Since my boys are off school for Thanksgiving week, I asked if they wanted to go to the Flea Market yesterday and one of my boys went with me.
(the junkier, the better!)
I love sorting through boxes of old stuff and finding things that I have either never seen before or things that I had forgotten existed!
And the real fun is in finding cool old items that I can make money with – taking home some prizes that I can research on eBay or Amazon and resell for high profits.
I may be a little odd, but that’s what I grew up doing and it’s like therapy to me!
There is something inherently exciting about being able to buy something today, pop it up on eBay and see your profit within 7 days – or sooner!
In the old days, when I used to buy things at the swap meet, I would have to wait til the next week to try to sell the items I bought. And, while buying things at a flea market to resell (by itself) is not going to make anyone rich, today with eBay, the profit comes a lot quicker!
Here are some of the items I bought yesterday – what I paid for them and what I expect to get for them based on my initial eBay research.
They are all still in their original shrinkwrap and in the original shipping box for only $8!
That’s what I call FUN! (and a 1,775% profit, too)
Another thing we bought was a stack of 36 Star Trek and Star Wars “Giant Poster Books”.
These were published in 1977 and are actually a giant poster that was folded into a booklet that had all kinds of fun facts and photos.
They are selling on eBay for about $7 each.
So, these 36 (at $7 each) makes $252.
Again, we won’t get rich on this, but I just love turning $30 into $252!
That’s a 740% profit!
In this case, I bought 2 “font” CDs with 10,000 fonts and 2 CDs with a “VIP” Gameboy game (still shrinkwrapped) for $8.
I figured I would buy a few and go to the next aisle and bar-code scan them to see what they were worth. This would tell me whether I should go back and buy the rest.
When I got home, my research showed that the 10,000 Font CDs are selling for $19 and the VIP games are selling for $14.40. (on Amazon.com – and I promptly listed them there)
So on these 4 items, the total made will be $66.80 and the amount paid was only $8.
That’s a 735% profit on these little gems!
So, let’s add this up – it was a particularly fun and profitable day at the flea market…
Total spent on these items: $46
Total to be made on these items: $468.80
Total profit: 919%!
By the way, the most profitable item we bought was the Tony Robbins stuff and we would never have found it if we hadn’t gone back to some of the first aisles we walked through. We walked through these aisles for a second time and there it was!
You see, one of the earliest strategies I learned – back when I was a kid – was that a Flea Market is in a “blossoming” stage all morning long.
In other words, the things you see in an aisle at 7:30 am will be different than the things you see in that same aisle at 8:00 am and again at 8:30 and at 9:00 am.
This is because the sellers are putting their goodies out all morning. When we went back through those aisles a second time, I was impressed (all over again) with how many new things we saw and how different some of the stands were.
They were fuller, they had more items and some of them had canopies overhead.
It was on this second trip that I picked up the Tony Robbins box for $8. This made an already good day into an epic, fun and profitable day!
Like I said, I don’t expect that anyone could get rich buying at flea markets, this is more of a fun hobby I wanted to share.
The eBay strategies I teach in my eBay systems are far more sophisticated and far more profitable but for me, going to a flea market is just plain fun!
You can learn about my brand new eBay video training here.
It’s a great way to capture their attention and let them know that the world has dramatically changed from the “Yellow Pages” days.
However, I just ran across an article that pointed to more current research that says 97% of consumers now use the Internet to research / find a local business prior to visiting it!
Nearly all consumers (97 percent) now use online media when researching products or services in their local area, according to BIA/Kelsey’s User View Wave VII, an ongoing consumer tracking study conducted with research partner ConStat. Among consumers surveyed, 90 percent use search engines, 48 percent use Internet Yellow Pages, 24 percent use vertical sites, and 42 percent use comparison shopping sites.
“The Internet has indeed become an integral part of consumers’ local commercial activity,” said Steve Marshall, director of research, BIA/Kelsey. “The data suggest we’re at an inflection point where the balance of power in local shopping is shifting to online.”
According to the study, on average, consumers are using 7.9 different media sources when shopping for products or services in their local area, up from 6.5 sources in 2009 and 5.8 in 2008, revealing a noteworthy increase in audience fragmentation. Additional findings include:
- 58 percent of respondents report using an online coupon when shopping for products or services in their local area in the past year.
- 19 percent of respondents report making an appointment online in the past six months for a service other than a restaurant reservation (e.g., business appointment, health-care appointment, auto service or personal service such as a beauty shop).
Get the full article by clicking here.
By the way, my team and I know how to get those customers finding YOUR LOCAL BUSINESS. Visit www.MarketMyLocalBiz.com for details!
