Petit Fours » A group blog of authors writing in different genres

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Get Rich-Not

By Susan May

           My husband is a huge World War II buff. I call him a nut but he prefers buff. Anyway, he wants to visit Iwo Jama. The Japanese will close the island to visitors when the last WWII veteran passes away. Most vets are in their late 80s so the pressure to go soon is on. After spending two kids through college and still having one in college, we are hunting everywhere for money to pay for the trip.

                Like Tami Brothers wrote about in her blog Monday,  I have a Barbie collection also. My husband has 1000s upon 1000s of baseball cards. Last Saturday was our day to think about selling. I pulled out some of my dolls and we started checking to see what they were going for on ebay. We laughed ourselves silly. My Christmas Barbies that were bought for $20 were going for $ .99. My husband said, “We won’t be getting rich off those.” I put them back into storage. When I complained that the dolls were taking up space,  my husband said, “At least we don’t have to pay for them to eat.” What he didn’t know was that I’d just spent $40 for boxes to store the Barbies in.

My daughter called while all this high finance was going on and asked what we were doing. When I told her, she accused us of selling her Barbies to finance our trip. I explained we couldn’t even get to town with gas at $3.50 a gallon on what we would make off selling her dolls.

My husband’s baseball cards didn’t fare much better. At one time, he had a card that was worth $70 but is now worth $4 because the player got hurt. My husband has a 100 or so cards of another player that he had hoped would really pay off, they’re worth nothing now.

I did come up with a plan to make money off the Barbies though. If we sell them for $.99 and charge $10 shipping, we could clear $7 of the postage. Instead, like Tami, my dolls are in plastic tubs in the closet. We will try to sell them again around Christmas. I think the better plan to have enough money to send my husband to the Pacific is to pass a hat.

Have you ever planned to sell something and found out it is worth nothing?

One lucky commenter will win a Christmas Barbie. And I’ll pay the postage.

Pam Asberry - April 4, 2011 - 12:24 am

I invested a small fortune in children’s books that are worth absolutely nothing now. I just dropped off about 150 hardcover books at Goodwill yesterday. I blame the economy. I think things will turn around at some point. Then again, maybe they won’t. Pass the hat! ;-)

Sandra Elzie - April 4, 2011 - 7:09 am

Oh Brenda, what a great post and timely since a lot of folks in our area are gearing up to clean out the closets, attic and garage. (no one I’ve talked to wants to venture into the dark, dank dungeon of the basement storage room)

No, I tend to not collect much, only antique items that I really like and have no plan to ever sell.

Hey, I have a brilliant idea!!! Maybe you could write a book and use the royalities to send him there!!! And then write a book about his adventure once he’s back. Just a thought. (g)

Sure, pass the hat…I can afford enough to pay for gas to get him to the airport. (as long as gas doesn’t get more expensive when summer vacation time hits)

Good luck,

Sandra Elzie - April 4, 2011 - 7:11 am

Can’t believe I put Brenda’s name on that reply…..I mean SUSAN. Sorry…guess I had Brenda on my mind…I think I’ll have to call her today to make sure she’s okay. (g)

Marilyn Baron - April 4, 2011 - 7:13 am

I remember when my daughter was in high school she collected beanie babies. First, she collected them because they were cute. Then she started collecting them seriously. She went to a Beanie Baby Show and sold them for about $1,2OO+. I couldn’t believe it. I think she said one Beanie Baby Hippo sold for $5OO. She used the money toward a trip to Israel.She hit the craze on the crest of the wave.

Marilyn Baron - April 4, 2011 - 7:21 am

By the way, my husband is also a WW II buff. I remember him watching this series called LThe World at War.” Yesterday we went to a documentary about Winston Churchill. All he reads are books with WW II themes. I’m also interested in that time period. The one place we thought it would be interesting to go would be Normandy.

Linsey Lanier - April 4, 2011 - 7:52 am

We have a whole pile of things to sell on eBay. After reading your post, Susan, I’m afraid to look at what some of it is worth.

That’s a shame about the Barbies. That photo is gorgeous. They ought to be worth more. They’ve got to sell better around Christmas. Good luck with that.

I can’t think of an alternate way to get the money for your trip. Lemonade stand, maybe? Summer’s coming…. :)

Susan - April 4, 2011 - 7:53 am

You should’ve at least save the books for your grandchildren, then again they would still be taking up space for awhile.

Susan - April 4, 2011 - 7:56 am

You are smart to just collect stuff you enjoy. I have those also. I have a Kachina doll collect. I buy one everytime I go out west. The collect is on a shelf in a bedroom where I can enjoy it.

