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!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Cash for Trash: Last One for 2012

Hope everyone had a wonderful, fun-filled Christmas with family and friends!  We had a nice small, quiet celebration with our two sons.  We are grateful for our blessings and pray for those who are less fortunate, in particular for the lives that were lost in Connecticut and their families.  May they be remembered in our prayers and never forgotten.newtown-ct


I was actually looking forward to a quiet December; but it’s been pretty busy as far as online sales go.  I was shipping items out as late as the Friday before Christmas for Monday delivery. I think this has been the busiest November-December I’ve ever had. 

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What really surprised me was the number of sales from Bonanza. Since it costs nothing to list (just a sales fee), I have all my eBay listings posted on Bonanza.  Then, pretty much forget about them; and every blue moon, I will make a sale.  From January to August of this year, I made 5 sales – nothing to crow about.  But since Thanksgiving, I have made 11 sales!  Not sure what’s going on, but I’m not complaining.  I just hope it continues into the new year.


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CHRISTMAS SWEATER Christopher Banks Embroidered Beads Sequins Appliques LG NEW – pd $2.50 @ sa - sold $38.99

In a previous post last month, I mentioned that sales for ugly Christmas sweaters seemed slow and was worried that I was going to get stuck with the bunch.  Not to worry! They started flying off the shelves right after Thanksgiving; and except for two, I sold ALL my inventory of Christmas sweaters.


Here are my best sellers from the past few weeks:

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Lenox 2003 FLORENTINE SPIRE CHRISTMAS ORNAMENT MIB – pd $3.99 @ gw – sold $45.12

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SPODE CHRISTMAS TREE SET OF 4 NAPKIN RINGS IN ORIGINAL BOX – pd $3.59 @ sa – sold $55

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DR DOC MARTENS 8783 PLATFORM PENNY LOAFERS UK 5 US 7 EU 38 BLACK NWOT NEW – pd $1 @ gs – sold $40

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CHICO'S Jacquard Sheen Soukie Jacket Women's Size 3 LG NWT NEW – pd $5.39 @ gw – sold $49.99


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Walking Dinosaur Animated w Sound Playskool Kota Pals Monty T-Rex Hasbro VIDEO – pd $5.19 @ sa – sold $46.04

I found this dinosaur at the SA and walked around with it while I decided whether or not to buy it.  He was in great condition so I bought it.  I was really happy when I put batteries in it and it worked!  I decided to make a mini-video to post in my listing and was able to sell him pretty quickly.


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CAFEWARE Culinary Arts Porcelain Coupe Soup Bowl Smooth All White Discontinued – pd $4.98 @ GW – sold $62.06

For some reason, the bowls in my house have been disappearing so I originally bought these bowls at the GW for our personal use.  They were really nice so I thought I’d just take a quick look to see if they were worth anything.  Holy cow, was I surprised!  The same buyer bought all 3 bowls and paid over $60 for the lot.  As for bowls for us … well, I ended up getting bowls at the Dollar Store!


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DOLCE & GABBANA Cravatte Le Cirque Circus Clowns Tiger Pin Up Girl Men's Silk Tie – pd $0.20 – sold $45

This past August my BFF Viv and I stumbled upon the best garage sale!  There were tons of great stuff and the seller had everything priced to sell.  This was quality brand-name stuff and folks were going crazy.  We got there about 10 a.m. so I can’t imagine what great stuff had already sold.  For $4, I picked up a brand new vintage pastry toaster that I sold for $75; and I also picked up a lot of 50 ties for $10 – that’s $0.20 per tie!  This Dolce & Gabbana tie was in the bunch and it sold for $45!


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TAYLOR & LORD CASHMERE TAN PULLOVER SWEATER TURTLENECK LONG SLEEVE MEN'S XL – pd $5.99 @ GW – sold $35

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Barney's New York Men's Black 100% Cashmere LS Crewneck Sweater XL – pd $5.99 – sold $40

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Mens KIRKLAND SIGNATURE Gray Shawl Collar Cardigan CASHMERE Sweater Size XL – pd $5.39 @ gw – sold $114.45

I try to limit my purchases at GW to items that are on sale, which means I’m passing up some good stuff. So I’ve been picking up cashmere sweaters even when they’re not on sale. Check out this Kirkland cashmere sweater that I picked up for $5.39 and resold for over $100!

