Sunday, 11 November 2012

Favourite Buys This Week

I thought I'd try listing my favourite buys.  Mine are not as exciting as on other blogs.  I have no posh brand-name clothing or rare china.  Generally, my sales are lower in price, so not as exciting.   I wasn't going to bother, but then I thought - hey, we all have different niches - you might learn something.

So here goes.   I did pick up some rare higher-profit items this week.

I am quickly finding that board games are becoming my big sellers, and the biggest profit makers for me.     With trial and error, I'm finally learning which ones are bombs, and which are good for a quick buck or as good-profit sellers.

The trick is to find places that sell them at a price where you can make a decent profit.    I went into a nearby Salvation Army yesterday, and they had Risk Game - the Lord of the Rings Edition.   This is the first time I've ever seen a Risk game after reading so much about them on eBay Underground.   I jumped on the box and looked at the price - $8.   *snort*   I looked at all little fiddly pieces inside, and put it back.   No way was I investing that money on something that hadn't even been checked to see if it was complete.   When I got home, I searched completed's just in case, and used ones were only selling for $20 maximum.   So I'm very glad I didn't get it.

Then they had this game for $2.99.    I pounced on it before someone else did.  VERY conservatively priced for the Salvos, which is a surprise.

This is a good seller in Australia.  I have sold a copy before for a very good price. This game still had the cards in the shrink wrap, so it hadn't been played.    I put it up yesterday, and now I'm waiting for a bite.

My sister very nicely found me this game at the Animal Shelter Op Shop for $2.50.   It was in pristine condition inside.  Now I KNOW this one is rare, and you can get a good price.    I put it up, and it actually SOLD for full price the next day.

I love finding old Scrabble games that still have all the wooden tile holders.   I grabbed this one, even though I didn't count the tiles.  You just sell the tile holders for about $10 and keep the tiles as spares.
As it turned out, all the tiles were there, and the board was in excellent condition.

I bought 6 games at $1 each :

~ Twister (already sold)
~ Atmosfear (incomplete - for spare parts - also had lots of cards for a different Atmosfear game)
~ Nightmare (incomplete - for spare parts)
~ Trivial Pursuit For Kids
~ Payday
~ Pass the Bomb

I had a good look at my huge pile of games, and decided to have a clean out.    There was some games that I was only selling on Quicksales, because it was free to list there.   I've had these for more than a year.  There was also a couple that were incomplete - sitting in my What To Do With pile.   I ended up getting rid of about 10 games.  I also naughtily trashed the games for spare parts - coloured dice, playing tokens, egg-timers and small pencils.

So I took a boot-load of stuff and put it in the donation bin this morning.
It feels good to have a clean-out, and make space for money-generating games.

Just for a change, I grabbed this NWT doll - which I now know is Agnes from Despicable Me.   It costed me about 25 cents.

Doing research I see somebody selling them for $10 each (NWT) and they're only selling about every third one.   So no huge profit there.

I'm also focussing on quirkier or vintage children's books.  These are the ones I found this week.

I remember reading this book as a child.  It's from 1982.  Cost = 10 cents.

Surprisingly, there are NO copies of this up for sale, nor have any sold in the last three months.

I always pick up vintage illustrated books on Aboriginal Legends.  This one is a 1st edition, published in 1972.    Cost = 10 cents

There are two for sale on eBay at the moment - both for about $17.

These two are so cute.  Published in 1961 & 1963.  Costed 10 cents each.

I can't find any of these up for sale on eBay or sold in the past 3 months.  One book in the "Whitman Learn About" series is up for $9 at the moment.

Bum Buy Of the Week

Yes, I did it, I tried to expand my horizons to children's toys - again.  I spent one day looking at Completed's for children's toys.   There was too much to choose from, so I zeroed in on Fisher Price toys only.    I decided to start at my favourite local Op Shop.   They have a room full of toys - we are talking floor to ceiling.  I instantly got overwhelmed.   Kids screaming, toys laid out on the floor as a waiting death traps.      All my best intentions instantly fled.

Then I spotted these:

Oh joy.  Wiggles products.  An easy choice.    These were probably under a $1 each in total.
At another Op Shop, I bought a little kids cassette player thing with microphone attached (not in photograph).

Got them home and tested them.  Cassette player didn't work.  One guitar didn't work.  Other guitar had 2 buttons stuck down and one button didn't work.   Accordion DID work.

