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Financing my next trip with ebay

No, I'm not trying to sell anything here. I just always think of the times people post...how can you afford to travel? I do utilize air miles to help pay for our tickets, and we would usually save with every paycheque. But I am trying another experiment...ebay. We were the recipient of a lot of 'stuff' when we moved my in-laws from their home to a seniors apt. A lot was what I would consider junk, but you would be surprised what I sold it for. There was a storage box of my husband's toys from the early 70's (and he kept things in good shape) and I am currently selling some of his old role playing games from the 80's. Since starting to sell in late January, I am almost to the point where I can buy our two plane tickets without using our miles (I'm saving those for Australia in 2014). My goal is to finance our trip in Dec to France with ebay stuff. I'm currently not working and my unemployment ran out last July. Mortgage is paid off a year ago, and thanks to a generous gift from our in-laws, I shouldn't have to worry about working for the year. We could pay for the trip with some of that gift, or use the income tax refund hubby will receive, but my challenge is to see if I can sell enough of our 'junk' to pay for the whole trip. I did luck into an old doll of my mother-in-laws that I sold for $500...and some of hubby's toys went for $50-100 apiece. Just because you think something might be junk, you never know what someone will pay for it. I had three GI Joe dolls of hubby's that I had been going to donate to the local New To You workshop, they were in the box ready to go...decided to try them on ebay and I sold them for about $110! They weren't even in the best of shape, but...people bought them. So if you are trying to figure out how to earn a little extra money to help with your next trip, look at your stuff and think about ebay...I'm amazed at what I thought was 'junk' is actually worth $$. I'll let everyone know how successful I am!

(My goal will be about $3500 canadian, currently at about $1100 with a couple hundred more selling tonight...the cruddy part is the % ebay takes of the final sale)

Posted by
2081 posts

Nicole,

go for it and good luck.

Also, you may want to do some planning now and if youre flexible, look for some low cost fairs down there and jump on them when they show. the only drawback is that you may not be ready to go.

happy trails.

Posted by
3790 posts

I can't wait for the day hubby retires (he says when he's 55, so in 6 yrs) and we could look at vacay sales and say - oh, let's go there next week! I can dream I guess. :)

The bad thing about us being located near Halifax, we really only have Air Canada to choose from for across the pond flights (a few other options in the summer, but we tend to travel in late-Sept and the options are usually gone by Labour Day), unless we want to fly to Toronto or Montreal (or NY or Boston or somewhere) and connect...and I don't like the thought of flying the opposite direction and passing back over NS to get to Europe, to me, it's a waste of my time - I'd rather fly to London and get a cheap flight over there - at least we can spend a night or two relaxing in London before moving on. Doesn't leave much competition price wise...they don't have many sales at all. If we want to head out west, we have West Jet and Porter options at least.

Posted by
6542 posts

I was thinking that one of the European air carriers was coming into Newfoundland, as that's as far as their Boeing 737's can safely go from the U.K. And their rates are low because of their low cost airplane.
You may have some options in the future.

We visited Halifax last Summer instead of going back to Europe. That 15% sales tax and $12.99 per 6 pack beer is pretty tough on the pocketbook. My hat's off to you for having that EBay entrepreneurial spirit and being a saver.

Posted by
3790 posts

I'll have to keep an eye out for that airline...it's not too long a trip to Nfld - we had to connect thru there once to the UK using our air miles (I didn't want to fly to Toronto then back over Halifax).

Tell me about the 15%...try living with it - not that many years ago, it was 18.8%, so this is a slight improvement (that's what we have to pay for free health care, I guess!). But don't forget what the taxes are over in Europe - 20% in the UK, 22% in Italy - but it's different when it's 'hidden' - no sticker shock when you get to the register. They were going to do that here (have tax in the price), but I can't remember why they didn't. Let's just say, I love visiting New Hampshire...with the no taxes on, well, the stuff that we'd buy - clothes and such.

Now at $1400 for my goal!

Posted by
1402 posts

You are right about never knowing what things will sell for. My most unusual was getting over $100 for 6 old SURFER magazines!

Posted by
2089 posts

Ebay is a great way to get extra money, I paid for new furniture and updates to my house and also a couple of trips by "selling my childhood" as my mom puts it! I am 49 and fortunate that my parents kept all my toys, even stuff still in boxes they forgot to give me as presents, so I had a treasure trove of original Hot Wheels, Barbies and other stuff that brought in quite a lot of money. The fees are always a drag, but your auction gets a lot of exposure it wouldn't have otherwise.

I also sell clothes and shoes when I am done with them, books, etc--I donate a lot as well, but if it's sellable then I can add a bit to my mad money fund!

Posted by
3790 posts

Wow Stephen - that's very detailed! I used to keep track of my money like that :)
And Christa - sometimes it's good when parents hang onto our old stuff (my mom never did - she's almost the anti-hoarder - if it isn't being used, it's gone!)

I am now, after selling some china and a few more games, at $2300 of my goal of $3500! More then halfway - the hard part is over...seems much more attainable now!

Posted by
2347 posts

The flip side of ebay is a whole group of people who complain they have no money for travel, sitting at home playing with toys they bought online!

Posted by
3790 posts

Yeah - those people aren't interested in travel or have way to much money on their hands - but they are funding my travel dream! LOL. At $2500 for my goal, and another couple hundred coming tonight for GI Joe stuff!

Posted by
28 posts

Great idea, Nicole. Good luck! We work off points from credit cards (which are paid off each month without fail!). We have 3-4 hotel cards and an AmEx. In the fall we'll be spending 32 nights in Europe without paying for accommodation a single night! Maybe now I should scan the house and sell off some stuff for the restaurant bills.

