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!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Cash for Trash Wednesday

Looks like the summer slump may be over!  Last week was a fantastic week  – no small thanks to my kilt sales.  I also took advantage of eBay’s 1-cent insertion promo, which again paid off for me.  I had 43 sales, with the highest of $232.50 for a kilt and the lowest of $0.99 for a vintage crochet book and vintage glass reamer.

Aside from the kilts, here are my other top clothing sales:


MERONA Women's Navy White Faux Wrap Dress Sz M – sold $21.50 – paid $2

The North Face Women's Black 1/2 Zip Pullover Top Sz M – sold $24.50 – paid $2

FIRENZE SANTA BARBARA Black Leather Straight Skirt Sz 2 – sold $39.99 – paid $1

And my other top sellers, listed during the 1-cent insertion fee promotion:

THE THREE MUSKETEERS Alexandre Dumas Easton Press MINT – $27.99 – paid $3.99

Vintage Coke Coca Cola Soda Yellow Wooden Box Crate – sold $18.99 – Paid $0 (free)

The vintage coca cola box above was a freebie from a neighbor who was moving.  We’ve had it in the garage for a few years and I finally got around to listing it.  Glad it sold and will be gone!


This flute belong to DS#2 when he was in junior high, 6 years ago.  He quit his lessons almost as soon as he started, so the flute was hardly used.  He recently finally cleaned out his room and this flute was in the “no longer want” pile.  It sold to a buyer in India.

And, this was my best sale … well, sorta:


I was really, really excited about this item because I had just read a blog post about these football Little Tikes toy chests.  They are no longer made; and apparently, football fans who use them as ice chests are willing to pay good money for them.  I found this one at a Savers thrift store.  It was priced at $14.99; but if I could get $75 for it, I would still be okay.

I considered selling it on Craigslist so I wouldn't have to ship it; but when the 1-cent insertion fee promo came around, I threw caution to the wind and listed it on eBay with calculated shipping for 8.5 lbs.  I was thrilled when it sold for $74.99 plus a shipping cost of $16.03 … but my thrill was short-lived.

I found the perfect box, which measured 24” square, and the toy chest fit right in.  Then I went to print my shipping label … and that’s when I discovered it was going to cost me $107.16 to ship by parcel post!  UPS would be even more! 

The one thing I didn’t remember was that a package with any dimension over 12” is considered a “large package” and is subject to different postage rates that are considerably higher.  So at the risk of receiving negative feedback, I emailed my buyer to inform her of the revised shipping cost and that I could cancel the transaction if they do not wish to pay the higher cost. 

Even after all these years, I can still screw up on shipping costs.  This is one time, however, I’m not willing to cover the difference!  I suspect that other sellers who are selling this same item are going to be in for the same shock.  This is one lesson I will not forget!

UPDATE:  The buyer of the Little Tikes toy chest was very understanding.  She agreed to cancel the transaction and agreed not to leave negative FB.  Whew!  I ended up selling this on CL for $65.

This was an awesome week for sales – the best ever!  Total sales for the week?  A whopping $1862.47.  Even if the sale for the Little Tikes football is cancelled, it’d still be a fantastic week.  Now THAT’S REALLY CASH FOR TRASH!

Hope things are looking good and you’re sales have picked up!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Best Things I’ve Sold on eBay ~ #20 Lenox Magic Garden Temper Ware

Thank you all for your great comments in response to yesterday’s post on the kilts!  I’m still walking around in disbelief.  I’m sure finding those kilts was a once-in-a-lifetime chance, and the odds of finding another one, let alone eight, for the price of $1.25 are nil. 

So, I paid my car registration and tomorrow we’re leaving for San Francisco to pick up DS#1 from Berkeley.  He’s got a one-week break between the end of summer session and the start of fall semester.  He should be done with classes end of this year and should be graduating with a B.S. in Mathematics in June 2012.  I’m trying to encourage him to study abroad for his last semester, Spring 2012; but he doesn’t seem too interested.  I’ll keep working on him!

I mentioned in my post that I used my android smart phone to research the kilts.  I love my phone!  

