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!

Friday, November 28, 2014

Cash for Trash: October Sales

I had a few more sales in October than the 2 previous months, but the revenue was a bit less.  It’s probably because I discounted the price on many items, in particular jeans.  I’m pretty much through with selling jeans.  It was good while it lasted, but things change and “all good things must come to an end”.

Here are my best sales for October:

8432 (1)
VillaWare Power Cookie Press Electric Cordless Rechargeable – Paid $4.80 @ Savers – Sold $40.71 – Net Margin 45%

I was not familiar with this brand when I saw it at the TS but it caught my eye.  A quick search on my phone told me it would be a good seller.  The box was open but it appeared to be unused.  I paid more for the item than I’m used to at the outlet (gotta love those outlet prices!), which affected my net margin.  But, this sold within ONE day so I wonder if I should have listed it for more.  Oh, well, I still netted over $18, and it went to a buyer in Michigan.

7843 (1)
Chico’s Travelers No Tummy Crop Pants Size 2 Short Black Stretch NEW – Paid $0.80 @ GWO – Sold for $44.99 – Net Margin 74%

I know these Chico’s Travelers pants are popular so I thought they would sell quickly.  But it took 7 months for them to sell, and that was after I dropped the price from $50 to $45.  These sold to a buyer here in California.

8301 (1)
Columbia Bugaboo Jacket Men's Medium 3 in 1 Zip Out Liner Ski Winter Black – Paid $4.55 @ GWO – Sold for $49 – Net Margin 66%

The outlet I go to has a “sale” during the first 2 hours, selling everything at $0.69 per pound.  After that time period, clothing goes back to $1.45 per pound.  They don't bring out the “good” stuff during the “sale” period but wait to bring it out after it ends.  So I estimate I paid about $4.55 for this jacket which is actually 3 jackets in one.  Even so, my profit on this was over $30; and it went to a buyer in Utah.

7684 (1)
Vintage 1972 Ouija Mystifying Oracle Wood Board William Fuld Parker Bros. EUC – Paid $0.62 @ GWO – Sold for $49.99 – Net Margin 62%

Vintage board games can be great sellers and this Ouija board game was no exception.  When this game rolled out in the bin, I was surprised to overhear many of the other folks say they would never buy this and bring it home.  Better for me, as I had no one grabbing it away, but I knew I would have to wait for the right buyer.  It sold after 6 months, and that was after I dropped the price a couple of times from $69.99 to $49.99.  It sold to a buyer in Texas.

8334 (1)
Vintage Ghostbusters Stay Puft Marshmallow Man Gozer 1984 Columbia Pictures – Sold for $39.99 – Net Margin 80%

I found this cute little guy when I was cleaning one of our closets.  DS#1 loved the Ghostbusters, and I’m sure we bought this for him in the late 1980s.  I was tempted to give it away to the TS but decided to see if it was worth anything.  Woo hoo!  So glad I did!  It took about 1-1/2 months, but he finally sold to a buyer in New Jersey.

8383 (1)
Wedgwood Queen's Shape Plain Pattern Teapot and Lid – Paid $2.80 @ Savers – Sold for $37.52 – Net Margin 66%

8382 (1)
Wedgwood Queen's Shape Plain Pattern Lidded Sugar Bowl and Creamer Set – Paid $2.80 @ Savers – Sold for $27.86 – Net Margin 46%

I purchased these 3 items as a set but decided to sell them as 2 separate lots.  The total for both sales was $65.38.  This gave me a net profit of $37.44 and a net margin of 57%.  The sugar and creamer set sold in ONE day, and the teapot sold in under 3 weeks, to buyers in California and Oregon.

foreman grill
George Foreman GR12B Super Champ Indoor Grill – Sold on Amazon for $48.95 – Net Margin 75%

I finally took the plunge and started selling on Amazon!  I’d been toying with the idea for sometime; but felt out of my comfort zone and kept putting off.  After reading a post on a Facebook group, I was encouraged to “just do it”.

