Yard Sale Day, Daniel Island Red Balloon Sale

It’s almost fall, ya’ll!  Fall weather means cooler temperatures which means more yard sales!  I jumped right back in after a dry spell in August with the semi-annual Daniel Island Red Balloon Day sale, a community yard sale which takes place every March and September.  There were not as many sales as I’d hoped, probably due to Tropical Storm Irma, but I still did pretty well.

I snagged a nice refillable lighter and cigar cutter for $1, Wilton Big Bird cake pan for 75 cents, two little collectible plates for 25 cents each, about 30 books for next to nothing, and how stinkin’ cute are those pink Title boxing shorts for 50 cents? But I think the deal of the day goes to the two Stearns child size life vests, mint condition, both for $5.  These are selling for between $10 and $20 each online.

I’m pretty excited about that necklace display, too (shown holding a Banana Republic necklace).  I’ve been meaning to get one and there it was at the first stop I made…for TEN CENTS. Yay!

Total spent was $30, and can probably triple that amount in sales, plus keep a few things for myself.

More posts next week…stay savvy!

What’s in an $8 Mystery Box?

I just received the $8 Mystery Box that I ordered to see how other sellers are listing these and what I would get for the money. I like opening surprises, so I was pretty excited to see this in the mail.

Well, right away there was a tiny letdown in getting a poly shipping envelope instead of a box. I know this sounds petty, but somehow it’s genuinely more exciting to open a box than a shipping envelope. No one wraps a present in an envelope unless it’s cash or gift cards, and don’t we all want to feel like we’re opening a present?

So here’s the list of contents:

Two P8 tempered glass iPhone screen protectors

Pink sleeping mask

New York souvenir keychain

Collapsible travel brush and mirror compact


The screen protectors have already been listed since I have an LG Android phone and can’t use them. Hopefully I can recoup some of the cost of this box.

The calculator will probably go into the shoebox I’m filling for Samaritan’s Purse.

The sleeping mask and keychain might get regifted, or packaged with some other nicer things in another mystery box that I sell.

I’ll keep the compact brush/mirror. I have one exactly like it already, but it doesn’t hurt to have a backup.

I give this Mystery Box a 7 out of 10. It arrived quickly, all the items were brand new as stated, shipping was free and there probably was $8 worth of stuff in there, even though I am only keeping one item.

I don’t see myself doing this too often. It’s fun, but I don’t want to accumulate a bunch of stuff I don’t need on the off chance I’ll get something I want.  I would probably purchase one or two more just for fun, maybe at a different price point or from a different seller so I don’t get the same things.

Leave a comment if you’ve received a mystery box from me and let me know what you think!

The Thrill of the eBay Mystery Box

If you are like most people who live outside of a cave, you have likely seen the Buzzfeed video on the eBay phenomenon known as the “Mystery Box”, and all the videos that soon followed.  They basically show someone who ordered a Mystery Box on eBay opening it in front of the camera to reveal its contents.  I watched several of these videos and immediately thought, “Hey…I can do THAT!”

What would make a person want to pay for items they know nothing about from a person that they know less than nothing about?  I don’t know, but if you like surprises, then I guess a surprise is a surprise, even if it’s a bad one.  And some of the boxes I saw online were really, really bad.  So my next thought was, “Hey…I can do BETTER than that!”

I think the only thing I find more fun than receiving a surprise is giving one.  Right away, I started piling up stuff that I though would be fun and/or useful. I made 4 different boxes and listed them. “Mystery Box, All NEW Items, NO TRASH, Fun!”  Or something like that.  This was around 8pm. The following morning, I go to check my listings, and where is my Mystery Box???  DELETED. By eBay.  With an automated message about how mystery boxes are not allowed.  Whaaaaat?!?  So I do a quick search on eBay for “mystery box”…over 9,000 results.  Clearly, there has been some mistake, as there are thousands of people “allowed” to list mystery boxes.  I try again.  Deleted.  I rephrase the title and description. Deleted.  I call it a Grab Bag instead of a Mystery Box, but I’m not happy with that because I know that no one is doing a search for “grab bag”, so I change it back. Deleted.  I give up.

Then I decide I will order a box from a seller whose listing states that they have sold over 100 mystery boxes. How??? I choose an $8 box with free shipping.  I’m not expecting much for that price, but I have to know how these people are doing this without having their listings removed.  While I am on that seller’s page, I decide to try one more thing.  I click “Sell one like this”, tweak the title and description, put 4 quantity, and list it.

SUCCESS! Not only has this listing been up for a record 2 days and counting, I sold one of the boxes today!  I don’t think I have ever been more excited about selling something in my life.  I have no idea what was so different about this listing that it was not deleted.

In the meantime, I still have to get the box that I ordered.  I check on my order and under the listing title I see a message from eBay stating that the item has been…DELETED.  It had already been marked shipped, so no matter, and I can move on knowing that it’s them and not me.

So I guess the secret to keeping a Mystery Box listing up on eBay is…RELIST INDEFINITELY.  Eventually they might leave you alone.

I haven’t received my box yet, but I’ll post about it when I do.  If you decide to live dangerously for a minute and order a Mystery Box from me, I would love to hear what you think of your box in the comments!