Wednesday, May 4, 2011

That looks old

Finding stuff to sell based on the simple fact that it "looks old" can work for you. You may not be able to tell who made the thing, where it's from, or what material it is. But most of us can look at something, rub our chin and think, "Hmmm, that looks old." Sometimes that's all you need to know to turn it into big dollars on eBay.

That was the case with these two model airplane kits. I came across them at a local thrift shop last winter and they definitely looked old. These kits were in the original cellophane wrappers. While the boxes were a little compressed, (common with old kits) they were still in nice shape overall. My guess was they dated back to the Sixties era. The thrift shop was asking five dollars a piece for each one. I picked them up and continued walking around the store. At the same time, I did a quick eBay search on my Blackberry while trying not to look too obvious. The models were made by a Company called Comet. Depending on the style of plane, they were seeing some decent bids around the twenty dollar range. That was good enough for me, so I bought them.

As I was paying for them I was forced to endure one of my little pet peeves...the seller commenting on what a deal I was getting! Don't you hate that? I sure do! The little old lady who was ringing me up just had to throw in her two cents. Implying they were priced too low she commented, "What, only five dollars? Gosh, these are really old." I forced a smile but was thinking, "Really? Am I suppose to pay more then what's on the price tag?" But I kept smiling and nodded. I later learned she may have been on to something.

Getting them ready for auction, I did some further eBay research on Comet airplane kits. The company made a huge variety of plane models. I couldn't find the two specific planes that I had bought, but I wasn't worried. Like the little old lady said, they were old. Since I wasn't sure these two planes would do well individually, I decided to sell them together. I thought the old adage, "Two is better then one" would work on this auction.

I don't know what it was-maybe the two together, or the style or that they were still in the cellophane wrapped boxes, but this auction turned out to be a big hit. At the close of the auction, my ten dollar investment turned into eighty three bucks! They were old.... and worth a lot of money!

I guess that little old lady knew what she was talking about.
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  1. Great find! I don't know anything about model airplanes, but probably would have taken a chance on them too!
    One of my local thrift stores apparently researches everything that comes in to them. They have tons of printouts from ebay listings showing what the item is listed for on ebay and their price is just a little less. It's crazy. They have the door open to their stockroom and it is *completely* packed all the time. I keep thinking if they would just get some of that stuff out at a regular price they could make up the $ in volume alone.

  2. Jennifer- Thanks for checking in. You struck a nerve fore me, that' s another pet peeve I have worthy of a full blog...thrift stores who post eBay comparables! I hate them!

    The store where I bought these planes occasionally does the same to justify they're pricing. I thought there was a reason they are called "thrift" stores! If they want to sell for eBay prices, then they should get out of the thrift store business and just post their items on eBay.

    If it were me, I would stay out of the thrift store. It's a huge turn-off as a buyer.

    Thanks again for your comment and come back often!

  3. Dude- It's weird.

    It seems that everytime I read your blog I end up coming across items similar to what you have written almost immediately. For instance, at lunch today I found a nice Testor UFO model at a rummage sale. I paid $3 for it and it should sell for $30-$40.

    Maybe it's Karma.
    If so keep it coming.

    Good Hunting.


  4. Utah Bill - It's Karma, no doubt! I am hitting the garage sales tomorrow morning, so throw some back at!

    Anyway, glad I can help. Hope it keeps working for you!...Dude

  5. Good Karma and good hunting to you today.

    If I get much more "Karma" my wife is going to kill me.


  6. I just visited your blog today. I came over from Goodwill Haunting. I couldn't stop reading all the entries. I'm toying with the idea of selling on Ebay/Craigslist but haven't taken the plunge yet. I too am an avid garage saler/thrift store shopper so I know there good deals to be had. I read all of your blog tonight and have become your follower. Makes me want to go thrifting tomorrow and definately garage sales on Friday and Saturday. Keep up the great blog and thanks for all the awesome information. Cindy

  7. Hi Dude,

    I awarded you a Liebster Blog Award. Come and check out my blog to read about why I chose you :-)

  8. Frugal Down Under - Thanks for the award, I really appreciate the shout out and congrats to you too-well deserved!

    Cindy- Thanks for the nice comments on my blog. C'mon and jump in the eBay pool, the money can be nice! Plus it's fun. Keep coming back and tell your friends too! Good luck at the thrift stores and garage sales!

  9. I found a vintage Fisher Price Pocket radio at the t.s. this morning for .25 cents. As I was checking out, the worker that stocks the toys says really loud "Thats a very old radio!" Well thank you Captain Obvious. Luckily the cashier ignored it and rang it up for .25 It is in very poor shape but still plays. I'm going to keep it. I had one when I was a kid and it plays my favorite nursery song (Twinkle Twinkle)Now to keep it away from Ryker