing something?

Well, it would probably be more accurate to say that I didn't do something.

I forgot to go thrifting in November!!

I know, I can't believe it!!!

When Halloween was over I had a bunch of stuff that I wanted to get listed for the holidays. Some for Thanksgiving, some for cold weather and some for Christmas.  That took a couple of weeks.

On Halloween my brother called and said they were coming the week of Thanksgiving. They come back every year or so to spend Thanksgiving with my SIL's family and we get to see them at the same time. But the kicker this time was that my niece and her family were coming. She has twins that we had never seen. Yeah!!  But something had to be done about all the mess that is associated with ebay selling, or my particular style of ebay selling. My ebay selling style is borderline hoarder, or maybe not so borderline. Maybe just across the border, or close to it.

So I spent the first two weeks of November sorting and organizing and removing to the foyer upstairs and my ebay room lots of stuff. Mountains of stuff. I also had to keep up with listing and shipping.

Then I had cleaning to do. Boy did I ever. But I got it done in time for their visit on Tuesday before Thanksgiving. Everything went fine. Just a few things left undone. An only one spider web in the bathroom that I missed. And 14 people for dinner that night. Two desserts, a meal and entertainment for 4 kids. Piece of cake!? Chocolate Bavarian Torte please!!
I remember getting that garland and then something interrupted me and I never returned to fix it. The lights are laying right there and the glass tree top also. I noticed it the next day. Oh well. I had better things to do. And it is still sitting there just like that.

Then Thanksgiving at our house. Only 10 people for the big dinner. And I thought I would pass out I was so tired. Why did I bother to clean the kitchen floor before Thanksgiving? It looked like a dirty plate after dinner.

Only took me two days to recover from it all. But then I decided on Monday I was due a nice mani and pedi. Ahhhhhhh it was really nice. And I went with cranberry red toes, complete with sparkles. The manicurist said I should have sexy toes. Whatever!! The massage on the legs was like heaven.

Then after the pedicure I felt like going thrifting. I only hit two stores in town. It was late and I just wanted some down time. Didn't find much, one or two good things and some mediocre stuff. All will bring in a little profit and will add to the eclectic feel of my store.

Denim napkins, green tiki mug, pink suede girls boots, pink flamingo sugar and creamer, nesting dolls and a barbie "laptop". I also found a collapsible plastic crate for shopping, yard sale-ing and moving stuff around. A good variety. I found the boots in the linens bin, the laptop in the shoe rack and the tiki mug and nesting dolls were sitting side by side on the shelf. Maybe from the same donor? A trip to a tropical island?
The tiki mug is so cute. He even has a little butt crack! The flamingo sugar and creamer are perfect, still has the sticker on the bottom. The nesting dolls are really different and still had the original price tag, $32. The face looks like a Samoan warrior. I can't find anything like them online.
I am thinking Samoan because of the face tattoo but the third one from right looks like he is holding a boomerang. I don't know. Anyone know anything about these things before I list? All I have been able to find out is that nesting dolls that are men are pretty rare and these are some kind of warrior or tribal or something.

So, when I got all my goodies home I was logging them into my thrift log when I noticed that my last entry was 10-31-13. And today was 12-2-13. What?? It had been a month since I had been thrifting!!! I think that is the longest I have been without thrifting since I started up my ebay store full time.

I have vowed to be a better buyer and seller. I want to buy then list and then, hopefully, sell. In keeping with that vow, I have already cleaned everything up and it is photographed and edited and now I have to do my actual listing. But the hard part is done. I also grabbed at least 6 things out of my stash and added them to the box to get them listed. The goal is to nibble at the big pile until it is all gone.

I've been so good I think I need to go thrifting!!!

Friday, November 22, 2013


 I love thrifting!!

There I've said it. Some may say I'm addicted to thrifting, but I just love to rescue things. Things for me, things for my family and things to sell.

I love finding things that people want to get rid of. I love the whole rescue thing. Some things I rescue for me and some things I rescue for selling and some things I rescue just because.

I have seen everything from A to Z at the thrift store. Apples to Zebras and everything in between.

I've seen sculpture from someones pottery class, hey it was half off that day. And yes it sold after a while for $25.
Meet Mr. Richard Head

Hey, you would have cataracts if you were
60+ years old.
I've seen creepy dolls that my family made me put a brown paper bag over their head because they were so scary. Still for sale. A vintage composition Effanbee Lovums 25" doll.

And I've seen wooden MCM dogs that went for an unbelievable price. A Kay Bojesen teak original made in Denmark in early 50's. Sold last year after Christmas for $750

But this absolutely amazes me. I found this in the 25 cents bin of children and infant clothing. Sold it yesterday.

