Thursday, December 20, 2012

Oh Christmas tree !

The Christmas selling season has come to a close. I came to a slow stop about a week ago, leaving time to ship all my items out before Christmas. I had a lot of great auctions including; sports jerseys, Lenox pieces, toys, some Harley Davidson shirts, blow molds and plenty of Christmas decorative stuff. I also unloaded a bunch of NHL hockey jerseys. I was originally saving the jerseys for auctions during the winter hockey season. But the NHL players have been on strike for months now, and it looks like the whole hockey season will be cancelled. Realizing this, I decided the Holidays could be my only opportunity to move my huge stockpile of jerseys. It turned out to be a good idea. I sold all but three jerseys, with prices ranging from $20 to $35 dollars. 

Need a base with that tree?
One of my more unique sales was this base for a ceramic Christmas tree. I found this base at Goodwill for $3 dollars. Like any fragile piece, bases like this usually end up broken, leaving a perfectly good tree without a stand. I posted the auction early in the holiday season, calculating it was right around the time when folks are pulling out their decorations. Once the decorations come out of the box, people remember they need to replace that broken base on the ceramic tree. My timing seemed to be about right. My Goodwill base received a bunch of bids and sold for $32 dollars. There's always somebody out there who needs a tree base as a replacement piece. If you see one-buy it!

How about a couple of lights?
But not every auction was a winner. In the interest of helping you avoid making the same mistakes I made, I'll also throw in some non-starters. In my last blog, I complained about the unimpressive sales of my ugly Christmas sweaters. The over saturation of these sweaters on eBay has dampened sales for many sellers. So unless you're paying only a buck or two, I would avoid them. Another holiday loser was this set of vintage Christmas lights. I thought they had a nice, old-school charm to them. Unfortunately nobody else seemed to think so. I listed them twice on eBay with no bids. Luckily, I only paid a dollar for the set, so no great loss. I'll probably hold them until next year, or sell them at my next garage sale-oh well!

Oh Christmas tree!
But despite a few no-sale auctions, the rest of my sales were as jolly as old Saint Nick! Nothing, however, topped my ultimate Christmas auction......this vintage aluminum "Pom-Pom" Christmas tree. As discussed by Becky in the excellent like-minded blog, Treasures in Thrifting Land, these trees are the Holy Grail of Christmas finds. Hugely popular and very rare, eBay bidders just go completely crazy for them! I lucked into my tree at a community yard sale. My heart skipped several beats when I spotted it sitting under the seller's table. It was in the original box with each branch gently wrapped in individual paper sleeves! The tree even came with the classic spinning color wheel, making it the total package! Spotting the ellusive tree, I nearly pounced on it as if it were going to run away from me! A paper tag taped to the box had the price written on it-$50 dollars! Not bad, but I am always looking to shave off a few bucks, so I asked the seller if she'd take forty for it? She agreed and after paying, the nice lady told me she would watch the box while I continued shopping. Since it's cumbersome to try to walk around with a huge box under your arm, I thanked her and left the tree behind the table.

Ironically, Mrs. Dude had set out on her own this particular morning, ending up at the very same community yard sale. (We rarely shop together due to our different styles. She's a slow motion shopper-out for a nice, leisurely excursion. I am a speed shopper-hustling through as many sales as I can in just a few hours.) Despite her casual pace, Mrs. Dude spotted the vintage tree I'd bought just twenty minutes earlier. After inquiring about the tree, the seller told Mrs. Dude that "some guy" had already bought it. Later, when I met up with my significant other back in our driveway, she asked if I was the "guy" who bought the tree? With much bravado, I pulled the box from the back of my truck and gave Mrs. Dude my most  obnoxious "How do you like me now?" pose, complete with arms crossed and cocky smirk on my face. Her questioned answered, she waved me off dismissively saying, "I knew it had to be you!" and walked away. The women is very hard to impress!  

As obnoxious and excited as I was, I still patiently waited until December to sell that beautiful Christmas tree. The wait was awful, sort of like buying a brand new car and having to wait months before driving it! But December finally came, and after painstakingly assembling the tree, I snapped a bunch of pictures and posted it on eBay. The long wait was worth it. The vintage Pom-Pom Christmas tree...in it's original box....with spinning color wheel.....sold for...wait for it.....wait some more....okay here goes.........$375 dollars!  Whoo-Hooo! Merry Pom-Pom Christmas tree to all!!!!

So I'll end the Christmas season on that happy, upbeat note! I hope some of this year's stories and tips made you smile and helped you make a few dollars for you and your family. Thanks also for following the blog and writing in and sharing all your great stories. As I say each year, we're all in this together!

 Merry Christmas and have a safe and prosperous New Year......Dude! 









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10 comments:

  1. Merry Christmas Dude! Your posts are always fun to read. Nice sale on the pom pom tree. What a way to end the year. Congratulations!

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    1. Thanks Lorraine, same to you and your family. I Hope you have a great 2013.....Dude!

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  2. Thanks for the shout out. As much as I did not want too, I listed my pom pom tree. I'm debating taking an offer of $275 It has free shipping so I'm not sure what that will cost. What do you think? Take the money and run or sit on it? I have a store so it only cost me .5 cents a month to keep it listed. My asking price was $399 or best offer with free shipping. Mine does not have the color wheel

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    1. becky- You could always counter with $300 and see if they bite. But with just a few days left to go before Christmas, I think I would take the $275. The problem is if you don't sell it over the holidays, you pretty much have to store that tree away for the next 11 months. So I'd take the money. Even at $275 you made a major score!

      Let me know how it goes and Merry Christmas! ....Dude!

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    2. I thought I replied to this but guess not. I accepted the offer of $275 The buyer messaged me soon after thanking me and telling me he had purchased it for his sister who had lost hers during a hurricane a few years ago.

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    3. That's a nice happy ending to the story. Everyone wins! You should blog about it-people love reading about that stuff !

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  3. Awesome victory on that "Pom-Pom" tree. I am going to keep reading this blog for sure.

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    1. Thanks Marty, glad you like it. Click follow and you'll get my future garage sale musings.....Dude!

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  4. I am surprised that those electric candles did not sell. They look like an Etsy item to me - maybe you should try selling them there. I like Etsy - their fees are a lot lower than eBay and the site seems to attract lovers of vintage. I sold a 1960's Christmas stocking kit AFTER Christmas using Etsy. My other fast selling Christmas items were 1960s Christmas card sets - both sold within 24 hours of listing, again on Etsy, one back in September.

    Susan in San Antonio

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  5. Susan- Good point. I've dabbled in Etsy, but may have to re-commit to using the site more often. When I get a chance, I am going to look up similar candles and see what folks are asking for them. Thanks for the idea...Dude!

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