It’s Flippin’ Friday! #1,300,028

It’s Flippin’ Friday. Rats. Boo. hmpf.

Last week, we learned from our readers about Coogie sweaters, Tundra Canada sweaters, a Harry Potter Scene-it DVD game, and some Boynton pillowcases. Thanks for the stories!

In honor of April Fool’s Day….let’s mix this one up.  Let’s use today as a way to PURGE that “Argh…I thought it would have been worth more” purchase from your mind.  Share a story of a item you bought that you THOUGHT was going to be great…paid quite a bit for….then turned out to be a real dud.  You know…the one that you were praying you could just recoup your money back from if it ever sold.

Simply write your story in the comments section below….we’ll give you a cyber “I  totally understand” back pat with each tale.

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15 Responses to It’s Flippin’ Friday! #1,300,028

  1. I’ll start this one off today. Oh…which one to pick? Okay….I got a little crazy at a garage sale one time that had boxes and boxes of vintage linens. I didn’t have time to go through each one….but it seemed there was a lot of good ones. There were tons of people pawing through them so I just wanted to get them out of there before the good ones were all taken…so I offered the woman $200.00 for all of them.
    When I got them home…I noticed most of the good ones had stains that I was going to have to Oxy….cause you know I’m so good at that kind of stuff. ….Not.
    I ended up ruining most of those linens with my lack of experience on how long to soak, how much Oxy to use…and just plain because I was a lumoxhead on doing the whole process.
    Very few survived my linen massacre…and I know I never even came close to getting my money back.

    Lesson learned: I don’t buy huge lots of linens without inspecting.

  2. nancy says:

    I don’t have any stories that exactly fit but your topic reminds me of two things that are similar. Lots of cheap things I buy that I think will sell and they don’t. So I end up with a bunch of “stuff” that I need to donate back and lose money on. I feel bad about the listing fees and the overall waste of money. Then there are the “special” items that I buy with stars in my eyes thinking I’m going to make lots of money. These sell but not for what I dreamed they would. Somewhere in the middle. Some of these type of items remain unlisted for long periods of time because I’m afraid to take the plunge and list them thinking if I don’t list them exactly right, take the best picture ever etc they won’t sell for what they are ‘worth’….So a few of my bigger purchases sit. And sit. And sit. Okay that did feel good to get off my chest.

  3. Linda says:

    I am also placing myself in the “failed to inspect” category. As I walked through my favorite thrift store a few months ago, I saw a pair of mens Carhartt jeans. I had had luck with the brand in the past and immediately saw dollar signs! I grabbed them off the rack and tossed them in the cart. When I got home, I saw that they had worn hems, missing belt loops and holes forming at the back pockets. And I paid a pretty penny for these because of the name – even by thrift store standards.

    I decided to list them on auction with an opening bid of 99 cents, disclosing all their flaws. I thought maybe the name alone would send them up in price. Wrong. The auction closed at 99 cents and to make matters worse, the dang things were so heavy, I lost my tail on shipping, too. I’ve become much more thorough in my inspections!

  4. This is a great topic, and I just looked over my spreadsheets for the past five years so I could play. Ended up actually feeling okay about my losses! Admittedly there were a number of items (mostly clothing) that never sold and ended up being donated…but since I itemize our taxes that’s a plus. And not one of my items that never sold cost more than $2.40 total (what I paid for it plus listing fees). Yes – I take “buy low” very seriously!

    Looking over my records reminded me of a flip I had forgotten, but it still amuses me…and I made 100% profit on it. I bought a cute little wooden mouse at a yard sale for fifty cents, after another shopper decided not to take it. Later in the morning I got into conversation at another sale with some ladies and we were showing each other what we’d found. When they saw the wooden mouse one of them screamed, “My mouse!” She was the one who had decided not to buy it earlier and had spent all morning regretting it. So I sold it to her for a dollar. And now whenever we run across each other at sales, she always calls me Mouse Lady!

