Thursday, September 20, 2012

Playing "Storage Wars" on Ebay

When you're married and childless, as we were for 8 years, you have lots of time for hobbies. Photography. Sewing. Collecting costume jewelry. Travel. Reading. But when you suddenly have twins, not only is time at a premium, so is space.

So I've been watching a lot of Storage Wars and Storage Hunters, and it's as inspiring to me at this phase of my life as Home and Garden TV shows were to renovating our old home. The shows are funny, and inspire me to root through the leftover moving boxes for unused items to sell on eBay. It's kind of fun, and watching the show gives me the distance I need to just declutter.

Now that I'm through the first season of Storage Wars on Netflix, I'm wondering where my inspiration to continue will come from. Perhaps the twins, who just woke up, will have an idea or two.

Check out my items on eBay.

New eBay Deal

Between listing things on eBay and prepping for the AMOM sale this weekend, I'm slogging through a lot of clutter this week.

Just to keep me on my toes, eBay sent me an invitation to a special event: List up to 50,000 items between 9/18 and 9/22 free. (This is over and above the 50 you get every month.) I was struggling to do 50! I wonder if I can manage to break the 50 threshold in just 3 days.....

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Recipe for Half-price (or Better) Pampers

It's a little late to be posting this... but it's a good deal if you can sneak it in today or tomorrow.

P&G Coupon (2) $3 off two bags/one box Pampers
Target Coupon (2) $2 off two bags/one box Pampers (these were mailed out)
Target Promo: Buy two BOXES of Pampers, get back a $10 GC
Target Sale Price (>$22 per box)


Pick up two boxes of Pampers in the size you need (larger sizes go fast, but if you've got a newborn, do it; you can always buy larger sizes and store them, so take advantage of what's available.)
Use all 4 coupons
Use the $10 on your next order (you can split transactions in the same visit)
Save a lot.

$20 per box =$40
-$10 in coupons
-$10 GC credit (use immediately)
Total cost: $20 for two BOXES, which is a decent regular price for two bags at about 60% savings in the largest sizes!

Note on splitting transactions: In order to get the $10 GC you must check the Pampers all out at once; so have $10 of other stuff to buy in the next transaction.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The Twins College Fund Project

 At the beginning of this blog, I discussed how much it costs to send one child through college today, let alone twins 16 years from now. So we started Maryland Savings Plans for each of our kids--and here's the trick--by each parent (each kid has two college funds; each can max out at $321,000). The maximum tax benefit is reached once you deposit $2500 per year into the individual's plan.

So here's the challenge I've set myself: Accrue $5,000 by December 31, 2012 (the deadline). I've got FOUR months*, and here are the rules:

I do this all from home, by selling off overage, old toys and kids' clothes, stuff we never used, old books, and (hopefully) a little freelance writing. (Because someone has to watch the twins.)

I have to deduct expenses for newly purchased supplies, but not for items we already own (boxes, envelopes, pack tape, etc.).
Listing/selling the item cannot involve additional fees, but may involve a percentage cut once the item sells (no listing fees allowed, commissions ok.)
If someone wants to buy something I've listed, I MUST sell it, even for the minimum price. (No reserve pricing.)
If a previously listed item doesn't sell, it must be donated before we file our taxes. The total refund added on as a result of donations cannot be counted toward this FY, but can be counted toward next year's FY. So if I donate $100 worth of items, I get ~$30 toward next year's effort.
Option: Items purchased for resale must cost less than $5 each, and no more than $50 invested at once (items must sell before I purchase more). Again, all listed items not sold by year's end have to be recycled. I can keep unsold articles for publication.

Here's the plan:

Bookholders: My year-to-date total is $44.47. Whoo-hoo! Gotta run some more books over there.

Craig's list: I sold most of our moving boxes for about $50.

Ebay: This is a fun one. Ebay recently (don't ask me when) began offering 50 FREE listings (no insertion fee) per month. This means that I can only list 50 times (relisting once counts again), and can't use any upgrades like gallery photos.
Check out my eBay auctions

Freelance some parenting stories.

MOM Groups' Consignment sales: We net an average of $300 per sale, so two annual sales should account for $600 of the money, but I think I can do better.

Selling off precious metals. I'll keep you posted on the price of copper.....

My running total for this FY? $364.57. 
Only $4635.43 to go!

I think it's a good plan, especially as I'm at risk of becoming a hoarder.

*Author's Note: I amended this information because I erroneously thought the deadline was the same for 529 plans as for IRAs (Tax day of the following year, so 4/15/13). Not so! The deadline is the end of the calendar year. Instead of 8 months, I have 4. Yikes.