Sunday, August 26, 2012

Bumbo Baby Seat Part II : If I blog it - I find it !

It's the weirdest thing. Seems like every time I blog about a particular "hot" item, I find it at a garage sale shortly thereafter. Last week I blogged about the recalled Bumbo baby seats and guess what I found Saturday morning? Yep... a Bumbo seat in the popular girly pink. Making it even more awesome-it came with the sought after white tray and original instructions.... SCORE ! Now it may be my imagination, but it seems I have a strange prescient ability to find great garage sale finds right after I blog about them. Given this uncanny gift, I may blog about 24k gold bars. Then maybe I'll find one at a garage sale next week! A guy can dream, can't he?

While waiting for those gold bars to show up, I'll keep looking for Bumbos. They're gold when it comes to baby seats! I spotted the chair seen here at a garage sale held by a young husband and wife. I had to laugh to myself at seeing it in their driveway. I don't find a Bumbo every Saturday morning. In fact, I am lucky if I come across three a season! So I thought it was funny that I 'd find one so soon after blogging about them.

Pink Bumbo...with tray...for cheap!
I guess I shouldn't have been too surprised. The Mom had all kinds of  baby stuff, including those big plastic outdoor play toys from Step 2 and Little Tikes. (If I had the storage space, I could make a pretty good living just wheeling and dealing in those huge hunks of plastic!) The Mom had priced the Bumbo and tray at $10. That's way too rich for my yard sale blood, so I offered five bucks. The Mom agreed and I continued to look around her driveway for other good deals. Turning up empty, I paid the husband for the Bumbo. Ironically, he asked me if I knew about the safety recall? I feigned some passing knowledge, while the husband pointed out that Bumbo chairs are made to be used on the ground only. The Dad then began cracking jokes about careless parents who place their kid in Bumbos in dangerous spots like a kitchen table. Piling on this theme, I took my newly purchased Bumbo chair and set it on on the top of an eight foot ladder that was for sale in the driveway. I chuckled, "Yeah, like you wouldn't want to put the chair up here!" We both got a big laugh out of that one. I then left my new buddy with a final thought that while you need a license to own a dog or drive a car, there's no license needed to be parent! Some deep "Dude" thinking, considering I was only on my first cup of coffee!

Once I arrived home with my Bumbo, I took a look at the company's recall website to order the safety belt they're now providing. Since I felt confident I might score additional Bumbo chairs in the Fall, I attempted to place an order for three safety belts. But alas, the website rejected my greedy attempt at this safety belt grab! Apparently, the company only permits two belts per order. What an outrage! What if I were someone in need of more then two belts, like say the Octo-Mom? Seems kind of unfair if you ask me. But I guess that's Octo-Mom's battle to fight. I am not looking to make any waves, particularly since I actually own only one seat at this time. So I settled for my two safety belts and will now await the mailman's delivery.  I should receive them in a few weeks. Here's the e-mail reply I received from Bumbo just minutes after placing my order:

"Your submission for the Bumbo Baby Seat Repair Kit voluntary recall has been received. You should expect to receive your kit in two to three weeks.

Your reference number is  ***-*********
If you need to contact us regarding your request please use the reference number shown above.

If you have additional questions, feel free to contact us by email at -- Within 24-48 hours you can check the status of your request here."
Thanks to this little pre-planning, I'll be ready in advance should I find another Bumbo seat in the future. Judging from several reader's comments in my last post, eBay may now be requiring the belts when selling the seats on their site. Some reader's also use Facebook or Craigslist to sell their Bumbos. This may be a quick, hassle free way to flip the chairs-no pun intended! Either way you go, you should fully expect to sell a seat like the one above for $30 dollars or more. When I sell mine, I'll be sure to tell the buyer about the safety belt and caution them not to place the chair and child in risky places. You just never know with some people!

Let us know how you're doing with your Bumbo or any other recalled items.  

