Thursday, July 31, 2008

eBay Selling Tips

Keeping in the theme of this week's unintentional topic (and because one of my commenters asked me to) I will share some of my successful tips for eBay selling. I in NO way proclaim myself to be an expert, but I manage to make a nice re-sell amount in selling my kids outgrown clothing.

  • One of the most important things you should consider is your item's title. It only allows for 55 characters, so you have to choose your words wisely. This is how buyers will find your item, so it needs to include as many key words as possible. For example, I sell mostly children's clothes so I will list the name brand (Gymboree), product line (Sweet Cherries), clothing article (Dress Tights) and size (3 3T). Now I use up as much room as I have left to add extra stuff like the season (Fall Winter BTS - which stands for back to school), condition (EUC - which stands for excellent used condition), gender (girl), and a more descriptive word of what I am selling (LOT, outfit, or set).
  • Many people wonder should I sell my items individually or group them into a lot? I do both. If I have a piece that I feel will stand well on it's own, I don't add anything to it. Most buyers are looking for clothing for their kids because the season is changing or their child needs a different size, so they are likely looking to replace a large part of their child's wardrobe. Lots help your buyer get the most bang for their buck and can also attract a lot more interest since their is a variety of items being showcased.
  • Know when to sell. It seems silly to get out fall/winter things in July when it's 100+, but back to school is huge in July. I usually sell winter coats and Halloween costumes in August. Same with selling summer clothes in January/February - it's snowing and you are selling swimsuits and flip-flops. Don't forget Easter outfits in January too!
  • Sell brand names for the most part. I have the most luck with Gymboree and GAP by far. But now that Dallin is in bigger sizes, Abercrombie and Ralph Lauren are also good sellers. Old Navy and Children's Place (TCP) sell reasonably well too - especially when combined in lots with some of the other high end brands.
  • Be descriptive! Think of what you buy and what is important to know about purchasing used clothing. I include the following statement in every auction I put on eBay... All items are in new or excellent used condition, unless otherwise noted (no rips, stains or holes). I take great pride in my children’s items and am very picky – you will NOT be disappointed. Please read all descriptions carefully. Smoke free & pet free home.
  • Start your pricing low with no reserves. Yes, it is a gamble if you will get the amount you are hoping for - and you won't always get it! But, buyers are far more likely to pay attention to your item if they think they are getting a good deal - and as people bid it creates interest and others will want to see why your item is so popular (cause they don't want to miss a good deal either!).
  • Take the best pictures - I lay my clothing out on the floor in a brightly lit room. Arrange matching outfits together and show close-ups of details. You can purchase picture packages when you sell on eBay - I take full advantage of this option.
  • Communicate with your buyers. I check my eBay messages multiple times daily when I have items for sale. Fast responses are always appreciated and give you credibility. I also send out a message confirming I have received their payment and their item has been shipped. ***And always remember to leave appropriate feedback!!!*** Feedback is gold on eBay and both buyers and sellers deserve feedback to add to their overall eBay ratings.
  • Invest in a postage scale. It saves time and money to know exactly what your items weight so you can charge the appropriate shipping. Be sure to factor in packaging/handling costs such as eBay fees, Paypal fees and/or package materials. I keep this at a minimum though.
  • Get a Paypal account. It is safe and it makes money transferring very easy for you and your buyers. I don't buy from people who don't have Paypal accounts.I love to use flat rate mailing boxes. For a set price (currently $9.80) you can mail up to 70 pounds in a designated box. It is the same price no matter where you send it in the US (international rates are higher, but it is a good option if you sell outside the US).
  • If you are selling lighter items, use the lightest weight packaging possible - usually a large manila envelope or a Tyvek bag.

Hope this helps! I'd be interested in hearing how some of you do in selling your items - and maybe you have some additional tips that would help me too! Oh, and put a link on your blog if you are selling, you never know where a potential buyer may come from, plus we'd all love to see what you are doing! Happy selling!!!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Hallie's eBay

OK, it's an eBay week cause here's another post about it...

This is Hallie's new coat I just won on Ebay.

I love it - the inside is striped, the pockets have flowers on them and it has a jacket that detaches from it.

I was so excited to win it. As soon as it was mine, I showed it to Hallie and said, "Look what mom bought you an eBay". To which she replied, "I don't like purple - I like blue." That would have been helpful information to know five minutes beforehand.

Oh well, she'll learn to like purple cause I also got her this purple outfit from the same seller.

Monday, July 28, 2008

eBay update

So my eBay selling went pretty well last week. I made just over $400. I still have Scott's xbox for sale and it has been bid up to $255 (hopefully it will still go higher). It has another day. I have some more winter things and Halloween costumes to sell next month, but I am pretty pleased with my progress so far. I heart eBay.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Friday FIVE

1. Nectarines. I should start a weekly favorite fruit - it seems like every week I name a different fruit I love. This is one of my favorite fruits though. I wish we had a nectarine tree so I could eat them more - they are SO dang expensive at the store. I am going to the farmer's market this fall to hopefully buy enough to make freezer jam. Mmmm... good.

