Search This Blog

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Comments and What Do you Think?

My Dear Trash Readers,

Normally I would post a project for you all to see today- But Whew! I'm tired. I was up until after midnight putting my last few items on ebay- This will be the last chance for Florida. I can't wait for The Big Challenge tomorrow to share my progress this week. However, what has dampened my excitement a little is a comment that was shared by Anonymous. I received this comment right before heading to bed last night and I have to say, it made me toss and turn- So I thought I'd blog about it...Send it out to this cyber community and see what you think. Here's the comment...

"I think that you do a great job with finding bargains. I only wish that when people purchase your items you dont attach your blog information. Its kinds of disheartening when people purchase your items and you post what you actually paid for them."

Because posting my trash, what I pay for it, and what I sell it for is the premise of this blog, I was really stump at this comment. Here's my thoughts...

1. In the past I have never shared my blog information with my customers. I've thought that it may upset them to know what I paid for an item, however, when getting ready for my home decor sale I made the choice to use my blog business cards as my price tags. I was a public school teacher for 13 years- I have a Bachelors in Elementary Education, a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction and a Masters in Educational Leadership- I love to educate and I love to share with people what you can do to make a little extra money. I figured anyone buying my things would have an interest in my blog- heck they're trying to save a few bucks too, by buying through craigslist and not retail.

2. When I purchase something I pay what it's worth to me. If I love a painting that cost 500.00 (and I have the money) I'll pay $500- It doesn't matter to me that it only cost the painter $5 in supplies- I pay what it's worth to me. I'm paying for this artists talent- a talent I don't have. Would I be upset if that painter advertised his sell and noted that it only cost him $5? I don't think so. Does it make the painting less valuable? Not for me.

2. When I refinish items- I may have picked them up for $5- but the time, materials and talent it takes to refinish them does carry a price tag.

3. When I purchase an item and immediately flip it ( there were 2 of those this weekend- I'm sure that's what warrented the above comment) I feel I'm actually saving someone money. I purchased an item for $40.00- It sells for $189.99 new (plus tax) I sold it for $100- and the crazy thing was- If customer 1 didn't buy it, I had 3 others texting, emailing and calling wanting to be the second person in line. Did I just save this person $100 or did I just rip them off for $60?

4. Isn't America built on the premise, "Buy low, sell high?" Aren't we a supply and demand economy? (I think I should be playing America, America in the background)

Help me out, My Dear Trash community. I feel a little defeated today- but I'd like your honest opinion.

1. Should I stop publishing the prices I pay for my trash? (or is this why you read?)
2. Should I never tell a customer about my blog?
3. Should I just donate all my finds to worthy candidates instead of taking my family to Florida?

I'd love to know you're honest opinion. If you bought an item from me for $100 and found out later I only paid $40- would you feel disheartened? Before I go I'd like to share another comment I received- This was from a potential ebay buyer...

"Since these are preowned jeans is would be nice to know how
worn they are. Are they lightly used? 1-10 washings maybe
moderately used 11-25. Well used 25 + washings If they are not
jeans you wore yourself, just use your judgement in how well
used you think they are. Thanks. Very well might bid on them,
but need more info."

This comment did not keep me up at night. I laughed for days at the idea of trying to identify how many washings a pair of jeans might have! Imagine the comments I would receive if I suggest a pair of jeans had been washed between 1-10 times- I imagine some would be disappointed and leave comments such as, "I'm sure these jeans have had 11 washings- I'd like a full refund!" Maybe I'm just tired, or easily amused. I do love comments- They help us improve- and sometimes they build us up and sometimes they teach us a lesson- Leave me a comment today and let me know what you think. Love, Kelly.


  1. Gosh...absolutely not! Keep doing what you are doing. I've enjoyed learning how you do what you do. Keep up the good work!

  2. Kelly, This steams me. I have ahd family tell me not to put the price I paid for something on my blog. I feel the same way you do. Isn't your time and artistic ability worth something. In the case of you buying and just flipping.....your time involved in the hunt, the pick up, and the listing is worth something as well. You may find the occasional person that is disheartened but for every one of them there are lots of us bloggers that are greatful for the education you are providing. As I have mentioned before I am out of owrk due to an accident and you are inspiring me to find ways to make money with my talents. God Bless You! Don't you loose another nights sleep over this. Enjoy your have owrked VERY HARD and deserve every dime you have made to put towards this trip!!!! End of story!!!