My first steps were tiny baby ones.  I wanted to test the waters so I started by selling items I already had that were still new in their original packaging.  This grill was one of those items.

I bought this George Foreman grill on sale over a year ago at Walmart to give as a gift.  I think I may have paid about $15 for it.  We never gave it away, and I had no use for this one.  I was so happy when it sold in about 3 weeks.  My net margin on this is a little high because I did not discount for my original purchase price since I had it for so long. I was just thrilled to make another Amazon sale! 

This was not my first Amazon sale, but was my best for the month.  I had 9 additional sales: puzzles and board games, plus 3 NERF water blasters – all brand new.  On one item, I only netted about 99-cents – just barely breaking even.  Overall, however, my net profit from Amazon for this month was more than $44.  Not too bad for baby steps! 

I have a few more items listed so we’ll see how it goes.  I’ll be sure to post about my Amazon adventures, so be sure to come back.

Here is a breakdown of my October Sales:

# of Sales: 99

Cost of Goods Sold (COGS): $196.51

Percent of Revenue: 10.04%

Average Price of COGS: $1.98

Total Revenue: $1,957.52 (includes revenue from shipping)

Avg. Sales Price: $19.77

Net Margin: 53%

Highest Sold Item: $49.99 (Ouija game)

Lowest Sold Item: $5.00 (sewing pattern)

Number and Percent of Items Sold:
  • Jeans & Pants: 23 – 23%
  • Plush and Toys: 22 – 22%
  • Shirts: 4 - 4%
  • Everything Else: 50 – 50%

Now that’s cash for trash!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Cash for Trash: September Sales

Sales are humming along.  This month I had 86 sales, which is pretty much the same as last month (87).  Here are my best sales for September:

6598 (1)

Spiewak Enhanced Performance EMS Pant Men's Size 50 Black NEW – Paid $2 @ SA – Sold $39.99 – Net Margin 63%

I bought these new-with-tag at the SA thrift store when they had their $2 rag-day sale.  They were a size 50 which I knew would be a difficult size to sell, but they were really nice and good quality. I originally had them priced at $45, but eventually dropped the price to $39.99.  I had to wait a long time for the right buyer – about 14 months – so am really glad they finally sold.

8353 (1)

Roxy Surf Full Wetsuit Girls Kids 10/132 Aqua and Black Water Sports – Paid $1.28 @ GWO – Sold $39.99 – Net Margin 70%

Every once in a while I run across a wetsuit and will pick them up if they’re in good condition.  They’re not particularly great sellers, but do sell fairly quickly.  This one sold within a month to a buyer here in California.

8317 (1)

RALPH LAUREN Purple Label Dress Shirt Size 16 1/2 Black Striped French Cuff – Paid $3 @ SA – Sold $45 – Net Margin 74%

I couldn’t believe it when I ran across this purple label Ralph Lauren shirt at the SA thrift.  I knew that some RL shirts with the purple label sell for over $80 so I saw $$ signs.  But when I got it home and really looked at it, I saw that it had a yellow ring around the collar.  I tried my best to get rid of the stains, even taking it to the cleaners.  The stains did fade away quite a bit; but, if I looked very closely, I could still see them.  I ended up listing it for $45 with the mention of the light stains.  It sold within 3 weeks and my net profit was still over $33 (minus the cost of the cleaners). 

8022 (2)

Christmas Opaque Color C-9-1/4 182 Light Bulbs Original Box for Crafts NOS New – Paid $2 @ GS – Sold $48.20 – Net Margin 51%

Early this year, I bought this box of 182 Christmas lights with the intention of making a wreath.  But I lost interest in that idea and finally decided to list them.  These bulbs were brand new, in great condition and sold for $29.99 plus shipping to a buyer in Georgia.

