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, January 27, 2016

Been Hanging Around Too Long!

Maybe it"ll surprise you -- but maybe not -- that when 2014 ended, I still had close to 250 items that I had not listed.  This included the gaylord of odds and ends of electronics I bought at auction WAY back in May 2014 at the GW outlet and posted about here.  Then in October 2014, I went on a major sourcing spree, stockpiling all kinds of items from the GW outlet.  I ended up with almost 80 pairs of shoes, 20 hats, and a bunch of clothing items.

These hung around the garage for awhile; and then a few months into 2015, I brought the shoes and hats into the house thinking this would motivate me to list them.  Nope, not one bit. Occasionally, they got moved from the closet to the bathroom and back to the bedroom.  Matter of fact, I stopped “seeing” them.  You know how it is: you see something so often that you stop noticing it.

Then, 2016 arrived and I finally got tired of looking at these bags and bins.  It was time to get rid of sell them!  So I’ve been listing like crazy.  All the hats are done and I’m about halfway done with the shoes.  I’ve already made a few sales on these.  Next on the agenda is to tackle that pile of clothing. As for all those electronics, well, they're still in the garage!

The good thing is I have plenty of stock to get my eBay store going again.  And, I’m trying not to buy any more product until I’ve listed most of what I already have.  But you know how it is:  I can’t seem to stay away from the GW outlets!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

2015 Year-End Review

Thank you all so much for your comments on my last post.  I wondered if anyone was still following me after my "farewell" and was hoping to hear from maybe 1 or 2 of you.  I was so happy to hear from as many of you as I did and was truly touched by your "welcome back".  It really inspires and motivates me to get this blog back on track; and I'll start by giving you a quick summary of how my sales went (or rather didn't) in 2015 ...

Wells Fargo Rose Parade Legendary Horse Black AL Stuffed Plush 2009 – Paid $0.62 @ GWO – Sold Lot of 2 for $121.96  – Net Margin 77%

I am still surprised that, with little to no effort on my part, I still had sales every month in 2015 – even if it was only 1 or 2.  I had 214 sales – which averaged about 18 a month.  However, that number is deceiving because almost half of those sales were made in January, which I posted about here.

Last January, I listed most of my remaining 2014 inventory at auction for $0.99 and had 89 sales that month – the most in a month that year.  In February, I again listed many items at clearance prices.  That month I had 37 sales.  Old stock that didn’t sell by March was donated to the thrift store, although I did keep a few items.  I still maintained just under 50 items in my store.  Eventually, many of those items were also donated when I went through another purging/decluttering frenzy in July.  By then I had just under 30 items listed.

I didn’t do much product sourcing either.  Most of my thrifting and saling adventures were for personal fun.  I did find a handful of items to resell at a couple of yard sales.  I’m just happy that both DD and DGDs love to thrift shop as much as I do. I guess the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree!  Here’s DGD#3 with a chess set I got at the GW outlet.

In December, when I started getting my eBay mojo back, I picked up a few toys at the 99-Cent store.  I found a Star Wars Anakin talking figure for $4.99.  I thought this was a major score and bought a bunch thinking I would sell them on Amazon; but then I discovered that I was not approved to sell toys on Amazon so that pretty much put the final nail on the coffin on that venue.  I ended up selling the toys on eBay, but they did not sell for as much as I hoped.

Here’s the breakdown ...

