Sunday, July 8, 2012

Guys love their lawn and farm tools !

It's a relentless search finding inventory to sell on eBay and Craigslist. Garage sales and thrift stores are a primary source, but there's often another equally good source: your own house. I've talked about this in previous blogs. Many of us are oblivious to potential things we can sell from the house because we bought them for personal use, not as eBay inventory. But after a while, we don't use the stuff anymore and it goes into storage collecting dust. I am no exception to this phenomenon, often overlooking items right under my nose, or in a recent case, over my head!

As you might imagine, my garage has a lot of "stuff" in it. Like many guys, I am a big believer in hammering a nail into the wall, then hanging some junk on said nail. I operate under the theory that the more things I get off the floor, the better my chances are of actually parking a vehicle inside the garage. One of the things I had hanging on the garage wall was a Scotts "Speedy Green" rotary spreader; those bright green buckets on wheels used to fertilize lawns. Back in the day, I was a lawn care addict. The Scotts' "4-step" fertilizer program lawn was my religion and I would dutifully apply each bag of fertilizer down as decreed by Scotts. I would conclude each lawn application with a borderline OCD ritual, carefully washing down my spreader with a bucket of warm soapy water. Although a little over the top, this bathing ritual kept my $75 investment as clean and shiny as the first day I bought it.

But after years of following this routine, it got a little old. So I dropped the my lawn care drudgery, buying a simple $12 hand held rotary spreader. These small spreaders operate like your grandmother's flour sifter-just crank the handle and the fertilizer flies out the bottom! A quick walk around the yard spinning the little crank and the job is done! No hassling with the big spreader and more importantly, no big clean-up production! The hand held model was an easy rinse off in the laundry room sink. Having found this simple alternative to fertilizing my lawn, the Speedy Green went into storage on the garage wall, ignored and largely forgotten.

The spreader was a permanent fixture on the wall until recently, when I looked up and took notice of it. It dawned on me that I could turn the thing into some nice cash! Although spring would have been a better time to sell a spreader, I figured there were plenty of guys who still would be fertilizing right through to fall. I removed the Speedy Green down from it's high perch and took some photos of it in the backyard. Capitalizing on my cleaning obsession, here's how my Craigslist ad read....

Scotts EZ Spreader Fertilizer Broadcaster - $25

Cleaning out the garage and this has been hanging up on the wall for a few years now. My lawn isn't that big, so I switched to a hand held spreader. This spreader is in very good condition. Back in the day, I would actually wash this down with car wash soap after each use. Because of that, the hopper bin is nice and clean.

Notice how I worked in the term "hopper bin" in my ad? Guys love throwing around farming terms whenever we get the chance. It makes us feel all agrarian when we can use "hopper bin" in a sentence!  Truth be told, I think most guys have a secret desire to be a farmer. Don't most third grade boys list farmer as a career choice, right behind policeman and fireman? That's why we buy riding lawnmowers and tractors, even if we have postage stamp size lawns! I am a prime example. Although I rarely use them, I own two shovels, a "sod-buster" rake, hoe, a steel rake and not one, but two wheel barrels. (Garden size and heavy-duty size.) Heck, I even have an old steel pitchfork with a wood handle that I bust out every spring just to shovel mulch! I eagerly look for reasons to loan it out to my buddies on my suburban street, insisting they use my pitchfork. They gladly except it too, reverently holding the pitchfork in their hands like it's a vintage baseball bat used by Babe Ruth! I am telling you...guys love farm tools!

So although it's more a lawn tool then a farm tool, I knew my Scotts spreader would sell quickly. Listing it on Craigslist, it sold in just a few days for my asking price of $25. I met the buyer in a store parking lot, giving him the run down on how to use it, and of course, proudly pointing out the super clean hopper bin! He was rightfully impressed and didn't dare negotiate me down off my price. A few hours after the sale, I received the following e-mail from the buyer:

                 "Good doing business with you; the spreader's in great shape!"

Now seriously, how many buyers actually write back to the seller after the sale is made? That's what I call a satisfied customer!  I sent him back a nice reply, wishing him many happy seasons of lawn care.

So just as I did with my lawn spreader, you should search high and low around the house for overlooked things to sell. Don't forget those lawn and garden tools and always be sure to clean out the hopper bin!
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  1. I have done that a few times. When I am super happy about something I bought, I will email the seller to say thank you and how happy I am. It makes me feel good and I am sure it makes the seller happy too!

  2. GSA-It's nice to get a thanks from a buyer, isn't it? Beats raspberries, that's for sure! : )

  3. I'm amazed at how well you do on craigslist. I guess my area isn't big on cl because I hardly ever sell there. I think I have 6 listings posted right now and only one person was interested in my recumbent exercise bike but of course when i responded the interest waned

    1. beckyp-Not everything I list on CL is a home run, but since it's all free listings, it's a worth a try.

      Right now I am trying to sell a very heavy/bulky Ham radio on CL. I know I could easily sell it on eBay, but I'll save some huge money in fees and shipping if I find a Craigslist buyer instead.

      Hope you sell that bike.....Dude!

  4. nope have not sold the bike yet. I did however sell a coat rack I bought at the consignment shop. I paid $20 for it and sold it for $35. I would have kept it but the dog and kids kept knocking it over

    1. I have an old wood coat rack I inherited. Won't sell it as it's a family heirloom kind of thing, but also don't really have a place for it. So it's in the basement.

      Nice flip on yours, I'll take a $15 dollar profit any day!

  5. I have also tried to make an account at Cl and sell some of my used things in my garage. I never thought that there could be someone who would have an interest on my products.

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