Just the other day I posted “Selling Stickers” detailing how I had gone back out later Saturday morning and found the guy from whom I had purchased stickers what seems like several years ago now. And when I got home and listed many of them and sold almost $200 worth within a few days, I thought, I knew I should have bought more. So what did I do? I emailed the craigslist ad of the garage sale. A day went by and nothing. But the next day I got a phone call. It was the Sticker Guy. Well, really his wife, but she passed me on to him and we set up a time to meet the next day. I was punctual, went on over, and I asked him how much for the whole lot which was about 5 boxes of different sizes. What is shown above is about half. He said a hundred bucks. I tried to hesitate. When he said, “Too much?… There is a lot there…” and I said, “Okay.” I had made a hundred bucks in a day off the first load I bought from him. And I would make $132 the night of listing just a portion of this lot. I asked him if he had worked for the company, which I thought for sure he had. He said no, he had bought a container years ago from the warehouse Mrs. Grossman’s had had in the area. He had had these boxes for years. Everything in them is from the ’70′s and ’80′s. And he was tired of dealing with them. I backed my car up to his garage, he reinforced the large boxes with duct tape, put on his moving gloves and shoved them in the back of my car. I felt like I had won the lottery. Need any stickers? Any specific requests, please don’t hesitate to ask. Most of the above, plus the first lot, are now listed in my store on Etsy:
I started as usual at the grab bags where I found some cool Maisto Motorcycles, a vintage suction cup Garfield, Disneyland Resort Muppet 3D Gonzo and strange Rabbit named Bean Bunny that is worth ridiculous money, a Baby Gund blue lamb Winky, a Ty Camel, and various other small stuffed animals.
On to the Barbies that I saw hiding behind the Boutique Counter, there is a 1976 Barbie Ballerina, a 1978 Super Teen Skipper and a Superstar Face Barbie from between 1977-1988. Each was $3.49 at half price.
In the stuffed animals, I found Super Grover that works, an Easter Snoopy from Hallmark, a very nice Babar Elephant and an Iwaya Orange Pig. Each were from 45¢-99¢.
I spotted the Vera Bradley Bali Blue Betsy bag, New without tag, at under $5, the Holly Hobby Fabric at 45¢, the Giggle Rock stroller blanket at 99¢. Also the Big Star Jeans and Areva English Riding Boots.
Over in ceramics I found the adorable little ceramic carousel box that used to work as a music box. I just love the hoses and zebras with colored feathers on their heads, one horse with a little dog on its back. I found another online that was trying to sell for $89. And then I couldn’t pass up the Joan Walsh Anglund bookends. I paid under $10 for the pair, but that’s worth it to me. Plus with my dollar cost averaging of the day, I can finagle that they were only $2 each.
And the Neopets Handheld Electronic Game that works was only 25¢.
Total spent was $66. Dollar cost average down to $2 per item. Could make potentially $900.
Last Saturday after I had done my initial, somewhat pathetic, garage sale run, only to return to a busy family, I decided to go back out again and hit a couple I had missed. Why the sticker guy did not put the word “STICKERS” in his garage sale listing is beyond me, because I would have been there first thing. Lucky for me, he still had boxes and boxes left by the time I got there. I began piling up rolls, while the little voice in my head said, “Buy all you can because otherwise you’ll regret it,” while also trying to focus on the sticker subject matter that I thought would actually sell in fairly large quantities. I nabbed all of the Christmas ones I could find that were in decent condition because, mind you, these are vintage rolls from the factory. This fellow was a previous employee and I had been to his garage sale years before and bought all that I could. He was really getting rid of stuff by this point as many rolls were stamped 1979 and from the ’80′s. Most were in some rough shape and I had to put a bit of work in, once I got them home, to cut off the ends that had been stuck with multiple stickers, etc. Then I went to work figuring out a good number for lots, cutting them, photographing them, listing them:
I paid $40 for the lot and in the following few days I had multiple orders totaling $190:
Therefore the lot was then paid for almost 5 times over and everything else will be additional gravy. Need any stickers?
Garage Sale Weekend Recap: “The Starbucks City Mugs, Annalee Christmas Mice & Anthropologie Moulinette Soeurs Dress”
It was a bleak looking list that morning as I headed out. At my first stop I noticed that all of the ten people perusing the as-yet-unopened boxes were regulars/dealers. I wasn’t seeing much and the sale across the street was not yet open, so I left. The next garage door was closed with a big sign saying “Postponed due to illness” with a nice little “Sorry” at the bottom. So was I. But on to the next and I snapped up the four Starbucks mugs: Atlanta, Seattle, Las Vegas and Maui, for 50¢ each while they’re worth about $50 each. I also got the few little books.
