Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Carefully Consider Your Purchases

Back during the 1990s people thought Beanie Babies would be very collectible and worth a lot of money eventually.

My sister had quite a collection, but she was smart and sold them while they were still being sought after. Turns out she made the right decision. Today you can find Beanie Babies for a dime a dozen at yard sales.

During that same time Longaberger Baskets were also very valuable and sought after from collectors. Turns out those items too are now sold at yard sales for a fraction of what they originally cost.

I myself bought a Longaberger Picnic Basket for $2.00 at a yard sale that originally sold for over $100.00 from Longaberger. Although I did sell it this summer for $5.00 at the flea market.  

People used to think these types of collections could bring them a lot of money down the road, but that turned out not to be true.  Nowadays these items can be found at yard sales for a fraction of their original cost, leaving many people out of a great deal of money.

Look at the price that some people pay for new movies, new books, and TV shows on DVD. Since these items are mass produced and there are so many copies out there, they quickly lose their value. Of course a frugal person will use this to their advantage and wait to buy these items when the prices goes down.  

After working at the flea market this past summer I have come to the conclusion that many items do not hold their value.

I had one item marked at $4.00 for a couple of weeks, but finally lowered that to $2.00 just to try and move it only to have someone ask me to take even less for it.

I watched as item after item sold for much less than I thought it would go for and my prices were very reasonable. I priced my items so I could move them and not have to bring them home at the end of the day.

I even had one lady,  a repeat customer, tell me I didn’t have anything she needed that day, but she always checked out what I had because my prices were low. I wasn’t in this to gouge people, but rather to make money, so I kept my prices very reasonable.   

The flea market experience seriously made me question almost everything I purchase now.  I don’t know if I will ever buy something that is not useful or an absolute must have purchase without giving it some very deep thought.

~ Living within our Means ~


  1. I agree since we are considering downsizing in the not too distance future I have been decluttering little by little and the items we just had to have that we forgot about or never used we are now donating and it's somewhat unreal when you stand back and look at what is leaving your home. I very rarely even go in a store these days unless I need something and I buy only what I went for and don't say to myself when I see something else "oh, how nice I'll use it some day." It seems that day never comes and eventually it just goes out.

    1. Yes, Mary Lou, it is unreal when you look at all that is leaving your home. It's very disheartening.

  2. Sold my son's Lego at a garage sale for $45 last month. I cringe when I think of how much I spent on it all.

    I only buy stuff that I truly want and never in the hopes that it will increase in value.

    1. Never in hopes that it will increase in value is good thinking on your part, Theresa.

  3. Your Longaberger ba

    We buy foolishly at times and encourage others to do likewise, at least in the past. Now, I never buy anything I should not. LIE! I aim not to buy, though, and have finally reached a high percentage of not buying.

    Selling your Longaberger picnic basket netted $3 profit. Had you used it? Try as we might, so-called picnic season is too hot for us; however, there were the years that Pottery Barn's picnic baskets were enticing. Never bought.

    Your flea market summer was worthwhile. Are you planning to sell again in 2017?

    1. I didn't use it as a picnic basket, Anna, but I did use it to store things inside. Then I sold those things, mostly, at the flea market as well. I will plan to sell again next summer if I do not find a full time permanent job by then. Bailey is really into couponing and that stuff sells very well at the flea market. She paid all of her auto car insurance, and gas, some food and household items, a few things she needed, by selling all summer too.

  4. Am I correct that you wrote about your Longaberger basket years ago, maybe elsewhere? A relative in NJ had a curbside Longaberger sale last week. She was charging $200 for a previous $500 handbag. ::thud::

    Like Beanie Babies, Longaberger had its day, that is except for the limited edition of a bear to raise money for a Princess Diana cause after her death. At a flea market, a vendor selling toys recognized the limited edition bear and bought it for $15. That Beanie Bear could sell for $100,000+. ::gasp::

    When Memphis Central Library has its gigantic sales, dealers are like vultures with their technology in hand to determine value of books to re-sell. Nothing like free-trade market.

    Then before school begins, laptops are about 25% off instead of being tax free.

    Bailey raked it in with her couponing and flea marketing and knows the value of a penny.

  5. I did writ about the Longaberger basket when I first bought it at a yard sale, Anna. Maybe that is what you're thinking about.

    We see the dealers with their phones out scanning at the flea market too. Lot of people are out there trying to make a living anyway they can.

    1. My memory served me about the Longaberger. Yay!

      Using a phone to know value on the spot can yield a fairly good living. Bravo for those using a legal means to earn a living in our free market system.

      My community limits number of yard sales at a land parcel(house)per year. People get together for sales at each others's homes. Also, I do not discard leftovers from my sales. Instead, I neatly repack and stack for next time. Next time, unsold items can and do yield profit.

    2. Good memory!

      Yes, on using phones to create a good living or even an alternate source of income. One of Bailey's teachers, who also owns the local laundromat, pumped them full of information on creating multiple streams of income, so as not to rely on any one source of income.

      I do the same as you with regards to my leftover yard sale items. What might not sell today may sell another day for sure.

      Getting together with friends to have a sale is a good way to "get around" the rule of how many yard sales you can have in one year.

  6. It is kind of disheartening...lol. I'm trying to train myself to look around first and see if I have a substitute item that will work. If I find I do not, I try to look for items at the thrift store now before I pay retail. Most often though I have something I can make do with.

    1. That is a good way of dealing with it, Busy Bee. Good advice for sure.


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