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 23, 2013

Cash for Trash: September Winners

Do you ever have periods when you’re just not motivated to list or even deal with reselling?  When you’d rather be doing something else?  Well, for me it was September.  I was so not into eBay.

I love making cash from trash.  Lately, however, I have been running out of steam.  September found me spending more time with my hobbies, including quilting, and just taking some time off from selling.  Even so, I still had over 130 sales and was surprised when September was not my lowest month (that dubious honor goes to January).

Here are my September winners.  No biggies, but I am happy for the sales:
6175 (1)

Northrop B-2 Stealth Bomber COFFEE MUG Grumman Aerospace Military Plane HIDES

Award_-_Honorable_mentionI found this mug at the GW store and paid $0.99 for it.  I think this is a really neat mug because the cloud hiding the stealth bomber “disappears” with the warmth from the hot liquid.  Once the mug cools off, the cloud reappears.  It sold for $21.99 to a buyer in Florida.

Last year, I found 2 of this exact same mug at the SA.  Sold them on eBay in November to a buyer who was a veteran and had once worked on the B-2 bomber.  Read my post here.


Boy Scouts Centennial Convertible Zip Off Pants Shorts Youth 16

3rd placeWhenever I run across Boy Scouts clothing, I will pick it up so long as it’s in decent condition.  My boys were in the scouts and the uniforms are not cheap, so parents look to eBay for used uniforms.  I picked these pants up at a garage sale for $0.75.  Sold for $24.99 to a buyer in Connecticut.

6526 (1)

Lot of 6 CLARKS MERRICK JOHN CUTTER Sewing Thread Advertising Trade CARD 1800s

second_place1Sometime last year, I bought a box of vintage wrapping paper at a church rummage sale.  I think I paid a couple of dollars for it.  I thought I would list the items individually on Etsy, but the thought of taking pictures of and listing each sheet of paper was a put off.  I finally decided to sell it as a lot, just to move it out.  I found these vintage trading cards in the mix and listed these separately.  They sold for $24.99 to a buyer in Arizona.

6530 (1)

BTW, I sold the lot of vintage wrapping paper in July for $42.10.  That totals up to $67.09 for both sales.  Not a bad return on a couple of dollars!




I found this pattern at the SA store and paid a quarter for it.  I find that thrift stores don’t give much value to sewing patterns and price them under $1, and usually no more than $2.  I only buy patterns that are uncut and, for the most part, only pick up costumes and Vogue patterns.  The Civil war and medieval adult costumes are good sellers as are some Vogue designers.  This pattern sold for $27.95 to a buyer in Pennsylvania.

6623 (2)

Clairol Set-A-Way Travel Hair Setter Hot Rollers Curlers Model KT-8 Dual Voltage


I’m always on the lookout for hair curlers, especially by Clariol.  I found this travel set in great condition at the GW store for $5.39.  Sold it to a buyer in New York for $42.00.

It’d be great if all my sales were in the high double digits or even in the 3 digits; but it’s these smaller sales that pay the bills.  I am grateful for each one.  Especially now that I have finally paid off my car!  Yahoo!  Thank you, eBay!

And it always surprises me how sales increase – seemingly overnight – once we hit October.  By mid-October, my sales had already reached the same amount that I sold in all of September.

That’s what I call Cash for Trash!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Cash for Trash: August Winners … and Kudos to USPS

Hope everyone is doing well and still hanging in there with me!  Summer sales, as expected, were a little slow but better than last year.  Here are my highlights from August.


Lot of 35 Vintage Road Maps Travel Guides 1950s - 1990s Gas Oil AAA Collection

I found these vintage maps at an estate sale.  They were in a box in the garage, totally ignored by other buyers.  I added them to my pile with the intention of using them for crafts.  I paid for my items as a lot, but I estimate I paid no more than $1 for these maps.  They were stashed away for a few months until, one day, I did some research on eBay and discovered the maps would be good sellers.  Forget crafting!  I sold these for $29.99 to a buyer in Pennsylvania.  Net margin = 72%

6520 (1)

Pampered Chef Heritage Collection Stoneware Baking Casserole Dish Lasagna Pan

I was thrilled when I found this Pampered Chef stoneware baking dish at the GW store.  It was in perfect like-new condition, and I paid a whopping $5.99 for it.  I fully intended to keep it for personal use, but I finally decided there was no point in keeping it if I wasn’t going to use it.  It sold for $45.21 to a buyer in Indiana.  Net margin = 36%

