Category Archives: Business

The Great Ebay Experiment

And that’s it for this year! Not a bad deal actually.

Sold:

  • Return to Oz Storybook — Got this from Savers and it looked brand new to me. Hope it made a collector happy.
  • Metal Enamel Napkin Rings — Picked these up in a lot with a bunch of other napkin rings. I’ve already paid off the lot. This is just gravy now, which makes me very happy.
  • Book of Polish Poems — Picked this up from Savers. It’s beautiful. I wish I could read it.
  • Sandman Book — I love Neil G. I really do. I hope this is going to another fan.
  • KitchenAid Mixer cover — This was my Mom’s but she used it once and decided it wasn’t worth it.
  • The Dovekeepers book — This is actually a part of a fundraising group of books which is for specifically a Super Secret Project.
  • Sherlock Holmes Puzzles book — Also part of a fundraising group of books.
  • Values to Action book — Also one of those darned fundraising books.
  • Twas the Night Before Christmas — Another part of my Savers pile. 🙂
  • Precious Moments Figure — Selling these for a friend. Pretty sure I’m down to three left.
  • Calvin & Hobbes book — Got the slipcased collection, so I’ve been selling my regular books. I’m always happy that someone else will get a smile out of them.
  • Vintage birdhouse ornament — one of the oldest items in my shop. Pretty sure I’ve taken a loss on it, but at least it’s sold.

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The Great Ebay Experiment

And we’re ramping up for the season!

Sold:

  • Gummi Bears Book — picked this up at Savers. It was missing its tape, but in good shape.
  • Borderlands Game Pad — From Lootcrate. I still have a few things left to list from Lootcrate, but I think it’s mostly left the building at this point.
  • Journal of Colonial Williamsburg Spring — You never know when someone is going to need an article in an historical magazine/journal.
  • “A Work of Heart” Teddy Bear Pattern — This was from a plan to make teddy bears to sell which never got off the ground.

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The Great Ebay Experiment 8-7-16

Seven months in and still drowning in stuff!

We’ll start with what’s sold:

  • Vintage Scootles Doll

 

A bit of slow month. Only sold one doll. That might have something to do with my not listing enough. As in, not listing anything this month. Time to get down to work.

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The Great Ebay Experiment 07-03-16

Six months in and still drowning in stuff!

We’ll start with what’s sold:

  • Graphic Novel
  • Vintage Gerber Baby (rough shape)
  • Sewing Pattern
  • Cookbook
  • Sewing Pattern #2
  • 1 PM Figurine

 

Graphic Novel… I think. It was from Dark Horse and I know I read it and liked it well enough, but not enough that I wanted to keep it to re-read.

Vintage Gerber Baby — oh, this poor baby doll was in sad shape. He had major degradation of the rubber on his left side. (right if you’re looking at him.) But in the right clothes he’ll still be cute and I picked him up in a huge box-lot, which has already paid for itself, so anything that sells now is a bonus. My awesome buyer sent me extra money when she noticed how expensive the shipping turned out to be.

Sewing Pattern — Plus sized, brand new, and highly customizable.

Cookbook — Diabetes cookbook with a very odd address that meant I had to reach out to the customer and go “huh?”

Sewing Pattern #2 — Plus sized, brand new, easy-sew pattern

1 Precious Moments — A little angel ornament. Almost done with these and I cannot wait.

So, the problem with selling stuff, is that now I have to LIST stuff. OY!

Until next month! Happy selling and buying!

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The Great Ebay Experiment 6-3-16

Five months in and still drowning in stuff!

We’ll start with what’s sold:

  • Marvel Ice Tray
  • Hexbug
  • Game of Thrones Magnets
  • Pr. of Baker’s shoes
  • Butterick Pattern

 

Marvel Ice Tray — This was a Lootcrate piece.

Hexbug — Also a Lootcrate piece, but the purchaser got it to torment their cat.

GoT Magnets — You guessed it. Lootcrate.

Pair of Baker’s Shoes — These were high heeled ankle boots that my mother loved, but can’t wear. I sold them for her.

