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 26, 2014

Good News to Share …

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I finally reached the 5000 feedback score and now have a GREEN star!  It’s just like getting those little foil gold stars on my homework when I was a child.  I loved getting those. 

And, when I reach the 10,000 feedback score, I’ll get a SHOOTING star … wow!  Of course, it’ll probably take me another 15 years to reach; but if every buyer left feedback, it may take only 12 years LOL.  Then, again, who knows what the future holds for me and eBay …


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CeCe Kent Ralph Taos Dog Carrier Black Leather – Paid $1 – Sold $110

It sold!  Yes, the designer leather pet carrier I bought at the GWO sold within a day of listing it.  I listed it at $200 with a Best Offer and by the next morning had an offer for $110, which I quickly accepted.  Lorraine at We Are CLAMCO thought I could get the full $200 and I should have gone with that, first listing it without the BO.  But no regrets – the buyer got a great deal and I got a quick $110 in my pocket.  Not a bad return on my $1 investment!

Now that’s cash for trash

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Thrifty Treasures Thursday

It’s hard to believe that I haven’t been to any garage-estate-rummage sales this year – not a single, solitary one.  But I recently made my way to the GWO, which I hadn't been to since April.

When I got there, I was surprised – and happy – to see the parking lot was relatively empty.  I was also happy to know their price was still 69-cents a pound for non-clothing items.  But when I walked in, I was disappointed to see that most of their bins were filled with clothes. I didn't expect to find much; but by the time I walked up to the cashier, I had a full cart of goodies.


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There is so much crap junk in the bins that it’s sometimes easy to overlook the good stuff.  I don’t know why I picked up these sunglasses because I didn’t notice anything outstanding about them.  But once I saw it, I recognized the brand name – Maui Jim. I listed these right away and they sold within 2 days to a buyer in Tennessee.  They have already received their glasses and left positive FB!
 

 
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I really appreciate all the information that others share – not just on blogs but also on FB posts – and how generous everyone is to share.  I would never have picked up this wooden cassette rack if I hadn’t read about it.  I don’t always remember where I read the information, but good thing the information sticks in my mind.  This one is marked Napa Valley; I don’t know if all cassette racks are good sellers or just this brand.  Here is a link to one that recently sold for $50 plus shipping.
 

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I spotted this GI Joe missile launcher the moment it came rolling out in a bin.  I thought I would have a fight on my hands, but everyone else was interested in shoes and purses.  Unfortunately, the jeep that goes with it was in another bin that rolled out later, and someone else beat me to it.  I’ll be listing this for $45 plus shipping.


CeCe Taos Carrier Black

This is an online picture of a CeCe Kent pet carrier that is just like one I picked up at the outlet.  When I first picked it up, I thought it was a purse.  Then I realized it was a pet carrier and thought I would keep it for Mimi, my little Chihuahua.  When I remembered how much she hates the carrier we already have, I put it back.  But it was a really nice quality suede bag and I thought it might be worth something.  Looked it up on my Smartphone and discovered these retail new for over $400!!  Holy cow, I almost tripped on my own 2 feet running back to grab it before it was gone.

Once I got home I researched it and found several online websites selling this very same bag for between $300-$500.  Are these prices real or ridiculously over-blown?  I only saw one used that sold on eBay for about $50 – blah!  My bag is very clean and looks to be unused but it’s obviously pre-owned.  I figure I paid about $1 for it, and I’m thinking I’ll list it for $200 with a Best Offer.


I found a few other things at the GWO:

  • 6 pairs of shoes
  • 3 jackets, including a vintage Levis Sherpa denim jacket
  • 2 vintage Disney/Pixar sheets
  • Some vintage dinnerware and few more odds-and-ends

I spent $82 and hope to turn that into $1100+ in revenue!  I love the outlets!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Cash for Trash: May Sales

As much as I lamented that sales were slow, 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 I made in May.  Except for the last item, all of these were purchased from the GWO so the “paid” price is an average.

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

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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!

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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!
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Mervyns California Mission San Buenaventura Ornament Midwest of Canon Falls 1998 – Paid $0.60 – Sold $24.95 – Net Margin 74%

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!

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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 when I made my second round 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.

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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.

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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.

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

This little 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?


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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 after Memorial 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!