  3. Sorry for the poor grammer. I was steamed and didn't check for errors! Hah

  4. We have a similar business, and get all our furniture for re-dos DIRT cheap (I mean CHEAP or free...) and we've made the business decision to keep our blog (where we revel in the thriftiness of the re-do and the sometimes-incredible before to after transformations) and our business website (where we just list the items we have for sale and have contact information) separate for just this reason. I don't think it's necessarily warranted (for the reasons you list above, re-dos take skill and vision, like an art), but never-the-less it is how many people feel. Feelings aren't always rational. :) I wouldn't give up the great thing you've got going here, but I might recommend setting up a separate kind of portfolio for clients/customers. You could even set up a separate blog (free.) Hope that helps. It's an issue we've tossed around quite a lot as well.

  5. I do not think you should quit posting how much you pay for something.
    I have learned a lot from reading your blog. Like I never even new Goodwill had a $1 day. I feel like I'm a talented artist, but never thought of the idea of taking that art to create something else.
    Keep up the work and posting you do! Don't let one person's comment judge you. You do a great service to many more.
    Maybe she's just jealous!

  6. Here's what I'd think if I bought something from you for $100 and read later that you'd only paid $40...."Dang, I wish I could find deals like she does!" I'd not have an evil thought in my mind for a moment. Like you, I pay what I think an item is worth and the cost to the seller is impertinent to me. I say don't sweat it.
    Peace & Love,

  7. I think you should continue posting the prices you paid on your blog. I like reading about how much you were able make off an item you paid so little for. I find it inspiring. However, I also know if I bought something from you, I would feel bad if I found out that I paid more for something you picked up at a garage sale. Not that you ripped me off, just that if I had maybe spent more time looking, I might have found a better deal. So for that reason I'd suggest not attaching your blog. Now for items that you refinish, I think it doesn't matter what you paid for it, you have invested your time and talent into that piece, and it absolutely is worth whatever someone is willing to pay for it, and I wouldn't feel bad if I found out I paid quite a bit more than what you originally paid.

    It's a sticky situation, but you are absolutely not doing anything wrong, because you spent the time to go out and purchase these items, and then many of them you put even more time and effort into to make them beautiful. The people who are buying your items online are being saved time by not having to go search out the item themselves, and for a lot of people, that is worth paying a bit more for. Maybe you should think of yourself as a type of trash curator. You find hidden gems that most people don't have access to, and you give them that access.

    Does any of that make sense? Please don't lose another night's sleep over this.

  8. Don't change a thing! I read your blog because I enjoy it exactly how it is. If you want to give your buyers your blog info, do it!

    You did this to take your family to Florida and I hope you guys enjoy the trip. You are working to make a living just like the rest of us and you have every right to do what you want with your hard earned cash.

    I don't buy anything from Walmart expecting to pay the price they paid. They don't put any work into it other than putting it on the shelf and I'm ok paying the going rate. I would never expect to pay what you paid when you put your time, creativity and blood, sweat and tears into every piece. Even the pieces you found and sold as is had your time invested in them.

    Keep doing what you're doing!

  9. I agree with the others, Do not change a thing. What does it matter if you bought something at one price and sold it for another? Isn't that what retail stores do? They buy from a wholesaler and then sell it to you for mega bucks.

  10. I love your blog and I love that you post what you paid for them. However, I I agree with Megan about separating the two. I can see them checking out your blog and being inspired but I also see them maybe being upset at the difference between what you paid and what they paid. Have any of your buyers complained? If not, maybe you don't need to worry about it. However, for me--I LLLLLLOOOOOVVVVEEEE your blog and feel very inspired!

  11. It's your blog.
    You do what you want with your blog. It is so cool to hear of your deals and how you made them profitable for your family through the talents God gave you. Any business in the world buys lower than they sell or they go out of of business. Is this person more "heartened" just because Kroger or Wal-mart doesn't tell them just how much more they are paying for an item than the store did? If they want to pay the $5 price tag, then they can get up at 5:30 in the morning and dig through people's garages and go buy the paint and supplies and stay up after the kids go to bed to paint and refinish and stay up to list things on CL and ebay and meet people at their convenience to sell the item. Oh wait, they might not have the time to do all that when they want to tell someone else how to pay for their family's needs. Keep doing what you're doing. It's amazing!
    My brother says, "Consider the duck". Let it roll right off your back. Have a great day!