Now that’s CASH for TRASH!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Cash for Trash: Ugly Christmas Sweaters 2012

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Where did the year go?  Hard to believe that Christmas is just around the corner … and so are the Ugly Christmas Sweaters!

I  had not heard of Ugly Christmas Sweaters until last year; but once I did, I quickly jumped on the bandwagon.  I didn’t start listing them until September; and by mid-December had sold most of them – about $1,000 in sales.  Ka-ching!

This year, I decided to sell sweaters year-round, and sales have averaged between 3-7 a month.  So far, I’ve sold more than 60, with over $1400 in sales.  But it seems to me that sales of these Ugly Christmas Sweaters have been a little slow, given that we’re already in November.  Oh, well, I hope sales will increase after Thanksgiving.

I can usually pick them up for about $2-$3 each, and average resale price is about $25, with some selling for over $30-$35.  Lately, however, I’ve noticed that GW has been selling their Christmas/holiday sweaters for $14.99 – instead of their regular sweater price of $5.99.  Looks like they’ve decided to jump on the Ugly Christmas Sweater bandwagon, too. 

So my new strategy is to look for cashmere sweaters instead, like this one that I currently have at auction:

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Mens KIRKLAND SIGNATURE Gray Shawl Collar Cardigan CASHMERE Sweater Size XL

I started the bid at $24.99; and so far it has 3 bids with 20 watchers.  A similar one sold last month for over $150!

Now that’s Cash for Trash!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Selling on Craigslist: I’m Lovin’ It!

This past Saturday was a great weekend:  I sold BOTH my CL items!  After posting them 3 weeks ago – and several dead-end calls and no-shows – the right buyers came along.

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PLAY WONDER UNISEX CHILD'S WOOD PLAY KITCHEN – Paid $15 @ GS – Sold $60

I bought this play kitchen last year with the intention of selling it on CL.  I finally got it posted because I was tired of looking at it!

I’d also listed it on eBay with “local pick-up” only, but was contacted by a buyer who wanted me to ship it back East because her “3 year old just had to have it” (huh?).  It was going to cost her over $100 so she offered $45 plus shipping.  (Don’t they have play kitchens were she lives?) 

At first, I was eager to make the sale so I was willing to accommodate her – but what was I thinking?! Not only was it a hassle to find a box but also a hassle to pack it because I had to remove the top bars; then I had to take it to the UPS Store.  All this work for less than my asking price.  Forget it!  I contacted her to let her know it was not going to work out and then ended the listing.

About a week later I had a CL buyer who was so excited  to find this that she said she would  pay my full asking price lest I sell it to someone else.  And, to boot, her dad drove over 60 RT miles to pick it up.  No shipping and no fees … how awesome is that?!


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LITTLE TIKES TYKES FOOTBALL TOY BOX ICE CHEST COOLER – Paid $14.99 @ Savers – Sold $65 @ CL

This is another item I’ve had since last year.  I tried selling it on eBay but that was a flop (see my original post here).  I was tired of moving it from room to room so I finally posted it on CL.   I was very glad to see it go! 

While I was waiting for the buyer to pickup the play kitchen, I was contacted by a buyer who was super excited to find this toy box.  She was not going to be able to pick it up right away, but wanted to make sure I didn’t sell it anyone else, so she paid for the item – sight unseen – with PayPal!

By mid-Saturday, I was $125 richer – and didn’t even have to leave my house!   I’m lovin’ Craigslist!


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B-2 Northrop COFFEE MUG Stealth Bomber Grumman Aerospace Military Plane HIDES (2) – Paid $2 @ SA – Sold $18.00 @ eBay

I sold two of these mugs on eBay, and the buyer picked them up from me on Saturday.  In-between my two CL sales, I drove to my local Walgreens to meet the buyer who paid cash for the mugs.  It was a busy Saturday!

These mugs are really cool!  When you pour hot liquid into the mug, a stealth bomber will show through the clouds.  The buyer was a veteran who once worked on the B-2 bomber and said these mugs will complete his collection.