I’ve checked it out and, though I disagree with the term “advanced” to describe the techniques inside, I do recommend it as a way to learn eBay’s “Best Practices” and how to be an eBay seller who is in compliance with eBay’s guidelines.
The best part for me was the “Quick Links To eBay Resources” and “Powerseller Resources” which is a handy guide to resources on eBay.
Check it out by CLICKING HERE.
The new show Auction Hunters debuted on Spike TV on Tuesday.
The show follows two Auction Hunters, Allen and “Ton” through their adventures in buying storage units at auction. (Most state laws require that the contents of abandoned storage units be auctioned off – usually according to State lien sale laws)
I’ve been teaching about (and buying) storage auctions for about 11 years, so it was a lot of fun to see this modern-day treasure hunting technique explained and showcased.
(Most of the people who buy storage auctions for a living are not happy about this show. The storage auction “buyers community” is a tight-knit group and they do not like competition – or new blood coming in to possibly “steal” their units)
In this debut episode, the auction hunters end up going to a Los Angeles storage unit auction that is indoors.
Allen says that, when items are stored in a “climate-controlled” facility it means that the people cared more for their items than if they were stored in a traditional outdoor facility.
One of the units being auctioned had its items all shrink-wrapped. Allen said that this could mean those items were professionally moved and if the people paid for professional movers, then the stuff could be good.
The other comment was “Shrink wrapped items are WORTH being shrink wrapped”.
So the pair begin to strategize about how much they are willing to pay. The key, they say, is to determine your top price and never veer from that.
When I go to storage auctions, I do the same thing. I size up the value of the items that I CAN see and divide that dollar number in half.
I don’t ever go above that number (since you can really only bid on what you can see, anything else is pure speculation) and the bottom line is, this should never be seen as gambling… it’s a business.
At this Los Angeles location, the Auction Hunters spot 8 heavy duty sewing machines which they estimate to be worth about $300 each. So they bid on that unit and win it at $1,150.
The shrink wrap unit ends up being theirs for $850.
In the end, they end up selling several items for a total of $5,850 (on an investment of $2,025) for a profit of $3,825.
While that’s not a bad profit, (188%) I like to aim for higher percentage profits.
How do I do it? Simple, I don’t buy as many units and I am very careful with the units I do bid on. Sometimes I will go to a whole day of storage auctions without buying a unit because they just don’t have the value that I’m looking for.
When looking at the unit, something has to grab me to make a bid or I just walk away.
The second episode of Auction Hunters (on Spike TV, Tuesdays at 10 pm PST) showed Allen and Ton driving to San Bernardino.
Once again, the show takes a fun, yet educational approach to storage unit auctions by defining some of the lingo used in storage unit auctions and again showing the cool goodies that the Auction Hunters are able to buy.
On the way to the unit, they talk about how it’s a good idea to go to storage auctions in older communities because it increases the chances of landing some older things.
Another good point is made when a room is opened up and the items are neatly stacked and cleanly positioned in the unit. Allen says that these units show more promise because the people took great care in placing the items in the unit as opposed to units that have items haphazardly “thrown in”.
In one of the units, the Auction Hunters see military bags – Khaki green bags – and see this as a clue that a military person owned the abandoned unit. The further insinuation from this clue is that military people travel and therefore there could possibly be items from around the world.
This points out one key point about sizing up storage unit auctions – you have to think like a detective and look for clues wherever you can find them – and, you have to do this in a matter of a minute or two because that’s really all the time you have to look at the unit before the bidding starts!
The “military bag unit” is purchased for $375 and the estimated value of the items in it is $825. (the items include some Morgan silver dollars, an antique “Pepperbox” gun and some antique handcuffs)
Then the guys go to the next unit which they call the “Salon unit” because it contains professional hair dryers.
In this unit, they determine that one of the bidders is a “whale” a bidder with a lot of money who will stop at nothing to win the bid. (I’ve seen this guy at some of the storage auctions I’ve attended in the L.A. area and he’s no whale, he’s just a guy who wanted the unit)
Once deciding on their highest bid, they decide to “drop the room on him”, which in storage unit lingo means bid it up high so that the “whale” spends all his money and can’t come back and bid again on another unit that day.
(I don’t really see the logic in this – the so-called whale can obviously back off whenever he feels like it)
So they go to the next unit and find a unit that no one wants to bid on.
It has only a few items in it and the items do not look like they have much value, but on a hunch, Allen decides to bid $1 and gets it.
They end up turning $1 into $365 because there are some old Lionel Trains and a Christmas tree in there that add up to some decent money.
This show is a lot of fun to watch and goes to show that, if you do it right, storage unit auctions can be a good way to make some money!