Good Afternoon everybody and welcome to the 2015 Spring season! It’s that time of year again when folks are cleaning out their basements, closets and attics and having a yardsale. With this first post of the season we’d like to share with you a unique type of item in the world of something very common. Motorcycle helmets are a necessity for some, a freedom issue for others but for a large number of riders a fashion statement.
Everywhere you look you can find scores of boring black, grey or white helmets and they’re usually a dime a dozen. However there is a huge market for uniquely designed helmets from previous generations. The old adage “they don’t make them like they used to” definitely applies here.
In the picture above you can see an early 1970’s example of a pretty unique helmet. The civil war “Confederate flag” is painted over the top in a metal flake pattern. Who wouldn’t want to ride down the road on their 70’s Harley sporting this piece?
I found this helmet at a local yardsale stashed under a table and was able to negotiate the price to $3. The best tip I can offer from this post is to trust your sense of awe when you see a unique item even if it is just a variation of something typical or boring. This applies to literally everything not just helmets. If you like it, chances are someone else will too!
Price Paid: $3.00
Sale Price: $69.95
Jack Kirby’s Fourth World Omnibus is a series of large hardcover anthologies published by DC Comics from 2007-2008. Each volume of the series reprints in chronological order issues from the four series’ making up Jack Kirby’s Fourth World: Superman’s Pal, Jimmy Olsen, The Forever People, The New Gods, and Mister Miracle. The Jack Kirby Omnibus series are typically published in hardcover editions but I found these at a local Goodwill in paperback so additional research was required. Once validated these were an easy purchase because of their rarity and collectibility in both hardcover and paperback.
The author Jack Kirby was an American comic book artist, writer and editor regarded by historians and fans as one of the major innovators and most influential creators in the comic book medium. He worked for both DC and Marvel throughout his career.
Comic book Omnibus or Graphic Novels are good sellers but since there are so many, and only a small subset are collectible, research is required before making the purchase. A valuable tip for beginners that I want to express from this purchase is to do your research on the exact comic or graphic novel you are buying. Just because it is a certain genre or written by a certain author does not automatically mean it is worth a lot of money.
Price Paid: $20
Sale Price: $200
As we enter the winter months yard sales and flea markets begin to slow down (at least they do here in Pennsylvania). However this does not mean you are forced to slow down your treasure hunting. All you need to do is change up your tactics and think outside of the box. Instead of going to yard sales to seek out treasure, let the treasure come to you! What I mean by this is you can place Craigslist or newspaper ads, make Facebook posts, send out Tweets or use any other means of getting the word out that you are looking to buy things other people do not want. A great example of the success you can have doing this is the Hershey Bears jersey pictured above. Since I am personally a Hershey Bears fan in placed an ad on Craigslist looking for memorabilia, jackets, jerseys and anything related to the team. I was messaged by another user who had a team issue authentic style #34 jersey and needed to unload it fast. Instantly I wanted it for my collection and gladly paid the $50 price he was asking, but just as instantly when I got it home realized it was a size 58G (meaning goalie cut and sized to fit over a full set of pads). It was huge and never going to fit me so I put it up for sale and was able to get more than three times my money. Keep in mind there are always different ways to acquire items aside from seasonal yard sales and flea markets. While replies to your ads may not be fast or frequent, and trust me you will get a lot of answers that are not worth your time, you will always get out what you put in so get to work!
Price Paid: $50.00
Sale Price: $189.95
On my last trip to the local Goodwill store as I was heading towards the parking lot I looked in couldn’t believe what was sitting in the window. A brand new setup of Logitech z-5500 THX certified surround sound computer speakers. These aren’t just any computer speakers these are 500w of crisp highs, distinguished mids and deep hard hitting bass. Just as a reference most computer speaker setups are in the 50-75w range. These could honestly be very high quality home theater speakers for your TV. As I bought them for the asking price I thought this would be a great opportunity to bring up the difference between purchasing new and used electronics from a thrift store. In my experience most high end electronics and even most mid range items are best bought only if you can find them new. Usually value deteriorates so much if the item has been used because electronics are so prone to breakdown or damage by users. An average customer is willing to pay a little more for a new electronic item. To take that a step further electronics, if new, are so uniform that a customer knows exactly what he/she is getting right away and doesn’t need to make the distinction between buying from you or buying from Best Buy. If it’s new in the box and has a return policy who cares where it is coming from? When you step into the world of used electronics a consumer needs to read and make sure all the parts are there (think remotes or speaker covers etc.), that they will be satisfied with the condition and also happy with any alterations already done to the product (speaker wire lengths cut to fit previous owners home). This increases the time it will take you to sell the item and all the while it is losing value. My advice for electronics is to buy them only when they are new in the package (or very very mint in the package) so you can provide the most straight forward non confusing listing for your buyer when you go to sell it. Otherwise STAY AWAY!