Unless I carry around a range of batteries in different sizes, and a screwdriver (not going to happen), I think I'd better steer clear of those things.     Useless things got binned so nobody else spent money on trash.

Star Buy Of the Week

There were actually a few this week, so hard to choose.    That wonderful item that you saw, that gave you a naughty tingling in your bits.

At my favourite (local) op shop I rolled up to the bric-a-brac area and there, glistening in the early morning sun - is a HUGE plastic container with the sign "FREE VIDEOS."    I stopped for a  moment, and did deep-breathing exercises.    The lady that works there came out the door and spotted me.    "Ah, the Veeeedio Laydee" she says (she is Dutch).   "Take them.  Take them all.  Free - all yours.  We have too many.    No room."    I felt that I should buy something (well, I bought those children's toys and games) and took them to the car.    I snaffled all the good ones for nothing.    There was 16 videos.    Happy days!    

NOTE:   In Op Shops,  I am known as the "Veeedio Laydee".  Other places I am known as the "Book Lady."   Most other places, I am known as "That Weirdo."

Friday, 9 November 2012

Australian + American = embrace the differences!

Back in another life I worked as a Test Coordinator on an Australian Government project.  As part of this project, we had quite a few US compatriots come over from Lockheed Martin.

All of a sudden our boring Government office was taken over by loud, vibrant, live-life-to-the-full co-workers.   They were a varied bunch, mainly men, and they were all very loud and very very sociable.  They arranged barbecues on the weekend, and went out together for lunch every day.  They cracked open cans of Coke at 7am.   They LOVED their food.   When they invited me along, I was in seventh heaven.  It was so exciting, they wanted to eat with little ole me!! 

One of them cooked a huge pot of chili in the lunchroom and stunk the office out for a week.    Did I try eating any of it?  You betcha - I didn't!

Another US work-mate brought bagels every friday morning from his local Jewish bakery.  They were delicious, not like the rubber ones we buy from the supermarket.   I wasn't a member of his team, so I would crawl between the cubicles ninja-style and snaffle one from the plate (with cream cheese!) 

My fondest memory, is seeing one of the food-lovers go to the vending machine in the lunch-room and buy a packet of chips.  He stood in front of the vending machine, tore open the packet and poured the lot down his gullet right there and then.   This man had the hugest pair of pants I've ever seen and his braces were still under a great deal of strain.   Ah, good times.

My boss was US ex-military.  He wore one of those huge military academy rings.   His shoulders were 4 feet wide, and he was very fit.   He could probably do push-ups using only his pinkies.

He was a very nice man, but he intimidated the hell out of me.   Every now and then, he'd come up to me and drawl :

"Karina.  What's happenin?   What's goin' on?"

I would shiver in the corner like a chihuahua confronted with a doberman and nervously reel off all the things I had achieved that day, only JUST managing not to wee myself or swallow my tongue.

On the day that my boss left, he told me that when he said those words to me, it was only his way of saying "hi."  No information was necessary.

Doh!   Aussie-US communication fail!

One of my other US co-workers said to me that Australians were lazy, that we shortened everything so we didn't have to say the whole word.    "You even shorten Australian to Strine," he said.

I thought about it, and practised the word, and he was right.  This man was magnificent.  He was a marvel!  Had anybody else noticed that!!!

Well, of course they had.   But I only found out about this a couple of months ago, when I was listing a book on eBay by Monica Dickens.

From the Wikipedia listing for Monica Dickens:

In late 1964 Dickens was visiting Australia to promote her works. It was reported in the Sydney Morning Herald on 30 November 1964 that during a book signing session in Sydney she had been approached by a woman who handed her a copy of her book and enquired, presumably in a broad Australian accent, "How much is it?". Dickens reportedly misheard this as an instruction as to the name which she should include in the inscription ("Emma Chisit") and thus was born the phenomenon of "Strine" which filled the newspaper's letter columns and subsequently was the subject of a separate weekly article and, later, a series of humorous books

Strine!!!   I love that story.

So as part of my blog, I thought I might gently educate you on some Aussie slang, just in case you visit our great southern land, or meet one of us in your own. 

Don't worry, there's no sharks/spiders/sting-rays/snakes lurking on my blog!

(FYI, I live between the convicts and the giant spiders).

I'll start you off with these ones to prevent any "awkward moments" at the beach.

If you're at the beach and somebody tells you they saw a "bondi cigar / brown-eyed mullet / blind mullet" - they're not offering you a cigarette or pointing out a rare fish - someone has done a turd in the water.  Beware!

