Something From Nothing Log

What skills to learn, what tools to get
davtheram12
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by davtheram12 »

Went on a walk today with my mother in law. We came across someone's front lawn filled with random stuff. Half was listed as FREE items and the other half was filled with reasonably priced items. It wasn't necessarily a yard sale but the homeowner was just unloaded his garage crap.

I took at least 10 Hawaiian style button up shirts, a kids Burton snowboard + bindings, a Weight Watchers scale, and an empty medical grade oxygen tank + 4 sealed nasal cannula packages. Already have someone willing to buy the snowboard for $55 on OfferUp, gave the Hawaiian shirts to my uncle-in law, and gave the scale to my wife's grandmother. It was a nice day :P

ertyu
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by ertyu »

Not as fruitful as dtr above, but i found 3 mugs at the dumpster today. nice.

davtheram12
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by davtheram12 »

ertyu wrote:
Sun Apr 04, 2021 10:03 am
Not as fruitful as dtr above, but i found 3 mugs at the dumpster today. nice.
I love finding free mugs! My DW has a fascination for them so you likely scored items that would make someone ecstatic. I know she would be pleased.

davtheram12
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by davtheram12 »

Sold four items this past week, three of which sold within 24 hours of finding them during a walk. Sold a medical grade oxygen tank with new nasal cannula tubes ($50), a vintage SILCA Italian bike pump ($25), a kids Burton snowboard + Burton bindings ($55), and a SHOEI motorcycle helmet ($50). I used the proceeds to upgrade my cellphone. Current cellphone is still useable but will occasionally bug out. Glad I was able to use trash finds to fund the purchase :D

Stasher
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by Stasher »

I sold an older synthetic sleeping bag ($125) and an older inflatable backpacking sleep pad ($95) to cover the cost of a new inflatable pad that is half the wight and twice as warm ($210). My backpacking gear is my number one investment in physical & mental health so to upgrade to get to the next level of ultralight and comfort that is a win for me. I am working hard on clearing through my mountaineering/backpacking gear to have ONLY what I truly use and sell the rest, much like we do for our daily lives in the pursuit of ERE goals.

davtheram12
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by davtheram12 »

Had a great day of selling more trash. Scheduled with two buyers yesterday morning. The first buyer bought a pair of ANHU hiking shoes and a set of 10lb olympic bumper plates. Met him at the whole foods grocery store and sold those items to him for $55. I had about 30 minutes before I needed to meet the next buyer so I decided to walk back to my apartment through the alleyway. Came across a blue 50 gallon rubbermaid recycle trash can in like-new condition. Someone taped a printed note stating "free to take" so I took it. Rolled it back to my apartment, took some photos and listed it for $25. At that point I needed to walk back to Whole Foods to meet the next buyer. Upon arrival I and find out he was going to be late. Fair enough with LA traffic.

I decided to go for a walk in the neighborhood to knock out some light cardio. Within minutes I came across a new Velodyne MiniVee subwoofer in the original box. Msrp sold listings were priced at $700 so I conservatively listed this unit for $200 on OfferUp. Eventually met up with the second buyer and sold a medical grade body fat caliper to him for $30. I started heading back to my apartment and the previously listed recycle trashcan already had an interested buyer. She came within minutes of messaging me and picked it up.

Later that same day I lined up another meeting with a fourth buyer for the subwoofer. Sold it to him for $180. So $290 in sales. Definitely my largest day in sales and quickest turnaround time for a listed item. I know I'm cutting into profit margins since I'm listing things so inexpensively but I can't beat 100% profits in things I find. It may be time to start listing things on ebay :P

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Ego
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by Ego »

In the original box! Nice! You live in a very fruitful neighborhood.

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Ego
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by Ego »

A few months ago I bought an unframed old painting for $5 (practically nothing) at the swap meet. I tried to decipher the signature using the free online resources and showed it to my art friend. The signature and style looked similar to a moderately famous 19th century painter but there was one letter that looked different. Together we came to the lukewarm conclusion that it was not the famous painter so I put it in the pile in the basement destined for resale at the swap meet. Then a few weeks ago I found a perfect matching frame for $5 at the swap meet. Painting and frame together made it very nice so I listed it on craigslist. Another friend saw my listing and spent a few hours on one of the paid art research sites to which she subscribes. She sent me signature samples from the site showing that it was indeed the famous artist.

Today I submitted it to Christie's.

