Hi all. Mrs. B here. This blog talks a lot about increasing revenue as a way to gain financial independence, but that may not seem possible with full time jobs that don’t offer commission or limited time. This post isn’t about working the night shift or selling your soul to make a buck. It’s about finding value in the ugly duckling, and then having the forethought to dust it off and sell it to someone who will love it.
I’ve been making a pretty good supplemental income doing just this. Most of the time I go to garage and tag sales and buy vintage designer jewelry and handbags, reselling them on an online marketplace like eBay, Etsy, or Poshmark. But ventures like that require some kind of investment, monetary or otherwise: the purchase of the item (for a low price so you can make a profit); the cost of materials for shipping; gas money for travel to the sales, and time. Time to find the sales, learn about what you plan on buying, and ultimately, time to photograph and write up your listings. So, what doesn’t require all that time and perhaps expensive effort? Garbage picking.
Now I know what you’re thinking. “I’m not touching someone else’s trash.” Well you should just toss that kind of negativity if you don’t want to work until your 67! Mr. B and I have no shame when it comes to stopping the car and picking up a potential treasure. I admit though that it took Mr. B a good long time before he was ok with this endeavor. Pride and dignity often get in the way when other people’s garbage is involved. But all that trepidation quickly went out the window for Mr. B when I sold my first piece of reclaimed junk.
So, on a recent drive home from my parent’s home 3 miles away, I saw what looked like some garden decor on the side of the road. I asked Mr. B to pull over and it turned out to be a very cool and slightly rusty weathervane. It had an Irish Setter at the top and lovely graphic letters attached to four arms. Now, most people would keep on driving, but I knew that this would be a desirable piece for someone looking for authentic shabby chic charm and not some reproduction made to look old. We packed it up in the truck and headed home.
I wire brushed it clean and adjusted the arms, making it good as new (if new were old and chippy). I took a few photos and then threw it up on a local Facebook page where people who love shabby chic items go to buy and sell. I asked $40 and quickly got a taker – a woman who loves her rescue dogs, all things vintage, and wanted to put this atop her garage. She came to my home to pick it up, we exchanged pleasantries and the deal was done. I was $40 richer, the landfill was a little smaller, I hadn’t really invested any time into the effort, and I certainly didn’t invest any money.
I urge everyone to look for value in the seemingly valueless. Remember the super cliche ageold adage: one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Just know, unless you pick up that trash and sell it or donate it (I’ll discuss this in a later post), the treasure will end up in a landfill and no one will benefit.