Monday, December 18, 2017

Christmas deals, bargains & flips

The Christmas selling season is winding down. As in years past, December was a good month for sales. I sold plenty of Christmas themed items, some of which had been stored away for over a year, others just recently bought and quickly flipped. Here’s a rundown of some of my more interesting flips for this holiday season...

Rescued from the trash!
Holiday blowmolds continue to be a favorite of mine since you can always find a buyer for them. The popularity of old blowmolds is partly due to nostalgia. Boomers recall their childhood days when Santa and Nativity scene blowmolds were on many front yards in their neighborhood. Another reason for their popularity is scarcity. Full size blowmold figures just aren’t made any more. For these reasons, I always keep an eye out for them. Over the last year, I salvaged three separate figures that were being thrown out with the trash! In one case, the credit goes to my daughter, who found a Wiseman by the curb and rescued him before the trash truck came. After the rescue, she proudly texted me a hilarious picture of the Wiseman propped up in the back seat of her car. (As a proud parent, I must brag that I have taught her well!) Like my trash picking daughter, I too was also able to rescue a Mary and Joseph blowmold from the dreaded trashman. None of the three figures were in perfect condition, In fact, only Mary still had a working light bulb fixture, but those are easy fixes with a trip to the hardware store or Amazon search. I posted my three figures up on Craigslist for ten dollars each. After receiving several no-show inquiries on them, I finally sold all three to a husband and wife at a slightly discounted $25 dollars for all. Their plan was to re-assemble a complete set to display on their front yard. Talk about dedication...after leaving my house, the couple were heading off to another seller who lived over an hour away to buy yet another Wiseman! I was happy to help them achieve their goal of assembling a complete nativity set, but also relieved. I was beginning to worry I’d be stuck with these huge hunks of plastic for another year. Fortunately, that didn’t happen and instead of storing three huge blowmolds in my house, I am storing $25 dollars in my wallet!

Fisher Price Santa Cottage
Moving on, I recently had what I like to call a “Quickie” flip. This is when I can score and flip something from the comfort of my home with very little effort or time. In this case, I was perusing our local Facebook yard sale group, when up popped a Fisher Price Santa Cottage. The set included Santa, his cottage and some additional figures. I was first in line to grab it, snagging the set for a twenty dollar bill. Some quick research determined that Fisher Price Santa Cottage sets were selling for very good money on eBay. After claiming the toy, I texted Mrs. Dude, who just so happened to be heading back from her favorite Target store (surprise, surprise). She was able to pick up the Santa Cottage on the way home. That same night, I posted the set on Ebay for a "Buy It Now" price of $60 dollars. Two days later, it sold. In just 48 hours, I turned twenty dollars into sixty....that’s why I call them “Quickie” flips!

Bright lights, big city.

Here’s another pretty neat flip I made this season. Not so much because of what they sold for, but because of who bought them. Check out the vintage Christmas lights consisting of a string of  old “petal” style lights and a classic “Noma" bubble lights. The Noma lights came in the original box, but had two of the seven lights missing. This probably made them a little less attractive to buyers, since I tried selling these same lights last year with no success. Hoping to move them this year, I posted them on eBay in late November to get a head start. My strategy seemed to work. The lights sold for $25 dollars.  Interestingly,   I shipped them to the world famous "Tavern on the Green" Restaurant in New York City. I thought that was pretty cool. My lights are probably twinkling above the heads of restaurant patrons as they dine and enjoy the Christmas season in the Big Apple. 

The biggest sale of all! 
Lastly, one of my really big sales this season had to be the animated Christmas carousal seen here. When I mean big, I literally mean BIG! The box it came in was a monster, nearly filling the entire back bed of my truck. Also big was the price, costing me a whopping $80 bucks at the Goodwill Store. It wasn’t an easy decision, but I pulled the trigger after realizing this mechanical carousal retailed for over $200 dollars in the stores. After hauling the monster home, I knew I had to move it fast so as not to get stuck with it. I assembled the carousal to take some pictures and immediately posted it on Craigslist for $150 dollars. After about a week of buyer nothingness, I dropped the price to $125. At that, a buyer contacted me and we agreed to meet at the local Dunkin Donuts for the sale. The guy was thrilled to buy the carousal, even telling me what a great deal I was giving him! Naturally I agreed, as I helped him jam the huge box into the back seat of his car. As he pulled away, I was $45 dollars richer and he left a very happy buyer. 

Those are few of my Christmas flips this year. Overall, I had pretty good holiday selling season. I hope you had some nice Christmas flips too. If you did, share a few in the comment section below. More importantly, I hope my blog gave you some ideas and helped you make some sweet flips this year. Here’s wishing you and yours, a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


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