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Friday, June 4, 2010

The Thrill of the Hunt

I’m working on EBAY again. Why? Because I’m an addict.

It’s simple. If there is a way to reverse gambling or be on the other side of a winning jackpot, that’s what EBAY is to me. There’s never a risk and I win big every time.

It starts the night before with a somewhat anxious sleep. Dreaming of racks of clothes, designer jeans and long glamorous dresses. I can never sleep the night before dollar day at Goodwill. By 9:00am the next morning, I’m out the door, practically running to the car, tripping over my kids good-bye kisses. I fumble for me keys, secure my water bottle in my purse, pull my hair ties from my wrist and wrap my hair up in a tight ponytail. The hunt is on.

I dodge through traffic, stopping briefly for the old woman crossing the road, mumbling under my breath while my fingers tap on the steering wheel. Come on,” I say to her impatiently. The store opens in 3 minutes. When did I become so rude?

The red balloons near the sidewalk in front of the Goodwill are a good marketing ploy, announcing dollar day like an actual celebration for drivers passing by and it may pull in a few meager patrons, but I know other addicts like me mark their calendar for this special day too. Balloons or not, we’d be there with our own helium.

Goodwill has a funny smell, like the dishes are still in the sink from last night’s supper. Yes, tangy, but to me it’s the smell of opportunity.
Once I step inside the slightly malfunctioning door, more balloons wave a color, another color. A clue. Yes, today there are pink balloons.

This means all pink tags are $1.00.

Image found here.

What can I get with $1.00 at another store? A pack of gum? No, gum is like what, $1.29? Seriously, Goodwill is different. Oh, look at that pink tagged item on the rack in front of me. I leap and reach. I pull the hanger off the rack with the grace of a ballerina and it clicks off the rack like gold bracelet’s clanging together. Let’s see. First the label. Yes, Juicy Couture. I LOVE Juicy Couture. I’d marry it if I could (not really, honey, I’m just joking). Fabric, Linen. Size, Large. Any spots, tears, stains. I’m like an emergency room shopper scanning my patient for injury with x-ray vision. Relief washes over my face as I look at a perfect $1.00 item. I might earn $15.00 with this shirt posted on EBAY. The listing will read: Juicy Couture Large Pink Halter Cute Shirt.

I’m such a writer. I can’t escape it. By the way, I’ve really bonded to Lady GaGa. I think she loves clothes as much as I do, but I digress.

I slow down as I approach the jean rack. If I’m lucky, I’m the first to browse. Slowly now, to saver it a bit, I look at the first pair of jeans as I lick my lips. American Eagle, but no, they have a green tag. A causality, but I can’t let it get me down, knowing all too well it will be a distant memory in mere seconds. Next, Tommy Hilfiger, Size 7. Juniors don’t sell well on EBAY, so I pass. Plus, the style is pre 1990’s, not for my EBAY page. I have the highest standards. Now, what do we have here? Volcom Stone Jeans, pink tag, they smell a bit like bud, yes I mean dope, I don’t know how I know this because I’ve never smoked weed, but someone how I instinctively know. Someone’s been getting high in these beauty’s, but there mine now. I remove them from the hanger, perform a brief examination, scan the size, and make sure the button and zipper works. Another score. I’ll post these for $9.99.

What’s this? Another pair of hot low-rise jeans, but I’m not sure the label. Joe’s? Joe’s Jeans? Never heard of it, but I can tell by the European labeling, plus the jeans are sized by waist. Waist 26 inches, and the back pockets are gleaming with fancy embroidering. I’m gushing. How can I not? I have feeling these will sell for big money.

So, let me fast forward. I’ve purchased over $100.00 of merchandise and it’s all sitting in my living room. My living room now smells tangy and I haven’t eaten lunch yet. I wash my hands and watch as the water turns brown. Yes, it’s dirty work. I grab an apple and pick up Reef. He’s so cute. Kisses and more kisses with his tongue hanging out. Love it.

I’m sitting at my computer and log into EBAY. I search Joe’s Jeans, remember, Joe’s, the mystery designer that sounds more like the name of a mechanic than a clothing designer, but they look too good for me to stereotype. Dozen’s of Joe’s Jean fill the EBAY page and I find most sell for anywhere between $60.00 to $175.00. I knew it.

Image found here.

And this is where the gambling analogy comes into play. How much will I win? Will I hit the jackpot? It’s exciting. Even Chandler’s getting into it, asking every day before the jeans sell “What is the bid for Joe’s Jeans up to now, Mom.”

I have many crushes, including Tommy Bahama, J. Jill, Janeville, FLAX, CP Shades, Hot Cotton, Diesel, Sevens for all Mankind, Citizens for Humanity, any thing Ralph Lauren for women in plus sizes (size 16 or higher). I could go on and on, (White House Black Market, Chico’s, J. Crew) but I already have.

