Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Hustle yo' Bustle

[36 days sober]

“Contrariwise,' continued Tweedledee, 'if it was so, it might be; and if it were so, it would be; but as it isn't, it ain't. That's logic.”

Remember that flowered backpack I found for $5?  I sold it on Sunday for $44.75.  After subtracting the $5 cost, and after I paid postage and fees (Ebay and PayPal) my PROFIT came to $28.63.  I turned $5 into $30 by taking a picture of it.

I followed the Ebay advice I have read, about starting and ending auctions on a Sunday evening.  ALL DAY Sunday my phone was making that 'cha-CHING' noise like a cash register (the Ebay app on the phone) - each time someone would bid on an item it would go off.  It was THRILLING, lol.  I had a no-name, no-tag shirt for sale, listed it as 'pirate renaissance steampunk costume piece' and started the auction at $3.95 -  Here is a pic:

Just a cheap-o little blouse but I knew costume time is upon us.  That damned acetate top got 13 bids!  Finally sold for $19.66 (included shipping).

I sold 7 items on Sunday.  I have a ton more up, and people are already 'watching' them.  One item already has a bid.

Yesterday I went back to Am Vets, I needed to list more things.  I found 12 items - grand total was $20.60.   So I paid $1.72 for each item.  One is a Ralph Lauren denim rancher jacket with a corduroy collar, I will list it for $49.95 and see what happens.  I may have to lower the price on that one, but since IT IS FREE to list things, it's no skin off my nose to lower the price $5 and relist it, even if I have to do that a coupla times.  The rest of the stuff I bought is basic bread & butter stuff I can sell for $10 - $12 each.  

MY POINT - if anyone out there needs a side-hustle - you need money to start paying down your debt, stash a little in savings and begin the journey to a cash-only life, this is a way to do that.
IF you want to factor in things like MY TIME and LABOR and all of that, no - emphatically NO it does not pay anywhere near what a 'real' job pays.  But for me, it's all profit.  I LIKE going to thrift stores, I LIKE doing laundry (folding it and putting it away is another story).  I do this from home.  I am making a damned profit.

I noticed at the AmVets yesterday they now take EBT.  Which is Electronic Benefit Transfer - an ATM style card that welfare and WIC and other state benefits are paid on.  And see - I think this is amazing news.  Firstly, because people on government assistance need clothes and shoes for themselves and their kids.  And secondly - if you are on government assistance and need a side hustle, this is the perfect way to purchase stuff to sell on Ebay.  (I am not going to entertain a discussion on welfare, who should receive (many people really do need it, many people really do scam the system), how many damned kids you should be allowed to have, why aren't people on assistance required to work at government buildings like courthouses and such sweeping AT LEAST if they can stand and move, etc.  So let's not even go there, ok?)

All the personal finance blogs I have read really push the idea of the 'side hustle' and I completely agree.  Selling crap you already have that you don't need?  Perfect place to start.  But creating a niche for myself has been the ultimate.  I try to only sell stuff people are really willing to buy - some brands I find and sell:
Ralph Lauren (all associated lables, like Polo, LRL, etc.  I've never found the elusive PURPLE label)
Ann Taylor (and LOFT)
Tony Hawk
Lane Bryant/Venezia
Casual Corner
Quacker Factory <--this brand sells all the damned time.
L.L. Bean
Lands End
Tommy Hilfiger
Eddie Bauer
American Eagle Outfitters
Abercrombie & Fitch
And on and on and on 
*(p.s. I found a sweatshirt that said 'Property of the Betty Ford Clinic' and I almost bought it to wear because I think I'm funny like that, but the back had footprints? and 'on and on and on' on it which is an AA saying maybe? and since I wanted to wear it IRONICALLY (even tho I really AM sober) I left it for someone who would get a good karmic lift out of it.  BUT I WANTED IT.)*

Each one of those brands up there, you have heard of them - I find them DAILY at thrift stores, and they will sell for at least $10, each item.  Depending on what it is, and what size it is, I usually get $12 to $20 for each item.  These days I will only spend under $2 for any item to sell, unless it is such an amazing deal (like that Vera Bradley backpack for $5) that I can't pass it up.  I am always muttering 'as close to a buck as I can, as close to a buck as I can' while I'm looking at a thrift.  I fit right in with the bat-crap crazy people that wander around in those stores.

