I'm a diehard thrifter and garage sale addict! I love the thrill of the hunt! And I love making CASH from trash so I also resell on eBay and Etsy. I share my successes to inspire you ... and my failures so you learn from my mistakes. Please join me on this wild and crazy ride of making cash from trash!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Best Things I’ve Sold on eBay ~ #3 Disney Dalmatian Roly Cookie Jar

Item #3: Disney Dalmatian Roly Cookie Jar by Treasure Craft

Starting Bid: $12.99 Winning Bid: $12.99
Paid: $4.99 From:  Goodwill
Ended: 12/11/2006 Winner: Selden, New York

Since this series is about the best things I’ve “sold” on eBay – and not necessarily the best “sales” I’ve made – I’m including this Disney cookie jar.  I’ve sold hundreds of items on eBay and have not only had many successes, but also a few “failures”. 

I found this cute Disney Roly Dalmatian Cookie Jar at my local Goodwill.  It had an excellent price of $4.99 for this great Disney collectible; and since I collect cookie jars, it came home with me.  Let me just say that I wish I still had this cookie jar!

I decided to downsize my collection and put this little guy up for auction.  What in the world was I thinking?!  I started the bid at $12.99, hoping it would attract several bidders since it was December and the holiday season.  I was expecting it to sell for much more, but it had only one bidder and sold for the starting bid of $12.99. 

Although I didn’t lose any money, my research indicates this cookie jar has a value range of $40-$75.  One less jar for my collection, but one very happy buyer.  If I were to list this today, I would list it in my eBay store for at least 3x what I sold it for and wait for the right buyer.

History:   From the early days of brown jars to the later limited editions of popular characters, Treasure Craft has always appealed to collectors, but never quite reaching the status of a must-have pottery. Large well-made jars are typical of the Treasure Craft brand. Although several jars are quite valuable and hard-to-find, most are in the average price and availability category. Fun facts:
  • Treasure Craft was founded in Gardena, California, in 1945 and sold items from California potters.
  • In November 1988 Treasure Craft was acquired by the Pfaltzgraff Company.
  • Treasure Craft ceased manufacturing in Los Angeles in 1995, and items were imported from Mexico and Asia.
  • Zak Designs acquired Treasure Craft in 1999 and the ceramic cookie jars have never been quite the same and now appear to being phased out of line.
Roly, one of the 101 Dalmatians, was a jar produced by Treasure Craft in the mid 1990s. This large jar was heavy and well-made.  Issue price:  $35-$40.  For more information, visit About.com.

EBay has changed a lot during the past few years, and one major and very important change is the eBay Store.  Having an eBay store is basically just a way of selling things at a fixed price rather than in an auction. 

As folks get over their fear of buying via the Internet, a larger percentage of sales are being made online.  I soon discovered that many “regular” folks had very successful stores; and that many of them were SAHMs.  So I made a major decision to open up my own eBay store … and am glad I did!

All I had to do was pay eBay a certain monthly fee (of course) and then just move any item that didn’t sell at auction into the store.  When the right buyer comes along, all s/he needs to do is hit the “Buy It Now” button.  No waiting and no stressing.

Of course, having an eBay store is not for everyone.  But for anyone who thinks they’re ready to start a small business and has the right product to sell, eBay is a great opportunity.
And for those of you not ready for a store, eBay still has auctions and listing an item can be as low as ten cents!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Best Things I’ve Sold on eBay ~ #2 Red Wing Pottery

 Item #2: Red Wing Pottery Cornucopia Vase #1356

Starting Bid: $1.00 Winning Bid: $33.52
Paid: $1.99 From: Salvation Army
Ended: 12/17/06 Winner:  Minnesota

I was trolling my local Salvation Army Thrift Store when I spotted this unique vase.  I loved its pretty design and green/yellow colors.  When I picked it up, I could tell it was not junk.  It was very solid and had a smooth velvet feel to it.  The price was right so it came home with me.  I immediately went online to find out more about it; and discovered it was made by Red Wing and that it was very collectible.  This vase was categorized as art pottery and was in excellent condition.  I was thrilled when it sold for over $30 … almost 17 times what I’d paid for it!