This baby quilt is completely cross stitched and absolutely beautiful. When I picked it up several months ago I couldn't believe what it was. It was clean, completely finished and beautiful. It started out as a pre-printed panel. But who could finish this and then donate it to a thrift store? I thought about it, a lot.
A: It was completed by someone overseas for a store display
B: Some grandmother or mother worked on this for their baby.
C: Someone received it and had no idea the hours of work that went into this and it didn't fit their decor and
     they donated it.
D: Something bad happened and the quilt wasn't needed any more.

Really, I could handle all of the reasons except D. Been there done that and don't want to go there again.

Do you ever find things, ordinary things, that absolutely amaze you and you can't believe how they got donated?

Friday, November 15, 2013


We all have them.

But we tend to remember the good times and try to forget the bad times.

I try my best to make a profit on everything I sell. Back in the old days, when I was doing auctions, it used to toast my cookies when I would list something for a price and then only get one bid. A few times, when I was younger and more stupider (that is so a word), I would list lower than my cost. Well, it only took a couple of times to sell something at less than what you paid for it to cure you of the problem. I quickly learned that auctions were not for me. Too much drama and not enough pay.

Fast forward about 3 years......

There used to be a little mom and daughter thrift store near where my SweetiePie likes to eat breakfast. It was a smallish store and very junky. The mom ran the store as her only income. She did pretty good, but needed to do more. I helped all I could. Just because I loved to dig in the stuff.

We were in there one day and SweetiePie spotted a silver bracelet. He thought it would be a good purchase to resell. Well, I told him it was pewter and it was too high. He bargained her down to $20 and I didn't take time to look it up on my phone. Big mistake.

When I got home I looked it up and it was going for between $10-15.  Oh No....what to do.
It was a birthday bracelet for November. So I held on to it until August and listed it then, hoping that someone would need it for a November birthday. It worked.  I sold it the first of November.....yeah.

Listed it for $24.99, free shipping. After fees and costs, I made a profit.
Only 3 cents....but a profit. And that counts!!

Yep, I'm raking in the dough.....thought you would like to know.

Monday, November 11, 2013


I found these tumblers at the TS recently and picked them up for next to nothing. I thought they were mid-century modern, but now I don't know.

That is my pink shirt reflecting in the bottom of the cup.

There are five smaller ones and one larger. The original tag is still there. Hillo, Handmade in Denmark.
Lots of scuffing from being stacked but looks like they have been used very little. They are very well made. Perfectly balanced for the hand. I couldn't find anything on them on line and I even check Worthpoint. No luck. I've already listed them here. Listed high with the idea that I can always lower the price.

Anyone have any ideas about them?

Sunday, November 10, 2013


I was taking photos recently and my mind was wandering to different things. I really don't like to take photos all day, but some days I do and I find it hard to keep my mind focused.

I had a really bad sales slump in September and the first of October. But the first of October I started replenishing my shipping supplies in anticipation of the holiday season. I bought tissue, bubble wrap and packing bags. I also had some ebay bucks and I purchased a couple of items.

All of a sudden there was a surge in sales. Sales had been 2 or 3 a day and all of a sudden they jumped to 5 or 6 a day. Could it be a coincidence that sales picked up after I started purchasing? I mostly sell on ebay and very rarely make a purchase other than supplies.

Just wondering if anyone else notices this type of return on purchases?

And every blog post should include pictures, right?

So here is a little sweetie that I found recently.
I love dolls!! If this isn't sold by Christmas, she will sit under my Christmas tree with other vintage toys.

Who says I have to grow up?

Saturday, November 9, 2013


I'm trying to think more positive thoughts about ebay.

After having a repeat customer message me last night about a dress she bought, I was pretty negative.
She said she is leaving ebay because she has lost too much money in return postage for dirty and misrepresented items. She just hates it when something arrives dirty, smelly or just not what she thought she ordered.

Uh oh...I feel a problem coming on.

I had a nice Kim Rogers sheath dress listed. Clean, odor free and in very good condition. I made the mistake of telling her she may want to get it dry cleaned when she receives it. I made the mistake of saying I launder washable items but it is too expensive to have items dry cleaned.Time for a rant, from her. She is just tired of people selling dirty blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Now I didn't say the dress was dirty. I said she may want to get it dry cleaned when she gets it. Her response? I should dry clean everything that I sell that is dry cleanable and just add the cost on to the item.