  12. People sure are buttheads and I say don't worry about it. Your blog, you do it the way you want. I love reading what you do. I think that is just jealousy making anonymous say that. No one is forcing him/her to buy what you are selling. It makes him/her feel better to tell you what you are doing wrong.

  13. I love reading about your deals. Please don't change a thing. You inspire me to keep looking for treasure in other people's junk!

  14. Don't let them get to you AT ALL!!! I don't know how they don't understand that everything you purchase works that way.

  15. I feel terrible that you lost any sleep about this. If the buyer feels bad because they spent too much money on something, then I really feel that that is on them. You buy something because you want it and the price is acceptable. Yes, you make money on it. But why would you sell something for no profit? No matter what you do, you are not going to make every single person happy. Keep doing what you are doing for your family. That's your REAL job. I get a kick out of your blog. I think it is so great when two women can come together to create something so fun to read every day.

  16. HI Kelly
    I have been a seller for a long, long time. You know what, you will always find someone who has something negative to say. It may be they are jealous, envious, dumb or mean who knows. I can tell you as a one time picker for an antiques dealer they buy low and sell high. You are not running a charity, you are running a business. I guess it's the thing where you get 1000's of positive comments but that one negative is the one that sticks out. Brush it off and don't worry about it. You have a lot of people who enjoy your blog. You work hard to find the finds you do, the prep them for sale whether it's working on them or just cleaning them regardless you are providing a SERVICE and should be compensated. If the person doesn't want to think you are making money on the items you sell well then they can go hunt and search for the stuff. You are doing a great job and are an inspiration to all of us who sell on ebay, craigslist etc. I say Trash On my friend.


  17. Kelly:

    Don't change your blog. I really admire your creativity and talent for re-doing things. And I admire that you go out there every weekend looking for garage sales and find amazing deals.

    And you seem like a very generous and thoughtful person so I can see how one comment can get to you.

    (I'm a college prof and when I get just one slightly negative evaluation with 10 great ones, I lose sleep over the one negative one, so I really emphathize with you.)

    However, I did feel a twinge when I saw that you posted what you paid for things and wondered how people might feel when they saw what you paid for it. At the same time, you are saving them lots of money. Depends on one's perspective.

    Take care and keep posting!

  18. Keep doing what your are doing! You are such a great motivator! I have learned so much, reading this blog!! I completely agree with everyone and I especially like your 3rd point.Because of your thriftiness, you are saving the buyer lots of money as well.Please do not let this get your discouraged.

  19. One more thing, Kelly.

    The twinge I mentioned in my original post was when you flip an item directly. When you use your genius to transform a $1 item into something magnificent, it doesn't matter what you paid for it---you turned it into something grand. Priceless.


  20. Um yeah...I think it goes without saying that you should just keep on doing what you're doing. I've been in a massive financial crisis this year, and since finding your blog, I've been slowly digging my out of this rut! Sure, I'm not going to get rich doing this, but you've inspired me (and obviously a LOT of other people) to do something to help themselves.

  21. Number 1- NO! I look at it this way. Not everyone is thrifty, and those who take the time to look for, dig up, and buy the good deal, should totally feel proud for doing so. ANYONE can walk into a store, plunk down $200, and walk out with an end table everyone else can also buy.

    2- I don't feel you should have to hide your blog from your customers, no. If they feel a price is too high, it's on them. They can decide not to pay that price, to look elsewhere, or to try and negotiate. You are pricing not just the cost of the item, the cost of the supplies, and the cost of your time in refinishing. You are also pricing the time and effort you put into finding the item. Half the time, the items you find are things many people would wrinkle their nose up at, and just walk past at a yard sale. Should YOU have to hide how you got something, just so someone else can feel they got a great deal?

    I also think you DO give a great deal on the items you resell. As you said, with flip items, you are still giving them a great deal. Just because you took the TIME to find it at a better deal, doesn't mean you shouldn't pass your own cost onto the buyer.

    #3- the money you make is your job. It's your money, it's what you earned working your tail off every single day of the week, while raising an awesome family, committing time and resources to friends, your church, and your community.

