Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Great Finds for January 2014


Yeah, shoes!  High quality shoes can be expensive.  Knowing high quality name brands to look for when scouting for resale can be lucrative.  I look for names such as Clarks, Dansko, Merrell, Daniel Green, SAS, among others, as these tend to sell quickly and for a nice profit.  But, SOMETIMES, I come across a brand I've never heard of before... a brand that I wind up having to research but the shoes catch my attention because of their unique look.  This is such a pair:
Now, you can see how this pair caught my eye!  They're... well... unique.  So, I found out that they retail for over $300 new.  Um, yeah, I'll take them for $4.99 at Goodwill!  At present, I have 11 watchers on my listing and it has been viewed 124 times in the past ten days.  I expect a sale any day, now.  

Okay, enough about shoes.  I want to tell you about some great items I've picked up at local thrift stores!  First, let me tell you that building toys, such as Legos, Duplos, Lincoln Logs, K'nex, etc., are fast sellers.  Recently, I was able to pick up quite a nice lot of Legos, Duplos, Tinkertoys and Lincoln Logs at the local Goodwill Outlet, where everything is priced by the pound (I believe it's $1.29/lb.).  So, needless to say, I didn't pay much for these.  Here ya go:

Another thing to be on the lookout for are parts to old toys such as race car tracks.  One example is the early 1990's toy called Criss Cross Crash.  I can remember my oldest son begging for this race track for Christmas one year (of course, he received one!).  I'm SURE it's still in the attic, SOMEWHERE, but I have yet to locate it.  BUT, I have been able to find parts to this item on two occasions at thrift stores, lately!  And, the majority of the parts have sold, already.  Here is one example:
As you can see, I had three of these and sold all of them.  They are lightweight, so shipping was cheap via First Class Mail.  

The last sold item that I will share, today, is a Little Tikes Wee Waffle Blocks Farm.  There were a few missing pieces, so I listed it indicating what IS included.  It sold in two weeks and I had a few inquiries even after it was sold, hoping I had another.  

I hope that I have inspired you to get out there and hit the thrift stores and find those treasures that SOMEONE out there is just dying to buy.  I am going to make a point to post more often.  Until next time, happy thrifting!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Labor Day Finds!

It's been a good while since I've posted.  Please accept my apologies.  Life, family and business all take precedence.  But here I am!  I've had a nice, steady flow of sales from my eBay store this weekend, which is a nice change over the past few weeks.  

Last Monday was Labor Day here in the states and all of our Goodwill thrift stores were 50% off all day long.  So, off I went to hit up the Goodwills and made out like a bandit!  I think I spent a total of around $35 all day and scored some nice, profitable inventory.

I paid 50 cents for this and, since it's headed to Canada, the buyer had to pay shipping! --->

Here's my bit WOOT from my Labor Day finds.  I believe this cost me $1 and it's brand new.  Pendleton shirts are a great find, so if you happen upon one for a low price and it's in excellent condition, grab it!  
This lovely shirt is headed to Kazakhstan, so the buyer had to pay shipping.  See?  Offering  free shipping (only to US addresses), doesn't mean I'm losing money!

I've already dedicated a post to selling board games, BUT let me emphasize, once again, how profitable they can be!  I paid no more than $3 each for these games on Labor Day (that was just 6 days ago!):
 Because of it's size/weight, I did NOT offer free shipping on this one.

 Interesting tidbit about this Inventors game... this was my husband's favorite board game as a child!  Several years ago, before I caught the eBay selling bug, I bought him one off eBay for Christmas and paid over $40 for it.  Mine didn't sell for that much, but it was STILL a nice, quick profit.

Another super fast seller for me is a Boy Scout uniform shirt or pants.  I paid $1 for this uniform shirt and it didn't last more than a couple of days in my store.   I always make sure to indicate all patches and such that are attached to the uniform piece.  My son is a Boy Scout, so I am well aware how much these uniform pieces cost new.  This buyer got a bargain!

 And, now I'm going to reiterate another of my previous posts, where I talked about selling Microwave Glass Turntables.  Talk about a nice profit!  I can generally get these at thrift stores for anywhere from 50 cents to $2, but usually no more than $1 each.  This is one I purchased during my Labor Day shopping trip.  

Are YOU looking to improve your eBay business?  Join our wonderful, active group called eBay Underground (aka EBUG)!   I guarantee that you will learn a LOT and make some new eBay friends.  Come, join us!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Sometimes, You've Just Gotta Take a Chance

And, that's just what I did, recently.  After driving to the next county to take my daughter to her Orthodontist visit, I had to pay a visit to the nearby Goodwill that I only get to visit about every six weeks or so.  There wasn't much to get excited about during this visit... until I spotted NINE sealed boxes of this item.  It's an extension set for a game called, "The Settlers of Catan."  Now, I'd NEVER heard of this game, but those nine boxes sure caught my eye.  And, as a bonus, they were marked at $1.50 each.  I used my handy dandy smartphone to do a little quick research and found that there were some listed on eBay for around $16.  I figured that my $13.50 wasn't an awful lot to invest and was hopeful that I'd sell at least one to cover my expenses.  

