Storage Auctions

What is the biggest return on investment you have experienced on a single item ?

Offline MovieMan

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I'll have to think on that one myself, but I do have an example from a fellow buyer.

He bought a thimble (for sewing) for 10 cents and it sold on eBay for $100. Now that's a good return!

He also turned a pair of old rusty beer cans into great profit; purhased for $2 sold for $600.

This guy has a way with "crap" that we all would like to duplicate, and it also proves that people will "collect" anything.

So, what was your best turnover?


Hmm - I don't really have one that I can think of off the top of my head.  Closest thing would be the 1/10 oz gold panda coin I purchased in a lot of world coins years ago.  Paid like $60 for the whole lot and that one coin is worth about $177 at current spot price.

I have gotten some new ideas from the guy next to me at the flea market.  He takes old pictures, newspaper clips, etc. and puts them in a frame with some other items.  To me it's all junk - but his junk sales.  So keeping my eye out for old magazines and such that many of us may just toss that could be worth some money combined with other things.

I love the idea of framing old newspaper/magazine clippings with other bits to make a nice piece. My wife does enjoy doing little crafty things, so maybe get her brain thinking about something like that.

Offline MovieMan

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I love the idea of framing old newspaper/magazine clippings with other bits to make a nice piece. My wife does enjoy doing little crafty things, so maybe get her brain thinking about something like that.

That's a good answer....FOR ANOTHER THREAD !

Matches, your matching gears are slipping.


I have gotten some new ideas from the guy next to me at the flea market.  He takes old pictures, newspaper clips, etc. and puts them in a frame with some other items.

MovieMan: It was in response to craig's comment above. Yes, getting off-topic, but still part of the thread. Maybe I should use the quote tool in the future.

I'll be cowering my head in shame should anyone need me.  :-[

Offline money4nothing

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Boy we had to think on that one...

Took son's truck for money he owed us (time to grow up). He owed us about $500. Sold the truck for $1000.00. Bought the truck back 6 months later for $100.00 (it had repairs done to it, new gas tank, new battery) Truck was full of gas... Sold back to our son for $700.00...

He grew up....  ;D

I bought 2 rookwood bookends for $15 at a garage sale,Sold them on ebay for $299.00,Bought a set of dishes at Salvation Army for $50.Piece sold on ebay for $500.

Offline MovieMan

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MovieMan: It was in response to craig's comment above. Yes, getting off-topic, but still part of the thread. Maybe I should use the quote tool in the future.

I'll be cowering my head in shame should anyone need me.  :-[

Hey, I'm the one who should be bowing my head !  I thought your reply was to a comment in another thread...I didn't remember it was the second paragraph of the note above yours.

Sorry for calling you out incorrectly.   :'(

Sorry for calling you out incorrectly.   :'(

Not a problem, sir.

Now, let us get back to the thread, cause I like this topic.

Bought one of those antique glass fire extinguisher grenades (that you throw at the fire to put it out) at a farm auction last year for $5.  I windexed the glass and made it shine, all labels were real nice under the dust.  Sold on ebay for $153.

Another time went to a bar that was closing down and the owner asked if we were interested in any beer signs. Made an offer of $20 for a Spuds McKenzie beer sign that lights up. (Not neon but one of those you pull the string and it lights up that is 24''X24'')  Put on ebay and got $250.

Austrian WWII era inkwell and stamp holder: Bought for $0.25. Sold for $150

1936 Texas Bicentennial Exposition rouge makeup compact: Bought for $3.00 sold for $150

1920's - 1930's Japanese export pottery: $0.05. Sold for $60

Offline mj74

I picked up 3 Zebra Thermal Printers for free. I took them home,plugged them in to make sure they powered on. They all did,so I listed them on Ebay,explaining that I had not personaly printed with them,but that they did power on. Sold all three for a profit of $1,075.00  ;D

Bought a Penn 706 fishing reel for 60.00 Ebayed it for 191.50. ;D

I picked up 3 Zebra Thermal Printers for free. I took them home,plugged them in to make sure they powered on. They all did,so I listed them on Ebay,explaining that I had not personaly printed with them,but that they did power on. Sold all three for a profit of $1,075.00  ;D

I've done the same. Bought 3 Zebra printers off ebay that all said they did not work for 10 bucks each. The showed up and all 3 had the wrong power supplies as I suspected from the photos.

Went to a buddies store who had the correct voltage/wattage supply to test them on his POS system. They all worked. bought 3 supplies for 5 bucks each on feebay and turned around and sold them for about 1000 bucks as well. However.. I didn't buy any of it in a locker.

best ROI I had was a 50 dollar locker that had a zero turn mower buried in the back. Got 2500 for the mower after 100 bucks in repairs. I saw about a 3 square inch patch of the tire through the crap in the locker.

Offline jrossjr79

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MMM kinda of hard to think in terms of a single item. Will chime this in, I once bought a locker for $175, made all that back with profit just with what fitted in my hands. Over $180 in scrap gold and silver. Everything else was pure profit.

Another thing I can remember, I paid over $400 for this one locker, in it was a payphone from the 50s. I posted about it here in the forums with pictures. Sold on Ebay, if I remember the phone brought me in over $150. I think after my shipping and handling charges I put on there It was closer to $200. Dont remember 100%, but I posted about that as well.


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