front porch trash

front porch trash

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"