    You earned that money, it's YOUR money to decide what to do with it. If your husband decided, "Let's take a vacation!", and paid out of his income, it's no different than YOU deciding to EARN your way to Disney.

    It's always nice and generous to donate to charity, but that doesn't mean you should ever feel like you have to, simply because others might think that. Besides, you have helped out with yard sales for benefits, and book collections as well.

    You put your talents to use the best ways you can, and they work for you! Never let someone else ruin that for you, because YOU are awesome!

  22. I have read your blog for just a little bit but you have given me many ideas. If I found out that you paid 40 for the item I bought from you but I paid 100 for it I would say thank you for doing the hard work for me. Some people don't have the time to redo something and maybe do not want to. And I like to know how much you pay for something gives me the idea i can do it also.

  23. They are also paying for the convenience of just going to Ebay or Craigslist and finding exactly what they want. If I had an old piece of furniture that I wanted refinished I would hire someone do you think they would only charge me the cost of matereials. You do a great job. Keep it up!

  24. Please ignore that person who said it is is disheartening! I can only imagine that is coming from someone who might be having financial problems and wishes they could get your beautiful art for what you paid for it.

    because your stuff is ART! and i think it is amazing what you do. for instance - i would have paid wayyyyyyyy more than 200.00 for that black dresser you just did. that would sell for over 500 in a boutique - 1000 if it's a fancy boutique. your stuff is beautiful and you deserve every penny you make. i still think your prices are low...that's why i wish you lived in Utah cuz i would be your best customer! haha.

    and please keep posting the price you paid versus what you sold for. it is INSPIRING and you have totally motivated me to start my hand at refinishing my own stuff. so thank you!!

  25. I just wanted to take a quick moment to voice my opinion! You ARE doing a service! How much easier is it to find a great deal on Ebay than in the thrift stores? Or a piece of furniture that is already beautifully redone? You should make money off this! And as far as your blog I think you should continue to post!!! I am learning so much from reading it! I have only found you for about a week but have already read all your archives and my eBay sales are rising quickly!!! :) If your customers don't want to know what you paid they should just not read the blog! It's not like you are forcing them. Please please keep posting for the inspiration of me and all your other fans! And don't let those few bad comments get to you! You ROCK!!!! :) Oh and enjoy your trip you worked REALLY hard for it! You and your family deserve it for sure!

  26. I say keep doing what your doing!!!
    I love your blog and it gives great inspiration.
    Thank you for sharing!!!

  27. Keep blogging! I enjoy reading it. It gave me the idea to do the same, to help my family. However, I don't know if I would give customers blog info. I probably wouldn't want to know what an item originally cost (being the buyer). Anyhow...that's my opinion. Good Luck and keep going!

  28. Absolutely do not change a thing! I am a "seasoned" garage sale, CL, ebay buyer/seller and love the "art" of buying something for a low price and selling it for more. I feel that if there's desire for someone to buy it at my selling price, then it's fairly priced. Not everyone has the eye for the bargain, nor do they desire to look, so my time is worth something, especially if it's something they really want. Jealousy has green eyes!

  29. Do you know how many people come into my home and say "I would of never thought to do that with that!" Most people don't have that vision to turn something from the garbage into something useful or artful! I just sold an old drafting stool I bought at a garage sale last year at $10 for $30. Did I feel bad? Noooooooway! Granted its not a windfall but I made some money and I bought new cushions for my porch. CASE CLOSED!

  30. I have been lurking on your sight for a while and felt compelled to make my first comment. (Love your sight BTW) I love your bargain hunting stories. Does someone actually think you are buying this stuff to just give away? My only thought was, I hope the IRS isn't reading this blog!!lol I am a school teacher and have a "side" treasure (junk) business. I have people tell me they want a bargain but don't want to get up at the crack of dawn, hunt for it, clean it up, etc. I say keep sharing your success stories!! I love them!!

  31. I am a new reader to your blog, but I think it is perfect the way it is. Anonymous could just as easily have spent weeks thrifting and garage saleing herself to find the perfect buy, but you did that work for her. She shouldn't have bought the item if she felt it wasn't worth the money you were asking...