It’s so bad; I can actually predict the designer label just by looking at the clothing on the rack. Without even touching it I might think Ann Taylor, and I’m usually right. And I can tell if it’s Wal-mart (White Stag), Target (Merona) or JC Penney (too many to list). More than once I’ve brought home a mystery item because the quality is too good to pass up. Last week, I found a pair of XVCI pants and find out they sell new at Anthroplogie for $140.00. I list them as XCVI Medium Wearables Cropped Drawstring Cargo Pants and sell them for $24.99.

Is there an EBAY Anonymous? But I won’t stop, I already know. Denial big time.

But I make cash, have fun, donate to charity, shop green and keep the post office busy with plenty of business. In this economy, I’m a princess in so many ways.

Image found here.

So, guess what I found out. Saver’s Thrift store has a dollar day on Mondays. Looks like Sunday nights will become restless for this addict.


  1. I seriously think I need to try my hand at this. But, I am an ebay novice. I've bought a couple items off ebay, but never sold anything. And, I don't even know where to begin. How to write descriptions? How many pics of an item? Have a reserve price or not? How do you know what to list for shipping? How do you ship? Have you ever had an unhappy customer? What do you do then?

    Could you write a post on this? Or direct me to a past post if you already have?

  2. I wish our Goodwill had $1 days. I really want to join you in your Ebay selling successes, but so far no luck. Three strikeouts in a row so far, and I have yet to list a thing!

  3. This was GREAT to read!! I LOVED IT!!! Wish mine had dollar days too! ;)

  4. you are awesome girl!! mine does dollar days too! Hmmmm. I need to start looking a bit closer!

  5. You have definably got a nack for this! I wish I was having as much success at the yard sales. So far I've been listing like-new linen skirts and tommy hilfiger but even at $2.99 they aren't selling. And I'm picky too... these aren't junk! Thanks for listing the brands you look for and find success with. That's really helpful.

  6. My heart started to race as I read your postand I was chuckling out loud. My husband asked me what was so funny.
    I have been following your lead and my first listing closes tomorrow night and it is already up to a $24.00 profit. I am hooked. I NEED to find a thrift that has $1.00 days.
    You will probably get tired of reading my thank you's, but this is looking to be a great blessing to my family. ;-)

  7. What a fun way to earn money. This idea would be IDEAL for me if we had dollar days here. It's fun to live vicariously through your posts though. lol Pam @ Sallygoodin

  8. Ah Laura, I thought I was the only one that couldn't sleep before $1 days. I love doing ebay too, what an easy way to make money. My husband and I have also been killing it on Craigs. We have our set Thursday garage sale days and have been so lucky. It's such a blessing to buy something for $80 and turn around a few days later and sell it for $250. We always joke that we're "married and pickin".

    thanks again for sharing your adventures.


  9. What a fun post! I have a question for you, I've been re-selling my daughters clothing on eBay for awhile with great success and now have started selling garage sale clothing finds.

    How do you keep up with the shipping? Are you buying packaging in bulk? Do you have your own scale? Are you making daily trips to the post office? Help me figure out how to make this part less overwhelming!!

    Thanks! I've only recently found your blog and I love it!!

  10. Kristen...I too sell ALOT on Ebay(the bulk of which is my girls' clothing but I sell other stuff too). The easiest thing for me was to get a scale, then once the customer pays through paypal you can create the shipping label from home(I just use computer paper, then cut it out and use packing tape to adhere to the package.) But you can also buy labels(think Sams Club for a better deal).
    Its actually CHEAPER to ship from home too. Its always a little more when I have to ship from the post it costs me gas money!
    And keep in mind if you ship priority, it gets to the customer faster and the post office provides all the envelopes and boxes for FREE so thats less overhead cost to you as well. Just some quick tips.
    Good luck!

  11. I don't know how I found your blog (well I'm sure I could backtrack) but we are like souls sisters. I'm reading and devouring the words thinking, these are thoughts like my does she do she reading my mind...okay she's must be my long lost twin ... but, I don't have one. Let me give credit though, your blog is so rockin & funny, I just love it. There. I promise I'm not accusing plagarism. It's nice to know I'm not the only person salivating at Goodwill. Wait! That doesn't sound good either.
    Bargain Shoppers Rock!

  12. Dear Laura and Kelly,
    I stumbled across your blog a few days ago and have not stopped reading it since. Every night I have been pouring over every older post like a good book. I have learned so much, so THANK YOU! In just a few hours I have read every single post. LOVE LOVE it!
    Now I wait anxiously for the new posts!
    Looking forward ladies.
    Thanks for the inspiration!
    PS-Hitting my first garage sale tomorrow:)