Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Buying Storage Units at Auction and getting RICH!

So, we decided that garage saleing was buying one item at a time was too tedious so we now just buy junk by the garage-full! We visited several auctions and purchased our first unit, cleaned it out and made about twice what we paid for the unit. Yay!

We can do this, we said. So we bought a couple more and even sold a tanning bed that boosted our confidence level but didn't really find anything we wanted to add to our collection. Craigslist made for fast selling and fast profit. Then we went to an auction on a nice toasty day and I found a unit that spoke to me. I gave my husband the NOD and yet, he did not bid. So I just bid. And bid it up to $375. I WON! So we went to a couple more units and lost interest and decided to go back to the unit and check it out. My Mom's husband reached in a box and pulled out a white piece and commented it was the heaviest Styrofoam he had ever seen and started to toss it aside. My husband gasped and said, that's a space shuttle tile.

Yep, the unit is full of NASA. Not a whole shuttle contrary to my 7 year old sons belief. But we unloaded box after box of models of airplanes, vintage NASA photos, 40 boxes of manuals and various papers regarding NASA history. We have opened an Ebay store and been selling NASA one piece at a time for three months now. Every time and auction ends we sa to ourselves. That's the wow factor! Some of the more memorable items we have sold thus far is the Apollo 11 flight plan, and an Earthrise photo. We have quite a following now and I'll be sad when it's all gone honestly even if I'll have my living room back.

$25,000 later... I'm pretty sure the next time I tell hubby to buy a unit, he's going to buy it!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Buying Stuff at auction and reselling it!

One Sunday at our favorite (only) local auction house we bid on a lot full of old papers. I was attracted to the vintage Christmas cards in the lot but he saw potential for the whole kit and caboodle. We won it for $15. After going through many thousands of newspaper clippings, letters, diaries and greeting cards, we came upon an envelope of 8 crisp series E war bonds with the original pay-stub. After researching we discovered the $10 bonds were issued only to U.S. servicemen during WWII as final payment for their service making them scarce. Unfortunately, the only way to cash them in is to prove that you inherited them. So, we listed one on eBay. It sold for over $80. It turns out that a pristine uncirculated $10 bond is very rare. Eventually, we sold the other 7 bonds for $75 each, for a total of $625, much better than their mature value of $10 each. Trying to sell them as lot on eBay was unsuccessful because each collector wanted one to finish their collection, not a full set.
Summary: Paid $15, Spent $0, Sold for $705. Total profit from bonds- $690
Lesson learned: Buy old papers when you can. They sell for little and you never know what treasure they could hold. We'll cover the other things we sold from the lot in a future post.