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!

Monday, October 31, 2011

What’s So Special About THIS SA Thrift Store?

Like many eBay sellers, I’ll sell whatever I think will bring in a few bucks, but it wasn’t until I started reselling clothes that my sales – and profits – took off (thank you, My Dear Trash). 

Reselling clothes, however, would not work if I didn’t have the right source at the right price.  Wouldn’t it be great to have a one-stop source where you can pick up most of your inventory for the week?  Well, I have found just that place!  It’s the Salvation Army Thrift Store in Perris, CA.

Believe it or not, there is a thrift store behind all those trees!  You can see this store is not located in a busy shopping strip but is actually located next to the railroad tracks in nowhere-land.  It’s about a 40-45 minute drive, through the back roads to get there.

This is actually a Salvation Army complex that includes not only a rehabilitation center and warehouse but also vehicle and merchandise auctions. I suspect this location receives overstock from the area stores; and what doesn’t sell in the store gets auctioned off here.

Of course, they also have the “family store” – and it’s huge!  The picture above shows just a small section of the store.

An entire wall of dresses for $2 each!  There are also racks and racks of women’s pants/slacks/jeans, blouses, sweaters, skirts and jackets, etc.  Oh, and more racks of men’s shirts, slacks/jeans, sweaters, etc.  There’s also a wall of shoes; and the other half of the store includes sections for dishes, knick-knacks, furniture, lamps, etc.

Every Monday is “Rag Day”.  ALL dresses and blouses are always on sale for $2.  Two-piece outfits are $5.  Usually sweaters and skirts are on sale for $2, but not always.  Slacks/pants are always on sale, usually for $1 each; but sometimes 2 for $1.  Men’s shirts and slacks are usually $2.  A couple times they had $2-Days where ALL clothing was $2; and a few times they had all jackets/coats for $3!

I can easily spend 4-5 hours in the store.  Sometimes I get tired before I get to all the racks.  I usually walk out with 30-60 items a week, depending on the selection.  And I’m not the only one: I see many of the same faces every Monday, and most of them are filling cartloads with clothes to resell.

Sometimes, they also have their books on sale: 10 for $1.  So, you also have booksellers with cartloads of books. On occasion I have bought a few books.  At 10-cents a book, you just can’t go wrong!

They also have everything at 40% off on Tuesdays; and on Thursdays, children’s clothes are 50% off.  Plus they have 50% off everything on the 1st and 3rd Friday/Saturday of the month.

With one-stop, one-day convenience, this has become my main source for clothes.  Of course, garage/yard sales are always the best way to pick up inventory at great prices!

Believe in yourself and prosper!
Happy saling and selling!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Thrifty Treasures Thursday: Vintage Spirograph


It has been very busy around here lately.  Not only have I been busy listing, listing, listing, but I’ve also been celebrating birthdays this month, including my own! 

And, I’ve been attending classes to be a certified emergency volunteer through my city’s Community Emergency Response Team (CERT).  Lots of good stuff to know but the Saturday classes are a bummer cuz I’m missing all those great sales!

A few weeks ago, though, I did manage to hit a few yardies.  At one sale, I found the vintage Spirograph and this lot of board games, not to mention the lot of Leapster games and console.  Each was only $1.

I remember this Spirograph set from my childhood, although I never had one.  These sell between $20-$40 on eBay, depending on condition and completeness.  One recently sold for $40!  My set is complete and in great condition, so I have it listed at $39.99 with free shipping.  Hope it sells soon!

Believe in yourself and prosper! Happy saling and selling!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Cash for Trash Wednesday

Thank you all for your great comments on my last post.  I appreciate them all because they keep me motivated.  I also love visiting your blogs and reading about your great finds and sales.  I’ve learned so much about online selling from bloggers everywhere and thank you all for sharing!

So, things have been flying off the shelves, and it’s going to be another good month!  Here are a few highlights of my best sales from the past three weeks:

Leapster Leapfrog Educational GAME - 7 Cartridges – sold $47.83 – paid $1.00

A few weeks ago, I bought this game console with cartridges at a garage sale.  I had no clue what I was buying, but at $1 for the lot I couldn’t go wrong.  As it turns out, the console was broken; but after a quick search on eBay, I discovered the games are good sellers.  I had 7 games and listed them with a starting price of $0.99.  I clearly stated they were untested and offered a full refund if a game didn’t work.  Well, they all sold and none have been returned!  The 2 Disney ones were the best sellers, selling at $10.50 each.