OK, let's do some math. I have about 700 items listed. About 500 are clothing items. Of those 500, at least half are things that could go to the dry cleaners or laundry (dress shirts). So now we have 250 items at the very least that need a trip to a professional cleaners. I don't know what the average price at dry cleaners near you are, but the cheap ones near me are expensive. Shirts 2.50, dresses 5+, sweaters 5+, coats 7.5+ and who knows what else I should put in the dry clean pile. So an average of all of the items I have is about $5 each, not including the trouble of taking them there and picking them up. So 250 items times $5 per item is ta dah.....$1250. And I get that money back only if my item sells. If I donate the item back to the thrift store I And she said it would cost her $13 to dry clean that dress.

So according to this customer, I should tack on the cost of dry cleaning to my cost. Now that $19 sweater I am trying to sell becomes a $24 sweater (just using an average here). Oh sure lady. No problem. Let me don't sell on just buy. How did I know? Just a lucky guess!!

And now some good to balance out the bad karma.

I recently sold a Vera Bradley purse.

The New Hope fabric (black with pink ribbons and lily of the valley) that is for breast cancer awareness. It is retired so I knew it would sell, for a lower price, even though it had a small ink stain in the bottom. I really did try to get the ink stain out but it wouldn't budge.

I got this nice message today from the buyer.
"I just wanted to let you know my daughter loves the purse. Her great grandmother died from breast cancer when she was just a baby. It helps her feel connected to her. Her father one night got ink cleaner out cleaning the ink stain out. Thank you"

Ahhhh there are nice people out there, after all.

Friday, November 8, 2013


I logged on to ebay this afternoon and was greeted with some new items in my "like" list. I have men's Hawaiian shirts listed as something that I want to see new listings.

This listing popped up here

Now, I am guilty of some pretty sloppy pictures. Let's face it all of us are. But I try to go back and correct them or just put the item aside and take better pictures. But if you can't at least try to get the wrinkles out then just don't do clothes. I hate ironing, and yet my ironing board is up all the time in my sewing room. Why? Because if I ever took it down I would stop ironing all together. For photos I picked up a steamer for getting the wrinkles out. Works like a charm and was only $5 at a yard sale this spring. Kinda like this but an older Conair. I started out with a hand held unit. That got old fast. Didn't hold enough water.

Here is one, freshly steamed, waiting in the photo do-over pile

Lovely red and green shawl/wrap, right? Wrong!!! It is really deep red and brown. Yep, brown not green.
It was late at night and it was one I let slide. And besides, my camera hates me. Yep, it really does. It just can't seem to "see" the right color.

What can I say? Happens to the best and worst of us.

So, what do you see on your favorites list when you log on to ebay? Love it? or Leave it?

Tuesday, November 5, 2013


Sometimes I feel like I should change the name of my blog to Grandma's Trash Talk. It seems all I ever do is complain. I think I'll make my first New Year's Resolution and try to be a more positive blogger, starting now.

As one of many out there in blog land who sell on ebay I often get frustrated by that huge, impersonal entity. I mean, they are out to make money and its usually at my expense. I buy, I list, I sell, I pay fees and hope that I have enough left over to pay the bills. Problem is that the bills keep coming and sometime I can't find good stuff to sell. More small stuff means listing more stuff, selling more stuff and hoping that I have enough to make it all worthwhile.

Ebay has so many new things going on now. Has anyone seen the listings when you check out completeds? What is up with the picture count for each listing? Are we to be shamed into adding more pictures? What about adding useless similar pictures? Most items only require 4-6 pictures to give a good view of the items. Sometimes I have more, but only try to post necessary pictures. Collections? Like on etsy? Where we gather things we like into a collection? Other items online to show in our collection? Excuse me, but I don't really want to promote other sellers items. I have a hard enough time promoting my stuff. I'm not a pushy seller.

On to better things, maybe.

I went to my favorite thrift store last week and came away with a bonus. Conjunctivitis, or Pink Eye. What a nice bonus!! not...I did find some nice things that will turn a profit so I can't complain about that. But this darn pink eye hurts. I haven't had this since my girls were little. I wish it would go away faster or I will be forced to "dig my eyeball" out it itches so bad.

OK everyone back to the holiday listing. Fast and furious. I need to up my daily listings but I can't seem to get motivated.

How have sales been?  I have a theory that folks aren't able to get on the healthcare website so they are just going to ebay to shop ;) Or maybe not. Or more realistically they are getting ready for the holidays.