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Remington Tight Curls H21SP Pageant Blue Hot Rollers Curlers Wax Core 21 Rods – paid $5.39 @SA – sold $60.00

This last sale has nothing to do with CL or Saturday transactions; but I wanted to share this great flip.  I listed this set in my Store on Wednesday and it sold within hours.  Ka-ching!

Now that’s Cash for Trash!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Cash for Trash Wednesday

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JENNIFER LOPEZ J LO Romper ONE PIECE Jumper Outfit COTTON DENIM Jumpsuit Sz LG – PAID $1 @ SA – SOLD $29.99

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DIANE VON FURSTENBERG DVF VINTAGE Black Cotton Aviator Overall Jumpsuit Size 10 – PAID $4 @ GW – SOLD $36.98

Jumpsuits seem to be in fashion right now (but what do I really know).  I don’t run across these often; and when I do, I will usually bring it home.  I knew these name-brand jumpsuits would be good sellers.

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JONES WEAR JONES NY Women's Red and Black Paisley Jersey Wrap Dress Size 12 – PAID $5 @ GW – SOLD $31.99

I always look for wrap dresses when I’m thrifting; and will buy them even if they cost a little more.  BOLO tip: if you ever find a Diane Von Furstenberg wrap dress, be sure to grab it.  Those go for big bucks!

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CARDIGAN BAY Women's Seaside Cottage Lighthouse Hand Knitted Sweater Sz MED – PAID $5.39 @ GW – SOLD $29.99

These scenic sweaters are also good sellers.  I usually will grab the Storybook Knit brand, but this new-to-me Cardigan Bay brand didn’t do too bad.

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Sexy Buccaneer Wench Red Brocade Costume By Leg Avenue 83368 Size MED – PAID $2 @ GW – SOLD $22.99

This particular costume was really nice and I expected it to sell right away.  I originally listed it in August for $35 with FS.  A few weeks later, someone offered me $19 for it, which I declined.  Then, a week or so before October, I dropped the price to $25 because I realized it didn’t come with its petticoat and I didn’t want to get stuck with it.  I am really surprised it did not sell before Halloween.  I then put it in my store for $22.99 and it sold within a week.  Go figure …

I am disappointed I didn’t find many costumes at garage sales this year.  I think I may have found a total of 6; and I still have one listed in my store.  I like selling costumes because they have a nice profit margin.

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Porcelain Owls Mother & Baby 1991 San Francisco Music Box Co "Sunrise, Sunset" – PAID $1.79 – SOLD $28.69

Owls were hot collectibles a year or so ago, but I think their charm is fading.  I’ve had this music box in my store since June and was going to discount the price before renewing the listing.  I was sure glad when it finally sold last week.


Well, that’s it for now.  I’ve got several bags of merchandise from the past couple of weeks that I need to get listed and start making $$.  Hope you’re all having a great week!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Thrift Treasures: Remington Hot Rollers

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Went to my favorite GW store this morning.  This GW is about a 30-minute drive from my home so I don’t get to it often.  But it’s in a really nice community and always has some GREAT stuff so it’s worth the trip.

I was thrilled when I found this Remington Tight Curls Hot Setter for only $5.49. I knew about this great seller but had never run across  one before.  A brand new one with box and clips can go for about $90 to over $100.  This one has no box and no clips, but still fetch some pretty good $$.

Remington Tight Curls Hairsetter Completes


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I also found this vintage Clairesse wax curlers hairsetter at the SA.  It’s missing the mirror and clips but still in very nice condition.  I couldn’t find any info on it, but pageant moms like the vintage sets because they tend to retain their heat longer than the newer ones.

I paid a little more on this one than I would have liked.  I thought the price tag read $7.99; and with their 50%-off sale, I thought I paid $4.00.  Not until I got home did I realize the tag read $17.99 so I ended up paying $8.99.  I’m hoping I can get between $40-$50 for it.