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Monday, August 20, 2012

Bumbo Baby Seat recall

Not long ago, a loyal reader wrote in to say how Bumbo baby seats are a sure-fire sale on eBay. I couldn't agree more. A typical pre-owned Bumbo seat can usually be had at a garage sale for an easy $3 to $5 dollars. Once bought, they're a quick, profitable eBay flip.  Shipping them is also hassle free. Bumbo seats are made of dense foam rubber, so you never have to worry about them getting damaged in the the mail. Overall, Bumbo seats can be an eBay seller's best find at a garage sale! But recently there's a been some not-so-good news that could potentially affect the prices of used Bumbo seats. Check out the article I found last week:  

Bumbo Baby Seats Recall: 4 Million Infant Floor Seats Recalled

Bumbo Baby Seats Recall
WASHINGTON — About 4 million Bumbo Baby Seats are being recalled after nearly two dozen reports of infant skull fractures.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission says babies can wiggle out of the floor seats.
About 1 million of the molded foam seats were recalled in October 2007 for additional warning labels against placing the Bumbo seats on raised surfaces, such as tables or kitchen counters.
Since the first recall, CPSC and Bumbo International of South Africa have learned of at least 50 incidents in which babies fell from Bumbo seats while they were being used on raised surfaces. CPSC says another 34 babies fell from the seats while they were being used on the floor or at an unknown elevation. In all, there were 21 reports of skull fractures to infants.
Consumers are asked to stop using the seats and contact Bumbo for a free repair kit that includes a restraint belt and instructions on how to safely use the seat. The repair kit can be ordered by visiting or calling 866-898-4999.
In a statement, the company said it was adding a restraint belt to enhance the safety of children using the Bumbo seat.
"The restraint belt will help prevent children from getting out of or falling from the seat when it is used as intended: on the floor with adult supervision and never on raised surfaces," said the statement. "The health and safety of children using the Bumbo Baby Seat are our top priorities."
The Bumbo floor seats were sold at Babies R Us, Target, Walmart and other retailers nationwide from August 2003 through August 2012.

Despite the recall, these are still great little seats. The main reason some kids are getting hurt is due to parents ignoring the safety instructions, placing the child in precarious elevated spots like a table or counter. Hopefully, the safety strap will prevent kids from squirming their way out of the chair and taking a tumble. If you pick up a Bumbo seat at a future garage sale, don't forget to contact the company for the free seat belt they are offering to consumers.

After reading this article I wondered if the news of the recall would put a damper on Bumbo sales?  Checking on eBay, it seems the recall hasn't affected current prices. A quick scan of completed listings show pre-owned Bumbos are still selling in the mid-twenty dollar range.  Even better still, Bumbo seats with the snap-on trays can average $30 dollars or more on eBay! This is about what I've sold them for prior to the recall announcement. Prices vary depending on condition and color. As you can probably guess, pink and blue seem to be the most popular colors. 

So don't let the news of this recall slow you down. When you see a Bumbo seat at your next garage sale-buy it!

Have you heard of any recent recalls we all should be aware of? Give us the story below....  

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Monday, August 13, 2012

When August eBay sales are slow, there's always Craigslist!

Is it my imagination or have eBay sales been a little slow the last few weeks? Items I thought for sure would sell at high prices, barely got a bid or worse, went unsold. For example, I listed a Nike Dri-Fit golf shirt at an opening bid of $15 dollars. Normally that's just the starting off point to a big dollar sale.  I can count on these shirts attracting lots of bids, topping out with a healthy $25 to $30 sold price. But not this sold for my pathetically low starting bid price. The lucky sole bidder scored himself a nice August deal, oh well!

While the summer months can be slow for eBay sales, August is the absolute pits. The most obvious reason for the lethargic eBay activity is people take their summer vacation in August. Folks aren't sitting at home surfing eBay-they're at the beach, lake or mountains enjoying the final weeks of summer. Even driving around my own town I've noticed things are pretty quiet. Traffic is lighter and some roads are strangely empty. It's enough to make an eBay seller close up shop and take a vacation like everyone else! Hopefully once people get home from vacation and back into their daily routines, business will pick up again.

