Sunday, November 15, 2015

Fall yard sales...It ain't over until it's over!

The yard sale season is winding down. With each passing Saturday, there are fewer and fewer sales being held. But as the late, great Yogi Berra once said, "It ain't over til it's over!" In past years, I've scored some of my best deals right at the tail end of the season. Unfortunately, this past Saturday was not one of them. There were only four garage sales which produced only one find-an Army tank model for three dollars. I hope to be able to flip it for $25 or more. Not earthshaking, but better then coming home empty handed. In the meantime, I'll keep plugging away until the sales dry up completely.

How much? You're kidding, right? 
Even though the yard sales have dropped off, I've still managed to come up with some pretty decent finds. Take for example the contraption seen in this photo. This thing is a canoe cart and is used to transport a canoe or kayak down to the water. You plop one end of the canoe on the cart, then pull it along. While it may not look like much, a good quality canoe cart can sell for over a hundred dollars! Can you believe that? It's basically just a couple of steel tubes and little rubber tires! How I acquired the cart is a funny story. The seller was one of those annoying types who felt compelled to make a loud sale pitch to every person who walked up his driveway. You probably know the type. You just want to say to them, "Shut up and let me look around please!" In my case, I hadn't even started looking when he shouted at me, "Make me an offer on anything, I am practically giving stuff away!" Hearing this, I figured I'd test him to see if he really was "giving stuff away" or just blowing smoke. I pointed to the expensive canoe cart and said to him, "Take two bucks for that?" He looked at me with a dazed and confused face. Staring at his one hundred dollar canoe cart, he processed my low ball price for a moment. Finally, after realizing I had just called his bluff, he mumbled a weak,"Okay." With that, I handed over two wrinkled one dollars bills and walked off with the canoe cart. I don't feel bad for the seller. After all, if you're gonna talk the talk, you gotta walk the walk!

After scoring such a sweet deal, it was now time to make some fast money on the cart. People are not looking for canoe carts once the weather turns cold. It was either sell it quick, or be stuck with the cart until next spring. It turns out there was no need to sweat it. Within days of posting it on Craigslist, a young outdoorsy type couple showed up to buy the cart. When they did, you can bet this Dude didn't act like the previous seller and shout at them, "Make me an offer!" Why should I? The happy couple had no problem paying my asking price of $75 dollars!

Shake it like a Polaroid picture!
Moving on, here's a cool find discovered at Goodwill. This little piece of tech equipment is called a Polaroid PoGo. The Polaroid PoGo acts as a portable printer for a digital camera. It hooks up to the camera and can immediately convert a digital image into a hard copy photograph. Pretty high tech stuff and I was lucky to have even found it. Apparently one of the employees must have mistaken it for a toy, because the box was tossed on a shelf with dolls, puzzles and games. The little gadget was brand new with the printer, wires and manual all factory packaged. Doing a quick eBay check on my phone, I discovered Pogos sell well on eBay. Goodwill priced it at three bucks. Who can argue with that? I brought it back to Moneyinthegarage headquarters and immediately posted the Polaroid Pogo on an eBay auction. Seven days later, the Pogo sold for fifty three dollars. A nice profit for something that had been mistakenly tossed into the toy section!

Santa kicked off my holiday sales in a BIG way!
Lastly, to get everyone in the Christmas mood, I'll leave you with a "jolly" score. Check out this humongous inflatable Santa I bought at a garage sale for five bucks! This guy was huge, standing well over 12 feet high when inflated. As I've pointed out in past blogs, buying any kind of yard inflatable is a roll of the dice. I've been burnt once or twice by sellers who swear their inflatable actually inflated, only to find out later that they're flatter then the Hindenburg! But despite the risks, if they're priced right, it's hard for me to resist buying them. You're probably thinking, "Dude, why not plug it in and test it before buying?" Well, sometimes I do....but mostly I don't. I guess it's the gambler in me! In the case of this gigantic Santa, the big guy did actually inflate. However, I did discover he had a broken base leg. But much like MacGyver, I was able to repair him with some wire and electrical  tape. Once the repair was made, I took a slew of photos of my giant Santa and posted  him on Craigslist. For full disclosure purposes, I also included a photo and description of my repair. About a week later, I was in the parking lot of a nearby store meeting an eager buyer for Santa. She couldn't have been happier to pay fifty big ones for the big guy! Not a bad beginning to the holiday selling season!

That's it for now. As Joey on Friends would say, "How you doin?" Are your garage sales winding down for the year? How about Christmas sales? Share some of your wheeling and dealing in the comment section below....

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