|The famous "pie cover" edition|
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!
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