Posted by
3790 posts

Hit $2750 with some well selling GI Joe accessories! Not much further to go now. Now my priorities have changed - I am planning to include my mom on part of our trip and asked her to pick what she'd like to see...Venice was her choice, so am planning a trip to Rome (we visited in 2008) and back to Venice for the 4th time (lol - I knew I'd get around my husband saying we have been there enough times). She will be visiting my sister in Portsmouth and we plan to piggy-back onto her travel days and give her 9 days in Italy. She is worried about money, so now I hope to pay for most of her expenses with this. Accoms aren't much more for 3, and with only 2 places, train travel will be at a minimum (and plan on getting that expensive Rome-Venice ticket early). None of us are big eaters. The big expenses will be (other then accom) intra-Europe flights (as she will be in Portsmouth) - but even those aren't too much...and public transport and museums/sights. She has never seen anywhere other then Portsmouth as my sis picks her up at the airport (not even London - well, she may have been over before all us kids were born, and she lands at Gatwick) and I want to give her this. She'll be a healthy 68 this year (or 67 - I can't keep track) and I want to do this one thing for her. I mean, selling GI Joe stuff for $120 = a few meals, or museum admission for 3, or the vaporetto pass for 3 days.

And ck - we have our airmiles credit cards and use them most places for bonus miles (gas and grocery...and paying the oil bill), and they can add up fast. We have almost enough for one ticket after using them all last Aug for tix to California. We pay them off every month, but this trip I am hoping to just do cash for flights as I am trying to save enough to get one ticket for our (hopeful) Australian trip next year. But points cards are great if you use them wisely and to your advantage!

Well, gotta go list an old train set that I hope will net a few hundred! And people - don't dismiss Hallmark ornaments - if I am ever truly desperate, I have a set I started collecting in 2005 called Beauty of Birds - the first two issues in that set are netting upwards of $250-300 each on ebay...but I like them and admire them every year, so I's keepin em for now!

Posted by
48 posts

I am also financing my trip to Italy with Ebay!!! I decided I have way too much stuff spring cleaning and started posting my items and selling lots!! I'm at $3,500 hoping to get to $5,000 or more that's my goal!!!! Travel isn't cheap so anyway you can make it happen!!! Yay to ebay!

Posted by
3790 posts

It's great that not only can you clean out unwanted junk, but that you can get so much money for it! Haven't sold much in the last week - oh, I did sell a train set for $150, so that puts me at about $2900...I'm running out of stuff - tho I did discover some silver cutlery pieces that I will never use - have to research them for sure - looks like they can fetch a good price. And it's warming up, so I'll have a few garage sales for stuff that isn't worth selling on ebay...the goal is within sight!

Posted by
767 posts

When I was in college, I helped finance a study abroad trip with ebay. I sold my old Strawberry Shortcake house for $800!!!! And it was even missing a few pieces which were honest about. I also did well with my old Jem Dolls. I think there is a lot of 80s nostalgia out there. Good luck to you!

Posted by
3790 posts

Unlike my mother-in-law, who seemed to keep everything (my husband is an only child, and we had to clean out their home when it went for sale...well, they weren't quite at the hoarder stage, but they had old broken small appliances like toasters 'We didn't know where to get rid of them'...ummmm...the garbage? And there was an old laundry hamper full of grocery bags! I guess they figured someday there would be a use for all this stuff...and just soooo much STUFF) - my mom never kept ANYTHING! But with 4 girls and growing up in a trailer (mobile home), there wasn't a lot of room to keep stuff. I wish now she could have squirreled away a few things...like my pink Barbie corvette, my Barbie motor home...lol - but we were pretty hard on them. Oh...my Charlie's Angels dolls and van, my strawberry shortcake doll...a goldmine! Sigh...

Posted by
180 posts

And I'm sure you're all reporting these profits on your tax return, right? Especially since you've been nice enough to post about it so that the IRS can see it if they so choose.....

Posted by
3790 posts

Pam - if that comment is directed at me - I'm in CANADA, so I'm not worried about the IRS...

Posted by
3790 posts

As an update - I managed to surpass my goal by about $1000. I used it to pay for all our hotels/airbnb's, advance train ticket purchases, inter-Europe flight, as well as paying for a group tour and a new lens for my camera! And still some left over for any other things I may do in advance. But anything we do while over there - food, attractions, will be paid for by hubby and not my ebay money.

Posted by
449 posts

Nicole, I am late to this story, so my apologies.

What a fantastic idea!! I always box up stuff for charity because I have never even bought on eBay!

How does one go about selling? Maybe you could PM me the answer. I have tons of old things (toys and books), China and knick knacks collecting dust in the attic. Never thought to fund a trip that way.

Where are you going, and for how long?

You're quite a determined lady. Good
For you :)

Posted by
186 posts

Just wanted to add my 2 cents on eBay. I started selling stuff from around the house as well as some odds and ends of my grandmother's 3 1/2 years ago. I've sold over $15K worth of junk and really had a great time doing so. But please anyone looking to sell on eBay do not start with anything of great value. Sell a few small things until you get the hang of it. There are scammers out there just waiting to take advantage of a newbie (they can tell because the number of transactions you have is listed near your ID). I was scammed out of $50 once early on before I found the eBay community boards -- and I was selling plastic trinkets. Anyone selling real jewelry or small electronics think twice before you try eBay -- and definitely spend some time reading the Selling board to make yourself aware of what can go wrong. To quote one of the board members "If you can't afford to lose it, don't list it".