Revenue:  Just under $4,000

Number of sales: 214, of these 171 were stock from 2014
  • eBay - 194
  • Amazon – 20
Highest sale: $121.96 (Wells Fargo plush pictured above)

Lowest sale: $0.99 (plus shipping) – 41 items sold at this price

Average revenue per item: $18.25

Here are a few more of my top sellers:

Harley Davidson Freedom Rider Helmet Leather Black DOT Medium – Paid $1.28 @ GWO – Sold for $49.99 – Net Margin 61%

Original Steiff Germany Junior Leo Lion #2897/30 KNOPF IM OHR – Paid $0.71 @ GWO – Sold for $40 – Net Margin 70%

Ju-Ju-Be PackaBe Diaper Bag Brown with Blue Discontinued Backpack Style – Paid $4 @ GW – Sold for $54 – Net Margin 51%

COCOMOTION by Mr. Coffee Hot Chocolate Maker Hot Cocoa Machine Model HC4 – Paid $7.19 @ GW – Sold for $48.84 – Net Margin 60%

RADKO Harley Davidson Fat Boy Aqua Motorcycle with Presents Glass Ornament – Paid $2 @ GS – Sold for $39.99 – Net Margin 70%

And, finally, here is the Star Wars Anakin figure that I bought at the 99-Cent Store.  I bought 13 of these; I gave away 3 as Christmas gifts and I sold the remaining 10.  I priced them “to sell” as I didn’t want to get stuck with them.  My net margin was low, but I still made about $54 profit on the bunch.

Star Wars Anakin to Darth Vader Talking Action Figure Color Changing Lightsaber – Paid $4.99 @ 99-Cent Store – Sold for $19.95 – Net Margin 25%

I hope 2016 has started off great for you and I am definitely looking forward to what the new year brings. 

Now that’s cash for trash!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

It’s a New Year! And I Just Can’t Stay Away…

First of all, let me say, Happy New Year! I for one am happy to see 2015 end and am looking forward to a new year and new adventures. 

Last October, I said goodbye to this blog and thought I would focus on my quilting blog. I tried reviving that blog; but it has been inactive for too many years and the connection with other bloggers just wasn’t there. It became very clear that bloggers in the online selling community are much more connected. Truth is, I miss this blog and all of you. 

I was also burned out on eBay and online selling in general. It had become a chore, and I was all too happy to finally put it on the back burner. I didn’t close down my store, but I did downgrade and only sporadically worked on it. As a result, I lost my TRS discount. Although I expected this, it was still bittersweet since I had worked so hard to get it and then keep it.

As you all know, however, life is full of twists and turns and things don’t always go as expected. My DD and 2 DGDs came to live with me end of July last year, and I was thrilled to have them back home in California. Originally, this was to be a temporary arrangement; but after many family discussions, my DD decided to go to school FT to finally get her Bachelor’s degree. She is halfway there and going FT means she will accomplish this goal faster and can start her professional career (hopefully, with more money) that much sooner. 

DD had been working FT at Walgreens for a few years. When she moved back, she was able to transfer to a store not far from home. But at the end of this month, she will be working PT and will start her college courses in February. She is so looking forward to her new life!

So, here we are in the beginning of 2016, and I am once again looking to eBay to supplement our income. I think taking the year “off” from FT selling has helped me re-energize and re-focus my efforts on eBay. Towards the end of last year, I had pretty much given up on eBay. By November, I think I had only 20 items in my store and made ONE sale that month! But December came along and things started to change. 

I guess I’m not the only one who needed a break from blogging. I recently read this post from Scott Davis @ Barry’s Books. His previous post was in July last year, and he explains he just lost his passion for blogging. I certainly understand, but his recent post made me yearn to start blogging again. He has a very entertaining style of writing and I am glad he’s back! 

When I started blogging way back in 2010, I wanted to journal about my online selling adventures and hopefully in the process help others. Until last year, my eBay business was a huge part of my day-to-day life. But, for 2016, I want to have a more balanced life by spending more time with family – having fun and creating memories – but also have fun with my online business. I don’t want it to take over my life to the point that it becomes a chore and no longer fun. 

I can’t promise you a rose garden and I can’t promise I’ll post every week – although it is my intention to post regularly. And as long as I’m selling online, I will continue to post about my business adventures; but one thing I would like to change is to make this blog a little more personal. I will post not just about my thrifting adventures but also about my new adventures with my girls! 

So I hope you come back – I hope you stick around – and I am just happy to be back!