Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Christmas sales are good!

So here we are in the middle of the Christmas selling season. With the holiday just weeks away, the inventory is flying out of MoneyintheGarage corporate headquarters! Just like last year, I've pretty much sold all the Christmas inventory I stockpiled for the season. It's amazing how you can save your Christmas themed stuff all year and it's cleared out in just a matter of weeks. That's what's awesome about listing this time of year...everything sells! Here's a few Christmas themed items I've flipped so far this holiday season...

Last of the inflatables
The last of my holiday inflatables went out the door last Saturday. It was a cool looking Santa I purchased back in the fall for five bucks. Although it didn't come in the original box, it still had a lot going for it. The thing was huge, standing 8 feet high with the big guy sitting on top of a lighted Christmas train. This big, jolly Santa seemed like a winner to me, but surprisingly, it took a long time to sell. I ended up getting $35 dollars for him on Craigslist Not bad, but much less when compared to my other holiday inflatables sales which averaged fifty bucks a piece. While I could have held firm to my original price of fifty, I didn't want to take the chance of getting stuck with Santa. Finally, a buyer came along and offered me $35 dollars. With the holiday season over in just a few weeks and the potential of having to store Santa for an entire year, I decided to take the guy's offer. This particular customer may get my "clueless buyer " award for the year. As I handed him the rolled up Santa, the buyer looked at me and said, "Okay, how's it work?" This seemed like a dumb question to me, but since I am always customer friendly to anyone willing to pay me $35 for nylon fabric, I patiently explained the following complicated procedure...plug him in! The buyer seemed to be satisfied with this extremely technical advise and went on his way. (I sure hope he didn't forget my instructions once he got home!)

Elf from where?
In another memorable Christmas sale made last week, I sold this two foot high elf dutifully holding up a serving tray. Guess where I acquired him? A trash can! I was driving through a neighborhood last week, when I spotted this guy with the base sticking out of a curbside trash can. Naturally, I circled back and grabbed him. Since he was in perfect condition, I didn't even bother to clean him up. Once home, I immediately snapped a photo and posted him on our local Facebook Yard Sale group. (I added the candle for ambiance.) My trash-picked elf sold in just ten minutes for a twenty dollar bill! Unbelievable, right? I have no idea what possesses people to throw away perfectly good stuff? But as long as they do, I'll be watching their trash cans!


Don't forget to remove the price tags!
About two weeks ago, I made a major score with this train set. I found this big Bachmann set at my local Goodwill store, paying $35 for it. Over the years, I've had some good luck with train sets at Goodwill. This year alone, I've score three very cool sets. But this set was a real doozie! When I got it home, I was stoked to find the set had never been opened! Everything was sealed, right down to the conductor figure who was still in a plastic baggie! I made sure I bragged about this "pristine" unopened set in my Craigslist ad. Since there's no better time of year then Christmas to sell a train set, my Bachmann set got snapped up in just a few days. A dad bought the trains for his young son, paying me $125 big ones! I met the guy at my local Dunkin Donuts. I had a brief awkward moment when I realized there were still a couple of Goodwill price tag stickers on the back of the box. As I pulled the box from my car, I stalled by making small talk while at the same time, feverishly scraping the stickers off with my fingernail. Dad didn't seem to notice, but after counting my $95 profit, I reminded myself it's always smart to remove all the Goodwill stickers prior to selling. After all, it's never good for your buyer to discover you charged him four times the price on the box! Like I said...awkward!

That's a few highlights so far. I'll share more once the Christmas selling season calms down. For now, it's time to get back to posting and selling. How's your holiday selling season going so far? Share some of your personal bests in the comment  section below.




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15 comments:

  1. The thought of hanging onto stuff for a year waiting to cash in at Christmas is something I can't seem to do. Same with Halloween. If I had a storage shed, it might be different, but even then, with the heat and humidity here in the south, stuff gets icky in storage. I like to turn things around quickly, but as you show, it really pays off to be patient.

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    1. Lorraine-I am not always patient, but I am with you...hate having to store stuff waiting for it to come back "in-season". I has some holiday blow molds up in my garage attic, but made sure I brought them down to flip. But on the other hand, I also had one of those folding beach carts sitting up in the attic. Completely forgot about it this past sumer, so now I am stuck with it for at least 6 more months...oh well!

      Thanks for checking in....Dude!