8213 (1)

Max Studio Cashmere Black V-Neck Poncho Sweater Fringe Top Blouse S-L – Paid $0.86 @ GWO – Sold for $49.99 – Net Margin 80%

This cashmere shawl for only 86-cents was an awesome find at the GW outlet.  Yeah, you do have to go through all the crap to find the treasures, but it’s so worth it!

7580 (1)

NERF Longshot CS-6 Gun N-Strike Dart Blaster Extended Barrel Discontinued Rare – Paid $0.60 @GWO – Sold for $64.99 – Net Margin 76%

I love finding NERF guns and can pick them up pretty cheap at the GW outlet.  This one took about 4 months to sell and went to a buyer in Utah.

Here is a breakdown of my September Sales:

# of Sales: 86

Cost of Goods Sold (COGS): $108.89

Percent of Revenue: 5.35%

Average Price of COGS: $1.27

Total Revenue: $2,036.79 (includes revenue from shipping)

Avg. Sales Price: $23.68

Net Margin: 52%

Highest Sold Item: $139.99 (Magic the Gathering cards, personal item)

Lowest Sold Item: $5.00 (sewing pattern)

Number and Percent of Items Sold:
  • Jeans: 18 – 21%
  • Plush and Toys: 15 – 17%
  • Sewing Patterns: 10 - 12%
  • Everything Else: 43 – 50%

No UPI cases

Now that’s cash for trash!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Cash for Trash: August Sales

Alright, alright, alright! Another post – how about that!  Business was somewhat better in August with 105 sales but not a whole lot more in revenue.  The majority – about 75% – of items I sold were under $25.  Still, I am grateful for every sale and every penny in revenue.  Here are my best sales for August.

8077 (1)

Sigma DG 150-500mm F5-6.3 APO HSM DG OS Lens For Canon w/ 2 Filters and Box – Sold $500

8078 (9)

Canon EF 75-300mm Zoom Lens for EOS T4i 7D T3i 60D T2i 5DII T1i 50D 40D & Bonus – $40

Two more lenses DH sold on Craigslist.  They had also been listed on eBay but they weren’t selling quickly enough so he listed them on CL.  That’s another great thing about CL – once the item is sold, it’s sold.  No 30-day or 90-day returns on CL!

8079 (1)

GoPro HD Helmet HERO 16 MB Camcorder Bundle – Silver – Sold $169.27

This was an older GoPro camera; but with the additional accessories, the buyer from Michigan got a great deal.  Another one of DH’s contributions to the cause!

8316 (1)

Mammut Passion 10mm x 60m Climbing Rope 06041 UNUSED – Sold $116.80

8320 (1)

Petzl GriGri 1 Climbing Belay Top Rope Self-breaking Descender Device – Sold $79.99

These two items had been stored in the garage and were hardly used.  The rope went to a buyer in New York and the descender to a buyer in Connecticut.  These two items sold for a combined total of almost $200, which really helped reach our goal.

7509 (1)

Lot of 10 NERF N-Strike Maverick REV-6 Dart Guns Blasters War Party Pack – Paid $9.75 @ GWO – Sold $99.99 – Net Margin 53%

Another lot of NERF guns I accumulated from the GW outlet.  I paid about $0.98 for each gun and sold them for $10 each.  This lot went to a buyer in Connecticut and shipping was almost $25.  I still made a net profit of almost $54; that’s a net margin of 53%

8016 (1)

UGG Kids Girls Bailey Button Triplet Boots 1962 Chestnut Sz 3 Also Fits Womens 4 – Paid $2.70 @ GWO – Sold $76.98 – Net Margin 78%

Another great GW outlet find!  These boots were in pretty good condition with not too much wear.  They sold pretty quickly to a buyer here in California.

