Wednesday, October 27, 2010
In all fairness, I've been selling to international customers for some time now. But recently, my finds seem to be travelling further and further--to Russia, New Zealand, Finland, Israel and Slovenia (which I had to look up on a map). Just as I love to imagine the backstory to some item I find in a box at Goodwill, I like to imagine its new home somewhere across the globe. What will Dentist Barbie's life be like in Morelia, Mexico? And those Robeez baby shoes that went to Slovenia--will the baby wearing them be the talk of the town (or village??), or are Robeez all the rage there already?
This week I had my first sale to China. Two weeks ago (at my major haul--for those of you who have been keeping up with this blog), I purchased a slew of needlework kits for $1 each. Mind you I don't do needlework. But I love the idea of it. And I imagine the life these kits had stashed in someone's craft basket gathering dust, and the new life I'm sending them to where they will hopefully finally be opened and stitched to completion. This "Asian Bellpuls" was bought by "Waxdoll22" in Chongqing City. Although her address originally showed up looking like several pillars--eBay obviously hasn't mastered Chinese translation. I had to email Waxdoll22 and ask for her address in English. I was a bit afraid she wouldn't pay. She'd never bought anything on eBay before and bid $34 for my cross stitch kit. Additionally, she purchased a Baby Sampler cross stitch kit, for a grand total of $55.23 including shipping. But Waxdoll22 came through, sent me her address and her Paypal coin.
But I'm wondering about the new home of these kits. The baby sampler, after all, has a chart to personalize it with the name of the baby and the birthdate. Will Waxdoll22 be able to translate without the chart? Does Bucilla offer a chart somewhere online in Mandarin? (I actually have no idea if that's what they speak in Chongqing.) Or is Waxdoll22 an entrepreneur herself, maybe ready to design her own cross stich baby sampler to market to China? And speaking of that Chinese market, in my urge to picture the Yubei District of Chongqing City, I googled it. And now I know that Chongqing City is known as the Chicago of the Yangtze. And that there's a huge Chinese middle class with money to burn. I think it's time to do a little market research on eBay China and find out what they're in the market for. Luckily, I have another "Asian Bellpulls" kit!
Saturday, October 16, 2010
I had to hire a sitter so I could get to my favorite sale of the year--St. Theresa's Flea Market. Go figure, Hanukkah comes at the Catholic Church. Anyway, it was worth every babysitting penny I spent. I couldn't grab stuff fast enough. They have at least five rooms filled with stuff, plus a huge parking lot with tables set up. And it's all staffed by elderly volunteers who charge 10 cents for things. Who still charges 10 cents? You can't even buy a gumball these days for 10 cents. I bought two lovely vintage linen tea towels for 10 cents a piece. Add in the cloth napkins and my total came to 70 cents. The volunteer helping me was having trouble finding correct change, so I told her to keep the 30 cents. She said she needed to go hit some one up for smaller change. Or, I suggested, stop charging 10 cents for things.
OK, so here's just a portion of my haul...I also visited another church, so I really did look like Santa dragging my black garbage bag full of goodies into the house (FYI: did not enter through the chimney--we don't have one. Not a big concern in a Jewish home).
Someone please help me out with these guys...I bought a box of them (yes, 10 cents a piece.) They're from the mid eighties and when you pinch their shoulders their arms open. You can clip them on to things. Anyone remember what these are called???
In addition to my box of 80s hugging plushies, I got a slew of needlework and cross stitch kits (had to spring a whole buck a piece for these).
I also found these old wooden shoe forms ($1 for both). I think they looked like they hopped right out of Country Living Magazine.
Also found a great vintage Vendome crystal brooch (in the middle of the top photo) for a quarter. I love the blue glass Christmas balls I found (free--because they dropped as the seller was loading them into my bag and two broke). I will be finding a new home for those as I don't believe in the Hanukkah bush.
I also will be rehoming the vintage Strawberry Shortcake ornaments (50 cents) and the unopened pack of Del Monte stuffed fruit ornaments (50 cents).
Also purchased: and old badminton set for $2 (birdie is missing, but the kids can still use the rackets to smack each other over the head); a bunch of books (yes, 10 cents a piece); a 1960s round Springbok puzzle (shown above, picked for $1) which I now think I need to try to assemble to see if all the pieces are there; 4 new Mad Libs (for when the kids aren't smacking each other over the heads with the rackets, $2 for all four); a vintage ravioli mold (50 cents) and an old, but never used Wilton Marseilles cookie mold (50 cents); a few winter coats and miscellaneous other items.
All in all I spent about $40. Good times, good times.
Oh, one last thing. I did promise to report on the Jean Cocteau Limoges cat plate I found for $6. It sold for $33.50. Not the windfall I was hoping to retire on, but I'll take it.
Friday, October 1, 2010
If any of the Womens' Mags still doled out money for household tips, I'm pretty sure I'd score a five spot for this one. I use a lot of tissue paper packing items I sell on eBay. And being the thrifter that I am, I absolutely hate to pay to buy packaging materials. So yesterday I was sorting through my stash, deciding what to list in my eBay store, when I came across a vintage sewing pattern for a cowboy costume. I spent a good fifteen minutes unfolding all the sheets to the pattern, checking to see if all the parts were there. Then, I went to take photos of the pattern. Midway through, I decided I'd better check on the value of my find.
Now, I thought this would be quite a hot ticket item with Halloween right around the corner. Obviously a lot of other eBay sellers did too. Not exactly a rare item. So here I am having invested all this time into a worthless item. The only thing I'm pleased about is that I don't have to try to refold the pattern and shove it back into its now seemingly small envelope. I am about to pitch the whole thing into the recycling bin, when my "Aha" moment occurs.
The pattern is essentially tissue paper. And there are a good 5 or 6 large sheets of it in one pattern. My "trash" will now be used to pack my next shipment. And I will be on the hunt for cheap patterns (aka packing material.)