Thursday, January 26, 2012

Can a garage sale find be returned? Absolutely!

Remember that blow torch thing that I bought last week for three big ones? It initially showed great sales potential. The seller told me it was a gift that she never used. I had no doubt about her claim, finding the torch was still factory sealed in the bubble wrap! I also spotted the remnants of a Bed, Bath and Beyond price sticker on the box. Here's the official description for the torch from Bed, Bath and Beyond:

Creme Brulee Torch Set

Don't wait until your next visit to a fancy restaurant for delicious gourmet desserts; make them right at home with this creme brulee torch. Torch allows you to caramelize the top of your creme brulee or even tarts without heating the filling. You can also brown Baked Alaska and other meringues, or heat and melt cheese for casseroles and lasagna. Torch has anti-flare flame and uses butane. Set includes one torch and four 3-ounce porcelain ramekins.

Sounds pretty promising right? With tax, the thing sold for about $22 dollars. I was hoping to get at least twenty bucks on eBay but there was one little problem-there were a multitude of them already listed. Reviewing all the listings, it seemed only half of the blow torches actually sold. The prices ranged in the meager range of $10 to $20 dollars. Throw in the eBay and Pay Pal fees, and I was looking at a pretty small profit. My little three dollar find was turning into a bust!

But as I always tell my kids, (when they are listening) there are no problems-only solutions! Rather then take a chance of making only a few bucks on the torch, why not return it to the store? The partially ripped price tag already told me it came from Bed, Bath and Beyond. A check of the store's website further confirmed the thing sold for $20. Since Mrs. Dude is Queen of Returns, I tasked her with the important job of making the exchange. I knew that without a store receipt, the torch was only good for a store credit, but that's a twenty dollar credit at a pretty nice store. Being a magnanimous hubby, I told my wife to exchange it for something she could use. I gave her one caveat though. I pleaded that she not waste this hard-earned find on lame stuff like a shower curtain or soap dish! She agreed and headed out the door with the unpopular blow torch.

As I said, Mrs. Dude loves doing returns. (I am pretty sure they have her wanted poster at the courtesy desk at Target) After making her usual store rounds, she came home with this brand new Sunbeam cordless electric mixer.
Sunbeam® Black Hand Mixer

Not the most exciting thing in the world, but her old mixer went Kaplooie over the holidays and needed replaced. Ironically, it was an exact "Even-Steven" exchange. The blow torch and the mixer were both $22 with the tax! So my three dollar garage sale find turned into a $22 product. I'd say that's a pretty good deal!

Do you have a garage sale find that you returned to the store for cash or credit? Let's hear about it!
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  1. I don't know if this is good or bad but here it goes. Remember when a golden arch recalled some Shrek cups that they had sold? Well, a few days after I saw that on the news, I found 6 of those glasses at the thrift store. HHHHmmmmm...should I, could I, buy them and return them to those golden arches for a refund? Well, I did it, I bought the glasses ( 75 cents each), and returned them to the golden arches as if I had purchased them myself. I did get a refund, and a "free meal".

  2. HaHa When I first started reading this I thought you were returning the product to the garage sale seller. I have never thought about taking it back to the store. I usually shop at GW and they mark out the upc code so you can not take it back

  3. Hey Dude!
    There is a local yogurt company that sells their yogurt in ceramic ramekins - when you buy it, you pay a deposit & are refunded when you return the ramekin to any store that sells their yogurt. Well, a few times now, I have found these ramekins at yard/estate sales.. bought them for $.25 or $.50 each and return them to the store and get $1.50 each! A nice little refund off my grocery bill!

  4. Not a return but kind of similar... I picked up 13 books (not my kind) for FREE from giveaway piles, libraries and backpackers squatting on my couch. A couple of weeks ago I took them in to a second hand book shop and got $60 store credit to purchase books that I like at my leisure. I was thrilled with that :-) (I blogged about it.)

