February wasn't a super exciting month but our sales are continuing to climb. We're up 16% from where we were at this time last year which, when we're already working as much as possible, just shows that we've gotten better at what we do!
Lesson learned this month: Source like a beginner. Slow down and look up everything!
Bose sells...and thrift stores know it. Every time I find Bose equipment at a thrift store, no matter how old it is, it is priced sky high. What thrift store don't seem to know though it that price does not correlate directly with size. We can typically grab small speakers (easy to store, easy to ship) for under $10 while subwoofers (harder to ship, a pain a store, and the least likely item in a system to need replacing...) are usually priced at $40 or more. I paid $10 for this pair, tested them thoroughly, and sold them two weeks later!
Many people try to be low-key and hush hush about what they're doing in thrift stores but I have experienced mostly good results by letting people know what I do. Someone had pulled the price off of these bindings at my local Savers but when I asked a cashier who I knew how much there were she said, "We can do $5, that should leave some profit room." Well, thanks! I doubt she expected them to sell within an hour of listing though! When you buy bindings for resale, be sure to check them thoroughly as they can often be broken or have cracks. Also, make sure you have the little circular puck in the middle. This is necessary for mounting them and is usually missing in thrift stores since it doesn't actually attach to the rest of the binding.
Not only do we find label makers pretty regularly, but it's also amazing how often they have the sample label tape still inside! This one not only had the sample tape but had absolutely no cosmetic wear. I can only assume that a label maker is one of those things that people need once and never again! We typically pass on the small personal type ones but this of was a rough duty industrial version that sold super quick.
When I played baseball in elementary school I didn't have a pair of actual baseball pants so I wore a pair of sweats. I didn't have the money for a new glove either so I used a faded crunchy old glove I found in the basement. It didn't make my home-run hits (2 of them) feel any less cool but I sure felt dumb. If only I had known about eBay at the time maybe I could have found one I could afford! Maybe it's because I never went very far in baseball but I still can't quite figure out what makes a glove valuable. However, what you should do is look for gloves that are made of genuine leather. I typically feel gloves and if they're plastic feeling I don't even bother to check them. Otherwise, there is a typically a model number either printed on the pocket part on the leather or on a tag inside.
When I first grabbed these I thought they were just a crappy 90's headset. Little did I realize that they are a crappy 90's headset for pilots! There was only one other set for sale on eBay that had several watchers at $170 so I priced to sell and they sold that night. Finding these was a bit of luck and a bit of my determination to look up every weird thing that I don't recognize! Because, if you don't know what something is, how do you know if it's valuable or not?
This helmet was a bit on online arbitrage. I bought 3 of these on clearance from Backcountry for $74 apiece (85% off retail) and sold them all within a month. Paying up pays!
If you follow us on Instagram you probably know that I have an affinity for IKEA couch covers (to the point that we couldn't fit them all in our SUV a couple months ago and had to strap some on top...) Wednesday's at my local IKEA are "Wacky" and all clearance is an additional 25% off, meaning I can get $200 covers like this one for less than $20. They can take a while to sell but once they are discontinued (which is usually why they were on clearance in the first place) you may have the last one on the market and can sell it for a pretty penny. In fact, there are several eBay stores that do nothing but sell IKEA furniture covers!
This one was a bit of a surprise. I knew it was worth money but I had no idea how much and didn't know how to price it. I ended up reaching for the stars and actually sold it on offer for $100. Notice how it says *TESTED in the title? We made it very clear in the description that it was TESTED AND DID NOT WORK!! We included what we knew, meaning it ate tapes and did not show video when we hooked it up. The buyer was fine with the condition it was in as he knew it in advance. (At the time of purchase anyway. He is currently demanding a full refund because it "costs more to repair than he expected--stay tuned for how that turns out...)
It's a good thing we found these on a pallet of returned items we bid on because we might not have given them a second look otherwise! Apparently, Moxi hand-makes their skates with the highest end components in an attempt to appeal to people like roller-derby-ers. Just another reminder that there is expensive stuff to be had (and flipped) within every industry!
When we get tired of slubbing around thrift stores, we move to Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace. This was one of the things we found on Marketplace and picked it up for $200. We always keep our eyes open for DJ and sound production equipment but have only found them when sourcing intentionally, not counting on thrift store luck.
I was at Walmart one day and I heard a guy talking to an employee about his challenge of finding an “old-school” MP3 player. The employee sympathized but couldn’t help much because that Walmart didn’t stock any either! So I did what any good reseller would do. I went home and searched for MP3 players to sell! I got lucky and found that a local school was actually auctioning off a classroom set of them in unused condition. We won the auction of 24 players for just under $300 and have sold all of them for $50-80 apiece.
The only reason that we would ever pass on something like this is that I HATE SHIPPING IT! Unlike sports gear, vintage outdoor gear is very desirable for current use by people who want to have a different "vibe" outdoors: like they've been living under a tree forever. These went straight to Colorado (packed in a box of my own creation) and I even got a sweet note telling me how great they are!
I saw this in the “Collectibles” case at my local DI for $6 and bought it without doing any research. When I got around to listing it, I found that there were bunches of them on eBay for $15-20. I pretty mad at myself for buying it without doing any research so I priced it high, fully expecting to drop the price later when the sting of buying it had lessened. Surprisingly, it sold! I don’t know why this particular face mask was valuable to someone but you don’t have to understand to make money!
My wife and I are a young couple, still in school, and doing our best not only to make ends meet, but to excel! We feel like we have so much to offer and can kick this world's butt if we can just get on our feet. Join our journey!