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Making Ten Times My Money From An Estate Sale Within 48 Hours

The weekend kicked off with an estate sale boasting six decades' worth of treasures.

Issue #11.

This week I’m going to take you to an estate sale with 60 years worth of collectors items where I had a 1,000% return on my money in 48 hours. From there you’re jumping in the 50 cent toy bin with me and coming out with hundreds of dollars worth of in-demand product. We’re then going on a trip to Holland where you can learn to spot some items that sell extremely fast and then we finish with a teddy bear keyring that was an accidental $100 in my wallet. But first!

Table of Contents

What I’ve Bought

When you see the price I paid for the following 5 inch figures you might gasp but rest assured it’ll be worth it.

Sitting in between $1 dolls.

That’s the price per figure!

Thanks to the invention of Google Lens, thrift stores have become more aware of what it is they’re actually selling. A few years ago staff would have no idea what these were and they’d be in the dollar bin. Truth be told? I’d be just as clueless. These figures are from a popular online game called League of Legends and combined cost me $60. The reason I took an interest in them is two-fold.

Figures from the video game League of Legends.

The first is the price tag as I wanted to know why the thrift had them priced so high. The second is the detailed nature of the figures and the fantasy vibe they gave off. I’ve been inside hobby shops where anime statues and video game figures sell for a lot of money and this is the exact aesthetic so I looked them up.

Plenty of sold comps and they’re all $120+

The sold comps are all over $120 and shipping from China and the active listings range from $120 and go all the way up to $300. Surprisingly, not a single listing from Australia which was what made me pull the trigger. If 1 of Australia’s 26,000,000 people want these figures, chances are they’ll buy from an Aussie so it arrives quicker, especially when the pricing is competitive. I decided on a sale price of $144.95 which would net me $60 in profit (if they sell…)

The next item is something I was really excited about because it combined two of my favorite things: nostalgia and gambling.

Who remembers Small Soldiers?

This is what I love about independent thrift stores, they get the coolest stuff and put them out for sale and this is another instance of them valuing what’s inside the container versus the actual container. A reminder that when it comes to older stuff, don’t ignore what the item is actually packed in. I’ve had Nintendo Gameboy cases sell for more than actual Nintendo Gameboys. In this instance we have a 1998 Small Soldiers lunch box tin / container. It looks amazing, every side has a graphic and it would look perfect on display:

Gorgonites on one side.

Soldiers on the other.


Chip Hazard.

This was only $3 in the thrift and that’s because it was labelled “tin of plastic soldiers“ - it was $3 because of what was in it. I held out hope that it was actually Small Soldier figurines but after shaking it around I pretty much knew it was bulk plastic soldiers. However… Schrödinger's Soldiers, right? I’ll keep it shut and keep thinking it’s thousands of dollars worth of Small Soldier figurines.

Couldn’t help myself.

Sidenote: never forget that the tin, the storage containers, the items that hold other items are in most cases worth money if they’re old and the original items are collectible or popular. Like check out this:

$36 sale price.

All it is is a pencil case tin. You hold your pencils in it. $36 sale price just because it’s Small Soldiers. If you found this in the thrift or at a garage sale you’d expect to pay 1 or 2 dollars. Remember this!

At this particular thrift store they had a $0.50 bin and also a bottom shelf that had miscellaneous $1 or $2 items. I couldn’t snap too many pics because 6’2” Mat struggles to get down to the ground and up again without passing out, but here’s what I was able to find and reminder, this was all within the $0.50 bin unless marked otherwise.

Transformers. $0.50 into $20.00.

Monster In My Pocket 2006. $0.50 into $40.00.

$0.50 toy bin.

What do we see?

$1 marked on the label.

Photographed (poorly) for eBay.