I listed them on both and eBay and have sold six of them, so far (some on each venue)!  I've priced them at $16.75 with free shipping on eBay and $10.99 + $5.49 shipping on Amazon.  So, for my $13.50 investment, I've made a profit of just over $50 with three left in inventory.  One sale was to Canada and one to New Zealand!  And, these are super easy to ship because they fit nicely into a poly bag and weigh just under 16 oz.  No, I'm not getting rich selling these, but at this rate, they'll all be gone in another week, they are easy to store and easy to ship, so it was an easy profit.

Another chance I took last week was purchasing two big bags of various construction type blocks.  I could see some Wooden Lincoln Logs and K'Nex in there, so I grabbed them up and paid $8 for the two bags.  Once I got them home, I had to task of sorting through them so I could get them listed for sale.  Here are the results!

Not too shabby for an $8 investment, huh? 


And, finally, my most favorite sale of the week.  Back in April, I picked up this cutting board that was in the shape of a pig, was obviously from the 1970's, and was new in its original package.  I believe I paid $2 for it.  Three months later, it sold for $42.49 ($49.99 - 15% sale)!  I'll take that any day.

So, the lesson here is... don't be afraid to take a chance!  Sure, there are LOTS of Lincoln Logs and Legos listed for sale on eBay on any given day.  So, I had NO way of knowing if mine would sell quickly or sit for a year.  Fortunately, they both sold within just a few days.  The game extension set has been a quick seller, as well.  Now, as for that pig... well, there was really no way to do research on it since it was a pretty unique item.  So, I took a chance!  It was different, for sure, and there are folks who collect anything "PIG."  So, I just put him out there for sale and waited for that right buyer to come along.  They usually do and they always have $$ to spend.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Pre-Digital Instant Photos a la Polaroid

I remember when it was a big thrill to have a Polaroid instant camera and to be able to see your photos instantly.  That was WAY before digital cameras!  But, if you think that those old Polaroid dinosaurs are worthless, today, THINK AGAIN.  They are HOT sellers on eBay!  So, when you see them at the thrift stores, grab them up.

Sure, Polaroid stopped production of instant cameras in 2007 and stopped producing film for these cameras in 2008.  BUT, "The Impossible Project," has come to the rescue!  They are making instant film for classic Polaroid cameras, helping those cameras make a "comeback."  I recently sold a Polaroid instant camera to The Impossible Project and was super-excited about that sale! 

Now, you may be wondering how I test these cameras to ensure that they actually work.  Well, once upon a time, I found a couple of those cameras that still had empty film cartridges in them.  If you remember, the film cartridges had the battery built in to them.  So, I held onto them and used them to test cameras (insert empty film cartridge, close film door, press shutter button... if it acted like it was taking a picture, it worked!).  But, eventually, the batteries in those film cartridges went dead and I haven't found any, since (and, I'm just too cheap to buy a new pack of film solely for this purpose).  So, now, I just indicate that the cameras seem to be in good condition but that I am unable to test the camera, since I have no film.  It hasn't hurt sales one bit and I've never had a problem with any of those sales. 

Be sure to mention in your listings the type of film your particular camera takes.  Most of them take Polaroid 600 film, but there are a few that take a different type.  Indicate whether or not there is a strap included and if there is a flash, auto focus, etc.  You can usually pick up one of these cameras for a dollar or two at thrift stores and yard sales.  My average selling price is $24.99.  It's a decent profit for little work and they fit perfectly in the small 7" X 7" X 6" free USPS Priority Boxes. 

Hey!  I just sold another one, so I'm off to get it packaged up and ready to be shipped out to its new owner. 

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Making Money While I Sleep

Oh, how I love making money while I sleep!  You see, while I'm sleeping here on the east coast of the USA, folks in Australia, and other parts of the world, are wide awake and SHOPPING.  This is one of the perks of being on online seller.  It can run on "autopilot" while I sleep, travel, etc.  

Please don't misunderstand.  This business requires work.  Lots of it.  There's shopping for inventory, research, cleaning/preparing inventory for sale, photographing and editing, writing descriptions, pricing and creating the listing... and then, shipping.  All of that, and more, goes into EACH item that I sell. 

This morning, I woke up to this nice sale to a customer in Australia.  Birkenstocks!   

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Check Your Kids' Closets! You Might Just Find Some Cash In There...