    Pop over to my blog I gave you another Liebster Award and linked you. I love your writing style and stories. You entertain me. You should have your own TV show :-)

  5. Anonymous-I am not aware of the recalled Shrek glasses, but it sounds like a pretty good deal to me. I'll take a free meal and some change any day, I am going to keep my eye out for those!

    beckyp-A little play on words to throw off the reader. It's a "gift" so why not right? ; )

    Alexis- Nice return policy. Your basically getting paid to recycle. Your helping the environment and getting some jingle$$ for it...sweet!

    Frugal-Great deal on the books, I'd go for that! Thanks for the Liebster award, I really appreciate it.
    As far as the TV show goes, I am really hoping you just brought me some good Karma! : )

    Thanks all for your great comments!....Dude!

  6. Thanks! Now I want a cordless mixer! My husband has cordless tools. Never did it occur to me that they did this for the kitchen.

    I found a handbag from American Eagle at Clearance GW. The zipper was broken. I took it to the store and got a GC for exchange. For a .99 handbag, I got a 25.00 GC to give my Niece for Christmas!!!!

  7. a*blessed*child-Now you can't get that mixer out of your head right? That's funny!

    Superb American Eagle exchange! I'll bet you're her favorite Aunt now! Thanks for sharing the story : ) Dude!

  8. I love that Bed and Bath has that type of customer service. They will also honor expired Bed and Bath coupons and will let you use as many coupons as you have items at my store. For anyone who will be shopping for a baby soon Buy Buy Baby accepts Bed and Bath coupons:)

  9. This doesn't really answer your question that you asked in this post, but I've been reading your blog for quite a while....

    I remember a post that you did on Craigslist flips. I must say that CL has kept me alive and kicking this winter. Most recently, I purchased a bulk of Vintage Little Tikes Dollhouse furniture for $40 (yes, WAY more than I usually spend), but I sold most of it for a $90 profit after fees....and still have a few pieces left to list. I will usually always pick up that dollhouse furniture if the price is right (they can sell from 5.00 to 25.00 a I usually try not to spend more than $1.00 a piece).

    One thing I love about CL is that you can do the 'research' on a product right from your home (I don't have a fancy phone that I can do that out at a sale with). I recently purchased a vintage 1959 Vogue Brikette doll for $8 off of CL. If I had seen her at a sale I would've passed right on by because I know nothing about dolls, but since I was sitting at the cpu I looked her up, contacted the person selling her, posted her, and sold her for $108!

    Just wanted to share a couple of my success stories with you, and to thank you for posting such amusing informative articles. :)

  10. Thrifty Momma- They do seem to have a nice "return friendly" policy. It keeps shoppers coming back and spending money at their stores. In the case of my return, I am sure Mrs. Dude bought some other stuff while doing the exchange, so they made some money from the whole deal too! Thanks for the coupon tips!

    jess_hak _ Great minds think alike! I know what you mean about doing your CL research right from the computer desk. I've done the "two screens" Cl and the other eBay. Çopy/paste the CL title listing, then throw it on the eBAy search bar!

    Outstanding flip on the doll, 8 into 108, A one hundred dollar profit...Nice! The FP pieces are a nice flip too. I tend to sell them in a lot as I don't have the patience to sell each individually. But by piecing them out like you do will ultimately net you more $$$.

    I am going to be talking about some Cl sales I had over the weekend in my next piece. Hope you like it and thanks for writing in with your great comments! ...Dude!

  11. Last year I found a new in the package sheets that still had the Macy's return label on them. I took them back to Macy's and received a $70 +tax store credit! So my daughter got her Homecoming dress for $4.99 instead of $69. I was a happy Momma in CA!

    1. Happy CA Momma-What an excellent find! Aren't you amazed that the person who sold it to you didn't think of returning it themselves? People are too much! Better you then them though, right? Ha!

      Thanks for sharing your story! ;)