I'm an avid picker. I love estate sales and go to them as often as I have a few bucks to spare. In the big cities, there is usually an abundance of estate sales. And given larger cities fast-paced lifestyle, many people who inherit homes filled to the gills of things they don't want are ready to wheel and deal to unload items as quickly as possible. That's where I come in!
I'm methodical about my buying process and I'm a strategist. I use the same formula again and again to score unique items for a great price. Over time, I've gotten a better eye for things that I can resell for a profit. It doesn't always work 100%, but my profit margins are off the chain and I can honestly say that I've never lost money reselling anything.
My first task is to find sales in my area. I don't want to travel too far because gas can get expensive and I don't want to cut into my profits with extra fuel expenses. I search on Craigslist for estate sales only. I have pretty much stopped going to garage sales because they are just too many of them and almost no one posts pictures of the goods. There are also some great estate sale websites that let you search by zip code. My favorite is www.estatesales.net. Once I find a few that sound good, I peruse the photos and see if there are things that peak my interest.
Now, I look at photos with a different mindset. I'm not looking at the item they are featuring in their photo. I'm looking at all the items in the background! Estate sale companies want to feature their best items to drum up business. And those featured items are also the first items to go! And I'm not going to be the lady that shows up at 6am so I can be the first name on the list to get the first picks. It is much harder to negotiate when the estate sale crew is full of fresh coffee and still hopeful to get top dollar for their wares.
I'm the lady that shows up a few hours later...when it's hot...when they're tired and when they've already had the mad rush of rabid customers rummaging through everything like a blue light special at KMart!! I'm the gal that comes in with negotiation skills so good, they never know what hit them until I'm long gone!
So get out there with your $20 and go invest in yourself! If you have a smartphone, you have instant access to eBay or Etsy, so look up an item you fancy and see what it's worth. You'll have a lot of fun and you'll learn a thing or two in the process. --Birdie