Saturday, January 17, 2015

Make even more money with Facebook!

A few months ago, I marveled over the phenomena that is Facebook Yard Sale Groups. These local groups have spread like wildfire as members go crazy buying and selling their stuff. For us yard sale pickers, it's a great source for new inventory, particularly during the winter months when actual yard sales are practically non-existent. Although these groups have probably been around since Mark Zuckerberg went live with Facebook, I came late to the party. However, over the last few months I've been trying to make up for lost time. Using Mrs. Dude's Facebook account, I've snagged some sweet deals that I later flipped on eBay. Here's a sample...

Mega Block..Mega Bucks!
Exhibit one is this awesome Mega Block ProBuilder model plane I bought for ten dollars. This is one of my first scores using Facebook. Since buying it, I often follow the same pattern. When I spot something that looks good, I quickly look it up on eBay. For me, it's like a race against time as I feverishly research the item. There's no dilly-dallying during these crucial moments! Time is of the essence since any FB member can beat me to the punch and lay claim to it. When that happens, it can be a devastating moment! Not unlike when someone walks away from a garage sale with a deal under their arm, just as you're walking up the driveway...oh the horror! You may be wondering why I bothered researching the plane, instead of claiming it right away? While this model may seem like an easy decision, you can't be too certain. There are a gazillion model airplanes listed on eBay and not all of them sell. This is largely because the market is saturated with models of all shapes and sizes. But despite the overabundance, a good model airplane can earn you some serious cash. In the case of this Megablock model, I was able to confirm these planes sell for big bucks! Once confirmed, I jumped right back over to the FB comment section and typed "Interested," thereby claiming first dibs on the model. I picked the model up the next day and immediately posted it on eBay. The auction ran in early December, adding even more potential buyers to the mix due to the holidays. The result was a closing price of $75 dollars! It pays to be fast on that keyboard!

Wonder Pets..Wonderful!
Here's another Facebook home run-a Wonder Pets Musical Fly Boat. The Fly Boat and little characters were listed on Facebook for only five dollars. What the heck is a Fly Boat you say? Beats me, but I can tell you one thing...they sell! I've flipped a few of these toys on eBay
in the past and always see a lot of bidding action. Knowing this, there was no need to do a "discount double check" on eBay. Upon spotting the toy, it took me a split second to type "Interested" in the comment section. Boom! Just like that the toy boat was mine! After successfully laying claim to the little boat, I was overwhelmed with that yard sale adrenaline rush you feel after scoring a great find! You probably know what I mean...that awesome feeling when you absolutely, positively know you're gonna make some dough from your find. I guess it's how the California gold prospectors felt when they found a tiny piece of  gold in their pan, or when my Aunt yells "BINGO!" in the church hall! It's a natural high! Anyway, after coming down off my high, I picked up the toy, leaving a five dollar bill under the seller's welcome mat. Like the model plane, I immediately listed it on eBay. It was worth the drive to the lady's front porch. My five dollar "porch pickup" sold for $33 dollars!

Sorry big guy, I had to do it. 
Last, but not least, was this Fisher Price Imaginext "Big Foot" Monster. I captured this Big Foot for just ten bucks. Fisher Price has made various versions of these robotic toys, including a big dinosaur. All of them retail for huge money in the stores. This Facebook score required me to do a little acting when I picked him up however. The seller, thinking I bought the toy for my kids, gave me a painfully long demonstration on how to operate Big Foot. I patiently pretended to be interested during the demo, not having the heart to tell the lady I had a completely different plan for the big guy. He was about to be pieced out and sold for parts! My eBay research has taught me that in many cases buyers don't need the entire toy-they already have one. Instead, they need parts like the battery, remote control and charger for their own Big Foot. That's okay by me. It's a lot easier and cheaper to ship components then ship a big, bulky toy. So working like Dr. Frankenstein, I removed Big Foot's battery from deep inside his plastic body. I then posted the battery, charger and remote control on eBay. The three piece lot sold for $36 dollars! I still have Bigfoot, but he's just a lifeless, empty shell of his former self. In fact, I am pretty sure he glares at me from a shelf here in the MoneyintheGarage laboratories. I guess he's mad at me for what I did? But he'll get over it once I sell him at my next yard sale. I'll make a buck or two and he'll go to a new home. At that point, my total profit on the big guy will be $38 dollars. Not bad for a bear...or ape...or whatever the heck he is!

Those are just a few of my initial Facebook yard sale scores. With winter now settling in, I'll have even more time to scour the FB feed and hopefully snag more great finds. It's become a bit addictive and I am not gonna lie. While typing this blog piece, I took periodic breaks to check the Facebook feed. It's getting real bad and I may seek out some form of counseling...right after I check that feed again!

How's your Facebook finds going? Share some of your scores in the comment section below.    


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Thursday, January 1, 2015

Holiday deals at thrift store prices!

Happy 2015! With the holiday craziness now behind us, there's nothing really left to do but count the profits and clean up the mess left behind from countless parcels wrapped and shipped. The season was a good one for me. I cleared the shelves of nearly every item I designated as Christmas inventory. I even sold some stuff that withered on eBay auctions earlier in the year! I've said it before and I'll say it again-almost anything will sell during the holidays. So now that the holidays are in the rear view mirror, let's take a look at a few of my favorite sales. Ironically, all the items cited below were sourced from my local Goodwill store. I guess that makes today's blog piece my special "Thrift Store" edition!

