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, June 12, 2014

Cash for Trash: May Sales

As much as I lamented the slow sales, I was doing the happy dance when there was a sudden surge in sales the end of May.  This was especially good since I had put my store on vacation for a couple of weeks and didn’t list one single item in May until the last week. I know these surges come and go; I just wish they lasted longer!

Here are a few more sales from May.  Except for the last item, all were purchased from the GWO so the “paid” price is an average.

7536 (1)

Hasbro NERF Tornado Strike Big Super Soaker Squirt Gun with Detachable Stock – Paid $0.71 – Sold $30.99 – Net Margin 59%

7689 (1)

Wham-O Aqua Force Crossbow Water Balloon Blaster – Paid $0.99 – Sold $25.26 – Net Margin 33%

These bigger water guns sell really well during the warmer months.  These have been listed since February,  and they sold within days of one another.  I was hoping the Wham-O blaster was worth more, but it retails new for $25.  So I listed it for $10.99 BIN, and someone paid $15 to have it shipped to NY.  Go figure!

7466 (1)

Large Grumpy Plush 28" Snow White Seven Dwarf Retired Jumbo – Paid $1.42 – Sold $35.99 – Net Margin 50%

I debated about getting this big guy along with his sidekick Dopey because of their large size and the hassle of shipping; but I just couldn’t leave them behind.  I stuck him in a 14” square box and shipped him to a buyer in Wisconsin for about $12.  My net profit – after costs and fees – was about $18, or 50% of the sales price. Not too bad; just glad to see him go!

I’ve mentioned these California Missions for Mervyn’s in previous posts (here and here).  They are porcelain replicas made by Midwest of Canon Falls and were sold in Mervyn’s stores from 1997-1998.  Both the village buildings and the ornaments – like the one above – are hard to find and very collectible as are the accessories.  If you ever run across one, be sure to grab it quickly and run!

7524 (1)

Porceval Figurine Girl in Blue Ribbon Dress and Veil Hand Painted Spain – Paid $0.71 – Sold $26.89 – Net Margin 63%

When I first saw this pretty figurine tossed in a bin, I didn’t pay her any attention.  She was in the midst of a bunch of cheap dollar-store figurines so I just walked on by.  I came upon her again and this time I picked her up.  Her bottom was marked “Porceval, Made in Spain”.  Okay, maybe she wasn’t some cheap trinket.  Thanks to my smartphone I realized she could be worth a few dollars so into the cart she went.  She sat in my store for about 3 months before she sold to a buyer here in California.

7661 (1)

Atari 2600 and Frogger Plug and Play TV Video Game Arcade Style Joystick – Paid $0.99 – Sold $30.81 – Net Margin 67%

I still remember playing the first video arcade games back in the 1970s.  The first one I ever played was Pong by Atari.  It was such a simple two-dimensional game, but I was terrible at it!  So when I saw these two joysticks, I threw them in my cart.  These are actually plug-and-play arcade TV joysticks.  They are not very old, but you can play some of the original arcade games from the 70s – including Pong!  We plugged them into our OLD TV to make sure they work and I had a fun time remembering old times.  And yes, I’m still terrible at playing Pong!  These also sold to a buyer in California.

7597 (1)


Noritake Versatone Bleufleur B319 Seven (7) Dinner and Dessert Plates – Paid $5.38 – Sold $98.52 – Net Margin 72%

I sold seven more pieces of this beautiful Noritake design.  I purchased these in February and sold the first 3 bowls within a few days of listing them.  So far, total sales of these pieces comes to just over $160. I still have two more dinner plates that should bring in another $35.  These were two listings and they went to the same buyer in Florida.

8008 (1)

Naked Nude Barbies Barbie Mixed Lot of 9 Blonde Brunette African Clean – Paid $1.38 – Sold $43.39 International Sale – Net Margin 22%

This lot of naked Barbies was not a big seller.  This was my first try at selling this item and it will also be my last!  I picked them up because I’d seen the videos by GillDaddy and they always grab them to sell in lots.  However, this just didn’t work for me.  I picked these up over the course of several trips to the GWO and half the ones I did get were damaged.  I finally got around to listing them and getting them out the door.  What I DID find interesting was that I received quite a few inquiries, all from international buyers. Anyway, this lot went to a buyer in the United Kingdom, who paid over $33.00 for shipping.  What DO people do with these?

