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, 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!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Cash for Trash: Craigslist

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Kent Coffey Perspecta Dresser – paid $35 @ SA – Sold $240

I have been wanting to try out CL but have been hesitant for a couple of reasons:

  1. I’ve read/heard about those horror stories; and
  2. I’m not comfortable with strangers coming to my house – mainly because I’m still a little shy – seriously!

I also know there are MANY folks who use CL all the time with no problems so I finally decided it was time to get my feet wet. 

Remember this dresser I found at the SA for $35?  I posted about it here back in September.  Two weeks ago I listed it on CL.  I knew I would have to be patient for the right buyer as it was a high ticket item; but I also knew it would definitely sell.  Sure enough: Friday I get an email asking me if it was still available.

I called the buyer; and during our conversation, she asked me if I would take $225 – down from the $275 I was asking.  I told her I was willing to consider a best offer, but suggested she come by to look at it first.  She agreed and made an appointment for Saturday.  She and her hubby were driving about 50 miles one way to look at it so I knew they were serious buyers.  They were right on time and I knew they liked the dresser as soon as they saw it.  By the time they left I had $240 in my pocket!  Ka-ching!

Just to let you know that I was still a little paranoid about strangers coming to my home, so I made asked DH  to help me put it in the garage.  This way they wouldn’t need to come into my home, even though DH and my sons were home.  And in case you may think I’m overreacting a little, here’s a link to “Dangers of Letting Strangers In Your Home”, a post about a scary situation that happened last year to a young mom and wife.  I’m glad she was ok, but it’s scary to think of what could have been.


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LITTLE TIKES TYKES FOOTBALL TOY BOX ICE CHEST COOLER – paid $15 @ Savers

After my success selling the dresser on CL, I was really lovin’ CL and jazzed to list more items.  So last night I listed this toy chest at $65.

I bought this toy chest last year and sold it on eBay for $74.99 in August of 2011.  Unfortunately, the cost to ship it was over $100 so the transaction was cancelled. (Read about it here.)  Since then, this toy box has been sitting in my bedroom – still packaged – just waiting for football season to begin.

Within a few hours of listing it, I had an email from a “Steeler Fan” with an offer of $45.  I replied with a counter-offer of $50; and by 7:00 this morning,  he’d accepted the counter-offer.  After a couple of email exchanges, he made an appointment to come by this afternoon.

Yes, I was very excited at the prospect of another $50 in my pocket.  Unfortunately, I was counting my chickens before they were hatched because the guy never showed up.  Unlike my first sale, the second buyer and I did not exchange phone numbers so I had no way of contacting him. 

To top it off, I received an email from a second interested buyer.  I told him that someone was scheduled to come by; however, if the guy didn’t show, I would call him.  So I did, two hours after the scheduled appointment.  Boo hoo, he said he had already bought another toy chest and was no longer interested in my football.

From what I’ve read in your blogs, this is par for the course and these things happen.  I know this will sell soon and I just have to wait for the right buyer.  In the meantime, I’ve listed a couple more items, with more in the queue.

I must say my adventure into selling on CL has been an interesting and profitable one.  Now that I’ve gotten my feet wet, I’m ready to take the plunge!

Hope you had a fun and profitable weekend!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Cash for Trash Wednesday

Another week and another dollar earned!  It’s great to see that sales have picked up and it really motivates me to list, list, and list.  Here are a few of my best sellers from the past couple of weeks:

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PHAT FARM SWEATSHIRT HOODY HOODIE Black with Blue Men's Size XL – paid $1.00 @ sa – sold $47.49

I found this great sweatshirt for $1 at the SA and listed it at $28.99 with free domestic shipping.  It went to an international buyer who paid $18.50 for shipping.  I love international buyers!

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Brooks Brothers White Gray Striped Non Iron Cotton Mens Dress Shirt 17.5 – 35 – paid $2 @ SA – sold $34.99

I was happy to find this Brooks Brothers shirt at the SA after reading this post by Frank @ Fruzie’s Collectibles.  It was a quick seller, too!  Be sure to read Frank’s post about the top 6 selling brands of men’s shirts.  Thanks, Frank!

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JOS A BANKS Men's Bill Cosby Multicolor Long Sleeve Crewneck Sweater Sz XXL 2 XL – paid $1 @ sa – sold $28.99

And, thanks to Tristen @ The eBay Entrepreneur for the great tip on Bill Cosby sweaters.  I knew about Coogi sweaters made famous by Bill Cosby.  But I didn’t realize that other sweaters could also be called Bill Cosby sweaters. Tristen’s timing with this post couldn’t have been better as I had already bought the sweater; and because of Tristen’s post, I listed this as a Bill Cosby sweater with a higher fixed price.  It sold within a few days! 


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VINTAGE PROCTOR SILEX 4-Slice Pastry Toaster T806W Chrome White NEW IN BOX – paid $4 @ gs – sold $75

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about my thrifty treasures which included this toaster.  I am happy to say it sold for a whopping $75!  Ka-ching!


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Mervyn's California Mission Santa Ines LE Porcelain Midwest Canon Falls 1998 – paid $4.48 @ GW – sold $59.99

Hard to believe it was so long ago, but 3 years ago I wrote this post about a lot of Mervyn’s missions that I found at the GW.  I kept those missions for a few months but eventually sold them on eBay.  These are super hard to find, but a couple weeks ago I found this one at the GW.  It was tucked, hidden, underneath a rack of shelves of knickknacks.  I barely glimpsed the red box but knew immediately what it was.  I’d sold my previous missions for $35, but listed this one at $60 since there are so few around.  Check out my completed listing here.


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Vintage 1900s Hand Quilted Finished QUILT Bed Size 84 x 85 – sold $155.95

I bought this vintage quilt YEARS ago at an estate sale.  I don’t remember how much I paid for it, but I decided it was time to let it go to a new home.  I have had this quilt listed since last year both on eBay and Etsy.  I have no idea what it’s worth, but I started the listings at $195 – months later, still no sales.  I lowered the price to $175 – months later, still no sales.  Again, I dropped the price another $20 and voila!  It finally sold.  It now has a new home and I have $155.95 in my account.

Now that’s CASH FOR TRASH!

Happy saling and selling!