17 April 2018

Getting the family outdoors with Gumtree

This post is in collaboration with Gumtree Australia

Growing up, nearly every Saturday morning consisted of It’s a Knockout and Rage on the TV, netball and garage sales, although not necessarily in that order. Mum and Dad would load us all into the car to satisfy their desire to find a bargain and although we absolutely despised their hobby in the beginning, we grew to love it.

That love of seeking out an epic deal is most definitely still a passion of mine today, and maybe even more so as an adult with financial responsibilities like home loans, electricity bills and insurances.
Those early Saturday morning treasure hunts in the car are not at all practical with three young kids, so these days I much prefer looking online for things that I may have previously searched for at a garage sale or op shop.

One of my favourite online marketplaces is Gumtree.

I'm an occasional seller and regular browser and buyer of things like clothing, shoes, home appliances, home decor and now, something fun for the entire family - a trampoline. I've picked up both new and used quality brand name items for a fraction of the original retail cost including a Dyson upright vacuum cleaner for $60 valued at over $900!

With a four year old whose toy obsession seems to change as often as Instagram's algorithm, I'm always on the hunt for new (second-hand) toys or activities to encourage more play and less screen-time. When Ben 10 or Thomas the Tank Engine become so yesterday, I can sell the no-longer-cool goods and replace them with whatever is 'in' (for reference, it's all about Star Wars in this house at the moment.)

Buying and selling are simple on any device with my preference being the Gumtree app. It's super easy to use both as a seller and a buyer, with multiple search and sort options, filters,
a messaging tool and watch list. You can find just about anything (both new and used) on Gumtree from the very popular (like cars, foot spas and treadmills) to the not so common. You can even find events, real estate listings and jobs on the marketplace.

My buying tips:
  • Use the save search feature to be notified when new listings are posted that meet your search criteria. You can select to be notified by email immediately, daily or weekly.
  • Unless an item is an absolute steal, always negotiate with the seller. Most sellers amplify their price as they know there will be some level of negotiation but don’t offend a seller by offering super low.
  • Expand your search region beyond your local suburb or region – most sellers are willing to post or you may be able to get friends of family to collect for you
  • If you’re unsure from the listing if you want the item, inspect before committing to buy.
  • Think of alternative ways that a brand or product could be spelled (incorrectly) – this is something that I learnt years ago when I noticed women selling sequinned dresses as sequence dresses. My dad uses this tip all the time when he is searching for rare car parts and often beats out other buyers only searching the traditional way.
My selling tips:
  • Again, be reasonable about price. We all want as much money as we want but if you list it too high, no one will be interested
  • Be descriptive - detail brand, size, quality, condition etc
  • Take good photos as they can also form part of the description
  • Respond to messages in a timely matter
  • List multiple items at once - often buyers will see what else you have for sale to maybe do a bundle deal or save on postage
Our latest purchase is a Vuly trampoline. I’ve been thinking about getting a trampoline for the family for quite some time now but after researching just how much a new tramp costs, I did a Gumtree search for a second hand option. I located a rarely used, near new trampoline in my region and contacted the buyer via the app. The price was a little higher than I was hoping to pay so through messages, I clarified the condition, brand, location etc and we agreed on a price $60 under the list price and started to make arrangements for collection. I knew hubby wouldn’t want to dismantle, collect and then reassemble a 14ft trampoline so again, I went to the app and within minutes had arranged a gentleman to do the work for me. Again, I negotiated the price. As someone who doesn’t enjoy talking on the phone, not once did I have to talk to anyone and without any hassle, the trampoline was in my yard when I got home from work on Monday afternoon. Winning!

With more than 3 million listings at any one time, you never know what you might find!
Blogger Tricks

07 December 2017

Globber Evo 4-in-1 Scooter Review and Giveaway

It's quite obvious I haven't blogged in a long time but when two Globber scooters arrived on my doorstep on Monday, I dusted the laptop off and put fingers to keys to introduce you to Globber and their new Evo 4-in-1 scooter.

Not only did I receive one for each of the twins, you have the opportunity to win one for a special little someone in your life too!

