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!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Rags to Riches Challenge: Week #14 Update & 3-Month Recap

Week #14 marks the end of the first 3 months of my Rags to Riches Challenge.  Total gross sales of auctions (only) to date is $4,491.65!  Best sellers for Week #14:


CALVIN KLEIN Women's Navy Blue Stripe Slacks Pants Sz 12- sold $10.50


POLO RALPH LAUREN Men's Buttercream SS Shirt Sz L – sold $10.50


POLO RALPH LAUREN Women's Denim Cotton Jeans Overalls S – sold $11.50


COLDWATER CREEK Women's Long Sleeveless Shift Dress 1X – sold $20.36

Sales have been lukewarm, and I haven’t had any real big sellers; but of the 90+ auctions, 30% sold. Could be worse, although I didn’t reach my $3,000 goal … or did I?  See my recap below.

Here’s how we did for Week #14:

Auction Sales #14 $283.90 Total: $4577.65
Cost of Goods: $77.52 Total: $882.72
eBay & PP Fees: $48.92 Total: $885.50
Total Net Profits: $2809.43  

Since I retired, eBay has become a way to supplement my income.  But selling online has sometimes been frustrating and disappointing; and at times I would take a break … sometimes for weeks. Then I added clothing to my inventory, and it has been a big boost.

I am going to share my numbers to compare how selling pre-owned clothing has become my bread & butter.  Here are my sales for 2009 & 2010 for a 3-month period (no clothing sales):


Total Sales

# Sold

FEBRUARY $639.38 60
MARCH $1007.74 88
APRIL $757.57 71
TOTAL: $2404.69  


Total Sales

# Sold













Total online sales for 2011 for the same 3-month period:


Total Sales

# Sold

JANUARY $721.26 68













These numbers are for all online sales, not just clothing, which I started selling in February; but you can see the difference it has made.  Selling used clothing is like collecting change: a penny here, a nickel there … it all adds up and before you know it, you have a nice chunk of change.  With the exception of high sellers, average sale per clothing item is $7-$9, but it all adds up. 

Here’s a different breakdown, only includes eBay auctions:


Gross Monthly Sales

Gross Margin (after fees)

eBay & PP Fees





















The Gross Monthly Sales includes final price plus handling fee.  Gross Margin is what I receive after eBay deducts its fees.  The difference between GMS and Gross Margin is what I paid in eBay & Paypal fees.  I do charge a handling fee, which helps defray some of my expenses, not only fees but also gasoline and office costs. 

Taking my Gross Margin of $3,818.36 and deducting the Cost of Goods of $593.48, leaves me a net of $3,224.88.  I still have inventory that hasn’t sold, so I’ll round this off to $3,000 … that’s what I call Rags to Riches!

Who can’t use an extra $3,000?  I’ve used this money to pay an unexpected $400 dental bill and $550 in unexpected auto repairs.  The rest has gone into paying the mortgage and credit card.  This was gained in only 3 months … what a blessing!

The work is not complicated or difficult, but it is very tedious and time consuming, sometimes even boring.  There are days when I think I just can’t measure another pair of pants or dress.  But the pros far outweigh the cons … and what’s better than working from home?  Not much.

In my next update, I will continue with my 3-month recap and discuss my experience with name brands, my listing process, when to list, etc.  … plus my chagrin at having one of my favorite ladies getting suspended from eBay!


  1. Laura being suspended has bothered me all day. I know how hard she's worked and how her heart is in the right place. It makes it super hard not to be scared to death of eBay. Anyway good job! You should be proud of yourself!!

  2. I just found your blog from My Dear Trash and all I have to say is "WOW!" Great job on the sales and keep up the good work.

    I am a newbie Ebayer who was inspired by the My Dear Trash blog. I need to make an extra $200-$300 a month to supplement our income due to unexpected medical bills. I am hoping and praying I can achieve that through selling on ebay. This is my first week with 10 items listed!

    I am off to read the rest of your blog! Have a great day!


  3. You are doing great. Great inspirtation. I also found your blog thru MDT. I just recently started in the clothing market and have been enjoying it. I love the turn around I can get on clothing. I rarely sold clothing before except kids.


  4. good job! as Dhamma says, You should be proud of yourself!!