mad anthony

Rants, politics, and thoughts on politics, technology, life,
and stuff from a generally politically conservative Baltimoron.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Sometimes it seems like there's just so much for nothing in this life...

They were giving away free money at work yesterday. It was piled up in the hallway, waiting for the trash guy to pick it up. Dozens of people had walked by it.

OK, so it wasn't actual money. What it was was a pile of old Biology textbooks that a professor who retired was getting rid of. Most people look at them and see an old pile of useless books. However, people like me and a few of my coworkers look at it and see a pile of useless books that can be sold for a profit. Three of us carted them off, and looked them up on Most of them weren't worth anything, but we each found a dozen or so with values ranging from $10 to $60. We donated the worthless ones to BookThing, so at least they won't go in the trash.

Sure, they won't make me rich, and who knows if anyone will buy any of them. Chances are, though, a few of them will sell, and it's money that I wouldn't otherwise have for minimal work. Plus, it's free to list on half, so it doesn't cost me anything to throw up the books and see if anyone buys them.

I'm amazed how much free money there is for the taking. When you work at a college, it's not unusual for people to throw out books that can be resold for a profit. Deal forums like Fatwallet and slickdeals regularly list items for free, or cheap, many of which can be used or resold for a profit on eBay or at Hamfests.

I also regularly go to yard sales, and it's amazing how cheaply people will sell stuff for that can be resold for a profit. Most weeks when I go yard sales, I don't buy anything, or I buy one or two small things for myself. Every now and then, though, I hit the jackpot. A few good finds from this year:

-I bought a random box of computer stuff for $15. In it was a 16x external dvd burner, a video capture device, a very nice memory card reader, and some other stuff. I probably got about $60 for the contents at hamfest.

-I bought another random box of computer cables and stuff for $20 at another yard sale. Buried in the box was a pair of Grado headphones that went for close to $40 on eBay (along with a bunch of other small hamfest-able items).

-I bought a fishfinder for $10, new and sealed. eBayed for $100 (which was surprising because most of the auctions went for around $60)

-Last week I scored what may have been one of my best finds. Stopped by a yard sale and a guy had a PS2, an XBox, and a bunch of games. He wanted $100 for each. He also had a bunch of stuff in the house. Picked through it, and was about to leave, when he asked if we (I went with bsom) wanted the stuff. Not at that price. He offered all of it to me for $75. Jumped on it. So far, I sold the XBox and a sealed copy of Halo to a coworker for $100, and I've sold about $50 worth of games on half. I still have a bunch of ps2 games listed on half, and the PS2 itself (with 4 controllers, a memory card, and 6 games that aren't worth much) which I need to list on eBay. I should get $75 or so for that. Not bad for a morning's work.

So when I hear people complain about how broke they are, I have to wonder how hard they are trying - there's a fair amount of fairly easy opportunities to make money if you are willing to put the time and effort into it.


At 1:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great Post Antony!

I also use for finding great deals instead of browsing all the deal sites.


Post a Comment

<< Home