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Wednesday, January 31, 2024

January Weird and Wacky

My monthly series on thrift shop weird and wacky continues. 

Drunken cow jumped over the moon?

Hedgehog holding death cap mushroom? 

The study in horse head eyeballs were large, two separate prints at the Goodwill boutique. They sold. 
Ending with an art project. 
Have no fear - all of these items sold to someones. 

Monday, January 29, 2024

Progress on the Fan Quilt and Managing Media

The little Valentine's present to myself is this sweet fan quilt. I am bordering the fan blocks in a purple paisley. I didn't think I had much use with this purple-hued feedsack print until I matched it up with these blocks. 

Love the backing for this quilt. Pretty sure the center vintage fabric was patchwork pieced by the same person who created the fan blocks. I added the woody car and blue batik prints as borders. The Hoffman print showcased in the lead-off image is from 2001. 

The backing will be as playful and fun as the quilt top.

Segueing to that managing media thing. 

My little laptop decided to black screen earlier this week and I thought I lost all of the music I had ripped to my laptop. Luckily, I was able to revive it to download some 1,400 pieces of music to the cloud. Very relieved to have saved this music, it is years worth of collecting CDs. Some I have kept, some I have sold, and some I have thrifted back to the Great Thrift Shop Beyond.  

I ordered a new 17" Dell laptop [not a sponsored post] Timing is good as a tax refund will cover the purchase.

Be sure to stop by on the last day of the month for my post on thrift shop Weird and Wacky. 

Sunday, January 21, 2024

It Only Takes One Day

It only takes one day of sourcing in my area to hit on nearly all of my eBay listing categories. I have the good fortune of being able to travel to 4 reliable thrift shops with it taking less than 2 hours to visit all 4. 

The $50 total spent will be parlayed into many more ๐Ÿ’ธ The fan quilt blocks came in at $10 for the finished 12. The cowboy-themed jelly rolls were $6. The patchwork pieced quilt top cost me $7. Those three items fall into the keeper category. The contents of the 99 cent tub are yarn, small package of doll clothes, sealed CDs, a quilt kit with fabric, and sewing patterns. Best of the keepers are the fan quilts blocks featured in the lead-off image. Sorry Lava Lamp pattern, you've been bumped by the 2024 Fan Quilt. Here is the fabric pull incorporating the vintage fabric pieced backing. 

My daughter has claimed the Cowboy Quilt, adding in the jelly roll remnants gained through this recent thrifting excursion. The image below is the first fabric pull for that project. 

My latest eBay listing session are CDs. Those preowned ones I run through a listen on my commute to work. Love the ones ๐Ÿ˜still sealed in package. Bought for 50 cents each, they are quick money in the pocket. 

I am beyond pleased to report that I had my first $250 week of sales. That is clear profit money in the bank. As I continue to add to my listings, I move closer to my goal of $1,000 a month in sales. 

Friday, January 19, 2024

January Seller Update

January is one of the months that my business really shines. Since so many of my listings focus around home-centered activities, it only makes sense that my items are highlighted when the weather turns cold. 

I am in the final round of my sewing pattern sessions. On Good Friday, there was a half day off at thrift and I happened to be there when a box of sewing patterns was rolled onto the floor. A donation from a long-time pattern collector with nearly all of them around 20 years old. 

My favorites of this listing session are these two stunners. Fiesta de Talavera shown finished in both the light and dark colorways.

The oldest of the patterns I listed is from 1982.

January is also my best month for selling Christmas CDs. I believe a person may hear a song or discover an artist, then look for that music even after the holiday. 

When I am pricing a Christmas item for sale, I tag on the "Christmas Premium."๐ŸŽ„ I know it will sell so I add a few more dollars to the price. When there are no suggested comps when I am listing the item, I add even more. That there is the Tami Pricing Method

I have now sold 2 greeting cards on eBay. It encourages me to list the 10 or so waiting in the wings. 

I am so glad I stumbled onto this business as I move into my retirement from public service. I had always wanted a business but just couldn't envision myself having a brick and mortar store. I think of my storage room as the Sewing Pattern Repository

Ooooo ๐Ÿ˜ถI am so tempted to keep some of these specialty patterns but I have to be realistic on what I can actually make.