I had the best month in October since January. I had a lot of $100 days and then some. I managed to sell these in October:
Italian Leather Boots--$280
If the manager of my local GW sees this I
will NEVER get another pair at the regular
boot price, she will mark them through
the roof, plus $10
NIB Coleman dual fuel stove, to Russia $99
A big raspberry to the potential customer on ebay who
said this was priced too high and told me what it was worth!!
This was from a church yard sale, so it helped
multiple people

Two pair of Laura Ashley curtains, drapes, $65
This was also from a church run thrift that helps
homeless people and battered women. Double help
And as my SweetiePie says, all of those small ones add up to big omes. Bless his little heart.

So I guess I'll just keep selling and try to complain less.
And as Flo (Progressive Ins.) says: "these are troubling times in the kingdom"

Thursday, October 3, 2013


Yes, I sell on ebay.

No, I don't lie to or cheat people.I try very hard to get all my listings accurate and take clear,  close up pictures that show detail.

Yes, I am human and I make mistakes. Don't you?

Yes, I admitted in my first response to your message that  I made a mistake. I didn't see the holes.

Yes, I think a 50% refund, and you keep the sheet, is a reasonable amount to refund for two small holes  on the side of the sheet made by a price tag.

No, I think a $20 refund for a $24.99 purchase is not a fair refund for two 1/8" holes.

No, you can not have my personal email because you claim you can't upload pictures on ebay.

Oh, and next time, get closer to the holes so I can actually see them. Three feet away to see two holes that are 1/8" (your measurement, not mine) in diameter is a little too far away.

And one more thing. Ironing a patch of cloth on these holes will not fix them. The patch will eventually come off in the dryer and the holes will get larger (you will blame me) and the "integrity of the fabric" (your words, not mine) will be compromised.

And finally, my SweetiePie is so glad that you finally sent the pictures, so I could send the refund, so he doesn't have to hear all about your latest opinion of my character.

Oh, have a nice day :)

Wednesday, October 2, 2013


As an ebay seller I often scroll my listings to see what people are watching. I know that most of the watchers are probably other ebay sellers watching to see if mine sells and if they need to raise or lower their prices. I guess that's part of ebay.

But yesterday I was scrolling through my list and saw a view count of 110. Wow that's a lot of views for something that has only been listed for a few days. What in the world could it be?

When I found this I thought it was cute. Someone has one listed for $35, which I think is a little crazy but they may get that price. I don't think so.
Mine is cute, clean and pre-owned. I dislike the term ebay uses for some things as used. How they decide to use pre-owned for some listing and used for others is beyond me.

My guess for the view count is my title. I listed him as Super Hero Bear. Must be coming up when Halloween items are being looked at. Hey...that's a plus.

Monday, September 23, 2013


It rained Saturday morning. I am glad I listened to the weatherman and slept in.

But that didn't keep us from finding stuff.

My daughter, SmartA**, has been looking for a real wood table for 6 months. She moved to her house 6 months ago and she had a very small, old table that she used in the dining room. She knew what she wanted and it took a while to find it. We went to the Habitat for Humanity ReStore yesterday for a cabinet for her studio and lookie lookie what we found.
A few scratches, but very fixable and gorgeous grain.
An oak table, solid wood, and with 3 additional leaves that stretch it into a monster table. But the smaller, round size is perfect for her. The top needs refinishing and the bottom was really wobbly.
The base needed a little TLC, but will be very sturdy when
it dries.
When we got it home we took all of the screws out and added some glue and toothpicks and let it dry and then reassembled the base. Perfect. Does not wobble at all.

She really liked it because it looked more Arts & Crafts than heavy Victorian. Found a date on the underside of the table, Nov 1914 made by Minnequa Furniture Co., Canton, PA and sold by National Furniture Co., Washington, DC. She already has some mismatched chairs that she plans on painting all one color and I think she might paint the base of the table to match the chairs. I think she plans on keeping the top wood.We'll see.

I'm surprised that it had been at the store for 3 days and no one picked it up.

Goes to show you, patience pays off.

Monday, September 16, 2013


Holy Cow was this a beautiful week end!!

Lower temps, lower humidity and lots of yard sales.

Now keep in mind I just returned from a thrifting vacation and I am loaded down with tons of stuff to clean, photograph and list. Plus I am in the middle of trying to weed out the stuff that is just not going to sell. In other words, I am up to my eyeballs in STUFF.

Did that stop me from getting up at the crack of dawn and going yard sale-ing? Heck no. I was at my first yard sale at 7:10 and kept going.

There were a few here in my town and the "big city" just up the road had quite a few more. I prefer to go to the out of the way, out in the country, yard sales rather than the ones in newer sub-divisions. I don't need baby clothes or all of those useless knick-knacks that are at most yard sales. I like older stuff, mid-century modern and quality stuff.

