A consistent and well paying garage sale find for me has been Brio train tables. I come across them on average of one every six weeks or so. There are a few different versions out there. Brio is the "Cadillac" of all the train tables, but you'll also come across tables by "Imaginarium" and others that are basically good, solid knock-offs of the Brio table. Although the best one to buy and re-sell is Brio, you'll make money with most any train table no matter who makes it.
When buying train tables, you'll notice some people sell the trains separate from the tables. Obviously the best deal is when you can get both the table and the train sets for one low price. Like anything else at a yard sale, prices can range from practically giving them away to asking full blown retail. Some folks get financially attached to their kid's Brio Tables, remembering what they forked out at the store and expecting you to do the same. But I find most tables range in price from $25 to $50. After I bring a Brio table home, my routine is to haul it into my back yard for picture taking. If the table came without a layout, I maintain a small stockpile of Brio trains, houses and track purchased at previous garage sales. Before I start snapping pictures, I grab my box of Brio pieces and lay out just enough track, trains and buildings for a kid to get started. I don't go crazy adding pieces though, I figure their Mom and Dad can always buy more later. (Plus I don't want to use up my inventory!)
Once I have a basic train layout made, I take some pictures then the train table goes up on Craigslist. I find that just under a hundred dollars is a good listing price. However if your selling around the Holiday season, you may be able to go even higher due to increased demand. But no matter what the price is, this I know for sure: almost as soon as you post a train table parents will start e-mailing you looking to buy!
Above is a nice example. I paid a just ten bucks for this table....I kid you not! To make the deal all the sweeter, the train pieces were anchored down onto the table. While some buyers may look at this as a disadvantage, I pointed out in my ad that you would never lose a track piece or have the hassle of re-building the layout when the kids go all freaky on it! This seemed to hit a cord with buyers because I received a bunch of e-mails looking to buy. I ended up selling the table for $85 dollars! An excellent return on a ten dollar investment and I didn't even have to use my surplus pieces!
So when I see a train table at the right price, it's going in the back of the truckster and heading home with me. Check out the Brio train tables for yourself !
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