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, December 31, 2014

Cash for Trash: December Sales

Well, I hope that 2014 was good to you and my best wishes that 2015 will be even better.  As much as I love the holidays, I also dread them and am always glad when the new year rolls around. I don’t think I’m alone in this, right?

As I mentioned in my previous post, I put my store on vacation for most of December so I had very few sales – only 21 – 14 sales from eBay and 7 from Amazon & Bonanza.  Total revenue from these sales was $449.48 with a net margin of 52%.

Here are a few sales worth mentioning:

8568 (1)
Pek Preservo Wine Steward Preserver Silver NEW – Paid $2.75 @ GWO – Sold for $32.82 – Net Margin 62%

This is one of those items that I thought would sell for more.  Because it was in new condition in original packing, I considered listing it on Amazon; but I ended up listing it on eBay in October.  It finally sold to a buyer in Nevada.

8399 (1)
Genuine Army Woodland BDU Camo Trousers Men's M65 Field Pants Small-Regular NEW – Paid $4.75 @ Savers – Sold for $39.95 – Net Margin 62%

I don’t like to pay more than $2 for pants, but these were really nice in brand-new condition.  I really hoped they would sell for more; but after almost 3 months, they finally sold to a buyer in Florida.

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RARE Vintage 1944-47 Monopoly Game with Board Wood Buildings and Metal Tokens – Paid $1.24 @ GWO – Sold for $70 – Net Margin 73%

In a previous post I wrote about a vintage Ouija game that I sold for $50 on eBay.  Here is another vintage board game that I bought from the outlet and sold for $70!  The good thing for me is that the other folks don’t bother with this type of game because it is old, and they look for newer games they can sell at the swap meet or flea market.  I’m just glad most of the pieces were still there.  This sat in my store about 9 months waiting for the right buyer.  It finally sold to someone in Texas.

neat-oh lego
Neat-Oh! LEGO Friends ZipBin Heartlake Place Transforming Toy Box NEW – Paid $20.94 for 3 @ TRU – Sold for $68.85 on Amazon – Net Margin 43%

Since I started selling on Amazon, I’ve been researching and reading blogs on the topic of arbitrage.  I know there are many folks who are having great success with this, but I am not finding this very easy.  I prefer one-stop shopping, like the GW outlet, where I can find many different things to sell at one time.  I hope once I get the hang of it, it'll be easier.  

Back in September, I made a stop at my local Toys R Us and found these LEGO ZipBins on clearance for $5+.  There were only 3 left so that’s what I got.  I quickly shipped them out to Amazon, where they sat until December.  Then bam!  All 3 quickly sold – 1,2,3 – one right after the other.  The best part – I didn’t have to do the packing and shipping!!  I love that!  My net margin was only 43%, but my net profit was almost $30.
Now that’s cash for trash!

I have been thinking about what I want to do with eBay and Amazon.  I know I want to spend less time selling online and more time with my quilting and reading hobbies, which I have sorely missed these past few years. 

My original thought was to just totally get out of online selling, but I do enjoy the thrill of the sale.  So I will continue with eBay but on a MUCH smaller scale.  I’ve already started marking down many of my items to move them out.  And when my year comes due, I am going to downsize my store.
I’m still on the fence with Amazon.

It’s a new year and a new adventure begins ….

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Cash for Trash: November Sales

With the holidays upon us, sales in November were nice and steady.  I had a total of 92 sales, including 6 from Amazon.  Yea!  Okay, so it was only 6, but I’m still learning how to swim those Amazon waters LOL.