My first sale of the day yielded only a B&D laser level, with a stuck battery. Now to figure out how to get that $%&# battery out so I can get fresh ones in.

The next stop was better. I picked up a new with tags faux leopard fur jacket, two sets of wooden boggle letters,  and a pair of girls boots. Not primo stuff, but I will make money at $5 total spent.

Next stop was hard to find. My GPS sent me 3 miles down the road and I never did find the house I was looking for. While I was backtracking I stopped at a huge sale. I only found one thing, see
Techno Polly want a snack? The lady didn't know if it worked or not but when I got home I changed the batteries and she talks up a storm. I already downloaded the manual so I could test her. Cute and noisy but not cute enough to keep for long.

The next stop was the best of the day. It was in a barn out in the middle of nowhere in an older sub-division, that turns out was built up around this house and property. And they wanted to get rid of stuff. I got this big banana box of old, old (40-50's) camera stuff. I wanted to buy all of it so we worked out a price, $7 for the lot. I think I did good.
Those cut film holders stacked up on the left go for between $12-25, each. And there is also a bunch of flash stuff, including a big heavy battery pack.And six rolls of unexposed film.
This is the first thing I picked up out of the box. Its a Sears Tower 8mm triple lens movie camera with original leather case. The leather case is really rough but the camera is super cute. I sold a vintage movie camera to a guy a while back that turns them into clocks and sells them on etsy. His clocks were really neat.
This is a Kodak Stereo Camera. I had never seen one of these and it looked neat, and it was still in original case and looked clean.
This is probably the single best thing in the box, although I didn't know it at the time. The lens on the left is a professional Mamiya-Sekor 65mm lens and the thing next to it is a 65mm finder. And they both are fantastic. I should have guessed that they were valuable since both of them were stored in leather pouches. The lens pouch was leather with velvet lining.

So I think I got my money's worth for the $20 total that I spent. And I met SweetiePie for breakfast at our favorite hangout.

All in all a good day thrifting and everything else. I hope I found more treasures than trash.

What did you find?

Sunday, September 15, 2013


In August I listed a very ordinary white blouse.

White, long sleeves, button down, with some sparkly little appliques on the pocket and back yoke and a size 5X.
I know, I know, I should have switched
to a black background, but I was in a hurry
and lazy.
A very nice(?) lady emailed me on the 15th and asked if she purchased the item then could I wait for payment until the 30th? Hey lady, that's two weeks from now!! But I was in the middle of a very dry spell so I agreed to end the listing and reschedule for the morning of the 30th. I did tell her that I was putting my store on vacation at noon that day and if she didn't purchase early in the day I couldn't ship until the 9th. She said that was ok and I set everything up to relist on the 30th.

Guess what?

No sale.

Shortly after I pulled the listing and rescheduled she started sending me messages. Oh....about a dozen or so. Just questions and comments and this and that. Still saying she would purchase on the 30th. Well, that was over two weeks ago and not a peep from her recently and no purchase.


I think she was just lonely and wanted something to do or look forward to or something. I really don't know. But I do know one thing, I won't be doing any similar favors for anyone else any time soon.

I hate it when someone spoils the party for everyone else.

Saturday, September 14, 2013


Have you every bought anything without thinking it through completely?

I was shopping on vacation and came across this lovely bag of packing peanuts

  I picked them up and popped them in my cart along with all of my other treasures. Not really thinking anything other than at $1 they were a good price, a reasonable quantity  and I'm running low on packing peanuts at home.....which is currently 600 miles away....oops!!

Flash forward to packing the car with all of this stuff . And I think I made a little, just a little, error in judgement.

Of course, for my FIRST  mistake error in judgement, its just a tiny one and I saved money!! but I have packing peanuts.
The first thing SmartA** said was, "why did you buy packing peanuts?" DUH...because I go through a lot of them shipping stuff!!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


Hope everyone had a great Labor Day. Mine was spent on the road and thrifting.

As has been the case for the last two years (and maybe next year!) I tagged along on my daughter, SmartA**, vacation trip to Atlanta. She went to DragonCon and I went shopping.

We rented a Nissan Sentra and believe me that baby was packed to the eyeballs. They offered me an upgrade to a larger car when I picked it up and I stayed with the Nissan. Maybe I should have upgraded and I could have gotten more stuff!!! I didn't get a shot of the car before we started pulling stuff out; but the trunk was full and the backseat was almost full. See what came out of there

This tote was loaded with fragile stuff and shoes..this is
sorted stuff  3 Vera Bradley bags, one Vera backpack,
  two Caboodles and vtg Christmas
Clothes and more clothes...some from Atlanta
and 57lbs from the outlet!
And don't forget Halloween costumes and shoes and boots

That bottom box is full of sheets. That's
8 sets of rollers, 2 tight curls from the same
store as this....

