Profitable Christmas Houses

I thought this would be an excellent time to discuss selling Christmas houses on Ebay, specifically Department 56 and Lemax. 

First I have to tell my short version of the story of how my husband and I became recent collectors of Christmas houses of the brands that I just mentioned.

We started out with getting a beautiful Lionel train to go around our Christmas tree 2 years ago for our now 4-year-old daughter.  After we got the train we decided to get a 2 or 3 houses that we found at Goodwill.The following year we got a few more houses that we found at Goodwill and we added fake snow with a few trees. 

So this year my husband had this fantastic idea that we build a wood platform out of plywood to go around the tree for the train to move on and to add the houses.  So after he had this idea we wanted to get more houses for our village.  So a few houses here and there mixed in with some trees, people, animals, rivers bridges, brick roads, mini lights, lakes a horse and carriage turned into at least 20 houses or maybe more!!

We also got foam and a hot wire cutter to build hills and mountains for the houses.  I can’t wait to post pictures of how the village turned out :)  What is really great about our collection is that we have well over 1,000.00 worth of items that we got for around 350.00.

Everything we bought was from people selling these items on Craigslist, some were bought from a consignment store and some items came from a very large garage sale where the people were getting rid of many of their Department 56 houses.

I did want to discuss how I think it would be a great idea to buy Lemax and Department 56 Christmas houses and accessories because they are very popular on Ebay right now.  Do not wait too long because people who are serious collectors start building their villages usually before December.

I will have to say that I do favor the Department 56 houses and figures.  The figures are much prettier and sell better on Ebay.  The Lemax houses do sell well however.   Department 56 has different series in their Christmas Village collection, one which is called their Dickens Collection and these tend to go for very high prices.  Here is an example of one house that sold on Ebay.

I would not pay more than 15.00 for a Lemax house and try to keep it around 20.00 for a Department 56.  You will have to go to completed listings to search the figures and other accessories for these brands.  The carnival pieces for Lemax sell good on Ebay too right now because some people have carnival pieces in their Christmas collection.

We actually bought this beautiful Lemax carousel and I had no idea how much it was worth, but I thought it would be so pretty in our display.  We paid 8.00 for it at a consignment store and here is what it sold for on Ebay yesterday!

Make sure to check back this week because I will post some pictures of all the cool Christmas village pieces we got.  My poor baby’s room looks like a Christmas Village disaster :)

So go out and get in the Christmas spirit and have fun looking for all of these fun Christmas pieces to sell on Ebay!!!

American Girl Doll Mini Houses

First of all I would like to apologize for not posting for quite some time.  I’m sure you all know how busy it can be with little ones :)  I am happy to be back and I am planning on helping my fellow Ebayers and anyone who wants to get started in this business.

So as my title states I would like to have a little discussion about the line of doll houses that American Girl put out several years ago. These were very special houses that were tiny and constructed of wood.  The houses are white and very adorable.

I have to be honest that I had never heard of them before until I cam across an ad on Craigslist.  A lady who lived right down the road from me was selling 3 of these houses for 15.00 a piece.

I knew that American Girl dolls and accessories are a very popular item on Ebay and I thought that 15.00 seemed very reasonable.  I then took a quick look on Ebay to see what these lovely houses were going for.

I surprised to see them several of them had sold for 85.00 or more.  Here is proof of this price. I also observed that the more items that comes with the house, the better they sell. 

I ended up buying a 70’s style AG doll house that this lady had.  It looked nice and had furniture and other items with the house.

Something that makes these houses very unique is that they have outlets in the back with special plugs and you can light up different lamps in the house.  What girl wouldn’t like that?

The reason I knew this house would sell is because it fit into two of the categories I use when selling my toys on Ebay.  These houses are not sold anymore and they were once very popular.  I found this out by doing some minimal research.

The bad news is that the house I bought only sold for 15.00.  I did charge 30.00 for shipping because it’s very heavy.  I do not think the high shipping price was why my house did not sell for a higher price.

The only reason I could come with for as to why my house did not sell for a higher price was that the plugs did not come with it.  I should have done better reasearch and asked the lady for the plugs before I tried to sell it. 

So if you do ever come across one of these houses, I would recommend for you to purchase it for a price of no more than 20.00.

