My Thrift Store Finds Of The Day: $6.96 Spent = $265.00 Projected Revenue - Post #1steemCreated with Sketch.

in blog •  last year

My name is @steemmatt and I encourage you to follow me for first-hand creative inspiration and knowledge on how to supplement your income... or even generate enough to quit your job and be free!

Selling thrift store and free curb finds has fully supported me for ~2.5 years, debt free, while living in the heart of a major US city. My location gives me the volume and high-end inventory to make this possible, but everyone can do this to some degree. In the spirit of becoming fully self-sufficient, I use most of my profits to build on my cryptocurrency portfolio and a brand new silver bar/coin stack.

What I'm most proud of is that I recycle a LOT of consumer goods, which keeps them clean and usable. This includes what I find to sell, and a TON of reused cardboard, bubble wrap, packing peanuts, and paper wrap for my shipments.

As of October 7, 2017, I've sold exactly 2,535 items with my bare hands (split between thrift store purchases and free finds), so you can imagine how much the salvaged items and recycled packaging helps the environment downstream. I hope you can find a way to help too!

I'll be posting in four main categories:

  1. My Thrift Store Finds Of The Day (items picked, their cost & potential revenue)

  2. My Free Curb Picks Of The Day (items picked from city recycling nights & potential revenue)

  3. How To Part Out Household Items To Sell For More Profit (workflow & estimated resale values)

  4. My Past Thrift Store Finds & Free Curb Picks (notable finds for ideas)

In anticipation of doing this at some point, I've taken pictures of many of my notable finds with their price tags and/or receipts, or them sitting where I found them on the curb. Older finds may not have a full photo history, but you'll quickly see that what I'm doing is legit. I also meticulously keep all sourcing and financial records for tracking and tax reporting.

I sell my items via various channels, so I'll just list initial costs and projected revenue. Some channels will have fees and shipping costs, while others will be cash and carry. I get my revenue estimates by analyzing recently sold listings on eBay, what's currently listed on any of the sites I use, or from my past experience selling similar items. Some finds are so rare that I can make my own price to reflect the supply!

Here's What I Found Today.

(Time Spent Shopping = 1 Hour)

Total Spent: $6.96
Realistic Total Revenue Expected: $265.00

I had other stuff going on today to not shop more, but not bad for a quick stroll...

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FIND 1: Sealed New Adobe Acrobat X Pro - Windows Retail

Cost $0.43 > Projected Revenue $175.00!

This thrift store sells by weight so it's easy to win if you can maneuver the mob of people who fortunately focus on clothes and books, two things I don't care to resell. I actually got this by walking up to someone who I thought was an employee that had this on the top of their cart, but they saw me peering and offered it to me for nothing but "friendship". He shook my hand and asked for my name, and said he'll see me again. He knew its value, so that this was a nice gesture of humanity.

::UPDATE - SOLD for $174.99 one day after listing it!::

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FIND 2: Yankees Snoopy Metlife 2012 Bobblehead

Cost $5.44 > Projected Revenue $75.00

I almost missed this one on the shelf behind the cashier because I looked up the wrong one on eBay when valuing it from far away. I left the store and then went back in to double check it in hand, and was glad I did. It was priced at $10.00, but I negotiated it to half off because it was missing the baseball bat accessory. Without the bat, it still sells well given its rarity, and is small/light for cheap shipping. Some bobbleheads are relatively valuable and sell fairly well.

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FIND 3: Playstation 1 Crash Team Racing Game

Cost $1.09 > Projected Revenue = $15.00

I usually don't spend my time picking small profits, but this ratio was good and the game will definitely sell. I sometimes pick up these small wins to offset subway and bus fares, or a snack while I'm out on the hunt.

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More of my new material:

Please upvote, follow & resteem if you'd like to help me in my vision of sharing this knowledge.

~steemmatt

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Wow

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Thanks to EVERYONE for their overwhelming support. I have so much knowledge to post from my time doing this, and as I continue on, so I'm glad it's so well-received!

