I'm a diehard thrifter and garage sale addict! I love the thrill of the hunt! And I love making CASH from trash so I also resell on eBay and Etsy. I share my successes to inspire you ... and my failures so you learn from my mistakes. Please join me on this wild and crazy ride of making cash from trash!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Best Things I’ve Sold on eBay ~ #10 Vintage Vogue Ginnette Doll Bed Crib

Starting Bid: $6.99 Winning Bid: $31.00
Paid: $1.99 From: Goodwill
Ended: 06/15/08 Winner:  CA

When I first saw this Baby Ginnette Doll crib, I passed it up because it was in very used condition.  But the more I thought about it, the more I knew I should go back to grab it … after all, it was only $1.99.   Luckily, it was still there.

After bringing it home, I began to have second thoughts about listing it.  For a few minutes, I even had visions of repainting it, decorating it with decals, and then selling it.  But that just seemed like too much work, and in the end I listed it as is.  Good thing I did because I think it’s real value was in the name “Ginnette” with the original designs. 

Little did I know at the time that the crib was about 50 years old and in relative good condition for the secondary market.  I would have been happy if it’d sold for $10, but it ended up selling for $31.00 … more than 15 times what I paid … even without its original bedding! I can only imagine what it’s worth in mint condition.

History:  "Ginnette" was made by the Vogue Doll Company between 1955-1969;  and was introduced as the baby sister of the very popular Ginny Doll.  She was an 8” drink-wet doll, and some of her outfits even matched sister Ginny's.

Ginny’s roots go back to 1922, when Jennie Adler Graves established Ye Olde Vogue Doll Shoppe in her home in Massachusetts, and began dressing and selling imported German dolls to a well-known Boston department store.

Success followed success until 1948, when Mrs. Graves introduced an 8" plastic doll, the forerunner to Ginny. Storeowners and consumers alike loved the new doll; and in 1951, Ginny was officially born, named after Jennie's daughter Virginia.  By 1957, Ginny had reached over five million dollars per year in sales.

Mrs. Graves retired in 1960, and her daughter Virginia and son in law Edwin Nelson continued to lead the Vogue Doll company until Virginia's retirement in 1966. The company was then run entirely by Mr. Nelson until 1972 when he retired and the Vogue name was sold to Tonka Corporation.

Between 1972 and 1995 Ginny had a succession of owners.  But in 1995 Ginny was once again reunited with The Vogue Doll Company name.  (For more information go to www.voguedolls.com)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Best Things I’ve Sold on eBay ~ #9 Vintage Regal China Quaker Oats Cookie Jar

Starting Bid: $12.99 Winning Bid: $12.99
Paid: $3.99 From:  Goodwill
Ended: 06/15/08 Winner: Idaho

I could kick myself for selling this cookie jar (I think I’ve said that before)!  I wish I still had this one as I have not been able to find another one for the past couple of years.  I paid only $3.99 for this great item, and some lucky bidder in Idaho now has a nice addition to their collection for a great price.  Estimated value of this cookie jar is now between $40.-$60. and up to $90.  This is the one that got away!

History:   In the late seventies a new promotion for Quaker Oats appeared. "It's the Quaker Man's Happy Birthday Cookie Jar".  The ad reads in part, "It was 100 years ago that our old fashioned man became the trademark of the Quaker Oats Company. . . . An authentic replica of the Old Fashioned Quaker Oats package recreated in high quality dishwasher-safe porcelain by Regal China".
  • Mail-in Premium
  • Available in 1977
  • Height: 9-3/4"
  • Issue price: $6.95
  • Price Estimates: From $40.-$60. up to $90.

I have a small collection of cookie jars that I’ve purchased during the past few years from thrift stores.  I used to be able to pick them up for about $3-$4.  Recently, the prices have gone up and they are now selling for about $6-$8 … still a good deal for a nice cookie jar.  I think I’ll be keeping any cookie jar treasures I find!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Best Things I’ve Sold on eBay ~ #8 Vintage Shell Oil Service Attendant Cap

Starting Bid: $9.99 Winning Bid: $18.58
Paid: $0 From:  Free
Ended: 06/08/08 Winner:  N/A

Do some of you remember when gas stations were full-service … and self-service was rare if non-existent?  You drove up to the pump, and a service station attendant would pump gas for you, wash your windows and check your oil.  He would take your money or credit card, go to his cash register and return with your receipt.  No need to ever get out of your car.  Wow, did service like that really exist or was it all a dream?! 
Yup, it was real … and as recent as the 1990’s, you could still choose full-service or self-service.  I think for as much as we pay for gas today ($3.00-$3.15/gallon in my area), they should not only check the oil and wash the windows, they should wash the whole car!!  We now pay more and get less.

Anyway, I got this really neat Shell Oil Service Attendant Cap for free when I volunteered to help a disabled, widowed & elderly gentleman clean out his garage.  Actually, there was a group of volunteers who not only cleaned out his garage, but also painted his house and weeded/trimmed his yards.  His garage was jam-packed with stuff, and he wanted to get rid of everything. 

