I’ve Paid For This Twice Already…

Frugal living and debt reduction tips for a better financial future. This is one family’s story.

Archive for the ‘selling stuff’ Category

Ebay successes and not-quite-successes

Thursday, September 27th, 2007

The listings for two pairs of shoes I listed on Ebay have now expired and I have good news and bad news to report. One sold for $16.40 plus $5.60 shipping for a total of $22.00 which I received last night via paypal – I took the package to the post office today and shipped it out so basically I am done with that.

The other did not sell at all. I found it kind of amusing actually because they were two similar pairs of shoes that I bought originally for the exact same price one size apart that I wrote almost identical listings for, and one pair got all kind of attention (21 watchers and a flurry of bids by the end) and the other pair, 2 watchers and zero bids. I guess there is a high demand for size 6XW shoes and not so much for 5XW? I guess that could be true because my son did walk rather early – maybe most kids’ feet are bigger that size 5 before they get their first shoes. My daughter isn’t walking yet so I have no idea what her shoe size is. My son’s first shoes were actually a 4XXW. But I am keeping those (for now).

Subtracting out the paypal fees for the shoes I sold (approximately $1), plus the ebay fees for both items (approximately $2), and the actual shipping I paid ($6.35 since I chose delivery confirmation ), that leaves approximately $ 12.65 in profits from this so far. When I transferred money out of my paypal account into my bank account, I only transferred $16.00 and left the other ~$5 to cover ebay fees. I know that’s a lot more than the ebay fees actually are, but I didn’t know how to look them up when I did that, and I also wanted to leave some in case I decide to relist the shoes that didn’t sell and they don’t sell again. That fee (if I do choose to relist) should be less than $1 though, so I may transfer another $2 out, or I may wait until after I relist the shoes and transfer out the exact amount left.

We’ll see. I am happy with my ebay experiment. I’d be happier if both pairs of shoes sold but I’ll take this. I added the $9.65 I have in profits from what I transferred out of the paypal account ($16.00 minus the $6.35 shipping), and added it to the $8.87 I have left over from paying Capital One, which comes to $18.52. I snowflaked that this afternoon to my Citicard. I could have waited until this evening, because I have a potential craigslist sale lined up for tonight, but I wanted to get it in before my billing cycle ends (tomorrow) and the “4 payments per billing cycle” starts over.

I don’t know if I’ll be using ebay again as a seller but I am pleased with how this turned out. I’d be more pleased if both pairs of shoes sold….

The Craigslist Empire is Back on Track

Sunday, September 23rd, 2007

So, I’ve been a little lazy about listing on Craigslist lately. I’ve had plenty of excuses, but a lot of it simply boiled down to my procrastinating nature. When I originally listed things on Craigslist, what ad actually worked out to be the best one was the one I put the least amount of effort into – simply listing my daughter’s clothes as a huge lot with no pictures, which took about 3 minutes to do from start to finish and I made about $70 from.

So, I decided the easiest way to get re-motivated was to do that again. The ad is easy to write, I’ve got lots of fall/winter clothes from both my son and my daughter that I could list, so I did. I wrote two ads, one for my daughter’s outgrown clothes and one for my son’s, and posted them.

And true to form, the simplest ads are winning out again. I had someone come look at my son’s clothes on Thursday. They only spent $2.50 but that was $2.50 I didn’t have before. I’ve had an email interested in my daughter’s clothes that I am still working out the details of, and I had someone else come today to look at my son’s clothes and they spent another $12.50, so $15.00 total so far from that ad.  And I have interest in the girl clothes too, I just haven’t gotten a visit to buy anything worked out quite yet.

My small successes have even motivated me to finally branch out to EBay. Procrastinator no more (or at least not for the moment), I’ve got two pairs of my son’s outgrown XW shoes listed, and one even has a bid already and both have numerous watchers. I’m hoping both will sell by the end of the 7 day listing. And maybe even for a good price!

I am saving all my snowflakes right now (the $15.00 total from this round of craigslist and  a $10 survey check I got Friday so far) to pay the final interest accrued on the Capital One card once it posts. And then I will be right back at attacking the principal balance on the Citicard. I got a letter in the mail Saturday saying that I have until 09/09/08 to pay off the balance at 0% interest and anything remaining at that time will revert to the purchase rate. I know a challenge when I see one…..

Post Yard Sale Wrapup

Sunday, September 16th, 2007

We had the yard sale yesterday, and there were good and bad things along with it. The good included us actually figuring out a ton of stuff we do not want or need, and getting it all organized and out to sell (including, yes, some of the endless toys my kids have). The bad included 50 degree weather in which hardly anyone wants to go out to yard sales in.

