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Sunday, April 17, 2011

Taking the leap to sell trash.

I recently received the following email:


Help! I need you! Let me fill you in a little. While my husband and I still have jobs (we work for the same company), we received pay cuts when the economy hit the skids. Although I believe some companies got through it fine, they were legitimately hurting due to the fact it is in the automotive industry.
I have three grown children with families that ALL lost their jobs at this time.  They are looking for work and do whatever it takes to make cash. Often, they will mow lawns or whatever to raise the money needed for bills. They do sometimes come up short and that is where I step in and help, which means I am juggling. Honestly, I do not know how much longer I can continue on like this. It causes me to fall behind on bills. I believe I am current on everything except my house and that is a month behind. However, things are staring to fall apart (you know the saying: ‘when it rains, it pours’) on the house.
I would like to do what you do and I am hoping you can help me with advice and mentoring. I am ready to be your student.


Denise, I’m saddened to hear of your troubles.  I fear that there are many more who struggle like you to make ends meet.  Thank heavens for family, as I’m sure your children appreciate all you and your husband do for them. 

It’s not a coincidence you stumbled across the blog.  Kelly and I feel very strongly about sharing our success and struggles so you, the readers, can learn and gain experience needed to start on this venture of selling trash.

        When we started the blog about 1 ½ years ago, we had no idea where it would take us.  I have gained more knowledge and confidence in this business because I write about it.  I know my earning potential is limitless if I just put in the work. 

My motivation to sell regularly on eBay also started because of financial woes.  My husband and I rent a home and when our tenant stopped paying rent, I started taking eBay more seriously.  We needed money and we needed it fast.  I didn’t want to be a victim to the money we didn’t have.  I didn’t like how that made me feel about my life’s purpose.  When you don’t have the money you need, it consumes everything else you’re doing.  My attitude shifted from “We don’t have the money we need” to “How quickly can I earn the money we need?  I went to work and made a $2,000.00 mortgage payment 3 months in a row off my eBay and craigslist sales.  Up until that point, eBay was something I did randomly, not consistent.  When we needed a new air conditioner in our rental, I knew what I had to do.  eBay and craigslist saved the day again.

Do not let fear keep you from trying this.  Selling trash comes on a learning curve, but if you purchase your trash cheap enough, you will not lose money.  I recommend staring with a $20.00 investment.  Purchase some clothes at a garage sale or a piece of furniture at a thrift store.  You’d be amazed what you can find if you start frequenting such places.   Try to double your money, than reinvest it in more trash.  Keep at it and before you know it, you’ll be bringing in a weekly check that will bump those numbers up in your checking account.

You will not know all the answers when you start, but time and experience is on your side.  I’ve been so impressed working with Kelly.  She jumped into selling trash with both feet, ready to walk wherever God leads her. For example, she offered to help an elderly neighbor hold an Estate sell.  She didn’t worry about the commission or hours spent, she just knew her service would take her to higher ground.  Although she did everything for free, she made many great contacts and people started talking about her expertise.  Before she knew it, someone called asking if they could hire her to run an estate sell for them.  She continues to get calls for this service and her business is growing.

Find what you love.  Maybe you’re into antiques, vintage toys or model cars?  Whatever you already have a passion in, let that guide you to where you want to go.  While out thrifting, I meet a guy purchasing handfuls of sun glasses.  He told me he shops thrift stores and buys name brand sunglasses and cases, matches them up at home, then sells them on eBay.  I would have never thought of sunglasses, but there’s a market for them.  I meet another lady who shops for Barbie’s.  She says they sell great on eBay.  I personally, love fashion.  Clothes are my thing, so that’s what I love to sell.  Vintage furniture is also something I’m attracted to.  I’m so happy I have a SUV to bring home my trash.  I can fit couches, dressers, bookshelves and more into my Honda Pilot.  Sure, my kids may have to hang out the windows, but it all works (just kidding)! J 

I hope this information helps.  Be fair, honest and work hard.  Use eBay, craigslist and hold your own garage sales.  Make contacts and get your children involved.  Find your passion. Take risks. If you find something you think is cool, chances are someone will want to buy it from you.  
Start with your $20.00 and keep me posted.  Remember to find value where others may not see it, especially in yourself.  I can’t wait to hear of your success.  


  1. What a nice post. I can relate to your writer. I have 4 children, 2 steps, 26 grands, 3 great grands and 3 more grands on the way. Making ends meet is a constant struggle. My full time job does not bring in enough money to help everyone and even blogging and writing can only bring in so much.. I need time to write and they do not take my need for time serious.

  2. Thank you so much for sharing this! Seriously. Thank you!!

  3. Laura,
    Thank you soooo much for the post and the inspiration to get started! I accept your challenge and I am instructing the kids to do so as well. Two of my kids are in prime yard sale locations (I should have thought of that when I picked my location!LOL).
    May I offer you and the readers one of my ideas, if you've not thought of it?
    There is also Freecycle and some areas have a ReUse center where items are free (both are started to keep items out of landfills).
    Utilizing these would be a great option to stretch the initial $20!
    I am in. I will keep you posted!

  4. Laura,
    Hi! I am a new reader to your blog, and I wanted to thank you so much for sharing your adventures and successes on here! I began reselling on eBay 3 years ago, pretty sporadically, and I have been getting back into it the past 3 months. I find my best sellers are designer jeans (Seven for all Mankind, Citizens of Humanity) and outdoor athletic wear (Patagonia, Prana, Mountain Hardwear.) I find medical scrubs, specifically Koi by Kathy Peterson, do really well! I was so afraid of branching out, but you have given me confidence in trying new brands and styles. I am finding that Chico's and WHBM dresses sell great! Thank you again for your dedication to this blog, you have a gift!!!

  5. This is a great post. I notice folks that "specialize" in golf clubs, sports equipment, lawn mowers and vintage garden tools!

    Did you really make 2k mo for 3 mos in a row ? I'd love to hear more about that story! I want to be debt free and i want to be independent from my exhusband ... who doesn't pay on time.

    Kelly has us all posting our goals while she makes her wedding money. I decided that my goal is to list 30 items this month. I have the items. I just hate listing! Uploading photos is confusing to me. If I can make it thru 30 listings I hope to be much much faster!
    ~ Christie

  6. I started selling on eBay in March, thanks to your blog and others like it. It is so addicting to watch the auctions get more and more bidders. I can not wait to start listing again (eBay has me on a limit and I have to wait 30 days). Some advice I will give...READ THE EBAY FORUMS, esp the clothing section, if you sell clothes. YOu will find so much about brands that do well.


  7. Laura, God is surely using you, and it is written all over in this post. is no accident that you started blogging :-) no more than it is not an accident that people find it! Thanks for inspiring!

  8. Great post! I've been selling on eBay since 1999 mostly as a "hobby". But when I retired, I need to make extra money. I mostly sold vintage collectibles but things were getting harder to find. Then in February I stumbled upon Laura's & Kelly's blog. I could not believe how successful they were selling used clothing. I read each & every one of their posts and started selling clothes too. For 2 months, my sales have been well over $1000 and each month is better than the previous. This month I hope to sell $2000! That's just on eBay. I still have to try Craiglist. Denise, take the plunge ... you'll be so glad you did. Thank you Laura & kelly ... you are a blessing!

  9. I just want to say thank you for all the amazing comments of support. You guys are the best.