There is money in these streets!

Well, sidewalks anyway….

Today just before closing, a man came into the shop with a thousand dollar bill

As you can see, this isn’t your average “Cleveland”. This bill is encased in lucite.

The $1000 bill was printed until 1946, and taken out of circulation in by the federal reserve in 1969 by the federal reserve under the direction of Nixon. Nixon believed the higher denomination currency made it easier for criminals to launder money.

This $1000 was in a sidewalk in Barrington, RI. Apparently a homeowner in Barrington put a $1000, a $100, a $50 and a $20 all in the walkway. The home owner (according to the neighbor) put the money in there and enjoyed watching people trying to dig it out. It had been there for as long as she could remember…and was removed today.

The man who brought the bill in was doing construction on that neighbors house, and decided to take his hammer drill and pull that bad boy out of the ground.

He had already brought it to the bank and they said they could not accept it because they could not physically touch it, so he brought it to me.

I sort of wish I bought it, but I didn’t. I love quirky stories and local history, and this was both. As a mater of fact, I even put something in the sidewalk cement during construction just recently. But I don’t think that someone will try to get it out in 50+ years from now, it is only a buffalo nickel with my initials. (See that blog here: Wet Cement)

I told him he could contact the Internal Revenue Service and they would be able to “remove it from circulation” and would probably send him a check for $720. $1000 minus the 28% tax, cause the government always needs their piece of the action ūüôā

You can find anything….

As a reseller, I enjoy getting things back to people who have been looking for them for a while.  A few times, customers have contacted me to let me know how happy they were to finally find something they were looking for.  This is one of the perks to hustling.

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This sort of thing has happens to me once in a while. A customer will contact me and tell me they were looking for something for a long time and finally found it. I had a man contact after he purchased and received a “lamp”. ¬†I had no idea about the item, didn’t know what it went to, or any info on the lamp….I just figured I would list it on eBay and see what happens. ¬†When he received it, he sent me this message….FullSizeRender

How cool is it to have something that is the “only one known to exist” pass through my hands? ¬†Sometimes business is hard, but I could / would never do anything else.

Lessons on Losses

I recently read the book “Black Privilege, Opportunity comes to those who create it” and one of the principals is: There are no losses, just lessons. ¬†I find this to be true, and it happens to me constantly.

A few months ago I bought a diamond ring. ¬†The ring was ok, just about a carat. ¬†To be honest, I don’t like buying diamonds. ¬†I get a little intimidated because I don’t have the grading skills needed to be the diamond business. ¬†Diamonds are a very competitive business, I would rather just grab the low hanging fruit on the tree and stick to silver. ¬†I find the return on smaller items better than that on the high end items…but that is just me.

A woman came in to the shop with her grandmothers diamond. ¬†I knew this woman’s husband who passed away last year. ¬†I let emotions get involved and I ended up paying too much for the stone. ¬†She said she wanted $500, but I thought I could get more, so I paid her $700. ¬†I never talk a customer up on price, but I let my feelings get to me, and I wanted to help her out.

When I went to my diamond guy, he said the most he could pay was $500 cash. ¬†It was not like he was low balling me, it was my fault that I didn’t notice the stone had a small chip on one side. (LESSON ONE: For future reference, many jewelers will hide chips under the setting prongs) ¬†Of course I didn’t want to take a loss, so I negotiated $700 in store credit instead of $500 cash. ¬†With the store credit I purchased more silver out of his scrap bin. I figure this would be the way to turn the loss into a break even and then into a profit.

I ended up getting lucky.

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I pulled this Historic Navajo Arts & Crafts Guild cuff out of the scrap for about $40 from the credit.  I was going to put it up for $125, but I did the research and saw people asking crazy prices for it, so I figured why not ask something crazy myself!  I put it up for $999 or best offer, and within a day I got offered $700,  Ca-Ching!  I ended up turning the loss on the diamond into a profit.

I was proud of myself for the score, but I ended up not doing enough research on all the items I pulled out of scrap. ¬†(LESSON TWO: ¬†DO YOUR RESEARCH EVERY TIME!!) ¬†Just like I didn’t do enough research on the comic book score a few months back, this time I let a signed silver piece of jewelry slip by.