2. Birthday Treats at Work. We had two this week and I love it. It makes an ordinary boring day so much nicer. Not only do we get a fun treat, but we stand around chatting forever. Love that. One of the treats was Raspberry Chocolate Chunk ice cream - Private label brand from Smiths. Not only was it SO good, but 1/2 the fat of regular ice cream.

3. This cute skirt from Down East basics. They have been out of my size forever, but finally have it available. I am ordering it for my birthday. I love all of their clothes.

4. Finding money in forgotten pockets. Must have been my lucky week because I found $5 in a purse I haven't used in awhile and $2 in the pocket of my jeans I haven't worn in months. Great surprise.

5. Storytime. I love reading with my kids, especailly Audrey. I love how she backs into my lap and plops herself down epecting me to read to her. And it's never enough - she'd sit their all day reading book after book. Her favorite right now is Dr Seuss's ABCs. Kesley had this entire book memorized when she was 2.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Bountiful Parade

We had a great time at the Parade last night. It was VERY hot, but the kids had a blast. Kesley was home "sick" - I didn't think she really wanted to be with the family, but she was green when we got home, so yeah - she wasn't well. The rest of us had a great time at the parade and watched fireworks later from my mom's circle.

I think Audrey drank at least 4 of these - it was hot!

PLEEEESE - throw us some candy!

(L to R) Scott's mom, my mom, Scott's dad, Scott

Me, Audrey & Hallie waiting (& baking) for the parade to start

Dallin hoping for candy (he got a ton).

Yeah, it's kind of white trash, but it was HOT.

Hallie had it - she moved to the shade and tormented Audrey for the last 30 minutes of the parade. We dragged her to the car crying.

Larry's back

I'm sure most of you are wondering, who the heck is Larry??? Larry is a snake - an actual reptile. Dallin had a tiny pet snake at our old house which Hallie named Larry (she pronounced it "Yarry"), but he died.

Last year when we moved into our new house, we found 4 different snakes in our yard within the first month - big snakes, one the thickness of my car's sterring wheel. I hate snakes. I wanted to move again. Luckily with all the movement of our kids playing outside and me chasing them away with a shovel, Larry & his gang left.

I was thrilled so far this year that no Larrys had returned. I have been happily doing my yardwork until this week. I had transplanted some starts from my mom's yard and was watering them, when some movement along the fencepost caught my eye. A small Larry slithered through the fence slats and into our neighbor's backyard. Crap.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

And 100!

This is my 100th blog post. Just wanted to let everyone know. There will be a parade and fireworks tonight to celebrate. Hope you can all come.

Actaully there really IS a parade and fireworks tonight. It's Pioneer Days in Utah - celebrating the pioneers first entering the Salt lake Valley in 1847. So we are excited to celebrate! Hallie didn't want to go to the parade until she found out they were throwing candy. Now she can hardly wait.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Grocery Savings

Don't you love it when the savings on your receipt is MORE than you spent?

I just finished stocking up some great sale items at Albertsons. I spent $60.78, but I saved $68.74. Woo-hoo.

We have enough cereal, flour and (of all things) barBQ sauce to last an eternity. And you never know when you'll need a ton of sauce. I mostly bought cereal - our staple. :)

Sunday, July 20, 2008


I love Sundays...

  • I don't have anything to accomplish besides going to church and usually making something to contribute to our weekly family dinners at Scott's parents.
  • My house is usually clean from our Saturday jobs and I usually make sure my kitchen is cleaned the night before so I don't have to face a mess on Sunday morning.
  • Mornings seem extra quiet with nobody mowing the lawn and no kids outside screaming and playing. This kids even slept in this morning - well, Hallie came in at 7 and crawled in bed with us, but Audrey slept until 8. Dallin, Kesley and daddy are still asleep.
  • I get a few minutes to check my e-mail, blog and ebay account before I start making breadsticks.
  • Don't get me wrong though, my Sundays aren't all bliss - getting through 3 hours of church with 4 kids (2 during naptime) is no piece of cake. Just getting to church on time is a challenge, but besides that little bit of stress, Sundays are by far my favorite day of the week.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Friday FIVE

1. Penelope. This was a really cute movie. Scott complained rather loudly when it arrived in the mail from netflix, but even he agreed it was good. Great moral about accepting everyone no matter what they look like on the outside - its inside that really counts. A clean, feel good movie.

2. Free Bakery Cookie (for the kids, of course!). This is a wonderful bribery tool when kids are freaking out at the grocery store. It ends hitting, pushing, whining, sassing, and just plain meltdowns. We always make the bakery the very last stop on our list. Shame on stores who don't do this!

