Friday, June 14, 2013

Would Yoda from Star Wars like the Cracker Barrel menu ?

This is how it's suppose to work. A few weekends ago, I made two fast deals and turned a twenty dollar bill into $90 dollars. It was the perfect combination of a little hustle and a lucky break that keeps me plugging away at the thrift stores and yard sales.

The deal had it's origins back in the fall of last year. I found a life-size rubber Yoda at a sale for only twenty bucks. The little guy was just under three feet high and wearing his Jedi knight robe. However with several cracks in his face, he looked like he'd lost a fight to the evil Darth Vader! But despite his rough appearance, I knew there were plenty of rabid Star Wars fans who would love to add this Yoda to their collection. So I handed the seller twenty dollars and transported Yoda home in my Millennium truckster!

Yoda was stored away until after the Holidays. I had a ton of other seasonal items to sell before the little guy would see the Internet. When spring finally rolled around, I posted Yoda on Craigslist at a devil-may-care price of $100 bucks! A little high, but my theory was
Yoda needs some work!
there could be a crazy collector willing to overlook Yoda's flaws and see his inner beauty! Sad to say though, the Force was not with Yoda. Oh sure, I received a few e-mails. Mostly from wise guys who wanted to know if I'd gotten the license plate number of the truck that hit poor Yoda? Hardee-har-har! Those Star Wars collectors are a so darn funny...not!


So due to underwhelming interest, I slowly dropped the price of Yoda over several months. Finally I hit the magic dollar mark of $40, causing a toy collector to contact me. He offered a disappointing $35 bucks for Yoda. Although only a $15 profit, I decided it was time for the little guy to move on. The buyer was over an hour's drive away, so I told him I'd meet him just off the Interstate. Although this saved the toy collector a good half hour drive, I didn't do it solely because I am a super nice guy. I chose this particular exit because it was was only five minutes from one of my favorite Goodwill stores. You have to make things work for you sometimes! After handing off Yoda, my plan was I to head over to the Goodwill store...a good call as it later turned out!      

Mr. Toy Collector pulled off the exit and met me at a nearby gas station. I grabbedYoda from the back of the truck and handed him to his new owner. As I did, the toy collector let out a sympathetic "Awww" as if I'd given him an injured puppy! Looking over Yoda's cracked face, the Toy Collector told me that he also repaired toys. Like a Hollywood plastic surgeon, he confidently declared he'd make Yoda look as good as new! More importantly, even though we agreed on $35, he handed me two twenty dollar bills and told me me to keep the extra five as a delivery charge. After shaking hands and parting ways, I was pretty pleased with doubling my money on Yoda!

Now twenty dollars richer, I had one more stop to make-the nearby Goodwill store. Like any retailer, Saturdays are busy at Goodwill so I wasn't overly optimistic that I'd find anything good. Boy was I wrong! After buzzing through the men's shirts with no finds, I headed to the furniture section. If you've been in the Goodwill furniture section you know it's a dicey situation-plenty of crushed velvet loves seats, dilapidated coffee tables and tacky pictures. This store had all that. But it also had one more piece
At Goodwill: a brand new rocker!
 of furniture that stood out like like a gem in a junk yard....a brand new oak rocking chair! 
This wasn't just any rocking chair was a "Cracker Barrel" rocker. If you've been to the restaurant, you know what I mean. They're well-built, sturdy rockers sold on the "front porch" of every Cracker Barrel restaurant. It's easy to identify a Cracker Barrel rocker. In addition to their well-built construction, they have a metal Cracker Barrel emblem inset on the back of the chair. I was shocked I'd found this quality rocker sitting in Goodwill! My guess was that it just got placed out on the floor shortly before I waltzed in the front door. I also didn't have to look hard for the price. The rocker had about a gazillion price stickers, all of which read $30 dollars! Since Cracker Barrel sells the same rocker at their restaurants for over $100 bucks I knew this was a fantastic deal!

Still trying to convince myself it was too good to be true, I examined the rocker searching for a cracked spindle, a missing piece, a large gouge...anything to explain why it was in the thrift store? After a thorough going over, including me rocking in the chair then getting back up, then sitting back down to rock some more, I came to a conclusion. Not only was the rocker in perfect was brand new too! Grabbing the chair, I paid for it using $30 dollars from my Yoda deal!

Out in the sun & ready for resale!
Arriving home on a beautiful Saturday afternoon, I pulled the rocker out of the truck and went right to work. I carefully peeled off the stickers the over zealous GW employee had plastered all over the rocker. But I decided to leave the remnants of an original plastic cord still looped around one of the spindles. In my view, this fresh looking cord proved the rocker was brand new. After taking photos of the rocker, I also did a little "Re-Con" work. I telephoned my local Cracker Barrel restaurant inquiring how much they wanted for their rockers? The kid answering the phone told me their rockers were priced at $140 dollars! Being a thorough researcher, I decided to also double check on their website. Sure enough, the exact rocker sells for $139 on-line!

Not wanting to waste any further time, I posted the Cracker Barrel Rocker on Craigslist that night. But even after posting the ad, I still wrestled with the idea of keeping the comfortable rocker for myself. During the evening I plopped into the chair and rocked back and forth, admiring it's glossy finish and gorgeous oak grain. If not for the fact that I already have one L.L. Bean rocker and believe it or not, two Cracker Barrel rockers on my front porch, my Goodwill rocker probably would have been a keeper! 

But the following day put an end to any more "should I or shouldn't ?" speculation. A nice lady e-mailed saying she wanted to buy the rocker for her husband. She also asked me if I would I would take less for it? Working on the theory that pigs get fat, while hogs get slaughtered, I told her I'd settle for $90. She drove right over, handed me $90 bucks and left with her new Cracker Barrel rocker. To console myself on the loss of the beautiful rocker, I sat in one of my three other rockers and counted my money!

Amazingly, the total time elapsed in turning $20 bucks into $90 was just over 24 hours. As I said in the beginning...that's how it's suppose to work! Makes you want to head right down to the Goodwill store doesn't it? Me too...I'll meet you there!

Tell us about your "fast flip" in the comment section below!  

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  1. if i can flip something in a month....thats fast for me :D
    i bought a Lalaloopsy jewel sparkles 2 weeks ago for 4.00 just sold last week for 71.49 :D

    also im on an american girl kick. i bought a huge bunch of stuff and i have been piecing it out slowly (like it will take me all year to sell everything and then its not everything because my daughter and i are keeping some lol)

    1. sold addy's birthday compote set complete for 189.99. took about 3 weeks after 1 listed it I will gladly wait for a price like that.....o and BOLO grab it if you ever see one lol :D

    2. You can't lose on AGD and your flip on the Addy stuff proves! I' am not up on the Lalaloopsy dolls, but after reading your comment I checked them out...double wow! I am going be on the look out for those things -Thanks for writing in and letting us know...Dude!

    3. Jewel sparkles, crumbs sugar cookie, and pillow featherbed full size are the most popular FYI. (My kids love them lol) craigslisters give them away too :)

  2. My latest 'fast' flip... Hubby cleaned out some warehouses for his former boss and came home with 28 Wardrobe Moving Boxes and 14 Dish Moving Boxes. All super-sturdy and only used once. I listed them on craigslist and within 2 weeks, all the boxes were gone to 3 buyers and we were $160 richer! My friend said "you're good at that!" I said "what, selling other people's trash?" She said "YEP!"

    1. $160? Thats's awesome...don't you love it when you can take something that most folks would throw away and turn it into big bucks?! Thanks for sharing your outstanding flip.....Dude!