Sunday, September 30, 2012

Second Hand Rose

Buying things second hand is a great way to save money and get some "new" items for your family. I have several friends who also like the "green" aspect of it, and I guess that is a current trend.  What I like most is saving money and being able to get my kids some cute clothes without breaking the bank! When my oldest was a baby, my friend introduced me to eBay.  I had never used it before and it was a great source for quality, name brand baby clothes.  I would score Baby Gap and Gymboree brand items for dollars.  Then, through my mom's co-op group I was introduced to consignment sales.  Our local Loudoun Moms of Multiples Club does a fantastic sale twice a year.  When my twins were newborns I would go to the sales regularly.  I remember one year spending around $25 and coming home with a van full of items including a excersaucer, many toys, Halloween costumes and Christmas Outfits.

As the kids outgrew baby items, toys, clothes etc.  I would always pass them on to friends or donate them.  Recently I have started selling a few of the nicer items on eBay or craigslist.  I have also been very happy to sell some of my own clothes on eBay that are now too big!  This is definitely a great way to clean out your closets and make some extra cash.  I prefer eBay vs. consigning.  For me, to consign at an area consignment sale is not worth it.  It is too time consuming and there are too many restrictions.  When you need to be there, when you need to set up, when you need to clear your stuff out, percentage of profit, etc.  Yesterday I did take 2 bags of my own gently worn items to a new consignment store.  I went to this store first a few weeks ago and spoke with the owner, and checked out the merchandise.  Then I called the store and asked questions on their consignment policies.  This particular store did not consign items from sellers, but instead would flat out purchase them.  This is good and bad.  It is definitely more convenient, but I don't think the profit margin is as great as if you would have sold the things on eBay.  Also, it was a little personal.  This particular woman made faces, wrinkled her nose and even turned up her nose at some of my things (I have very cute boots I will be listing on eBay this week!). (Having spent many, many years working in the customer service industry I am a firm believer in always treating the customer with respect no matter what the situation.  Your job is to serve the customer and make them want to come back, whether it be retail, a restaurant or hotel.  I digress - but it is true. Everyone has bad days, but in customer service you need to leave it off the floor.) I did end up selling a few of my items at the consignment store yesterday and do regret it.  One -  the woman was very rude, two - I know I would have made more selling them on eBay.  If you do consign and don't like the person or don't feel comfortable, take you stuff and leave!

I really do prefer eBay.  I like the flexibility it gives me.  I can do it from home at my convenience.  I even can schedule package pick up from the post office.  I also like that I  can get the kids involved.  When selling items, they help to display the items and take pictures. They also help me package them up.  They love looking at the auction items and picking out their own clothes.  You can also buy things on eBay that are new with tags (nwt) and still in the original packaging.  I just recently purchase two very cute Halloween Tu-Tu style skirts for my girls for $6 each.  Last year my daughter had a ballerina themed birthday party and I was able to buy pink tu-tus for $2 each to give out to all the guests.  When you list your items on eBay, you want to be descriptive, positive and upbeat.  You also want to be honest.  Does the item have spots or stains, has it really been worn. You also want to tell about the type of environment it comes from: clean, smoke free, pet free home.  Right now I have some very cute baby boy clothes listed.  Mainly 2T - 3T, Gymboree, Ralph Lauren, Crew Cuts.  There are some good things listed!  One rule I do have, is that I do not sell items that were passed on to us.  They contine to get used and passed on! Do check out my listings!  My eBay user name is kat9275 and I do combine shipping! 

Craigslist is a great resource as well.  We just bought some amazing bunk beds for the twins at a steal.  I have sold bigger things on craigslist as well, like strollers.  The downside of craigslist is the pickup. I do not like to have people come to my home or go to a strangers home.  I prefer to meet in a public place always during the day.  Last year I bought a double jogger and met the woman at the grocery store!.

I purchased this outfit on eBay new with tags from Crazy 8 for $5!!

I purchased these Baby Gap matching dresses on Ebay for around $15.  One was new with tags, the other in excellent used condition!

Happy shopping and bidding! Thanks for stopping by & have a great weekend!

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