Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A Thrifty Christmas is What it Was!

No, I didn't give my family thrift store finds as Christmas presents.  BUT, thrift store finds... and the re-sale of them... are what PAID for their presents this year.  With the exception of $100 spent on my Kohl's charge card (I had a 30% off coupon, after all!!), I paid CASH for every gift I purchased this year.  And, that Kohl's card will be paid off by month's end.

I am excited about the fact that, in 2011, I won't be struggling to pay off high credit card balances that are the result of Christmas 2010.  This is a first, folks!  And, I will tell you... just as I hope my family would...that everyone was quite happy with their gifts.  Now, I won't lie and tell you that it wasn't hard work.  It most certainly was!  I spent A LOT of time... more than usual... in thrift stores over the past few months.  I bought... I sold... I shopped for Christmas presents... I bought... I sold... I shopped for Christmas presents.  Rinse and repeat.  Once I had sold a good bit, I bought more presents and more inventory.  I didn't buy what I hadn't earned enough money to pay cash for.  What a concept!!  Had we lived this way, oh.... 20 years ago, we would be debt-free by now.  Better late than never, I suppose.

So, folks, it CAN be done!  I hope I've inspired you to do the same.

Visit my store and see what treasures I've found THIS week:  www.FallenLeafBooks.com

Are you an eBay seller trying to jump-start your business?  Looking for encouragement and ideas?  Join us on EBUG!  It's the eBay Underground Group on Facebook:  eBay Underground

I'd appreciate it if you'd "Like" me on Facebook!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Ugly Christmas Sweaters

There is money to be made selling Ugly Christmas Sweaters.  I find them in thrift stores for just a couple of dollars and have already sold a few this season.  A group of us eBay sellers is having a contest to see who can sell their Ugly Christmas Sweater for the most money at auction by Monday, November 29 (Cyber Monday). 

If you'd like to participate or join our group, you can find us here:

Monday, November 15, 2010

I Give Stuff Second Chances

I was just thinking today about second chances.  Last week, I was digging through lots of "stuff" at a local thrift store and thinking about the many people who used to own it all.  They gave up on those items!  At one time those items were gifts from loved ones, things folks saved their hard-earned money to purchase, family heirlooms, etc.  But, their time was up.  These items were no longer treasured by their original owners and were sent to the thrift store in exchange for a tax deduction.  

As I dug through it all, I found many items that still had lots of "life" left in them.  Shoes that just needed a good cleaning and polishing.  Video games that, while they are no longer the newest technology, can still keep the attention of a small child.  Dolls that could still make a little girl smile.  Books that can still be read. You get the idea.  

So, I left this particular store with three large bags FULL of items that I hope to give a second chance to.  Last night, I cleaned up a few pairs of shoes, took their pictures, wrote their descriptions and made them available to the world.  One was a pair of Dansko clogs for a small child.  They were just adorable!  I wondered who the original owner was and did she wear them on her first day of school.  They still had lots of wear left in them.  Well, less than an hour after they became available for purchase, they were snagged up for $19.99 and are now on their way to Alaska for their second chance.

So, while I'm enjoying the monetary profit of this business, it does make me smile to know that I've given these items a second chance.

Visit my store and see what items are ready for their second chance:  www.FallenLeafBooks.com

Are you an eBay seller trying to jump-start your business?  Looking for encouragement and ideas?  Join us on EBUG!  It's the eBay Underground Group on Facebook:  eBay Underground

Sunday, November 14, 2010

There's a Buyer for Everything

I've always loved the trill of the hunt.  No, I'm not talking about deer, rabbits or any other wildlife.  I'm talking about shopping!  When I was a child, my daddy used to hang out with a much older gentleman, Mr. Horace Gregory, who was a junk dealer.  He had a junk store that was even less organized than that of Fred Sanford, but I always loved going up and down the isles in that cement block building looking at all of the random stuff just waiting to be bought.  There were radios, televisions and other electronic gadgets, clothes, Christmas lights and decorations and, well, you name it.  I wound up with a few radios and even a white fake fur coat with pink lining from Mr. Gregory's store.  I'm pretty sure that several of the console televisions my parents had originated from there, as well.  

Mr. Gregory told my daddy that he never knew there was so much money to be made from junk!  Well, fast forward thirty years.  Add in the internet and eBay.  Stir in my love of shopping and desire to make an income while being a stay-home mom.  And, well, a business was born and I named it Fallen Leaf Books and More.  There's no deep meaning to the name... It is named after the street I live on and the fact that I began by selling mainly books.  It's not very original, but it works. 

So, now, after the kids are dropped off at school, I spend my days trying to balance my domestic duties (aka housework) with my business.  I will admit that, while I do enjoy doing the laundry and would absolutely love to have a sparkly clean house where everything is in its place at all times, I'd rather have a housekeeper do it all.  But, I haven't gotten to that point just yet (But, hey, I'm working on it!!).   Instead, a load of laundry goes into the washer as I head out the door to the local thrift stores and it dries while I'm taking individual photos of my stash to get ready to list on eBay.  I try to get various household chores done while still getting all of last night's sales packaged up and ready for the post office.  Fortunately, the post office is conveniently located between home and my daughter's high school.  So, I do get to kill two "birds" with one stone, there.

Every day, I am reminded that there IS a buyer for everything.  And, I am still amazed by this.  Even that UGLY Christmas sweater that hung on the one dollar clearance rack at Goodwill had a buyer and he was happy to give me $30 for it.  That glass microwave turntable that the Salvation Army only wanted $3 for is on its way to its new microwave home for $24.99 (I guess its new owner dropped the old one and is still finding shards of glass in his kitchen floor!).  And, while grandma no longer needed that Wilton Thomas the Tank Engine cake pan (so, she donated it to Goodwill, who sold it to me for $2.50)... some child is getting a birthday cake baked in it after his mom bought it from me for $29.99.  

That old saying, "One man's trash is another man's treasure," very appropriately applies to the eBay situation.  So, whether you call it trash, junk or just stuff... there is a buyer for it and there is money in it.  Who knew?!  

Visit my store and see what treasures I've found this week:  www.FallenLeafBooks.com

Are you an eBay seller trying to jump-start your business?  Looking for encouragement and ideas?  Join us on EBUG!  It's the eBay Underground Group on Facebook:  eBay Underground