Sunday, April 3, 2011

Happy Anniversary!

Lots of stuff happening around here. I am still working my way through the pile of tube testers that I picked up a few weeks ago. They are selling pretty good on ebay for at least $20 each. I have been finding more fishing gear at a decent price to resell and the scrapping is coming along slowly until I can get my hands on a trailer. Without that the storage is just horrible. I will be able to handle loads of steel when I get it.

The picture is one of the tube testers that will go to auction this evening. It is one of the least operable of the batch. I also have a heathkit tube tester in a wood box that will be listed tonight.

Today marks exactly one year that I have lived here in Florida. On April 1st of last year I hopped in my truck with Wilma the dachsund and made my 3rd drive down here arriving on the 3rd. It was a LOT of work sorting through all of our stuff in order to move and to get it down here, but it was surely worth the effort. I would not trade the weather for anything and I know that I am better off without all of that "stuff".

Sunny days to all!

P.S. The oxy acetylene gauge set that I got for ten dollars went for $62 on e-bay. Pretty nice.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

I am an E-bay Power Seller

What ever that means. I think it has to do with dollar values sold for a certain number of months in a row.

Beyond that, I have not posted much so thought I would update everyone as to what is happening in my world of scrapping and resale.

It seems that garage sales are picking up again and my Saturday mornings have been pretty busy. Last weekend I picked up a pile of old tube testers for $10 each. They are not in the best shape, but I figure that I can't get hurt on them. I have 2 of them listed right now on E-bay and  they are at a combined total of $40 so far. That works for me. I will be selling them off a couple a week for the next month or so.

I also ended up with a bag full of silver plated spoons for $3. I bought them because there was one of the spoons in the bag that was stamped sterling. That spoon is setting at $10 on E-bay right now and will end tonight. The rest of the plated spoons will go into my small hoard of plated items that I will eventually strip the plating from. Just a little something I am studying.

There is one more item of note from last weekend's sale. I bought a box of expired diabetic test strips for $25 at a garage sale. Long story short, I found a buyer at UCLA that buys expired strips for testing on mice at the rate of $8 per 100. I was just paypal-ed $128 for my $25 investment. There are a few more smalls that will make it into my auctions eventually.

Fast forward to yesterday. Not a bad garage sale day again. I ended up with a few fishing reels that will get launched on tonight's set of auctions as well as an oxy/acetyline gauge and hose set. I bought all of the fishing stuff for $10 total (not all being auctioned tonight), and the gauge set for $10.

Here is the link to follow my sales.

Wish me luck, I have to go and put a couple more auctions together before launch tonight.

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Been scrapping

I have not posted in a while so I figured everyone was due an update.

The garage sales have been poor (nothing good, or really high prices), but I have been filling in the gaps with scrapping. I have been getting my hand on all kinds of goodies to bust apart, seperate and then claim a paycheck for. One of the best things I found were a couple of DC motors in some items that I scrapped. They were small but said Swiss made on them, so I took a chance and got $20 for them on E-bay.

If anyone remembers, I bought a Pfaff sewing machine a few months back for $10 at a garage sale. I finally got around to looking at it and found that it was seized up and would not turn. I advertised it as such, and just got $72 for it on E-bay. The buyer pays $49 shipping on top of that.

Nothing new to list on E-bay this week so I will continue to scrap and get the garage and shed emptied out of all the junk that we brought with us from Illinois. As soon as I get some real room, I can start setting up my lab for gold refining. After about 2 months of researching and reading, I have a pretty good grasp of the processes and safety involved. Wish me luck and I will try and keep everyone updated on that process as I go.


P.S. If you have any gold stuff you do not want, I will take any and all donations of gold, silver, platinum and etc... :)

Sunday, January 23, 2011

There's Gold (and silver) in Them Thar Boxes

Hidey ho there everyone. It has been a bit since a post and I figured that it is time for an update and some looking forward.

