Monday, June 25, 2012

Proud and jealous

For the past four years, my younger brother, Joey, who lives in Roswell, GA, has been listening to me brag, for lack of a better word, about my yard sale finds.  At times, I would encourage him to seek out his own Amazon/eBay treasures.  He resisted for a while, but finally bit the bullet, so to speak, over the last year or so, and gradually has become a faithful early weekend riser to look for sellable items.

On Saturday morning about 8:30 a.m., I received a text from Joey saying that he finally ran into another seller, but was proud that he had beat that seller to the punch by at least 30 minutes, and had all the goodies that the sale had to offer.  He didn’t elaborate, but if you can judge a person’s mood from a text, he sounded excited.  I learned later that this is what he picked up:

I was both proud and jealous.

Besides the obvious, here is what was really interesting about his find. 

Joey wrote that “A lot of the new DVDs were sealed with Big Lots price stickers on them of $2 - $3, including that one.”

I knew Big Lots was a good place for inventory, but never thought to look at their cheap DVDs … until now.

In my neck of the woods, Ella and I spent a good chunk of time at a sale to benefit animal rescue and spay and neuter programs.  We got to the sale early, and had first dibs on the books and DVDs.  In fact, we had first dibs on most of what I consider sellable items, and quickly amassed two overflowing boxes full of good stuff, including this remote-controlled Robosapien (priced at $2):

Each item was individually priced, and by my count, we had at least $50 worth of items in our boxes. Now, I know this sale was for a charity that is near and dear to my heart, but I never let that get in the way of getting a good price.  So, I asked the person in charge if she would make a deal for the whole lot, as opposed to counting each and every item.  She suggested $10, and I quickly accepted her offer.

Bundling items together is a useful tactic at a big sale.  Workers usually do not have an emotional interest in the individual items, usually just want the money, and really don’t want to deal with any leftovers after the sale.  I always let them name the price, though.  If they name a price that is too high, I can always negotiate down.  If I name a price that is too high, and they accept, well, I’ll never know if I could have gotten it cheaper.

Otherwise, Saturday was full of hit and miss stops along our route.  We wanted to go back to the animal rescue sale at 1 p.m. (charities tend to almost give their stuff away at the end of the sale), so we were hurried, and didn’t get to go everywhere we wanted to go.

Our last stop was at an estate sale, but it was nearly noon, and I really didn’t expect to find much. Everything by that time was half price, though, so I was determined to walk away with something.  I managed to snag a few CDs, a vintage erector set, and this vintage 1968 calendar:

Originally priced at $30, it was half priced for $15, which is still a little out of my comfort zone for what I call a speculative buy.  Take a closer look at the woman on the front, and you can get an idea of what kind of pictures are included.  I figured it was just quirky enough to appeal to the prurient interest of some small segment of the eBay buying population.

We made it back in time for the closing of the animal rescue sale, and managed to snag a few more items cheap, including most of the remaining books, CDs, and books on tape, which they just gave away to avoid having to move them.  Unfortunately, most are headed to Goodwill.  As most of you know, I usually don’t donate to Goodwill, but I figured dumping a bunch of old and/or water-damaged books would be a sort of poetic justice, at least for me.

How was your weekend?


  1. Can you please explain why that DVD is so valuable? And who would pay that kind of price for it? I'm clueless on this one. :(

  2. The DVD has a good rank, so it may be a supply and demand issue. Otherwise, it could be that there were no copies available, and one seller listed his very high, and the others followed suit.