Butterick Pattern — Plus sized formal dress pattern. Mom and I bought it, but never used it and we’ve decided it’s not our style, so onto the sale pile!

Until next month! Happy selling and buying!

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The Great Ebay Experiment 5-3-16

Four months in and still drowning in stuff!

We’ll start with what’s sold:

  • The Wheel of Time Starter Forsaken Deck

 

Wheel of Time Starter Deck — This was brand new and sealed. I got it as part of a Lord of the Rings lot. I only wanted the Minas Tirith box from the DVDs, so I’m selling off the rest of the lot.

 

Until next month! Happy selling and buying!

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Ebay Experiment Update 04-03-16

Four months in and still drowning in stuff!

We’ll start with what’s sold:

  • Lootcrate Hydra Pin
  • Precious Moments Angel Ornament
  • Batman Multitool
  • Lootcrate Terminator skull and chip
  • Precious Moments Oh, How I Love Jesus
  • Precious Moments Mouse with Cheese Ornament
  • 1 Cookbook on half.com

Hydra pin – Took an offer on this one, but it was close to asking, so I’m fine with that. (Or I wouldn’t have taken it!) I like seeing things run out the door, but I won’t take offers that are below value. It’s just silly!

PM Ornament – Second time around for this one. This was returned once. Hopefully, this customer read *all* of the description and will be happy with him. (These are being sold for a friend.)

Batman Multitool – Another Lootcrate piece off to a happy home. Not a high-value item, but every little bit helps.

Lootcrate Terminator skull and chip – This sold on Bonanza, which is cool. It’s only the second item I’ve sold through that site.

PM Figurine – I am conflicted about this one. It could be just considered cute, or it could be considered seriously racially offensive. It’s a little kid dressed up as a Native American. Therefore, the title makes me twitch. But I will let actual tribe-members make the call as to whether it’s offensive or not.

PM Mouse – I am sort of sad to see this one go. I *love* rats and mice and I was considering keeping this one. He’s adorable, but he’s heading to a good home.

Sold a vintage kid’s cookbook on half.com.

One refund for an item not received. The tracking says it was delivered to a package locker, but the buyer states that they don’t have one. I have to believe the buyer, so I sent the refund. Still sucks.

Until next month! Happy selling and buying!

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Ebay update 03-03-16

Three months in and still, erm, limping along. I’ve got so many things which need to be listed.

We’ll start with what’s sold:

  • Lootcrate Rick & Morty Puzzle
  • Lootcrate Mad Magazine
  • 2 McDonald’s SW Toys
  • Precious Moments: Praise the Lord Anyway
  • Precious Moments: Praise the Lord Anyway (<– NOT a Typo)
  • Versace Eyeglass Case & cloth
  • 1 CD
  • 1 Book
  • Lootcrate Wooden Joker Figure

Sort of slow, but the store was on vacation for a week and a half while I was on vacation. I blame it on that. Well, that and the fact that I haven’t had much new added to the listings. Time to buckle down a bit more.

The Rick & Morty Puzzle actually sold on Bonanza (which is sort of a mirror of my eBay shop, with minimal fees). I am thrilled as this is my first sale through them.

The Mad Magazine broke even after fees and shipping, which sucks, but at the same time, it’s not here and I didn’t have to pay to send it somewhere or take it to the charity shop, so there’s that.

The McDonald’s Toys were, something random from a co-worker, so I’m happy they’re headed to a more appreciative home.

The Precious Moments. Yes, there were two of the same figure. I am still selling these for a friend. More to prove to myself that I can, than anything else. Next time, I’ll just buy the things outright and move on with my life. Funny story, I told my Dad this was the boy with the ice cream cone. I also told him the title. The title is not on the box. There is no picture on the box. The box says “boy with dog”. On my notes “boy with dog” is “God Speed.” You know, because there are 4 different designs with dogs involved in this adventure.

I used to have Versace frames for my sunglasses. The frames broke. I was sad, but I sold their case, so that’s not a bad thing.

