Selling Saturdays:eBay

 

10 tips for successfully selling on ebay

The above picture is a common site around are home  from late May till late July. After I have sold what I can of the homeschooling curriculum we no longer need at second hand curriculum sales and I start listing  what is left on eBay.

I know there are a lot of homeschoolers out there that buy their curriculum long before then, but I still get a lot sales on eBay from the wait until the last minute crowd.

eBay of course sells way more than just homeschooling curriculum and in the past I have sold every thing from toys, kitchen items and books.

In order to sell on eBay you first need to open an account. I find eBay to be an extremely user friendly system. Simply click on the register button found about 1/2 way down their home screen and follow the directions.

Selling your item is easy just follow the step by step instructions that eBay provides. However, I do suggest doing a few of the following things to provide you with the best eBay experience.

Ten Tips For Successful Sales on eBay

1. Read up on the topic

If you are going to sell a lot of items on eBay read a few books on the topic.  I have read an older edition of eBay for Dummies, as well as the original, The Complete Idiots Guide to eBay, both were very simple to understand and provided me with tips to sell my items  at a higher rate of return.

2. Take good pictures

Try experimenting with light, and backgrounds to get the most accurate picture of you items. For books I like laying them on my laminate floors. For toys I drape either a dark or light table cloth behind them to help accent them and often bring in a desk light to help light the area better.

3. Make sure you clean up you item the best you can

Dark marks on Lego can often be removed with a bit of rubbing alcohol followed by a rinse under water. Little tikes toys clean up well with a soft scrub cleanser. Over time you will discover all kinds of tips to clean up your items.

4. Do a bit of research and know the value of your item

You can do this by searching the completed listing area of eBay which is found in the side bar of options when searching for items.

5. Do an auction with a buy it now option

Start the auction at about 20 to 30% less than the average sale price of your item on eBay. set your buy it now price at the high end of the average sale price of your item. This allows for the I just want it now type buyer to snatch up your item, and for the if I wait I might get more of a deal, buyer to both be included in the sale.

6. Allow your buyers several options for shipping

Rarely do I do a flat shipping rate. If my item is sure to grab me a high profit and fits nicely into a flat rate shipping box, I often offer free shipping.

7. Be extremely accurate with your the description of your item.

It pays to even down play the shape of your item. There are always people more picky than you out there who will think that you described your item unfairly. If you have down played the condition of your item, you will not have complaints but instead praises.

8. Describe all the details

Add measurements of your item in the description box, as well as number of pieces, colors, or anything else that might be applicable to the sale of your item.

9. If you are going to accept returns make sure you have a stated return policy.

I generally do not accept returns and have had  no problem making sales without accepting them. I am extremely accurate in my pictures and details so that the buyer knows exactly what they are getting.

10 . Make sure that you are prompt in sending out your item as soon it is paid in full.

I try to wait no longer than 48 hours.

Bonus Tip: look in the sellers section of eBay for additional tips for selling.

Are you an eBay seller? Do you have any tips to add?

click to read more ways to make money from items you already own

click to read more ways to make money from items you already own

(post contains affiliate links)

Want more tips on ways to sell you unwanted items? Follow my Selling Tips Board on Pinterest

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Daily Life Captured: Random photos of our week

My hubby got himself a new lawn mower this week. Apparently it has all sorts of features his other one didn’t have, but don’t ask me to list them for you. When he talks lawn mowers, my mind wanders, just as his does when I talk deal shopping.

On my way out the door one afternoon I found a tea party all set up on our back porch. I don’t know how many years I will have left to enjoy such sites (she is 9 now) so I grabbed an Instagram picture with my i-touch for memory sake.

I woke up Wednesday Morning to these freshly picked flowers from my hubby. Crazy guy went out in our yard with a flashlight and scissors at midnight, after he got off work, to surprise me in the morning with them. I love him! I returned the favor by making sure he went off to work with freshly homemade still warm from the oven banana bread this morning.

I am not sure if it was my husband or one of the kids who thought of this idea. But, the no longer needed stepping stool in the upstairs bathroom is now a book stand.

I have been working on this locker hooked table runner since January. After 6 years of locker hooking  dozens of pieces I am actually going to keep one. I am hoping wanting to show case my work in my home will help me keep the spare table in the dining room decluttered.

