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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Trash to Cash Wednesday!

I'm happy to report that the garage sale was a success. After everything was set up I really didn't think I had much of value- but 4 hours later I had $190.00 in my pocket and felt pretty good. One little secret I'd like to share with you. If you're having a sale and don't want to pack up what's left over, put an ad on craigslist, "Free Garage Sale Leftovers" put your address (no phone number or you will get a ton of calls) and everything should be gone with-in the hour. It was so hot here on Friday, I just couldn't bear the idea of packing everything in boxes, loading it in the truck (I promised myself nothing was coming back in the garage) and driving it to a donation center. I just put everything in a pile at the end of the driveway, posted the ad, jumped in the shower and by the time I got out of the shower, someone was loading my leftovers. Gotta love craigslist! Here's this weeks top ebay sellers...

I picked up this Gap New with tags Size 6 denim jacket last weekend at a yard sale for $2.00,
it sold for $14.51. I picked up 3 Talbots dresses, all size 8 on dollar day at the thrift store- someone must have gone through their closet and made a nice donation.
The salmon colored floral dress sold for 9.00The green linen dress with embroidery sold for 9.00and the pink, pure silk floral sold for $12.00. $30.00 earned on a $3.00 investment- not bad.
I picked up 6 Men's Tommy Bahama size L silk shirts from the estate sale I organized and sold all but 1 this week.

This Tommy Bahama Size Large Silvery blue shirt sold for $10.27
This blue and White Tommy Bahama sold for $22.72. I invested 12.00 on the 6 shirts and sold them for a total of $57.00.This New With Tags Geoffrey Beene size XL orange shirt was just 1.00 at the thrift store. I Listed it at $8.00 and received a buy it now offer for $15.00- Sold for $15.00. But the high sell of the week is this New With Tags Bebe Size 0 High Waist Pencil Skirt. The price tag read $98.00
I paid $2.00 at the estate sale and it sold for $32.00. Overall, another great week on ebay. Hopefully it will start cooling off here soon and I can get to work on some garage refinishing projects for craigslist. Here's how I did this week.

Ebay Profits:$699.24
Craigslist Profits:0
Garage Sale:$190.00
Costs: 43.00(clothes), 62.63(ebay fees), 56.47(paypal fees)
Total Profit:$727.14

I needed $2500.00 to buy a new computer, it's been 4 weeks and I met my goal... I'll post some pics on Friday! Love, Kelly

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Girly Time

It's true, most of my days are filled with things like this
but every once in a while I get to experience some time with bows, flowers and all things girly.
And since this spontaneous moment comes in the blink of an eye,
I don't have time to run out to the store, looking for supplies.
I need to use the trash I have from home.
This little Ralph Lauren dress came from $1.00 day at Goodwill.
Notice, it doesn't have a waist tie.
I'm looking through Eden's closet and find a packaging ribbon on one of her baby gifts.
I really like how it looks made into a dress sash.
I purchased these tights, new in package, at a garage sale for .25 cents.
I cut out the leg into straps, about 1 inch thick, hoping to make some headbands for Little Sis.
Using flowers and ribbons from a birthday card and a birthday gift bag,
I'm able to make Eden something with a bit of sentimental value.
Let's see what else I have around the house.
This $3.00 flower arrangement was from a garage sale last weekend.
I steal a yellow flower from the back of the vase.
Add a vintage button and the blossom of another flower.
This is a flower arrangement I was about to throw out because one of the flowers fell off.
Why don't I make another head piece out of one of the blooms?
I cut another strand off the leg of the tights.
I can't wait to see them on Little Sis.
What a cutie and we had so much fun.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Birthday Love from Mr. Isaak

I really appreciate all the birthday wishes.  Thank you.  I feel so loved and had a great birthday.  
It started on my birthday eve when the counselor took me to see Chris Isaak, one of my favorite musicians.  
I have all his CD’s; most of them picked up at various garage sales.  Kelly’s daughters were here to babysit 
(thank you for that).  I had a whole 3 minutes to get ready and the counselor and I were off to the celebrity theater – no flash photography please (boo, because you know I’d have a photo spread of Mr. Isaak all over my blog).  
The demographic of the audience was interesting; somewhere between the over-dressed middle-aged professional to the 40-year olds who still wanted to act like they were 18.  An infomercial could’ve been made for plastic surgery and Rogaine combined.  
It was like a singles scene for the recently divorced.  I love to people watch and by the middle of the concert we were all just there to dance and have fun; especially the desperate housewive celebrating her birthday.