I had a great time at this thrift store. I think I spent like $9 and this is what I came away with:


Purchase Price

Listed Price


Digimon Case x 5


$50.00 ($10.00 each)


Monster In My Pocket 2006




Transformers Allspark Battles Cliffjumper Recon Barricade




Small Soldiers Lunch Box Tin








What I Sold

Let’s start with something that had a postage price that almost exceeded its sale price. What does that tell us? People are willing to pay a lot of money for this sort of stuff.

$59.95 sale price with a $52.30 postage to the US.

In the last issue of Flip Weekly I told you guys I picked up this Delft set and that one day I’ll tell you more about it. I guess that day is today because it successfully sold for $121.51. It was bought for $25 and took only 7 days to sell overseas.

What is Delft? It’s a city in Holland. What is Delft blue? It’s cash money. Sometimes “only hundreds“ and sometimes ten times that.

Mat, delft expert.

I first came across the word Delft maybe 3 weeks into my reselling journey when I had a private pick at a sale. I spotted an item in the photos that had sold at auction for hundreds of dollars and thought if I could get there I would get it cheap. I couldn’t find the exact item in my photo album but it looked exactly like this:

EXACTLY like this.

I had no idea what it was but I bought it for $25 and it ended up selling for $250 on Marketplace. The buyer picked it up and ended up telling me a bit about it and its history. It was basically a massive spice… jar… thing. It went back to the dutch spice trade in the 17th century, how the Dutch played a massive role in the global economy because of their spices and their use in medicine and food and of course Delft (the city) was the major hub.

Due to the massive influx of money it helped the economy and they were able to dedicate a bunch of resources to the art and cultural centers which included the Delftware / Delft blue pottery/items. It became popular overseas because of its quality and is still collectible to this day.

Note: this is my really poor description of Delft items, I recommend looking up the origins yourself because it’s really interesting and it’s told by actual experts.

Back to present day, Delft appears at estate sales and thrift stores on occasion. It’s noticeable due to its blue hand-painted signature look and sometimes you can see smudges because of that. In most cases it has a marking on the bottom that will say Delft or Holland or handpainted - then you know it’s real.

If you find a rare Delft item it can go on to sell for a lot of money:

A miniature too!


The thing I like most about Delft items are that they can be laying around anywhere without you knowing. It’s 100% in the pattern. Notice it once, you’ll notice it forever. It’s the blue, it’s the pattern, it’s distinguishable. Please note though that there is an English pattern that is very similar and you’ll want to check the markings before buying - I’d estimate that of the items I physically pick up to check if they’re delft, 50% are English.

Side note: at the estate sale I went to this weekend, they had an entire table full of delft and everyone was walking past it. It makes me think that the estate sale buyers haven’t clicked on that it’s actually collectible and worth money.

The next item that sold was picked up from a garage sale for a mere $2. It would have been $1 however the seller didn’t have the perfect change and I just said whatever. This was the item:


Easy to hang.

I’ve bought and sold these before and I recommend you guys pick them up whenever you sell them. I think the proper name for them are wood lacquered TinTin vinyl art. They’re on eBay for around $30 each and they sell every single day. This is my 3rd time selling TinTin artwork and from memory I’ve never held them for more than a week. This one sold within 24 hours for $20 despite a few chips.

Remember this from Issue #7?

The ugliest doll.

I picked up this Cabbage Patch Doll from a garage sale for a grand total of $6.66 ($20 divided by 3 items) and as of today it has sold. A decent timeframe, it was listed on March 23 and sold on April 23, an exact month. Total sale price was $91.94 including postage so overall it was a $50+ profit. A reminder with Cabbage Patch Kids:

  1. Verify they’re legit by looking for the signature on their bums.

  2. If possible, secure the birth certificates. Every one is different and it can double your asking price.

Resources & Friends

The next iteration of the reseller spreadsheet is live. You can view it here with several improvements including Daily Sales, Monthly Sales, the ability to set your own Buy Again data and more.

Just like last time you’ll want to make a copy so you can edit it yourself. Here’s what I said:

Open the spreadsheet.

Click File > Make A Copy

Name the spreadsheet and save it.

