Sunday, October 27, 2019

One hundred dollars made...just like that!

As the fall garage sale season winds down, I am happy to report some very good flips and finds. The scores are not just confined to the yard sales either. Trash picks have been making me a few bucks too! For example, I’ve been traveling down a road near our new home almost daily and discovered some decent trash finds. Since everyone knows there's nothing better then free inventory, let’s talk about those scores first!

Classic Schwinn Continental
About a month ago, I trash picked a classic men’s Schwinn bike off the curb. The bike looks like it hadn’t been rode in years, but when it comes to vintage Schwinn bikes, it doesn’t take much to get them rolling again. After I brought the Schwinn home, I began some internet research to determine the particular model. As it turns out, Schwinn has a website to help do this. You just type in the bike’s serial number, (usually found on the rear wheel fork or on the head tube near the nameplate) and within seconds, it will tell you the bike model and when it was manufactured. I really enjoy doing this type of investigative sleuth stuff. You never know what you're going to discover...maybe a Schwinn bike rarity! In this case, I learned I had a Schwinn “Continental” bike on my hands, manufactured way back in 1982. Not exactly at the top of the list for collectors, but to the right buyer, still a solid Schwinn bike for restoration. Now armed with some definitive background information, I posted the bike on Craigslist. A few days later, I was meeting a bike restorer at the local municipal building. After some poking around with the bike, he paid me twenty dollars for it. Not exactly a jackpot, but enough dough to put some gas in my truckster, or pick up some more finds at some future yard sales!
Out in the trash...what?! 

My next trash pick did me one better. A week after the Schwinn sale, on that very same road, I found a big wood dollhouse at the curb. The dollhouse was in nice shape and was the type usually sold at those big box craft stores. As I stopped to pick it up, I wondered what the deal was with people living on this street? It was like I'd struck gold with a a new source of free inventory in one location! While wrestling the big dollhouse into the back of my truck bed, I noticed two grocery bags sliding around inside of it. Surprise bonus! I couldn’t wait to get home and check out what they could be? Once back at my house, I found out. One bag contained a huge lot of doll house furniture, while the other contained a lighting kit for illuminating the dollhouse. To my amazement, a price sticker was still on the box...$79.95!  I was so excited about this triple threat find that I Tweeted about it right away, posting a picture of the dollhouse with the comment’ “People are crazy!” Seriously, who puts a perfectly good dollhouse out to the trash? While I couldn’t explain it, I was glad they did!

I went right to work posting my dollhouse trash finds in three separate listings. Beginning with the dollhouse, which I posted it on Craigslist for $25 bucks. It sold right away. While I could have asked for more, I kept the price low in order to move the big monstrosity out of the garage as quickly as possible. I then listed both the dollhouse lighting kit and the dollhouse furniture in two separate eBay auctions. Each sold for $35 dollars. So in total, my dollhouse trash find netted me just shy of $100 big ones. Like I said, people are crazy. To me, the previous owner of the dollhouse basically threw a 100 dollar bill out to the curb!

NOS: New/Old Stock Gold! 
Moving to inventory that I was forced to actually pay for, we have this Black and Decker "Space Saver" can opener. This clever gadget mounts underneath a kitchen cabinet. I found it a local thrift shop and paid only four bucks for it. Like a Swiss Army knife, it has multiple tools, including a knife sharpener and a built-in clock/timer. But the very best feature of all? They don’t make these anymore! Hence, buyers will pay more if they need to replace theirs. Condition was brand new in the box! It was still sealed in plastic shrink wrap and even had the original "Bed, Bath & Beyond" price tag of $30 dollars. As I stated many times before, I love finding New/Old stock merchandise. As long as it’s something folks are looking to buy, you can’t lose. Plus, when it’s factory sealed, there’s no worries about anything being broken, dirty or some other damage.  I was so confident it would sell for big bucks that I listed it for a "Buy it Now” price of $100 dollars. It literally sold a day later! How great is that?

Those are just a few of my fall flip beauties. How’s your Autumnal sales going? Feel free to share your awesome flips in the comment section below.

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