Here are my best sales for November:

The Wig Company TWC Perfect Image Synthetic Wig Wavy Short Bob Layered – Paid $0.84 @ GWO – Sold for $35.99 – Net Margin 79%

Disney Park Marie Aristocats Long Boa Tail Plush – Paid $0.77 @ GWO – Sold for $36 – Net Margin 65%

Dazey Coffee Soup & Beverage Warmer Mug Cup Heater CW-10 NOS NEW – Paid $1.50 @ Savers – Sold for $38 – Net Margin 74%

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Dakin Elephant Gray Floral Print Ears Vintage Plush Stuffed Animal Toy 1971 – Paid $0.60 @ GWO – Sold for $39.99 – Net Margin 78%

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Biddeford Electric Heated Micro Plush Twin Blanket with Control – Paid $2.98 @ GWO – Sold for $39.99 – Net Margin 40%

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Pantera World Tour T-Shirt Men's XL Black Vintage 1994 – Paid $0.75 @ GWO – Sold for $39.99 – Net Margin 79%

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Tori Richard Hawaiian Christmas Shirt Size Medium Santa Mrs Claus Beach Hammock – Paid $0.95 @ GWO – Sold for $50 – Net Margin 81%

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CTC Pasta Express Model X2000 Pasta Maker with Videotape New – Paid $17.99 @ GW – Sold for $97.74 – Net Margin 34%

I bought this pasta maker as part of an “experiment” to pay more for inventory that I hope will sell for more.  This sold for $70 plus shipping.  Unfortunately, this was a heavy item and I ended up paying $5 more for shipping than what I charged.  I still netted over $35, even though my net margin was only 34%.  This sat in my store for about 6 months so I was happy to finally send this to a buyer in Iowa.

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Remington Tight Curls Pageant Spiral Hot Rollers Set 21 Wax Core Clips & Box – Paid $5.99 @ GW – Sold for $99.54 – Net Margin 76%

I couldn’t believe it when I found this set of Remington curlers in a regular GW store – my first ever!  It was Labor Day; and DH joined me for a day of thrift store shopping.  After looking at the knickknacks and housewares, I headed over to the health & beauty area.  And THERE it was!  The heavens opened up and the angels started singing when I spotted those beautiful blue curlers.  I grabbed that box as fast as I could; and I was pretty much done shopping LOL.  I didn’t list them until October and thought they would sell quickly.  But they sat in my store for over a month until they sold to a buyer in Arizona.

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NERF N-Strike Electronic Talking Tech Target Scoreboard Practice Dart Board

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Lot of 4 Nerf Vortex Disc Gun Blasters Vigilon Praxis and Proton

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NERF Swarmfire Dart Tag Automatic 20 Shot Blaster 2010

8558 (1)
NERF N-Strike Magstrike Dart Gun Blaster with Clip 2007

More NERFs!  I bought all of these at the GWO for about $8.45 (not all at the same time).  These sold for a total of $184.26 and I netted just over $79 (my net margin was only 43%).  The 2007 Magstrike gun sold to a buyer in England for $85.49, including $50 in shipping.

Here is a breakdown of my November Sales:

# of Sales: 92

Cost of Goods Sold (COGS): $137.35

Percent of Revenue: 6.15%

Average Price of COGS: $1.49

Total Revenue: $2,232.70 (includes revenue from shipping)

Avg. Sales Price: $24.27

Net Margin: 52%

Highest Sold Item: $165.00 (Petzl climbing ascender, personal item)

Lowest Sold Item: $5.00 (sewing patterns)

Number and Percent of Items Sold:

  • Plush and Toys: 27 – 29%
  • Jeans: 11 – 12%
  • Sweaters: 6 - 7%
  • Everything Else: 48 – 52%

Now that’s cash for trash!

On a personal note:

About 3 months ago, our bank contacted us about refinancing our mortgage at a much lower interest rate.  We hesitated but the bank rep seemed to think he could help us and encouraged us to apply. So glad we did because our new loan is at a much lower interest rate, cutting our monthly mortgage payment almost in half.

This gives me a huge sense of freedom and relief.  I retired 6 years ago; and for the past 5 years, eBay had taken over my life.  Now, I can take it or leave it.  I still plan to sell online but on a much smaller scale.  And now the revenue from online selling will go into savings – for a special project or even a vacation.

So I am putting my store on vacation for the rest of the month of December.  I am free at last!