Care Bears Stare!
Normally I don't really post about the stuff I get. I mean I got about 50 boxes of garage sale inventory this year for about six thousand dollars, which is a typical year. I'm sure lots of it is bragable as I get stuff all the time for under a dollar and sell it for over ten. Sometimes I find something amazing like this:
Yeah, I didn't know what it was when I got it either. Obviously it was only a quarter (plus a few cents tax as I found it at the local thrift shop) and I'm a sucker for anything pin related, more so if it's old. I got it home and looked it up and found out it's worth about $300 dollars. I got $249.99 for mine as I priced it low due to some enable missing, but still that's one heck of a profit!
Of course the transaction didn't go smoothly. The guy made me wait an entire week for payment. Then he paid with e-check which took another week. Then the guy emailed me wanting his sale tax returned but he sent me the wrong form. He sent a copy of his FED ID number, but here you need to be registered with the state and have a state tax ID. I send him back and email explaining this and links to the proper form to fill out, but I never heard back from him. Whatever! The point of my saying this is that sometimes you do have to stress and worry a little for your money!
Anyway, today I finally sold part of a huge collection of Care Bears. That's part of the first image above. I rather like the story behind this one. You see, this sale was pretty good the last time I was there. That was two years ago and I bought a large bag of Power Rangers and that was a few hours after they were open. I wanted to go last year, but they never had a sale. But as always I keep a list of sales and which month they occur so I know to look for them in following years. They almost always have it the same weekend every year. Anyway, turns out this one has theirs every TWO years. I saw their ad on facebook and of course they don't advertise any place else, which is typical for nearly every church sale around here. You get older women that knows nothing about marketing and they put a flyer up at the local post office and expect people to come. That's how I found out about this one two years ago actually.
Anyhow, I saw the images of the stuff they were going to sell on Facebook and I saw the image of a wall of Care Bears. I was shocked! You just don't see old 80s toys like that anymore. So I obsessed about it for a few days and got there a little over an hour EARLY just in case. LOL I didn't expect any luck to be let in early, but they were super nice and let me in and I had free access to the entire sale almost alone for about 30 minutes!!! And better yet, it was pay whatever you like, so everything was going to be amazingly cheap. LOL
Honestly there wasn't a lot there that was really worth getting. I mean I could have just as easily got $2000 dollars of inventory for like $100, but the majority of the stuff was just common junk. The Care Bares themselves were worth about $4 each in bulk as there are lots of it out there on ebay and not enough interest, but still it was a good flip. I think I ended up with 60 of them or so. I also picked up other plush like Winney the Pooh and Smurf ones as they were worth getting when you pay so little too. I got other various odds and ends like Mickey Mouse watches, books, race car hats, vintage 60s tin character beach pails and a large collection of little ceramic bears. Of course the box with them flew in my car and I broke about five of them, but whatever. They were not worth a lot but as a group it was probably a $50 flip.
Anyway, I ended up with two or so very large boxes worth of stuff and I paid $50. I think I'll end up with about $800 profit or so when all is said and done. Not too bad, but I've had better. I probably should have paid more but the boxes was mostly stuffed with plush, which made it look a lot more valuable then it really was. Typically plushies should be 25 cents to a dollar each at garage sales/church sales and they almost never get bought as no one wants them, so I felt $50 was fair, even though I probably ended up with a $400 profit on them alone. Plush the bears needed a lot of cleaning. I spent a few hours scrubbing them down as they had strange spots. Often a reseller will pay less for stuff that needs working on before flipping. Plus I try to stick to my rule of paying no more than 10% for whatever I flip, unless it's something really good which I can get my money back from really quickly. These plush are taking forever to sell, today being a little over two months! I suppose I could have sold it right away if I gave it away for next to nothing, but no smart seller does that. You really need to hold onto everything for several months these days to get fair value on vintage collectibles.