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  2. It's the most wonderful time of the year! The stuff is just flying out of my Etsy Christmas shop too. I listed a big vintage ceramic tree for $125 and it sold in two days! Love your flip stories!

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    1. Gina-Awesome flip on the ceramic tree! I sold two this season, each went for about $35 dollars. I did flip one back months ago that sold for crazy money, but can't remember the exact price. Ceramic trees are tricky business, I am always worried they'll get broken in the mail.

      Thanks for sharing your Etsy success and for liking the blog...Dude!

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  3. I was hoping to make a quick flip on a Dept. 56 Empire State building I picked up at goodwill yesterday, however it was missing a special cord, so I have to wait for the one I ordered to come in. So I probably won't get it sold until after Christmas, but I should still make a very nice profit on it. Nice job on the elf you found, Gotta love free. The only other Christmas related items I had were some Elf on the Shelf figures and they all sold on Cyber Monday.

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    1. Casey-I am starting to learn this Elf on the Shelf stuff is very popular. See numerous references to them on Facebook, so guess I have to put it on the BOLO list, especially the vintage ones.

      It's always better to post Dept 56 prior to Xmas, but you should do well with that Empire state building no matter what.

      Thanks for sharing....Dude!

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  4. Nice flips! Sales have been steady for me, but not quite as good as I was hoping/expecting. Maybe sales will pick up a bit more in these last few weeks- here's hoping:)

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    1. Kimberly-Yeah, I think we'll see an uptick from those last minute shoppers. (Like me-Ha!)

      Read your tip on the Rolodex, gonna put those things on the old BOLO list for sure.

      Thanks for checking in....Dude!

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  5. Do you always meet craigslist people at a different location? I thought I read that some come to your home? We normally just have people come to the house..but hubby always makes sure he's home..although our 15 yo son is 6' 7", so I feel kind of safe even without hubby. He (our son) sells a lot of his chickens on Craigslist. But I've heard about some crazy stuff recently and was just curious about your experience since you sell quite a bit on there. Thanks!

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    1. Margaret- Excellent question! When it comes to dealing with CL buyers, I have to give you the old advise, 'Do as I say, not as I do." In other words, even though I sometimes have the buyer come to my place, it's much wiser to meet them at a public location. When I arrange to have buyers come to me, it just laziness on my part. While it's definitely convenient to have a buyer come to the house, I've been in few sketchy situations where I slightly regretted that decision.

      Another scenario to think about is what if a buyer becomes dissatisfied with the item they bought from you? If they have your home address, you run the risk of them showing up on your doorstep demanding their money back. It's never happened to me, but you never know. So If you meet them at a public place, you eliminate that possibility.

      On a side note, my daughter sold a tablet computer on CL a few weeks back, The buyer was a guy who kept bombarding her with annoying questions regarding the tablet. He finally agreed to buy it, but there was no way I was letting her meet the guy. So I had her tell the buyer that her Father would meet him in the parking lot of a local 7-11. There were no issues, but the guy was a little flaky for sure.

      At 6'7, your son is a definite asset when dealing with buyers. Also a big, mean dog helps too-Ha!

      Thanks for the excellent question...Dude!

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  6. I nearly forgot that I had some blowmold light toppers new in package that I bought from Goodwill this summer. I thought they'd go for more but made $15 on them and only paid $3 so not too bad. I also sold a Christmas cookbook signed by Emeril Lagassee that I bought at Goodwill last month. Book cost me $2 & sold for $18. Hoping to be more active in the next year.

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    1. Trey-

      Not too shabby! I haven't had much look on smaller blow molds myself. Sold a vintage 13" Santa for five bucks on my local FB yard sale group. This was after throwing in the towel with eBay. Had it listed there for months at $15-oh well.

      Regarding that sweet autographed Emeril cookbook, I got one word....BAM! lol

      Hope you make some major scores in he new year. Thanks for checking in...Dude!

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  7. I only sold a couple of Christmas things, 10 Hawthorne village people and elves that I got for $3 at a hospital thrift sold for $50 and a BucilIa felt stocking kit I got for $1 at the flea went for $30. I had some other stuff but we just got back from Barcelona and didn't get them listed before we left! Happy holidays to you and your family!

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    1. Lynn-Some nice flips, especially those Hawthorne Village people. Your $30 sale on the BucilIa felt stocking kit really shows the $$$ to be made on needlepoint and other craft kits. Got to keep my eye out for those!

      Thanks for the Holiday wishes, same to you and your family...Dude!

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