That's a Breville Espresso machine,
$349 new, and on top is a Cuisinart
Griller, a copper bottom fry pan
on the bottom
So, as you can imagine I am knee deep in stuff. I have a basket of kitchen stuff washed and ready to list and some of the things are dry clean so they will go for a tumble in the dryer. I will probably be washing for the next two week with just stuff from this trip.
Washed and ready to smile for the camera

While my SweetiePie was helping unload the car he commented on how in the world I got so much stuff in the car. I had 4 big blue IKEA bags packed with nicely folded clothes, the big box of sheets, a box with the espresso machine, the plastic tote with fragile stuff and the rest was in plastic bags and just stuffed where they fit. SmartA** had 3 blue IKEA bags with her stuff and then we had our luggage.

I think I must have put puzzles together in a former life!!!

Monday, August 26, 2013


I must apologize for the rant yesterday. But sometimes I gotta....

Vacation is coming up. Yeah....a working vacation....but at least a vacation.

My daughter SmartA** is going to Dragoncon again this year. So I volunteered to tag along to drive there and back and drop her off at the convention. It worked ok last year but I think this year it will be better. We have a plan and know what to expect. I hope I get to see a lot  of the people dressed in their creative outfits. Some you would not believe. There are some very creative people out there.

And while she is at Dragoncon what do I get to do? I go thrifting!!! Last year went pretty good. This year should be better. I hope to get to more stores and find things that I don't find around home. Some brands of clothing that are good sellers on ebay I never see here. Hopefully I will be able to find some in Atlanta. Even if I don't buy them I can see them and touch them and know what to look for and hopefully find some here at home.

After my rant about ebay, watch what happens. Things will pick up next week, while my store is on vacation. I know some ebay sellers put their store on vacation all the time for a day or two when they want sales to pick up. I tried this once and it seemed to make it worse instead of better.

I try to get listings scheduled to list while I am away. That is a nightmare. I try to list 5 things a day, every day. While on vacation I drop it back to 3 a day. Last year when I returned I had about 18 things to pack up and ship. A little less than an average week. This year, with all of the slow sales, I don't know what to expect.

So back to taking pics, writing listings and laundry and cooking and just normal stuff. Keeping an eye on the calendar though...can't wait!!!

Keep an eye on my boots for me.

Sunday, August 25, 2013


It's a fact. Ebay sucks big time for the last month.

I don't do the pinterest thing or facebook thing to get sales. I don't have time to sit and post cutsey little things all day long. I know its social media but I don't want to be social. I want to sell on ebay so I can afford gas and groceries and prescriptions and all of those silly luxuries And I don't really care if you took a nap or ate lunch or went to the beach or mall or whatever. I do care what my family does, but not people I barely know.

So there.
(The following is a rant about ebay. I am sure that my SweetiePie is so tired of hearing me b**** about ebay that I just had to vent somewhere. I apologize for taking up your time and space in the galaxy for my rant, but I am about to pop a gasket because of ebay sales.)

I do know that ebay plays with us. I called ebay about an item that the customer was refunded for. I received a message from ebay that a package had been received and I closed the case. I had shipped on time, the post office delivered on time, the buyer was not home and did not respond to the notice left by the post office. The package was delivered again and accepted this time. End of story? You would think so. But ebay refunded their money. What? They received the item. Ebay acknowledged that they received the item. Ebay refunded the money. I told the "customer service rep" this information. You want to hear her reply. "That is not my department. It is handled by another department". True, ebay did not take funds from my account for this action, which was the post office and buyers problem. Thank goodness or I would have "pitched a hissy fit!!"

More ebay playing with us.

I have been trying to access my traffic reports from ebay all afternoon. Not available. Not available. I have also had no traffic in my store. No sales, no stupid questions, no nothing. Are ebay traffic reports only available when you are visible on ebay? I am beginning to think just that. I'm just wondering if that is the case for everyone else. I just typed, word for word, two items that listed this morning on ebay into google search. You would think that my item would pop up at the top or near the top. Neither one of them popped up. One appeared in a list after you clicked to ebay. The other one not at all and it is the only one like it on ebay. It was the Italian leather boots discussed in a previous post.

