Saturday, December 21, 2013

O Christmas Tree !

With Christmas just a few days away, there's much holiday things to do around the house. But feeling neglectful after reading Lorraine's WeareClamco, as well as several other fine blogs, I decided to get off my duff and crank out a piece to wrap up the Christmas selling season. Although time is slipping away this weekend, I'll get to wrapping Mr's Dude's gifts just as soon as I finish this post! (Hopefully)


The famous "pie cover" edition
With most buyers also down to wrapping gifts, there's little selling activity for me on eBay. The few items I do have listed are effectively on auto-pilot using Buy-It-Now. The hot and heavy selling all took place a few weeks ago, generating some nice Christmas jingle for me! One slam dunk was this Classic Betty Crocker "Pie Cover" cookbook. This particular copy was a version sold exclusively by Sears. It features a special insert with several pages of Christmas party meals that would have made Alice from the Brady Bunch proud! It's funny to page through the cookbook and see some of the popular dishes from back in the day. One color photo displayed a full plate of boiled brussels sprouts...so gross! It's no wonder I never ate my vegetables as a kid! Gross veggies notwithstanding, I bought the Betty Crocker cookbook at the local thrift shop for eight dollars. While I thought the price was a tad high for a thrift shop, I knew I could still make some money out of the deal. My instincts proved correct, as the cookbook was quickly snapped up for the BIN price of $30 dollars! That was a quick profit of $22 bucks. 

But my absolute home run this season would have to be the ceramic Christmas tree seen below. I bought this piece last summer from a senior citizen who was in the process of moving to Florida. His little yard sale was a funny sight. He had carried a handful of items to the bottom of his driveway, probably thinking if he didn't sell the stuff, he'd just leave them out for the trash. Included in his treasures were a dated stereo system, a vacuum cleaner, an old bowling ball and fortunately for me, a 20 inch tall ceramic Christmas tree. 

The Christmas tree was the only thing grabbing my attention, so I decided to jump out of my truck to take a look. The old-timer was asking ten bucks for the tree. I nearly passed on it however, obsessing over the prospect of shipping such a large, fragile item in the mail. But after much agonizing, I decided to buy it, reasoning I could just sell it on Craigslist and avoid any shipping problems. Some haggling ensued, resulting in the future Florida resident agreeing to part with the tree for eight dollars. I packed the tree in the truck then talked with my new buddy about his pending move south. After a few minutes, our conversation was cut short when a neighbor came by to chat. This gave me an excuse to get on my way, so I wished the old-timer good luck on his move and drove off with the ceramic tree safely tucked behind my seat.
Oh Christmas tree!

When I arrived home I had the foresight to clean the dusty tree before bringing it inside. But due to all the little light bulbs and birds, dusting off the tree would be a challenge. My solution? I pulled out the garden hose and blasted the tree with with water! (I like to work smart, not hard.) This rinse and repeat process did the job and after drying the tree in the warm summer sun, I carefully placed the tree on my "Hold for Christmas" shelf.

Fast forward to earlier this month, when I decided it was time to sell the tree. Still dreading the idea of shipping the ceramic tree and risk it being damaged, I decided to try Craigslist first. After some research on eBay, I posted the tree for a reasonable fifty bucks. While it seemed that some ceramic trees sold for as much as a hundred dollars on eBay, I was at peace with making fifty if it meant avoiding a potential shipping disaster! But even at this fair price, there were no takers. Facing the dilemma of being stuck with the tree for another year, I decided to take my chances on shipping and listed the tree on eBay. This turned out to be a very fortuitous decision! 

I am not sure what eBay bidders saw in this tree? Maybe it was the fact that the tree had both colorful light bulbs, as well as little birds? Whatever it was, bidders went absolutely NUTSO for my eight dollar yard sale find! All week long, the bids kept climbing higher and higher, until it finally sold for... are you ready for this? .....Two hundred and fifty dollars! Crazy, right? This was the same tree I almost passed on, not to mention almost gave away for fifty bucks on Craigslist! Needless to say, I was full of Christmas cheer after that sale!

Once the buyer paid via PayPal, I gently wrapped the tree in excessive amounts of bubble wrap and peanuts. Sealing the box, I then placed it inside another box to insure additional protection. Even though the box was bulky, shipping only cost me $30 dollars-just $15 more then I charged in the listing! After mailing the box, I nervously tracked the package as it headed down to the Carolinas. To my relief, it arrived at it's new home safe and sound. (Whew!) The nice lady who bought my Christmas tree posted the following positive feedback:

                          Excellent condition yay! Thanks so much!

