I love never knowing what I'm going to find, especially when I'm not even looking for anything. Yesterday I stopped in the local Habistore, a resale shop benefitting Habitat for Humanity. Contractors, homeowners and businesses can donate building materials and household goods for a tax write-off. The store then puts them up for sale in their warehouse and whatever money they earn from the sale goes towards helping build additional homes for those who need them but can't afford them. In past years I found incredible deals at the Habistore but unfortunately, the pricing has been ramped up to mimic retail prices, or at least near retail prices. However, when I've found something I really like, I can often get a better deal by talking with the manager and making a serious offer on the spot. Traditionally, this has been near half of what they are asking. Case in point: yesterday I found an airline food service cart for sale. The store had priced it at $250, with a special sale price "today only" of 50% off. He said he would accept my lower offer as long as I was willing to buy all three of the carts he had in stock. I had no idea there was more than one but I went for it.
I've never seen these things for sale. I know they don't come up very often and a quick online search on my phone from the store showed me that there a lots of people who want them for retro uses around the home but they are hard to come by. One recently from an off-brand airline sold on Ebay for $310. Another sold for $150. Checking the metal work of the ones I just bought, I found that all three came from Qantas Airlines, one of the premier airlines in the industry. All aircraft aluminum. Great design. Functional. And very cool. People are putting plastic bins in these and using them for ammo, silverware, tools, crafts, drinks, you name it.
I put the first one online last night on Ebay. Within just minutes I had 3 views and one bid of $0.99.
That's a good sign. After only 24 hours, there have now been 11 bids, it is up to $53 and 16 people are watching it, and it has gotten 52 views. Let the good times roll!
I still have a long way to go over the next week to get this sold for a profit, and then list and sell the other two, but assuming I come out ahead, this is another example which proves that buying and selling in bulk is a much better and more effective technique than risking it all on one item. I only wish that the value had been in the thousands of dollars rather than hundreds.
In further researching these carts, I found a company called Flight 001, they take these used carts, wrap them in custom stickers with bold graphics like flowers, checkerboard patterns and sell them for $1,200 to people for use in living rooms, kitchens, craft rooms, workshops and the like. I thought about doing that myself but I love selling things as is and letting the buyer do those touches if they want. I know that if I did them it has the potential of bringing in more money but then you have to wait around until someone likes the pattern of sticker you picked out. And who knows, but perhaps some people really want the scuffed up original showing the thousands of air miles.