Friday, September 6, 2013

September already?

I can’t believe it’s September already.  Of course, I’m ready for some cooler weather, and the prospect of not having to cut the grass as often.  Even Duc, our exchange student from Vietnam, is eyeing the colder months ahead when he doesn’t have to get all “itchy” from doing a little yard work.  I guess you can take the boy out of the city (Hanoi), but you can’t take the city out of the boy.

Speaking of Duc, I asked him this morning what he wanted to do on Saturday, and he said he wanted to go to yard sales.  He’s barely been here a month, and he already has the thrifting bug.  We are so proud.

A week or so ago, we went to a local mom and pop thrift store that was closing, and everything was half price.  I immediately headed toward the small book section.  I was able to pull more than $200 worth of books off their shelf for a miserly $10.

While we are on the subject, I also sold my $525 book that I picked up at a recent estate sale.  It was a niche book about duck decoys in Louisiana, and was in acceptable condition (missing dust jacket, and a few other minor flaws), yet it sold within a week.

I can’t say it enough. ALWAYS LOOK AT THE BOOKS.

Don’t skip the DVDs, either, especially if you can get a lot buy.  My $900 purchase of more than a 1000 DVDs has netted me around $1089 since July, with plenty left to sell.   Since they are sitting on Amazon, they cost me nothing while they wait for just the right buyer.

In an interesting turn of events, I sold two boxes of contact lens solution.  Normally, this would a “nothing to see here, move along” sale, because, after all, people use this stuff every day.  What piqued my curiosity, though, was the fact that I had listed both boxes on Amazon last September, and then they both sell on the same day, one year later, to customers on opposite sides of the country.


Maybe, but it does lend credence to the idea of “cycling” or intermittent surfacing of inventory on online marketplaces.  Conspiracy theorists believe that Amazon cycles your inventory online and offline, and/or makes your inventory visible to different parts of the country at different times.

It’s never been proven, and, of course, Amazon and Ebay won’t admit to it, but may sellers firmly believe it occurs.  I’ve never given it much thought, but it’s hard not to believe it when you have two items that have been listed since September 2012 that suddenly sell within hours of each other.  You might expect such a thing with textbooks, but not contact lens solution.

This weekend is shaping up to be fairly busy, with several larger sales, including two church sales, a neighborhood sale, and a warehouse sale, plus lots of little sales in between.  To jump start the weekend, I went to a VFW sale at lunch today, and happened to find this jewel.

I know, it doesn’t look like much, but I had read somewhere that vintage/retro digital flip clocks are hot right now on Ebay.  So, I splurged, and paid a whole dollar to acquire this little bit of timepiece history.  A quick search on Terapeak shows a low sell-through rate,  but when like items do sell, they go for anywhere between $18 and $39.  Not a bad return on investment if I do say so myself.

I also found this new in package uniform insignia for U.S. Special Forces.  It should bring around $10 on a six bit ($.75) expenditure.

Hopefully, the full slate of sales this weekend is a harbinger of the weeks ahead as the weather starts to cool off.  As I mentioned in a previous blog, it’s been a horrendous yard sale season, and with Christmas literally just around the corner, I need all the inventory that I can get.

Have a productive weekend everyone.

P.S. Ella and I are celebrating our 21st wedding anniversary today.   I don't know how she has put up with me all these years.


  1. Happy anniversary to you and Ella! Our 33rd is tomorrow.

    1. Congrats on 33 years. May you have many, many more.

  2. Wow Scott, Happy Anniversary to you and Ella! I know what you mean...our 26th is coming up next month! Here is to many more! And to many more yard sales, book sales and all around thrifting good times!

  3. PS - That was a fabulous book sale you made! Wowza!

    1. Better to be lucky than good sometimes.

  4. Well, first of all, Happy Anniversary! :)
    I know what you mean about a not so great yard sale season. I went to what was supposed to be a neighborhood sale on Saturday morning. It was supposed to cover several blocks. The neighborhood sale actually consisted of just 5 sales on one street, with each sale only having 2-3 tables of merchandise.
    I have been having luck getting out to sales on Fridays, though. The last few Fridays have brought treasures from estate sales and one really good neighborhood sale. I'm hoping for lots more good finds through the month before the season begins to wind down.