  32. I think you're doing a great job. I really like seeing the difference between what you originally paid for something and what you eventually sell it for. I was at a thrift store once with a good friend. I saw a board game I love for $1 that normally retails for $40. I grabbed it up and was shocked to see that it was brand new. My friend offered to buy it from me for $20 as soon as we left the store. She didn't care that I'd just paid $1 for it, she was thinking about saving $20 by getting it from me. I think you should keep doing what you're doing. I love your blog!

  33. Hey, I want to stick my neck out here and back up the anonymous poster who is getting labeled rather ugly in some of these comments - it's a legitimate comment she has! it CAN be disheartening to find out what you paid vs. what they pay - but that's the lesson of this blog - to inspire you to find your own bargains! If you find it is upsetting some of your buyers, keep the blog separate from your sales - easy enuf, right? It doesn't mean you're doing anything unethical at all - you're just being transparent (which is totally fun for the rest of us BTW) and that is tough to take sometimes (what IF a retailer posted what they'd paid? We'd be crapping bricks in the aisles!)Don't let this discourage you though, the whole premise of this blog is so interesting and inspiring and I love it!

  34. The reason I read your blog is to see how you make money buying and reselling items. It's like taking an online business course without paying for it. You can't please everyone all the time. Keep doing what you're doing.

    Don't you hate it when someone has a really strong negative opinion but doesn't have the guts to identify theirself?

  35. I love seeing what you pay vs what you sell on your blog. Though I get jealous because yard sales around here aren't near as good (and I live in an expensive part of town!) I probably would not publish information about your blog on ebay or when you sell items. Just my opinion... but I think people may be turned off to purchase clothing if they knew it was found at a yard sale.

    Your blog has really inspired me. I recently bought a gorgeous Banana Republic skirt at a yard sale a few weeks ago for $1 and it sold on ebay for $10.50! Can I ask you how well New York & Company or Express items sell? I found the mother load stash of these brands but didn't buy anything because I wasn't sure if that was a brand that would do well. I'd love to have more detail about what brands you find that sell well. So for now I'm sticking to Banana Republic, Ann Taylor and Old Navy. Thanks for your ideas.

  36. I really enjoy reading your blog & like yourself I LOOOVVVEEE garage-sale-ing and finding a fab deal! I don't think you should change what you do because of someone else. It is not illegal or immoral and it doesn't hurt anyone else so go for it!

    If I bought something you had paid way less for I may have a moment of jealousy, but I bought it because I was happy with the price so I would get over it quick.

  37. I love your blog and I am amazed at the deals you find! The only thing you should maybe change is telling your buyers about your blog. But please continue to do what you are doing and NOOO keep the money you have worked hard for it!! Don't let people rain on your parade. They are just jealous!

  38. Dude, I've done what you do it is absolutely exhausting work and I've been your customer too. As your customer I can tell you, you do us a service. I don't have the time but I do have the money. Time is priceless to me at the moment. You are convenience and still a good deal. If they don't like then they can spend the time to find the items for super cheap. There is not much middle ground there. Someone has a bad case of the "I should get my cake and eat it too."

  39. Thank you for ALL of your comments. I love how fired up everyone got over this topic- true passion for resale. Here's what I'm gleening from you
    1. I will continue to post my buy and sell prices
    2. I will not advertise to my clients- unless they ask, and I will warn them that I do this for a living and my goal is, not only to save them money, but to also turn a profit.
    3. I will take pride in this talent I have and continue to buy trash and turn it into something pretty.

    Thank you again, for your support and honest opinion.

  40. I look forward every week to see how well you have done! It is an inspiration for me to get moving and set some goals for making some extra cash. Definately DON'T change anything! You can't please 100% of the people 100% of the time!! :)

  41. I think when you flip furniture you should add in a price for your time, talent, & materials. Now if you bought a $5 item & did absolutely nothing to it & then sold it for $100 then yes I'd be highly upset if I later out. But then again I only buy stuff I feel comfortable with the price & quality. I've been stalking your ebay page hoping you'd list those planes you found, but at the same time I was kind of scared/leery of the price tag that would be attached to them.:) But ebay/craigslist is your business as it is for lots of people & I'm sure you're not the only person who buys low & sells high, it's just a fact of our existence. Keep doin' you & let the haters fade away.

