Sunday, April 25, 2010

Let a million yard sales bloom....!


I limped into the month of April with my yard sale/thrift shop inventory looking pretty skimpy. Sure, I had thrift shop shirts to sell, but most of my sexy, big ticket items stockpiled for winter sales were long gone. So it's always an exciting time when the yard sale season goes into full bloom! This was the case this past weekend. Seems like everyone in my town all had the same idea to have a yard sale. I ran into a buddy at one yard sale who shouted across the street to me, "Hey, this must be like the Super Bowl to you!" I yelled back, " It is, I think my head is going to explode!"

I had so many yard sales mapped out that I had to start extra early, around 7:30, just to get them all in! I had my money rolled up in my pocket and was ready to spend. Got to get my inventory back up and make some big sales. I did pretty good too, among my purchases were a sports hockey collectible for a buck that is currently listed on Ebay for $100 bucks, two vintage baseball & football pennants, a Nintendo game system with about 14 games for $5.00. I should be able to recover my five buck investment with the sale of one good game in that lot. Then I hit a streak of two dollar purchases. Found seven American Girl Doll "knock-off" furniture pieces at $2.00 bucks per piece. These will sell well despite the fact they are not "official" American Girl doll products. Brand new Converse Chuck Taylor's for another two bucks. These could net me anywhere from twenty to forty depending on the week. Three Disney kid's costumes at another $2.00 per outfit. Disney costumes are another "sure thing" and are always popular with moms buying on Ebay. Plus a few more odd and ends with big earnings potential.

My total investment for the Saturday haul was just a little north of thirty bucks. The sales potential of all this great stuff, easily north of $200 and maybe close to $300 ! It was a great start to what is the first week of the new yard sale season. Can't wait to get back out there next Saturday !!
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Monday, April 19, 2010

My wife spots things that I walk right by !


Oh no, now my wife has gotten the bug!

For years she has watched me return home from the yard sales loaded down with stuff to sell. Occasionally she has accompanied me, which I found helpful because she has a different knowledge base then me. For example, she clued me in on "Pampered Chef" kitchen gadgets. She informed me how ladies love buying them at "parties". So I sold a few Pampered Chef gadgets found at yard sales and quickly learned many are hot sellers. Finding a Pampered Chef item is often like finding money laying on the table. If it's new and still in the box, (which for some reason I find fairly often) it's a guaranteed sale! So having my wife with me as I make the rounds is like an extra set of eyes. (My only beef with her is I like to move fast and she likes to linger...time is money!)

Last Saturday, I asked her to check out a local yard sale for me. She did and came back with this "Bombay Company" hall table. She purchased it for $30. (I would have offered $20, but that's how I roll). My wife briefly thought about hanging on to the table, but it doesn't go with our furniture. So instead, she posted on Craigslist for $60. It sold later that day, doubling her money. She is so happy with this sale that she can't wait to go out and acquire more stuff! Yipes, I created a monster!

Moral of today's story is this: everyone has a knowledge base that they can employ to profit at the yard sales. I know the value of guy-type stuff, my wife knows furniture. Take your spouse or a friend with you to the yard sales. With their help, you may find a treasure that you would have completely overlooked if you were solo!
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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Let the Seasons guide you !


You can sell any stuff at any old time of the year on Ebay. But I find it's best to sell items "in-season". This ensures the best dollar return on a listing. While many things sell well any time of the year, (vintage radios, old Barbies, old signs, ect) you should list seasonal items only at the appropriate time of year. For example, not many Ebay buyers are looking for a Department 56 Christmas Village Piece in July, or a Brett Favre football jersey in March. While they may sell, you are not going to earn nearly the amount you would during the item's primary "Selling " season. Listing an item "in-season" ensures the largest amount of buyers are looking for them and can result into a high closing bid.

My selling pattern works something like this, Christmas collectibles are sold after Thanksgiving. Dead of Winter is hockey and basketball jersey time. In the spring, I bust out my baseball jerseys when most fans are psyched for opening day . Camping gear always sells well in Summer...you get the picture.

Here is another more obscure example; have you noticed when the weather gets warmer all the "Lance Armstrong" cycling types begin to crowd the local roads? That's the time to sell cycling jerseys! Cycling jerseys are a "can't lose" sale. While you won't get rich off them, they will consistently sell in the $20 to $30 range or more. I often find these jerseys at my local Goodwill Store. The more logos and color graphics on the jersey, the more bidders seem to be interested in them. The US Postal Cycling Team jersey seems to be one of the hottest, primarily because Lance Armstrong wore it when he was on the team. The jersey seen in this picture was purchased for $4.00 and sold on Ebay for $26.00, not bad right?

So use the Seasons as your inventory selling guide. It will maximize your profits!
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