Clairol Wax Core Hairsetter Completes


Hope you’re having a great week with great sales!  Be sure to come back for another Cash for Trash post tomorrow!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Cash for Trash: Taylor & Ng Mugs Plus Sandra Boynton and The Far Side

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1978 Taylor & NG Mugs Cobalt Blue San Francisco Japan – paid $2 – sold $112.00

Aw, shucks!  Your comments to my previous post are so kind and generous!  I am so inspired by them.  I also love reading your blogs; and although I may not always leave a comment, please know that I do read your posts and have learned so much from you.  Thank you all!


So, here is another Cash for Trash post.  This one is just about mugs, which I was going to include in my last post; but I wanted to highlight how great mugs are for resale.

I bought these 4 Taylor & Ng mugs in July (see post here) for $0.50 each.  They all sold within 4-5 weeks for $28 EACH … or a total of $112.00!  Ka-ching! 

Taylor & Ng mugs are very collectible and always sell well – especially the ones with naughty animals doing the *nasty*.  Read my post here about my first experience with these naughty mugs and to learn more about Taylor & Ng.


I’m telling ya … mugs can be great sellers and can be picked up for just a few cents.  Individually, they may not sell for a lot, but they have a high profit margin.  So far I have made $143.37 in 6 sales on a lot of 10 mugs, purchased for only $5!

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This includes a Sandra Boynton mug (above) for $17.58 and an Otagiri mug (below) for $13.79 – each was also only $0.50.

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The Far Side mugs by Gary Lawson are also highly collectible.  I bought the mug below for $1.64 and sold it for $24.99:

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Here’s a face mug that I sold this past summer for $19.58.  Paid only $0.98 from the SA.  Those with a moustache – like the one below – are the better sellers:

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Here are a few more mugs that I have sold this year:

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Sandra Boynton JOYS OF TEACHING Teacher Coffee Mug MINT – paid $1.79 – sold $18.23

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LAUREL BURCH The Art of Being Human 1992 Coffee Mug – paid $0.70 – sold $16.94

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Mac Tonight Ronald McDonald House Mug Stoneware Advertising Fast Food 1997 – paid $1.79 – sold $21.33

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SMURFS Vintage 1981 A Smurfing We Will Go Mug by Wallace Berrie – paid $0.50 – sold $10.95

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CHALEUR Master Impressionists BLACK WHEAT by Emile Bernard 14 Oz Coffee Mug – paid $1 – sold $13.40

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Smiley Face Happy Mug Chilli Bowl Teleflora Gift Coffee Extra Large Soup Dish – paid $1 – sold $19.99

And, I can’t do a post on mugs without mentioning my best-selling mug so far – this Microsoft Windows 97 mug that sold for $47.00 in 2009:

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Of course, we all know that Starbucks anything can be great sellers.  But check out this rare Starbucks mug that sold for $179.99!!!

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Starbucks City Mug San Francisco ~ Golden Gate Park ~ RARE Collector Coffee Cup

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No, sadly, it is not one of my sales … boo hoo! This great flip was posted by Tracy on Flippin’ Friday #107 over at Late Night Coffee.  She found it at a garage sale for a measly $1.00.

And for those of you who also scour the flea markets and antique stores, be sure to keep an eye out for this mug:

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RARE ORANGE & BROWN Fire-King Snoopy Curse You Red Baron Coffee Mug Cup

This rare ORANGE Snoopy mug sold for a whopping $320.00 and $512.00 in August.  The two listings are still up so click here and here to see them.  So if you find one, GRAB it, even if it’s priced at $20, $40 or even $50+ – this is a HOT collectible! Be sure it’s the vintage ORANGE one and not the more recent red one.


Collectible mugs are a great item for your BOLO list!  Need more inspiration?  Here are some great links:

BURGER KING Fire King Mugs from the eBay Selling Coach.

Check out this listing for a lot of 8 BURGER KING Mugs that sold for $1,800!!

FIRE KING Mugs Completes

LAUREL BURCH Mugs Completes

CHALEUR MASTERS Mugs Completes

SANDRA BOYNTON Mugs Completes

POTTERY FACE Mugs Completes

Do you have a great success story selling mugs?  Which other ones would you add to the list?  Please do tell!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Cash for Trash Wednesday

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HAPPY HALLOWEEN!  Hope everyone is having a fun-filled and safe day!