... in the form of old board games.  There are many board games that are no longer being made but still have a big following.  Many have older versions that are still quite popular.  Also, people who have those older games are often looking to replace lost or broken game pieces.  This is one more area you can make some nice profit in on eBay.  They are readily available in thrift stores, attics and kids' closets.

One of my best sellers in the board game category is the RISK board game.   My best RISK sale was a Lord of the Rings edition that sold for $74.99.  If I remember correctly, I purchased it at a local thrift store for somewhere around $2.00.  There are MANY different editions and versions of the RISK game and you will need to know which one you have in order to accurately describe and list it for sale.  Here is a great resource for researching the different ones:  Once you know for sure which one you have, make sure that all of the original pieces are included.  If you aren't sure if all the parts are there, you can often find the list of parts on the inside of the box.  If there are pieces missing, you have two options.  If there are only a few missing pieces, you can always purchase them on eBay to make a complete game.  OR, you can "part it out" and sell the pieces as replacements for those looking to complete THEIR game.  Here is the link to all of my current RISK games and parts:    

RISK is not the only board game that you can turn for profit.  I am always on the lookout for obscure and fantasy board games, like the one I sold yesterday called Cosmic Encounter.  It sold for $31 and I paid $1 for it.  It was a complete game in excellent condition.  I always get quite excited when I find old board games in excellent condition for cheap!

Duel of Ages is another one that brought me a nice profit, selling for $75.99 after I paid $1 for it.  This is a strategy game that is no longer being made.  Apparently, it has a cult-like following around the world, since mine sold to a buyer in Australia.  

A 3-D board game called HOTELS was probably my best-selling game of all time.  Once again, I found it for a mere $2 or so and sold it for $129.99 to a New York buyer.  
Another obscure board game that I had great success with is called Broadsides and Boarding Parties.  This one went for $98.50 and sold within days of listing it.  This game is described as a suspenseful sea duel between a pirate ship and the Spanish galleon.  The setting is the 17th century in the Caribbean Sea.  How cool is that?    
One of my newest items is the Jumanji board game (remember the movie?).  I paid $1 for it and have had it listed for a few weeks.  I'll keep tweaking my asking price and it will eventually sell.        So... as you can see, obscure, fantasy and strategy board games are a great find that you should always consider picking up whenever you can find them.  

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Microwave Glass Turntables

So, you broke that nice glass turntable in your microwave.  What to do?  Go to eBay!  That's what LOTS of people are doing and it's meant some pretty nice profits for me.  I rarely leave a thrift store without at least one microwave glass turntable for around $1.  Sometimes, I get "lucky" and they'll be accompanied by some indication of the exact make/model microwave they came out of.  Most of the time, they do NOT.

The listing to the right is one that I sold just minutes before writing today's blog.  I actually found it at the Goodwill Clearance Store (aka "the bins"), where you have to dig through big blue bins where they've thrown all kinds of STUFF.  But, there are treasures in those bins!  This particular one came out of a beat up Sunbeam microwave and the turntable was still enclosed in the original Styrofoam packing with the user's manual included.  I removed it from the oven (you're allowed to!) and paid $1.19/lb for it.  It probably cost me a couple of dollars.  Listing it was super easy!  After I took the photos, I measured the diameter of the turntable, the outside diameter of the track on back and included that info. along with the make/model. 

When, as is usually the case, all I have is the turntable and a measuring tape, here's what I do.  Measure the diameter of the turntable and the outside diameter of that track on the back.  Indicate any letters/numbers that are stamped in the glass.  SOMETIMES, you can do a little research with the information you have and find out what make/model it fits... but, not often.  Below is a turntable that I recently sold.  You can see that I could not indicate the exact microwave(s) that it fit, but it sold, anyway!  It included the support with wheels (the wheels that fit into the track on back).

I have been taking my turntable photos on a white background, but I plan to start using a black background because I think it will show all the details much clearer.  Good, clear photos are very important to the success of any eBay business!

These turntables are VERY costly if purchased new from the manufacturer.  And, quite often, the needed turntable is out of production, so they CAN'T be purchased new.  As far as shipping goes, you have a couple of options.  You can take a larger box and cut it down to make sort of a "pizza box" to ship it in.  Here's my friend, Jessie's, pattern for doing so:  Make a Pizza Box!

Or, you can purchase some 16" X 16" boxes from eBay, which is what I eventually did.  Make sure you wrap the turntables in bubble wrap and pack them in packing peanuts to prevent any breakage during shipping.  The US Post Office is quite rough with packages! 

That's pretty much it!  So, never pass up a ROUND microwave glass turntable for resale.  Leave the square ones... they don't sell.  Here are the ones I currently have listed:  Microwave Glass Turntables

I'd love it if you'd share with me some of your success stories with the turntables!