8178 (1)

Briggs & Riley Transcend Collection Carry-On Tote BRTD-320 – Paid $0.86 @ GWO – Sold $64.01 – Net Margin 62%

8179 (1)

Lowepro Compact AW Professional Camera Shoulder Bag with Rain Fly – Paid $0.86 @ GWO – Sold $51.59 – Net Margin 69%

Here are a couple great bags I found at the outlet.  These bags had been left behind in the bins, and I knew they were camera bags when I saw them.  Most outlet shoppers ignore these bags, preferring the backpacks or travel bags.  But I know some of these camera bags can sell for good money.  A good item to add to your BOLO list.  One bag went to a buyer in New York and the other to a buyer here in California.

8075 (1)

Jon Renau Traditional Wig April Classic Collection Wavy Shorty Bob Layered – Paid $0.85 – Sold for $62.99 – Net Margin 71%

Another item that was ignored by the other outlet shoppers.  I don’t know much about wigs, but I know not all wigs are created equal.  This wig, however, seemed to be of good quality and was in its original box.  I figure for 85-cents I could take a chance on it.  So glad I did, because I made a net profit of almost $45.  This was an international sale to a buyer in the UK, and first class shipping was only $12.99.

8282 (1)

Robert Graham Shirt Mens XL Black Blue Striped Contrast Paisley Cuff – Paid $5.85 @ SA – Sold $59.95 – Net Margin 73%

I found this shirt at a regular Salvation Army and paid a whopping $5.85 for it; but I knew Robert Graham shirts sell for good money.  I was thrilled when this shirt sold right away and I just knew the buyer would be happy with it.

Unfortunately, I made a huge mistake when I listed the wrong size (XL instead of LG) and didn’t realize this until the buyer opened up an INAD case.  Ugh!  I apologized and asked him to return it for a full refund. He was super nice and eventually decided to keep the shirt to give as a gift.  He even left positive FB, but I still received a defect.  Oh, well …

7830 (1)

UGG Australia Black Leather Clog Slip on Shoes Mens 11 US 44.5 EU – Paid $2.75 @ GWO – Sold $55.00 – Net Margin 64%

Shoppers at the GW outlet go crazy when the shoe bins come out.  Most of those shoppers fight over the sneakers, which I have no interest.  I wait for the frenzy to be over because I know they will usually overlook shoes like these UGG clogs.  These went to a buyer in Texas.

8289 (1)

Vintage Levi's Red Tab San Francisco Sherpa Jacket 42L Blue Acid Denim Jean – Paid $5 @ GWO – Sold $53.29 – Net Margin 64%

I found this beat-up Levi’s jacket at the outlet and debated about buying it.  I think it was left behind because not only did it have some rips and was well worn, but it was also a little heavy because of the Sherpa lining.  This meant that—at $1.49/lb—it was going to cost a few extra bucks.  I knew these Levi’s jackets were good sellers but because of its worn condition, I wasn’t sure if this jacket would sell.  I decided to take a chance and am glad I did.  Even in its worn condition, it still sold for over $53 and my net profit was almost $45.

8170 (1)

GI Joe Mobile Missile Launcher Vehicle 25" Truck Electronic Cargo Only – Paid $0.84 @ GWO – Sold $47.09 – Net Margin 66%

I previously mentioned this GI Joe vehicle in this post when I bought it at the GW outlet in June.  I had hoped to sell it for $45, but decided to list it at $39.99 plus shipping.  This went to a buyer here in California, and my net profit was a decent $31.00.

6282 (1)

1996 Talking Barney Dinosaur Interactive Doll Plush 16" – Paid $1.00 @ Garage Sale – Sold $53.29 – Net Margin 64%

I’ve had this Barney doll in my store since June of LAST year, and I was really glad to see it go.  When DS#1 was a toddler, he loved Barney; and would sing and dance to the famous “I Love You” song.  He was so cute!  Of course, he would be so embarrassed if he knew I was posting this.  So, let’s not tell him!  This Barney went to a buyer in Kansas.