First the update. The 2 microphones and the splicer that I bought for $5 sold for a total of $65. $56 for the mics and $9 for the splicer. Very nice.

I had bought 2 deep sea fishing rod and reels for $10 each. I seperated one reel and it sold for $30.01. I still have the rod from it and the other set as well.

I got some interesting buys over the weekend. I found another deep sea fishing reel that I was able to get for just $10. I also bought a box from another sale with some big game fishing lures. 6 of them are some old wooden lures and you will see them listed in the next week or so.

The highlight of the weekend garage sales ( and the reason for the title) is a box that I bought from a sale for $20. It was filled with mostly enameled pins from various sources. There are a bunch of Elk pins, a bunch of American Motorcycle Association pins and more. There are some very nice costume jewelry sets, a mess of matched cufflinks, a sterling silver ring with a pearl, and the best item in there is a gold locket with some old pictures of a young boy and a young girl. Hence the title of this post.

I also found an old pin in there with a dog that has a paper insert from the pepsin chewing gum corp dated to 1898. Very cool. I managed to get a few of the things listed tonight and will get the rest of the box listed starting next Sunday.

Mixed in with my batch of sales is the remains of the estate of a retired jeweler/watchmaker that I am selling for a share. There are lots of good items including watchbands and such from this lot.

Here is the link to my current sales. Check out the locket, it is fantastic.

Lesson learned: Fishing stuff good, trading cards bad.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Greetings and Salutations!

Well the garage sales are back in force and I was able to hit some this past weekend. The 2 best items I got are a deep sea fishing rod and reel and a couple of vintage microphones. I bought the rod and reel for 10 dollars and since I don't want to mess with shipping a pole, I am selling the reel by itself and the rod is going into my pile of stuff that will one day make it to a flea market or Craig's list.

The two microphones I was able to pick up for $5 total. They came with a splicer as well. I got them listed on my regular Sunday night launch of 7 day auctions last night, and was quite surprised this morning to see that the microphones and the splicer already have bids on them. ($29 so far for the microphones, WOOT!!!)

Here is the link to follow my sales if you are not already following them.

On the lookout for old microphones now.

Oh, I fixed it so people can comment now. Apparently it was turned off.

Friday, December 31, 2010

What is a picker? or (there is cash in that trash)

Well, the term used today in my opinion is a boiled down cross between the terms "garbage picker" and "cherry picker".

A garbage picker is one who will remove an item from someone's trash that still has some value. This can cover most anything from scrap metal to clothing to priceless treasures. I have rescued many items of value from the garbage over my years. I was taught that waste is bad by my parents and I can not stand seeing something that someone can use go to our over flowing landfills. While I do not actively seek garbage cans or dumpsters to search through, I will most certainly stop if I see something good sticking out.

Some folks will grab most anything just for the sake of saving it and donating it to the salvation army or their local thrift store. It is good to have those types around. I can't believe that someone would throw away a bunch of perfectly good clothes when they can drop them off to be laundered and reused at the charity of their choice and even get a tax write off.

While I have yet to get any of those priceless treasures from someone's garbage or a dumpster (also known as dumpster diving), I have pulled my fair share of scrap metal from a life of being buried. With the scrap metal prices these days, it is a wonder that anyone would even think of throwing this stuff out.

Aluminum cans are not at a record price at the moment, but 60 some cents a pound right now is nothing to sneeze at. (I do remember about 2 years ago getting 80 cents, but that was a one time thing for only a couple weeks). Other aluminum is even better in price such as extruded. Copper is at an all time record high and clean copper can net a few dollars per pound. All other copper is well worth the time to handle and store. Don't pass up brass, batteries or even heavy steel while you are at it. Steel can be a pain to handle and haul, but compact heavy pieces are worth it. I pulled two engine heads out of the garbage a couple years ago that were pretty heavy and I knew that I was going to the scrap yard the next day. I got 6 dollars for them for just handling them for a couple minutes.