Unfortunately, 99% of it was damaged & worthless, and ended up in the trash dumpster.  We did manage to salvage a few items, and he said we could have whatever we wanted.  One of the items I salvaged was this neat cap.  Surprisingly, it was in very good condition; I don’t think it was ever used.  What a great piece of nostalgia and memento of days when customer service was so important.
History of Gasoline: When cars were first invented, gas stations weren’t around yet. People actually bought their gasoline at the general store. They filled their own buckets with gasoline and used a funnel to pour it into the car’s gas tank.

As more and more companies got into the business of making gasoline, stations began to appear. Some of them were just a single gas pump right alongside the curb with an attendant ready to help when you drove up.

In the 1920s stations got fancier with new pumps. It took a long 8 minutes to fill the small 5-gallon car tanks that were common in those days. While the tank was filling up, the gas station attendant wiped the windshield, checked the oil and water for you, and if necessary, cranked the engine to get it started again.

By the 1950s pumps were more efficient and could fill the larger 14-gallon gas tanks quickly.  Gas attendants could work part time and it was a great job for high school boys.

When a gas shortage caused prices to go up in the 1970s, customers wanted the best price they could find. To keep prices down, gas stations changed over to self-serve and gas attendants eventually became a thing of the past.  (For more information: go to Chevroncars.com)

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Best Things I’ve Sold on eBay ~ #7 Jam’s World Hawaiian Shirts

Item #7: Jam’s World Hawaiian Shirt American Indian Sz XXL

Starting Bid: $9.99 Winning Bid: $76.05
Paid: $2.49 From:  Goodwill
Ended: 06/08/08 Winner: Texas

My DD is a chip off the old block and loves going thrifting and saling with me.  She is definitely more savvy about name brands and clothing; so she would go through the clothing racks at the thrift stores and pick a few items that she thought would sell.  I have to admit that she was fairly good at this, and I had modest success selling clothes. 

After she moved away (sadly for me), I continued selling men’s shirts, mostly large sizes, but eventually limited my sales to Hawaiian and resort shirts.  Again, I researched and learned as much as I could about name brands and which ones are more collectible.

Jam’s World Hawaiian Shirt Flower Friends Sz L

Paid: $2.49 From: Goodwill
Sold for: $14.99 Ended: 06/10/08
Winner: Oregon

Jam’s World shirts are highly collectible, and I was excited to find these two at the thrift store.  I paid $2.49 for each shirt, knowing these would sell well.  I listed them at auction with a starting bid of $9.99.  I could not believe it when the first shirt sold for more than $76.00!  What a score!

The second shirt did not sell at auction, but that was okay because I promptly relisted it in my eBay store with a fixed price of $14.99.  It sold within 2 days.  I probably should have relisted it at a higher price, but I’m still happy that my $4.98 investment sold for over $91.00!  Not too bad for used clothing!

HistoryFounded in 1964 by Dave Rochelan, Jam’s World is now a division of Surf Line.  Each Jams World® item is a limited production piece of wearable art and is like wearing a painting.  Jams World® fashions are released in four lines a year, and production is limited.  Sometime after 1995, Jams World® introduced print pattern names.  All this makes each Jams World® item essentially a collectable piece of art in addition to being a beautiful piece of clothing. Extremely popular, some collections contain 300-700 shirts!

Friday, November 12, 2010

It’s Thrifty Thursday Time!

It’s been awhile since I’ve joined Leigh’s Thrifty Thursday party, but I really enjoy reading everyone’s post about the great thrifty treasures!

I managed to get to an estate sale Thursday; but didn’t get there until 11:00 a.m. and almost everything was gone!  The house was literally EMPTY … except for a few leftovers: some half-empty bookshelves and few picked-over boxes in the patio.  Still, I resisted the temptation to just walk out and decided to go through the house anyway.

I spent a few minutes going through the boxes in the patio which didn’t have much except some outdated books and some old beat up Christmas decorations.  The books were overpriced at $2.00-$4.00; the books in the shelves were priced at $10.00.  No wonder they were still there.  I still managed to find a couple of books … I just couldn’t leave without buying SOMETHING.

As I walked to the cashier (the sale was being run by a professional), I decided to take a look in the garage … not that there was much to look at.  As I was about ready to leave, I spotted this old Smith Corona electric typewriter buried underneath some other junk in an old box.  I plugged it in and was thrilled that it worked!

I have a thing for old sewing machines and typewriters.  I guess it’s cuz I learned to sew and type on these old relics.  LIke me, they are oldies but goodies!  I paid $3 for it and I was happy to bring her home.

P.S.  I always promise myself that I’ll get up early and get to the estate sale when it starts!  Lesson learned!

So head on over to Leigh’s Tales of Bloggeritaville for more thrifty treasures!

