Something From Nothing Log

What skills to learn, what tools to get
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Ego
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by Ego »

Tenant left a sofa & microwave to be trashed. Mrs. Ego snapped photos and listed them on Offerup. Sold the sofa within 3 hours for $60.

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I bought this thing a few weeks ago at the swap meet for $10. Sold it today for $155 to a guy with a smelly office. Ozone kills odors.

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Mrs. Ego just now got a message for the microwave.

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Ego
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by Ego »

Mrs. Ego sold the microwave for $35 to an interesting character....

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Ego
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by Ego »

Over the weekend Mrs. Ego found a portable A/C situated between two trash cans. I took it to the basement and tested it. The plug has a built in GFI that was tripped. I reset it. Works perfectly. They are still sold. $259. The exhaust hose was not attached. The woman who cleans the building always digs through the trash looking for recyclables. She just arrived. Mrs. Ego asked her to watch for the hose while she is digging.

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Frita
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by Frita »

Dang, Ego, this is inspirational! Since the uni is closed until the end of August here, plenty of things are out by the dumpsters. Perhaps I need to pay closer attention and not assume they’d be on Freecycle or on the curb if still of value.

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Ego
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by Ego »

Thanks Frita! I hope you find good stuff at the uni.

Our cleaner found the vent. She also sent Mrs. Ego a text saying she had the most lucrative day ever picking recycling from our bins, $22. People here are drinking like fish. Alone. Not good.

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davtheram12
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by davtheram12 »

@Ego

Im super envious of you Ego! Those are some great sales and finds. My DW was not happy with me the last time I brought something home from my weekly trash hunting excursions. Granted she is a nurse and has been seeing some really tragic things at the hospital because of Covid-19. I suppose I'll just have to vicariously live through your successes until this whole things blows over :lol:

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Ego
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by Ego »

Thanks @davtheram12! We've got another move out this weekend so I expect some good stuff.

I used the tank bike and trailer (purchased using Something From Nothing funds) for shopping this morning and to pickup a box from one of the guys I buy inventory from for my ebay store. I scheduled a meeting for Monday with another. They are both struggling but are getting stuff to resell.

Last month was the best month ever - by far - for my ebay store and the total revenue for the past 90 days surpassed most of my previous annual totals. I was extremely lucky to shift the focus of the store.

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Ego
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by Ego »

Tenants leaving tomorrow for a cross country move. None of the normal charities will pick up their unwanted year-old Ikea furniture and they were afraid to do the craigslist thing so we told them to leave it in the apartment and we'd take care of it for them. :D

Earlier this week I met one of my normal suppliers who is struggling with too much inventory and a lack of storage so he sold me a pallet of merchandise for $300. I've listed most of it already on ebay and sold enough to cover the cost of the purchase within 12 hours of listing.
The total value once sold will be between $9-10K.

The auction he normally buys from is supposed to be closed. They've got contracts with big retailers to take overstocks and returns, so they've got to get rid of merchandise to make room for the inundation they are experiencing because Covid changed what people want to buy. Not many returns but tons of overstock. When stores reshuffle, the auction gets the goods. My friend is buying it for cash from the loading dock with no auction. He said he'd have a pallet a week for me for a while. Mrs. Ego did a good job of organizing it in the basement in numbered storage containers, making it easy to pick and ship.

theanimal
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by theanimal »

Wow, well done! You are making out like a bandit ;). What type of merchandise did he sell you? Each pallet is 9-10k worth of goods resold?!?

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Ego
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by Ego »

@theanimal, it's funny but this one was pure luck. I just happened to ask for his phone number a few months ago so I could remind him to bring a box of health and beauty items he had promised but forgotten to the bring to the swap meet. Normally he sells groceries, chips, sodas and condiments so the makeup and anti-aging creams didn't really fit in his stall. Now he is getting at least a pallet a week and his non swap-meet buyers (food trucks and small restaurant owners) are not at all interested. High end cosmetics, anti-aging lotions and really anything in heath & beauty sells for a lot and is cheap to ship so ideal for ebay. That said, there were a few boxes of absurdly expensive candles (retail $38 each, who buys a candle for that much!?) but they weigh a ton so I think I'm going to sell them at the swap meet when it reopens.