That’s it, you’re done.

Me, last week.

After that you edit away. I’m liking the amount of features and edits we’re making on the sheet, I’m willing to keep the team working on it indefinitely if people find it useful.

User Submissions & My Challenge

Last weekend I introduced you to Delft and this week I explained it. If you have an interest in making money from unusual categories you should have looked into it by now. It’s an item that many, many people walk past every single day and yet it sells fast and sells for a premium. My challenge to you is to purchase your first piece of Delftware.

Look for the signatures, the markings, the handpainted lines and the made in Holland text. If you spot it in the wild snap a photo. If you see something that you thought was Delft but it turned out to be Englishware, also snap a photo and tell us in your own words the difference between the two.

By the way, do you remember My Challenge from Issue #2?

I challenge you to visit your thrift store, go to your garage sales and find a book that is signed. I want to see prices, I want to see front covers, I want to see signatures and I want to know what you’re going to sell it for.

Mat from the Past

That was weeks ago and only a few people have submitted their findings. As proof that it’s still viable, this is what I found on a random Monday:

Ian Thorpe, Olympic hero.

Fully signed.

I made sure to include the pricing in the photo by the way. $1.50 for a hardcover. With the 2024 Olympics coming up, this stuff will sell and when you have a unique item like this you can really ask for whatever you want. $30? $50? It’s up to you.

Making Ten Times My Money From An Estate Sale Within 48 Hours

On the weekend I visited 7 garage sales and here is what I bought. Take a guess at what has sold already.

Sorry for my poor lighting - it will improve soon.

One of the worst feelings is getting home and not being thrilled with what you’ve been able to find, especially after getting up before dawn and doing a lot of driving around. This week I didn’t experience those emotions. 7 garage sales with 1 estate sale. The first two places I visited were garage sales that started at 8am and all I was able to pick up was the hat for $2.

I don’t recommend picking up Olympic memorabilia as it was mass manufactured and everywhere back in the day, however I took this for $2 because:

  1. The Olympics are just around the corner. If you’re going to sell Olympic nostalgia or memorabilia do it now or wait until 2028.

  2. It’s an official Nike product, so technically it’s a vintage Nike cap. Almost 25 years old.

  3. There’s a few different customers: Olympic collectors, Nike collectors, Coca Cola collectors.

I figure I can’t lose money on it and it ticks the boxes for at least a ten times return so it’s in the basket. A reminder to think about the customer when picking up items, who is going to purchase it?

After the first 2 garage sales was the estate sale.

Starting time 9am.

Estate sale instructions.

I think this may be the first estate sale I’ve ever rocked up too where there was a line up out the front and people weren’t allowed in just yet. You guys know me, I’m not someone that’s ever going to turn up to a sale hours early or try and get bargains just based on being first. I drove past and saw a line of 10-15 people and legit was going to move on but decided last minute to pull over and go in. By the time I found a park and started walking towards the entrance people were let in so I didn’t have to stand outside waiting around.

For context, this estate sale was described online as 60 years worth of a collectors treasures - the title alone intrigued me and was why I came along.

So I go inside and the house is completely full of both people and hundreds upon hundreds of items on shelves and tables. If I was to describe this collector I would say that they loved their teddy bears. It didn’t matter what size or theme, this person had them all.

In hindsight I wish I knew a bit more about collectible teddy bears, especially 1 specific brand that I’m going to tell you about a bit further down. The brand has key rings that sell for $100 and full sized plush that is so in demand it sells for $2,000+. I’ll also tell you how I got one of these accidentally from the estate sale.

Mat, amateur teddy bear collector.

I wasn’t able to take any photos besides this one just because of the sheer amount of people and after picking up an item my hands were basically full.

Wall to floor.