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I listed this yesterday, a Sterling Silver shetland sheep dog brooch. ¬†Even though I saw it had an unusual hallmark, I didn’t bother to research and I put it up for $35. ¬†It sold quick, and to another dealer. ¬†The hallmark I didn’t bother to research is Thomae & Co. ¬†The person who bought it from me has similar brooches (Dogs from different breeds) up in their store for $250. ¬†So, while I am happy I turned $4.50 into $30, I would have been happier turning it into $200. ¬†I still sent it out to the woman who bought it. ¬†She will make 6 times her original investment. ¬†I can’t hate on that, it is the game we play as hustlers. I usually get to be the one turning the better profit, but lesson learned.

Darn you Harlequin!

Two weeks ago I went to a hoarders house and got a ton of books and comics. (See that blog here) It was a bit overwhelming, I drove around with my car full of comic book boxes for over a week.

I tried to go through the boxes, but there were soooo many. I couldn’t fit them in my shop, so I tried to go through them in my parking lot. It was very cold, so I ran through the boxes looking for 10 and 15 cent covers and any Cool looking Wonder Woman covers. (Eventually my goal is to frame some cool covers and decorate my daughters’ room with powerful images.)

These boxes took up so much room. I couldn’t even see out of the back window of my car, so I decided to do a quick flip.

One of my regulars, Randy, wanted 2 boxes. Then he called John, who sells at the flea market, to buy the rest. Somehow one of Randy’s boxes got switched and he called to ask if he could get it back. I had already loaded Johns van, so we unloaded and found the box of Batman comics that Randy left behind.

While we waited for Randy, John went through the box. I have very limited knowledge of comics, I usually only look for first runs or low cover prices. John started going through the box full of mostly Batman, and says “If you have #12 of Batman’s Adventures, that is the first appearance of Harlequin. That is good money”. Not even 20 seconds later he says “Bingo, here it is!”

This comic is from 1993, for some reason I figured most first appearances would have happened in the eighties or before.

Unfortunately, I had already made the deal. I looked up past auctions on eBay and saw it sell from between $250-$700. I had just sold it for probably less that 10 cents. OUCH!

Randy came in and John says “Did you see this one?” And Randy said “what is it? I just grabbed the Batman box because I know that title sells”

Randy kept saying he didn’t know there was such a valuable comic in the box, he was sorry, and he would cut me in on it when he sells it. I actually believe him, he is one of the few nice and honest guys I know in this business.

I have heard in life there are no loses, just lessons. I learned I need to take my time and do research. I do blame myself, but I will say if it was summer I would have taken my time to go through the lot…and probably not found it anyway

My love for Cumby’s

I work for myself. I spend quite a few hours a day in my store, by myself. ¬†I like it, not having a boss and stuff, but I do miss having “fellow employees”. ¬†I have a pretty strict routine. ¬†Everyday (weekday that is) I get up, go to the gym, go home, then go to work stopping at cumberland farms on my way. ¬†I also go to the post office everyday to ship my orders from ebay, etsy, amazon, etc. You name it I probably sell on it. ¬†So these people are basically like my co workers, only I don’t tell them what to do, and they don’t tell me what to do. ¬†Almost like “single serving friends” as the term coined by Fight Club.

But these are my daily single servings.  I see the same people all the time.  The people who work for the post office and the ones who work at Cumberland farms.  Everyday, the same people at the same time.

So these single serving friends have become a part of my routine, and I actually look forward to seeing them every day.

It is strange, because every Cumberland Farms I have been in, all the employees are friendly. ¬†I only ran into one Cumbys where the one employee was a bit rude, but she was old and I felt bad she was still working at her age. ¬†Every other Cumberland farms I visit, they are all so friendly. ¬†I have been to some so many times they know my name. ¬†It is like the tv show Cheers ūüôā

So Cumby’s had a competition to see who the #1 fan was. ¬†Of course I entered the competition because I actually think I am perfect for the title. ¬†Here is my submission:

I don’t have much of a singing voice, so I went with the filter. ¬†There is only one other submission I can find, and that is this guy:

I love his video too ūüôā I can relate to this guy, we both love cumby’s, and we both have great spelling skills. This guy could be my single serving friend anytime.¬†(Also, I still don’t know if it is Cumby’s or Cumbies)

So hopefully I won, I love free stuff and can use the gift card ūüôā

Jewelry Trends….

