Family travel with flair

Knicker elastic and other eBay treasures

Tweet– Sponsored post – There are lots of cool things you want on eBay. But it’s also a treasure trove for all those things you didn’t even know you wanted. Vintage 1940s knicker elastic. A mint condition Charles and Diana jigsaw. A gently used gerbilarium. Before I started the eBay Challenge with several other bloggers, I knew the site was a place where you could pick up designer labels and electronics but I had no idea of just how many strange needs it could fill for me. In the eBay Challenge, each blogger was given £250 (later augmented with a further £50) to do Christmas shopping. The object was to score as many bargains as we could. We could add to our available funds by selling things too. I spent close to all my money, including £19.50 I got for a Trail-gator bike tow that I’d been meaning to get rid of for close to a year. And here’s what I got for the people on my list. (Also see what Mummytips and A Modern Mother scored.) Vintage 1940s knicker elastic, £5.50 – This very unusual item emitted a siren call that I was unable to resist. I was planning to give this to a friend who loves vintage packaging, but I find myself unable to part with it. Great package. Bizarre product. I didn’t know I needed it. I really really did. Cashmere socks (new), £20.50 (a £5 savings from retail) – For my mother. If other listings are anything to go by, cashmere socks are a hot property – they go for close to retail price and they go fast. Keep Calm and Carry On mug, £5.99, and poster, £6.40 – For my aunt and uncle, and for my sister. I’ve written about how this slogan is the perfect gift for Americans. The poster even came with a sheet describing the origin of the slogan and design. Charles & Diana jigsaw, £6.39 – For my mother, a royal watcher. Still in its original plastic wrap. Try to find THAT in Argos. 28 Day Later, £.99 – For husband’s stocking. Replacing a copy that went missing in the last move. A cover for an iTouch, £1.97 – Stocking stuffer for stepson. It turns out Father Christmas brought him an iTouch. What a coincidence. A vintage brochure from a hotel in Lubbock, Texas, $10 US, £6.60 (£2.86 service fee imposed by seller) – For my parents. I bought this from a U.S.-based seller and easily paid in a foreign...

Take part in the eBay blogger challenge and win £100!

TweetFor me, Christmas shopping really begins the day after Thanksgiving (Nov 24) – the time in America during which every single sentient being with a wallet and a credit card descends on the shops. Yesterday I put together my Christmas list. Today I actually went to the shops with the entire family (emphasis mine) and bought things for under the tree. But while shops decked out for Xmas are quite jolly, what I really love is a bargain. That’s why I’m thrilled to be one of the bloggers taking part in the eBay Mummy Blogger challenge. My fellow challenge-er, Sian at Mummy-tips.com, described the challenge well: Five bloggers, each with £250 to spend on eBay in the run up to Christmas. We need to spend wisely, bag some bargains and pull in all the help we can from fellow eBayers in order to win the challenge. Of course there’s something in it for you too. We each get to pick our most helpful supporter who will then be rewarded with a £100 PayPal credit to spend how they please! The challenge runs until Dec 12th – so I need your suggestions for great bargains on eBay as well as your votes. The other bloggers are off and running – see all our activity on this groovy Facebook app. Until then, I’d love your suggestions on: * Cool stocking fillers for a 12-year-old who mainly seems to want apps and Nintendo games * Stocking fillers and cool little extras for a 7-year-old tomboy who doesn’t like pick anymore, mummy, so don’t buy anything else in that colour! * Cool, perhaps British, gifts for a Texas grandmother who likes art, beautiful clothes, good books and pretty jewellery * Brit gifts for Americans – if it’s cool, quirky and you can’t get it Stateside, I want to know about it! If you see anything on eBay that fits the bill – or if you just see something fun, strange or interesting – suggest it to me by clicking on the “Suggest a Gift” tab on the Facebook page. Because Christmas is all about giving, and it would be great to give you £100 to spend on whatever you’d like! Happy shopping!...

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