Sold a book on Half.com for my mother. Sold a CD on Half.com for myself.

Until next month! Happy selling and buying!

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Ebay Update 02-03-16

 

Wow, so, it’s been two months since I started this adventure.

We’ll start with what’s sold:

  • Lootcrate Tee-shirt
  • Precious Moments Boy with Manger
  • Vintage GI Joe accessories
  • Vintage Pebbles Doll
  • Vintage Military Action Figure
  • Precious Moments Blessed are the Peacemakers
  • Battlestar Galactica Range Sheets

Not bad, all in all. My friend who’s in on this little adventure has been helping me create listings. She listed a whole bunch of things for me. I went on a photo and descriptions binge to fill up our shared spreadsheet. I think the system’s starting to work. We’re still working out the kinks, but it’s working.

One of the above was sent to Greece. Seriously, set the shipping to calculated and sell world-wide. All you need to do is fill out a customs form which isn’t hard at all. The buyer was happy and I was happy too.

The Vintage Military Action Figure wasn’t actually a GI Joe. *sighs* I thought it might be, but a recognized expert (I recognized the email) dropped by to let me know that it wasn’t a GI Joe, so I dropped the price and it sold quickly. There’s always that little suspicion that you’ve been ripped on something like that, but I’d rather take that chance than to have a pissed off customer.

The Precious Moments are being sold for a friend and the supply is dwindling, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t enough stuff for the store. DAMN but there’s a lot of stuff left to sell. I’m clearing out a bunch of Lootcrate stuff right now because it’s stuff I didn’t really care about. And it lets me keep the pieces I want to keep.

The shop will be on vacation mode for a week while I’m unavailable this month, so we’ll see if it affects sales too much when we open it up again.

Until next month! Happy selling and buying!

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I Am the Baking Minion

I asked my favorite minion, Ashley Voris, if she’d like to write a blog post for me, seeing as her second book is now in print. She writes a wonderful kid’s book series called Abby the Labby. Book 2 was released at the beginning of December. I gave her full-rights to pick what she wanted to talk about. I assumed it would be related to her passion for animal rescue. She surprised me by picking a different topic all-together. And I love her for it. 

A Day in the Life of a Bakery Assistant
Ashley Voris

My friend, Kate, is one of the most business savvy people I know. Among her many businesses, including Golden Fleece Press, she owns a bakery. Irongate Bakery is the name. She owns this business with her best friend and partner, Kim. The run their bakery out of their homes. Kim does quite a bit of the gluten free items, since she can’t have wheat. Kate does most of the cookies. They attend several events throughout the year and are very well known at these events. In fact, they are known as “The Cookie Girls” when they attend the DC Big Flea. They sell other things beside baked goods. They sell and assortment of teas, including tea bricks, yes….I said tea bricks…..as well as other tea paraphernalia. During baking week, the week before a show, it is a flurry of flour, sheaves of sugar everywhere, and total coconut chaos. Everything has to be baked, packaged, weighed, stickered with ingredients, and packed in large bags, ready to be packed in the car. Kate’s mother, BR, does a good portion of the baking.

I became involved this past year. It was baking week and I offered help one night after picking up copies of my book. I helped pack cookies until close to midnight. They were still baking. I offered my help in the future and they gladly accepted. On my first day, I didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t really understand the large amount of baking that was taking place. I had husband drop me off on his way to work on the Thursday morning. It was rather early for me. I mean, we all know that I am not that much of a morning person. BR offered me coffee and breakfast. Coffeeeeee……

Anyhow, it was early in the morning and she was already baking. It was cookie day. My job was to bag the cookies, weigh them, write the weight on the label, and stick the label on the back of the package. The labels identify the type of cookie as well as the ingredients. Those are kind of important to know, especially if you have an allergy. I was up to my elbows in chocolate chip cookies. It was heavenly. I, of course, had to sample the products. The brownies are particularly delicious. We managed to get everything done in record time. BR usually started the Irish Soda Bread at 9 to 10pm at night, if they were lucky. With my help, the bread was in before dinner. That is how I became the Baking Minion.

