Friday, October 24, 2014

Make money with Facebook !

Here's a word of warning for all my like-minded yard sale flippers. Are you on Facebook? Have you joined a yard sale group? Are you addicted to it? This topic has been bandied about by my fellow bloggers in recent months. At the time I read all the comments, I had no idea what the big fuss was about? Then a few months ago, Mrs. Dude joined not one, not two...but three Facebook yard sale groups! Holy cow...we both got hooked like a couple of Breaking Bad ice addicts! Like any good junkie, we've had some highs and lows, but keep coming back for more of the stuff!

Lots of Facebook groups out there!
I ain't gonna lie. There's a lot to like about joining a Facebook yard sale group. Instead of having to leave the comfort of your home to go sourcing for inventory, the stuff comes to your home computer. An abundant, steady stream of stuff, both good, bad and ugly flowing down the FB newsfeed. It's an awesome raging river of merchandise that never ends. For example, I was blown away by the amount of Ugg boots, Coach purses and Vera Bradley purses that constantly show up on my local Facebook yard sale group. Admittedly, some of the stuff is priced way too high to make any money flipping. But it's there for the picking if you're fast on the mouse.

Being fast on the mouse is not the only skill you need when surfing an FB yard sale. It's also important to be "ever vigilant" and check the feed often. You just never know when something good is going to pop up in the newsfeed. This can be good and bad, because you can become a bit obsessive as you scour that feed constantly. When something good pops up, you have to act quickly to be the first to claim "dibs" on it. A quick post to the comment section proclaiming "interested" will lock it down for you. The beauty of claiming it first is this: it gives you some time to research it, before you actually buy it. There's been a few times when I grabbed dibs on an item, then quickly dumped it after doing some eBay research on it's value. As I said, all this obsessive FB news feed checking can become very addictive and distracting if you're not careful. You'll know if you have a little "problem" when you're not on-line. You may find yourself trying to concentrate on other matters when all of a sudden you become distracted, wondering if you're missing something good on Facebook? And you'll know you got it really, really bad when you refuse to take your eyes off Facebook on Saturday afternoons or Sunday evenings. That's when the steady stream of listings turns into a raging river! A few weeks ago, Mrs. Dude and I went on a little weekend get-away. While out and about, guess who kept checking the Facebook yard sale group? Not was Mrs. Dude! I pointed out to her that even if she scored something good, we were away from home and couldn't pick it up. She kept checking anyway! But that's how bad the "fever" gets when you're a member of a Facebook yard sale group.

On a positive note, Mrs. Dude has been selling a ton of household stuff like costume jewelry, clothing and decorative items using the local FB yard sale group. (Mostly small stuff not worth selling on eBay due to fees, shipping, ect.) She's become pretty good at it and uses the "porch pickup" method. Buyers retrieve the item off our front  porch, leaving the money under the welcome mat. There's literally no face-to-face contact. I usually know when she's made a sale. The dog runs to the front door and starts barking when a buyer stops by to pick up an item. Next thing you know, Mrs. Dude is pulling a ten or twenty dollar bill from under the welcome mat. It's really a beautiful thing!

Apple Ipod on Facebook!
As always, my FB participation is all about finding good stuff to re-sell on eBay or Craigslist. So far, I've done good! I bought this Apple Ipod on FB for ten bucks. It's an older model, but Apple geeks still want them. It sold on eBay for $92! I also scored a garden windmill in the original box. I've had some past experience flipping garden windmills. A few years back, I blogged about flipping an old windmill for $75 dollars. The one I just found on Facebook is new/old stock in the box. I paid $15 for it and expect to easily sell it for more then a hundred bucks-all thanks to my local Facebook yard sale group!

So Mrs. Dude and I have just barley scratched the surface on the FB yard sale groups. But don't be overly concerned that we've turned into Facebook junkies. Mrs. Dude has already dropped one yard sale group she deemed unworthy, proving we can break the habit. Well, sort of, we're still on two other FB groups. In fact, I better go check them now. It's been a while since I last looked at the newsfeed, so I am starting to get the shakes!

