I'm a FREE RADICAL on eBay!
Alright, I Admit It!
Thrifting is an addiction.
As a full blown addict, I'm thankful that I have several sources within a short distance of my home that are eager and willing to feed my habit.
While I work full time at it almost all week long, I cop most of my scores on weekends. I'm just glad my wife comes along for the ride. She was primarily my enabler in the beginning, but now she's a full blown thrifter herself.
We each have an eBay account with which we fence our respective finds. In the process of our daily grind as hustlers, we hold true to the adage--
The couple that eBays together stays together!
Sometimes, I'm a Lone Ranger
There are times when I travel solo.
And like one of my favorite mentors on YouTube, The Redneck Picker, is fond of reminding his viewers, I keep my head on a swivel.
Even with a full blown case of cervical arthritis, the eBay juices keep my neck well greased to do its hula hoop gyrations as I travel through whatever Dodge City this marshall can clean up. In other words, I rarely miss an opportunity.
The Sony camcorder in the photo above was one such opportunity.
I found it yesterday at a thrift store about a mile away from home. The name of the store is SonBridge Thrift and Gift Store. The formal retail store is a well-organized and attractive shop that has a pleasant middle-class boutique ambiance. But it's the warehouse section of the store, an adjoining structure with its own separate entrance, where I dig up some surprising treasures.
Along the right wall of a hallway leading to the warehouse area, several cardboard boxes containing freebies are stacked on a long table. In these boxes, one can find old books, religious tracts, hymnals, the occasional old yearbook, children's books, toys, mugs, plates, glassware, and other items that Sonbridge deems appropriate to designate as free items.
When I saw the Sony camcorder, the first thought that crossed my mind was: There's gotta be something wrong with it. How could anything as fabulous as THAT end up in the slush pile?
So I did the unthinkable.
I Walked Away From It
And in the split second that I turned my back on it, a thought balloon hovered over my head like a nosy UFO, and through the dry ice mist emanating from the oval telescopic aperture came the face and voice of my fellow hubber and eBay buddy, Radcliff.
"Dude, I can't believe you just walked away from a beautiful pick like that! Whassamatta with you?"
Caught off guard and feeling somewhat embarrassed, I turned around to respond with a perfectly reasonable explanation when--to my amazement--a flying Zeppelin bumped my noggin. Seeing stars, I saw a bespectacled Kevin Costner sitting comfortably in an easy chair.
"Son, come on over here. You need a moment with Bill."
And all of a sudden, it hit me! That wasn't Kevin Costner. That was my good buddy, billybuc, living large and loving the good life in Olympia!
It's comforting to know that when I'm about to do something foolish, I have my friendly muses holding up the red flags.
So I Picked Up the Camcorder, Bag and All!
I have never shoplifted in my life, but walking away with this cool camcorder, even if it was a freebie, had me feeling a bit strange. I'm just glad my wife was the designated driver in our getaway car so I could slump down a bit further in the passenger seat.
When we got home, I quickly did some research on eBay and discovered all kinds of listings for camcorders with variations of the phrase, non-working for parts. I was encouraged to see that some of these sold for decent amounts in the $20 to $50 range.
As it turned out, the camcorder was in excellent cosmetic condition. I just didn't know if it worked or not. In my description, I wrote--
To err on the conservative side, I am offering this up as a non-working item FOR PARTS ONLY. That way, if it does indeed work, it'll be an added bonus to you.
We'll see how it goes.
FREE is a Friendly Word
This past week, at the very same thrift store, I also found four mugs and a vintage book about shearing sheep Like the camcorder, these items were free.
In addition, after I took the above items to my car and was returning to the SonBridge warehouse to look for more items, I saw sitting on the sidewalk in front of the huge sliding door two large 32" dolls. One was a Dot doll, and the other, a Holly Hobbie wih her own mini-me doll. They had been carefully and purposefully placed directly below a simple makeshift sign with the word, FREE, written in large bold letters.
These dolls were in excellent condition, and I puzzled over why anyone would want to get rid of them. But my bewilderment only lasted a nanosecond as I quickly snatched both dolls up and proceeded to give them temporary housing in the trunk of my Ford Fusion.
Again, I felt like I was committing a misdemeanor. I mean, come on! These items, like the camcorder, were in topnotch condition. And I got them for FREE?
I can't wait to list these great finds on eBay! (And I'll provide you with any sales updates.)
Whether you're a seasoned seller or a newbie, don't overlook those free items you might come across from time to time. You just never know when a freebie takes off like a Katie Perry firework!