Anyway, that day was sort of interesting. I got the Care Bears and was happy. I tired to go to a crappy flea market sale but it was ice cold and no one showed up. Only about 6 ventors when they usually have a couple dozen. The trouble with that is that they opened at 10 and I was there at 9 trying to get in. LOL So I wandered around looking for garage sales, but this was the last Saturday of September on a freezing day, so there was almost none to be found. I did find a cool My Little Pony Build A Bear edition plush which I sold last month for $20 something but paid a dollar for. I sorta wanted it for myself, but the head flopped around too much and it just disappointed me. LOL
Anyway after killing enough time, I went back to that sale and bought an Elvis scarf thing, which I thought was cool, but it seems to be almost worthless. Whatever. I just wanted to make that day worth while. So it was still early yet and I knew that Syracause's Thrifty Shopper was having their bi-annual flea market at the State Fair. So I went there. I took the scenic route up there and much to my luck, I found a few decent garage sales. The first one had a Twilight Princess Wii game, but of course the wrong game inside. That sorta pissed me off. LOL Bought some oddball toys at another sale which I already went to a month prior to that. Then I went to an estate sale which had some amazingly overpriced crap, but amazingly cheap 60s board games. $1 each. O_O
Now board games are really hard to deal in. They have to be old, complete and in good enough condition. And even then only about 10% of them are worth dealing with. I ended up with a complete 1969 Spirograph...they go in and out of popularity and sometimes I get $20 for them, but this time only $10 or so which I sold a few days ago. A Tic Tac Cross bean bag game which honestly I should not have bought because it was so huge. I thought that was worth a lot but there was just too many of them on ebay, so I got $20 for it and I was lucky enough that I had a box that huge to send it out in. And I also got a small 3D tic tac toy type game which apparently was collectible but I honestly cannot remember what I got for it. $20 or so? But honestly there was just the pick me ups. The real meat was a box of legos. OK, it wasn't just a box of legos. It was a rare Wacky Racers model kit box filled with American Bricks. The box alone is worth about $100 but sadly some fool wrote Lego over it which knocks the value down. The bricks was worth about $40 and I sold them with some other bricks for another $40 which I found at a rummage sale a few weeks later. So long story short, I spent $14 dollars got $80 so far (deduct about $10 for ebay fees) and I still have that model box which I should get $50 for at least. Not bad for like a 5 minute visit to a garage sale! I was in my van about to go and a guy saw the stuff I walked out with and was very impressed when I told him it was $1 each. LOL
Anyway, I finally made it to the flea market at like half past noon or so and wouldn't you know they were closing at some crazy hour like 2 or 3?! So I had to rush. Of course I found something amazing which took up all my time. Someone died and they were selling his DVD collection. These days no one cares about DVDs, so almost no one ever looks at them. I am like that too, because you get the same sellers trying to sell this stuff for years with picked over DVDs with prices no one would ever pay. Even $1 a DVD is an overpay in this day and age. I quickly glanced over the collection and found concert music DVDs. The Who! I'm like, you don't see that every day. Then I saw Dream Theater. Then I saw box sets. RARE box sets! Larry Sanders show marked at $20 which is very high for any flea market but it was priced about 33% of what Amazon/eBay sellers sells for them.
Anyway, I found out why the guy wasn't able to sell his DVDs. Aside from little interest, his prices were crazy. Like priced how they should have been selling for 10 years ago, not today in 2018. $20 box sets, $8 box sets, $4 single DVDs, all sorts of random pricing that would put anyone off, but he absolutely had no clue what any of them were worth, but it was strange enough to keep like anyone away. And that was lucky for me! He had amazing sci-fi sets which were worth some $$$. Sadly most of them I actually wanted for myself. For example a Gary Shandling Show box set. I've wanted that for years but it was expensive new so no one bought it. Now it's almost a $300 set used!!! I got it for $20 or $25, which honestly no one would pay unless they knew their stuff. But yeah, I ended up with three boxes of DVDs, paid something like $250 or so dollars, which sort of hurt as realistically I should have paid under $50 in today's market for that many DVDs, but I did cherry pick the hell out of the collection. Turns out that someone died and he was selling them of for charity or something. Yeah...This is like the 4th time recently I bought a collection from a dead person who had really rare stuff and the person didn't know what they were doing. It's sad as I know all my gems are going to go the same way when I pass.
ANYWAY, gloomy thoughts aside, I did like bumping my own collection with rare goodies and the guy had good taste. I had a lot of what he had though, so I left behind something like 10 boxes of stuff which I would have easily bought almost all of it if he was selling all the stuff at current flea market rates of $1 a DVD or so.
So I spent like an hour just at that one booth and had something like 30 minutes to visit the rest of the flea market. Fortunately many was the same dealers as before and most were already overpicked as it was late in the day. But still there was enough which I really wanted to look at more closely if I had the time and if I wasn't feeling horrible for not eating all day. I bought a few little things. I remember a stack of comics which filled in many gaps in my collection. Several were rather hard to get as I decided to get into those series, but after they sold out in stores. So I was really happy to find them at $1 each, as I could have went years and years before finding them (or I could order them off ebay for $3 a book plus $4 shipping which sucks).
Annoying that day was that this woman as selling off her childhood stuff (actually that happened last time too and I made out well on her old 90s still in box dolls) but she was selling books. A very complete Sweet Valley High collection. What was annoying is that she insanely put price stickers on EVERYTHING. And these were the forever stick ones too which is amazingly hard to get off. LOL Too me an hour and a half to get them off. Anyway her prices were crazy, but it was at the end of the selling day and I knew she would love to get rid of them for whatever instead of dragging them back home or giving them to the Thrifty Shopper (at the end of the day, they bring out carts for people to donate them unsold stuff). But the woman was of course crazy and instead of selling everything to me for one price, she had to count it all up and try to figure out a fair price and blah blah blah. It would make sense as someone who would price 100s of books with each price sticker instead of writing a sign saying "each book 50 cents each" and taping it to the box would actually count every book up and fuss with the price. LOL So after dicking around, I said I'd pay $25 ( I think that was about 50% of what she wanted for them) and she went with it.