If mention is made of "white pointers", they're not talking about sharks, they're talking about women bathing topless.  Either avert your eyes or perve, depending on your own preferences.

If is man is wearing small, tight bathers (eg. Speedos) - he is officially guilty of being a "budgie-smuggler".   Again, either avert your eyes, or perve, or even point and laugh, depending on your own preferences.

I'm so proud of how classy our language is, I'm getting all emotional right now.   Look, I've squeezed out a tear.  Let me just get my snot-rag *ahem* hankie, and wipe that away.

Now maybe some of my US or even Canadian friends can help clear up some things that bewilder me when reading books or looking at TV shows set in the US.

"Cream in your coffee."   I mean, it's not really "cream" is it?  That sweet stuff that you serve with hot apple pies?   Are they referring to milk?    If so, then what do you call milk?

"Biscuits".  I don't know how many books I've read, where someone serves up a hot meal with biscuits.   Here, biscuits are what you call cookies.   So what are biscuits, and why are they served with a hot meal?

Hopefully, here we can gain some further understanding and bring our cultures closer together, with a very heavy dose of humour.   (Instead of just so many WTF moments)

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Remote Control BOLO

Remote controls - do they control your life or just the TV/Video/DVD player.   

Answer :  All of the above.

If you are an anti-socialite like me, your idea of a good night out,  is sitting at home in front of the TV with lots of remotes laid out on the armrest of your chair - and lots of TV shows lined up to look at.

Back in a previous life, I had Pay TV.   The main one here is Foxtel.    The unit has its own special remote.   Once that remote gets knackered, you have to fork out $69.95 for a special new Foxtel remote at a bricks & mortar electronics store.

That is what happened to my old remote.  I never dreamed of buying a new one.    The only one I had was destructo-delecto.

This was the culprit:

This is Horris, or has I call her, Horris the Horror.    Now look at the size of that beak !!!

Nothing is more delicious to a parrot than something that can be destroyed.  The bigger mess it makes the better.

And nothing was more delicious than those little rubber buttons on the remote control.   I don't know how long the remote was used with only a nubbin of rubber for the Power button.     With a parrot you can't say "spit it out", or wait around inspecting their poopies for the missing rubber piece to appear.  

It had been well chewed and turned to rubber dust.   She ate so much rubber off our 4 remotes, that I wouldn't have been surprised if she started bouncing off the walls.   Having said that, I think the + on the Volume Button is still inside her because she is getting louder every day.

Of course the same thing can occur with other animals - such as dogs that love to chew - or male humans that need something gnaw on when the winning team (kicking a ball endlessly backwards and forwards around a grassy field) is not wearing the right colours on their jumper.

Given that I now know that the price of a new remote was $69.95, I would have thought twice before buying a new one, and providing my parrot with some more rubber in her diet.   I would never have even thought about looking on eBay for a replacement.  On there they are a *lot* cheaper than $69.95.    Those who are willing to wait for a sale can get up to $35 for a brand new one.

This I found out, after research,  when my younger brother.  He mentioned that he had a few Foxtel remotes lying around, from a job where he picked up Foxtel units from people who could not long afford Pay TV.   

Could I see if they would sell and we could go halves?  Surely!

I was surprised when I saw they were selling - even skanky ones.  I was handed about 8 remotes - ranging in condition from As New to Good (ie. slightly nibbled on).     I was taking a chance with these, as I had no way to test them to see if they were working.

I put up the two As New ones .  The first one sold within an hour.  The other not long after.

The others in Very Good Condition all sold within one day of listing.

Yesterday I put up a older-style, slightly skanky one that was a bit nibbled, just for a hoot. It sold within 15 minutes.

Total in Sales So Far:   Just over $100 - less about $8 pimping costs from eBay.   That's nearly $45 each.  Not too shabby for something that costed nothing in the first place.   These things were a VERY quick turnover.

I priced mine to sell quickly.    There was lots of competition with other remotes - new and used.  I could hold out for more, but eBay is my only income and I need the money NOW.

I've still got a few left to list, but unfortunately my brother's stock-pile has gone.   I weep to think of all the remotes that he had returned and not stock-piled.   Oh well, at least it's a BOLO for my next Op Shopping visits.

I'm sure you have your own Pay TV remotes in your own area, that could also be good sellers if you can get your hot little hands on them.

I told my brother to visit all his millions of friends and "accidentally" purloin their Foxtel remotes.

He laughed.

I think he thought I was joking.   :-0