This Article is About
antiques and collectibles
warehouse supervisor
fountain pens
household items
ebay
everyday activities
spring cleaning
second nature
fountain pen
medical bills
what the heck
garage sale
extra money
Could What You Throw Away As Junk Be Antiques And Collectibles To Someone Else?
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Do you ever wonder if the old saying "One man's trash is another man's treasure" is really true? Do you sometimes wonder when you do your spring cleaning and throw something away if you're throwing money away as well?

I was in a car accident in 2007 that left me unable to continue working as a warehouse supervisor. It left me with chronic pain that made it impossible for me to do the normal everyday activities that was second nature up until then. I knew that I would have to find something that I could do for extra money to pay the bills that were piling up, many of them being medical bills.

As a big fan of Ebay I decided that I would start going to garage sales to see if I could find things such as collectibles and antiques that people might be selling at a price just to get rid of, or even better, trying to find things that people had no idea the value of and then trying to make money by selling them on Ebay. In the beginning I really didn't know what to look for, as I had never been much of an antiquer or someone that knew alot about what people collected, and mostly what I found was clothes and a few household items that people were selling. I did have the small advantage that I had spent alot of time looking at things on Ebay, so knew that some things I would have normally thrown away if I had them or didn't need them any longer were actually sometimes selling for a fair price on Ebay, so I wasn't quite ready to give up.

One day I was at a city wide garage sale in a small Iowa town near me. I ran across a box marked $5.00 ALL. It had some type of parts that went with some of the fountain pens that were in the box. We had just about decided to leave when I looked at the box one more time. The lady that was having the sale walked up and said that's $5.00 for everything in the box, and that was the rest of her husband's fountain pen collection. So I figured what the heck. Maybe something in the box would be worth something, so I bought the box.

When I got home, I started looking up a few of the things in the box, and quickly knew that I had made a pretty good purchase. Some of the pens were worth around 5-10 dollars apiece, and had several boxes of the pen tips, which I now know are called nibs, and they looked to be selling for different prices, but somewhere are 10 dollars for each box. There were a few other things in the box as well and even they were worth around 5 dollars each too! So, I listed all the things that seemed to have some value on Ebay that day. I believe I probably had 20 listings total. So I figured if I made $100 on everything that it would be a pretty good find.

It was probably less than 2 hours after I listed them on Ebay that I knew that it was way better than just a pretty good find. By the time I had gone to bed, I believe the nibs had already reached over $30 each, and I had about 11 boxes of these nibs that I knew nothing about. Wow, how exciting was this! Well when the auction ended 5 days later, with everything that I paid 5 dollars for at a garage sale, they sold for a total of, are you ready? I made over $800 on a $5 purchase!! A person contacted me after the auction ended and told me that the nibs I had were in fact made of platinum, something that is worth more than gold!! I couldn't believe it!

So, I then realized that looking for antiques and collectibles at garage sales wasn't bad after all. And decided I would start hitting a few Iowa farm auctions and household auctions to see if I could do the same thing as I had done with garage sales. I hadn't been to many auctions, so for the first few, it was a disappointment because you would see many of the same people that knew the value of antiques and collectibles, and if they bid on something, it would go much higher than I could pay, and if they quit bidding, it usually meant that the bid was past the stage of making money, and that a collector was usually bidding to add it to their collection.

I did notice that many of the people that knew the value of most collectible things, passed up many of the box lots and parts of the auction where they piled up things, as they probably didn't see alot of value in them. So I decided that I would try to find things that looked not necessarily good, but different, and maybe find things that I could sell in these box lots. I won't bore you with the many stories of failure in that, but I will tell you that not every box lot was a failure either.

One box lot I bought was from an estate of an elderly person, and even though some of the things I bought were not going to bring me much money, I didn't have to pay alot to get them, so it wasn't a bad investment to pay a dollar or two for a few boxes that had old and junky looking things in it. When we got back home and started looking at most of the stuff in the boxes, it was obvious that I was not going to make much money, but maybe I could put them out in the shop for the annual garage sale we have and get my money back.

We did have one weird looking old thing, the box was ripped up, but it had what looked like an old meat tenderizer. After reading the box, we found out it was not even close to that, it was actually some type of accupuncture device, used to relieve pain. It didn't appear to anything special, but just for kicks for I decided to put that on Ebay and see if anyone would want it. If you are an Ebay seller, you know that many times people from across the world are interested in things that sell on Ebay. The first night I believe I had 2 people ask if I would ship this to them overseas.

The next morning I had an Australian professor contact me and ask if I would take extra pictures of this "thing" and send them to him. I did, and it was then that I thought that this might something very special. I had 15 watchers I believe the first day. If you are not familiar with Ebay, a watcher is someone that has not placed a bid on an item, but has some type of interest in an item. It may just be they have one and want to see what it sells for, or they may want to wait until the very end of the auction and try to get the last bid in.

The professor from Australia emailed me the next day and thanked me for the pictures. He then explained to me something that just floored me. He told me that if I would send him a few more pictures and would answer a few other questions he had about this accupuncture device, that he was doing research on accupuncture from the early 1900's, and if I would do the things he was asking for, he would send me the final article on his research that he was going to put out on the internet.

I can't remember everything that people asked me about on this as it's been over 3 years, but the accupunture device that I found in a box lot at an auction and paid 2 dollars for the box, ended up having bidders from over 5 countries, and sold for around $200! That is about 2000 percent if my math is correct. I'm guessing you will agree that that is not a bad profit?

I know that not every piece of "junk" you have lying around your house is worth anywhere near the profit that these examples present. But it does happen, and it could be something that you may just think is not worth anything, but it might just be something. These are just two examples that I thought were interesting enough to share. We had many others, bought a lathe in 2 different box lots at an estate sale, a sale that had many valuable antiques and collectibles from the owners, but we got the lathe home and found it out was a jeweler's lathe, and the lathe in pieces that we paid $35 for, ended up selling for over $1000 in total. One piece alone, which was just a small piece of metal to me, sold for over $200.

The good things that happen in life aren't always expected. When I had the car accident that has changed life for me forever, I had no idea they would end up finding cancer while investigating the cause of the pain from the accident. Just like when I bought a box for $5 that brought me over $1000 in profits, it sure was not something that I expected when I handed the lady $5.00.

Something I have started is a website that I have dedicated to finding things that don't cost you money to get started. There are such things as ownership of a company just for reading emails, free internet marketing training videos, and free tools, features and services just for being a free member. I know how exciting it was for me when I began looking for those antiques and collectibles that ended up being treasures for me, and maybe some of the things I offer on my website will end up being the treasure you might have been looking for in the internet business world. They may not look like a big thing right away, but once you work with them and use them, it may just end up being a valuable asset for you in the end.


Street Talk

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