Thursday, January 3, 2013

New Year Musings

Happy New Year, unless you follow a different calendar, and are offended by such sentiments. Otherwise, welcome to January 2013.

Some housekeeping first.  Happy birthday to this blog.  It turns one year old this week, and has had more than 20,000 page views since debuting to little fanfare in January 2012.  I know that’s a drop in the bucket compared to some of my readers’ blogs, but I’ve been pleased with my readership.  Hopefully, it will be interesting enough to keep you reading in 2013.

Looking back, 2012 was busy.  I sold, packed, and shipped more than 2100 books, CDs, DVDs, video games, and toys through my main channels (Amazon, Alibris, Half, Biblio) during the year.  That averages to 176 items a month.  Over on the ‘bay, I greatly increased not only my sales, but also my inventory, as I transitioned from mostly media scouting to scouting for, well, everything.

I purchased more than $10,000 in postage during the year, and probably helped keep my local post office open.  Speaking of my local post office, they’ve started weighing and scanning each package that I bring in. Previously, I could just exchange my full mail tote for an empty one. While I appreciate the scanning, the weighing is a little irritating, not to mention time consuming.  

Looking forward, 2013 promises to be just as busy, and I have resolved to not be as lazy when it comes to listing my stockpile.

Speaking of stockpiles, I caught an episode of Extreme Couponing over the holidays, and was both amused and impressed with the coupon clippers’ ability to get $1000 worth of groceries for only the price of the tax on the entire order.  While I have no need for 100 bottles of BBQ sauce, the stockpiles shown contained many non-food items, including shaving products and other items that potentially could be sold on Ebay.  I’m sure such couponing isn’t as easy as they made it out to be, but if I can figure it out, I’m off to Kroger.

I also had the time to attend several storage auctions.  Most of the units were trash, but two were promising.  The first one had items from a closed church, including speakers, mixers, etc., which were mostly covered.  Due to space constraints, this inside unit was to be auctioned outside after everyone had a chance to take a look.  Out of curiosity, I went back inside to take another look, only to discover the owner of the storage company and the auctioneer inside the unit uncovering everything, which is against the rules.  Only a few buyers, including the eventual high bidder, saw this.  As the bidding progressed, it quickly spiraled out of my price range, and sold for $1700.  I’m not sure the buyer will be able to recoup that cost, though. 

The other unit was advertised as having two go-carts, which turned out to be two large dune buggy type go-carts, a generator, some sort of rifle in the corner, and assorted odds and ends.   It was a nice “locker,” as they say on TV, but I didn’t have a trailer to move the go-carts, and thought that the price would be too high anyway.  It sold by secret bid for just over $600.  While not upset, in hindsight, I figure that was a lost opportunity since Ella encouraged me to bid $800, and I declined.

I also heard several bidders bragging about the money they make from the storage auctions, and one in particular stated that he had made $1000 in one week selling furniture at his space in a local antique mall.  While $1000 in one week is nothing to sneeze at, I accomplish this regularly selling on Amazon and Ebay, and I don’t have to give myself a hernia lifting heavy stuff.  Just saying …

Have a productive thrifting weekend, and we’ll talk again next week.


  1. One of your lurkers here who contributed to your 20,000 annual page views. Wanted to mention that I find your blog very educational. I've sold on eBay for almost 2 years, and Amazon 10 months. My goal for this year is to better organize my time as eBay fell by the wayside while I concentrated on Amazon. My sales were much better on that venue. Anyway, with regards to coupons, I too have watched the Extreme Coupon show and feel it caused Kroger (at least here in Texas) to change their coupon policy where they no longer double and triple the coupon value. Also, Target has recently changed their coupon policy where you can only use 3 of the same coupon per transaction. Our Kroger has always had this policy. At Target, you can still stack coupons (combine Target and mfg coupons), so that is a good thing. I sure wish we had stores that were like those on the EC show. You are able to still find great deals where you can purchase items for free or very little money. But with these changes, they seem to be few and far between. I am still searching for those items I can purchase at retail and flip on Amazon.

  2. I love your blog! I'm a couponer and an Ebay book seller, actually. I sell books (adult and childrens) in lots/series but have also sold hygiene items I've gotten for free from the drug stores such as make up and Rogaine, etc. My friend who also coupons and Ebays, sells the razors, hair dye and medicines she gets for free. Please keep these interesting posts coming in 2013 and happy "birthday"!

  3. $1000 a week selling on Ebay and Amazon??? ***faints***