The winner was a collector from Minnesota so I was glad this vase made its way back to its home state!

History:  The commercial production of clay products began in Red Wing, Minnesota in 1861 by a German potter by the name of John Paul. For the next 116 years, clay products were made commercially in the City of Red Wing by a number of companies and individuals.  In 1967, Red Wing Potteries, Inc. ceased operation and was liquidated after a labor strike.  Today, vintage Red Wing products are highly sought after by collectors. 

In 1984, John Falconer acquired the technical records, name and legal rights of the Red Wing Stoneware Company and stoneware production was revitalized in Red Wing, Minnesota.  It was sold again in 1998 and the team of skilled artisans continues the tradition of producing excellent quality, American made, Red Wing Stoneware.

For more information, visit the Red Wing Collectors Society website and the Red Wing Stoneware site.

I supplement my retirement income by going to garage sales (and thrift stores) and selling what I find on eBay.  And, I’m certainly not an expert on any one thing, but I’m like most folks who have been thrifting and saling for many years.  We’ve learned a few things along the way! 

We get a “feel” for things and can usually recognize quality when we see and/or feel it.  Before buying this vase, I’d never heard of Red Wing Pottery, but I could tell it was a quality vase and thought it would sell well. 

One of the most important lessons I’ve learned along the way is to research and research more!  The more you learn, the more successful you’ll be selling on eBay.

After doing my due diligence, I was able to list this item with the right keywords to attract the right buyer and make a nice profit.  Now, when I’m out and about I keep an eye out for quality pottery products.

Friday, October 29, 2010

The Best Things I’ve Sold on eBay ~ #1 Windows 95 Mug

It’s hard to believe that my one-year blogoversary has come and gone!  When I started this blog, it was with the intention of highlight my thrifting and saling adventures, but somehow during the past year I’ve drifted from that focus.  I do so enjoy sharing with you the highlights of my life, and it is a way of keeping a written journal of important events.  So I will continue sharing and writing. 

But I also want to highlight some of my best thrifty finds so I’m starting a new series of “The Best Things I’ve Sold on eBay”. 

I’ve been buying and selling on eBay since 1999, ever since I first listed a few patterns to sew clothes for Cabbage Patch dolls.  I was absolutely amazed when they sold between $10-$20 each!  Here I thought they were just “junk”, only worth as a thrift-store donation.  I was hooked from then on!  I’ve got plenty to share so I’ll be posting pretty regularly.

I previously posted about my first item over a year ago, but it was such a fantastic find that I thought I’d start my new series with it.

Item #1: Windows 95 Coffee Mug


Starting Bid: $1.99 Winning Bid: $47.00
Paid $1.17 From Salvation Army
Ended: 06/14/09 Winner: Yoakum, TX

Okay, so you look at this mug and you say "What's so special about it?"  Well, it's a Microsoft Windows 95 mug; and there are many folks who collect historical computer memorabilia.  Did you know there was even a Computer History Museum? They even have a compu-mug in their collection catalog.

We bought our first PC in 1984. It was a Tandy from Radio Shack and it used a DOS-system! Gee, I wonder what that old relic would be worth now? Anyway, I bought this mug at the Salvation Army for $1.17 because I thought it may attract two kinds of buyers.  I know there are folks who collect vintage computer items and there are also folks who collect mugs.  But I never dreamed it would sell for almost $50!  It’s all about “supply & demand” – this mug is very rare and finding another one would be like winning the lotto!

Another motto I live by is “buy low & sell high”.  I don’t usually like to spend more than 25¢ to 50¢ for mugs, but I knew this mug was special so I was willing to pay the $1.17 for it.  Boy, was I on the money with this one!

There you have it, folks … my first in a series of the best things I’ve sold on eBay.  Be sure to come back as I promise there’s much more to come …