My latest trip to the scrap yard was just last week. Besides a truck full of cans, I had an old electric motor and 2 car batteries (17 cents a pound right now adds up real quick with heavy batteries).

Electronic scrap is an emerging market right now as well. I am just getting started in this and have a bunch to learn, but rest assured that I will fill all of you in on the ins and outs of this.

On to the term cherry picker.  Besides being an industrial tool, the term cherry picker also refers to grabbing all of the good stuff from an otherwise not so good pile of ........well, other stuff. If you have a handful of pocket change and see a wheat penny in it and pull it out, guess what?. You just cherry picked your pocket change. The same applies to me when I go to a garage sale and get there the moment that they open and I have first look at what they are selling. I grab the good stuff that is undervalued, pay for it, and I just cherry picked a garage sale.

Let's say that I stop at a garage sale and they have ten widgets on a table. I ask how much they want for them and am told $10 a piece. I look at them and realise that that is about full blown price that someone would pay for a used collectible widget so this is not a deal for me. However, I do spy one widget that sticks out. Could it be? It is the rare 1910 widget from Anywhere USA that is signed and numbered by the maker and can sell for up to a hundered dollars. I select that widget, pay for it, and am happy that I just cherry picked their widget collection.

Take all of the above, twist it all together, and you get the basic idea of what is now just called a "picker". These guys are Frank and Mike. They are the stars of the show American Pickers. While they do not show them dumpster diving, I am sure that they do not just drive past a dumpster with all kinds of goodies sticking out. In everything written about here today, knowledge is the key to being successful. the more you know about everything from scrap metal to widgets, the more successful you will become.

Don't just set there, there is good stuff being thrown away and sold at garage sales right now!

Happy picking and a happy new year!!!!!!!!!!!

P.S. Don't forget to keep an eye out for all of that silver and gold laying around everywhere. Heh ;)

Monday, December 20, 2010

Well, the year is about over

I went out this last weekend looking for as much stuff as I could get my hands on. I am pretty sure that there will be little to no garage sales for two weeks with Christmas and new year's eve falling on a Saturday. I did not find much at all. I finally said to heck with it and decided to stop at one last sale  that I saw on my way home. I ended up buying a rather large trading card collection that will take me a couple weeks to sell for sure. There are over 80,000 trading cards in this lot and it came with a big 2 door stand-up cabinet. I am not sure that I will make much if any money on this lot, but it will keep me busy during the two weeks with no sales. I was able to pick these up for just over 1/4 cent per card and am hoping to get 1/2 cent per card when all is done. The cost of shipping may be my down fall with this lot. I think I will look around the local auction houses to see if there is an auction that deals with this type of item before going through the headache and possible dissapointment of listing them on E-bay.

This week on E-bay my pickings are slim. There are mostly some items that did not get bids that I relisted at reduced starting costs to blow out some inventory toward the end of the year, so do not expect to see much new and exciting when checking out my sales this week.

There was a bright shining star in my sales that ended last night on E-bay. I had bought 5 small picture frames at an estate sale (same sale as the Pfaff sewing machine) for $2 total. 3 of them looked fairly old and 2 of them looked to be newer. They ended at a final price of $61 for all 5 of them. The picture shows the older three at the top and those have curved (convex) glass in them. I am wondering if the final price is due to the frames, or possibly the pictures that are in them. I am leaning to the frames on this one.

During my research to list these, I noticed that there are an awful lot of picture frames that bring some decent money at auction. Based on what I saw as completed sales on e-bay I have a pretty good grasp of which types will bring $10 or more, and will now be on the look out for picture frames in my daily picking. Yet another item that I am now "in the know" about. Knowledge is key in this business, and even if I have a bad deal, I will learn from that.

Lesson learned: Quit passing up all of those picture frames and take a better look at them, especially the ornate and vintage ones.