3. Target clothing dept. Why am I always drawn to the clothing section at Target? And I always find cute items for a great price - sometimes even on clearance for next to nothing. So convenient to shop for toothpaste, cereal and stylish clothes at the same place. Love the kids clothes too!

4. Dried blueberries. I especially love these spinkled on kashi cereal with yogurt. But I can eat them out of the bag like candy too. So yummy and so good for you. Costco's Kirkland brand are my fav.

5. Blanket/Quilts. Even in the summer I love to curl up with a warm soft blanket. We have many blankets with various thickness, weights, material, etc... so you can always find one to suit just how you are feeling. And many are handmade by various people we love and mean a lot to me.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

eBay Project

This photo looks like a huge disorganized mess (luckily it's tucked away in my craft room in the basement), but actually I have these clothes sorted into very specific piles to sell on eBay. They are last fall/winter's items (mostly Audrey's) that I am going to sell. I will be listing them over the next few weeks (saving the heavy winter things and halloween costumes for early Sept lisings). Anyone want to make a guess on what they are worth??? I will post what I make this month when the last item posted in July is sold. I'm hoping for $300-$400, which is about what I made on the summer clothes I sold in February. They are mostly Gap and Gymboree, so they sell really well and are in very good condition! You can check it out starting later this week on my ebay page - rachelreyn - just click "view items". I'd better get to work. I need to take pictures and write up item descriptions...

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Water Table

After seeing this fun toy on someone else's blog (thank you Annemarie), I had to get one for my girls. Meet... the water play table. Oh, the fun that we had this afternoon. My girls LOVED it and even Dallin played for awhile - until he started dumping water on his sisters and they LOUDLY protested. I highly recommend this toy!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Friday FIVE

1. Fresh fruit. And I'm eating a ton of fresh fruits an veggies (new healthy eating plan - love it). My favs right now are strawberries and kiwis. Costco has both right now and they are beautiful - YUM!

2. Mary Englebright. Her characters are so cute. I have a little box designed by her that hold my rubber bands at work and it is so sweet - makes me smile.

3. OFF! mosquito repellant. I hate mosquito bites - I am allergic and swell up like mad - plus the itch, who enjoys that? OFF! is the best. And it comes in some other more pleasant smelling fragrences that aren't half bad. AND they have a new non-greasy spray that is even more wonderful. I live by a "great" big stagnant lake - gotta have OFF!

4. Sleeping in. This doesn't happen very often - especailly with Hallie/Audrey, but when it does it is HEAVEN. I wish I could be a teenager like Kesley and sleep until noon. I hate mornings.

5. Wipies. They aren't just for babies you know. And they are great to keep in the kitchen to wipe off messy hands and faces. We have them in every bathroom, the girls room, the kitchen, in the car and each diaper bag. My favorites are Kirkland (from Costco) and Parents Choice (Walmart brand). Both are thick enough to get it done, but thin enough to manuver. Oh, and I love the disinfectant wipies many stores have to wipe off your cart with. Yeah, wipies are good.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Ahhhh, the quiet...

I am loving this afternoon. My SIL Jennie and I took our kids to lunch and the pool. After an hour and a half the littlest kids were getting tired (and whiney), so I offered to take the 3 youngest home for naps. My Hallie (3), Jennie's Brooklyn (2) and my Audrey (19 months) are ALL asleep at the SAME TIME. Audrey fell asleep in the car on the 5 minute drive home. Hallie settled down and was out in record time. Brooklyn had a little drama at first and cried, no screamed for awhile, but I told her I was calling her mama to see when she'd be back, and she calmed down and fell asleep. No, I never called - and yes, I lied to the sweet innocent child. Here they all are sleeping blissfully (a little dark since I didn't use a flash)...

Hallie in my bed

Brooklyn in Dallin's bed

Audrey in her crib

I love how the pool and being outside always wears little kids out.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

The HEAT is on!

Summer is in full force. We are melting. As I walked from my car to Costco this afternoon carrying Audrey and half dragging sleepy Hallie, it felt like I was walking through an oven.

And speaking of ovens, I haven't turned mine on in days and even then I baked a cake at 8am to avoid heating up my kitchen. We are existing on grilling, salads and fruit - ok, and I admit it, cereal and toast.

At least we have a shady backyard, so the kids can still play outside for a little while. But mostly, they are playing in the basement with their toys and Dallin's xbox. It's so much cooler down there - I may sleep down there on the love sac tonight.

Can't complain too much though - Utah is afterall, a desert. Anyone want to go on a trip to New Zealand? I hear it's a blizzard there.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Friday FIVE

I just realized today is Friday - I have completely lost track of time this week and it felt like a Saturday today because Scott is home. He's off tomorrow too, so it is really strange to have him home 3 days in a row. Anyway, I'm getting distracted...