I just got back from Brimfield.  I usually go to all the shows, May, July, and September to shop at least one day per show, sometimes two days.  I have worked many shows, for a few different dealers until I set up myself.  What is interesting about Brimfield is how you get to see trends.

I can remember a few years ago, everyone was looking for goldfilled watch fobs and chains.  Then there was the year everyone was looking for garnets.  Then mourning jewelry.  Amber and bakelite was very popular a few years ago too.

It is a strange phenomenon, you will have 10 different people come to your booth from 10 different parts of the world (you can tell by the accents) and all will ask for the same items..verbatim! ¬†“Do you have watch fobs” ¬†“Do you have articulating charms” etcetera. ¬†After every show, I would run back to the shop and list anything I might have in the shop that matched what trends I saw.

This show I didn’t set up, I only went to shop, so I don’t know what people are asking for. ¬†It is strange that when I returned home, I had two very similar items on two different platforms sell. ¬†Both were mosaic style earrings.

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This pair of earrings (above) sold on etsy, after initially getting listed in 2013.  This was relisted 11 times!!! Today it was purchased.  (On a side note etsy gives you some great stats to look at)

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This pair of earrings also sold, but on eBay. Unfortunately eBay doesn’t give you the great stats that etsy does, but I know these were most likely listed for as long as the other pair that sold on etsy.

Both sold for around $30. ¬†It is just strange that they are both “mosaic” earrings that had been listed for such a long time, and they both sold on the same day. ¬†Maybe this style is the new / next trend?

The history behind the sale…

I go to a ton of Estate and yard sales. ¬†I try to hit some every week. ¬†Usually, at estate sales, you don’t see the family who owns the items. ¬†Most of the time you just figure it was elderly people that moved into a nursing home or passed away. ¬†You can always tell it is elderly people by the furnishing, pictures, and most of all the lighting. ¬†For some reason elderly people like dim lights.

This week I went to an estate sale in Barrington. ¬†Later that night, my cousin called me to tell me it was the “Barrington Twins” house. ¬†I knew the story, it made national news.

Two 97-year-old twin sisters apparently froze to death Saturday after they fell outside and were stranded overnight just steps from one of their Rhode Island homes.

The sisters had returned to Haley’s home from dinner Friday night with their 89-year-old sister. The younger sister, who lives elsewhere in Barrington and wasn’t named by police, left the two sisters at some point before the falls, police said.

They said Williams was going to her car to leave Haley’s home when she fell in the driveway, near the rear of her vehicle. When Haley attempted to re-enter her home to call for help, police said she may have tripped on a rug in the garage and fallen.

While it is very sad, you have to think they had a pretty wonderful life.  The house was incredible, and they were out enjoying diner with family on their last night.  They did live a long life, that I am sure was filled with its ups and downs, but they came into the world together and they left together.

After that estate sale I went to a yard sale in Bristol. ¬†All the items were Elvis related, so I asked the woman if this was “Elvis’s House”. ¬†Bristol had a man who was known as Elvis. His love for elvis and all things Elvis was incredible. He came to my shop a bunch of times to buy and sell stuff. ¬†(He actually asked me out a few times too) ¬†This past winter he passed away.

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My favorite memory of Elvis was when he came to my store about 5-6 years ago. ¬†He had a box lot of stuff, I don’t even remember what it was he was selling. ¬†A guy working at my store at the time said “I’ll give you $50 for it” and Elvis yelled out “I want $40, I’m not taking any less than $40!” ¬†The friend he was with said “HE JUST SAID HE WOULD GIVE YOU $50 YOU DUMMY!” ¬†Everyone at the store laughed, including Elvis. ¬†You could tell he must have been working himself up to say the “I’m not taking less than $40” line, he must have been practicing that line the whole car ride to the shop. He was such a nice guy. ¬†Especially sad that he had just beaten cancer. ¬†43 is too young to die.

Check out the video, like subscribe, and leave some comments ūüôā

The Direction….

directionWhen I first started this blog / instagram / youtube channel/ et al, I figured I would just do yard sales. ¬†I am finding that I want to do more, expand. ¬†There are so many things I am interested in. ¬†I’m not saying I’m the most interesting person in the world, but I’m far from boring.