Awesome finds @steemmatt! Especially the adobe sealed! I also thrift and dabble in cryptocurrency and would love to do it full time. Do you make enough to make a good living?

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Thanks. This is a small pull. I usually have a few bags full after a full day.

I live in a very expensive major US city and cover all bills, and have funds to invest each month, so I'd say yes so far! It's not millions, but I consider the free time and independence my wealth. Fingers crossed that I can keep it up and grow the business. I also note that I don't have a lot of overhead that others may have.

I'm interested in what magic you performed to get so many upvotes and more $ than my post so fast. Please share YOUR secret.

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The secret to getting about 30cts of upvotes on a comment or a post like @slothboarder did, is to use eSteem, the mobile app developed by @good-karma. It doesn't bring these upvotes on every comment, but only once or twice per day, and I also think there is a minimum word count before these upvotes apply. But hey, let me post this via eSteem, and then you can check who upvoted this and compare with the comment here-above.

But then again, what works even better than that, is to just post the best content you can and hope for some whales to come along. That seems to be working out just fine for you :)

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Thanks for the info. Wish I could upvote you more for the solid tip.

And yes, THANK YOU to whoever upvoted my post. It's amazing to see the support and motivates me (for the right reasons) to build this niche out.

My ex-husband of 20+ years did this while we were married to supplement his income. I used to tell him to quit his job because he makes much more money doing this. After we divorced he lost his job and now he has been doing this full time for several years and is super happy.

At this time he has become a leader in the Dallas Ft.Worth area in this field. I've seen people are literally calling him from all over the world to work with and learn from him. He just has an instinct that he's cultivated since he was a child.

I've really learned so much from him about this kind of work/hobby. It's very rewarding to find things for people and bring stuff to those who want it.

Great post! If you want details about contacting him message me on chat. Great stuff to expose steemit to.

Steem On, Dude!

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Great story. It just takes one example here and one there to show people the power of what they can do on their own. Our society has made us dependent on others, and that doesn't need to be the case. Thanks so much for sharing.

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hmmm, there seems to be quite a thrifting community here on steemit, and quite a few resellers. A really cool thing to get on the platform would be something similar to Ebay to buy and sell the finds you make
some kind of steemit sales channel where you can buy and sell with SBD /steem

Wow, these are great finds! I tried thrift store picking myself and it sure is hard, especially in New Jersey.

Thank you for sharing.

Welcome here brother ^_^'

You found some awesome finds on your trip. Even if you didn’t do you normal bargain hunt haul, what you did get was great. I love the ROI you ended up with. Just goes to show there are great deals if someone just looks for them. It would be great if we had a place that sold by the pound here. But, I would probably get way too much haha. Thanks for sharing your great deals.

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Thanks! I try to keep my costs down as much as possible, so these ratios were about as good as you can get where I live. I never buy anything unless I'll make at least 3x or 4x my money to make sure I clear the fees, shipping and taxes enough to keep it worth it.

As for the per pound system, it's literally a mad house. I prefer to go where the bull rush isn't and peruse the older bins while they're forgotten about for a few minutes. The trick is going on weekdays when most people are working during business hours. That's been my competitive advantage since I work for myself. I go when most people can't.

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Sounds like a great strategy. "Early bird gets the worm?" Well your strategy seems to be working out great for you. Keep up the great work and happy bargain hunting. :)

Impressive finds! I think so many people are downsizing and they are just trying to get rid of stuff . this really makes thrift stores a treasure trove

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You're right. This was a small haul for the time I put into it that day, but I've seen more thrift store time than most will ever to agree completely with your view. I can't tell you how many brand new things are donated, whether unwanted gifts or clearing out the kid's room when they go off to college. I don't know exactly why, but I love it! The best stuff to find is the sealed new stuff. My eyes dart for that as the highest priority when I'm out shopping.

I see that you like to invent new "categories," as do I. Your new "thrifting" tag might be a good one. Please use it some more.

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I will definitely be building that out the best I can. Thanks for your comment and encouragement!