From what I gather from other sellers ebay is dragging along now. I know its vacation time and back to school time and whatever other time, but you would think that a store would at least sell something. It has been an almost over the edge of the cliff change in sales.I have gone from 3-4 sales daily to sometimes 1 and never more than 2 daily. And a lot of days just plain zero. Just a month ago I was averaging 8-10 sales over the weekend, most of the time more. Last weekend I had 2 sales. This weekend I have had woop woop 3 sales. What will I do? Set of firecrackers? Post it on facebook? No. I will just keep listing and hoping that something changes.

I would love to ask questions of people in the same situation. But where to ask? I participated in the ebug proboards and received lots of help, support and lots of helpful tips to work the ebay game. Now that has died because everyone has gone to .... yep facebook.

More ebay playing.

One of the things I have been doing is keeping within my 500 free listings for my store. The first month I used exactly 500 listings. Last month I used exactly 500 listings. I checked my traffic. When I reached my 500 free listings on the 28th last month my traffic dropped like a waterfall. Just a coincidence? This month I have already reached 500 listings and I had no choice but to pay 10c for each listing. So many things did not sell that virtually everything had to be relisted. I list 5 new things a day. Every. Day. I have only missed one day in the last 3 months of not listing anything. Most sources say keep listing, daily listing is important, it will pick up. I'm waiting....

Does the fact that you use a different size font than what is recommended by ebay make a difference in your standings?
Does the fact that you use an outside source to create and launch your listings make a difference in your standings? I still stand by my belief that if ebay owned SSB that it would be OK to use their services. Just my crazy theory.
Does it make a difference in my ebay standings that I don't offer free shipping on everything? I do on some things but most I don't. I refuse to list an item for $19.99 with free shipping if I can't make a decent profit of at least more than ebay and paypal make in their fees. That's just plain too much work and not enough profit. If I buy an item for $3, list for $20, and it cost me 10-12 to ship then I have NO PROFIT after fees. A bad purchase maybe, but I still need to sell to get rid of it so I can purchase something else.
Or is it because I have tried to upgrade the quality of items in my store to what ebay deems appropriate and entered a new ball game? I read blogs all the time about the type of items that sell and how they are flying off the shelf. It seems that when I try and follow their suggestions that I have a problem. I think the answer is that too many follow their suggestions and ebay gets flooded with that stuff. I read all of these blogs and try to pick and choose what I list based upon what is available in my area. Most of the brand names that appear on those lists aren't even available in my area. If they are then I am missing them. And I don't think I could miss all of them all of the time.

OK rant over. I feel better. But nothing has changed. I haven't magically had any sales or magically been able to access my traffic reports. I still want to grasp someone's neck at ebay and shake them until their brains unscramble...but that is just me.

Have a wonderful week.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013


In an effort to perk up my life I hit a Goodwill on a trip into town yesterday. After a dismal last week of sales but a better start to this week, I still needed a little thrift therapy. That or ice cream and I didn't have any ice cream.
Love the little Popple and the pink bathroom scale, even
though I'm not a pink person. I hope someone is.
I really went to look for some summer tops for myself because my Labor Day trip is coming up. I could kick myself for going to GW for tops. They sort things by color but not size. You will find a size zero next to a 5x. No attempt to put REAL WOMEN tops on a rack by themselves. So there were about 4 racks, 40 feet long to search through. I did attempt one rack and then gave up. Nothing above an XL, most SM or XSM. So I ventured into other areas where I usually have good luck. Shoes were first and I had limited myself to no more than $20 to spend.

I found 3 pair of boots that looked promising. RocketDog suede women's (20-25), stride rite suede girls (15-20), and another pair of women's leather boots that I wasn't familiar with but they felt like velvet and still had a new leather smell.
The leather shin guard that is attached
with the gold buttons, I just found out
 is removable.
Look how new the inside looks. The leather is perfect. Only
very light scuffs on the sole. Size 8.5
Have you ever heard of Damiano Marini shoes? Neither had I, but I found them in Italy. They make handmade leather shoes. Most of the shoes are outrageous, tall spike heeled things. Lady GaGa would love them. Check them out here. See the photo on the top right, the boot on the right top shelf? That's my boot!!. Now, the real problem, I can't find out how much these things cost. Apparently there is only one place in the US to buy them and that is in Florida. Similar boots are selling for $300 to $700.

Anyone have any suggestions? I am thinking of starting them at about $150 -$200 with best offer. Too low, too high? Any thoughts?

Tuesday, August 20, 2013


Does anyone else ever feel like ebay puts them in time out for infractions of their rules?

Last week I had an item to sell, a lot of playing cards, that I didn't have in inventory. Why? Because I sold them 3 days earlier on Bonanza and forgot to take them off ebay.  Because of my mistake I had to cancel the ebay sale. I apologized to the customer and she was fine with it. Life moved on. Or so I thought.