You can find all types of people that probably have similar interests as I do. I am just saying, I am going to start using this and all my platforms as a sort of virtual diary.  Of course there will be many entries on yard sales / hustling, because that is a major part of my life.  But there is much more.

I listen to Gary Vee and how he says “it is all about the legacy” I want to document some of my life for my legacy.

So here is a little background on me.

I’m 40 years old….it seems weird to say that because I always though 40 was old but now I am there, I still don’t feel like an adult. (Side note, I do think this blog/vlog might be associated to a midlife crisis….and I am sure we will explore that)

I was born and raised in Rhode Island.  Lived here most of my life.  I did live in Spain for 6 months while studying abroad in college.

I am a wife, married on July 24, 2011 in Central Park NY.  That was the day Gay Marriage became legal in NY, and since it was not legal in RI at the time, I got married there.

I am a mother of two beautiful girls.  Their conception and birth will probably be explored on this blog as well.

I love filming. ¬†I made a feature documentary “Happy Endings?” and made it into wikipedia!¬†The documentary follow women who work in Asian massage parlors in Rhode Island during the time prostitution was decriminalized

I currently own a little shop called Warren Exchange, I buy and sell stuff. ¬†eBay, Etsy, Amazon, you name the platform, I’m probably on it.

If you looked at my instagram feed, you would see a bunch of pictures of coins, drag queens, tattoos, and hip hop.  These are my favorite things.

I  do a weekly podcast with my friend Sabrina who is in the UK.  We mostly discuss culture, politics, and trending topics.  We have very different perspective on everything. Check it here on Soundcloud and here on Youtube

So, that is me in a nut shell.  I hope you decide to follow me on this journey.

 

 

 

 

Yod Sale Vlog Season 1 Episode 4


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This week we hit a few more yard sales and an estate sale. ¬†The weather was horrible on Friday and I think that kept the number of yard sales down. ¬†Also the fact that this was a holiday weekend, many people travel and are not around to have or go to yard sales. ¬†The estate sale was weird in the fact that the resident was still in the house. ¬†Most estate sales, the home owner has either moved or passed away. ¬†There was one “fight” at the start of the estate sale. ¬†I have to remind myself that I am filming, because usually when I see an estate or yard sale fight, I walk away. ¬†I need to remember I am filming so I can get that footage….I know it is the footage that everyone wants. ¬†This upcoming weekend, I will be holding my own yard sale at the store with a few other people. ¬†Also I am going to go trash picking with a friend on Sunday. ¬†It should be fun. ¬†Make sure you come back for that. ¬†Happy Hunting!

Yod Sale Vlog Season 1 Episode 3

This week the weather was BEAUTIFUL! ¬†I headed out to hit a multifamily neighborhood sale in East Greenwich. ¬†Since starting this blog and Facebook page¬†I have been getting tips from friends about sales in the area. ¬†My college roommate turned me on to a huge community sale in East Greenwich, so I headed there…..but I didn’t make it.

East Greenwich is around 45 minutes from my shop, (I open my shop at 10am on saturdays) and after thinking about how much time I would be losing traveling, and after getting a call from my cousin who lives in the town next to my shop, I decided to just do some local yard and garage sales. I had seen a bunch of signs going up on Friday when I left work, so I knew there would be plenty to hit.

We hit 10 sales in total.

Two¬†sales ¬†were my favorite. ¬†One was a moving sale, and the deals were unbelievable. ¬†I picket up a polaroid printer for $10! ¬†They had a $55 price tag, I asked “What is the best you can do on this?” and the home owner said $10! ¬†I was thinking he would go to $40 or $35, and I would have bought it at that because it is selling on Amazon for $95 after FBA fees. ¬†When he dropped the price to $10 I should have gone back to grab more things.

Moving sales are better than just regular yard sales because the people have to sell everything. ¬†They don’t want to pack it. ¬†People at yard sales might just be looking to make some money, their impetus to sell is not as dire. Moving sales are usually at the end of the month, and the stuff has to be gone by the first, so you really have leverage when it comes to negotiating.

The second sale that I liked was a multifamily sale that was being held to raise money for a church mission.  They had a bunch of kids working the sale and they also had a bake sale with goodies and coffee.  I was happy to see the money go to a good cause.

Please like and subscribe, and Pretty Please with Sugar on top, Leave a comment! ¬†I want to hear from you ūüôā