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I'd love feedback; but, I believe in a recent @steemcleaners update, creating unlisted tags have to be approved. I'd love to be wrong about this. If anyone knows, please let me know.

Peace.

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I spoke with an admin in the appropriate chat room who said:

"You can make & use any tag you want. If you create a tag for something like curation and it becomes popular it could be abused. It's a good idea to let us know about it."

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Aha! Thanks so much @steemmatt!!!

If you have time, this would make a great original post. In the post you could help the Community know how to let the admin know; and how a popular tag could be spammed. I'm sure it's in the FAQ; but, great to read on the go.

Again, many thanks!

Peace.

I've done this on a very small scale. Usually I find things at a yard sale or on trash pickup day and then resale them on ebay. I really do enjoy finding value in things that other just throw away. But more times than not, I end up repurposing into something for myself.

Do you do freecycle at all? My home town is rather affluent, but small, so I've picked up quite a few beautiful antiques for free that were either in prime condition or easy to restore. Furniture may not be your thing, but I've also picked up garbage bags full of seeds, truck loads of compost, really...anything you can think of.

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I suppose I do quite a bit of freecycling, but not by giving away or trading. I go curb hunting in my city a few times a week and find lots of stuff. I don't keep it though, except the rare thing I may need (like finding a working iPad w/o a password with its charger) from the recyclables. I sell almost everything I find. I'm just starting to blog about it if you check out my post linked above about the TV I found as an example. I sold one of those parts last night for $73.99 revenue, minus fees and taxes.

Great to hear that you're able to save those types of things where you're based. Every bit adds up.

Great Post BROTHER...
I Like.. 😊
I'm beginner in steemit...
I hope u hepl me & follow me too...
Thank brother... 😊

This is a Brilliant Concept! And Something I'm Not Doing to it's Full Potential. Maybe I'm Too Greedy and Want to Keep all My Cool Finds for Myself :P Upcycling and Repurposing is a Major Hobby for Me also So It Would Be Even Better to Get Paid for What Doesn't Feel Like Work :)

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Absolutely. After being glued to a corporate desk, this hasn't ever felt like work. It's easy on the mind and great exercise. I occasionally keep something if it's truly useful, or a brand new item bought for nothing to give as a gift, but I try to stay emotionally unattached. Give it a try once a month and see what you're capable of doing. Either way, you'll learn and invest in your happiness in the process.

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I Think I'm Going to Take your Advice @steemmatt I Hope You Enjoy My Upcoming Creations! :)

Nice finds! I now have a job where I get paid to drive around so I'm going to start trying to find some nice stuff people are throwing out. So far I've only picked up free building materials, but there's quite a bit of other interesting stuff too. Unfortunately, I don't always have room in my truck when I see it.

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Good luck to you! A truck would be a dream. I do most of my curb picks with my bare hands walking around, carrying stuff back and forth to my apartment if it's too much. I try to take the smaller stuff to be easy on space and for easier/cheaper shipping. I do take some larger things back, but usually break them out into parts (will show more of this in future posts). Some larger things have been massive flat screen TVs that are too heavy to carry or even these commercial floor cleaners below!

I sold these for $615 (freight shipped) and $450 cash & carry after taking them home in a large cab and lugging them up 4 flights of stairs. Worth it for the $8 cab and free inventory.

They weighed roughly 125 and 100 lbs each, so I saved that mass from the landfill since they were put out on a non-recycling night. On top of that, the cab driver was inspired by what I was doing so I helped him take a large heavy folding table into the back of the cab for himself... probably another 75 lbs!!

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If you see something bigger, just take a picture of the product label and grab any parts off of it that might have resale value. That way you're still helping the environment and yourself, while not overcommitting on space.

For example, if you found these floor cleaners, you could've taken the water and solution tanks from each, and the one extension cord. The cord could've easily gotten $50. The tanks perhaps $50 each x4. Hope this helps!

Clever man! My question is - how do you sift through all the shit to find something that you think might be valuable?! I mean I get it's easy enough to value it once you've done that using the likes of google or ebay...