ETA, I also submitted the Italian table to Sotheby's.

ertyu
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by ertyu »

Found at the dumpster: handwoven, 100% wool bed cover with handmade lace around edges, white and natural yellow wool stripes. Stinky, old piss stain (likely an old incontinent person - the bed cover is old, fully hand made, traditional craft).

Washed, treated piss stain with all things imaginable, got it out. Things that worked well: soaking with white vinegar followed by hydrogen peroxide in the sun. Things that were suggested by the internet but did not work: baking soda. Now have 100% handcrafted, 100% woolen bed cover that can double as a throw blanket. I don't blame the original owner for throwing it out. The piss stain, being old and stinky, took more than 3 hours to take out. Plus, someone responsible for an incontinent old person, the exhaustion and disgust is probably in their bones. But I do love it and I'm glad I could save it.

davtheram12
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by davtheram12 »

Ego wrote:
Sun Apr 11, 2021 3:10 pm
In the original box! Nice! You live in a very fruitful neighborhood.
Fruitful and wasteful. Ive grown somewhat used to it but still find myself surprised. My DW and I were heading back from my dad's home just this past Sunday night when we both noticed something in our alleyway. Turned out to be a Honeywell portable AC unit in near mint condition. It had all the vent and window pieces with it. Carted it back to our apartment, plugged it in and had it blasting 54° air within seconds. Perfect timing too since my brother in-law will be visiting in June. Poor guy was struggling last visit with the heat wave we experienced. Without AC in my apartment he went from a 65° weather to 95° weather and felt the consequences. At least this time around I'll be able to install this AC unit so I can give him a little relief :lol:

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Ego
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by Ego »

BTW, the reason for my sudden interest in Christies and Sotheby's. I've known Roger for years. He lives in SoCal in the winter and Wisconsin in the summer. Just this weekend he gave a few more hints that allowed me to figure out who he really is.....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_8T8DrYYEXQ

------

A tenant moving out left all of this.....

Image

davtheram12
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by davtheram12 »

@Ego
How did you obtain your knowledge with art? Was it just happenstance with years of swap meet experience or genuine interest? I know I've learned a few things through experience and exposure but I know my knowledge is still limited in many areas.
Last edited by davtheram12 on Thu Apr 15, 2021 9:09 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Ego
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by Ego »

@davtheram12, truth be told, I am more of an enthusiast than someone who is knowledgeable. A few of my swap meet friends have encyclopedic knowledge of the mid-level artists that we might find among the piles of junk and can judge at a glance what something is worth. I would be useless without the ability to search using my phone. It says a lot about the two friends that they have indulged my enthusiasm despite my ignorance.

I had no interest at all in art before meeting Mrs. Ego. By then she had lived in Paris for two summers with her great-aunt who had been there since the 1930s and oozed culture. The great-aunt was once a beautiful Mexican girl from a mining town in Southern Baja who had married a French engineer. My Fair Lady Paris edition. By the time I met her in the early 90s she reminded me of an eighty-five-year-old Audrey Hepburn, stick-thin with a patch covering an eye lost in Indochina from some tropical disease. She actually smoked using a long black cigarette holder. Her apartment in Trocadero had a view of the Eiffel Tower and she had an original Picabia hanging on the wall.

During those summer visits she was determined to teach Mrs. Ego as much as possible about the art that was accessible by metro from her apartment. They spent weeks in virtually every museum within the Périphérique and a few outside. After we were married Mrs. Ego and I spent a year in Europe and she set out to teach me with the same determination her tia applied to her. I guess some of it stuck.

Somehow we ended up with a copy of her original passport photo that was taken before she left for Paris. When we were in Paris the summer before last we had a reunion with her sons and their families, and were able to give them a copy.

Image

And since we're in the region, here is the French song that has spawned a thousand flash mobs across Europe this spring.

https://youtu.be/SyBEMRyt6Qg
and my favorite version of the mob (so far)
https://youtu.be/wIuEh-cm6J0

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C40
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by C40 »

Check it out - I found this bench in the empty lot next to the coffee shop I go to every day. It was sitting towards the back of the lot. I carried it home to use for a plant stand.