Saturday, January 13, 2024

Thrifting It Back and Lasagna Meatloaf

Last year, I gained a lot of fabric. Now it is time to thrift some of it back. It is fabric whomped with the ugly stick. I won't even use it for wrapping on my eBay orders. What has fallen out of favor with me? Floral prints. There, I said it. Here are some of the culprits - headed for the Great Thrift Shop Beyond. 
I am working on one of my larger sewing pattern listing sessions with 57 pieces. The majority of these are specialty patterns featuring dolls, aprons, home decor, and some clothing. This Pattern of the Day won the cutie patootie award. ๐Ÿ’œ

I have less and less patience with sewing patterns that are cut - even if they are vintage. The numbers don't crunch. The amount of time spent listing the pattern and a low listing price makes for an unhappy seller. 

I am also gaining on my goal of 2,500 active listings on eBay. I get close and then I start culling stock. This year I should hit one million total views, after blogging for 13 years. 

Ending the post with one of my favorite family recipes, it has been in our archive for years.  

1 lb. hamburger
1 15 oz. can tomato sauce
3/4 cup oatmeal
1 egg
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tbsp. dry onion

Mix all ingredients together and put half of the mixture in an 8" x 8" pan. Note reserve 1/2 of the tomato sauce in the recipe below. 

3/4 cup ricotta
3/4 cup mozzarella cheese (1/4 cup for the top)
1 egg
1 pkg. frozen spinach (unthawed, chopped, drained)

Put the rest of the 1/2 of the hamburger mixture on top, then the leftover tomato sauce, and the rest of the mozzarella cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until bubbly. 

Tuesday, January 9, 2024

New Tree to Me and Gardening Dreams

I lurked and waited until I found this Norfolk Island Pine 1/2 off at a retailer. 

Years ago, I had one of these plants grow to 5' tall before something befell it and ended its life course. 

January is the time I like to prep the garden for spring plantings. Plants that didn't thrive the past season are moved to different locations. Seeds awaiting the planting season include a blue sunflower. 

My artichoke plant revived from some kind of animal/environment damage from the year before. Asparagus shoots require constant maintenance during the season or they turn into massive asparagus ferns. 

As soon as our weather warms a little, I can begin cutting the pieces for the Lava Lamp quilt. Took me a few years to figure this out, but you can cut pieces for more than one quilt at the same time. I am making one for my daughter, and one for me, both with wool batting.  

I am making amazing progress on my items to list for sale. After sewing patterns, I just have a few crocheted blankets to list and I am all caught up! ๐Ÿ‘ผMy intent is to do an audit of my sewing patterns. Some I will pull because they will never sell. 

How is your New Year coming along?

Sunday, January 7, 2024

Sell, sell, sell

Every once in awhile during my eBay listing sessions, I decide to keep an item or two. This 1966 McCall's Knitting Book 2 fell into my keeper category. Do I knit? No, but I will scan in the images and put them on a desktop slideshow. 

Books are on the board now. I am moving my attention to CDs again. On my last CD listing session, two listed sold the same day, then two more the next day. I am getting a better sense of what will sell and what won't. 

My newest niche selling category in books are Bibles. I only sell the ones in very good condition. Still in the box - even better. Just sold a lovely Cambridge Concord Bible in one day, a quick $25. 

I follow a number of other sellers, resellers, thrifters, small business owners on different platforms. Reading through the comments on a post, I discovered a link to this YouTuber, Not Your Dad's CPA. It never hurts to keep up with how to better your business. 

Having a bit of bitter cold weather here. Looks to be a staying-in-the-house weekend watching movies, and listing product. 

Friday, January 5, 2024

Back to our regular programming

Leading off with some quilting stuff. 

This was the center panel of my latest finished quilt that was bordered with the Catsville line of fabric. 

Here is the backing in a jumble. 

It is comprised of cat-themed fabric I have gathered over the years. I shipped that quilt along with the Dresden plate with batik borders to my brother and his family. 

