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If This Product Lights Up (Literally) Buy It!

This is a product category that looks normal to everyone else, but to you and me, it's special.

If This Product Lights Up (Literally) Buy It!

A high value product hiding in plain sight. It looks exactly the same as the items around it. It doesn’t require a power adapter or batteries. If you take it into a dark room with an ultraviolet light, it will glow an incredible bright green. It can be found in thrift stores and garage sales and many people pass by without even batting an eye. There is a growing community of people collecting it. You may or may not know what I’m talking about, but I’m here to tell you why you should look out for this item which can be bought for only a few dollars and sell for hundreds with my own personal examples listed below. But first!

Table of Contents

What I’ve Bought

It’s not a surprise that everyone is buying and selling video games. They sell extremely well, can be picked up for as cheap as $1 and if you find the right one you’ll see a mighty ROI. The thing is, most thrift store video games are the leftovers and the dregs. I guarantee if you go into your local thrift store tomorrow you’ll see a combination of Singstar, Buzz or FIFA on either the Nintendo Wii, Playstation or Xbox. I’ll print out this newsletter and eat it if you don’t. On that premise, whilst I still check out the video game section I’m not expecting to see anything of value.

However… there’s a niche of a niche category where I’ve had some luck in my short time flipping. It’s not Xbox, it’s not Playstation, it’s PC. Specifically, PC games that are sold in a big box. Here is an example of a PC game that I found in the thrift earlier this year:

Yer a big box, Harry.

$10 price tag on this game.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone video game for PC. Overlooked by others because I’m assuming they thought a PC game was old and worthless. It was only $10 and priced according to a regular Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone PC game, not a big box version. These big box PC games are highly collectible and regularly sell for at least $100 with some going even higher up into the thousands. This is what I sold Harry for:

$10 into $80.

I had him listed for an even $100 and took a best offer of $80. So knowing all of this, I was lucky when on Saturday I went into an op shop and found 2 big box PC games just chilling on the shelf! Here’s what I found:

Another Harry Potter!

Zoo Tycoon complete collection!

Peep the AI image background replacement on the games. We have another Harry Potter game and we have Zoo Tycoon. I paid $15 for Harry Potter and $12 for Zoo Tycoon, a combined $27. Zoo Tycoon was listed $3 cheaper because if you look close you’ll be able to see that it has some box damage on the front. Somehow I didn’t notice this in the store but nevertheless these were great scores. Both were listed online for a combined $160.00 and have already surpassed the 100 views and 10 watchers mark. I’m hopeful they sell for full price very shortly and you should definitely keep an eye out for the overlooked PC video games.

EDIT: Zoo Tycoon sold on the 19th of March 3 days after listing for $54.95.

EDIT 2: Harry Potter sold on the 20th of March 4 days after listing for $85.00.

$12 into $54.95 in 3 days.

$15 into $85.00 in 4 days.

The next item I bought is an example of why you shouldn’t be afraid to ask about an items history. I did for the following and got a nice story which can help with marketing the product.

Define “emergency.”

I saw this at a garage sale and thought it looked pretty cool, something that I’d put in a bar area. I asked the seller a bit about it because I’d never seen anything like it around and he mentioned that he brought it back from Dublin after visiting the Guinness brewery. I knew a bit about the Guinness brewery from a legendary Conan O’Brien segment which you can check out here. Anyway, knowing that it was from Ireland their wouldn’t be many selling here in Sydney, plus there’s a whole bunch of liquor laws surrounding selling alcohol so I picked it up and listed on Marketplace (it wouldn’t be allowed on eBay). Turns out a lot of people were interested. These are the 3 day stats:

Pretty decent for 3 days.

I’ve also had a whole bunch of people message me about it so I’m expecting it to sell any day now. The moral here is 1) ask questions about unique items and 2) if it’s been brought back to your home country from overseas, you may have monopoly on the market.

The final item I want to talk about is bittersweet. I’ve said time and time again: no more clothes. It’s not a category I particularly want to focus on but I am nothing but weak when it comes to taking a quick gander through the clothes. I was lucky when I found this on Tuesday at the thrift, the employee said that he had only just put it out that day so it luck and a way to tell you guys to randomly hit them up during the week if you can.

Friends vintage t-shirt.

A cheeky $8.00 from Vinnies.

Here’s a few identifiers of why I stopped at this shirt in the rack:

  • The full front graphic caught my attention.