Until next time … happy thrifting and Goodwill haunting!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Best Things I’ve Sold on eBay ~ #6 London Fog Trench Coat

Item #6: London Fog Women’s Trench Coat

Starting Bid: $4.99 Winning Bid: $24.54
Paid: $1.00 From: Estate Sale
Ended: 04/17/07 Winner: N/A

Although there are sellers who are very successful selling clothes on eBay, selling women’s clothing has not worked for me.  I’ve had some minor success selling outerwear for children and Hawaiian resort shirts for men, but clothing is not a big part of my inventory.  So I usually leave the clothes alone when I go saling and thrifting, although I may give them a quick once-over. 

But when I spotted this London Fog trench coat at an estate sale for only $1.00, I thought I’d take a chance.  With few exceptions, clothing does not sell well at estate sales, and sales prices are usually very low.  So at this low price, how could I go wrong?

This trench coat was in excellent, almost new, condition.  It had an interior liner and was really very nice.  It ended up selling for almost $25 … that’s 25 times more than I paid for it!  And even at that price, I do think the winning bidder got a great deal.

One of the most important lessons I’ve learned during the past 10 years selling on eBay is to diversify my inventory.  If I limit my inventory to just one type of product or niche, I am really limiting my success … and therefore my profit.  So, if I think I can sell it and make a nice profit, I will buy it … whether it’s a knick-knack, a painting, a mug … or even a trench coat.  I always try to keep my mindset on product sourcing!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Best Things I’ve Sold on eBay ~ #5 Madame Alexander Dolls

 Item #5: Madame Alexander Party Dress Wendy Doll NIB Sealed

Paid: $3.99 Sold For: $24.99
From: Big Lots/Pic-N-Save Ended: 02/22/07
Winners: So. Carolina, New York, Washington

One day I walked in to my local Big Lots (Pic-N-Save) store; and right by the front door was an end-shelf full of small white boxes.  They were Madame Alexander dolls for only $3.99!  I grabbed four boxes thinking they would make nice gifts.  Well, no one in my circle of family and friends collects dolls, so I decided to put them up for sale in my eBay store.  I was thrilled that they quickly sold for more than six times what I paid!  My $16.00 investment turned into almost $100.00.  I wish I had bought ALL of them!

History: Madame Alexander Dolls have been in constant production since 1923 … that’s 87 years!  Because of their reputation as a well-made collectible doll, Madame Alexander Dolls are extremely well-known in the United States.  For many years, the dolls were produced in New York but today they are mostly produced in China.

The most popular Madame Alexander doll has been the 8" Wendy doll which has been produced since the 1950s.  Wendy dolls include International dolls, storybook dolls and other themed dolls.

Pre-1960 Madame Alexander dolls in mint condition can sell for hundreds or thousands of dollars. However, there was a glut of Madame Alexander dolls produced in the 1970s through the 1990s and many of these dolls can be found mint in box for under $40. Most collectors prefer the modern dolls (1960 to today) to be mint in their original box with tags.
For more information, visit The Madame Alexander Website.

The first Madame Alexander doll I owned was a birthday gift from my aunt when I was very young.  I thought she was the most beautiful doll I’d ever seen!  My aunt passed away a few years ago, and I treasure my doll very much.

I don’t limit my product sourcing to garage sales and thrift stores, although selling unique one-of-a-kind collectibles is a key to my success on eBay.  At $3.99, I knew these Madame Alexander dolls were a “steal” and that I could sell them for much more.  Whether I’m at the thrift store, the market, the drug store or the discount store, my mindset is always on product sourcing.

Monday, November 1, 2010

The Best Things I’ve Sold on eBay ~ #4 Josef Original 14th Birthday Angel

Item #4: Josef Original 14th Birthday Angel 

Starting Bid: $2.99 Winning Bid: $36.00
Paid: $2.99 From: Salvation Army
Ended: 01/20/07 Winner: Bellevue, WA

When I was little, one of my aunts gave me a Birthday Angel.  I loved this angel and kept it on my dresser; but after so many years, I no longer have my birthday angel.  When my daughter was born, I wanted to give her a Birthday Angel for each of her birthdays.  But as things go, this never happened.

So when I saw this birthday angel at a very reasonable price of $2.99, I knew I had to buy her.  She was in excellent condition, but didn’t have any of her original tags or packaging.  She was also not one of the original designs, but instead was a new reproduced design by Applause.  I never thought she would sell for 12 times what I’d pay!

History:  The first birthday angels were made in California from 1945 to 1962 by artist Muriel Joseph George, who created Josef Originals. In 1959, Muriel and her husband Tom traveled to Japan to train workers to produce Josef Originals. By 1962, the days of producing Josef Originals in California were over.  They were then manufactured in Japan, and business boomed again for Josef Originals. Muriel remained active in Josef Originals for another twenty-odd years, until she retired in 1981.  Muriel passed away in 1992.

George Good bought the company in 1982, and sold it in 1985 to Southland Corporation.  The Josef Original name now belongs to Applause, Inc., which has been making copies of earlier pieces and are signed “Josef Originals by Applause or by Dakin”.   For more information, visit the Collections of Josef Originals site.