The Globber EVO 4-in-1 is the perfect transitional scooter for any kid 12 months and up. As the name suggests, there are 4 configurations allowing the scooter to grow with your child. Stage one is a ride on/balance bike style scooter with two different height options with the option of parent assistance with the push handle. Once your child has mastered and outgrown stage one, you can easily (this mama and 4 year old Ned found it a breeze) transform it to a proper scooter, again, with the height being adjustable.

The scooter will comfortably hold up to 20kg in the first stage ride on version with seat, and up to 50kg when configured as a scooter.

This afternoon on the scooter's maiden test run, the twins (now 17 months) pretty quickly got the balance bike concept but also loved placing their feet on the deck for the full pushchair experience and who could blame them with the view?
I'm excited to see them develop and transition to master scooter just like their big brother.

At $160, this is an investment item compared to what you might pay for a scooter or balance bike at a mainstream department store but well worth it for the quality and longevity. Ned has been riding the My FREE Up scooter for over 18 months and although it is well loved in terms of use, the quality is still as good as when we received it.

Not only do I think the Evo is pretty cool, Australian Mother and Baby magazine awarded it a Gold Medal in the developmental toy category earlier this year.

Welcome to the family Evo.
For your chance to win one of these amazing scooters, jump over to Facebook or Instagram and comment with the scooter emoji and your choice of dark blue, pink or green.

Competition closes Sunday 10 December 5:00pm AEDST for postage within Australia. Pre Christmas delivery cannot be guaranteed but is likely with prompt communication.

24 July 2017

Party of Five

Chantelle of Fat Mum Slim recently published a post expressing her heartache, disappointment and confusion about that question that plagues a lot of mums (and perhaps dads too).

When did you know you were done? 

After taking some time to fall pregnant after having Ned, hubby and I realised we were pretty content with just the one child, and then what felt like a moment later, we found out we were expecting twins.

While it may be controversial and I don't at all mean to be insensitive, I and we are SO done - emotionally as well as financially. 

My ovaries don't ache, I have no desire to cuddle newborn babies and I certainly don't ever daydream about 'just one more'. I actually physically shuddered the other day at the doctor's surgery after the twin's vaccinations at the sound of a newborn wailing and breathed a sigh of relief that that will never be us again. And to be honest, I'm positively terrified at the thought of having any more children.

Financially, we've reached our capacity too. I want to bring my kids up to lead a comfortable life just like my parents did for us and know that if we had any more kids it would challenge those ideals. 

Finally, relationship wise, I feel like all of my love and patience is dedicated to our offspring and trying to keep the ship sailing so to speak that I have little time or energy to place into our relationship as husband and wife. Just the other day the husband advised me that an hour after he'd got home from work I still hadn't said hello. And even when he was telling me that I'd practically ignored him, I still hadn't greeted him and instead was just barking orders at him to help me with getting the twins to bed. That isn't fair at all to him and that is why it wouldn't at all be fair to have any more children. 

Our party of five is just right.

Have you reached your number?

18 July 2017

Less Screen Time : Introducing Pop the Pig

It’s entirely our fault that we’ve created a bit of an iPad monster in the form of a slightly chubby, super cheeky and terribly smart nearly four year old. Newborn twins will do that to you. Two screaming babies and two adults left little time for a three year old craving attention, and we soon discovered that he was quite content with catching up on his fave shows via the ABC kids app. We then discovered the YouTube kids app and Ned fell in love and fascination with people reviewing toys, playing with those toys and even watching people from all over the world open kinder surprise eggs (do your kids do this too?!)

I won’t lie and say he doesn’t still get the iPad more than he probably should but we definitely try and limit his screen time by trying to move his focus to outside activities when time permits, or to age appropriate games and toys.

One of those toys that he selected on a visit to Kmart one day was Pop the Pig. I think letting your kids select a toy (within budget of course) is key in keeping them interested in it, not just on the day you take it home, but many weeks and years to come.
Pop the Pig involves a die and a set of numbered and coloured 'burgers' which are fed to Pig until he bursts. It is great for kids for both their number recognition and counting skills and so fun to play with them as the anticipation builds wondering who is going to literally pop the pig first.

The kids over at Talkin Toys can show you exactly how it works or you can get in on the action by winning one over on the Trainee Mama facebook page.