Thursday, August 30, 2012

Facebook Yardsales 101

Has anyone else discovered yardsales on FB (Facebook)? Now that I have, I've become a member of 4 local sites. You can usually find them by doing a search for "(insert town name here), yard sale".

It's pretty great! I've managed to purchase wicker porch furniture, and to nicely organize the girls playroom with FB yardsale deals. No having to pull over the car and park in a weird spot or to try and bargain in person. I'm saving gas, and flipping through online photo albums in the comfort of my own home. Do you think you might want to check out online yardsaling?  Shopping online can save you time and money, but it helps to know some of the lingo before you get started.

Most sites have standard rules so that things run smoothly and fairly. To begin, you need to be added to a yardsale group site as a member, often by an existing member but usually you can add yourself and then be approved by the site's administrator if membership is open. Once you are a "group member" you may be required to familiarize yourself with a site's guidelines. There are also some standard abbreviations you should be aware of and some that may be site-specific.

If you are "ISO" (In Search Of) an item, you can either post an advertisement on the site wall, i.e. "ISO: riding toys for toddlers" or you may even be able to post wanted items on a list or monthly document including your name and the items you are ISO so that the wall doesn't get too busy and it's easier for sellers to find your name and what you might be looking for in a timely fashion.

When searching among items on a site, you can flip through the photos of someones "album", or peruse the site wall and click on album links that will allow you to search the item albums of various sellers. If you find an item you like, click on the picture and you'll find a description of the item (usually with it's price and availability). Some sellers will say "make me an offer" if the price is readily negotiable. Others will list a price and you can make them a different offer. Still others will list items with a "firm" price. If you find a "firm" price, you can offer to buy it at a later time if the seller changes her mind.

Somethings are generally frowned upon. It's usually good to make a monetary offer in a "PM" (private message) so that only the seller can see it, and you should refrain from making idle comments under an item because it can cause difficulties in order of interest and with fairness.

If you "tag" someone under an item because you think they will like it, it's usually a "no-no" and you'll get emailed by the site administrator IF it's against the site rules. Only sellers are allowed to tag people under their items.  I was told this is so that there are no questions when it comes to who is first to show interest in an item. FAIRNESS is paramount.

You may check the comments under an item to find out if you are the first person to make an offer. An item may already be "PPU" (pending pick up) by another buyer, or you might be the third person in a line of people that are "interested in that item if it falls through". You can get in line by commenting under the item and the order of sale will be determined by chronological order of comments.

The first person to make an offer under a picture will make a comment under a picture in a seller's album and may also offer to PM a seller and let her know he or she is interested.and want to make an offer. Case in point, I see a wicker chair online, the seller says it has a matching chair with it (not pictured). I can tell the seller I am "interested" by leaving that word as a comment under her picture and let her know I will PM her with an offer. We will discuss details in the private message. The seller usually tries to get back to me as soon as possible because she wants to sell her stuff and then you usually want to make a deal within 24 hours. If there is a lack of communication for more than 24 hours it's safe to say the deal may have fallen through. Some sites have time boundaries to free buyers and sellers from bad deals. Most sellers will let buyers know if an item is "still available". You may notice the words "item bump 1" or "item bump 2" etc. under something for sale. That means that the seller is trying to bring the item to the front page again for visability to buyers. There are often limits imposed on "bumping" so that sites don't get flooded with multiple bumps for the same seller's item.

Once you agree on a price with a seller (usually through a private message and NOT under the comments under an item) you can make arrangements to meet in public to make the exchange.

Safety tips: always meet in a well-lit, public place, and if you can, bring along another adult with you. My husband always does my meets for me. (I also refrain from selling things publically at his request.) NEVER give out your personal information, pay in cash and try not to get so attached to an item that you allow yourself to do something stupid to get it. That $5.00 grab bag of  babydoll clothes or that $2.00 sit and spin is not worth your life, or the lives of your children asleep in the backseat. Remember, you don't have to commit to buying something based on a picture alone. You may choose to meet a seller so that you can actually view an item in person. You might not be able to see those scratches on those "solid wood nesting tables" until  you get up close and personal.

There are so many deals to be had. Just don't be sucka. Know what an item is worth by looking it up it's online, retail value in advance. To make a fair offer on an item, it helps to know what it costs when you buy it "new". Above all, have fun! But don't get crazy...

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Mini-Weightloss Update

So....the last month I haven't been faithful in my exercise habits. I need to get back on the wagon. Here is a recent picture though.

And another...


So...I am still losing weight, albeit slowly. I've lost about 10 pounds since I started the Power 90...but I haven't been Beach Body faithful to eat healthfully and to work out. Sigh. Chipping away at it....

The good news is, I've lost another size. I went from a 16/18 to a 12/14. I got back into a large shirt instead of a XL and I'm wearing size 14 jeans, which is the size I was wearing when I got pregnant. I must celebrate the small victories, so I celebrate getting back down to this size, and I press on to size 12's!

17 Months

Bag of Tricks

So when you're traveling in the car with small children for an extended period of time, what do you bring along to feed them and keep them busy? What's in your bag of tricks? In our car, my twin 17-month-old girls enjoy their share of binkies, nicies, books, battery operated phones/books, and small, stuffed animals. We pack crackers or toasted o's for their snack traps, sippies, and fruit. We also do a fair amount of singing..."The Wheels on the Bus", and "Six Little Ducks" are our go-to songs.

For fun:
What's the craziest thing you've given your toddler to play with when you've been backed into a corner? You reach into your purse/backpack/man bag and you pull out...

Do you have any new tools to showcase that YOU use in YOUR bag?

Monday, August 27, 2012

First Trip to the E.R.

First trip to the ER the other day with Rory girl. Shannie was there too, and Daddy met us there. He gets bonus daddy points for leaving work to be with us. The girls were very well behaved and boy was I glad for Jeff being able to be there with us!

Baby girl fell off a chair and cut her head. The worst part was trying to hold a clean paper towel to her head to stop the blood.  Yeah...she didn't like that. Thankfully, it stopped quickly and rather than wait for our doctor's office to open after lunch, the decision was made to take her to the hospital. The cut looked like it needed stitches. Fortunately, glue was all that was needed. She's off and running!