A Yard Sale with clothes spilling out of large buckets

Transform a Yard Sale Habit into a Profitable Side Hustle

Everyone has a few more ‘primitive’ activities we love whether or not they make sense. Eating sugar is one of them, as is gardening, rock climbing, hunting, and most sports.

It doesn’t matter why we want to do them, we just do.

Oddly enough, antiquing, browsing flea markets and hunting for yard sale bargains is another one of these atavisms or primitive urges.

Even though everything we need can be found through the same kind of savvy shopping done online, it’s satisfying to physically comb through the junk and treasures that people can’t be bothered to take pictures of and post on eBay, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t.

The Yard Sale Hobby

If you crave a great yard sale, flea market, or swap meet deal, this is just your many skilled bargain-hunting ancestors rearing their heads and driving you to do things they did for generations.

It’s not unusual to long to comb through old clocks, stopped watches, and potentially priceless jewelry trying to sort the useless knickknacks from the true valuables. When you find something great, beautiful, or useful, you get it for the lowest possible price and feel that something has been one.

While most people with the yard sale hobby struggle to find enough places to put and things to do with their prizes, the modern e-commerce culture gives you the perfect answer.

Put your trained eye to work making money online from your real-world treasure hunting.

Cleaning Up Your Yard Sale Treasures

The first step to turning your yard sale prizes into profits is to clean them up.

Ideally, you want to restore each item to as close as ‘new’ quality as possible while emphasizing the age and personality in each piece.

While you won’t be able to sell them as new, many people look for antiques and unique items through public eCommerce sites like eBay and Gumdrop.

Cleaning Supplies

  • Towel
  • Soft cotton cloth
  • Q-Tips
  • Multi-surface cleaner
  • Oil for polishing

Start by wiping most of the dust or grime away with the towel, possibly with the help of some cleaning solution. Then use a combination of the soft cloth and the q-tips to get the dust out of the corners and small grooves.

If the item is either wood or metal, finish by using the oil to polish it to a bright shine. You may need special procedures for metals that have rusted or tarnished over time.

Take Pictures from All Sides

No matter what your favorite selling platform is, you’ll want clean, clear images from as many angles as possible.

Shoot the item on a white sheet or a set of draped white paper and make sure your illumination lights all visible surfaces clearly and pleasantly before taking a flash-free picture.

Turn the item and repeat the process until you have at least the top, bottom, front, back, left, and right sides.

If you can, remove the background entirely for a professional looking set of item images.

Describe the Item in an Honest and Complimentary Manner

There are two important aspects to your description when selling online. The first is honesty, as you’re building your online seller reputation. You want every buyer to know exactly what they’re getting and to be happy with it.

The second key to a great item description is positivity. Your scavenged treasures exude history, glow with elegance, and add a touch of class to any room.

With an artistic turn of phrase you can tell the complete truth and sell your items hard at the same time.

Sit Back and Wait for Money

Because you’re already doing something you love and have an eye for valuable items, once you list them, your eBay store becomes a source of passive income and a receptacle for all your best treasure finds.

You get to celebrate each yard sale discovery by making a new listing and when the right buyer eventually comes along, you get paid and have the final duty of shipping your treasures to their new appreciative owners.

Yard sales, garage sales, and flea markets are a great place to find hidden and undervalued treasures. If you delight in yard sale archaeology, why not use that eye for value to your own benefit? Fund future ‘digs’ with the proceeds from your finds today or even start building a savings account for longer-term goals.

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Jarred goods sitting on a pantry shelf.

10 Hearty, Healthy and Affordable Pantry Must-Haves

It’s easy to go broke if you’re giving all your hard-earned cash to impromptu meals out. When you’re tired and hungry, and the cupboards are bare, it’s easy to spend excessive amounts on unhealthy fast-food and quick-service menu items. But if you prepare ahead of time, stocking your pantry with filling, affordable staples, making your own meals will be much less daunting.

And it comes with a bonus: cook a larger batch than usual and you’ll have leftovers ready for tomorrow’s lunch (or even tomorrow’s dinner).

You don’t need fancy recipes or ingredients if you stay stocked with basic foods that allow you to mix-and-match. Start with a starch, add a protein and vegetable, and you’ll be set.