I have helped a few times now. BR and I work well in the kitchen and she doesn’t really have to give me any direction. I love Cookie Day. That is the only day I work. There are other days. Nut Days. Gluten Free Day. It wasn’t until I was packaging the Irish Oat Cakes, that I noticed there was far more going on than just baking. The only food allergies I have are not very common ones– white grapes, ginger, and I’m lactose sensitive. I can’t have white wines or sultanas. Anything that has a ginger sauce, or milk and ice cream. Not that the lactose thing stops me from having a milkshake. But they are not going to kill me. The white grapes make me violently ill for a couple of days, but I’m not going to die. However, cookies with nut pose a problem for people who are allergic, like Kate, and any form of wheat can make people with a gluten allergy incredibly sick. So, how does a small bakery based out of a kitchen fix this problem? Easy. As I stated above, there are other days. Nut Day is dedicated to making things that contain nuts of any kind. To avoid any possible contamination, there is a box that has measuring cups, spatulas, etc, that are only used for nuts. There is even a different color of shirt you must wear when handling nut products. (As an aside, coconut qualifies as an actual nut. I didn’t know that. I felt silly.) Once the nuts are done, everything stops, and the decontamination begins. All the nut dishes are washed in really hot water, dried with towels used only for nuts, and put back in the nut box. Then the entire kitchen is scoured top to bottom. First is a wipe down on hot, soapy water. Once that dries, we break out the Clorox Wipes. Everything gets cleaned. Once the Clorox dries, we take a wet paper towel, wipe off the counters, then dry that with a paper towel. The nut shirts get washed on their own.

Gluten Free Day is much more intense. I don’t work on gluten free day. I mean, there are things I would never have thought was a problem until Gluten Free Day was explained to me. GF items have their own….everything. Shirts, towels, dishes, mixers, measuring cups and spoons, etc. All of the GF items are kept in bags, which are kept on a cart, which is kept away from everything on a daily basis. To avoid any confusion as to what is GF and what is not, all the GF items are red. I mean, bright red. You can’t miss it. You cannot wear a red shirt while you are making non-GF items. The smallest amount of flour can contaminate an entire batch and can make people sick. The cleaning process after GF baking is just as thorough and intense as cleaning up after Nut Day. It has to be. Since I don’t have those allergies, I never gave them a second thought. I can eat nuts. I can eat wheat. I never thought about using different baking utensils or different shirt. I still have a tiny problem with remembering. I would go from packaging chocolate chip cookies to packaging the Irish Oat Cakes. Those have coconut. I always catch myself before I move on to a different product and let BR know so that she can get me a different color shirt. I put my regular shirt back on only when I am leaving.

Some of the goodies that and particularly partial to are the Irish Oat Cakes, Brownies, Sugar Cookies, and, of course, the Chocolate Chip Cookies. I love baking day. I really do. I have learned so much about baking from BR.

So how does a day of baking usually go? Like this.

  • Arrival and coffee
  • Labeling the nut cookies
  • Baking
  • Baking
  • Baking
  • Packaging cookies
  • Labeling cookies
  • Baking
  • Baking
  • Packaging cookies
  • Labeling cookies
  • Baking
  • Baking
  • Baking
  • Baking
  • Lunch!
  • Baking
  • Baking
  • Baking
  • Packaging cookies
  • Labeling cookies
  • Baking
  • Baking
  • Baking
  • Labeling
  • Labeling
  • Labeling
  • Cutting up the brownies
  • Packaging the brownies
  • Labeling the brownies
  • Change my shirt to a Nut Shirt
  • Break up the Irish Oat Cakes
  • Packaging the Oat Cakes
  • Labeling the Oat Cakes
  • Change shirt
  • Decontaminate the counter from Oat Cake
  • Packaging the last of the cookies
  • Labeling the last of the cookies
  • Say hello to Kate
  • Dinner

That is about it. Cookies everywhere! I’m ever hopeful that Kate is able to open an actual bakery. That would be awesome. One day…..

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