This is 1 corner of 1 room. This was a 4 bedroom house and I’m not kidding when I say that the house seemed to be a teddy bear showroom. I mean, one room literally had a sign saying “teddy bear workshop“ and it was filled with sewing material and fabrics. I did think maybe they had a business but all of these teddy bears were different brands. To be honest, I’m sure one of those bears in the photo above would be worth a bit of money but I moved past them because nothing stood out.

I shouldn’t say nothing stood out, I did pick up this from the shelf reading “everything above $7“:

Cute little Ferrari teddy bear.

Still boxed and new.

The reason I picked him up was that he was still boxed, it was a quality brand being Mattel, it was an official licensed Ferrari product and the copyright at the bottom said the year 2000. So basically it’s a 24 year old brand new sealed Ferrari bear. All of those traits made me think that he would be worth more than $7 and turns out he was.

There was only 1 comp, it was listed at $60 with a pretty poor description and title and me being me I decided to undercut him and listed mine for sale for $50. He was listed at 1:30pm on Saturday and sold for the full amount just 6 hours later at 8:12pm. In hindsight I should have listed him for more.

Definitely under-priced him.

Moving on, I decided to bypass the crowd of people in the first few rooms and head for the backroom to see what was there. It looked like it may have been an office and in the corner we had a box full of cameras. If you remember from last weeks issue I picked up a camera for $65 and my sister sold it less than a few hours later and made a decent profit despite knowing nothing about them.

This is what was inside the box:

It wasn’t laid out like this.

Vintage camera?

  1. The first was a Sony Cybershot DSC-H1 which came with a Sony bag, memory cards, all of the inserts and the box, a lens plus a bunch of accessories. The old price tag on the front of the box was $699.

  2. The second was a Yashica Lynx 5000 vintage film camera with an instruction booklet.

I decided to pick up the entire box along with a few other miscellaneous items and head out to pay. I asked if they knew if any of the cameras worked and they didn’t and decided to give me both cameras for $15 each which I was happy with.

Before I tell you if they work, what they’re worth and if they sold, did you notice the little bear in the first image? No? This guy?

Cute, right?

This cute little thing is a keychain that was attached to the camera bag inside the box. Didn’t really notice him until I got home and struggled to get him off the bag. I took him off, photographed the camera bag and came back to see that he still had a tag. Out of sheer boredom I hit up Google Lens and was amazed at what came up.

Okay, an expensive collectible keyring? Looking closer at the tag I saw that the brand was Steiff. Personally I’ve never heard of it. I took a look on eBay and can see that the most recent sales are all really high:

For real?!

Do I even dare sort by highest first? Hint: it’s in the thousands. So what is going on? Why is this so expensive? What is Steiff?

Steiff is a German-based plush toy company, founded in 1880, with headquarters in Giengen, Germany. The company claims to have made the world's first factory-made teddy bear.

Courtesy of Wikipedia.

They INVENTED THE TEDDY BEAR?! Wow, okay that makes sense. I’m 99% sure now that every single person that came into that estate sale walked past thousands of dollars worth of teddy bears, myself included. So here’s a tip, if you ever see a bear branded Steiff, PICK IT UP! Now back to the camera.

It’s a Sony camera, it has a whole ton of accessories and after testing it out it seems to work without any issues. I list it for sale on eBay on April 20th 6:37pm and it sold on April 22nd 7am for $179.95 plus $72.15 postage to the US. It only took 1 day and 12 hours and 23 minutes. Reminder: I bought this for $15.

What a sale!

So those 2 items alone are $7 and $15 totaling $22. They were successfully sold within 48 hours for $220 which is decupling my money. It’s a weird word but it basically means a ten times return.

What’s To Come

I’m hopeful that either next week or the week after our referral program will be live. The point of the program is to increase readership whilst rewarding you guys that are tuning in each and every week. If you tell someone about it, you get rewarded. The more you refer, the more you get. I’m in the process of working out the gifts and rewards but you should have a preview by this time next week.

Apart from that, we’ve got garage sales, thrift shop visits, estate sales plus a hell of a lot more. I’ll see you next week and thanks again for reading.