Are you in a Facebook yard sale group? Share your flips and FB addictions in the comment section below....

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Saturday, October 11, 2014

Halloween ideas that sell!

Now that we're in October, it's time to finish selling off any remaining Halloween items you might have laying around. I started early. My Halloween inventory went up on eBay way back in the July. Starting early is always a good idea if you don't want to get stuck with smiling pumpkins and skeletons staring at you for an entire year, not to mention the royal pain of storing big, bulky Halloween decorations.

A Halloween idea! Sell em on eBay!
My Halloween sales began in July as a trickle. I posted one eBay listing at a time to get things moving and to free up space in the MoneyintheGarage warehouse. I began with this huge pumpkin inflatable. Most yard inflatables are made by a company called Gemmy and can sell for big bucks in the stores. If you snag one at the right price at a yard sale, they can be excellent flips on eBay. I bought the pumpkin seen here at a yard sale back way back in June. In fact, I actually bought five holiday inflatables from the same seller that day. I paid $10 dollars for each one. They included three Halloween pumpkins, one Thanksgiving turkey and a snowman. But while you can make a lot of money flipping yard inflatables, it also can be risky business. The main problem? You may get  stuck with one that doesn't fully inflate. Usually this is because of a hole somewhere in the fabric. The dead giveaway is when your inflatable refuses to stand straight up after plugging in the fan. Who wants a saggy pumpkin on their front yard, right?

But while it's wise to test out an inflatable before paying, I rarely do. If it's cheap enough, I fork over the dough and go! Most of the time, I'll snag a holiday themed inflatable for around five to ten bucks. In the case of the five inflatables I bought in June, the seller promised me they all worked. He even told me that if any of them didn't inflate, I could return them. With that money back guarantee, I forked over $50 big ones and hoped for the best.

Obviously, you always want to test out an inflatable prior to re-selling it. Once it's fully inflated, you can also snap some photographs for your Craigslist or eBay listing. In the case of the five holiday inflatables, I decided to test all of them on a hot summer day in July. Take it from me, there's nothing stranger then the sight of a huge Halloween pumpkin or Frosty the Snowman on your front yard in July! To avoid calls to the police from my neighbors, I test out my inflatables in the backyard away from prying eyes. There is one neighbor I can't hide from. He lives right next door and can't help watching my antics in full view. But he's grown accustom to seeing me photograph all kinds of weird, wacky garage sale finds in my back yard. In fact, I was in the middle of inflating one of the giant pumpkins when he wandered outside and looked over. I waved at him and yelled, "Happy Halloween!" He just waved back, shook his head and walked back inside his house.

Halloween decorations sell for big bucks!
Once the testing and picture taking was completed, I packed all five inflatables back into their boxes and stacked them on my inventory shelf. Noticing that five inflatable boxes can take up a lot of space on the shelf, I decided to take a shot at selling them early. I began by  posting the eight foot high Jack-o-lantern for a Buy-it Now price of $65  plus shipping. Before the month was out, a buyer snapped it up! Feeling lucky, I then posted what I though was my crown jewel of all the inflatables-a combination pumpkin, turkey and scarecrow. I listed the trio for a BIN price of $65 dollars. These guys were quickly snapped up too! Keeping my streak going, I posted my final Jack-o'-lantern in September for $50 plus shipping. He sold just as quickly. At this point, all of my Halloween inflatables have been sold and shipped. In total, I made $180 bucks on a $30 investment! I still have the Thanksgiving turkey and the snowman waiting in the wings! If I can keep up the pace, I should make around $275 dollars on all five inflatables. That's pretty good money for spending fifty bucks at a June garage sale!

Have you sold any yard inflatables? How'd you do? Share the score in the comment section below...    

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