That reminds me of a collection I bought about a month later. This one garage sale I've been going to for years now and sometimes they have nice stuff which I like. This year they had boxes of old sealed on card cars. The prices were really fair (I honestly couldn't remember what they were asking) and I said I wanted to buy them all for one price, how much would you take? Of course they felt the need to count them all up and so on. The trouble with that is that it can take 30 minutes, and hour, etc. When you are a garage saler, you need to move fast as you can loose a ton of stuff in that short amount of time. That actually happened, as someone told me that they got Gamecube stuff at another sale which I arrived to late because I was doing the cars. LOL But that's how it goes. I shouldn't complain too much as what happened with the cars, I got $70 worth on the first day and they brought more the next day for me for $100. I ended up with some crazy amount of diecases. Maybe 500 to 600? But they actually counted everything that night and they said that they spent hours doing so. LOL People generally don't do that sort of thing and it's easier to just give a price to get rid of it all. That's usually how I work at many other garage sales. I build a mound of stuff and let them give me one price for the mound. Quick and easy! Anyway, with these cards, some were apparently really good and I think I made $800 profit so far, but sadly I still have about 60% of the inventory today which no one seems to want. Yeah. Honestly I don't know much about cars. I saw old ones there from my youth so I knew it was probably wiser to buy them all rather than cherry pick (I had no idea which ones were worth buying to cherry pick that wasn't from the 70s and 80s) but it seems the collectors market is really hard to deal with and I guess you need to give them away for next to nothing or something. Whatever, I still made a profit, right?
Anyway, back the Syracuse thing and that entire day, it was a pretty good day overally. But that's how nearly every week is for me and I don't really see it interesting or important enough to write about. I find a lot of stuff, I'll probably make $1000 profit for every week in which I do find stuff. And it repeats over and over.
Sometimes I get amazing buys which I should talk about but I don't because I just forget. Last fall for example I bought a few boxes worth of old magazines from a rummage sale. They apparently came from a collection where an older lady went into a nursing home and I guess the kids just donated it all away. So I had these magazines sitting in the living room for months. I finally got around to doing something with them in February and low and behold, she had some which were amazingly collectable. O_O; I think something like $10 a magazine, more if I really wanted to gouge people. The only bad thing is that she crazily sorted them by bi-monthly (like all March/Aprils for many years in a single magazine keeper box) and one of the boxes I never got. So I had something like 15+ years of magazines but missing book 2 from every year!! LOL That sorta hurt the value, but I did get $1000 for the entire collection of that one specific magazine. And I paid a penny each for the magazines. That was probably my best flip ever honestly. I turned $1 to $1000...well ebay got their $100 in fees and I'll be paying some 33% in self employment income on that profit, but you know you what I mean.
Another flip was amazing too. I cannot remember when I sold it, last fall or last winter, but basically this one sale someone died yet again and they were selling the stuff off. He had SUPER high end stereo equipment stuff for the mid 90s, which were still worth some $ today. The trouble is that this was their second sale and they had the left over stuff at their own stuff to try to sell. They sold me some strange looking receiver which I bought for something like $5. Receivers are always worth a flip for that low. I got it home and found out it was from a $6000+ stereo set where the speakers themselves are almost the size of refrigerators! I rushed there the next day hoping to god that they still had the speakers (as it would have been an amazing flip) but they of course sold it to someone at the prior sale to some yokel that didn't even know what he was buying. LOL JEEEESUS! Anyway, I had this stereo part which I just couldn't tell how much it was worth without the mega expensive speakers!!! It seems I sold it last year, as I couldn't find a record of sale for it in this years records. I want to say I sold it for $700 or so, but it may have been only $400? But yeah, imagine if I had the speakers? Not that I'd be able to lift 200 pound each speakers and would be able to send them anywhere. LOL But the thought of buying something for $100 and flipping for $5000ish would be amazing. I done something like that once. Bought Jemm and the Holigrams cells from Japan for about $200 and I got around $5000 for them. O_o; If I had known they were that good, I would have bought the entire collection instead of a few as a test item. LOL OH WELL! Of course they were long sold out by the time I knew how good they were!
I looked though my records for this year and a couple other sales stood out. I was coming home one day and a pop up garage sale appeared while I was going out for something at the plaza. The woman was putting up the sign and so when I returned I went. I didn't expect much, but it was a local pawn shop which went out of business dragged all their stuff to their house to sell off for whatever they could get! What was good about that is that they had 100s of cassette tapes. Generally they suck and not worth getting, but I know my music and the collection was awesome rare stuff from the 90s when cassettes was dead and no one bought them. They were mostly collectors items! Long story short, I got a little over $1000 for them and I think I had spent $100 for that and a large stack of video games and DVDs, etc. I wanted to go back the next day to get more stuff but it was raining hard and they was close. T_T; I'm pretty sure I had cleaned them out the first day, but I really wanted to make sure just in case, you know?
Anyway, I saw several $300 sales. a few $200, many $100 and on and on. I could go on for days talking about each one of them, but they are of so little interest to anyone. LOL Honestly it's a lot of fun buying and selling but after a while it becomes tiresome. I have enough money, so why bother working? LOL That's how I'm feeling at the moment. I guess we all need our rest and relaxing time too. I've actually worked pretty hard or so some would feel. I feel I'm always lazy and I should be doing more. Oh well!