So, we ended up only making $24. Not a great haul for a day’s work by any means, but at least it wasn’t $0, which by 10am I was starting to fear. It did warm up to a balmy 55 degrees by 11am and we had a few customers between then and 2pm. The majority of what sold this time was outgrown clothes from my kids, and a few VHS movies.

Now I need to decide what to do with all the stuff now stacked on one side of my garage. I am going to get on the waiting list Monday for a consignment sale this spring, and I also may take a bunch of the clothes to Once Upon a Child and see what they’ll buy. They pay pretty poorly but sometimes it is just about purging the stuff. The rest of it? I’ll relist some of it on craigslist, and hopefully finally try the shoes on Ebay. I also need to do some searches for online places that buy old video games. And maybe just donate or throw out some of it. That’d be a step in a positive direction against accumulation… if I can do it. I have donated a lot of stuff in the past to Goodwill when we lived in an apartment and couldn’t have yard sales, but I’ve found it harder to do so since we moved because I theoretically could sell it now.

I made my first snowflake payment to Citicard, once I’d come back from grocery shopping I logged in and paid them $24. I can make three more online payments of $5 or more before the end of September…. better get cracking on those snowflake generators! Heh.


Meditations on Accumulation – Yard Sale Edition

Saturday, September 1st, 2007

In two weeks we are having another yard sale, and because of that I have been more focused than usual on purging “stuff”. I really have been trying to look critically at our possessions in the recent past and decide what stuff we need vs what stuff is really just taking up space and weighing us down. I’ve gone through closets, rooms, collections, and I have done a passable job of weeding out and selling off or donating in most areas. The one area, surprisingly (to me) that I am having major issues being able to let go is one that is not even mine exactly, and I have the least sentimental value invested – my children’s toys.

The reason I am having trouble with this is not that they have so few toys that I can’t bear to reduce them. On the contrary, they have way too many toys. They are the first grandchildren on both sides and as such, they have been inundated with gifts from very doting and generous grandparents. I have also managed to bring home way too many incidental items from my garage sale explorations. I want to reduce the number of toys they have. The problem is… I can’t decide what to purge. It seems any time I settle on a particular toy or set of toys, my son starts playing with those toys that very same day and then I don’t want to eliminate them because he still uses them.

My spouse boxed up about 15 toys and put them in the garage in an effort to get rid of a few. Truth be told, I can barely remember what is in the box never mind worry about if the kids still want to use them. This shows me we should get rid of a bunch of these toys. But I just can’t seem to do it. And if you think my spouse would be better at it, it was hard for him to fill just that one box of toys, so he’s not really that much further detached than I am.

Even if we don’t sell the toys at the yard sale and donate them instead, I still want to get rid of a huge percentage of them. In this case, the purging isn’t just about increasing inflow to pay down debt, it is also about accumulation. There are just Too. Many. Toys.

I wish it was easier for me to purge them. Why is it easier for me to purge my own stuff? I had no problem donating half my closet to goodwill. But I can’t seem to get rid of one or two of 50 trucks or books or blocks or noisy annoying electronic gadgets or stuffed animals or play kitchen accessories.

Stuff. Ugh.

I need to teach my children that less is more and I am not doing a very good job of that thus far.


August Alternative Income mid-month update

Monday, August 13th, 2007

Well, I have this $100/month goal for generating non-job related revenue to snowflake with until we’re out of debt.  July went well on that front, I generated around $114 from a combination of selling things on craigslist, selling used textbooks, and cashing out survey rewards.

Well, we are about halfway through August and I’m not halfway to that goal this month or really, even all that close.  I’ve gotten about $21 from textbook sellbacks, $2 from taking a survey, and $6.44 from a craigslist sale.  I have cashed out another $10 in survey rewards that should arrive before the end of August, but even so, that only brings me up to about $40.

I’ve listed the clothes on craigslist finally, although I have a few more things I just haven’t gotten around to listing.  I also should relist a few things that have expired off the listing board.  You never know when someone new will be reading it.  And I’ve been taking surveys.  But that takes a while to build up.  I think the textbook selling has mostly dried up, I check every so often but I’ve run out of textbooks worth anything I think.  Although I know that a bunch of sites have been added to that sell textbooks link I have, so I should get a list of ISBN numbers together and check them one more time.

So we’ll see.  I still have hope for August, but I need to get more proactive about listing things on craigslist or venturing out into ebay.  We have a yardsale scheduled for mid-September, and the June one generated ~$140 so hopefully we can do as well at this one and September would be taken care of.   Only $60 to go for August…. I can do $60…. I just need to *do* it.