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, February 4, 2016

Cash for Trash: January Sales

I’ve been busy, busy, busy listing as much as I can.  Remember all those shoes from my previous post?  Well, I finally got them all listed, and thankfully, they have been steadily selling.  By the end of January, I had increased my store inventory to about 150 items – a big jump from last year’s all-time low of about 20 items.

Most of my January sales were shoes and hats, but I did sell a few other items.  Here are my best sellers:

Hot Wheels 48 Car Storage Carry Case 2000 by Tara – Cost $0 – Sold for $34.26 – Net Margin 58%

This is my first sale of 2016.  The buyer bought and paid for it on 12/31, but it shows up on my sales reports for January…go figure.

Anyway, this vintage 48-car carry case belonged to DS#2 when he was a young boy.  These cases are hard to find and are decent sellers, especially if they still have the interior trays.  This went to a buyer in Georgia.

The North Face Recon Backpack Gray and White Laptop Outdoors – Paid $0.78 @ GWO - Sold for $45.00 – Net Margin 52%

Occasionally, I will find a backpack or two in decent condition when I go to the GW outlet bins.  Certain brands are particularly good sellers, such as The North Face and Patagonia, but other brands like JanSport, Columbia, LL Bean, Eastpak, Eddie Bauer and Timberland are also good, if you can find them in good condition.

I found this really nice North Face backpack, which was pretty clean but had a couple of faint stains.  It still sold for $45.00, leaving me with a nice profit of over $20.  This went to a buyer in Alabama.

WOLFORD Velvet De Luxe 50 Tights Size M Black #10687 NIP NEW – Paid $0.85 @ GWO – Sold for $28.99 – Net Margin 75%

I was not familiar with this brand, but I picked up this package of hosiery because it was new.  I figured that for a few cents, I didn’t have much to lose.  It sold for over $28, leaving me a nice profit of $20+.  This went to a buyer here in California.

Golden Gate Panama Hat White Linen Mens XL – Paid $0.60 @ GWO – Sold for $34.98 – Net Margin 68%

This is one of a lot of 17 hats I sourced at the GWO in October 2014.  I finally got them listed in January, too, and 6 sold before the end of the month.  Woo hoo!  I paid an average of 60-cents each hat and made almost $150 in sales for the 6 with a net margin of 56%.  They are not huge sellers but I am so glad to see them go!

I sold 10 pairs of shoes in January and made almost $150 in sales with a net margin of 56%.  I’ve had a few decent sales, but most of the shoes have been average sales.  I’m really anxious to get these out the door so have listed them with Best Offer.  Here are a few of my better sales:

Donald J Pliner Women's Sying Slide Shine Nappa Black 9M – Paid $2.24 @ GWO – Sold for $46.98 – Net Margin 70%

SOREL Badger Winter Snow Boot Women's Size 10 – Paid $14.40 @ Savers – Sold for $75.56 – Net Margin 53%

Grinders Black Steel Toe 10 Eyelet Boots Black Leather UK8 US9 – Paid $2.68 @ GWO – Sold for $79.75 – Net Margin 73%

Dansko Bergen Sport Clogs Black Gray Loafer Shoes Mens Size 46 EUR 12.5 US – Paid $4.10 @ GWO – Sold for $44.50 – Net Margin 43%

I was happy when these shoes sold within a week of listing them.  Unfortunately, the buyer contacted me soon after to let me know he was returning them.  Here is his message, which also included a picture of the damaged shoes:
Hello, The soles of the Dansko clogs that I purchased from you disintegrated after one day of wear. Unfortunately, this is a problem with Danskos that have been stored for a while (see this eBay page about it: https: community.ebay.com/t5/Archive-Fashion/Used-Dansko-Clog-Sellers-Buyers-Beware/td-p/3019576). So, I would like to return them for a refund. Thanks, Tim
Of course, I went to the link and was surprised to see this is a very real problem with certain brands of used shoes when not stored properly.  

So, yes, I immediately gave him a full refund; but forgot to tell him NOT to return the shoes.  Ugh, the damaged shoes came in the mail a few days later and the return shipping was charged to my account. This lesson cost me over $27 … OUCH!  I’m providing this helpful link to hopefully help you avoid losing money.

I also had to give a full refund to a buyer who purchased a mug from me.  Admittedly, I did a sloppy (lazy) job of wrapping the mug, and it was broken upon arrival.  It was not a large amount, but I kicked myself in the behind because I knew better. 

Sigh, it's been a little shaky getting back into the full swing of things.  Let's just say, it has not been smooth sailing ...

Below is a breakdown of my January sales.  Not stellar, but it's a start.  Since I lost my TRS discount, I had to pay higher shipping costs and looks like this affected my net margin.  I do not like to see this below 50%; ideally, I would like to see this at least at 60%.

# of Sales: 35

Cost of Goods Sold (COGS): $58.01

Percent of Revenue: 6.3%

Average Price of COGS: $1.66

Total Revenue: $919.03 (includes shipping revenue)

Avg. Sales Price: $26.26

Net Margin: 49%

Highest Sold Item: $79.75

Lowest Sold Item: $4.50

Returns/Refunds: 2

No UPI cases

Now that’s cash for trash!


  1. Have you lotted shoes together before? I got a garbage bag full of women's size 4-5 shoes from the same estate sale. I was able to take out the nicer ones and sell them separately and lot similar brands/shoes of medium brands together. still have some left but I made my money back on the first few sales. I guess it only helps if they are same size and style though.

  2. Nice sales! I knew hosiery might be a sleeper and I keep half an eye open for it but W-O-W! Nice return!

  3. Love your blog!!! Thanks for sharing all the helpful info... I just started a youtube channel myself about what I have recently sold on ebay for $20 or more. I hope you'll check it out!

    Thanks again!
    ~Becky (Dorky Thrifters)


  4. Love your picture quality. Yours was the first blog I started following in 2013. After a year, I quit blogging. I've decided to start back up. You can follow me at http://vintagestuffnsuch.blogspot.com. Thanks, Lisa

  5. Hi. I recently changed the name of my blog from "Vintage Stuff and Such" to "Vintage Thrifter". Your blog is on my blog list. I'd love for you to follow me back. Thanks, Lisa