Sometimes I wonder if anyone is really interested in reading about my sales, since most of them are pretty average and not everything I sell brings in mega bucks (boo hoo) … and, then, I’ll get a comment like the one below from Tracy:

Not a week after I read this post, I stumble on to a Mervyn's mission - Santa Barbara in a thrift store. Had I not read your post, I would not have thought twice about it. Scooped it up for 5 dollars! The mission you sold is my home town - Santa Ynez!
Small world! Thanks for the tip and love your blog!!!

Thank you, Tracy! Her comment reminded me why we love to read about great flips.  It’s not so much about “bragging” (ok, maybe a little Winking smile), but rather it’s about educating and sharing information so we can all be successful.  I have learned so much from your blogs and am so grateful to you for sharing!  Thank you!


So, here are my best flips for the month of October:

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HALLOWEEN CHRISTMAS HUGE BLACK GNARLY BARE BRANCH TWIG 24" WIRE TREE Dept 56? – paid $2.50 @ SA – sold $37.96

One day in September, I walked into my local SA and found they had put out their Halloween stuff.  This tree caught my eye because it was 2 feet tall and very sturdy; and because It was 30% off entire store, I paid about $2.50 for it.  I originally intended to keep it, but I realized it might be a good seller when I saw a very similar, but smaller, Dept. 56 tree sell for $60! 

This tree was unbranded, and I wasn’t sure it was Dept. 56 so I put it up for auction at $19.99.  I rarely use BIN, but in this case I did since Halloween was around the corner.  I probably could have listed it for more but I wanted to sell it quickly so it was priced to sell.  It sold within 4 days!


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Vintage Primitive White Enamel Black Trim Wash Basin 13" x 17" Oval – paid $1 @ GS – sold $34.88

Last April, I bought a lot of 5 pieces of vintage enamelware at a garage sale for $1 apiece.  This was one of those purchases that, when you get home, you ask yourself, “Why did I buy this?”  The lot included 2 basins, 2 kettles and a ladle.  The kettles and ladle were in fair condition, and I was not inspired to list them.  So they sat around for a few months until I got tired of looking at them.  I did some research and was surprised that the large basin might be a good seller.  Inspiration hit me and I listed the pieces.  So far the large basin is the only one that has sold, but I’ve already recouped my $5. Now, if only the other pieces sell, then I can put another $40+ in my pocket!


Here are a couple of great clothing flips I had last month:

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CAbi Women's Navy Dark Blue Panel A-line Stretch Jersey Long Skirt Size M – paid $1 @ SA – sold $41.99

CAbi is always a good seller and I pick up most anything I find from this brand – so long as it is in good condition.  It’s always a sure sale.

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L PURE CASHMERE Beige Fringe Scarf Scotland Dawson Forte Cashmere aka Ballantyne – paid $1 @ GS – Sold $54.94

This was a great find because I found it in a pile – mountain – of clothes that were thrown on the ground.  This garage sale was a fundraiser for a Girl Scout troop, and they had so much stuff that it took up two front yards.  They had TONS of clothes and there were TONS of folks going through the piles.  At one point, I saw a woman picking through a pile of beautiful scarves and kicking myself for missing it.  Still, I positioned myself next to her to see what she would leave behind.  Well, she took all the other scarves but left behind this particular one. 

I’d never sold anything cashmere so I wasn’t sure how well this scarf would sell, but for $1 it came home with me.  I was thrilled when it sold for $50 plus shipping.  Ka-ching! 

Speaking of cashmere, after reading these posts from Suzanne The eBay Coach, I’ve started looking for cashmere sweaters and will buy them, even if they’re not on sale.  Even damaged cashmere sweaters can sell on eBay! 

Now that’s CASH for TRASH!


Although it’s supposed to be the busy selling season, my sales have been so-so.  Of course, that could be due to any number of reasons, including the fact that I’m not listing as much as I should – or that I’m not finding the great product I’d like to find.  With the end of the year, I am rethinking my purchasing strategy for next year.  But that’s fodder for another post!

Hope you all have been doing great with tons of sales!