Price Paid: $69.00
Sale Price: Available on my eBay store
This amazing Springfield Falcons hockey jersey was once worn during a regulation AHL game by John Stevens. Stevens played with the Falcons for two years after the team was moved to Worcester and renamed to the Falcons. Previously they had been named the Springfield Indians where Stevens played for four seasons. John Stevens was a co-captain during his time with the Falcons and even scored the first goal in franchise history. He played briefly for the Hershey Bears as well as the Philadelphia Phantoms where he also scored the first goal in franchise history. Stevens also played in the National Hockey League for the Philadelphia Flyers as well as the Hartford Whalers for the total of 53 games. After his playing days were over he went on to be the head coach of the Philadelphia Flyers and is currently the assistant coach of the LA Kings who recently won the 2014 Stanley Cup! I found this Jersey at a local auction and after some furious bidding won for the unbelievable price of $90. This item is a little different from the sort of thing I usually buy so I felt the need to call in some help. The tip I’d like to offer from this post is that if you’re interested in buying something to flip, and you aren’t sure of its value, you should find someone to help you. Fortunately I had help from a friend of mine who owns a collectible hockey jersey company. He was able to look at pictures from the auction and give me a good bidding range. Never be afraid to ask for help if your faced with a large purchase you aren’t 100% certain about. If I did not know the owner of the hockey jersey store I would have never bid on the item. If you ever feel uncomfortable with a large purchase either ask for help or walk away. Other opportunities will always present themselves.
Price Paid: $90
Sale Price: On consignment with The Hockey Jersey Co.
Kevin Harvick is a professional race car driver who has made multiple appearances in different racing circuits. Most notably Kevin has made over 480 NASCAR Sprint Cup appearances and has recorded 25 wins. Seen in the picture above is a complete 4:1 miniature replica of Harvick’s Payday Racing Bell helmet used inside his current car. NASCAR memorabilia is typically a dime a dozen but detailed items unique to a particular driver are always worth a second look. The main issue with NASCAR memorabilia is it is usually manufactured so heavily that basic items are very easy to come across brand new at a retail outlet. However items like this helmet which may have been a limited issue or even given away at a particular race are very collectible. Keep an eye out for unique NASCAR items which may be signed or made in small quantities.
Price Paid: $5.00
Sale Price: $14.95 via my eBay store
The 1911, or M1911 as it’s also known, is one of the most common, well designed and well liked .45 caliber pistols of all time. The pistol is a magazine fed single action firearm that was standard issue to the United States Armed Forces from 1911 all the way until 1985 when it was replaced by the 9mm Beretta. Pictured above are some aftermarket grips made for the 1911 which have a brown and black tiger pattern. I found these at a yard sale in a “miscellaneous parts” box. They were still brand new so I snatched them up for the asking price of $5. Firearms, firearm parts (both original and aftermarket) and ammunition will always sell well in America no matter the economy. Whenever you see parts for a gun make sure to look up their value and get ready to make an offer. They are a very easy resell and a great way to learn a little something as you are starting out. Be cautioned that if you use eBay or Amazon as your sales outlet to carefully read the firearms policies. eBay and Amazon have very strict rules about what can be sold related to firearms and to whom they can be sold. I was able to sell the pair I found in three days for $50.
Price Paid: $5.00
Sale Price: $50.00 via my eBay store
Ever hear an electric guitar at a rock & roll concert or on your favorite song and wonder how the extra sound effects are added? Check out the DOD Ice Box FX 64 electric guitar effects pedal. The guitar is plugged into this unit and when the pedal is pressed down during play it adds the desired sound. In this case it is the stereo chorus effect. I won this Pedal at a local auction for a little more than I wanted to pay but a great price none the less. Aftermarket add-ons for musical instruments are always a safe bet but they must be in good working condition. If you are unable to test them make sure you offer a good return policy and make note when you sell the item that it is untested.
Price Paid: $17.50
Sale Price: $34.50 via my eBay store
The Nintendo Entertainment System was first introduced in North America on October 18th, 1985. It would kick off one of the greatest video game franchises in world history bringing us some of the most iconic games and characters we know today. Characters such as Mario, Pikachu & Zelda drove players to buy systems, games and accessories at an alarming rate. Even until this day selling accessories for game systems is just as lucrative for big companies as selling the games and systems themselves. During the 1980’s and 1990’s purchasers of these items never thought they would be worth any money and without thought threw away boxes, manuals and pretty much anything but the accessory itself. Now in the 2010’s these very same players have full time jobs and lots of money to buy back the coveted toys of their childhood. The more complete you can sell the accessories the more money these buyers will be willing to pay. Pictured in this listing is 2 standard NES controllers but what makes them special is they’re in the original box with all manuals and leaflets still in the original plastic. The tip you can learn from this post is if you want to make the most money from video game accessories is to buy them in the most complete form possible. As I discussed before when I posted a find of Super Nintendo Controllers is that loose accessories are always worth buying if the price is right, but remember the more complete the accessory the more valuable it is going to be. Be willing to pay a little more but keep the price down to a range where you’re going to make a profit. Good luck!
Price Paid: $10.00
Sale Price: $50.00 via my eBay store
If this Yamaha DD-20C looks familiar it’s because you’ve seen one of these on the site before but in a larger version. Please check out the Yamaha DD-55C. The main reason I decided to post this is to shine light on one of the best pieces of beginner advice and that is to go with what you know. Take inexpensive risks and when you do well with something, buy it again! I found the DD-20C at a yard sale this weekend for only $1 which was an incredible deal and a quick seller but the only reason I knew to buy it was because I had had previous success with the DD-55C.
Price Paid: $1.00
Sale Price: $23.95 via my eBay store