Here is a breakdown of my August Sales:

# of Sales: 105

Cost of Goods Sold (COGS): $131.28

Percent of Revenue: 4.39%

Average Price of COGS: $1.25

Total Revenue: $2989.84 (includes revenue from shipping)

Avg. Sales Price: $28.47

Net Margin: 65%

Highest Sold Item: $500.00

Lowest Sold Item: $2.98

Number and Percent of Items Sold:
  • Jeans: 32 – 30%
  • Sewing Patterns: 17 - 16%
  • Shirts: 13 – 12%
  • Plush and Toys: 9 – 9%
  • Everything Else: 34 – 33%

One UPI Case – Closed and credited

Now that’s cash for trash!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Cash for Trash: July Sales

Sales have been really slow for me this year compared to last year, when monthly sales never fell below 100.  I had only 87 sales in July; and it seems to be the same for many sellers who blame it all on Cassini.  I think that’s part of the reason but I also think it’s because I have not been listing as much. 

I am far behind in posting my sales, so without further ado, here are my best sales for the month of July.

Without going into the details, a few months ago we had some major car troubles and had to buy an engine.  That was a HUGE unexpected expense, and we had to hustle to come up with the funds.  We “shopped” the house and garage; and found a few items to list on Craigslist:

14-6548 (2)

AMSEC American Security Gun and Rifle Safe Combination Lock – Sold $250

One of our neighbors was moving and gave DH this gun safe.  If it’s free, DH will take just about anything!  We had no use for a gun safe and used it to store odds and ends.  But the $250 sale was a huge help.

14-6548 (3)

Chicago Electric Power Tools 1.5 Horsepower 7 in. Bridge Tile Saw – Sold $100

One of DH’s clients bought this saw when he asked DH to do some tile work.  The client didn’t want the saw so DH stored it in the garage and never used it again.  The $100 it sold for sure did come in handy!

14-6548 (1)

Dearborn Furniture Antique Kitchen Table Slide-Out Extensions – Paid $20 @ Garage Sale – Sold $40

DH bought this table at a garage sale for $20.  I really had no purpose or place for it; and thought maybe I would upcycle it to sell.  Who was I kidding?  Doubled our money and sold it for $40.  I love CL because there are no shipping costs or fees – and everything is paid for in CASH!

8076 (1)

Canon EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro USM Lens with Bonus 2 Filters and Box – Sold $375 F/S

This was the first of 3 camera lenses DH sold.  I was really nervous selling this on eBay because of horror stories I read about scammers.  The item was sold to a buyer in Maryland, and I never heard from them.  I suppose no feedback is better than negative feedback.

7939 (1)

Singer 301A Short Bed Vintage Sewing Machine with Pedal Manual Case Attachments – Sold $200

This little beauty had been stored in the closet forever so I tested it.  It worked like a charm; and I really had a hard time letting it go.  But I realized I had never used it and didn’t really NEED it.  It’s amazing how much STUFF we have that we don’t really NEED.  This sold to a buyer here in California who paid an additional $24 for shipping.

8098 (1)

Eurosteam Nouveau Professional Steam Iron Internal Boiler Redfern Model 4488 – Sold $102

Here’s a fancy iron/steamer that I bought a few years ago at the county fair to use for my quilting projects.  Since I haven’t been doing much quilting, I decided to sell it.  This is an older version so I priced it “to sell”; and it sold fairly quick.  Before listing it, I tested it and worked just fine for me.  But the buyer from Illinois said they couldn’t get it to work right and returned it for a refund.  Bah humbug! That was a nice chunk of change I had to return.

8139 (1)

Lot of 10 NERF Guns N-Strike Maverick Nite Dart Tag War Party – Paid $6.33 @ GW Outlet – Sold for $59.99 – Net Margin 59%

I often run across NERF guns at the GW outlet, and this lot of 10 was accumulated from various trips.  I paid about $0.63 for each.  Individually, they don’t sell for much so it made better sense to sell them in a lot.  This went to a buyer here in California who left “positive” FB with negative comments.

She said “the cord is missing to connect the hud to the gun”.  This made no sense and I suspected she meant to leave this FB for someone else.  When I searched FB she left for others, I discovered she left the same FB comment for another seller.  

