A Hidden Moneymaker In Your Pantry

I think we’ve all noticed this little logo on various items we’ve purchased. Box Tops for Education. They’re on items like Cheerios, Hamburger Helper and Kleenex. Maybe you’ve been cutting and collecting them for your child’s school. And that’s great. This program helps school get needed items like books and supplies. Each Box Top is worth 10 cents.
If you don’t have a school you’re supporting, there’s still a reason to cut and collect these Box Tops.
You can sell them on eBay!

A search of completed listings reveals that 100 Box Tops goes for about $10 on eBay. 200 will get you $20. Not bad, especially if these are from items you’ve already purchased or buy on a regular basis. You’ve got a potential treasure hiding in your pantry and recycle bin!

A New Goal for a New Year

About this time of year, it seems most people are thinking of resolutions, goals, things they want to accomplish in the next year…or even the next decade. When I make such large goals, they don’t usually work out that well. I tend to be too vague, too optimistic.
So I think my first goal this year is to tone it down a bit. I will try to set one specific goal per month and see how I do.
So for January, 2010 my goal is….drum roll please….to try to find an item on eBay itself and flip it. In other words, find an auction that’s, how shall we say, less than optimally written, win the bid, re-do the listing and sell the item at a profit.
I’ve read lots of stories recently of people who have been successful at this very thing, including the eBay Coach. See her latest story here.
There’s also a great eBook by Don Hoppe Jr called eBay Arbitrage The Complete Guide to Flipping which includes tons of tips and free software.
So my goal for January 2010 is to do some more research, find at least one item on eBay to resell and then try eBay Arbitrage!!
I’ll keep you posted with how my experiment/goal works out!

Wednesday’s Flip of the Week- Vintage Buttons

I had to go back a bit in time for this week’s flip. Nothing super exciting happening in the auction world for me lately. But I’ve been having fun with Etsy. This week’s flip involves vintage buttons. I love them. I collect them. I have too many.
My husband puts up with the obsession to buy, buy, buttons because I’m willing to sell them…well, some anyway.
I’m not the type to collect buttons and put them on cards and go to clubs and all that. I just like to find an unsorted lot of old buttons and spend an evening going through them. It’s very relaxing. Kind of like thrift store shopping at home.
I bought a tin of buttons from a woman on Ebay. She was local so I saved $10 on shipping! I paid about $10 for the tin as I recall. Well look at the beauties that were in here! These are Bakelite!! Carved with a metal rim!! Gorg-e-ous!!! I put one on Etsy for $5.50. SOLD! Immediately. “do you have anymore?” i was asked. Yes!! I had 6 more..in different sizes. $20 says I. SOLD! All in one day. To the same buyer.

LOVE it!! The best part is that I doubled my money with 6 buttons!! And there were/are 100s remaining. Here’s another picture of a super large button I sold for about $4.

I’ve learned a lot in the last few months since I’ve started buying and selling buttons.
Click here to find an inexpensive way to tell if your vintage buttons (or any item for that matter) are Bakelite.
Click here for ideas on how to organize them!!

Why You Should Shop Thrift Stores in the Upcoming Weeks

I have a two word answer. Tax write-offs. That’s right..2009 is winding down and so is the opportunity for making a charitable donation that can be deducted on this year’s taxes.

I read an article about it in today’s paper. People are lining up to make those donations. Plus, people are cleaning out to make room for their Holiday gifts.

It all adds up to a wonderful opportunity to find some great things at the thrift stores in the next couple weeks. Happy thrifting!

Vintage Cashmere

Was listing on eBay today…trying to catch up from the backlog…and listed this gorgeous vintage cashmere sweater. It was a recent thrift store find. I am so tempted to keep this. But alas, we need the money more than I need a new sweater. I haven’t even tried it on, just in case I really like it!
By the way…cashmere is definitely an item to keep your eyes open for at thrift stores if you’re like me and need to supplement your income with some online selling. I found a Banana Republic cashmere sweater for $2 at Goodwill and it sold for $35. Even sweaters with small holes will sell for something…people will either repair it or I think they reuse the yarn for their projects. Just remember to be up front about the existance and location of the holes. Pictures are helpful too.
Happy selling!

Wednesday’s Flip of the Week- Oneida Silverware

Here’s another area of the thrift store to not overlook. I started getting into silverware a few years back when I sold some silverplate flatware. After it got harder to find silverplate I started researching stainless steel. Oneida flatware is a good seller. Selling in lots is a good idea, but if the pattern is in demand, breaking it into smaller chunks can work too.
I recently found this lot at a thrift store…the pieces are 29 cents each at my local Goodwill, so I spent about $8. I researched and found out the pattern name. Click here to for tips on how to do that.
I discovered that this pattern is not in very high demand so I decided to forgo an auction and put the lot straight in my eBay store. As you can see, I got $30 for it through a Best Offer.
Silverware can be a bit time consuming to research and list, but the profit can be worth it! And if you happen to enjoy detective work…lots of fun!

Vintage Hanky A Day Mother Goose Book

What can I say about this beautiful thrift store find? The pictures just have to speak for themselves….ok, no I have to say some stuff. I got this for less than a dollar at a Value Village! No joke. It was in with their regular books..near the ‘collectible’ shelf. But it didn’t have a separate price so I got it for a regular children’s book price.

I opened it and realized that all the hankies are still there! One for each day of the week with a super cute graphic and poem.

Although I love this item..it’s not in my line of collecting so I want to share it with someone who would really appreciate it! I’m not sure how, though. I could sell it on Etsy, or on the bay. Research has yielded that someone sold one in better shape (without the tear on Mother Goose) for $60. But I don’t know how long it sat in the seller’s shop before the sale happened. Haven’t seen another one like it…except on another blog.

What to do, oh what to do? But I’ll enjoy looking at it while I have it and share the lovely pictures with you!