While locker hooking and coupon cutting I caught up on my favorite show; Biggest Loser. I laughed so hard this week at Conda’s brothers attempt at cooking for the judges.This happens so rarely in our house. I managed to get rid of all the clutter piles in our upstairs hallway.

How about you? What have you been up to this week?

This post is linked to Insta-Friday’s at Life Rearranged.

Project Simplify Week 4:Random Piles of Clutter

This is the last week of Project Simplify. I am definitely noticing a difference around our home. My clutter piles are  vastly decreased. I am still inching forward, and I am sure that I will experience some inching back, but for now I am thrilled with the results.

I set out to attack three hot spot areas of clutter in our home this week.

The first being our office supply area, where we keep the supplies needed for homeschooling.

The second was the top of the dresser in our dining room that holds all our incoming bills and my running gadgets.

The third and final pile I attacked this week was in the upstairs hallway. It was mostly made of up totes we used to pack for our vacation to Disney World. Sadly however, we have been home from Florida for over a month and they were still in the hallway.

While I was out for 3 hour and 36 minute marathon training run, my husband decided to surprise me by doing some house work that I had planned to do later that day. One area he tidied was the office area, so I painlessly crossed that area off my list.

I spent about 45 minutes one evening taming the top of the dresser in the dining room. I found a metal container not being used in another area of our home and used it for incoming bills. That freed up one side of the double sided basket for my son’s running accessories (watch, cell phone etc.) and the other side for mine. I then gave the bigger square basket a good clean out getting rid of old kids art, expired coupons, no longer needed flyers, and junk mail. Thursday I spent around 30 minutes, taking the empty totes down to the craft closet and refilling them with the craft supplies and my birthday gift stash that they originally held before we used them for vacation.

Putting those things back in totes made my storage closet go from looking like this……

To looking like this. It still could use a bit of work, but I am happy to see this much improvement for now. I am 100% satisfied with the improvement in the hallway. Remember last week it also had another huge stack of things. So to see it now completely empty, with an organized linen closet off of it and a completely decluttered and spring cleaned bathroom, makes it worth every minute I have spent this last month simplifying my home worth it.

How about you? Did you simplify any areas of your home  this week?

 This Post is linked to Project Simplify Week 4 at Simple Mom

How I Got Rid of My Daughter’s Tangled Hair: Naturally

How I got rid of my daughter's tangled hair naturally

My daughter had horrible tangled hair. She hated to brush it because it hurt. The problem only got worse in the summer time when swimming in pools made her hair drier and more likely to knot. She also wanted to start growing it longer than her current bob cut, but I kept talking her out of it since I knew longer hair meant more tangles.

I  tried deep conditioning it, but she hated sitting around with a bag on her head, and the results never lasted long.  I  tried detangle spray, but those never worked.

Then one day on the treadmill at the gym the Dr. Oz show was on. He had a guest raving about the many uses of sunflower oil, and she proceeded to rub some into her hair. She claimed it made her hair shiny and manageable.

When I got home I added sunflower oil to the shopping list. Later that week I purchased and then placed some in a spray bottle and told my daughter to spray it in her hair starting at the roots and massage it in, then go and wash her hair as normal.

When her hair dried it was shiny and smooth.No more unruly tangled hair. You could actually run a comb through it with no problems.

I have since used Sunflower oil on my dry feet and elbows and even dry patches on my face. It works wonderfully. It rubs in quickly and leaves the skin feeling smooth. It is not at all greasy. Plus you only need such a small amount so its economical too. You can also use up the oil in your cooking if you find your not going through it fast enough. It is a great oil for deep frying (at least that is what my husband tells me, I refuse to touch his deep fryer since I am trying to cook in healthier ways, but I haven’t won him over yet, :) )

Looking for more natural beauty tips? Follow my Homemade Beauty Products board on Pinterest

linked to One Project at A Time,

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No Machine Needed: Peppermint Cookie Ice Cream

Ever since seeing “The Ice Cream Experiment:Take One” over at Heavenly Homemakers I have been on the look out for a way to make ice-cream  using simple ingredients that would suit my snail pace lifestyle.

After much searching and a bit of tweaking I have found such a recipe.

What I love about this recipe is that you can create as many versions of it as you want using the simple base of 1 can sweetened condensed milk and one pint heavy whipping creme.

For our peppermint cookie version , you need to first place the dozen cookies in a Ziploc bag and seal. Crush with either your hands, or beat with a rolling pin. The cookies should still be fairly large pieces when you are done.

