Photo by Matthew Henry

The Upcycling Challenge towards $1000: Move 1, $56.86

Prelude of the upcycling challenge idea original post here & summarized below:

A non-rushed series of starting from $0 and upcycling goods to earn $1000. How few steps can be taken to reach this goal? How fast can I sell an item that isn’t exactly new once it’s reached my possession? This is an upcycling experiment where one mans trash is purely treasure.

Starting with absolutely $0 to my upcycling name, I’ve been on the hunt through’s free stuff section. Once I generate investment capital I can purchase undervalued assets and resell at a higher price. I’ve also found that the Materials section is rather interesting with slabs of marble, kitchen cabinets, and loads of tiles. Within this test I also am not looking to turn my apartment into a hoarders paradise so it is safe to say that I shouldn’t have too many overlap sales occurring through the future.

Starting Profit: $0

The Find: /freestuff section, “Glass dinning room set with 2 chairs (East Harlem)” for free in East Harlem, NY. Fairly assumed resale price in Westchester: $50–70.

Screenshot from Craigslist find of Free Table.

Distance + Cost of acquisition: $13.14

Toll: $5.76 with EZ Pass
Distance: 22 Miles x2 = 44 Miles

Relisting: “Intimate Kitchen Table (Dark Dinner Table) w/ Two Chairs

In quick haste I instantly relisted my acquisition with the exact same photos from the original listing, planning to later re-stage the listing with professional photos and a staged area that was vague in color tones and bland in background but extremely clean. Over the course of the night I received 4 separate inquiries about the table with the original sloppy photo listing. 1 of the requests was looking to lowball the sale at $35 and lived nowhere near me. Another inquiry wasn’t able to drive but lived in the town next door. Response 3+4 fell off the face of the earth.

When opportunity knocks open the godamn door. In sales you have a depreciation in interest working against you in our instant gratification world we live in. The longer it takes you to respond to someone’s request is the less likely you will fulfill the deal.

I relisted the table after taking photos with my DSLR in natural daylight on top of a bright white carpet to create a contrast and allow for the table to be showcased and the life of the party. In one hour I had 1/5 of the views from the old listing and 2 inquiries. My responses are essentially whoever solidifies that they are on the way to pick it up owns the table.

Approximately 6 hours after posting this listing on facebook’s marketplace, Tommy from a few towns away contacted me to pick up the table. Although he was looking to barter for a $50 pick up price, I stood firm at the $70 price target considering the amount of views and people contacting me and he obliged. What’s your first move?

Toss your email into my personal list to find out the next flip and it’s profits/loss! Like the idea of our project here? — hit the share button and help it grow.

Current Profit in 1 Move: $56.86

All proceeds in this upcycling experiment will be donated to Courtland’s Connection, a Non-Profit Organization. Courtland’s Connection provides financial support to individuals pursuing their path of recovery and aiding in fulfilling their dreams. Drug overdose is the leading cause of accidental death in the US and Opioids drive this epidemic. Support recovery + sobriety at the ground level. Courtland was my closest friend through our younger years.

This story is published in The Startup, Medium’s largest entrepreneurship publication followed by 310,538+ people.

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