Saturday, December 31, 2011

Couch Conundrum

Have I mentioned that I have 3 children under 5? I also have a love for mid-century modern design and vintage goods. However there is no way I am going to spend the amount it costs to get an awesome mid-century couch and then allow my 3 children to sit on it. (or allow myself to drink coffee on it) We have had an Ikea couch in our living room since this summer when we installed new floors and sold a lot of our old furniture. I hated that couch. It was uncomfortable and not really cute and belonged in our playroom for kids to make forts out of the cushions. I have searched craigslist a little, but did not find what I was looking for in my price range. At the thrift store I recently came across this couch. Not entirely awesome, but it has a right shape and was decent enough to last us until our youngest is old enough to be trusted near a nicer couch. It was priced at $100, but I had a 20% off coupon so we paid $80.

Friday, December 30, 2011

I have had good luck with baby gear in part because I can spot nicer brands and high quality pieces pretty easily. I saw this baby bouncer and was hopeful. I like the simply design. Most of the mass produced bouncy seats are obnoxious colors and have many toys hanging all over them. The bent plywood is a modern hallmark as well. The brand was Svan, which I was not familiar with and it said made in Sweden so I took a risk. Anything that is obviously gendered (like this pink) is harder to sell, but this was priced at $4.99, which was an amount I was prepared to lose. When I looked it up at home I was disappointed to find out it is brand that is sold at Babies R Us and Target, meaning there may not be much of a resale demand. However the new price was pretty high ($119), so I gave it a shot. I did have to lower the price once, but I eventually sold it on craigslist for $40, which is a good profit.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Snow day prep

It has not (and maybe will not) snow in Seattle yet this year. If it does snow everything in the city will be shut down and no one will be expected to do anything. Also it will melt the following day. Despite this the parent in me feels like I must stock up on snow boots when found at the thrift store. Shoes are one of those things that you can never find in the size you need when you need it (at least for kids whose shoe size keeps changing). So when I find good, not too worn shoes in the kids' upcoming sizes I buy them. These Sorel snow boots would have probably fit my son and daughter next winter. I found them at Goodwill for $4.99 and $5.99 repectively. However they were taking up room in the drawer I have ear marked for upcoming shoes and snow boots are not what I would consider essential in Seattle unless you are a snow adventurer which I am decidedly not. I decided to off load them and try to make some money. I sold them together to one buyer for $45.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Little Legos are such a great toy. (As opposed to Duplos. Am I the only one who calls them that?) My kids love them and they are so classic. Loose Legos bagged are hard enough to find so I don't plan on seeing any complete sets when I scour the toy section at Goodwill. I was pretty happy when I came upon this Lego city set new in the box. One side of the box had been smashed and the end opened, but all the Legos were there in their unopened bags and the instructions and decal stickers were intact as well. This was priced at $4.99, more than I usually pay for toys, but still pretty good considering it the retail price is $45. I was hoping to make some money on it, but I also figured if it didn't sell I could pass it on to my kids and not feel too bad about it. It sold fast on craigslist for $25. Not a huge profit, but pretty good for about 15 minutes work.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

More Hot Haba

Yesterday I posted about my Haba Walker Wagon. Since I was reflecting about Haba I remembered my Haba pull toy I got at the thrift store several years ago. When you pull it the pieces spin. Pretty cute and fairly fun for a child, for awhile at least. It retails for $45. At the time I was able to write to Haba and get replacement pieces free of charge. I have since found out that they now charge for replacement pieces. These nicer toys missing important pieces are found in abundance at the thrift store. Sometimes it might be worth purchasing replacement parts, but not always. This toys cost me a $.99 investment. My kids played with it some, but there is no way they got $45 worth of fun out of this thing, so I am glad I didn't pay full price. I sold it on craigslist for $20 when I got tired of trying to find the pieces that were always under the couch for some reason.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Hot Haba

Awesome find today! Haba is a great toy brand. Nice wooden quality toys. Very expensive as well. Sometimes these nice toys earn their price by being well made and well loved. Sometimes they seem to be designed more for the parents than for the way children actually play. This is one of the former. Super nice push toy for new walkers. It is called the walker wagon and is lots of fun for kids to use as a stroller or cart. You can feel when you pick it up that it is good quality and will not tip over when weight is put on it. I found it today at goodwill for $4.99. Usually they retail for $150. (Crazy right?!) I contemplated keeping it for a couple of weeks, but my kids are mostly past this stage and we already have strollers and larger toys like this coming out of our ears. I posted it on craigslist and had no problem selling it for $75 in a few days. Pretty easy money.

Green Toys

These Green Toys brand trucks are made from recylced milk jugs, thus making them greener than your average junky plastic truck readily found at the thrift store. ( the link if you are interested.) I am a sucker for all things labeled environmentally friendly so I get taken in by these trucks when I see them at the store. They are almost always not priced making them $1.29 each. Pretty good price since they cost almost $20 new. To be honest though they are not that great of a toy. My kids seem to prefer smaller matchbox sized cars when they want to play transportation. These are just too big. I was able to sell the two of them for $15 once it was clear they were not earning their (large) place in our toy cabinet.