Lay your crushed cookies to one side. Find a glass bowl with a lid (l like using a large glass 2 quart measuring bowl with a lid).

Place the whipping creme in the bowl and beat with a hand mixer till firm.

 Now, add in the sweetened condensed milk and blend again using the hand mixer.

Finally add in the cookies and 2 drops of peppermint extract and blend just slightly.

Your bowl should look a lot like this when you take your beaters out.

Wipe off the edges of the bowl.

Place the lid on your container and place it in your freezer for 10 to 12 hours.

Sorry  I didn’t get a picture of the finished product. My kids love it so much its gone in a flash.

It makes about 10 to 12 generous sized bowls.

Here is a peak at the chocolate version, to show you what it looks like when it is served.

No Machine Needed: Peppermint Cookie Ice Cream
Recipe Type:
Cuisine:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves:
Ingredients
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 pint heavy whipping creme
  • 2 drops peppermint extract
  • 1 dozen peppermint flavored sandwich cookie
Instructions
  1. -Crush cookies (you want them in bite size pieces)
  2. -Lay cookies aside
  3. -Whip creme in a large glass bowl (preferable one with a lid)
  4. -Pour sweetened condensed milk into whip creme and blend well
  5. -Add in crushed cookies and peppermint extract and stir.
  6. -Place in freezer and allow to freeze for 10 to 12 hours
Serving size: Calories: Fat:
Notes

 

Ingredients
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 pint heavy whipping creme
  • 2 drops peppermint extract
  • 1 dozen peppermint flavored sandwich cookie

Instructions
  1. -Crush cookies (you want them in bite size pieces)
  2. -Lay cookies aside
  3. -Whip creme in a large glass bowl (preferable one with a lid)
  4. -Pour sweetened condensed milk into whip creme and blend well
  5. -Add in crushed cookies and peppermint extract and stir.
  6. -Place in freezer and allow to freeze for 10 to 12 hours

This post is linked to Tasty Tuesdays at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam, Delicious Dishes at Its a Blog Party .   

and Ultimate Recipe Swap at Life As Mom

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My Spring Challenge to My Readers

It seems like everywhere on the web there are bloggers talking about spring cleaning. Even I have joined two such events including Project Simplify and The Spring Cleaning Challenge. I am extremely thankful to be able to take part in these challenges as they get me motivated to stretch out of my clutter piling ways.

However, when I think of spring, my mind does not naturally think of spring cleaning; it thinks of race season. With April Showers comes marathons, and 5k’s. With May flowers comes 1/2 century bike rides and sprint triathlons.

Each year I try to challenge myself to try a new race. Last year I tried a triathlon. It was only sprint distance, but to me (that gal marching down to the beach just ahead of the man in the blue shirt) it was like climbing Mount Everest.

Yes I can run. Yes I can bike. Yes I can swim. However, I don’t like deep water, I don’t like not being able to see in the water I am swimming in, and crowds make me anxious.The swim portion of a triathlon contains all three of those things. So that 500 yard swim to me was the most frightening event I have ever done.

But I did it, and this year I am going to try again. The whole time I was out there in the water, facing all three of my fears, I kept thinking of the verse I had placed on my arm the night before the race.God does not place fear in our hearts. He does not want us trapped into a so so life because we are too fearful to push through our fears and find our capabilities.

So what are you waiting for? What race have you always wanted to try. I challenge you to go to active.com and enter your zip code in the drop down box, then enter what event you want to do and see what is available in your area.

Take the plunge and sign up! Tell everyone on Facebook what you are setting out to do.  Don’t wait till after you are trained, sign up before you even start training.I have found once you have put down the money and announced it on Facebook it is really hard to back out and you will make training a priority.

My new goal this year? To enter a half century bike ride. That is a 50 mile bike ride. I have not biked that far since the year I was married back in 1995.

What are you waiting for? Get out there and experience the thrill of the race.

This post is linked to WLWW at Women Living Well

Weekly Fitness Goals: March 26 to April 1

(If you like the Bondi Band in this picture don’t forget to enter my current giveway)

This is it, the week that every marathoner in training anxiously awaits the week of the 20 mile training run.

I am going to try something that I have not done before during this training run as a test for marathon day.

In two different races, I have been beaten by men and their beeping watches.

