Upcycling Challenge towards $1000: Move 2, $211
Prelude of upcycling challenge idea here & 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 craigslist.org’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: $56.86
The Find: facebook marketplace, searching free within 20 miles. “Dining room plus…” for free in Yonkers, NY. Within the listing there was a large wood table with table leaf as well as a thin but wide hutch with glass frames to show off dishes and glassware, a China cabinet if you will.
Fairly assumed resale price in Westchester: Table — $150, Hutch — $120. This is a terrific find.
Shit. I need a truck. These are some pretty large pieces and I said previously I won’t turn this apartment into a hoarders paradise. I recruited my girlfriend to use her little Pit Bull arms and give me a hand in getting these pieces back to be photo’d, assessed, and up to the 4th floor from the parking lot. Thanks babe.
Distance + Cost of acquisition:
Toll: $1.19 x2 = $2.38
Truck Rental: $43.33 total, I paid $20.86 in milage at .63cents per mile.
Distance: 33 Miles = $0 In Gas as I rented a truck at max fill, I put no damage on that tank!
Time: 3.5 hours (we should add time here-on-forward to calculate profits to an overall hourly wage.)
Total Current Profit after Investment: $11.15
Relisting #1: “Rare Link-Taylor Dining Room Hutch/Cabinet/Curio Dining room table match available”
The first thing we want to do in listing here is figure out what we have. Google is your best friend when you begin a deep dive — just know when to get out of the rabbit hole of searching. A stamp inside the hutch revealed that this is a “Pine Colonial” piece by Link-Taylor, a company that existed in 1960–70s before they were acquired by a larger company.
It was near impossible to find the exact model we found but there was one other model that was consistent around the same size and look — now I was able to figure a pricing idea. Resale somewhere around $300–$500. I intend to mark it at $300-$600 and allow myself to be lowballed. “The steal of the century!”
Minutes later I received an email from Mike with his Delaware area code phone number. His email read: Text me with the lowest price. Rule #1: You never make the first price in a negotiation. A few minutes later Mike wanted to pay via cashier check because he was “out of town” and movers would come collect it. Beware of scams and scammers… they are all over. If the situation is odd or too good to be true, that’s likely the case. If the seller can’t meet and is asking to wait for a check to clear — don’t fall for it. It’s a scam in which the check eventually bounces a few days later and you’re shit out of luck. I’ve received numerous scam emails and texts through craigslist.
Relisting #2: “Link-Taylor Pine Wood Dining Table”
After our google deep dive we found that this was also a Link-Taylor piece made of Pine, extremely sturdy and durable. The chairs weren’t in great condition at all after years of being sat in and stained fabric (I mean, this thing’s 60 years old). I scraped kids gum off the bottom of the table with a paint can opener and cleaned the table top side to side.
I considered learning how to reupholster the chairs but my current budget of $11 didn’t leave me room for purchases and we need to sell this yesterday. I will market it as the sturdy table and chairs come free (these chairs retail at $180 per chair) with table. But we have to move on and allow room for the next flip. I’ll mark this as $400, OBO (*Later note this was lowered to $200 after playing with how slightly lower prices were received). This lets terrible negotiators know, “Hey bud, let me know what you think it’s worth lowballed so I can come back and offer you a higher price.”
Now we wait. I will adjust the price in relation to views in order to ascertain the demand.
One week later:
After the holiday (Easter) weekend wrapped up it seemed that views picked back up on listings all around. I listed the table on a private local group through Facebook: Westchester Tag Sale at the $200 price-point, priced to move as we need to move on with our upcycle journey.
I received a message from Karen the next day for the table pending the lady could get her truck. Sure enough we scheduled for Friday morning and upon seeing this beautiful pine table in it’s perfect condition — We’re back on the board and we’ve learned sometimes you have to backtrack in order to move forward. Thanks Karen, for taking part in the #upcyclingproject.
We’ll keep the hutch on the back-burner and work it into the next article!
Missed the first flip from $0 to $57? Read it here!
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All proceeds in this upcycling experiment will be donated to the 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.