Twelve years ago, I was a stay at home mom with 3 boys, ages 5, 7 and 9. My youngest was in school 1/2 a day with the prospect of being gone a full day in the near future. While it looked like I may have a little time on my hands, it also meant a tuition bill for 3 kids in private school. The internet was relatively new, and I wanted to somehow use it to my advantage.
The big Antique Show was going to be at EXPO over the weekend, so I placed an ad on an Antique Collectors message board that I would “find” things for people at the show. Within hours, I had about a dozen responses. I set out to the show with my books, notes, backpack, comfortable shoes and I SPY ANTIQUES was born. On that initial trip, I matched up a seller and buyer, so brokered a deal and made about $200. Enough to wet my appetite for more. Within a few months, I brokered another deal for a larger item that allowed me to purchase my first digital camera. Soon I was buying and selling all kinds of antiques, all in my “spare” time. This is the type of home business that you can work at anytime of day or night. The investment was small, and the returns were good! I started selling things on ebay and was able to put away a considerable amount of money while paying the kids tuition along the way.
While I don’t broker buyer/seller deals anymore, I continue to sell on the internet, at an antique mall, and do some local antique shows. The internet climate has changed over the years, but you can make good money reselling items from home, while being there for your family. I happen to love antiques, but you can sell anything there is a market for. Here are some examples my recent sales. All items purchased at local garage sales and sold on ebay:
Laurel Burch earrings purchased for .25 each pair in perfect condition sold for $10 each pair.
Kids school instrument (flute) in case at garage sale for $5.00, sold for $78.00.
Wilson ladies leather coat, $5.00….in my closet! I wear it all the time.
Vogue Maternity patterns, bought 3 @ .10 each, sold for $12.
Old Book on the Catholic Church, $5.00, sold for $61.00.
Zebra fur purse $5.00, sold for $103.50.
Linen shirt-designer name $2.00, sold for $28.00.
Retro kitchen table and 4 chairs, $100, sold on craigslist (no fee) for $275.00.
Of course, you do have some expenses. You can deduct about 10% of the sale price for ebay fees. You will need to find 3 or 4 hours a week on either Fri (best) or Sat. morning where you can go to the sales without your kids. Gas money has to be accounted for, but one good trip can give you enough merchandise for several weeks of reselling. You can begin with things you already have, while you learn. It is the ultimate way to reduce, reuse, recycle and turn quarters into dollars! It is almost too good to be true, but I assure you, it is true and you can make it happen!
Anne and her husband live in the Portland, Oregon area and have two grown sons and one in high school.
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