I contacted her and I was very nice when I asked about her comment.  She admitted she made an error and agreed to amend her comment; but so far it’s the same.  I don’t think it’s affected my defect rate, but it still irks me that she never corrected it.

7602 (1)

Caboodles Travel Make-Up Organizer Caddy Case 3 Tier Mirror Gray Pink Vintage – Paid $1.20 @ GWO – Sold $39.99 F/S – Net Margin 51%

7602 (3)

Somewhere I read about these Caboodles cases and added it to my mental BOLO list.  I spotted this at the GW Outlet and was quick to grab it.  I had to give it a good cleaning and do a minor repair, but it finally sold for $39.99  – after lowering the price from $45 - to a buyer in Kentucky.

8130 (1)

NIKE CORDURA Black Backpack Laptop Sleeve Book Bag – Paid $0.84 @ GWO – Sold for $36.98 – Net Margin 55%

Backpacks, travel bags and all kinds of bags are plentiful at the outlet.  Most backpacks are pretty beat up, but you can still find some great deals.  This one was in very nice, clean condition and sold to a buyer in Mississippi.

8222 (1)

Pronto Uomo Sweater Men's XL Extra Large LS Black Silk Blend Mock Neck – Paid $1 @ GWO – Sold $28.99 – Net Margin 73%

This nice Pronto Uomo silk-blend sweater was another GW Outlet find, and it went to another California buyer.  I was not familiar with this brand until I read an article from Frank @ Fruzie’s Collectibles.  I’ve sold several shirts and a handful of sweaters of this brand, so be sure to add it to your BOLO list.

Here is a breakdown of my July Sales:

# of Sales: 87

Cost of Goods Sold (COGS): $129.23

Percent of Revenue: 4.78%

Average Price of COGS: $1.49

Total Revenue: $2704.72 (includes revenue from shipping)

Avg. Sales Price: $31.09

Net Margin: 61%

Highest Sold Item: $375.00

Lowest Sold Item: $6.75

Number and Percent of Items Sold:
  • Plush and Toys: 16 – 18%
  • Jeans: 15 – 17%
  • Shirts: 8 – 10%
  • Everything Else: 48 – 55%

One UPI Case – Closed and credited

Now that’s cash for trash!

Monday, November 17, 2014


8169 (1)

Napa Valley Cassette Tape Holder Wood Rack 100 Slots Wall Mount – Paid $0.84 @ GW Outlet – Sold $62.06 – Net Margin 66%

I don’t remember how I first heard of Bonanza, but I’ve had a store there since April 2010.  It was easy to upload all my eBay listings and – best of all – it was free to list so I had nothing to lose. 

Not being happy with eBay’s Spring updates, I signed up with Bonanza hoping it would be a great alternative to eBay.  Unfortunately, it has not worked out that way.  In the past 4-1/2 years, I’ve had only 50 sales – averaging about 10-11 per year.  Definitely not enough to pay the bills; but every sale helps and fees are a lot less than eBay.

When I first started, listings from eBay wouldn’t upload correctly and each one had to be tweaked.  Plus, if an item sold on eBay, I had to manually remove it from Bonanza.  Not only was this very time consuming but it also created a few problems when the same item sold on both venues. 

Fortunately, Bonanza has solved this problem, and items sold on eBay are now automatically removed.  My listings are also automatically updated from my eBay account so there really isn’t much for me to do, except wait for an email telling me an item has sold.

I have the basic free account.  Pro-memberships are also available for a monthly fee, offering more benefits and hopefully more sales.  For now, Bonanza sits on my back-burner with the occasional monthly sale.

So far, I’ve had 11 sales this year, and I was so very happy when this Napa Valley cassette holder sold.  This is a great item to add to your BOLO list.  I don’t know that folks actually use them to store cassettes, but they make great organizers.

If you haven’t given Bonanza a try, check it out here.  What have you got to lose?  Happy sales to you!