Sunday, December 19, 2010

From $25 to $400

Completely FAKE!
I have yet to reach or come even close to surpassing my 4,000% profit margin with a FAKE diamond wedding ring set I got for $1 and sold for $40. But, this weekends 1,600% profit margin on a beautiful white Hutch wasn't too shabby. 

You might remember this hutch. I got it about six weeks ago for $25 and had it posted on craigslist for $225. After storing it mom and dad's house for a few weeks, I finally moved it home and stored it in my kitchen. It just so happened that I really liked the extra usable space of the hutch and thought that it looked great in the kitchen. So, I opted to keep it...well, that is, raise the price...a that it wouldn't sell. That night, I re-posted it for $425. 

This week, though I received a call from an interested buyer and after four days of negotiating the price, I agreed to deliver the hutch to her in Granada Hills for $400. The only reason I was willing to deliver (in the pouring rain, by the way) was because it was on the way to my already scheduled weekend destination of Thousand Oaks.

White Wood Hutch
Paid $25 (Original asking price, $40)
Sold for $400

Last Minute Christmas Gifts for Financially Savvy Families

1950's Retro Chairs
Paid $15 for set of 3 (Original asking price, $50....I'm serious...she went from $50 to $15 without batting an eye)
Sold for $65 for all 3 chairs

Battery Operated Race Car Track
Paid $5 (Original asking price, $10)
Sold for $40

Hard to believe Ebay Sales

Hand-me-down girls shoes
Not just handed down once, but handed down twice! Both pairs of these girls shoes sold for $4.99 with the added cost of shipping at $4.25. Had I not sold them on ebay, they would have been tossed out.

Mickey Mouse Tic Tac Toe Game

Paid $1 at a garage sale and bought six of them. I've sold three of them on ebay for anywhere between $5.00 and $7.50. Not a ton of money, but my $5 ebay profits are adding up to between $50 and $75 per week!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Watch me on the Travel Channel! a bit of an exaggeration. I don't really know if I will be on the travel channel, but I was filmed for a Travel Channel Pilot program about pickers today while exploring the Monthly Flea Market at the Rose Bowl. I think I spent too much time joking about the fact that there was a camera man filming and a crew member with one of those fluffy microphones above my head as well as being over dramatic with the vendor I was bargaining with to actually make the final cut...but only time will tell. So keep your eyes out on travel channel for their new pickers show airing sometime next spring or summer!

Speaking of's official! My girlfriend and I are starting a biz to help our families, friends and any other clients rid their homes of clutter and make some extra cash. We call ourselves "Mommy PICKERS." Check out our brochure.

Hot Items of the Week
Fisher Price Dollhouse and Accessories
About 2 or 3 months ago, I bought a large dollhouse that came with about 60, people, pets, car, etc. The girl selling it wanted $15 but reluctantly took $10 for all of it. It didn't hurt that Sammi was with me playing with the house and dolls. So, I give her (Sammi) credit for helping me seal the deal. Anyway, I posted it on craigslist for $55, but it didn't sell for weeks. Then, about 4 weeks ago I came across another Fisher Price dollhouse at a garage sale, but this one didn't have any accessories.I managed to get it for $3 (Original asking price $5).

I ended up splitting up the toys between the two dollhouses and posting them both on craigslist for $40. I sold the first dollhouse with 30 of the accessories a little over a month ago for $40, and this week I sold the second dollhouse with the remaining 30 accessories for $40.
That was an $80 deal and total cash out of pocket was $13! 

Bamboo and Wicker 8-Drawer Dresser
Paid $3.33 (Original asking price $10)
Sold for $50 in 3 days
$3.33 you wonder...? I managed to get this dresser for a KILLER deal from a chronic garage saler that I always visit when she has her sales! In addition to the dresser, I bought a side table and a little tikes car and gas pump. I offered her $12 for all of it but she didn't have change so gave it all to me for $10.

Within the first 48 hours of posting this dresser, I got about five calls, but a nice lady from Compton made the 1-hour drive, in traffic on a Tuesday morning to pick it up! 

Adirondack Chair
Paid $35 for this chair about 7 years ago at the Pasadena Flea it doesn't count.
Sold for $35

I replaced this patio chair that I have had on my front porch for about 5 years with a cute yard sale find from a few weeks ago that I paid only $2.50 for.

So, I figure it was a $32.50 profit. 

Oh yeah...remember that vintage looking owl lamp that I got for free with a table and chairs set? It closed on ebay last week at $13.50 with $15.00 shipping. Not too shabby for something I didn't want and ended up getting for free.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The $99 Jacket

I've been striving every month to reach the $400 mark with my craigs list sales. I figure, that's about $100 per week and only $25-$40 of actual cash out for inventory (sometimes less). This month, however with my new-found interest in ebay and some nice "high dollar" furniture items, I pulled in $985! Interestingly enough, though it's been the small stuff that has gotten me to that $1,000 mark...well, almost. 

