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, April 18, 2014

Auction at the Long Beach Goodwill Outlet

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In my continuing search for inventory at great prices, a couple of weeks ago I convinced DH to go with me to the GW outlet in Long Beach.  I was hoping to purchase a gaylord of jeans and maybe some electronics.

20140405_083129_thumb[7]We were there on a Saturday morning just as it opened at 8:00 a.m.  I was disappointed that there were no gaylords of jeans.  There were plenty filled with miscellaneous housewares and mixed clothing, but nothing exciting.

It was a long drive and I knew DH would never want to return if we didn’t find something worth buying.  There weren’t many other folks so we were able to easily walk up and down the aisles and check the contents of each box.  20140405_083159_thumb[3]

I looked and looked and finally zeroed in on a box of electronics.  DH was skeptical, but he was a good sport and went along.  It wasn’t much of an “auction” as there was no one else bidding on the same box.  I ended up paying $70 for a gaylord filled with electronics that I had no way to know if everything worked.

Our purchase was delivered to where we waited under a tent.  DH got a bit more enthusiastic as we started going through it.  He was like a little boy going through a box of hidden treasures.  There were a few worthless items we left behind, but I think we ended up with enough good stuff to make a few hundred dollars.


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With everything I was buying at the outlet stores, I was running out of space in the house.  Okay, I was really tired of the clutter.  So, we purchased a couple of industrial racks; and the following weekend, DH reorganized the garage then set up the racks.  One rack holds our personal stuff, but the other rack has eBay inventory.

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This is an old fabric cutting table I bought about 20 years ago from a fabric store that was going out of business.  It was on the other side of the garage and just taking up space, buried under all those bins that are now on the new racks.  I originally just wanted to get rid of it, but now we’ll put it to good use as a testing-and-shipping area. 

The garage is still a work in progress, and DH is planning to put up some overhead storage racks to make more room for eBay inventory.  He’s a pretty cheap frugal guy, so he’s planning a DIY project, similar to this:

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Our garage was pretty bad.  It looked like something you’d see on the Extreme Hoarders show; it was a combo storage unit/dump site.  We couldn’t even walk through it without injury, let alone park any vehicles.  Did I mention it is a 3-car garage?  One-third is used as a gym and another portion is used by DH for his window-blinds business.

But little by little we’ve been clearing it out; and I can only dream that someday it’ll look like this …

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LOL … who am I kidding?!  

I’ll post more pictures as we continue with the project.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Thrifty Thursday: More Outlet Sales and Adventures

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Thomas The Train Wooden Roundhouse Shed Geoffrey Imaginarium Brio Compatible – Paid $1.21 – Sold $39.08

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Thomas & Friends Train Wooden Sodor Bay Bridge Ramps Tracks Wood 18 Piece Lot – Paid $1.38 – Sold $29.98

Since my first visit in January, I’ve been to the GW Outlet in San Bernardino several times; and, without going into detail,  I can say the honeymoon is over!  It gets pretty crazy, especially when new tables come out.  (Have you ever seen a piranha feeding frenzy?)

6a00d8341c00c753ef0168e7e1a643970cAs this article points out: A day at a Goodwill Outlet store ups the stakes from innocent thrifting to Hunger Games status, with women fighting to the death for the grand prize of scoring great deals and major bragging rights. Just call it “The Thrift Wars”.  The fact that they have security guards – not just one – speaks volumes.  It’s definitely not a shopping experience for everyone.

I usually wait until the frenzy is over to check out the tables, although I have on occasion joined the frenzy.  Even after the crowd clears, I still find some good stuff, like the Thomas Train pieces pictured above.  I paid a total of about $2.59 and total sales were $69.06.


A few weeks ago, I decided to check out another GW Outlet that is in Santa Ana and a good distance from home.

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I had high hopes for this place, but I was deeply disappointed.  Maybe I was there at the wrong time, but I pretty much walked in and walked out.  This location is very similar to the one in Long Beach in that it is a warehouse rather than a storefront; but it is a much larger operation.  One half of the warehouse had bins with clothing and the other half was for auctions. 

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You can see all the “tents” in the parking lot which buyers can use while they sort through their auction purchases.  This is a very busy and large operation; and frankly, I just didn’t see anything that would make it worth the long drive. I left with nothing and knew I would not return.

I think I’ll stick with “my” San Bernardino outlet.  The honeymoon may be over, but I’ll keep going back.  It’s a love-hate relationship!