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For thrifting, I frequent the same 15-20 stores, so I get used to the feel of their inventory and have a semi-photographic memory of the stuff that sits on the shelves to ignore it when I revisit. After you go often enough, you get the hang of identifying what's of high quality, rarity or high value through a sharper eye, memory, and developed instincts. I try not to dig too much and simply flow through the store for what my radar can spot before moving on to the next place. I'm sure I miss some stuff, but I'd rather be efficient. There are also peak times that stores put new stuff out, so I try to go around then. I even ask managers or employees what the forecast is and what day I should come back. Every little bit of dialogue and research helps me be the most efficient with my time.

Digging around in a thin store for an extra 30 minutes to find $75 isn't worth the lost time in checking out 4 more stores and staying ahead of the competition. You kind of self-regulate once you see someone grab a $1,000 item right in front of you as you walk in the store that was yours if you'd gotten there a minute before.

For recycling hunts, most stuff is highly visible on top of piles or standing alone, or in clear plastic bags to see from the outside. Since I'm virtually doing this all by myself at night, I can take my time to look up the things that catch my eye casually. However, I tend to see a lot of the same types of things and have developed a memory bank of what I want to bring back to sell.

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Nothin' like being a thrifty bugger, writing about how goddam thrifty you are and making a cool 130 dollars (roughly after deductions), I applaud you sir!

Thanks for taking the time to give such a detailed reply too. I need to get my arse in gear and find me some thrift. I'm in Barcelona though, not the best place, but there are still opportunities!

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I was just in Barcelona this Spring. Had a great time there wandering around aimlessly for 5 days as planned. Spent a bit too much time in the casino though!

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Oh no...I didn't know there was a casino here (I avoided asking anyone for this exact reason).

Must not get drunk and find said casino

I am really happy theres still people interested in nostalgia items such as psone titles or vintage figures... I look forward to see more of you! Upvoted, resteemed and followed :)

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I've found hundreds of games spanning across any system you could imagine. That's actually the most tempting thing for me to keep. I have all types of game systems for testing the games, and sometimes test them a little too much.

I've even found complete game systems in the recycling, such as a full PS2 setup with games, a full xBox One setup with all types of accessories, and a mint condition Nvidia Shield with the plastic wrapping still on it (sold that for $150 without the remote after testing it with the phone app)! Not to mention stacks of games from time to time.

It's sad that people don't donate these to a good cause instead of putting them in the recycling bins, but I scoop us as much as I can.

Great post and lots of great finds for 1 hour of shopping! I find brand name clothing, shoes and purses at thrift stores, take attractive photos and resell online for a profit. It’s fun to hunt out deals and make money in exchange!

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Thanks. You're right, pictures sell.

I avoid clothing/handbags at all costs because it's too hard for me to authenticate, and there are so many risks for it having been damaged or altered where I didn't notice to generate returns. Then there are sizing issues, not the color they expected, etc.. I could learn, but not now. I do have a vintage mink fur coat that I'm clueless on how to sell, so I may list it for the repurposing of the fur instead of the jacket itself to avoid drama. More power to you for that patience. It's just not my area, so more for you!!

I did buy 36 pairs of brand new Tory Burch patent leather thong sandals in their boxes at once and wish I didn't. I sold most of them, but never again!!!

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Clothing can definitely be tricky! Even though I’ve made some decent money, I’m actually thinking of taking a break and focusing on something else that will make more for the amount of effort.

I use an app called Poshmark. Even though they charge a 20% fee, the shipping is free and there are no returns. It is almost like a social media platform like Instagram... but for selling clothes.

Anyway, thanks again for the fun post! I love thrifting, whether it is to resell or just for personal use.

Congratulations @steemmatt!
Your post was mentioned in the hit parade in the following category:

  • Pending payout - Ranked 8 with $ 175.43

muy buen proyecto me gusto mucho tu post tiene muchas cosas interesante encantado de seguirte @steemmatt

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Muchas gracias, @diegoaraujo. Sus palabras amables son muy apreciadas.

very good deal on the Adobe Pro. The other day I dropped of some stuff at the local thrift store and the guy who worked there said that someone gave him some comic books. Online the comic books were thousands of $$ worth. Lucky guy.

