#FBA Friday: This Week in Estate Sales and Thrifting for Amazon FBA

It’s that time again for another weekly Amazon FBA roundup! I took things easy this week in regards to sending in any new inventory to Amazon. (Although I will admit that I have quite a bit of new inventory that has accumulated since a good deal of my online purchases to flip were delivered this week.) To be honest, I was completely BURNED OUT from prepping, cleaning, listing, labeling, packing and shipping the largest amount of inventory I have ever sent to Amazon. The great thing about Amazon FBA is that I can take a week off and the sales still come pouring in.

Here is a recap of what sold last week and this week:

#1: Jayne Mansfield Collection

I purchased this collection of DVDs at an estate sale I attended almost 3 weeks ago. I certainly wish I had a “mother’s helper” at this auction because the sheer volume of media (i.e. VHS tapes, DVDs, books, records, etc) was astounding.  This particular estate sale consisted of over 45 years of collecting. I didn’t even tackle 20% of what was available. The estate sale was so large that mid-week the company that ran it sent out an email alerting everyone that they had to rent a space to showcase all of the contents.

So why did I wish for a “mother’s helper”? Well, there was close to 1,000 VHS tapes, hundreds of books, multiple bins filled with vintage magazines, and DVDs and CDs galore. Since my daughter was in tow — and strapped to in a baby carrier me at that — I couldn’t do as much bending as I wanted to. Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on how you look it), there wasn’t enough room to store all the contents of the sale on tables so much of it was also stored on the floor underneath tables and all along the walls on the floor. I just couldn’t get my hands “dirty” like I wanted to.

Despite not being able to dig, I didn’t leave empty handed. I purchased this set of DVDs (new and sealed) for $5 (it actually had a price sticker on it).

After Amazon fees and the initial cost of the item, I profited $18.80.

#2: Construction Drawings and Details for Interiors

This book is another estate sale purchase, but completely unrelated from the estate sale I mentioned above. If you watch the first YouTube video I published, this book was apart of that lot of books I purchased.

I do have to thank Debra Conrad for this particular purchase. I never would have ventured into this niche (at an estate sale or at a thrift store) if it wasn’t for her Thirfting for Niche Book Profits guide. I was hesitant to buy the guide since I didn’t feel there was much for me to learn about selling books on Amazon (…and there wasn’t in terms of the basics), but I only pulled the plug and purchased the guide because I wanted to see what genres of books she gravitates towards in thrift stores. Boy am I glad I purchased it! I will not overlook this niche of books any more. Actually, I picked up several related books since the previous owner of the estate was an architect.

I purchased this book for $2 and it sold within 24 hours of being checked in for $42.00.

After Amazon fees and the initial cost of the item, I profited $30.51.

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The next two sales were actually featured in a photo I posted on my Instagram. You can view the photo here. These two plush, coincidentally, sold on the same day — about 2 hours apart. Both were checked in on Monday of last week and sold last Saturday.  

#3: Prostate Plush – A Seminal Work!

I can’t really tell you why I picked this up. Maybe it was because it look really interesting or maybe it was because it had its original tags. As it turned out, this plush belongs to a series focused on the human body. For $0.50, I stuck it in my basket. My plan was to sell it on eBay, but after scanning the tag when I got home, I decided to send it in to FBA since it has a reasonable rank of 30k.

I paid $0.50 for this plush and it sold for $17.95. After Amazon fees and the initial cost of the item, I profited $12.19.

#4: 10″ Care Bears Polite Panda Plush

This was another plush that I intended to sell on eBay, however, its sales history on Terapeak just didn’t look too promising for the price point that I was aiming for. Thankfully, I scanned the tag just to see if Amazon had a listing for it. I settled on listing it on Amazon even though the rank was in the millions. I was willing to let this plush sit for the right buyer since I only had $0.99 invested in him.

It turns out that I didn’t have to wait too long. The right buyer came 5 days after it was checked in to Amazon’s warehouse.

Not only did this plush not have what others might view as a “favorable” sales rank, it also had no reviews and a pretty lousy picture that doesn’t even meet Amazon listing guidelines. Yet and still, it sold — for $34.95 at that — much more than I could have gotten on eBay.

After Amazon fees and the initial cost of the item, I profited $26.14.

I should note that both plush had their original tags and were listed in “new” and “collectible very good” condition. I made sure to disclose any important details in the description box.

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Once again, some of my largest sales this week and last week came from thrifted items. There are many more sales with a higher ROI that I have not disclosed/featured because I plan to source them again online.

As another week comes to an end, I am leaning heavily towards making “online arbitrage“, liquidation, thrifted, and estate sale items the main focus of how I source inventory for Amazon FBA. Last week I dabbled into retail arbitrage on a larger scale than I ever have since becoming a reseller and let me tell you, it was not fun and it was time sucking and exhausting. I don’t even know why I did it when I told myself early on that I did not want to go that route.

Did I find some good deals while out doing retail arbitrage? Yes I did! ..but the process of scanning, gas used driving all around town, the time spent at various stores and on the road, and most of all, the huge amount of money spent was just not worth it. Not one bit! Retail arbitrage just isn’t what I enjoy doing on a regular basis and the ROI stinks even if the volume is there.

Don’t get me wrong, if I am in a store such as Walgreens, I will not hesitate to check the clearance aisle or sale items, but I have no plans to actively scout all of the Walgreens stores in a 20 mile radius for inventory or in search of a BOLO.

…since I feel that I am digressing to much, I will end here. Everyone has to find what works best for them when it comes to reselling online for profit and sourcing inventory. I hope that this week’s roundup will help you venture into new areas whether you sell on eBay or Amazon FBA.

If you have a great find or item that sold from this week, please do share it below!