If anyone is truly interested in hustling at a thrift store for building a cash savings account or for, you know, paying the electric bill, let me know in the comments and I will expound on it - I don't want to bore y'all.  I know most people have jobs, paycheck-jobs, and have no time for this nonsense.  It's labor intensive but to me it's worth it.


ON ANOTHER NOTE - people all over the place are talking about how, astrologically speaking, we are in another 'Mercury Retrograde' period, which is a time when most people experience complete cluster fucks in their lives.  Electronics fizzle, tires go flat, cars wont start, keys and wallets get lost - just all kinds of screwy static-y things, mostly to do with communication and electronics.  ME?  Because I live in opposite land, I have THE BEST LUCK during a retrograde period.

My side hustle is BOOMING right now - I'm finding great items whenever I thrift.  Jeff and I are in some kind of fluffy wonderful place right now.  The tire that has a gigantic screw embedded in it, that I fixed with fix-a-flat?  STILL FULL OF AIR and I'm not replacing that until I have to.  I'm still not drinking and *shhh* it's been - uh, while not EASY, it hasn't been HARD either.  I'm walking 3 miles daily and back on only protein and I've dropped 5 pounds (with only a gabillion to go) ~ I just think it's funny how opposite I am.  I need a shirt that says 'Contrariwise' on it.  I'd buy that and wear it, you betcha.


  1. I am working up to my second year of sobriety. But my incentives run a little deeper than yours. If you were here I would show you how to plug that tire for about 15 cents. I know. I know. The tire guys need to make a profit, but if you knew how friggan easy it was. You would never take a flat out to be fixed again.

    1. heh - yeah, imminent death is a pretty good incentive. Tire places used to plug holes with something like a crochet hook and glue and a gump of rubber. Now they wont do that as it's 'unsafe' read: they want you to buy new tires.

      My fix-a-flat repair works great altho I'm starting to stress about it a bit, lol.

  2. This got me to thinking, what would happen to someone who can't work or hold down a job? Like me. If my husband didn't earn enough I'd be so screwed. I don't know if I would qualify for disability seeing that I don't go see doctors, I'm scared of them, I'd need to talk to lots of people to go on it and that would be impossible.

    I can't work cause my nerves are bad and I lose my employment every time. I've had lots of jobs, have a good education, and I'm seen as a freak.

    I can't be the only one like this, and I wonder about the others.

    1. Joan - it's terrifying thinking about stuff like that. I have been VOLUNTARILY out of the work force long enough that I cannot seem to get a job even at Walmart or Target - I applied last Xmas. I'm also middle aged, and that counts against me too.

      I started my financial tracker/cash only system up again because I got to thinking about what would happen if Jeff had a stroke and couldn't work. We would be completely, absolutely fucked. I want to pay off as many bills/credit cards as I can in the hopes of mitigating whatever comes my way. The more we have in savings, the better.

      It IS possible to save something, even on a very tight budget. This thrift store/Ebay thing is working to bring me about $100 a week profit. It's perfect for someone who doesn't want to interact with the public or go to 'happy doodle fun time office crap'. Like ME.

    2. I know, just to learn about the brands and stuff is all. I wish I lived back int he day where I could take in other people's laundry, or sewing. I don't think anyone would pay me to do any other housework though. lol.

      It's good you make that much money doing that, and it does sound like fun. I don't mind doing laundry either.

  3. Gladys I absolutely love when you post this stuff! I'm still doing the "side hustle" on Facebook Storage Wars groups. I belong to three and if stuff doesn't sell I just keep cycling it through the three groups until it does. No fees, no postage and folks pick up from my front porch and leave the money in my mailbox. So far I haven't run out of things to sell that are lying around gathering dust but last night, one of the neighbours helped me haul a bit pine cupboard off the curb two doors down into my garage. It will hit Storage Wars this weekend. I was thinking...Gladys will SO proud of me.
    Might soon tear myself away from the Vera Bradley that's been hanging on the back of my closet door for at least ten years.
    I WANT, don't NEED a stainless steel fridge so all that I make goes into the fridge fund. Closing in fast!
    Oh and the old fridge will go on Storage Wars.
    Sending you a pic of the cupboard so you can give me an A+ in side hustle!
    The footprints on the shirt might be for "one step at a time".

    1. I can't wait to see the cupboard. I LOVE IT that you found it and can sell it! I need to do that post about the Magical Giving Dumpster of Love down in our garage.

      Send me that picture!