Susan - April 4, 2011 - 8:00 am

My husband sold Beanie Babies for awhile. He did well with them and got out at the right time also. I have a WWII book coming out before Christmas so you and your husband need to plan to read it. I’ve been to Normandy three time. It is amazing and sad. You need to plan to go. The WWII museum in New Orleans goes each June.

Debbie Kaufman - April 4, 2011 - 8:01 am

Susan: Sell them together as a collection! You could always put on a reserve. Plus, just one shipment :)
My dh has lots of stuff he wants me to ebay for him. Everytime I start in, I find that whatever it is, it isn’t selling.

Susan - April 4, 2011 - 8:02 am

Maybe the lemonaid stand is the way to go…

Dianna Love - April 4, 2011 - 8:48 am

Good luck selling things for your trip, Susan. This probably falls under the “where there’s a will there’s a way” heading so I feel certain you’ll come up with the way. When my husband first got into motorcycles they were Harleys. If you’v ever owned those you know the first thing everyone does is change stuff to customize the bike with different handle bars, swap steel parts with chromed ones, etc. Then you end up with boxes of extras. I suggested he sell things on ebay to fund his bike piggy bank. ;) He did it later on and was surprised at what people would pay for “standard” parts so you never know until you try selling some of that.

I wonder if you did something to add value to the cards and dolls – like had them signed by someone – if that would be an inexpensive way to up the value. Maybe try something outside the box like getting a doll signed by an author and pair it with a signed book if you’re going to RWA this year. Then offer it as a “romance” Barbie (since she and Ken were such an item over the years). Just throwing that out as an idea. Good luck!!

Susan - April 4, 2011 - 9:29 am

Oh, Dianna trust you to come up with a great idea.

Susan May - April 4, 2011 - 10:39 am

I may just do them as a collection. I think that would help.

Maxine - April 4, 2011 - 2:43 pm

I’ll sign a doll for you! Hey, I bet bunches of us would. Oh, what’s that? Not what you meant, huh?

Yes, I have many quilts that my mother and grandmother made. Beautiful! Was going to sell them but decided to give one to nieces and nephews as they marry. The first one I sent one to, never thanked me! At least they are in the family and I won’t have to store them all!

Susan May - April 4, 2011 - 3:08 pm

Giving them as gifts sounds like a nice plan. Maybe between my children and my brother’s children I can give away about 20.

Susan - April 4, 2011 - 5:12 pm


To Diana, I’m Susan’s hubby. I have 1,000’s of autographs too! My cards and autographs are doing much better than the
The only accessory that would improve the Barbies would be flame! :)

To Susan, you know I love you but you spent $40 for storage for $30 worth of Barbies? Eyes on the Prize Baby… Eyes on the Prize

Dianna Love - April 4, 2011 - 6:03 pm

To Susan’s hubby – LOL…cold and cruel, but funny too. ;) That’s ok. We’re here to help Susan sell those gals.

Susan – Bring one to the April meeting. I’ll take it with me when I go on tour and bring it back with my and Sherrilyn’s signature with a signed copy of one of our books. Let’s test my theory. Can you dress one in Goth? That would be the ticket.

I think this is a worthy challenge.

Sia Huff - April 4, 2011 - 7:01 pm

Aww, Susan, too funny. My hubby is the collector in our family -anything Dallas Cowboys.
I’m with Dianna, I know you’ll get there by sheer willpower. You have that way to get things done. Great trait to power through, especially in writing.
I’d love to hear how the Dianna/Sherrilyn signature Barbie theory turns out. Yeah for Dianna.

Tami Brothers - April 4, 2011 - 9:20 pm

Too funny! I read your hubby’s comment to mine and he got a chuckle out of it. I did the same thing with those darn tubs. He just looked at me and asked how much I spent on my containers…grin…

Best of luck on these, Susan! Let me know if you find a great trick so I can do it with mine. :lol:


Susan May - April 4, 2011 - 10:36 pm

You’re on. I’ll bring one to the meeting. But they’re all Christmas Barbies.

Dianna Love - April 5, 2011 - 6:35 am

Susan – we’ll put “horns” on one and say Simi is going to a Christmas ball. :)

Walt M - April 7, 2011 - 5:06 pm

I would love to visit Iwo Jima, but will likely never get there. However, I do have a huge collection of comic books. However, when I mention selling it on eBay, my wife doubts it would get much of anything.

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