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!

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Cash for Trash: October Winners

It just hit me like a knock on the head that tomorrow is December 1.  I’ve been so busy with the holiday, family, and eBay that one day just morphed into another with the blink of an eye.  And, since I’m on a roll with posting, I thought I’d do one last post for November.

I was thrilled that, without too much effort on my part, October turned out to be my second highest month of the year with over 150 sales.  I love the last quarter of the year!  Here are my top sellers:

6361 (1)


Award_-_Honorable_mentionI found this gorgeous teapot at a garage sale that had lots of children’s clothing and toys, but one table had some housewares.  I picked this one up and another teapot for $1 each.  Sold it in 4 months for $39.99 to a buyer in Florida.  Net margin = 55%

6694 (1)

Vintage 8 Pipe Wood Rack with Humidor Estate Tobacco Smoking

This was another garage sale find.  This garage sale was on its second run, and the owners had already moved out-of-state. Their adult children were selling the leftovers and were at a point where they just wanted to get rid of what was left.  

I had picked up a few clothing items for a quarter, and I was taking one last look when I spotted this in the garage.  It was grimy and tatty-looking so the “kids” let me have it for a buck.  I cleaned it up with a bit of Minwax and it cleaned up beautifully.  Sold it for $40.55 to another buyer in Florida. Net margin = 48%

6693 (1)

Hasbro Teal Easy Bake Oven & Snack Center w/ Acc. Plus Frosting Set & Mixes

Illustration of a fourth place ribbonI will usually pick up these little Easy Bake ovens when I run across them and can get them for under $5.  I found this one at a huge garage sale and paid $3 for it.  It also came with a few extras which was a great selling point.  Sold it for $51.29 to a buyer in Arizona.  Net margin = 59%

Chantal Fire & Ice Fondue Set Glass Base Blue Enamel Pot Vintage 1980s MIB

Illustration of a third place ribbon
If I spot a closed box in a thrift store aisle, you know I have to open it.  I read somewhere in blogland that vintage fondue sets can be good sellers, but at $5.99 I wasn’t sure about buying it.  But it felt like good quality and it was new in its original box, so I brought it home.  It sold for $53.62 within 2 months to a buyer in Texas.  Net margin = 51%

5791 (1)

TIARA Halloween Fall Black SWEATER CARDIGAN Misses XL Pumpkins Ghosts Zip Front

I bought this Halloween sweater for $1 from the SA and it has been in my store since February.  It FINALLY sold for $53.99 to a buyer from Canada.  I didn’t pick up any Christmas sweaters throughout the year as in previous years.  I just didn’t run across them as often; and when I did, they were priced from $10-$15 at the thrift stores, especially Goodwill and Savers. Oh, well, so much for Goodwill haunting!

4876 (1)

Eileen Fisher Women's Dark Blue Navy Elastic Waist Stretch Pants Petite Sz PS

5447 (1)

EILEEN FISHER Off-White Silk Georgette Crepe Scoop Neck Tank Top Plus Sz 2X NEW

First place goes to these two Eileen Fisher items.  Eileen Fisher is always a top seller but it’s not always a fast one.  I purchased the pants last year at a garage sale for $1 and finally sold them for $39.99, after dropping the price multiple times.  

I bought the blouse at the SA in February for $1.  It was brand new with its original price tag, and I originally listed it at $125.  It finally sold for $79.99.  My investment for both items was $2 and total sales for both was $119.98.  Ka-ching! Net margin = 80%


Magic MTG Cards Lot Scalding Tarn x4 4 Zendikar RARE Dual Lands Land Duel – Sold for $175


Misty Rainforest x3 Zendikar Near Mint Magic the Gathering MTG – sold $120

These Magic The Gathering cards belonged to DS#1 and had been in the garage for a few years.  I think he’s had these cards since he was in high school – about 10 years now – so I would have thought these were old and no good.  But there are still a lot of gamers out there who pay top dollar for specific cards.  DS stored these in protective sleeves, and they were in mint condition.  Total sales was $295!  He sold a few other cards but not for anywhere near these.

Now That’s Cash for Trash

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Selling on eBay: Shipping the FOMO Way

6175 (1)

In my previous Cash for Trash post last month, I mentioned selling this mug to a buyer in Florida for $21.99 with free expedited shipping. 

One reader sent me the following question:
How are you able to offer free expedited shipping on coffee mugs?  Don't they weigh too much for First Class Mail?  If you mail them Priority, how much does it cost?  I did the math and I stopped selling mugs because I was losing money.  What is your secret to making money selling mugs?

Well … my secret is FOMO (“Freely Overcoming Mug Obstacles”)!  It would have cost about $9.88 using Priority Mail and $9.95 by Parcel Select to send this to the East Coast.  But, using a Flat Rate Padded Envelope, it cost me only $5.35.  This is such a big cost saver, that I thought I’d write a quick post on this.  (Update at end of post.)

First, I wrap the mug in bubble wrap.
Then I “wrap” it in cardboard.  I recycle box scraps or used priority boxes.
Tape it all up, nice and secure.

It fits nice and neat in a padded flat rate Priority envelope. I have sent all my mugs this way and none have had any damage.  I’ve shipped other breakables this way, too, but I have yet to try sending dinnerware plates.  

Folks use the FOMO shipping method to send all kinds of stuff.  Not only does this save you and your buyers money, but also gives you an opportunity to expand your product line.  One industrious fellow even had a box company make custom boxes to fit securely in the padded envelope.  

There is more information here which also includes a video. 

UPDATE: If you are still not comfortable using the FOMO way to ship mugs, you can also use a 6x4x4.  This size is perfect for standard mugs and fit nicely in the padded FR envelopes. I now use this box to ship most of my mugs using a PFRE.  While I trust the FOMO way, the boxes are much easier. These are the ones I buy.