8011 (1)

Food Saver Mini Plus Vacuum Sealer Brand New in the Box – Paid $7.98 – Sold $60 – Net Margin 63%

Honestly, when I paid the $7.98 at the SA for this FoodSaver, I intended to keep it.  Otherwise, I don’t think I would have bought it to resell.  The box was sealed so I had no idea its condition.  But once at home, I saw that it was brand new in its original packaging.  Looked it up and realized I could sell it for about $60.  Oh, well, I didn’t really need it!  This sold the day within 2 days of listing it to a buyer in California.

I know it takes money to make money; and one of the things I struggle with is not limiting what I pay for items.  I like to stay under $5 – WAY under – for what I pay per product.  Yet, I realize that I’m leaving behind many great items that could bring in more money. I see that other sellers pay much more for items that they know will bring in the $$.

Selling the FoodSaver made me realize that I need to expand my horizons and not limit myself and the items I sell.  Yes, it may take a little more upfront money – and, yes, you have more at risk – but you also have more to gain!

Here is a breakdown of my May Sales:

# of Sales: 70

Cost of Goods Sold (COGS): $103.64 (6% of revenue)

Average Price of COGS: $1.65 (does not include personal items sold)

Total Revenue: $1895.38 (includes revenue from shipping)

Avg. Sales Price: $27.08

Net Margin: 57%

Highest Sold Item: $109.71

Lowest Sold Item: $4.24

Number and Percent of Items Sold:
  • Jeans: 23 – 33%
  • Plush and Toys: 14 – 20%
  • Sewing Machines: 4 – 6%
  • Everything Else: 29 – 41%

One UPI Case – Closed and credited

Now that’s cash for trash!


  1. If you look on etsy some artists use the Barbie dolls for jewelry. Or at least I have seen some in the past. Imagine a necklace made from Barbie legs, arms or whatever. They are also used in altered art. I never had a Barbie, my girls did but didn't like them. I still don't see the fascination in Barbie. Good sales on the water weapons!!

    1. Thanks for the info! I took a peek on Etsy and see all the neat/weird stuff that can be done with these Barbie dolls. I loved Barbie when I was a little girl, but my daughter didn't like her at all. Thanks for solving the mystery for me.

  2. Nice sales for May! I love seeing your numbers. I'm slowing changing over to adding shipping (unless the items is really light, like a tie). It has not affected my sales at all. Wouldn't it be nice to see those numbers and not have shipping included in the gross! :)

    1. Thanks, Margaret! I consider what I receive for shipping as revenue, so I include it in all my sales numbers. It just keeps it simple. I also think it's interesting to see what buyers are actually willing to pay for an item, like those Barbie dolls. Someone wanted them badly enough and considered them to be worth the $43+ to get them. I just wanted to get rid of them LOL!

  3. Great find on the ornament.

    The Mervyn Missions were also produced in village table top size. They light up. I sold one last year for around $39.00 on ebay.

    1. Yes, especially if you have the original box and the crosses, which always seem to be missing. I just found a table one and will be listing it - but has no box and no crosses. With the crosses, you can sell them for much more. Thanks for the visit.

  4. I have a plug n play PacMan game to sell, but I haven't tested it yet. Cool Nerf water gun! I love it! As for Barbie, I think the heads may be used for making weird stuff. I know that there is an artist who is famous for transforming My Little Pony figures into celebrities. You can see them here:

    1. Wow, those altered Little Pony figures are amazing! I love the way folks can take something that is used and recycle it into a real treasure. Hey, your hubby does just that! His stuff is awesome!

  5. Great sales! Thank you for sharing the breakdown. I love that Noritake pattern. It's beautiful!

    1. Yup, I love that pattern too. It is so pretty. Wish I had found the whole set. Thanks for the visit!

  6. Thank you so much for sharing your finds - they always give me a nice jolt of motivation! I'm just blown away by the variety of great items that you find. I always make a point to visit the shoes and clothing but your success with toys, ornaments, etc makes me want to expand into other areas as well.

    Congrats again on all your recent success! -Meinard

    1. Hey, Meinard, thanks for the visit! I sell a mish-mash of items - it's whatever I can find that I think will profit a few dollars. I've learned so much from you about shoes and appreciate all your info. I'm slowly expanding into areas that are a little out of my comfort zone. Only way to learn!

  7. Looks like a good month! I love your Porceval figurine. I have trouble buying anything for over $5 too. Even $4.99 sounds like a lot to me!