That's not to say I am not making money! I threw together a quickie Craigslist sale just last weekend. Mrs. Dude was cleaning out our hallway closet and pulled out this rolling file cart. We used the cart to store receipts, bills and other paperwork. For reasons only known to Mrs. Dude, she decided the cart was no longer needed. Could it be that we no longer have bills and receipts!? Ummm...Nah... pretty sure that's definitely not the reason. : (

Pulling it from the closet, Mrs Dude suggested we sell it at our upcoming garage sale. (It may come as a shock, but I hold a garage sale every so often. It's either sell some stuff or call that Hoarders TV show to help me with my little problem.) But while I am fine with selling stuff at a garage sale, I also have a theory you can make more money if you sell certain items through Craigslist. I thought our rolling cart was just this type of item.

Doing a little internet work, I found similar rolling file carts in Target, OfficeMax and Staples that retailed for around $50 dollars. Backed with this market research, I decided to list our cart at a reasonable $25 dollars. Before I could however, Mrs. Dude questioned my data integrity! She thought the cart cost around $25 when it was brand new. Although I wasn't sure what we originally paid, my philosophy is to start out high on the price. If all you hear is crickets, then you can always lower the price. So I stuck to my $25 price and waited to see if anyone would bite.

Just a few days later, someone did bite! A school teacher contacted me and said she'd been looking for a rolling file cabinet for her classroom. Naturally, I was more then happy to help out the public education system! That evening, I met the teacher in the parking lot of a local CVS store and traded the cart for $25 dollars in cold, hard cash.

I was happy with the sale. Had I tried to sell the cart at my garage sale, it's unlikely I would have netted $25 bucks. Most garage sale pickers are like me-they like to haggle and talk you down on your price. With Craigslist, I avoided all that drama, scoring a nice sale in the middle of the dog days of August! 

How are your August sales going? Do you agree that you can sell at higher prices on Craigslist then you can at a garage sale? Give us your thoughts in the comment section.....  

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Monday, August 6, 2012

A Keurig Coffee Maker find is unappreciated....

Next to going to a garage sale, enjoying a good cup of coffee is one of my favorite things to do. When you think about it, the two activities go hand-in-hand. Kind of like peanut butter and jelly! So wouldn't it be great to to make a major yard sale score on a good coffee maker?  Well, check out this lucky find a garage sale shopper bragged about on a recent message board...

"I got a Keurig coffee maker, or machine, whatever you call it for $10. She (the seller) told me that she bought it about six months ago and never used it. She thought it cost about $179. I don't even drink coffee but will use it for hot chocolate and maybe try some chi tea.. My mom will like it as she loves her coffee...and one box of hot chocolate pod things for $1."

Ten dollars? What's next-the lottery?
If you're a coffee lover like me, you probably were overcome with a twinge of resentfulness after reading this. Crappy coffee makers are a dime a dozen at garage sales. But a brand new Keurig? That's truly a once in lifetime event! Judging from her comments, this lady doesn't seem to really appreciate how awesome her Keurig find really is. That's like winning the lottery then saying, "Yeah, but I really don't need the money!" Heck, she isn't even sure what the machine is called! The only fact she got right was the price...$179 is in the ballpark. Adding insult to injury, she claims she "may" make some tea in her Keurig! That's  downright blasphemy! Sure, it makes some excellent ice tea, but it's really built to make coffee! I guess some folks just don't appreciate a good garage sale find when they luck into it.

A Keurig has been sitting on our kitchen counter for a few years now. We love it. Not only does it make a fine cup of java, but the company really backs up their product.  A few months ago our original Keurig began giving us a problem. It would make a crazy noise while dribbling out coffee. Mrs. Dude called the Keurig customer service hotline and the friendly representative went through the usual suggested fixes. This included cleaning out the machine by running vinegar through it. After finding none of the fixes worked, the nice customer service lady offered us a brand new Keurig unit for $80. That's roughly 50% off the retail price! (Had the unit still been under the 12 month warranty, we would have received a replacement unit for free.) The new model looks awesome with very cool blue lights illuminating the reservoir tank-a very relaxing sight first thing in the morning. As an added bonus, we have the K-cups mailed to us from Amazon. I then recycle the K-cup boxes, which are a perfect shipping size for many of my eBay items.

Which brings us back to that unappreciative lady who scored a new Keuirg machine for only ten dollars. Some people have all the luck and don't even realize it!

Have you ever seen a brand new Keurig for sale at a garage sale? How about a used one? Tell us the story below.... 

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