Thursday, April 15, 2010

Lessons Learned from My First Attempt at the $20 Challenge (well, $40 Challenge for me...since the first $20 didn't really work...)

Winnie the Pooh Book Set- 10 adorable hardback miniature books for $10! Just one of the items I've listed on Craigslist today.

So I mentioned in my last post that I was venturing to try something kind of like the $20 Challenge, and today I thought I'd tell you little bit more about my goals and my plan.

This summer, we will be going to Florida with my husband's family. They have a timeshare with the Marriott resort in Orlando, and they invited us to come along. They go every year and they always drive; we have gone with them once before and we drove also. It was not fun. Well, the vacation was fun, but the driving was NOT! I felt like it took me two days just to recover from the drive, then I dreaded the drive home, then after we got home I felt like I needed another week just to recouperate from my vacation! Needless to say, it takes something out of the vacation for me.

So this year I suggested to my husband that we fly. He was appalled and aghast at the cost (with the plane tickets plus the cost of the rental car we'd need when we got there it's somewhere in the neighborhood of $800). I can't blame him- it's a lot of money. But I want to ENJOY my vacation! I'm frugal by nature, but there are certain things that I am perfectly fine spending money on because I feel that my sanity is worth more to me than the money. So as far as I'm concerned, $800 is a bargain.

Well, we finally reached a consensus. If I could earn the money to get us there and do it outside of our regular family budget, then he would concede. He still won't like it, but he'll concede. And so my little brain began to work on moneymaking schemes.

To be honest, I haven't gotten especially creative, but this is what I've decided to do: I will utilize the Goodwill Outlet near my house to purchase items in good condition and then resell them for more than I paid, thus turning a tidy profit. This takes some doing, as the Goodwill Outlet is filled with a lot of, shall we say, crap. (sorry, but it really is) However, on my first trip I managed to spend $15 and find several items that I felt were worthy of resale.

I brought them home, took photos, and listed them on Craigslist. Well, I currently have a $3 return on my $15 investment. Surprisingly, the one item that sold was one that I had gotten fairly creative in putting together- I went through the book section and found 5 classic childrens' books to sell together as a set (Goodnight Moon, the Cat in the Hat, etc.). I had several people interested in them, so I know that is something that's in popular demand. What I also learned was that the other items- random toys, mostly aimed toward the toddler set- must be more complete in order to sell. What do I mean by that? Well, I tried to sell two Aquadoodle pads, but without the markers to go with them, no interest. Likewise, I tried to sell several Fisher Price Little People playsets, but without the Little People figurines with them, no luck.

So, with some lessons learned I returned today and I hit the jackpot! I found several good quality items that were still in the brand-new plastic packaging, along with entire complete book sets (books in a series) and more! New sells much better than used, and when things are in sets it gives the illusion that they are more new than if they are just pieces of the original. I came right home and immediately photographed everything and put it on I am just waiting. Watching and waiting. Waiting and watching. Hoping the money will come in.

I spent $17 total today, so right now I am out $29. If all of the items I post today end up selling, I should get a total of $56. Not too bad for a few hours of work, but it's going to take a lot of Goodwill trips to make what I'll need to get us to Florida! I'll keep you posted on my progress.

By the way, I am also going through stuff I already have and looking for items that might bring in some cash, like an old technical pen set from college that I'm selling on ebay. Every little bit helps!!

Have you found success in any moneymaking ventures? Leave a comment and let me know! I need all the help I can get!

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a good challenge! Best of luck. I often plan to resell stuff, but somehow never get around to it. Hats of to you for doing it. Let us know how it goes!


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