On my birthday, I ate for free at three different restaurants owned by Joe Johnston including: Joe’s Barbeque, Liberty Market and Joe's Farm Grill. 
Image found here.
The counselor and I took all 5 kids to all these restaurants; a major accomplishment all on its own.  Taking care, feeding and making sure all the kids were safe was the only time I really felt my age.  Man, I'm getting old.
Earlier in the day, my sister Anna not only did my hair, but cleaned my kitchen.  Payson and Mayer collected sea shells by the irrigation valve and presented them to me in a lovely Ziploc birthday bag, while Chandler hugged me continuously throughout the day. 
The local high school celebrated Homecoming.  Just up the street from my home, on my birthday, was a full-on marching band parading down the street and through the neighborhood to the football field.  My mom always told me she'd get me a marching band for my birthday.  It really happened.  Later that night, whenever the football team scored a touchdown, fireworks lite up the sky.  A parade and fireworks.  Who can compete with that?
The day was so wonderful.   The only photo I had time to take was later that night.  The kids were asleep, the counselor finished up his night-time routine and I just home from the grocery store, decided to clean out the refrigerator. 
Isn’t that just how it goes?  I was queen for the day, but didn’t loose my priorities in the mean time. 
I blasted my Chris Isaak CD and kept on dancing until every thing I cleaned out was back in its place.
Thanks for being here on my birthday, Mr. Isaak, Joe, Mt. View Marching Band, Rogaine,Kelly, my family and thanks to you for all the love. 

This Weeks Garage Sale Finds

Here's what I found...
This wood mantle clock was only $5.00- and it works!I can never pass up a candy jar. The fishbowl style was .75, the old fashioned silver lid jar was 1.00 and the fluted bowl was .50- Can't wait to show you what I'm doing with these.
We ended up at a vintage sale- not garage sale prices, but for $5.00 I had to have this 1967 alphabet card. This will be framed for our playroom.
I just love this set of grapevine pumpkins for $5.00- They even light-up. They remind me of the ones at pottery barn, with one exception, the large pumpkin sells for $79.00!I picked up a few dresses this weekend at a garage sale for $1.00 a piece. I had never heard of the designer Mary Ellen, but loved the style of this white cotton dress...
Imagine my surprise when I looked it up on ebay and it said "Fresh Produce Mary Ellen Dress". With a little google search I learned that Mary Ellen is the founder of Fresh Produce and this is a new line. I also discovered that these dresses sell on ebay for approx. $39.99! Can't wait to get this one listed and see how she does.

With only 1 day of garaging, (I had my sale on Friday and will share how much I made on Trash to Cash Wednesday) I only found a few treasures, but boy am I happy with them! Love, Kelly.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Happy Birthday Laura!

Today is Laura's birthday, so leave her a fabulous comment to remind her how great she is. Love, Kelly

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Descriptive Writing Pays Off

Good writing is like slicing into a piece of chocolate cake; it's rich, appealing and once you take that first bite, you can't walk away until you're finished. 
A good description brings words alive and appeals to the senses of the reader.
Let me share some examples.  
Eden with a tall man.
Factual, but let's try it again.
24 inch Eden with 6 foot 11 inches Channing Frye, power forward of the Phoenix Suns. 
Now that's better.  You get a feel of just how adorable these two were together.
See, how a little description can go a long way.
Here's another.
I have a new quilt on my bed.
I purchased a King Size Pottery Barn Island quilt and 3 pillow shams off Craig's List for $75.00.  New, a quilt like this sales for $249.00 and the pillow shams are $36.00 a piece.
Isn't it nice to get a little bit more information (and isn't the quilt amazing).  
As someone who enjoys the act of writing, I thought I'd put a little EBay spin on this. 
So, this dress.  Cute, isn't it.
I could list it as  Lela Rose Size 4 Black Dress or I could list it as
This type of description helps the potential buyer to find my listing.
Maybe they want a silk dress or a dress with lace.  Maybe they've never heard of the designer Lela Rose?  Either way, they'll find this dress by typing key words into the EBay search engine.  Plus, you get a hint of romance to the dress just buy reading the title.  Now, there's an emotional connection. 
This dress cost me $1.00 and sold for $31.00.
Let's try another one. What about this?
I could list this as a Blue Fish Size 0 Dress
  Using the word organic might bring a new flood of bidders to this dress who aren't aware of the Blue Fish label.  Those of you who've been waiting for for the Blue Fish dress update, here it is.
I paid $5.00 and it sold for $49.99.  Super profit, wouldn't you say.
One thing EBay will not let you do, is use the word "like."
For example, let's say I want to sell a dress that isn't Blue Fish, but has a Blue Fish feel to it.  
I cannot list it as "Blue Fish Like Dress", although Craig's List does allow the word like.  I don't like it when I'm browsing Craig's list specifically for Pottery Barn and I have to read through 300 "Pottery Barn like".
Moving on.
When I found this Levi Size 24 Jean Skirt for $2.50, I know it would be a great buy.
I listed it as 
It sold for $42.00.  Notice how I used the words denim and jean.
Who knows what word people use when looking for a jean/denim skirt?  So if there's enough space (Ebay gives 55 characters when filling in your title description), I list my clothing with both words. 
I can't help myself, but I combine my love of writing and my passion for EBay into one.  That way both needs are satisfied.  Wow!  I guess you can say I'm a paid writer!
Linking up to:


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Trash To Cash Wednesday

Let's talk estate sale!!! I organized the estate sale for a friend who's moving to California and was a little overwhelmed with the amount of stuff she couldn't take with her. Why did we choose to have an estate sale instead of use craigslist or have a garage sale? When you live in a gated community there are several rules and regulations, one of which might be "no garage sales", such was the case for my friend. When we started to inventory the items for sale, we were pricing for craigslist, however, we realized we had a few room fulls and it would take several days of phone calls, questions and appointments to sell everything. So, the idea of doing a one day, 5 hour sale seemed like the best option. Another benefit of an estate sale is you can generally ask a little bit higher price. When items are staged in a home, they just look better. I'm happy to report the estate sale was a huge success! We raised over $5,000 selling items she no longer wanted. I also benefited, as my sweet friend allowed me to sell some of my craigslist items and ebay clothes. Remember the dining table and hutch I picked up last weekend? $50 for the entire set... Well, we cleaned her up, gave her a little oil and here's how she turned out...We priced the table and chairs at $300.00. I wanted to keep the base of the hutch, so we offered just the top for $75.00. I wasn't sure anyone would want just a top of a dining hutch, but I gave it a try. My table was the first item to sell and the hutch went at 25% off for $56.00! That's a $306.00 profit! And I got to keep the piece I wanted. Overall I made $904.00. I learned so many things from hosting the estate sale
1. It's a ton of fun going through someone else's stuff, especially when you can pre-shop.
2. Most people are honest (we had a few trying to get the 25% -50% off price before it was time- taking off price stickers, making secret piles, etc.- it irritated the home owner so much she decided not to sell the office unit at all- we put it on craigslist and got full price in the first few hours it was listed)
3. Maybe I could do this for a business
4. Sometimes your "trash" is worth a lot more than you think
5. Service is good

Needless to say, it was a pretty crazy week getting ready for the sale. So, how did I do on ebay? My biggest week yet! Here's my top sellers:
Banana Republic silk, skirt suit sold for $14.99.
Ralph Lauren Petite overalls sold for $18.50
I love J.Crew, but these size 8 floral crop pants were a total wild card. Despite the crazy fabric these sold for $13.25. I'm not usually one to buy something out of season and wait to list it on ebay. However, when I found this Girls XL gap leather jacket I waited three months until it cooled down a bit. It sold for $9.99
This Abercrombie and Fitch size L sweater was also purchased at an estate sale a few months back. It was worth the wait as it sold for $19.09
Banana Republic is a great brand to resale on ebay, however this wool skirt is only a size 0 so I was a little reluctant. It sold for $10.50
I purchased this size L Land's End purple t-shirt dress for $1.00 and listed it for $7.00. I received an email asking if I would do a $15.00 Buy it now- of course! Sold for $15.00
I love this Ann Taylor Loft size 8 dress with shrug. It sold for $21.50
Top seller of the week... This Tommy Bahama size M Hawaiian print halter dress. Sold for $46.00.
So how was the week?

Ebay Profits:$775.68

Craigslist Profits:0
Estate Sale:$904.00
Costs: 111.00(clothes), 63.81(ebay fees), 35.26(paypal fees) 100.00(cost of estate sale items)
Total Profit:$1369.61

This was my biggest ebay week ever! Combine that with the success of the estate sale and I almost have enough to pay for the computer. I need $2500.00, it's been 3 weeks and I've only got $455.17 to go.

PS: I'll be having a garage sale this Friday for those of you who are in the area.