Monthly Archives: August 2016

When Trash Is Actually Treasure

treasure-chest-619868_960_720We’ve all been in the position of needing to get rid of loads of junk from either an attic, basement or garage. The stuff in there has probably been gathering dust for who knows how many years, and hasn’t been touched by anyone since forever. So typically what happens is one of the following: Either you look at the stuff, throw only some of it away as you think the rest may be useful or valuable (yet you put it back and there is sits again), or you throw out everything, lock, stock and barrel. Neither is actually a very good option.

Why? Because very often we actually do have something that is of some value, but it doesn’t do very much good continuing to collect dust in the basement, or being thrown in the trash. But the trick is to know what is valuable and what isn’t.

You could look up EVERY item you find, but that will take a lot of time. Instead, try following these loose guidelines:

  1. The older, the more potential value it has.
  2. If it’s broken, best throw it out (again, unless very old).
  3. If it was worth a lot when first bought and still in good condition, it may have value still.

There are actually niche markets for virtually anything. From old dolls to vintage stereo equipment. There is often a very eager buyer for something you may have lying around.

If you are in possession of something you are going to sell, be sure to clean it up first before posting it online (makes for better photos). Also, if you decide you don’t want to wait for a buyer to come along, take it to a pawn shop, but bring with you the information that proves its worth.

Making Buying and Selling a Career

money-38268_960_720If you are like many people, then you long to be able to get away from the 9 to 5 grind, ditch the demanding and unreasonable boss and go and work for yourself. The idea of starting your own business may seem scary but it doesn’t have to be. Actually, there is a relatively easy way to be able to make money from home. It is buying and selling items online.

Did you know that most people will see items at a garage sale or flea market or even  pawn shops in Miami for far less than they are potentially worth? It’s true! And one can quite easily make a pretty decent living for themselves by purchasing these items and selling them online for more.

The first thing you need is a mobile phone. The second is an idea of what things sell for online. Here’s how it would usually go: you get to a yard sale or pawn shop or flea market and spot something that you think could be of value. You pull your phone out and check to see what similar (or the exact same) items sell for online. If the profit margin could be big enough, buy the item and take it home. You clean it up, photograph it and post it up for sale. Once you sell it you’ve made profit. See? It can really be that easy.

Obviously there is a bit more to this that just that. You will need to constantly have things to sell so that you can make steady income. You will also need a space to keep all the items you accumulate until sold. So if you are able to reconcile these things, then you have a potentially lucrative business on your hands.

So if you are really desperate to get away from the usual daily grind, then consider becoming a purveyor of used items and see how far you can take this sort of business.

The Haggle: Part 2

dollar-1319598_960_720When you’re looking to get items on the cheap, you’ll for sure be checking out pawn shops and secondhand stores, as well as buying used items from individuals. And in this type of buying setting, one of the greatest tools you have at your disposal for saving even more money is the ability to haggle a price down. In our last article, we discussed a very basic type of haggle. Now, we’re going on to another technique: The 2 for less.

The 2 for less approach is pretty much exactly what it sounds like, but it needs to be setup a little bit to be successful. Here’s how you do it:


  1. Browse around until you find 2 items that you are interested in (preferably related items, but not a must).
  2. Call over the sales associate and ask questions about the more expensive item to show that you are interested.
  3. Look at the price and then ask if he can do any better (see last article for that one).
  4. If he says no, then seem to lose interest and continue browsing around.
  5. Then come back to him with the second item and ask about getting both for a lower price than individually (“How about $*.** for both?).

This can be a very effective way to talk down a price. The salesman will probably be interested in selling a larger quantity of items and since they already feel they almost lost you as a sale, they will usually agree provided you didn’t lowball them too much.

I’ve used this one in Hollywood pawn shops before and gotten away with a few really great deals, so I can tell you that this one works quite well.

Give this one a try and see how much you can save by using it. You may surprise yourself with your success.

The Haggle: Part 1

vintage-998419_960_720Whenever you’re on the hunt for secondhand items, you’re obviously trying to get the best possible price. Sometimes, you just have to search around for what you want, and try to find the lowest price available. This is what usually happens when you go shopping online. You search your favorite sites and spend some time trying to find the best deal. But when you’re going to a physical place to buy stuff, you have a whole other option for getting a better price: haggling.

Now, this isn’t something you can do everywhere, but there are lots of places where this is totally applicable. Like at garage sales, a hollywood pawn shop,  yard sales, flea markets, etc. So it would be good to brush up on your haggling abilities.

But first thing’s first, and that is that you have to be WILLING to haggle. A lot of people don’t like it as they feel that they come off as a cheapskate or something. To all those people, please just realize that the person selling the item wants you to pay the most money possible, and your goal is to pay the least. This is how business works and you shouldn’t be ashamed of it.

So, that’s the main first point. Now, let’s get into some haggling techniques. This first one is the simplest and requires you to only say one little, magical line: “Can you do any better?”

When you have selected something that you like, you need to get the sales associate to know that you are (mildly) interested in the item. Then, after some back and forth small talk about it, look at the price and ask them if they can do any better. More often that not, they will offer you a reduction right then and there. Now there are two ways this can go:

If they offer a reduction, you can take it or suggest a slightly lower price. Let’s say there is a TV listed for $50. You ask if they can do any better and they say $45. Then you could counter with, “How about $40?”. This can help knock another couple of bucks off the price.

If they tell you they can’t do better, say OK, and then look at some other things, as though you’d lost interest. Come back to it some time later and ask again if they still can’t do any better. You may get the reduction now that you’ve played a little bit of hard-to-get.