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 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:

8087 (1)

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

8523 (1)

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

8435 (1)

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

7583 (1)

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

8520 (1)

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

8538 (1)

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

8527 (1)

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

8096 (1)

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.


8423 (1)

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.


7613 (1)

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


8137 (1)

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

8557 (1)

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, DH’s bank contacted us about refinancing our mortgage at a much lower interest rate.  We hesitated because I was now on fixed income and DH’s business had taken a major dive – which, of course, is why I am selling online.  But the bank rep seemed to think he could help us and encouraged us to apply. 

What really prompted us to move forward was the extra house payment we have to make twice a year.  When I was working, we refinanced our home with an “express” loan.  Basically, you make extra payments per year which helps pay-off the loan much faster.  That was great when I was working and business was good; but things changed and that extra payment was coming due.  After the major car expense (I posted about previously), this extra payment was going to be extremely difficult to make.  Quite a few of our neighbors had already lost their homes, and I certainly did not want to join their group.

So in October we submitted the application; and last month, the bank officially told us we were approved for a new loan at a much lower interest rate.  We were ecstatic!  Not only do we no longer have to worry about those extra payments, but our new monthly payment will be about HALF of what we were paying!

In addition to the obvious, this also means I don’t HAVE TO DO eBay!  This gives me a huge sense of freedom and relief.  I am literally jumping for joy!  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 – whether it be eBay or even Amazon – but on a much smaller scale.  And now the funds I make from online selling will go into savings – for a special project or even a vacation.

The loan should be funding any day now – hopefully before Christmas – and I am putting my store on vacation for the rest of the month of December.  What a relief not to have to worry about deadlines and mailings and buyer questions.  I am free at last!

Friday, December 5, 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.  It would be nice if they brought out all the “good” stuff during the “sale” time; but, of course, they save the “better” stuff for the later hours.  This jacket is actually 3 jackets in one, and I estimate I paid about $4.55.  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 think of buying this and bringing 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 since I already had 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!