Last August, my old razor phone died, and DH bought me a Samsung Vibrant Galaxy Android phone to replace it.  I had a love-hate relationship with this phone, but I’ve learned to love it!  It has been one of the best tools for buying inventory.  It has not only saved me money, but also made me money.

I’d only had the phone a couple of weeks, and was still learning to use it, when I stopped by the GW.  I found several pieces of this Lenox Temper Ware.  The casserole and a couple of other pieces were priced between $7.99 and $9.99.  Normally, I would have passed up on these.

But, now that I had a smart phone, I was able to do some research.  I found out these pieces can fetch some pretty good money.  So I bought all 10 pieces and paid $33.99.  Without my smart phone and research, I never would have spent that much on an unfamiliar product.

Listing Price: $267.79
Best Offer: $150.00
Paid: $30.95
From:  Goodwill
Ended: 10/31/10
Winner: Tomball, TX

Listing Price: $23.99
Final: $23.99
Paid: $2.99
From:  Goodwill
Ended: 10/14/10
Winner: Ft Worth, TX

Within a month of listing, all the pieces sold.  The two dessert plates sold first for my full asking price.  And I was thrilled when I was offered $150.00 for the remaining pieces.  That $33.99 turned into $173.99, netting me $140!  Thank you smart phone!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Thrifty Treasures Thursday: Best $10 Flip Ever!

UTILIKILT SURVIVAL Style Tan Men's Cotton Kilt 38 S – sold $232.50 – paid $1.25

UTILIKILT WORKMAN Style Tan Men's Kilt 38 S – sold $222.50 – paid $1.25

A couple weeks ago I found these men’s kilts at the SA (read my previous post here).  They were mixed in with the women’s skirts, and at first I also thought they were skirts.  They were very heavy, and I thought maybe they were part of a costume.

I quickly pulled out my handy-dandy android smart phone and checked the Utilikilt website.  Holy moly, these men’s kilts retail for $200-$300!  And, there wasn’t just one, but eight of these.  I paid $10 for the lot of 8 … or $1.25 for each!

When I got home, I checked the eBay listings.  There were only a handful of active listings and most had bids.  Good!  Then I checked the completed listings.  There were also a handful, but best of all?  They had all sold!  I knew then I had stumbled onto a “goldmine”.

I also discovered an upcoming event called The Burning Man.  Excuse my ignorance about this event, but apparently kilts are popular among participants.  This event takes place end of this month and is already sold out.  So I knew I had to list my kilts pronto in case anyone attending was looking for a kilt.

The auctions ended last night and the GRAND TOTAL … drum roll please:


Yup, that’s over $1,000, folks, for a $10 purchase!  They sold between $117.50 and $232.50 each.  The two pictured above are the highest sellers.

AND, that’s not all:  they are ALL PAID!  Eight different buyers paid within 24 hours!  I packed them up this morning and delivered them to the post office earlier today.  How about that?!

Now, I wait and hope everyone’s happy with their purchase.  I was very specific that there would be no returns on these, but ya never know.

This by far is my best flip ever … even better than the mother lode of vintage high school yearbooks that netted almost $300 (read my previous post here).  Now I can pay my car registration! Yippee!

Linking up to Thrifty Thursday @ Bloggervitaville and Thrifty Things Friday @ The Thrifty Groove.  Be sure to check them out for more great thrifty treasures!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Cash for Trash Wednesday

EBay must be feeling the summer slump, too, because they had another 1-cent listing promo yesterday.  They don’t give much notice so the best I could do was take items out of my store and relist them at auction.  I did manage to list several new items, and I think in all I listed 60 items for 60 cents!  I made them 5-day auctions so they could end Sunday evening, a much better day for bids.

Last week was so-so for sales.  Better than it’s been but still feeling the summer slump.  Here are my best sellers:

CABi Women's White Stretch Long Sleeve Zipper Blouse M – sold $8.99 – paid $0.50

Dr Seuss Scrub Top Pediatrics Size Medium Excellent – sold $8.50 – paid $1

 TOMMY HILFIGER Women's Black Stretch Casual Skirt Sz 16 – sold $10.50 – paid $1

Catherine Coatney Goth Lolita Cosplay Sheer Satin Skirt – sold $19.03 – paid $1


NORMA KAMALI Women's Stretch Knit Bubble Dress Sz S – sold $24.99 – paid $2

I also sold two more Hallmark ornaments from my store for $25.98:



Does this happen to anyone else?  For the past several years, I’ve noticed a certain phenomenon, like the Penguins ornament that sold 2 weeks ago and now this Snoopy ornament.  They have been in my store for over a year; then, bam, they sell within a week of each other.  Or, I will have a set of plates that have been sitting around for months; then, one plate sells and bam! within weeks, even days, the rest of the set sells – all to different buyers.  This happens a lot! Kinda weird, huh?