This week's Friday FIVE:

1. FIREWORKS. We went to our hometown fireworks last night and since out girls were exhausted tonight, we stayed home. BUT, our neighbors had a TON of illegal mortar fireworks, so it was quite the show again tonight - from our own front porch.

2. RAINBOW SLUSHIE. Paces Dairy Ann is one of those greasy spoon places that just makes great food. I love their signature Popsicles, greasy onion rings (and fry sauce) and their rainbows - your choice of peach, lime, cherry or grape slush with vanilla soft serve ice cream in the middle. YUM!

3. GARDENING. I weeded my front flowerbeds this morning and I love the satisfaction of completing that task. Plus it is nice to get outside on a beautiful (although hot) day. Tomorrow I'm on to the backyard beds.

4. SCENTSY. I love my scentsy wickless candles. They smell so yummy, I could just sit and inhale them all day long. Right now I have "sugar cookie" in my jar. Heaven.

5. SUMMER NIGHTS. I love the calm, warm summer nights. It is so fun to take a late walk or cruise around in Scott's jeep. Even just sitting on the front porch enjoying the stars is so nice. Love that!

Camp Report

Kesley returned from girls camp this morning - bright & early at 8am. I wasn't expecting her quite so soon so I didn't get her room straightened up like I wanted, and the glitter Hallie managed to get a hold of and dump ALL over Kesley's floor was her welcome home gift. That and the toilet paper job someone did in the middle of the night in our yard & trees. Lovely.

Anyway, Scott and I had been praying for some sort of experience to happen for Kesley while she was away. Our prayers were answered BIG TIME. The following expereince was told to me both by Kesley and one of her camp leaders. Apparently Sister Elaine Dalton (young womens general president) came to speak to the girls at camp. While she was sitting on the stand she noticed 2 girls out of the hundreds attending that she felt prompted she needed to speak to. One of them was Kesley, the other a girl in our ward Kesley was sitting with. After the meeting, Sister Dalton was mobbed by girls wanting their picture taken with her. After 45 minutes or so, the camp leaders were trying to get the girls to say goodbye so she could get on her way home (it was late). But Sister Dalton went over to where Kesley had been sitting and asked the girls if they knew where a girl with crazy pigtails all over her hair and another girl in ripped jeans was. They pointed to Kesley and her friend Jade. She then went over to them and put her arms around both of them and told them that she loved them and that she was so happy they were at camp and even though they didn't want to come, she knew that they needed to be here and would be blessed for it. All three of them were crying together and they visited for a few minutes and then Sister Dalton had to go.

Kesley cried when she told me this. Her camp leader cried when she told it to me later. I cried both times I heard the story and I am crying now as I type. Thank you Sister Dalton for listening to that prompting and taking the time to personally speak with my daughter. It made such an impact on her and now my prayer is that she will always remember those feelings.

Elaine S Dalton
LDS Young Women General President

Happy Birthday America

I hope you all have a very happy and safe Fourth of July.

I am so thankful to live in this country. I know it isn't perfect, but compared to much of the world we are SO lucky. Some reasons I love the USA...
  • I can be whatever I want to be. My husband can change jobs, even careers if he wants to. My children have every door open to them to do whatever they chose to do with their lives.

  • I go to bed each night and wake up each morning knowing I am free.

  • I am not afraid for my life or that of my family.

  • I can travel in my country without restrictions.

  • I can openly practice my religion and choose what denomination I will be a part of. What's more, our country as a whole believes in God and trusts in Him.

  • I have health care and medical facilities available to me. It isn't perfect, but it exists when some countries have nothing.

  • What's more, I have medicine that keeps my family well, when many countries have nothing to protect them from the simplest CURABLE ailments.

  • I had my children in a hospital. Without it, Kesley and I would have both died.

  • I can vote and make MY voice heard.

  • I have enough food to eat and I can feed my children.

  • My home is safe and protects me from harm, weather, etc.

  • My community has never been shaken with bombings or shootings or any kind of war-like violence.

  • My employment is secure and I have health insurance through my job.

  • Men and women have equal rights. My husband does not own me.

  • I can keep in contact with my family and extended family. I have never been forced to leave them or choose between being with them or being free.

  • And finally, there are men and women who risk their lives everyday for MY freedom. Many have died defending this great country and keeping our world safe. I am so humbly grateful for that sacrifice.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Our Little Princess

Princess Hallie always has princesses on her mind. She comes up with the funniest things...

This weekend she was in the car with Scott and he said, "Look Hallie, there's Dairy Queen." A few moments later (and in tears) Hallie said, "Where? I don't see HER."

And today my mom was playing checkers with Dallin and soon Hallie wanted to play too, so grandma patiently tried to teach a 3-year old the game of checkers. When Hallie made it across the board to be kinged (with some help) she exclaimed proudly, "Princess me!"