Fender Guitar thrift store find
The gift of music is always a good idea during the holidays, so what's better then a beautiful Fender guitar? I found this gem at the Goodwill Store a week before Christmas. Like most great thrift store finds, it was a matter of my being in the right place at the right time. In this case, the cashier told me the guitar had arrived in the store just hours before. Given it's brand new condition, I am certain it wouldn't have stayed on the shelf for very long. The guitar was priced at sixty dollars-fairly expensive for a cheapie like me! Fortunately, I had a 20% off discount card that I'd been saving for several weeks. The cards are handed out by Goodwill and are a pretty good deal. After ten purchases are marked off on the card, the customer can cash it in for a 20% discount on any purchase. Given the amount of stuff I buy at Goodwill, the cards can pile up quick for me. At any given time, I usually have one or two stashed away in my wallet. However, these precious discount cards are not to be squandered! My philosophy is to only use them for high price items. The $60 price tag on the guitar met this criteria, so I boldly tossed it down as if it were a "Get-out-of-jail-for-free" card. After applying the 20% discount, the Fender guitar cost me $48 dollars-a steal for an instrument that retails for around $180 on Amazon!

Once the hatch is closed...then what?
With Christmas only a week away, I immediately posted the Fender guitar on Craigslist for $125 dollars, a fair price for a very nice guitar. Days later, I was negotiating with a buyer and settled on a price of $100 bucks. We agreed to meet at a local 7-11 convenience store. It was a rainy night just two days before Christmas. Call me crazy, but it was an odd transaction for me. Normally, when I conduct a Craigslist "Meet & Sell" transaction, I have the buyer look at the item at my car, specifically, the rear hatch door of my Toyota. This keeps me in control of the situation and if the buyer balks, I can just toss the item in the back and leave. But with the Fender guitar, the buyer asked me to walk the guitar over to the rear of his car's hatchback so he could take a look at it. Since it was raining, I obliged him and he checked out the Fender in the rear of his Suburu's cargo area. Agreeing it was a fine looking guitar for the price, he told me would run inside the 7-11 to pull $100 cash from the ATM machine. But as he did, he began to close the rear hatch...with my guitar inside...and me with no cash in hand! Worried that a possible scam was about to unfold, I told him I'd stand under his open hatch out of the rain while he went inside the store to get his money. In fact, what I was really doing was guarding my guitar until he paid me! After all, once he closes that hatch, who's to say whether that guitar now belongs to me or to him? Heck, all you have to do is watch Judge Judy to know "rightful owner" disputes like that happen all the time. Yeah, I know, you're probably thinking, "Dude, you're paranoid. Where's your Christmas spirit?" But even during the Christmas season, Mom didn't raise no fool! The story ended happily for me, however. The buyer came out of the 7-11 and handed over five, crisp twenty dollar bills. At that point, I stepped out from under the hatch so he could close it. Although I was wet and cold, the sweet profit of $52 dollars warmed me up quickly!

Christmas blowmolds are an easy sell!
As anyone who follows my blog knows, I also love flipping blow molds. This year was no exception. Early in December I found these three vintage blow molds at Goodwill. Each were marked at ten dollars a piece for a total of $30. A little steep by Goodwill standards, but I knew I could at least double my money. Once again, I shrewdly applied another 20% discount card, bringing  the price down to $24 dollars. Several weeks later I sold them to a  Craigslist buyer for $65. Amazingly, the guy travelled over an hour to pick them up. He told me his whole front yard was decorated with blow molds. That's why I love flipping blow molds. As long as they're in decent condition, the buyers will always be there!

Mr.  Christmas Mickey's Clock Shop
Lastly, I flipped this fabulous Mr. Christmas Mickey's Clock Shop set. This was another Goodwill find, setting me back a whopping six
dollars. You read right...only six bucks! These sets are made by a company called, Mr. Christmas. The company produces many popular Christmas themed mechanical toys and decorations, many which sell for big bucks on eBay! The Mickey Clock Shop set is highly sought after by Disney collectors and always brings in top dollar. The set consists of a string of four individual cottages, each with a singing Disney character inside. Lucky for me, the clock was working properly. After passing my thorough inspection, I posted the set on eBay. It sold for an impressive $87 dollars! But it didn't stop there! As I prepped the set for photographs, I made an additional discovery. Inside the box were manuals and extra parts for two other Mr. Christmas toys. I flipped these on eBay too, earning an additional $34 dollars. All together, my original six dollar investment made me a total of $121 dollars. Sure glad I walked into Goodwill on that particular day!


There were a bunch more holiday sales which I'll try to share at a later time. Overall, it was a very good season. I hope you did just as well during the holidays and throughout 2014. Maybe you even picked up a few pointers from my site along the way. If you did, let me know. I'd love to share your flips with all our readers. Lastly, as we enter 2015, thanks for visiting MoneyintheGarage and for all your support and nice comments. This Dude wishes you and your family a happy, healthy New Year!

Dude!@MoneyintheGarage.Com


  
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