  42. I am new to your blog and I luv it!!!! Keep doing what you are doing. This is America and you are only doing what this countries economy was built on . . supply and demand. I am seriously thinking about doing this myself to make extra $$$$$. Oh and I'm not in competition with you. I live in California :O)

  43. I didn't read any of the comments before me, so I am sure this has all been said before:
    1. Your service is in finding the item. Anyone can pay retail- you're mark up is the "finders fee" for the bargain prices they are getting.

    2. Your blog is so educational to me! I have actually purchased used clothing for the first time because I have seen first hand the nice things you have found.

    Have a great day & an awesome trip, and keep on keep'n on!

  44. Your prices are the reason why I am such a return visitor to your blog! I enjoy seeing how much of a profit an item can do!

  45. love, Love, LOVE your blog!

    Dear Anonymous, get over it!

    Enjoy your family vacation, you've earned it!!

  46. My father was an auto mechanic and owned a very successful shop. If a customer brings in a car for a new transmission my Dad would charge him the cost of said transmission then he would charge labor (which often times is more than the cost of the parts). So, should my father have only charged for parts and not for the time, experience, overhead and additional costs to operate a business? Also, if you buy something that and you're able to list on Craigslist almost moments later and make a profit, then more power to you. Again, it takes time to go to garage sales, fuel, time away from family and not to mention the countless hours spent following signs along the road to find the garage sale and your taking a chance that the person having the garage sale is very proud of there things!

    All I'm trying to say is this, you work for every penny you've earned. I'm sure the IRS makes sure of it! LOL!:)

  47. Personally, I have to admit I am against 'buy to sell' (or even 'buy to let' when it comes to apartments and housing). BUT that is mostly because here in the UK many people go to charity shops and car boot sales to buy cheap stuff and then auctioning them off at a big auction house. Being Dutch myself, I love buying things cheap and enjoying them. Of course I also love selling them for more than I have paid for them :) What you do is entirely fine of course as yes it is done with profit in mind, but it's still on the fun side if that makes sense. Sorry, I have a terrible way of getting a point across sometimes... I saw a comment earlier where someone said that you make the effort in posting it on ebay and repairing the items etc and that is so right. For some people ebay is the only source of specific goods (I am one of those people actually) and a lot of the times the items are still a bargain. So in short (sorry for going on and on), I would keep on doing what you're doing as long as you enjoy it :) And we will happily keep on following your progress :D

  48. I love reading your blog FOR the 'paid this sold for that'. I'm a recent arrival. It's inspired me and taught me and I've recently started to try my own selling on Ebay after a LONG Ebay hiatus. And am having lots of fun with it. Thank you! I appreciate your willingness to share your insights. I do see how someone who bought something at a higher price than they could have purchased it with your skills might be a bit dismayed. I think your way of dealing with it (most recent post) is fine.

  49. I'm sure it has all been said, but you shouldn't have to change a thing. You are selling for less than retail which means you are saving people money. And for people like me that simply can't usually head out the door on Saturday without 4 kids you are saving us time and tears in searching for what we want and bargain prices. YOu cannot be expected not to be paid for your time, talent, effort, and your eye for a good find. Keep up the good work.

  50. Kelly,
    I love reading how much you pay for things, fix them up and sell them, it gives me inspiration. It takes time to search out good items and get them for a deal not to mention the time it takes to sand, prime and paint. "Time is money"

    There is nothing wrong with taking items fixing them (or not fixing them) and selling them for a profit. If someone has a problem paying you for your talent and hard work then they should do all the work themselves. If they weren't happy paying the price they paid then they shouldn't have bought it in the first place. It has nothing to do with how much you paid for it. Ridiculous. That's my two cents!

  51. I just found your blog and I love it. We just bought a real fixer-upper home and I desperately need a way to make money but I'd like to use a bit of creativity as well. I've been pondering the buy/resale market but really didn't know much about it. Your blog has helped me so much. I'm learning what to look for, how much to pay and what a fair selling price should be. I love you, keep up the wonderful blog.
    ~ a new devoted follower

  52. Kelly I just found your blog and I really love that you share the info as to what you paid and what you sell for. I always wish people would share the deals they get LOL.
    Maybe what one person suggested..having a separate simple blog for your ready to sell items might be a good idea. however...I won;t pay $100 for something unless I LOVE IT WANT IT NEED don;t it as you are doing it :-)