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!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

CASH FOR TRASH: Vintage Travilla Beaded Jacket from Garage Sale


TRAVILLA Victorian Inspired Black Lace Fitted Waist Cumberband Jacket 6 Vintage – PAID $5 – SOLD $62.50

One Saturday morning in January my BFF Viv and I  hit the yard sales.  One sale was at a condo complex; the sellers were a younger professional couple who’d just had a baby. The wife was selling many of her designer clothes at great prices! 

There was already another buyer there who had a huge pile of clothes and shoes she was buying, and I missed out by just a few minutes!  Even so, I still managed to find a couple of skirts and sweaters, plus this vintage Travilla top.

I was not familiar with the Travilla label, but I discovered that William Travilla was an American costume designer for theatre, film, and television, who is probably best-known for dressing Marilyn Monroe.  So what’s a good price for this?  I searched and searched, but found only one other Travilla jacket on Etsy listed at $125.00.  It was similar to this one so I listed mine at $125.00 on eBay.

It sat in my store for about a month before a buyer offered me $50.  Seriously?  I didn’t even have a “Best Offer” on this.  My first reaction was to ignore the offer, but I took a couple days to think about it.  I finally decided to counter-offer with $62.50, which the buyer accepted. I’d rather have the money in my account than a top in my closet waiting for the right buyer.  I mean, I only paid $5 for this top … and that’s why I love garage sales!

And because I spent $46 that day and so far have made over $450 in sales!  

Now, that’s CASH FOR TRASH!


J KARA New York Women's Black Beaded Sleeveless Long Evening Dress Sz 10 NWT NEW – paid $3 – listed at $199.00

And what about this dress?  It is a brand new J KARA hand-beaded dress, which I bought at the SA for $3.00.  It’s a simple shift dress with beading along the neckline.


It also came with its original Nordstrom tag with a price of $920.00!  That’s almost $1,000 … and it ends up at the thrift store.  Is this for real?


Terapeak tells me that new similar style J Kara dresses are selling between $25-$170.  Most of these retail new for about $250.   I was going to list it at $75, but that $920 kept talking to me.  So I listed this at $199.00. 

Even at half price, I cannot imagine someone plunking down $460 for a dress they can’t try on or even touch.  But is $75 a fair market price for a dress that retailed at $920?  Or does the retail price even matter, since I only paid $3 for the dress?  I read somewhere that you shouldn’t list an item too low because buyers will think something is wrong with it.  So I will list it in my store for 30 days and will see what happens.  I can always mark it down.

Happy thrifting and selling!
Believe in yourself and prosper!


  1. The J Kara dress. To use your own words, Believe in Yourself.
    If you can be HAPPY with the price you list at, no matter what it is "selling" for somewhere else, then that is all that matters. Of course, we all want to get top dollar for everything but we just have to wait for the right person to be searching.
    Good luck with the dress. It is beautiful and like you, I would never in a million years pay $920 for a dress of any kind.

  2. I think you priced it just right. I think there is something to the idea that if it's priced too low people will think there is something wrong with it. That's usually my reaction to certain listings. :)