Like me, my brother is not above picking the trash for a sweet deal. I guess it runs in the family. We had an uncle who was famous for his hard-core thriftiness, as well as his skills for trash and flea market picking. More then once when bragging to my brother about some ridiculously cheap deal I scored, I'll exclaim victoriously that Uncle (so and so) would be proud of me!
In keeping with this thrifty genetic trait, a few years ago my brother was in his work truck when he spotted an older gentleman wheel a vintage Schwinn bike out to the trash. My Bro yelled over to the guy, asking if he was actually throwing the classic bike away? The old timer confirmed that he was. Naturally my Bro grabbed the bike, tossing it into the back of his truck. That trash grab occurred well over three years ago. Since then, the bike has sat in the corner of my brother's basement. This is where my Bro and I are different. I would have sold that bike within a few weeks, while my brother is quite happy stowing the thing away for a few years! At one point he was considering selling the bike at his own garage sale for only $20 bucks! This notion drove me insane! As we all know, yard sale pickers are like vultures when looking for a deal. I envisioned my ill-equipped brother buckling under the pressure of a professional yard sale shark and selling the bike for next to nothing! Since I knew it was worth much more, I pleaded with him to sell it on Craigslist instead. My impassioned arguments worked on him....sort of. In a compromise, my Bro stuck with his plan to sell the bike at his yard sale, but tagged the bike at a more appropriate $100 dollars. When it comes to yard sale sharks, you can imagine how that worked out. There were plenty of low-ball offers, but no sale. After the yard sale fiasco, the bike ended up back down in basement for the winter.
Hanging out at his house recently, my Bro told me he wanted to try selling his salvaged bike again-this time on Craigslist. Since my brother's computer skills are comparable to a caveman, there's no chance the bike would ever make it to the internet without my help. I went to work, whipping out my cell phone and snapping a bunch of pictures of the bike. The only thing I required my Bro to do was set up his own Craigslist account. Despite his lack of computer skills, I hoped he could at least navigate his way through that process. While I could have posted the bike on my own account, doing so would have forced me to serve as a e-mail middleman, forwarding messages back and forth between my brother and potential buyers. Don't get me wrong, I am all about helping out family, but that's one hassle I didn't want to deal with. Fortunately, I didn't have to....my Bro figured out how to open a CL account of his own! He then gave me his account name and password and I went to town getting his old bike sold.
|A sweet trash find!|
I posted Bro's bike on CL on a Monday. Or at least I thought I did. Curiously, three days went by with no e-mails from buyers inquiring about the bike. Wondering what the problem was, I asked my Bro if he had clicked on the confirmation e-mail Craigslist sends prior to posting a listing? There was dead silence on the other end of the phone line followed by, "Whoops...I guess that's why I haven't heard from any buyers, huh?" As the old saying goes...you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make them drink...or click on a confirmation e-mail!
After our conversation, Bro finally clicked on that e-mail from CL. Once he did that the flood gates opened! This past Saturday morning, I received an e-mail from him excitedly announcing he'd sold the bike. The amount? Exactly what he asked for.....one hundred dollars! Adding an extra cherry on top, the buyer spotted another bike rusting away in my brother's back yard. He agreed to buy that second bike for an additional ten bucks. All in all, my brother made $110 dollars...not bad for a trash pick!
All of which proves once again, whether it's my brother, uncle or me.....trash into cash is a family tradition!
Have you helped out any family or friends on a flip? Share the story below......
Pin It now!