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Thanks a lot. I find Adobe stuff from time to time, just not often sealed new. You should've bought the books if they were at thrift store prices.

Funny you mention that about the comic books. I just sold a set of ungraded comic books from the 1940s -1950s (one first issue) as a consignment deal for a family friend for 55% of the sales. They pulled in just under in that ballpark, so I know what you mean. My dream is to find a box of old baseball cards. No luck yet, but I will!!

Up voted and resteemed. It's nice to meet someone with similar thoughts to my own. I shall follow you with interest and hopefully learn a bit along the way. Recycling is my passion too. Thank you.

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Thanks for your kind words and support. Helping the environment becomes more impactful as more of us get involved. Please do keep in touch.

Thrift stores are very big over here in Japan. They even have a chain called Hard Off, with branches like Book Off etc. They have a huge selection of used clothes but actually will see everything you will bring them. Unfortunately they will only pay you some little dimes and sell your stuff back for some good dollars (or yens).
A friend of mind just became the manager of the new shop in Honolulu

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Thanks for sharing. Unless I'm reading that wrong, it sounds like people get paid a little for donating items. In the US, we donate the items for free and get a tax writeoff on them instead.

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Well it's not donating. People sell stuff they don't need, it has nothing to do with charity it is all business. I think even big business

Very cool blog topic. Nice to see something out of the ordinary.

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Thanks for the compliment. Check out my other recently added 7 Finds link in the post above for some other examples.

Very interesting. I'm glad you are able to do this and make a living.

I upvoted and followed, this is something I have wanted to try for a long time. I have flipped a few record albums and enjoyed it.

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Thank you. The more you do it, the more proficient you get and profitable it becomes. Give it a try once a week or a few times a month. It can't hurt and you could easily find stuff for yourself worst case.

Thanks for sharing your finds! I also go thifting and I enjoy finding things that are vintage and can make a profit! Cool finds! The adobe is sure to sell! Check out my post

Wow! What a great haul.

For many this is a means for ‘passive income;’ and for others a ‘hobby.’

For tax purposes, I’m presuming most people report these endeavors under the category of hobbies.

Btw, I love the bobble-head Snoopy.

Thanks for sharing!

Peace.

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Thanks for sharing your thoughts. FYI, when you reach a certain volume on PayPal, you're automatically reported to the gov't. Many hobbyists likely don't cross that threshold to be mandated to file as such. Hmm... perhaps the Snoopy can be yours for some SBD! I also have a Charlie Brown baseball bobble eagerly waiting its rightful owner!

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You are indeed quite the salesperson! If I bought the Snoopy, I'd spend too much time watching his head bobble...lol...

This sparks a new idea...ebay for crypto...you can initiate it...It's too huge a thought for my interest ;+)....

I expect if Smart Tokens takes off there will be little Etsy and Ebay shops all over the Steemit platform.

Thank-you so much for the Pay Pal FYI!

You're right, for most people it's a productive hobby; and, certainly beats sitting around scrolling through Facebook posts by the second.

Again, thanks for sharing!

Peace.

Nice and Awesome Posts Keep Posting in Steemit @steemit and Make it Bigger than twitter,reddit and even from Facebook.If You Believe steemit will break their reputation one day than follow me I will follow back thanks @hakeemshah96

Steemmatt...I love this post. I have been doing this for fun for years now. I once found a flocked hair naked GI Joe from 1965 i believe which I bought at a rummage sale for $6 and I sold it on eBay for $45. You definitely have to know what people are looking for and have the ability to look items up quickly especially when you are cruising Goodwills! :-)

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I love to see people's success stories. Great work! I don't have a lot of garage sales where I am in a city, but I wish I could get to them since you can find some real gems there from sellers who often don't really know what they have. Goodwills are great places to peruse often.