Check your local bulk wholesaler for these goods (Sam’s, Costco, BJ’s, etc.); you can also find these items, sometimes even on sale, at your local grocery store:

  1. Frozen Broccoli

    A powerhouse of vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants, broccoli has been ignored in favor of “trendier” vegetables. But there are endless ways to prepare broccoli, and purchasing large frozen bags means that you’ll always have some on hand. Experience different variations with oven roasted frozen broccoli, steamed broccoli with olive oil, garlic, and lemon, or even broccoli pesto.

  2. Dried Lentils

    The beauty of dried lentils is that they’re incredibly cheap, have a long shelf-life, and are available in different variations to suit your tastes. According to fix.com, lentils provide more folate than any other plant food. They come in multiple varieties: brown lentils are a traditional mainstay of chain supermarkets, but green, red, and yellow lentils can be found with a little digging. Each type of lentil has its own taste and best usage: check out this breakdown on Bon Appetit.

  3. Whole Wheat Pasta

    A few minutes to boil the water, ten minutes to boil the pasta – done. If you’re accustomed to “white pasta”, make the switch easier by getting two boxes, one whole wheat and one traditional, and slowly starting to mix the two. Whole wheat pasta has a nuttier flavor, with a more chewy texture than traditional pasta. Enjoy its benefits of increased whole grains and dietary fiber.

    Whole wheat pasta can be enjoyed with a variety of sauces, such as tomato, alfredo, or pesto – or simply with olive oil, garlic, and herbs.

  4. Walnuts

    These nuts are typically more pricey than the other items on our list, but you can find amazing deals on bulk bags of walnuts at large wholesale stores. Walnuts contain ridiculously healthy phenols and are mighty tasty when crushed and added as toppings to yogurt, cereal, and even pasta dishes. If you’re feeling really adventurous, take a shot at making your own walnut butter.

  5. Canned Salmon

    Inexpensive and readily available, canned salmon is equally nutritious as its fresh counterpart. Canned salmon can be kept on hand for a super-quick meal: salmon salad. Drain the salmon and combine with a light mayo, and desired herbs, for a light dinner on bread or whole-wheat crackers. If you want a more hearty meal, try these baked salmon croquettes.

  6. Rice

    Delicious and affordable, rice is popular with many cultures for a reason. But it has recently come under fire for potentially high arsenic levels, especially in some brands. Reduce the risks and enjoy your rice with this cooking hack. Make a big pot of rice and enjoy throughout the week as a bed for sauteed vegetables and beans. Enjoy white rice in moderation.

  7. Split peas

    Like lentils, these come in multiple varieties, though you’re likely to only find the traditional green type in most stores. Split peas are perfect for hearty, protein, and fiber-filled meals – especially perfect for steaming bowls of soup when the weather grows chilly. If you’re a slow-cooker aficionado, you’ll enjoy this easy-to-prepare recipe for split pea soup.

  8. Dried Italian Seasoning

    If you want to get really fancy, you can make your own Italian seasoning. But if you’re like the rest of us, you’ll probably benefit from purchasing a large container of this versatile herb mix. Again available in bulk at most major wholesalers (ask someone for help in finding the herbs and spices section.) Italian seasoning can be added to both pasta and rice dishes as a finishing touch – a quick hack to provide a savory, gourmet flavor profile to your everyday meals.

  9. Unsweetened Cocoa Powder

    The joyous news about cocoa is that it’s actually quite good for you, in its pure, unsweetened form. The news on the street is that cocoa is a delightful (and awakening) source of antioxidants – just don’t try it on a spoon, though, you’ll need to mix that powder with something. Try these healthy cocoa baking recipes from Shape.com.

  10. Peanut Butter/Nut Butters

    A staple of kid lunches, peanut and nut butters are also available in bulk at many wholesale stores. But did you know that you can make a delicious sauce for pasta, vegetables or rice? Try out this amazing all-purpose nut butter sauce from Cooking Light.

Cooking and eating on a budget doesn’t need to be boring. Investigate more budget-friendly resources at Timberline Financial and explore your options for debt-relief.

If you are burdened with high amounts of credit card debt and are struggling to make your payments, or you’re just not seeing your balances go down, call Timberline Financial today for a FREE financial analysis.  Our team of highly skilled professionals will evaluate your current situation to see if you may qualify for one of our debt relief programs. You don’t have to struggle with high-interest credit card debt any longer.  Call (855) 250-8329 or get in touch with us by sending a message through our website.