For the next two days, no ebay sales. Coincidence? Maybe, but I don't think so. Last week I had only 8 sales all week. I very rarely have a Fri, Sat, or Sunday with only 3 sales. I realize that I should be grateful for any sale because from what I read and hear things are slow all over ebay. But as a comparison, I have already had 9 sales from Sun to Tues of this week. To make matters worse every time I try to get a traffic report it is "unavailable". Come one ebay, give me my reports. 

That's why I feel like ebay has put me in the corner for being a "bad seller". I haven't changed my listing pattern. I still list at least 5 items every day and do 10-20 relist items every day. What more does ebay want. They are only ultimately hurting themselves, along with me. I am also trying to stay within my 500 free listings for my store. Its not easy. Especially if you don't sell anything and have to relist everything. I am slowly getting rid of low view items and replacing them with higher priced things.

Just for curiosity I added up all of the items on page one of my store that had watchers. I had a total of $3900 in inventory and about $1600 worth of things that had watchers. That's a lot of watching. Where is my magic lamp? I need to make a wish that everybody watching an item would magically purchase it. Yeah, that sounds good.

Oh, just on page one. I don't want to be too greedy.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013


We, as ebay sellers, are always looking at other sellers blogs, stores and just checking things out to see what is selling, how things look and what the best prices are. Heck, there are some brands that I never find at my thrift stores and I check them online to see what they look like.

There is a blog, a very popular blog, that I check sometimes. This blog has a great resource list of ID sites and I have used them lots of time when I had something I just couldn't find on ebay.

I was reading this blog this morning and I hadn't been to their store in a while. The blog topic today was things flying off the shelf. I thought I would see what was flying off the shelf because we all want things to do just that. (Oh, and what is up with just one picture per item? I thought the better we described things in pictures the better the customer liked it? If I'm looking to buy an item for $50-60 I would want to see more than one picture. Just my way of thinking.)

Imagine my surprise when I clicked on her feedback list and saw about 25% of her items sold with best offer accepted. A pair of shoes listed for $65 and she accepted $33? A top listed for $18 and accepted $7? Now, I don't know how long these things had been listed or what she paid for them originally, but is this real?

I may be crazy but I think I list things for a fair price. Sure, sometimes I list way too high. But a lot of times the completed listings are all over the place and I will tend to go with the higher end pricing with the reasoning that I can reduce the price later if it doesn't sell. But 25% of my items at less than half the listed price? I don't think so.

It's not the fact that I am greedy or am out to gouge my ebay buyer, but I'm like everyone else. I want fair market value for my price and my work.

I'm not in this business to give away my stuff.
My stuff ...that it took expensive gas to go find.
My stuff ...that it took my time to clean, photograph and list.
My stuff ...that I drive to the PO every day to ship because I don't want to risk putting the boxes on my porch and having something happen to them. (It's called paranoid!!)

I'm going to take a look at what I have listed just for the fun of it and imagine that I took half price for everything. (It's called a nightmare, Stephen King style!!)

And since every listing should have some kind of picture. I'm going to include my sweet Nikki. She has been gone for 2 years now and I still miss her.
Her eyes were really amber.

Saturday, August 3, 2013


Hi all...boy has it been like a roller coaster around here.

First, I have no sales for a day or so. Then I have 6 sales in a matter of a couple of hours. Then no sales and more no sales and then a sale or two, just to see if I'm paying attention.

I can't take it....I loose focus.....I let things slip by me.....I go CRAZY off the deep end.

It sure is good there is no ice cream....or the house because I could make a quick job of some mint chocolate chip or burgundy cherry or rocky road....hold that thought. I'll be back in a few minutes.....

Well, I didn't run to the store for ice cream, but it sure was tempting. We did have to go purchase a new battery for my car, $175. I haven't made that much all week. I had better get busy busting my buns and get some "good" stuff listed.

I was zipping around yesterday trying to get pictures done and I started cleaning out boxes of things that used to be listed but that I let expire and didn't take them out of the listed boxes and put either in donate or relist. I keep sold on one side of the room and to list on the other side. And just everything in the middle. Hey, I do have a path to get from one side to the other....

I pulled out a cutie little pink elephant lovey and got busy taking pictures. I had about 5 or 6 loves that I just had no luck with and I thought I would let them sit and then take new pics and relist.

Didn't notice anything wrong until I was editing my pictures last night. This is one that did not make the listing.
I didn't stage this, it just happened. Can you find the funny?
I know, get my mind out of the gutter. But I bet I have a lot of company.