Turning around, the next sale also was not open and a sale further on held nothing, as well. Up to a 9 a.m. sale though it was only 8:30 by that time, where I bought some lovely succulent plants. An older gentleman snagged all of the good stuff from underneath me and I heard him tell another lady at a later sale that he always gets the good stuff. Frustrating.
Moving on, another drive-by of a pile of trash in front of a garage that was cordoned off by a makeshift rope until a later hour, I knew I wouldn’t be back. And then the next piled with toys was also not yet open. Finally the following was ready. I had been to this sale before. It’s a group of people that get together and I can’t figure out their common tie for the life of me. Anyway, there is one super nice lady there and everything I picked up she said was vintage and worth a lot of money. Like the 1976 Dakin Pillow Pets bear that she said she saw in an antique store for $25. And all of the Annalee dolls which she started out at $8 for one at which time I was ready to put them all back. In the end, I only paid $20 for all of the Annalee, plus the bear, plus the little Spode Christmas Tree tray, the Goofy Hallmark train, the Geotracks set (which sold a couple of hours after listing it for $45) and a couple of other doodads – one a Joan Walsh Anglund small bear figurine that I’ve never seen before.
Back to the mom’s sale that was previously closed, I only found the rabbit and chimp Furreal Friends, both for a buck.
Final sale I found the Ann Taylor Tweed brown & green satchel and the Anthropologie Moulinette Soeur Dazzling Lights Red Lace Dress – oh and the little German music box, all for $5.
Total spent: $30. (The sale of the Geotrax paid for the lot 1 1/2 times over.) Total potential gain: $500.
My favorite northern thrift store had its Christmas stuff out! Which made me quite excited. They had bags of ornaments, stacks of stickers and bins of wrapping paper. I bought three bags of ornaments picking out the good ones from the bunch. The stickers were only 50¢-75¢ a package. And the wrapping paper was 50¢-$1. The best part was finding the Russian G. DeBrekht Pink Flamingos ornament that I had seen last year and on which thought I had missed out. I guess they had just stocked it away for this year.
I also found the Transformer and the Lang & Wise Cat mug.
I spent about $30 there and moved on down the street where I only picked up the very cute Children of the World fabric to make the small dolls for $1.50.
Off to the Northern Goodwill where I did quite well for myself. I found a small Hobo International Robin wallet for $2.99, a pink The Sak purse new with tag of $58 for $4.99, A Cop Copine French coat for $2.99, a Phynes Paris purse for $4.99, two silk scarves new with tags from Ann Taylor original $68 for $1.99, a gray Zara scarf for $1.99 and the Hello Kitty Loungefly wallet for $2.99. $24 spent there.
Approximatley $55 spent, I could make around $500.
I know, it’s not quite Christmastime, not that every single store doesn’t already have all of their Christmas stuff out. But in researching something else, I came across these amazing egg ornaments by Edward Bar, handmade in Poland. I can’t find much information on him, but you can easily find these ornaments online from $20-$50. Occasionally you can find them for less, as I see that some have sold in the $10-$20 range. But as we get closer to Christmas, their prices are staying in the $40 range. Maybe they will be less expensive after the holidays, but wouldn’t it be nice to enjoy one or more before the season is over?
I had heard about Listia awhile back: a site where you can get and get rid of stuff for free. So I looked into it. They’re based on a “credit” system which you earn by “selling” your stuff or you can actually buy credits with real money, as well. At $5 for 4,000 credits on up to $40 for 41,600 credits, you’re paying just over a dollar for each 1,000 credits. When I perused the site, I was mainly looking for items that I could resell for real money on other websites. I was also thinking I could get rid of all of the stuff that wasn’t really worth selling – maybe it had a scratch or a rip or would have otherwise ended up in the giveaway pile. So I thought, what the heck, I’d try it.
I listed about 20 things at first which was relatively easy to do. I did not realize initially that I could set an initial price of 499 credits without paying additional credits to do so. Thereby I “sold” some items for a credit or two which was very upsetting. Thankfully, I did list a shipping price, which is totally okay, and added that fact in my listing description, that shipping had to be paid through Paypal to MissBargainHuntress@gmail.com. You can only ask up to $9.94 for shipping. But if you want your item to sell, you only ask for a few dollars unless it’s a larger/heavier item that is more expensive to ship. Back to having a minimum credit price of 499, you’ll need to click on the “Show Advanced Options” tiny little tab in the listing window. That’s where you can add your minimum and also up your auction length to up to 10 days. Auctions can also automatically be relisted if/when they don’t sell.
After trying Listia for awhile, I was finding that most of my items were selling for or near the 499 credits. At the same time, I was keeping a watch list of items I wanted to buy to resell. But everything was going for 1,000, 2,000 and even higher credit amounts. And, as my total credits were only creeping to a decent amount, I didn’t feel comfortable bidding huge amounts. I’ve tried bidding on lower credit items, but have lost the bidding.