  5. dogsmom says:

    Like many people I do have a great number of Beanie Babies of all sizes on hand hoping someday they will again come back in demand. Fortunately rarely did I ever pay full price (much less collector price) for any of them, so maybe 50 cents each for most, but I am sure I still have a couple hundred here and there stored around the house. The exceptions are the teeny beenies from McD’s. We ate a lot of fast food for a while and made road trips to get the desired ones.
    And I have a box of great subscription craft books that were left in a basement after a move and were forgotten about until after the flood. Luckily(?) they were not soaked, but no longer pristine. I can’t decide if I should cut my emotional ties and toss them or try to salvage pages for other purposes. Maybe scan the best ideas?

  6. shannon says:

    Same here, nothing really big time stands out for me. I made lots of mistakes early on in my selling career…but my memory is conveniently erased for those experiences!
    I usually never spent a lot…too skeered! So most things got put in my own garage sale, or re-donated.
    I’ve also done the quick grab at the Goodwill…so excited about what I found and then didn’t look closely enough. Fortunately, our Goodwills accept returns!

  7. I’m sure I have made lots of bad impulse purchases over the years, though I’m really trying to get better about inspecting things before I buy. (My bigger problem, I might add, is that I’m constantly sitting on a huge inventory of really great stuff that I don’t take the time to list and sell!)

    Coincidentally, today over at retrodame I wrote about the things that lure us initially, but that we ultimately decide to leave behind.

  8. Jessica says:

    I almost didn’t even visit here today because I’m in such a sour mood over my recent flip. It was going to be my best ever, bought a book for 75 cents and sold for $50, but it’s coming back to me with complaints of smell. Ok, I think I’ve blocked out that thrift store smell and don’t even notice it anymroe after so many years of thrifting, but really, could I miss something that hideous after taking pictures, cleaning the cover with Goo Gone, shipping, packing, etc? So now I’m out all the shipping costs since I felt so bad I offered to refund their return shipping cost too. And my fb has a comment with “mold smell” in it. (Although it was positive…) Maybe it’s all just one big April Fools Day joke and it will be over tomorrow. If not, any tips on getting plain old musty smells out of books?

    • I’m sorry Jessica….if it makes you feel better, I think most of us have been there at some point.

      Some people’s noses are more sensitive than others…sometimes books have all kinds of funky smells…even ones that are new can have a weird printing odor.
      I’ve never found anything that can take a smell completely out of a book. If its a cool book…I just list that it has a “musty odor” or “been in storage odor” in the listing and hope someone still likes it enough…or has lost their sense of smell.

      But it never feels good to have to refund a big sale like that.

      • Jessica says:

        Thanks so much for the encouraging words. At first I was *really* bummed about the whole situation, but I’m beginning to get over it. I’m only out the shipping costs, and it’s only Media Mail. No bad fb, thankfully. And it is a really neat kids’ book that my daughter and I will enjoy reading together until I figure out if it’s unstinky enough to list again someday. I think she got my ability to block out smells, because she reads all my children’s book (the girl is a bookworm) before I sell them and has never complained of the smell. My husband, however, right away could tell which books I got from the same source, he will be my smell tester from now on. The man must love me, huh? Anyway, long story short, I’m beginning to feel better and chalk it all up to a learning experience. And another upside, I’m seriously paring down on my stack of books in the garage of anything slightly funky.

  9. Barbara says:

    Items from a smoker’s house. At an estate sale I bought a great set of vintage leather suitcases, an old leather briefcase and some books. I didn’t pay a ton-maybe less than $12 for all of it but I couldn’t get the smoke smell out of the leather or the books. I googled all kinds of tricks-washed with soap, then with vinegar, sprinkled heavily with baking soda, changed out the baking soda, etc, etc. They all sat for a month and the smoke smell never changed. I ended up giving everything away on Freecycle putting that they reeked of smoke. Lesson learned-if a house smells bad when you walk inside all of the stuff will too.

    • Been there..ugh. Nothing makes me do an “about face” quicker than a smoker’s house. You just can’t get that smell out….not even worth looking.

  10. jana says:

    My bad purchases have all been the result of wishful thinking and watching too many Antique Roadshows. I really want to be the person who discovers the rare first edition, etc. After way too many gambles, I’m only buying what I’d want in my own home–which is often how it ends up. I love your blog and read it faithfully every week.

  11. These are great! It’s nice to see we share the same, albeit frustrating, experiences!

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