This is going to require a bit of a back story. Before I started this mommy-gig I was a lady of many hats. I worked part time at the local Arts Council, I went to the University part-time working towards my degree in Classical Civ, I made art, and I sold vintage kids books and toys online. I closed up the online business in September of 2006. G-Girl was born in July of 2007. I also finished up my degree just before she was born. I remember I skipped the graduation ceremony because being 8 or 9 months pregnant and wearing a Graduation gown over full dress in the unairconditioned auditorium was just not going to happen. And I worked at the Arts Council right up until two weeks prior to my due date, at which point I went off on maternity leave never to return.
I started my online business in July of 2000. I sold vintage toys on eBay and on my own website. Toys from my own childhood, from the 70s, 80s and 90s. Toys like Strawberry Shortcake, Transformers, He-Man, Micronauts, Fisher Price Little People, Get Along Gang, My Little Pony, Thundercats, all that good stuff.
It was a legit, tax paying, over-the-table, business. I hated the book-keeping and the accounting, but other then that it was great. I didn’t make oodles of money, but it was great for a side job while attending school. When we decided to have a child, I closed up the business. The main reason was I wanted to be able to earn maternity pay. As long as I owned my own business and was self-employed I would never be able to claim E.I., despite the fact that I was working and contributing to it. (The rules for the have actually changed in the last few years and apparently you can now claim E.I. as a self-employed individual if you choose to pay into it. I haven’t really looked into it so I’m hazy on the details). Also when I started the business I created it as a partnership between myself and my husband, which just ended up being a pain come tax time. The easiest way to get his name off of the business was just to close it down. Oh, and I had chosen a pretty goofy name; Gilvan Blight’s Trading Post. I later started calling myself The Retro Toybox, but officially the name was unchanged. Again, the easiest way to change the name was just to shut it down. So I closed up the business with the intention of reopening it at some point in the future. That was over four years ago. I’m thinking I should probably get around to reopening it, solely in my name, and under the new much cool moniker.
When I closed up I still had MOUNDS of stock. I had a bedroom with all four walls lined with bookshelves, ( floor to ceiling, plus the closet), absolutely chock full of vintage toys and doodads. I wish I had taken photos. It was sort of impressive, in a terrifying kind of way. We emptied that room out to make a bedroom for G-Girl when the second baby came along. I condensed everything as much as I could, packed it in boxes, and moved it down into the furnace room, where we managed to somehow squeeze four bookcases in next to the laundry machines.
eBay is not the market place it once was, or the market on vintage toys has really dropped, or both. This stuff is not worth half of what it once was. A lot of it is no longer even worth my time to list it to sell. I try and get myself focused on selling something, I pick something out, I look it up and find out it’s not worth a tenth of what it was last time I looked. It’s depressing.
So basically, I have toys. Tons and tons of vintage toys, and puzzles, and books, and video games, and TV trays, and bed sheets, and you name it. Too much stuff. Crowding up my house. I am a hoarder and a collector. I don’t have the heart to pitch this stuff and I need to get rid of some of it. I need to start listing stuff again on eBay. Also there is the whole “Oh Boy We Really Need Money” and “This One Income Thing Sucks” thing.
What I really need is some motivation. Some accountability. I figure if I boldly announce to the world that I intend to list some new toys every week, it will give me the kick I need. As to how to pick out what to sell, well ABC Wednesday just started a new round, so I’m planning on doing an A to Z in vintage toys. Starting with my next post, A is for… Well you’ll have to wait and see. And I intend to list at least one matching item on eBay for every A to Z post. So I’m aiming for one item a week minimum. Which considering I used to average 20-70 should be an obtainable goal. And if I don’t post something, well call me out for it. Please.
So here’s the plan…
I’m going to make a post every Wednesday highlighting one vintage toy. And at the same time I will list at least one matching item on eBay. I intend to use photos of items I actually have on hand to illustrate the post. However, I don’t want to violate ABC Wednesday terms of service so I won’t be linking directly to any eBay auctions. I’m not trying to sell anything to you guys. More just trying to use the public eye to keep me moving. And I do love vintage toys! I love talking about them and reminiscing on my favorites. Overall I think this should be a fun series of posts, and I hope you enjoy it.
If you’re interested you can find my eBay account here.
(Yeah, there’s nothing up there right now… I’m working on it, I’m working on it!)