  • I saw the “Top Heavy“ tag which is related to vintage t-shirts.

  • Inspecting the graphic I saw 1997 at the bottom.

  • It’s a single stitch t-shirt. Single stitch is an identifier for older tees.

Just on the last point, single stitch is an identifier you can use to determine whether a t-shirt is vintage or not. There’s a lot of content online that explains the difference between single stitch and double stitch so I wont go into it right now but it’s basically new shirts equal double stitch, older shirts equal single stitch.

I couldn’t find an exact comp for this t-shirt so I’m unsure right now what to list it for. Somebody on Etsy has one that’s similar from 1994 and asking $1,000 but I wont list for that. I’ll look around and see what I can come up with.

What I Sold

I’m going to start with something that is entirely out of the ordinary and not something I’ve ever picked up before.

Corning Ware 5L A5 Wildflower Casserole Dish with Lid… okay…

I found this in a thrift store on February 1st and sold it on the 17th of March. I paid $10.00 and the reason I picked it up is because during COVID I looked in your Kmart’s, your Target’s, your Big W’s for a decent quality dish that could go in the oven. I don’t know why, but it was really hard to find one, most were microwave safe but if you chucked them in the oven they’d blow up. Knowing this, I saw this product in the glass section, checked for markings and saw on the bottom it was oven safe. That alone made me think this thing is high quality and worth a bit of money.

I looked up the brand (Corning Ware) and was surprised to see it consistently sells for a decent price (sold comps up to $150). I listed for $80 because of a shallow crack on the lid and what do you know, we had a sale. This to me says 1 thing: use common sense. If it’s a high quality product it’s going to sell and sell for a premium.

I’ve mentioned in a previous issue of Flip Weekly that I have a few unusual items that I collect. One of them is sealed VHS tapes. I’m not talking about VHS where just the tape is sealed, I mean the entire slip case is sealed. In the bizarre world of sealed VHS tapes, you can send them off to the US and have them graded base on their condition. I have a few graded VHS tapes and a few ungraded. For reference, this is what a graded VHS tape looks like:

Strange, yes, please don’t judge me. Anyway, late last year I saw a post on Facebook Marketplace on a Saturday afternoon where a dude was wanting to get rid of like 5 boxes full of VHS tapes for $20 and he mentioned in the description that some were sealed. I jumped on the opportunity, let him know I could pick up right then and there and he said yes. I picked them up, brought them home and went through the boxes.

Unfortunately, we had no full on sealed VHS to add to my personal collection but we did have 24 tape sealed VHS. Not a total loss. I listed them all up and surprise, you can get around $30-$50 for them. First, here’s a comparison between a fully sealed VHS and a tape sealed VHS:

Fully sealed, case + tape.

Tape sealed VHS.

Here is a screenshot of the VHS that I sold this week:

Accepted a best offer of $35.00 because my cost price was essentially $1.

Of the tapes that were sealed, so far 25% have sold which is amazing considering their cost price was like a $1.

A classic sold for $40.00

Guilty pleasure sold for $39.96.

$39.96 for this box office disaster.

$39.96 for Nick Cage driving fast cars.

If you visit a thrift store and come across any VHS, crack open the plastic shell and check to see if it’s still sealed in plastic and know that it can fetch anywhere between $30-$50. Now if you find any fully sealed VHS, contact me haha.

Resources & Friends

This weeks shout out goes to a flipper who couldn’t legally buy a beer in the States yet makes high 5 figures selling on eBay. Jamie from The Everyday Flipper has a YouTube channel and he’s somebody who is consistently putting out high quality videos documenting his reselling journey.

At the moment he’s working on a series where he’s attempting to turn $1 into a car and he has some killer tips and tricks throughout. You can start the series on Episode 1 here and I highly recommend giving it a watch if you need some inspiration.

User Submissions & My Challenge

I have a challenge for you the reader this week. If you’d like to submit your challenge attempt, click here to visit the Contact Us page for Flip Weekly. On top of that, we’re always wanting to see what you found this week at the thrift or at yard sales. Send us a message and tell us what bargains you found!

My challenge is this: find a VHS at your local thrift or yard sale. Crack it open and see if it’s sealed. Snap a photo of your attempt and we’ll see if it’s worth anything. There are 3 scenarios:

  1. The VHS isn’t sealed. Could still be worth something.

  2. The VHS has the tape sealed. Potential worth of $30 - $50 if not more.

  3. Fully sealed VHS which could be professionally graded and worth a lot.

Click here to send us a message with your challenge submission or your unique thrift store / yard sale finds.