Image


Image

davtheram12
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by davtheram12 »

Ego wrote:
Tue Apr 13, 2021 9:14 pm
I had no interest at all in art before meeting Mrs. Ego.
I guess some of it stuck.
I'd call that a good case of serendipity. Thank you for the lovely story. I've grown fond of geniology as of late and find it fascinating. I look forward to more of your stories

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C40
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by C40 »

Another good type of 'something from nothing' is to clone plants. Here is one example. My landlord let me bring this Plumeria tree up to my garden. Look down at dirt level - see those purple leaves hanging off the back left side? I moved that plant, let it grow, and now ~6 months later, have cloned it into about 20 different pots. This type of plant (Tradescantia zebrina, aka "inch plant" and "wandering Jew") grows quickly and is very easy to clone)

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Starting the clones in jars of water:
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See them on the bottom shelf here. Today that shelf is packed full. Now, I could clone about 30 new plants each month. (though I generally put 3 in each pot).
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I'd like to start selling plants like this, but where I live, plant prices are low, so I doubt I will. There is more money in orchids, but I think they take much longer to clone.

Some of the plants in my garden, I have cloned by taking cuttings of plants that belong to my landlord. Some, I have cloned from plants around the city.

davtheram12
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by davtheram12 »

Had another great week of trash sales. Met a gentleman who decided to get back into trail running after a long hiatus so I sold him a pair of Hoka Challenger 2 trail running shoes for $40. Those were actually from my personal collection (previously gifted by my mother-in-law) but they were too narrow for my pancake feet. He was very happy. Sold a pair of clippable chair umbrellas, to what I believe was a reseller, for $20. She didn't even look at them. Just handed me the cash and asked if I could put them in her trunk while she stayed in the car. Odd but a very fast and easy transaction. That same night I sold a 25lb Hampton olympic bumper plate to a reseller for $15. I messed up on that one. Didn't realize until after I sold it that they go for $130 EACH. Oh well. I'll do more research next time.

The following night I met up with a gentleman who only spoke spanish. He bought 2 vintage medium action fishing poles (Shakespeare Ugly Stik) with a vintage reel (Shakespeare SIGMA 080SW) for $35. I decided it would be best to practice my spanish and I have to say, I'm not half bad. I think it made the situation for a memorable experience.

Met a buyer this morning who bought a 1981 Technics SL-D205 turntable for $75. Found this on one of my walks a couple night ago. It seemed like the new owners were emptying out a garage full of discarded/forgotten items. Lots of cool relics from yesteryear e.g. kitchen gadgets/utensils and lots of nightlights with ornate covers.

Found a few more goodies today that I'll likely sell. Size 7 women's Dr Marten boots (in good condition but needs some cleaning), a working Kindle Fire tablet, a Sun Mountain C130 golf bag and various iphone/usb type c charging cords.

The DW used to give me lots of grief about my obsession with thrown out items but she's been coming around lately. She sees how much joy it brings me but I think it also helps that I use the proceeds to take her out to dinner occasionally :lol:

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Ego
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by Ego »

Thanks @davtheram12. I'm glad you enjoyed it. I think maybe your neighborhood has beaten my apartment building for the best junk.
Ego wrote:
Thu Sep 24, 2020 9:13 pm
A young woman had a very dramatic breakup this weekend. She dumped a box full of pink fluffy hearts, trinkets, an empty bottle of Moet and a ceramic unicorn that must have been gifts from the guy who appeared to be a fortysomething sugar-daddy. It was mostly junk but down at the bottom of the box were a bunch of gift cards. I left them until trash day in case she had regrets. When they were still there I figured they were fair game. Checking each website was like hitting the lottery over and over again.

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Yesterday Mrs. Ego came in and strolled around the room in circles several times with her Nordstrom bag, trying to get my attention.

Six years ago while at the airport leaving Johannesburg we had some Rand left over. She used it to buy some sort of Clinique cosmetic. She just ran out so she used a combination of the cards to replenish her coveted supply. It cost $32. Apparently it is common for Nordstrom to provide an extra gift with a purchase. She doesn't want it. It sells for $15.95 on ebay. The something for nothing that keeps on going.

The tenant who left the cards is moving to Texas next month. Yee Haa!

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Ego
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by Ego »

Christie's and Sotheby's decline my submissions. Oh well.

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Ego
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by Ego »

Three massive trash bags full of clothing and other stuff in the trash today. Mrs. Ego went through it with a fine tooth comb. She sorted a few piles. Rags. Keep. Give to the cleaner. Sell.

A box full of costume jewelry had these gems. Silver, diamonds and a ruby (I believe). I will take them to the jewelry guy at the swap meet to see what he will give me for them.

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Also at the bottom of one of the bags was $4.50 in change. Mrs. Ego has been collecting loose change from around the building since we moved in and tossing it in a bag in the boot of our Vespa. We have used found change to pay for scooter gas for more than a year now.

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