Sunday, October 21, 2007

Experiments in Frugality

Between classes and work, I'm a pretty busy person. Money is stretched thin, and many times my paychecks are spent before I even receive them. But I'm going to be in school for the long haul, and after the wedding Adam and I will still both be students. So I've found this an opportunity to learn creative ways to be cheap..er..frugal.

I had never even been to a garage sale until I moved away for college. They amused me for a time, until Adam introduced me to the *Estate Sale*. An addiction was born. Beautiful items in a big fancy house, from decades of collecting? I was in love. Soon I was buying up china, tablecloths, books, and all kinds of gorgeous things that I had no place for. My tiny little apartment couldn't take anymore!

Many times- since I'm all about the deals- I'll wait until the last hour or so of an estate sale, when items are typically 50% to 75% off. I had a thought- why not try ebay? I knew nothing about collectibles or what they are worth, or what is even considered a collectible. So last March I listed my first batch of items, and through lots of trial and error, have found a fun way to earn some extra income.

It took a while to get the hang of it, and I bought my fair share of items that had flaws because I hadn't examined them well enough. Shipping was also a lesson in the school of hard knocks- I ate profits a time or two. But by summertime I was earning on average, $100-$150 a week- not bad for a hobby. This allowed me to enjoy my 'sailing', and use it in a lucrative way, instead of just filling up my home with things I didn't need.

All in all, I've earned a few thousand dollars since I started the ebay habit. I don't have time to sell full time right now, but every once in a while I'll list some things and make a quick $100.

Oh, and I have managed to add a few extremely cool pieces to my collection along the way. Some things I just couldnt part with.

So if you're looking for an inexpensive way to get a shopping fix, check the paper for garage and estate sales. You never know what treasures you might find.


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