With all the eBay intricacies now complete, I knew the $250 dollars was now officially mine to keep! Merry Christmas to me! The sale taught me a new garage sale rule to follow. Whenever I find a ceramic Christmas tree for sale...just buy it!  

So that's a few highlights of the Christmas selling season. Hope you had some great ones too! What's been your best Christmas sale? Share them in the comment section below. 

Lastly, I want to wish you a Merry Christmas to you and your family. Here's hoping we all have a terrific and profitable 2014 to come!


                          Merry Christmas.......Dude!



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19 comments:

  1. I purchased a tree just like this, but I haven't been able to part with it! I am totally enjoying this Christmas season as much as I enjoyed it last Christmas!

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  2. I meant to mention how much I enjoy your posts Dude!

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    1. CindyLou- I agree, they are nice. I am pretty sure I have one that my Mom passed on to me. I think it's up in my attic, but haven't pulled it out in years.

      Thanks for your nice comments and for enjoying my posts.....Dude!

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  3. Thanks for the shout out Dude! Awesome sale on that tree! I'm not sure I'd have the guts to ship something like that. Double boxing it was definitely a good idea. And I have yet to find one of those pie cover cookbooks. Maybe someday. Have a wonderful holiday and I look forward to reading your blog in 2014. :-)
    Lorraine

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    1. Lorraine. You're welcome on the shout out. Like I said, I read your post and it motivated (guilted) me into cranking out a Pre-Christmas piece. HA!

      Yeah, the double boxing probably saved me form refunding the $250. That's a refund I definitely did not want to have to make!

      Happy holidays to you and your family too....Dude!

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  4. Merry Christmas, Dude and happy new year! Looking forward to more entertaining posts! :)

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    1. Thanks Floral, Merry Christmas to you too! ....Dude!

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  5. I knew those trees were hot on ebay, yet I passed one up at an estate sale because of your exact same doubt-the shipping scared me!!!!! Anyway, I am kicking myself for passing it up for like 6 bucks. I know about that cookbook too and pick up BC cookbooks when I see them. I find them at the GW Outlet and the binder is torn, but we will see. Great job and thanks for sharing

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    1. You're right, the ceramic trees are hot on eBay. But it's weird because most sell in the range of $60 to $100 dollars, so I still don't know why my tree shot up to $250? But I'll take it! That's what's awesome about eBay-you just never know what you can earn on an item!

      Around my area, that Pie Cover cook book shows up a few times a year in my local thrift store. The older versions seem to go for the most money.

      Thanks for writing in....Dude!

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  6. Thanks for the tip about the cookbook! I am re-doing my kitchen and painting the cupboards so I was thinking about down-sizing my cookbook collection! I had bought this one at a sale a couple of years ago for I think a buck maybe. I will have to try to list it now! Thanks! ~~Pam

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    1. Pam- Definitely give it a shot. Condition is important too, plus the older the cook book, the better. Hope you make some nice jingle from it....Dude!

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  7. LOVE the tree story! FABULOUS Find-N-Flip!! My aunt used to have a half dozen of those trees around her house! Not sure what ever happened to them once she died. They really are "vintage" items! Sounds like you have some extra money in your pocket for Christmas shopping for your Mrs. Dude!! ;-) (my tip to you is to go to www.BlueNile - on line - they'll give you overnight FREE delivery! Cause when Mrs. Dude is happy, everybody is happy!! :-) ) Merry Christmas to you & yours!

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    1. Susie Q- Thanks for enjoying the story. Boy, if you could get your hands on all those trees, you'd have some $$$ !

      And yes, Mrs. Dude has to be happy for Christmas or I'll end up with coal in my stocking-Ha! Thanks for the tip on BlueNile. I'll check it out.

      Merry Christmas you and your family too....Dude!

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  8. WOW! Congratulations! I would have been on pins and needles shipping that one too :D

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    1. Anny- Thanks, at $250 riding on the post office delivering it safely, I definitely was nervous.

      Dude!

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  9. Wow!! Great sale. I have three ceramic trees but hate to list them because of the shipping fear.
    Just might do it next year.
    Lisa @ happy girl thrift

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    1. Lisa-You may want to go for it. Although you can never tell if you'll get $250 per tree, wouldn't it be great if you did? That's a lot of Christmas jingle!

      Thanks for writing in...Dude!

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  10. Gotta love the pie cover books, I sold one on Etsy for $35 last fall as well, I always keep my eye out for them! Great job on the tree too, that's amazing!!

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    1. Samantha- The Betty Crocker pie edition is the gift that keeps on giving, right? And yes, the tree was pretty amazing. Gonna keep looking for those too!

      Thanks for writing in and Happy New Year....Dude!

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