So I realized, I needed to list a pretty decent item for a large minimum credit price and pay with my credits to do so. You can list an item for up to 9,999 credits for only 100 of your own credits. Basically, your item should be worth at least $10 if you’re going to list an item at that high of a credit price. And if you’ve gained around 20,000 credits by listing your own items, as I have, 100 credits for the potential of gaining 10,000 seems worth it.
Let it also be known that Listia offers a Rewards Store where you can buy fantastic new items with the credits you’ve earned selling your own stuff you no longer want.
So far, my higher credit items have had a lot of interest, but have not yet sold. And I have yet to actually purchase anything for what I think is a fair credit price, as well. I’m hoping that once I have quite a nice reserve of credits, say 50,000 – 100,000, I will no longer fret over bidding 1,000-2,000 for items I know I can sell for $20-$30 each on other websites. While this all has been a bit of work: following up with bidders/buyers and then packaging and shipping out, once I have a good reserve, I think I may feel it was all worth it. Stay tuned for an update…
One thing I absolutely loved about taking my kids to McDonald’s back when they were little and would actually eat there was: when October rolled around they would feature Madame Alexander Dolls as the Happy Meal Toy (Apparently because October is Doll Collectors Month – who knew). As the years have passed, I’ve been able to get them for free or next to nothing at garage sales and have built up quite a little collection for myself (note photo above). Sometimes I even find them in a grab bag at the thrift store for 99¢ or less (note photo below).
I knew that the collections per year or per theme could go for good money, but I didn’t really how crazy the prices have become until recently researching the grab bag of dolls from above. The Disney and the Wizard of Oz collections continue to fetch high prices, probably due to crazy people like me who collect these little dolls.
On Amazon you can find many of the sets by year:
And on the web you can sometimes find images of the promo posters:
So if you see one or a few in the free box at a garage sale, pick it up, amass a mini collection, and then sell it for the big bucks!
Last week my whole week was thrown off due to the rebuilding of my car’s computer. When one week gets thrown off, the next week is also thrown off. Arriving at the thrift store, it was that familiar feeling that they had had a huge sale the weekend before and cleaned out the store. Plus I noticed that there wasn’t a lot of restocking being done. I did find quite a few grab bags, once again a couple full of Power Rangers. One full of McDonald’s Madame Alexander dolls, one of Burger King Superman toys, some Gundam action figures, robocop action figures and an Iron Man.
Moving on to the boutique toy shelf, I spotted the remainder of some House of Miniature Furniture kits that were hidden pretty well as they were marked down 75% to only a couple of dollars each. Also another Crocker Spaniel at 45¢.
On another toy shelf I found the Diggin’ Wobble Deck at $1.50 and the Fisher Price Rainforest Crib Soother at under $2.
A few other grab bags in other places contained a vintage 1970 Tryce Card Game, three Hungarian ceramic egg ornaments, and I pile of awesome cassette tapes at 45¢ per bag for my convertible’s tape deck.
And the only piece of clothing I came across was an Orvis Quilted jacket for under $5.
$27 for 50 items has me at about 50¢ per item. Best thing was the Tryce card game sold an hour after I listed it for $25 and almost paid for the whole lot. I could make: $325.
What happens when you buy too much at one thrift store? You find nothing at any other thrift store you go to that day. Well, except for a pair of my favorite shoes once I got back near home. But yes, it was the first store and the only store where all of this was procured. Because everything in the store was 50% off in order to make room for Christmas. So I went crazy and spent all of $30 for two heavy bags full. On my go-to first stop at the toy shelf, I spotted one of my kids’ favorite toys when they were little, the Playskool Create a Flower from 1992 for half price of $2, the Bakugan Dragonoid Colossus for all of a couple dollars, and the Transformers Optimus Prime Handheld Game by Hasbro 2007 for $2.
In the doll box I found the Doc McStuffins, two Monster High Dolls, a Mattel 1995 doll and a stack of 1990-1991 Barbie cards, all $1 or under each. I also picked up the yellow Fisher Price bear for a buck that is a Rumbles Honey Bear from 1993 – someone has to tell me why this bear is so special and goes for $50-$75 – I bought it because it was Fisher Price and everyone loves Fisher Price.
In ceramics, I found the Clayworks Blue Sky Birthday Queen mug for under $2 and the Precious Moments “You’re My Mouseketeer” for a dollar.
On to the magazines and books. In the children’s section I found a first edition, 1970, “In the Night Kitchen” by Maurice Sendak, two Carl books, “Carl’s Maquerade” and “Carl Goes to Daycare,” Enid Blyton’s Pixieland Story Book, four Paddington books, four Wuzzles Books, three Golden Books, Bitty Bear’s Family Album, Muppets in my Neighborhood, and 21 Mad Magazines from various decades at half price of 50¢ each.
So for my whopping $30, I should be able to make: $660.