On to seller update: I sold my first vintage greeting card. I listed in that category as a lark, as I had a few cards I had collected over the years. Thrift Town used to sell them by the bag for just a couple of dollars. 

Just completed a CD listing session. I have been more particular about the CDs I list. This one is the best of the bunch. While not in the stratosphere on price, it listed for higher than the average $15 of the others. I had collected quite a few gospel CDs to play for my mom when I visited her in assisted living.

Next up are books, not a large session approx. 25-30, mainly on the subject of sewing. I have found that cookbook sales have been trending down. People aren't stuck in their homes for every meal now. Why prep food when you can have it delivered to your door? 

My sewing pattern deathpile suffers while I concentrate on other categories. I have a large selection of the specialty patterns - not made by the Big 5 that I carry (Butterick, McCall's, New Look, Simplicity, and Vogue). The goal is to have those 100 or so patterns pending to be listed by the end of this month. 

๐Ÿ’Ÿ๐Ÿ’ž๐Ÿ’๐Ÿ’“๐Ÿ’—๐Ÿ’™๐Ÿ’šValentine's Day decorations are already out.

Monday, January 1, 2024

Happy New Year and How to Become Wealthy Buying Thrift

Here we are in 2024.  

My longtime readers know that because I am back at college, I will sneak in references to what I will be studying. 

This is how you prepare when you are a 60+ year old student, my class Women in Art begins in March but I began reading the textbook now. 

Let's go on to my topic of becoming wealthy buying thrift. To give some background, I have been shopping at second-hand stores for over 50 years. The majority of those years, I just bought for myself, friends, and family. There is one proviso-I shop in upscale communities.

A few years ago, I decided I had enough items in my personal collection to list for sale on eBay. I already had an eBay account for selling my used college textbooks. I also had a somewhat extensive vintage sewing pattern collection. At the time, I was scanning in the pattern packet fronts and sharing them as a Pattern of the Day on this blog. 

Having moved out of management and into public service in my job, I didn't require the professional wardrobe I had before. My clothes choices turned to casual and most items were bought at thrift. 

I am sort of a clumsy person when it comes to mugs and dishes. I break them on a routine basis. I have replaced our stoneware pattern at least three times, all through thrifted pieces. I love coffee mugs and as a Seattle native am a regular coffee drinker. Our mug collection comes from thrift.  

Pyrex, when you find it in the wild, is very popular to sell. I keep a few pieces I have found for my own use. 

China plates, etc. you can nearly find for the taking, seems no one entertains large groups anymore. Last year I picked up at Goodwill some Christmas-themed plates at 99 cents each. 

The point being you can furnish your house, kitchen, bedroom, buying thrifted items. There are deals in furniture (avoid fabric upholstery), lamps, linens, and artwork.

You can clothe yourself and nearly your entire family with thrifted clothing. Our hospice thrift occasionally has $1 clothing items sales. How can you beat that? I pick up the best items and then take those to a clothing reseller who will give me $5-$6 per item. ๐Ÿ’ฅBOOM, money just made. 

I am a business major with a legal background. The idea, and you may have heard this phrase before, is Buy Low and Sell High. As an example, I can buy sewing patterns for 25 cents to $1 each. Each pattern will then sell for $5 to $25. Multiply that by the thousands of patterns I have listed - it generates an income of $500 a month of clear profit. I am not going to detail all of the costs of selling here but those who have their own businesses know there is the cost of time and opportunity. 

What are opportunity costs? I define it as something you have to give up in pursuit of something else. In other words, rather than pursuing fun, leisure activities, you choose to invest in work. 

My last tidbit on money management. The financial area where most people run into trouble is in the purchase of a new vehicle. Dealers are loathe to outright sell the vehicle and will steer a consumer into a lease. That lease will cost the consumer double the cost of the vehicle. After the lease is over, the consumer can then buy the vehicle. In some cases, the total cost exceeds $200,000. How is that problem solved? You save until you have the purchase price of the vehicle, or have it financed through a credit union. 

In sum, keep your funds close and your friends even closer. Have a Happy 2024 with more ๐Ÿ’ฐin your pocket!