Sales for the week totaled $255.44.  Now THAT’S cash for trash!

UTILIKILT SURVIVAL Style Tan Men's Cotton Kilt 38 S – starting bid $160

I mentioned in last week’s Cash for Trash post that I bought 8 men’s kilts at the SA for $10.  Well, I listed them that Wednesday evening and the auctions are due to close later today.  All but one have bids, and I anticipate that all 8 will sell before the end of the day.  You can see my listings here.  Come back tomorrow to see how these ended!
Happy sales to you!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Cash for Trash Wednesday

Wow, this past week turned out to be a pretty good week for sales!  It put my month-end sales at over $1,000, which surpass my June sales.  Moving items out of my store and listing them at auction for 1-cent seems to have paid off.  I had 57 sales!

Here are my top clothing sales from last week:

WHITE HOUSE BLACK MARKET Women's Black Knit Dress Sz XL – sold $17.50 – Paid $1

DANA BUCHMAN Women's Blue Silk Sheer Flowing Dress 10 – sold $19.99 – paid $2

MONTGOMERY WARDS Vintage 1970s Black Knit Jumpsuit 12 – sold $24.99 – paid $2.50



Remember the Reyn Spooner Hawaiian shirts I bought at a garage sale and posted here?  Five listings have ended and one current listing already has a bid.  So far, those $8 have turned into over $75!  Three of the shirts – including the one above – were sold to a buyer from Japan.  I also had another buyer from Japan buy a dress.  Glad to know Japan is making a comeback!

Here are my top sellers that were in my store and sold at auction:


I was visiting DD in Texas for the Christmas holidays; and on the day after Christmas, we went to Walgreens.  We were thrilled to see they had ALL their Hallmark ornaments on sale!  At less than $1 each, we scooped them all up.  We then went to another Walgreens and did the same.  When I got home, I promptly listed them in my eBay store.  Some of them sold quickly, but most of them have not been the hot sellers I thought they’d be.  I’m down to the last few so was glad when this one sold.

Danbury Mint Snowy Owl Family Figurine Katsumi Ito 1989 – sold $39.99 – Paid $0

After I retired, I sorta started collecting owls. My collection pretty much ended as soon as it started, although I did get an owl tattoo on my right arm – and that’s a whole ‘nother story!  Anyway, this owl statue – which I bought years ago at the thrift store – had been gathering dust when I decided to sell it.  Much better to gather money than it is to gather dust!

Clairol Kindness 3 Way Hairsetter HOT ROLLERS Pageant – sold $19.99 – paid $2

I’ve known hot rollers are very saleable to pageant moms, but hadn’t given it much thought until I started reading We Sell on EBay!  I found this set of vintage rollers at the SA and quickly picked it up – thanks to this post by Jessica.  I probably could have gotten more but the hinges to the cover are broken.

All in all it was a pretty good week with over $500 in sales!  Now that’s cash for trash!

As usual, I was at the SA this past Monday for their Rag Day.  I bought my usual assortment of dresses, skirts and pants, but I also found this in the women’s skirts:

Turns out this is not a skirt after all, but a men’s kilt.  Not just any kilt but a Utilikilt.  Brand new, these men’s kilts retail for over $200.  Even better, they are reselling for over $100 on eBay!  Check out these completed listings

The same person must have donated all their kilts because I actually found 8 of these kilts – all same size.  Since the women’s skirts were on sale, I paid $2 for each “skirt”.  Actually, less because the cashier was nice enough to charge me for only 5 – so $10 for the lot.  I’ve listed them today with a starting bid of $99 and one at $160 … and they all already have multiple watchers!  Ka-ching!

Looks like things are finally picking up!  Hope y’all are doing great!