Some hot items of the week:

Little Tikes Cozy Coupe
Purchased for $3 (Original asking price: $5)
Sold for $20 (in less than 24 hours)
The lady that bought this drove all the way out from Palmdale to pick it up. That's a 70+ mile drive. When you think about the cost of gas, was it really worth it? It was for me! 
Lego Duplos
Purchased for $1 (Original asking price: $3)
Sold for $15 (Sold these in less than a week)

7-Piece Kitchen Set
Purchased for $25 (Original asking price: $40)
Sold for $110
I bought this about 3 or 4 weeks ago, but needed extra seating for a party at my house so pulled out the table and chairs and used it outside. I re-took the pictures with the table "staged," and I ended up selling it two days later. I'm not sure if that helped, but it certainly didn't hurt. 

The $99 Jacket
Ebay has opened a whole new world of purging in our household this month! With my success in selling off smaller items, Jerry was inspired to go through his closet so that I could sell some of his old clothes. In the very back, he pulled out an old Herbie, Love Bug jacket that he has had for over 10 years. It's a nice jacket, in great shape that just doesn't get worn anymore. So, I posted it on ebay with a starting bid of $2.99 and $9.00 shipping. My thought is that if I sold it in a yard sale, at most I would get 2 or 3 bucks. The jacket sat for 6 days with no bids. Then, finally on the last day, 5 hours before the end of auction, I checked my status and it was up to $20.50. I was pretty excited about that! Three hours later, I checked my ebay status again and the jacket was up to $32 with only one hour left in the auction. With 10 minutes left in the auction, Jerry and I were glued to the computer as we watched two people duking it out in a bidding war! With one minute left in the auction, the bid went from $86.50 to $99! Not only that, but the winning bidder was a guy from Japan who forked over an additional $22 for shipping. All that for a $2 yard sale jacket in the back of the closet! We celebrated that night with a fresh donut from the Donut Man! yummy! 

Antique Cherry Wood Chairs
Purchased for $7 (Original asking price: $12)
Sold for $50

Pair of Kitchen/Dining Chairs
$0 (Purchased with a kitchen table-all for $15. I already sold the table for $35, so this sale was pure profit)
Sold for $25 

Saturday, November 27, 2010


"It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood, a wonderful day in the neighborhood"...when someone comes to buy one item and walks away with five! It's only happened two or three times, when I've had a buyer show up to purchase one of my items but notices the plethora of pieces I have for sale and ends up buying two or three! Today, it happened...and in the most glorious way. A new mom to two adopted babies is stocking the nursery and came to buy one very inexpensive Ride-along-Lion (Retails for $34.99, purchased from me for $15) and went home with four additional very nice, infant and toddler toys to welcome her new children. 

The beauty of it all (besides the great influx of cash) is that I have no more monstrous toys invading my family room. Unfortunately for the kids, they don't have anything large to play with! But, the great thing about garage sales is the revolving door of amazing toys that I can get for virtually nothing! So, here's to another week of yard saling and (hopefully) some great bargains on new toys!

Kitchen and Family Room Combo Play Center
Purchased for $5 (Original asking price $10)
Sold for $20
I actually sold this piece a few weeks ago for $30, but the people who bought discovered that it was broken. None of the noise makers worked as a result of the circuitry, so I refunded them their money and posted it for a lower price. 
Upright Fisher Price Piano and Activity Center
Purchased for $5 (Original asking price $10)
Sold for $60


Fisher Price Dragon Play Toy
Purchased for $10 (Original asking price $15)
Sold for $15
Leap Frog Learning Table
Purchased for $5 
Sold for $15 (I was originally asking for $22 but gave her a deal for buying so much stuff)
This is retailing for $49.99 at Toys 'R Us right now, on special for Christmas! 
Molly will be disappointed to see this one go. She loved playing with this toy at Grandma's house.
I also sold a super cute antique stool this week that I bought about 3 weeks ago to a guy who traveled all the way from Highland Park. I paid $.50 or $1 for this and sold it for $15. 

By the way, Happy Thanksgiving to all! Hope it was a gobblerific holiday (How corny is that)?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

From Craigslist to Ebay

In my never ending quest to make a buck, I have been inspired by a mommy friend to pursue the wonderful world of ebay ("wonderful" thanks to their special offer right now to post items for free). So far, I have been $150 this month on ebay off-loading random bits of stuff from around the house and some autographed books that I got for free at a book sellers conference last month. 

