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!

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!