Mrs. Ego frequently jokes that she's got so many anti-aging products she should look like a teenager.

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C40
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by C40 »

wowwww. Seems like you've gotten yourself into a a very lucrative job. Very impressive and inspiring

And. as crazy as it might sound, these products are very important to some people. My grandma was all stressed out about not being able to go get her hair done. She almost asked/convinced her niece who is a hairdresser to drive 2 hours each way to do her hair.
Last edited by C40 on Thu Apr 23, 2020 11:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

classical_Liberal
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by classical_Liberal »

@ego
You're basically doing what the Koch Bros are probably doing with oil right now. Basically getting paid to take surplus supplies out of people hands. Since you have a partially active distribution network (ebay) and one that'll be ready to come back online shortly, you'll make a killing!

It seems to me this model could be replicated by others in a variety of ways right now. Maybe I should get into the discontinued deodorant biz? :)

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Ego
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by Ego »

Thank guys. @C40, I've been selling tons of hair dye. Wish I could get my hands on more. @cL yeah, I am surprised by how much/quickly the system has been disrupted and how it has been unable to adapt to the closures. I've come to realize that one of the things I want to do going forward is cultivate more friendships with those who are good at circumventing stupid rules. I believe creative rule-breaking is a vital skill in thriving during "emergencies" like this.

The tenant left only one cabinet but it is one of the expensive Ikea pieces (I believe this goes for $399 new). Listed on Craigslist for $95.

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Gilberto de Piento
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by Gilberto de Piento »

I've had a good haul of free curb finds this week. I got a good size vise, a 1970s road bike, two saw horses and three tomato cages. All from separate houses. The tomato cages and saw horses will be useful. The vise will replace a smaller one I already have.

I already gave away the bike on Craigslist. I was going to sell it but it had a variety of problems and the value was too low to be worth the hassle in the time of coronavirus. I've got to stay focused on the big picture and not $20 bikes.

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Ego
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by Ego »

Ego wrote:
Sat Apr 25, 2020 1:55 pm
The tenant left only one cabinet but it is one of the expensive Ikea pieces (I believe this goes for $399 new). Listed on Craigslist for $95.
We sold the Ikea piece yesterday to a woman who was afraid to come on her own so she hired a guy with a truck who paid cash and hauled it away.

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Ego
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by Ego »

The Salvation Army has been taking donations recently and a few days ago they re-opened their auction. Today I rode past on my regular bike ride and there waiting in line in front of the auction were four of my regular suppliers. I gave them my phone number and told them to let me know if they find anything interesting. The auction security guard and I are friends. He confided that they are not even bothering to sort out the good stuff. They just dump it in giant rolling bins. Most are selling for $5-15. If I had a truck and more storage space...

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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by jacob »

The guys we bought our sofa from was running their business out of a bunch of public storage units. I think they had 3 or 4. Perhaps that's a way to scale up? It's also very easy to scale down again that way. Bike trailers come big enough to haul a fridge as long as you're not going [too much] downhill.

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Ego
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by Ego »

Yeah, I've considered it. Truth be told, I am debating the pluses and minuses of selling on a larger scale. Ideally I'd get only the in-demand items I can markup significantly. If I go large scale I'd get a lot of crap I'd have to haul around to sell at the swap meet. Since my supplier friends have been accumulating things for a while now from garage sales and curbside, I believe I am going to have a windfall of the good stuff when the swap meet reopens. I'm not sure if I will have more or less competition since some of my previous competitors don't have any money due to the closure but other newly unemployed people may be entering the market. Also, the price of used vans has not gone down as expected. At least not yet. Time will tell.

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Ego
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by Ego »

Sold a Blendtec with 1670 cycles on it. I can't remember what I paid for it but it wasn't much. I had it listed for a few months. The guy who bought it burned his old one out with all the unexpected cooking he is doing.

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Mrs. Ego just finished calculating our expenses for April. $611.00 or $305.50 per person.

I've got someone coming tonight to buy a pair of crampons for $55.

mooretrees
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by mooretrees »

I haven't read this whole thread, but I think from the last few pages it needs to be renamed "Ego's something from nothing log."

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