Some of the nifty items I've sold:

"Vintage" Leaf Plate
Got it at a garage sale for free two weeks ago and was planning on keeping it because I thought it was a neat find. BUT, money sounded nicer and Jerry just rolls his eyes and shakes his head every time I come home with new dishes. 
Sold it for $1.99 + $15.75 shipping
Total Profit = $6.75
Fallout-Autographed by Ellen Hopkins
I got two copies of this book for free at an independent book sellers conference that I went to in October and thought that it might to well on ebay. The subject matter is about families and kids affected by drugs and the entire 400+ pages is written in poetic line. Not really my cup of tea, but it seemed like the kind of book that has a cult following. I WAS RIGHT! First copy sold for $17.25. Second copy sold for $26.00 and was in a bidding war in the final hour. Within one hour, the bid went from $12.00 to $26.00. SO MUCH FUN TO WATCH! 
I'm totally hooked on ebay. 

On the more profitable end of things...

Craigslist was a slow week, but a few small sales kept me going. 
Remember that black swivel mirror from last week? Sold it for $45 making a profit of $38! Not too shabby.
Sold Wood Pottery Barn Style Swivel Desk Chair
Paid $10 (bargained down from $15)
Sold for $25
I originally had this chair posted for $45 because I had a white one just like it a few months ago that I bought for $5 and sold for $65. But, the guy interested in buying it drove all the way from Chatsworth and after careful debate, I offered it to him for $25. I think I'm getting soft in my middle-age. 

Happy Thanksgiving to all this week! I'm hoping for some great after Thanksgiving sales during the weekend...that is, the kind in people's front yards!

Monday, November 15, 2010

$$$$-Weekly Sales and Killer Finds!

Saturday was a short day for yard saling, but a few good finds I'm sure will bring in the profits...
Not to mention, just a few sales this week, but on some bigger ticket items that made for an over $200 week!!!

Weekly Sales

Little Tikes Play Yards
Found three of these last week yard-saling and was able to snag them up at the end of the day for a pretty good deal! $55 for all of them. Kept one that Molly LOVED. Sold one to a friend for $25 (at cost) and sold the other one on craigslist in less than 24 hours for $75.

Pottery Barn Microfiber Ottoman
I bought this about four weeks ago for $9 (original asking price was $10). Sold this week for $65. No work needed---the best kind of yard sale find there is!

Small TV Table or End Table
Paid $2.50 (Original asking price $5).
The cabinet/table was priced so low because there were wood slats on the side that had fallen off and were being stored inside. I took it home and tacked the side panels back on with nails while securing it with really strong glue. It was an easy patch job for a quick sale, and I sold it within 3-days of posting it for $45.

Weekly Finds

Large Black Wood Swivel Mirror
$7 after negotiating the original price of $10

Pink Exersaucer and Walker Converter
$3 after negotiating the original price of $5

Radio Flyer Spring Horse
$40--Lady not willing to negotiate
But, I had to have it....or, rather Santa Claus had to have it to put under the Christmas Tree this year.  
Besides, this is retailing for over $150 on ebay right now! So, not a bad find even if it wasn't a "hot damn deal."

Let me know if you have something to sell and want more than the "garage sale" price! I'll store, post and sell while you get to collect the $$$! :) 

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Deals of the Day!

A bang up day for yard saling! Thanks to a loaner truck from my in-laws! THANKS!
Here are some of the greatest finds of the day.

3 Piece Solid Wood Black Bistro Set $25

Super Cute and in perfecto condition! (Original asking price, $40)

BEAUTIFUL White Wooden Hutch $25
Another perfect furniture piece made of solid wood with charming features including bevelled glass and detailed claw legs! I love this one and only got it because a GREAT friend called me when she saw it at a yard sale! (Oh, and I talked them down from $40)

7-Piece Kitchen/Dining Room Table Set $25
(Original Asking price was $30)
Nothing special, just a lot of pieces for one low price. And chair cushions are in great shape!

Antique Wood Tool Box FREE!
Lady tossed this in as a freeby because I bought some other stuff. I just loved this, though and would have willingly paid the original asking price of $.50!

1. Car Seat-in nice condition and under $10
FOUND in less than one week for $5.

2. Step Aerobics Board
FOUND in less than one week for $4 complete with 3 adjusting steps.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Everything Sells...Eventually!

After only one week of "blogging," I already forgot to make my weekly post. And, I just know that you were sitting at your computers all day Sunday waiting for me to write about my eventful week!