Here is how the race progresses,the watch will beep and he will run, and get ahead of me, then the watch will beep and he will walk and I get ahead of him. This cycle will go on till the last third of the race, when I start to slow my pace, and he starts to get further an further ahead of me with every beep his watch.

I did a bit of research through the Swagbucks search engine, and found out these watch beeping guys are using the Jeff Galoway marathon training plan. Basically using a chart based on your long run pace you pick a run to walk ratio and set your watch to keep you on target.

My biggest hurdle right now in implementing the plan is trying to figure out how to set my husbands Timex Ironman watch to beep at the right times. I will let you know how it went later in the week.

Last Weeks Goals

 Monday:  30 min Strength class at Y. 3 mile run with son.

Tuesday: 19 mile run. I got about half way into my run and could not remember if I was going 18 or 19 miles, so I went 18. 

Wednesday: Early 4 mile run with friend/ 1 hr bike ride / 30 min strength class. I cancelled my run with a friend my legs were too tired from the 18 miles it felt good to bike it out though.

Thursday:  6 mile run with a local running group first thing in the morning. I ended up going a very fast 4 1/2 miles I forgot how fast these ladies run! Great to see them again after the winter months. I also did a 1 hour strength class with the instructor at the Y that I like to call Jillian’s twin. (hurt for days afterwards)

Friday:  1 hour bike ride (hopefully outside but right now the weather forecast says rain) It was raining, I ended up running 3.5 miles on the treadmill beside my son (also on a treadmill) at the Y. Its one of the rare times we run side by side now. 

Saturday: 6 mile run with friends/ 80 lengths of the pool. 7 mile run with friend. Did not end up swimming laps, I could barely lift my arms up over my head from the beating from Jillian’s twin on Thursday. 

Sunday: REST

This Weeks Goals

Monday: 1/2 hour kettle bells followed by 40 min spin class

Tuesday: 20 mile run (run 4 minutes walk 1 minute and repeat till end)

Wednesday: Bike out the tension in my legs for 1 hour. (this really does help)

Thursday: 6 mile fast run with friends (super early) followed up with Jillian DVD. Later in the day hit the pool for 70 lengths.

Friday: 8 mile run

Saturday: 6 mile run with a friend followed up with Jillian DVD.

Sunday: REST (unless you consider a slushy walk a workout)

How about you? What are your workout goals this week?

(this post contains affiliate links to both Swagbucks and Amazon)

Sunday Reads: The Money Saving Mom’s Budget Audio Book

Crystal Paine’s blog Money Saving Mom was the first blog I ever read and followed daily. Her daily deal shares and writings  have saved my family money and added order to our lives.

Some days I wonder if I am becoming a stalking groupie as I read all her posts, have her book, and I snapped up the chance to review the audio version of The Money Saving Mom’s Budget. (yes I was given the audio book free in exchange for the review).

Having the audio version of the book was extremely handy. I downloaded the book onto my i-touch and listened to it while at the gym on the elliptical and out on the road pounding through a long run in preparation for my next marathon. It was great to add a bit of learning my workouts.

I loved listening to the sound of Paine’s voice. She has a very casual tone making me feel like she and I were chatting about money issues over a cup of coffee .

I do agree with other reviewers who state that most of the information in the book is available for free on her blog. However, having it all read to me really helped me understand how each area of life that she talks about really flows into the other.

For instance if you follow Paine’s blog you may wonder why she chooses to talk about goal setting, decluttering and simplifying so much on a platform that is suppose be helping you save money.

When you listen to  audio version of The Money Saving Mom’s Budget  you can start to grasp how goal setting, organizing and simplifying really do seamlessly work into helping you spend wisely, just the same as keeping a budget and clipping coupons do.

In fact what Paine is doing is not just telling you how to save money she is showing you how to make time to save money.

Isn’t that the number one excuse most of us make for not implementing money saving tips? We bark at the tip giver “oh I just don’t have the time to……” (clip coupons, follow sales, plan a menu, etc.)

I have read many a money saving book, but never have I listened to a book that showed me how to implement all those ways of saving money.

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Selling Saturdays: PaperBackSwap

using paperbackswap.com to feed your book habit for less

Last Saturday I discussed selling your used homeschool curriculum at second hand curriculum fairs.

If you find you have a lot of good condition smaller books leftover from your sale, you may want to try joining Paper Back Swap.

No you won’t get any money for trading your books, but you will get books back in return for your effort.