If This Product Lights Up (Literally) Buy It!

I just realized the opening paragraph of this issue of Flip Weekly reads like some sort of riddle - sorry about that. So to reiterate about this product:

  • Shines a crazy bright green under a UV light.

  • Can cost only a few dollars at a yard sale or thrift store.

  • Doesn’t need batteries.

  • A growing number of people collecting this item.

  • Can sell for hundreds of dollars.

It’s something called uranium glass. If you already know about uranium glass, read on to see some I have found in the wild and the prices I bought and sold for. For those who aren’t familiar, uranium glass is glass that’s been made with traces of uranium (makes sense). It’s completely safe and was created back in the day because on surface level it looks like a regular yellow to green tinged piece of glass however you shine a UV light on it and it starts to glow. Not a small glow either, this stuff is bright. Uranium glass was used to make things like bowls and plates, glasses and goblets and things like that. Here’s a standard Wikipedia before and after:

A bunch of uranium glass beads.

That’s a crazy glow.

Now I haven’t found any uranium glass beads in the wild before however I have found a whole host of uranium glass bowls and trinket holders in the wild. They stopped making these back in the day because of the war so nowadays it’s become quite popular with collectors.

I’ve mentioned in an earlier issue of Flip Weekly that I wanted to learn a bit more about different categories within thrift stores, I didn’t want to waste my time visiting one only to look at books or toys or clothing. Every single thrift store has a glass section and I’m always on the lookout for anything that has a green tinge to it.

At first I admit I was doing a lot of gambling, I was buying pretty much anything that was green and looked old. I struck out time and time again and was wasting a lot of money. I decided to do the most logical step moving forward: bring a UV light with me when I was on the hunt. It sounds like an effort but you can get pocket and keychain UV lights starting from $5 so it’s sort of a no brainer to keep one on you when you’re in public or at least when you’re on the hunt.

Before.

After.

You’ll be able to see in the above photos that I picked up this bowl at a thrift store for just $6! I brought it home, took it to a dark room with all of the lights out and shone the UV light on it. Next thing I know we have this amazing bright green glow. It’s bright green due to the uranium but also because it’s going to get us a lot of money!

Now when I list uranium glass for sale I’ve always done it on Facebook Marketplace. I’m not sure why and I can only speculate, but it tends to do much better on Marketplace with some eBay listings selling for a lot less than what people are willing to pay. Every single uranium glass item I’ve ever found I’ve listed for minimum $100 and every single time they receive a ton of views, watchers and messages. I guess I can chalk it up to not many people locally selling uranium glass or even knowing what it is? Either way, we can take advantage of that.

Take for instance my trip to a garage sale where I spotted these bad boys:

$2 each from a garage sale.

I didn’t have my trusty UV light with me so I just had to gamble. The seller wanted just $2 each and actually said to me that she didn’t think they were uranium. This was after I cupped my hands around each and thought I could see the hint of a glow in her dark garage. Either way, I brought them home and went to my dark place (heh).

I took a video examining both but I can’t embed videos into newsletters so here are 2 pretty crappy stills from the video. The first of the tiny jug and the second of the tiny plate.

EDIT: if you wish to watch the video, you can do so here.

No shine.

Obvious shine. $2 sticker still visible.

So despite my best intentions, I couldn’t tell the difference on surface level with something that turned out to be uranium glass and something that turned out not to be. It’s tricky, which is why you want to have your UV light with you. With that said, the little plate which cost me $2 ended up selling for $100 on Facebook Marketplace which is the best place to sell uranium glass.

What’s To Come

Flip Weekly is just getting started and there’s so much more I want to talk about. First and foremost I want to thank everyone that has subscribed to the newsletter over the past few weeks and I’m proud to announce that we’ve hit the 100 subscriber mark!

Woohoo, 100 subscribers!

Flip Weekly was started to share my journey and to help you guys find items at garage sales and thrift stores to sell to make some money and to have 100 of you reading is truly incredible. In the upcoming weeks I’m going to share more secrets, more items to keep an eye out for, more stories and hopefully a ton more sales!

Thanks once again, if you want to get in touch use this link, don’t forget to like us on Facebook and I’ll see you again next week!

Mat