Anyhoo, the lesson learned this week: RESEARCH THE PRODUCT! I'm becoming braver in what I purchase at yard sales to turn around and sell on craigslist. So, this past Saturday (not the 30th but the one before that), I found what I thought was a really nice looking, 17 inch, LCD, flat screen computer monitor. I know nothing about computers, but it looked really nice. So, at a $5 price point (I talked her down from $7) I decided to give it a whirl. In my anxiousness to get it posted right away, I took a quick picture and just guessed at the price, listing it for $20. BAD IDEA! Within the first 14-hours of the post, I received no fewer than 10 call or texts (Keeping in mind that was between 8 pm and 10 am). I went back and raised the price to $35 and was still flooded with texts. I made arrangements with a local guy to come pick it up in the evening (less than 24-hours after I posted it) and even had another guy from Whittier as a back-up. To keep a long story short, guy number 1 tried to talk me down to $30 when he came to pick it up. I said, "so sorry." Sent him on his way and called guy number two, from Whittier who came right away and picked up the monitor for $35!

I sold the  computer monitor less than 24 hours after I posted it on craigslist! YAY! (Later, when I looked at the price point, I should have posted it for no less than $50...probably even $65 or $70. Oh Well, can't frown at a 700% profit margin)

In total, I sold eight pieces of furniture this month, but this week, I FINALLY got rid of a kitchen table that was a major thorn in my side. One of my yard saling mottos is to follow my gut feeling about a "product." If I hesitate about something, I should just walk away and move on to the next item. But, occasionally I go for it and ALWAYS regret it later! Such was the case with a kitchen table and chair set that I bought for $15 almost two months ago. There wasn't anything actually wrong with the table, but it was too old fashioned. Oak is out! And, the surface was made of some sort of wood laminate, making it impossible to retrofit correctly. My plan was to paint the entire table white when I had time and raise the price point to around $75. Having never gotten around to it, I sold it for $30 and got the monstrosity of a table out of the garage! So, it was a win-win for all involved.

So, say prayers for a beautiful, rain-free weekend so that I can up my inventory in November!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

How it all got started...

So...Jerry has been telling me for the past 3 to 4 months, "you have to start a blog!" "Really?" I say. Like I have time to sit down and "blog." But, I finally have realized, I have  a secret to share! To all those stay at home moms, struggling to make ends meet, clipping coupons and putting on hold their successful careers (and UHMAZING paychecks...which, by the way we didn't realize was sooooo amazing until we don't get them anymore)....I dedicate this blog to you! 

It all started about six months ago! During one of my frequent Saturday mornings out with Mom, hitting up the local yard sales, I came across a beautiful, antique Secretary Desk. The desk itself was in great shape; sturdy, made of solid wood with drawers that moved easily and hinges that didn't squeak or stick. It, however looked like a WRECK! There wasn't any hardware to go with the desk and the wood stain and varnish had been completely stripped down (which, by the way, if you are ever identifying pieces of furniture to retrofit, having it already stripped is a HUGE BONUS)! Unfortunately, the family selling the desk wanted a whopping $35! YIKES! Way out of my price range. So, I told the lady if she had it at the end of the day and wanted to get rid of it, I'd be willing to come back out and buy it for $15. 

Sure enough, at the end of the day, she was more interested in off-loading the desk and gaining $15. After getting it home, I needed inspiration for the renovation...(I'm trademarking that phrase!) And, with a can of black paint that I already had in the garage, I spent about 2-hours painting the desk inside and out. An extra $4 investment at Wal Mart for the cheapest and most antiquey looking hardware gave the desk its final touch and complete transformation! The bonus....I LOVED it and had a place for it in my living room. BUT, I was more interested in selling it and turning over a profit than keeping it, so I posted it that night on craigslist for $155 (I didn't have a picture of the final product with the hardware).

8 weeks later (I was really patient with selling this particular piece of furniture because it worked so well in my living room), I finally sold the desk for $125. (That was after I "sold" it for $140 to a girl who drove out from West LA to pick it up on a Wednesday night...with the cash in my hand, there was no amount of twisting and maneuvering that was gonna get that thing to fit in her car....BOOOOO, I had to give her the money back and send her on her way).With a total expense of just $19, a sale price of $125, I turned a profit of $106! I could hardly believe it. And, each week since then, I continue to be in shock at the treasures I find for next to nothing and the HUGE profits that I make (up to 4,000% profit on one item...I'll share about that one later).

So, for those who call me on Saturday afternoons to find out my yard sale "hot damn deals" of the day, and for my Auntie's who wait for my Saturday morning texts, my girlfriends who eagerly and enthusiastically respond to my amazing sales during the week and anyone else who might care, I blog about my great finds, my amazing transformations (and, sometimes not so amazing) and my personal tips and tricks to yard saling! 

Enjoy...and comment, too...I don't want to get a blogging complex. :) 

P.S. My weekly post can be expected on Sundays for those just dying to find out about my sales (Don't hold me to that, though...many variables in place for me to have a peaceful moment!) 

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