6174 (1)

Bloch Women's Tap Dance Shoes 8 1/2 8.5 Techno Tap #1T #3H NEW

3rd place
I found these Bloch tap shoes at a yard sale back in May.  The seller said they belonged to her daughter. She never used them, and they were in perfect condition.  I don’t run across many tap shoes, but when I do I will pick them up if they’re in good condition.  I couldn’t believe these were only $1!  They sold for $39.99 and went to a buyer in Virginia.  Net margin = 75%

6532 (1)

Lot of 11 Fiesta Ware JAVA Coffee Mug 12 Ounces Large C Handle Made in USA NEW

This is a nice lot of 11 Fiesta Ware mugs I found at a garage sale in June.  I think the seller originally wanted $1 each; but I bought several items so I was able to purchase these for 50-cents each. 

I listed them in two separate listings, and the two lots sold within days of each other.  This actually created a problem when I mistakenly switched two mugs.  Read about it in my post “When It Rains, It Pours”. Luckily everything turned out okay, and I received positive FB from both buyers.  These two lots sold for a total of $112.99 to buyers in Colorado and New York.  Net margin = 50%

5723 (1)

Starbucks 2002 PARIS City Mug Collector Series Coffee Mug Made in England Rare

I love selling Starbucks mugs!  This Paris mug was part of a lot of 16 mugs that I found at a garage sale in March.  The bunch was sitting on a table and I spotted them right away.  I think the reason no one was interested in the mugs was because they were FILTHY.  Yew, nasty, gross dirty!  I have to believe these had been used in a business setting, some place where no one bothers to wash coffee cups because the insides were stained brown. 

Luckily for me, I’d just read an article about how to remove stains from coffee mugs with a little hydrogen peroxide and baking soda.  I’d never tried this method but decided I would take a chance with these mugs. I could also see they were not chipped or cracked. Although I tried to get the seller to accept $1/mug, I ended up paying $20 for the lot.  Still, not a bad price.

The mugs cleaned up beautifully and looked almost new.  Of the 16 mugs, I kept 2 for myself and listed the other 14.  So far, 11 have sold and I’m sure the other 3 will sell eventually.  This Paris mug sold for $44.99 to a buyer in Iowa.  Total sales so far is $268.  When the last 3 sell, total sales will add up to about $354!  Not bad for a $20 investment.  Net margin = 56%

6592 (1)

Vintage Antique Grandmother's Flower Garden Feedsack Quilt 72 x 88 Hand Quilted

Grand prize goes to this vintage feedsack quilt I found at the SA thrift store last year.  I wrote about my great find in this post.  It was practically a steal at $6!  

I knew when I bought it that the quilt was worth over $100 and fully intended to list it either on eBay or Etsy.  It took me a year to finally get around to selling it.  I think part of me wanted to keep it but the other part of me didn’t really know how much to sell it for, so I procrastinated.  

I ended up listing it in July for $250 plus shipping.  It sold within a month for a total sales price of $266.95.  It went to a buyer with a DPO (Diplomatic Post Office) military address, which I believe is to an overseas embassy.  My net margin on this item is 79%!

That’s what I call Cash for Trash!



I know this is not the best picture, but it is a photo of my mail carrier leaving my house after picking up 2 bins of mail this past Monday, Columbus Day Holiday.  I have great mail carriers!

On Saturday, my mail carrier left me a small note telling me that the post office will have a carrier on Monday picking up parcels and said I should have my packages ready by noon.

I had my packages ready by 11:00 a.m. on Monday so I put them out for pick up.  One o’clock came by and still no pickup.  But, finally, just before 2 p.m., I see the little mail truck stop at my house, and I see the mail carrier quickly get my 2 bins and jump back in the truck ready for his next pickup.

Ruby, my mail carrier, tells me USPS is going through some changes right now and is trying to change its focus to concentrate more on parcels, competing with UPS and FedEx, etc.  There is still some talk about whether or not they will discontinue mail delivery on Saturdays, EXCEPT for packages. I also heard USPS is doing Sunday deliveries for Amazon packages. 

Regardless of whatever growing pains USPS is going through, I was impressed they picked up my packages on a holiday!  That means my buyers would not have to wait an extra day to get their items, and that’s always a good thing!