PHUN SHIRTS Women's Cream Sweater Beautifully Embellished with Pearls Sz S NEW – sold $29.95 – paid $2.00

UGLY CHRISTMAS SWEATER Santa & Reindeer New York Cityscape VW Bugs 1995 Sz M – sold $26.00 – paid $3.00

I am amazed at how fast sweaters are flying off the shelves!  I have been buying sweaters since the beginning of the year and saving them to get on the “Ugly Christmas Sweater” bandwagon.  I think I had about 50 sweaters and listed them the beginning of this month.  I have already sold 23!  I’m pricing them from $8 for the turtleneck shirts up to $28-$30 for the sweaters, depending on their condition and design. 

ALFANI Women's Graphic Print Mock Wrap Career Jersey Dress Plus Sz 3X – sold $35 – paid $3.60

I bought this dress at GW at 50% off.  Ever since they raised their prices, I don’t shop as much at GW but you can still find some good deals, like this Alfani dress.  This was a plus-size wrap dress so I knew it would be a good seller.


I’m still reaping the benefits of my one visit to the SA.  This cross stitch kit was purchased at the same time I bought the Eva Rosenstand kits.  On that day, I spent $122 and so far have grossed over $1300! 

ALPACALINDA Peru Alpaca Fur Plush 9" & 11” Teddy Bears Stuffed Animals with Tag – sold $52.49 – paid $1.50

Seriously, you just can’t beat garage sales for product sourcing!  These 2 little guys are made from real fur and I paid only $0.75 each.  They sold for a total of $52.49 to the same buyer!  How’s that for a great profit margin!

Sakura China Debbie Mumm CHRISTMAS TOPIARY Dinner Plates (3) – sold $30 – paid $0.75

Here’s another great garage sale find! I paid $5 for this 20-piece Debbie Mumm stoneware set.  So far, I’ve only sold these 3 plates, but I’ve already made 6 times what I paid for the set. 

BOLO TIP: Dinnerware is a fantastic product to sell because it has a great profit margin.  The secret is in selling the pieces individually.  In the set above, each piece cost me only a quarter, and I broke the set up into 13 separate listings: 3 dinner plates (1 was broken); 4 salad plates; 4 cup/saucer sets; and 2 lots of salad bowls.  If each listing sells for $10, I will gross $130 from my $5 investment.  Ka-ching!  You just have to find the right design at the right price.

Someone left a comment wondering about the SA store I shop at and lamented that their SA store basically sells junk.  So, my next post is going to be about my SA store because it really is not your typical thrift store!

Oh, and that vintage Casio calculator that I bought for $1?  It ended up selling for …DRUM ROLL

Casio FX-98 Solar Cell Scientific Calculator 42 Functions Vintage 1984 Rare


Believe in yourself and prosper! Happy saling and selling!

Linking up to the following blogs. Be sure to check them out for more great thrifty treasures!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Cash for Trash: Military Air Crew Jacket & Casio FX-98 Vintage Calculator


Another fantastic sale!  I bought this jacket at the SA thrift on the same day that I bought the Eva Rosenstand cross stitch kits.  Those six kits sold for almost $630!!  Read my post about the kits here.

On this particular day, SA was having a $2 sale on ALL their clothing.  I headed straight to the coats and jackets and filled my cart.  This was one of the jackets – and I almost didn’t get it.  The cashier questioned whether it was part of the $2 sale since it was heavy and obviously a “quality” jacket.  After a small discussion with her supervisor, the cashier rung it up, and I got to bring it home for $2.

Once home, I realized it was an air crew military jacket.  I found an online site about military jackets and learned this jacket was from the 1950s Korean War.  I also found an old auction for the exact same jacket that sold in 2008 for $145.  Score!

I started the listing at $99.00 and it ended this past Monday.  So, how much did the jacket sell for?  Drum roll, please …. a whopping $383.00!  Can you say ‘ka-ching’!  The buyer paid immediately and it’s already on its way.   Click here to see the closed listing.

This particular visit to the SA turned out to be a goldmine.  I spent just over $100, and so far, have grossed almost $1250.00 in sales.  Now, that’s CASH FOR TRASH!

Casio FX-98 Solar Cell Scientific Calculator 42 Functions Vintage 1984 Rare

Last week I mentioned that I bought two of these vintage Casio FX-98 calculators at an estate sale for about $1.00 each.  Turns out only one worked, so I listed that one with a starting price of $45.00.  As of right now, it’s up to $61.00 with 14 watchers.  Click here to see my listing, which ends Sunday evening.

But check out this closed listing for the exact same calculator that sold for $485 in March!  That seller was able to guarantee the calculator worked.  I, however, have no clue how to operate this little treasure.  I did a few basic calculations and it works just fine, so I assume the scientific buttons work properly.  We’ll see for how much it sells.  Heck, I’m already $60 ahead!

Believe in yourself and prosper! Happy saling and selling!