Monday, April 29, 2013


No this isn't a post about smelly people. I could go on and on about smelly people who don't bother to wash their clothes before trying to sell them at a yard sale. But this post is actually about eBay Best Offer.

I had been really resistant to using BO (best offer) on my listings. 99.9% of my listings are BIN so I knew the option was there. But I kept thinking it would be too much work. Did I really want to be reviewing my offers at random hours when they came in? And what about the low ball offers that are a total waste of time? I had so many excuses I had formed in my head. But about a month ago I decided it to give it a try. And am I glad I did.

eBay gives you the option to automatically accept or decline an offer above or below an amount you set. I have my listings set to automatically accept anything above a certain amount. Most items I sell I only pay about a dollar or two for so I'm going to make a profit no matter what. I set my original price at what I would love to get. Then I set the "accept anything above" the price I would be happy to get. I decided not to automatically decline anything at this point for a few reasons. One reason is that it might only be a dollar or two below my happy price so depending on how long it's been listed or my mood I might decide to accept. I also like having the option to decline and counter offer. I have had a handful of lowball offers (less then half my original listing price). If I get too many of these I do more research to see if maybe I've overprice my item. More often then I expected a buyer will just pay my price and not bother to make an offer at all.

I feel like I'm selling so much more this way. Last week was one of my better weeks. I sold $400 (my average for the month is usually $700) and half of those sales were from BO. Now I just wonder why I waited so long. Was I the only one now aware of how easy and effective it was?

Tuesday, April 23, 2013


Today is my foster daughters 6 month court review. I received a phone call from her (then) social worker a couple weeks ago and she gave me some great news. They were going to terminate parental rights. She warned me it was going to be a fight because the parents would contest the decision. But at least things were moving forward. I was on cloud nine. I even started thinking of new names. Emma and Sophia topped the list.

Then last Monday my bubble burst. I felt like Ed McMahon came back from the dead, handed me a big billion dollar check, then came back a week later and told me "Sorry we made a mistake. We need that check back. You actually owe us". The reunification supervisor left me a voicemail to call her back right away. I knew it couldn't be good news. And it wasn't. One of the first social workers had dropped the ball. Part of the case plan was therapy for the parents. When the supervisor contacted Behavioral Health to get information for the court report she was told that they were never signed up. They could be put on the waiting list and when a therapist become available they could be offered services.

Even though the parents have not completed any of the other parts of the case plan the social worker can not terminate parental rights unless they have at least been offered all the services.

The way the court system works is there is a decision making court date every 6 months. So even if the parents were offered therapy tomorrow and they declined the services nothing could be done about it for 6 months.

To say I'm frustrated is an understatement. She turned 8 months yesterday. I have had her for 7 months in my home. By the time the next court date comes around she will have already celebrated her first birthday, she would have probably taken her first steps, probably saying momma, probably... There are just so many. And her permanency will still be up in the air.

So for now Emma or Sophia or whoever she will be is in limbo with the rest of my family. But when I hold her and she smiles at me I realize I wouldn't give up a single moment with her. I love her so much

Accidental BOLO

Tory Burch. I might be the only person who has never heard of this brand until recently. But it’s definitely one I will be looking for from now on. I went to a Church sale a few weekends ago that was very disorganized, everything thrown in piles on blankets on the front lawn. And that day happened to be a VERY VERY hot day so I only made it through one pile. I was just about to pay for the few items I found when I noticed a womans top sitting on top of a different pile. There wasn’t anything that made it stand out except for the buttons. They were gold, had a design and looked to be very good quality. I stuck it in my pile, paid, and made my way back to my air conditioned car as quickly as I could.

When I got home I pulled the shirt out and looked up the brand. I was shocked how well Tory Burch sells and for how much. I listed the top for $40 plus shipping and I had an offer for $32.00 within an hour. I only paid 50 cents for it so I quickly accepted the offer. Of course then I wondered how many other quality brands I left behind.

I am not about name brands. If it fits and it’s cute I will wear it. This sale made me think it was time to actually start doing some research on name brands. As a part time eBay seller it’s better to sell quality (for higher prices) then quantity (for lower price). I was at my sisters house this past weekend and my niece was wearing an ugly (to me) sweater. I made a comment to my sister and she told me that it’s an expensive brand. I grabbed my phone and sure enough it was. It was Wildfox white label brand. The sweater suddenly didn’t look so ugly anymore.

So this week I’m trying something new. I’m going to pick a category every two weeks and research it on eBay. This week is mens jeans. I’m going to check sold listings when I have some free time (I don’t have a lot of that which is why I’m only doing one category every two weeks) and make a list of brands that sell. I will pick my “dream finds” which is something that sells for hundreds or even thousands of dollars and ordinary finds that sell for a good profit. I feel I’m doing myself an injustice by not putting more effort in learning what sells. I will be sure to share any magical finds since I’m not very good at keeping secrets.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Yard Sale Season

With yard sale season starting again (not that it ever really stops in California) I find myself complaining every weekend. Not because the lack of quality resale items or the cost. It’s all the little things sellers do wrong! Not that I’m an expert at yard sales but I do have some tips.

Craigslist Ads

1. If you post it on Craiglist please make sure you actually have a yard sale. If you decide to not have one, DELETE the ad. It’s so frustrating to drive to a yard sale listed only find that the sellers decided to stay in bed. This happens a lot more on Fridays and Sundays then Saturdays.

2. If you say the yard sale starts at 10 am please have it ready to go at this time. If I show up at 10:30 I don’t want to see you still pulling out boxes. I don’t have time to wait or return later.

3. If you go through the trouble of advertising a yard sale and actually want people to show PUT YOUR ADDRESS. There is nothing more frustrating then having the seller put on “on the corner of main and first” and you have to drive up and down to find it. Or putting “on main st”. I don’t want to start on one end of main and drive to the other end trying to find out. PUT YOUR ADDRESS!!!


1. Invest in a bright color paper and a black marker. Or better yet print the sign. Do not use a ball point pen. The most prominent thing on the sign should be the arrow pointing me in the right direction. I hate it when the arrow is so light you have to be right in front of it to find out which direction to go. And I’m always in the wrong lane. A sign should read Yard Sale, A BIG ARROW, date, and address. The last two don’t have to be as big. Just help me find you.

2. If you put a sign up, REMOVE IT! I hate driving around for ten minutes trying to find a yard sale only to drive back to the sign and read that it was last weekend. Or last month.
3. Put price tags on your items or a sign letting me know how much items cost. I don’t want to spend 10 minutes digging through a huge pile of clothes only to find out that you are charging $5.00 for a t-shirt.
4. Please don’t tell me how much something costs new or on ebay. I’m shopping at a yard sale. Just tell me how much you are going to charge me.
5. If something is broken, ripped, stained or missing pieces don’t try to sell it. Throw it away or put it in the free bin. Last weekend I went to a yard sale and they had a wooden puzzle. I asked where the other pieces were for it and they said they could only find two. Hmm maybe someone crafty could do something with this but I want a complete puzzle.
6. Expect people to haggle on prices no matter the price. Even if you price something a dime expect them to offer you a nickel. Price things accordingly. A few weeks ago a seller was very rude to my mother because she asked for a lower price. He told her to put his stuff down and leave if she wasn’t willing to pay his prices. Not a good way to sell your items.

OK I know I sound like a big complainer. And even if none of these things ever change I will still continue going to yard sales whenever possible. I just had to vent a little. Or a lot.