How it works is you sign up (follow the words in blue to join). After you are registered list 10 of the titles you are willing to part with. Then as a sign up bonus you can pick out two books from other members lists.

Once you have picked out your first 2 books you have to wait for someone to request your books to earn more trading credits. When someone requests one of your books, you will receive an email asking if you will accept the request.

Once you accept you print off the shipping label and mail the book. Shipping is at the cost of the sender, but you receive a credit for a book once your book has been received by the person whom requested it, and with that credit you can pick out another book, and that sender pays to ship it to you.

The average shipping cost is right around $2.50 for most novels that I send. If you have story books to trade, the shipping cost could be less, if you have hardcover novels, the cost of shipping could be higher.

I realize there are cheaper ways to get books, but what I love about Paper Back Swap is the huge selection of books available. I have gotten many books off  the reading list for Sonlight Curriculum that I would have not been able to find easily else where.

Paperbackswap also has a great selection of audio books, that cost 2 credits. So you can either trade 2 books for 1 audio book, or an audio book for an audio book. I love trading my books for audio books as my children devour audio books, and listen to them over and over when they are building Lego or creating art in their rooms.

So if you can’t seem to sell your books, try swapping them.

How about you? Have you found a way to either earn money or save money on books?

(post contains my  PaperBackSwap referral link, if you sign up my family gets 1 book credit)

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Project Simplify: The Linen Closet

It is already week 3 of project simplify. This weeks task was closets, counter tops and drawers. Being the snail pacer that I am I decided to pick one hot spot in those areas  to make over.

I chose the linen closet. As I have stated before, we bought our current home for just under $10,000. Now real estate is very inexpensive in our town, but $10,000 is still way less than the price of an average home in our area. Which meant that our home came with a few remodeling projects required a top to bottom gut and redo.

What was fun about the whole process was getting to decide how to best use each and every space. One such space was under the attic stairs, that are against the wall of the upstairs hallway.

My hubby and I decided the space would be best utilized by adding a study nook in the shorter portion and a linen closet in the taller portion. I was thrilled to finally after 10 plus years of marriage have a home with a linen closet.

So you can understand my frustrations when I open up that dreamed of linen closet and find this.

At our old house, our linens were stored in a bedroom closet. I used these banana boxes to help stack them up in some type of order.

The system worked great when the children were small. However, now that the children are bigger and took over the folding of laundry and putting away the sheets and towels the system is not working at all.

Knowing that this week of project simplify was coming and that the linen closet was my top hot spot in the area of closets, counter tops and drawers, I thought long and hard about how to fix the mess.

Then one day when I was out for a run it hit me. My kids need a self imposed boundary of just how big their folded sheets can be. What a better boundary than a box. Better yet a box with a lid.

So I dug in my coupon filer, and found 2, $5 off a $20 purchase coupons for Dollar General. If you have Dollar General in your area I highly recommend signing up for their emails, since they generally send out at least one of  these coupons a month.

To sign up simply go to their website home page (click on words in blue) and a pop up should come up asking you to sign up. If the pop up doesn’t come up scroll down and you will find a place to sign up at the bottom of the page.

I use these coupons all the time to purchase things I need in my organizing, and on this day I bought these 14 shoe box sized totes for the price of what 11 should have cost me.

I used 10 of them in this project, and put the other 4 in my attic for another hot spot I plan to attack at a later date.

I again did what I did in week one and week two of project simplify and dumped out the entire contents of the closet into one big pile.

I then folded each sheet set into a bucket of its own. I then place the boxes of sheet sets on the shelves. I put the sets of the shortest child on the lowest shelves and the sets for my husband and I on the higher shelves so that everyone should be able to access their sheets easily when it comes time to change them and when it is time to put clean ones away.

Those two loose sheets you see on the top shelf are sheets my husband and I use to make a bed out of our couch when either one of us is ill or having trouble sleeping so that we don’t make the other ill or keep the other up. It is how we create marital harmony.

Since we tend to grab those sheets in the middle of the night, I wanted them extremely easy to grab.

I also had a whole box of sheets to give away which went to the local mission with the clothes on Saturday.

I am so happy with the results I keep opening the door and sneaking a peak. I explained the system to the rest of the family so hopefully we can all work together and keep it up.

How about you? How do you make your linen closest work for your family?

This post is linked to Project Simplify Week 3 at Simple Mom

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