And The Auctions Have Ended

My auctions ended for the Diesel Jeans and The Sesame Street Play House.  Both of my auctions did not sell.  I am not dissapointed, because I am still confident that they will sell.  I started them each at 14.99 and I had a high buy it now price, which I think could have frightened people to bid on both items.

I am going to make a mental note to not start the buy it now price too high if I am not positive that an item or items will sell at approximately that price.

I will let you all know what my items sell for at the end of this week.  Wish me luck :)

Consignment Store Clearance Sales

 

I found this great pair of Diesel Jeans for 2.00 at a local high end consignment store!  Too bad I’m not small enough to fit in them :)

A place that not everyone likes or thinks about going to find things to sell on Ebay are high end consignment stores.  It is a good thing to get on an email list if you have any stores like this in your area because you can be quickly informed if there is any kind of a sale going on.

There is an extremely popular consignment store chain in my area and they usually have a big end of summer clearance sale and another sale towards the end of winter.  The last sale I found my husband a brand new Tommy Bahama sweatshirt for only 8.00, not that’s a steal!

It is wise to do your research before heading out and going bonkers buying up stuff to sell when you are shopping at one of these stores.   I am pretty familiar with the brand of jeans that sell well on Ebay and I am confident they will sell for at least 30.00.  I’ll let you all know next week how these jeans sell when my auctions ends.

 

Sesame Street Can Be Sweet

 

Last week when I was at one of my favorite thrift stores I cam across this really sweet Sesame Street Vintage Circus Playset.  It was priced at only 3.00.  I have never sold Sesame Street items in the past, but I have seen that certain items do well on Ebay, especially the Sesame Street Fisher Price Little People Sets, check the link if you don’t believe me :) 

I just got this posted on Ebay tonight so I will let you all know how it does next week when my auction ends.  Too bad I didn’t get any pictures of my sweet children playing with this set.  They really enjoyed it, too bad I had to sell it.  They get plenty of toys to play with, so I am sure they won’t miss it too much.

Family First

This precious little gift from God is Benjamin, the newest edition to our family.  My children will always come before work and I can’t stress enough how important it is to not become obsessed with buying and selling items on Ebay.

It might sound kind of stilly, but I have to admit that in the past I have made this mistake.  Our children are always more important than my auctions that are ending that night.

Ok so since I introduced Ben, I also had to introduce my other two precious children.   Madeline is 4 and Micah is 23 months.  These two love each other very much, can’t you tell?  They also have so much love for their new little brother.

How to stay focused and organized so you are not putting Ebay before your family:

1) Make sure to have a designated area for your stuff.  At the moment I am keeping all of my items in boxes in our laundary room.

2) Always keep shipping boxes, tape, envelopes and other shipping supplies on hand.  It’s never any fun when you have a ton of items to ship out and you are short on boxes.

3) Buy a postal scale.  Do not mess around with going to the post office.  It wastes gas and time.  If you have a scale you can weigh your items, and print out your shipping labels from home.  Then you can set up a time from your computer to have the post man pick up your packages.

4) Give yourself plenty of time to get your items shipped out.  You can choose the amount of days.

5) To save time and money, you really should use online Ebay selling platforms (I don’t know the technical name).  I use a program called Autivia.  I have used it for years.   It makes your listing look more professional, you can add several pictures and you can save information that may be them same for all of your auctions.  ( I will talk more about these in another post)

I hope these tips are helpful to all.  Once again I hope everyone takes this message to heat and will never put Ebay before your precious families.

Ebay Selling Updates

I had 24 auctions end last night and out of all of those autions I only had 3 things sell.  I would say that is a complete disaster!  However, I am determined to keep going and not to give up on selling items on Ebay.

Even though I did not sell many of the items, the 3 items I did sell all made a profit of at least 5.00. The items I sold here the vintage Lite Brite, Loving Family mom and dad and one Little People Set.

I do realize that I made ummm, well quite a few mistakes with the items I tried to sell.  The one item that did not sell that I thought for sure was a Thomas the Train set and I started it out at 12.99, which I thought was very reasonable, but I will relist and let you all know if it sells.

Now my issue is coming up with some extra cash to buy more inventory and this time I will make sure that I am only purchasing items that I know sure 100% will sell.  I was going to use the profit I made on these items, which doesn’t quite work since most of my items did not sell.

I’m going to attempt to go to a few garage sales next week and I will post on here what I find, if I can get some extra cash rouneded up to my purchase my smart yard sale buys.