277 – The $72000 Dumpster Situation

by | Apr 2, 2021 | Podcast | 0 comments

It’s really simple…People can’t buy what they cannot find.

Every minute of everyday people incorrectly spell things when listing items for sale.

Find those items and you will find motivated sellers.

This could be on eBay, Amazon, Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, Offer Up or other online sales sites.

Here are some examples of things I have bought at a huge discount because the ads were misspelled or miscategorized or under-advertised and then sold the items at a huge upside after marketing them properly.  By under-advertising, I mean limiting exposure to items for sale, being lazy, not telling the world.  This is a common mistake that Realtors and House Flippers make.


I bought 6 sets of Halcyon Technical Scuba Gear being sold by a fire department on eBay.  All new and unused, no idea why they were selling, frankly don’t care.  The seller spelled Halcyon wrong so nobody bid on the auction.  The starting bid was $500.  I was the only bidder and won the auction for the opening bid amount.  ONE set of the gear was worth $1,900 alone.  I sold five sets for $1,500 each for a total of $7,500 and kept one set for myself that lasted me 15 years without fail.

I once bought an FSBO property back in the old days when buyers and sellers were allowed to communicate and be in the same room..imagine that…

In a casual conversation with the seller discussing what was next for her, she stated she now needed to get rid of her other four houses she had inherited.  Had I asked this question sooner in the buying process we could have been closing on 5 houses instead of one.  It turned out that the day before closing her niece announced that she was getting her real estate license and she promised her the chance to sell the homes on the open market so she could get the experience.  Needless to say, I lost out on 4 more listings and my client lost out on a couple more great deals.  And YES, I tried everything I could think of to sway her towards selling now instead of waiting to later to no avail.

Back in the late 90’s I was walking through a parking lot behind a thrift store and noticed a bunch of golf clubs and bags leaning up against a full dumpster.  Inside the dumpster was loaded with baseball equipment, bats, batting helmets, catcher gear, and more golf clubs and bags.  I walked back home, got my truck, and unloaded that dumpster by hand into my truck in two trips.  My total take on that adventure was $21500 in sales with ZERO inventory costs.  It turned out the thrift store manager did not think used sporting goods would sell very well and he did not want to take time to clean the germs from the helmets, pads, and golf club grips (he was a germaphobe).  Over the next 6-8 months I went back to that dumpster twice a week at night before the pickup day to restock my inventory.  I wound up making an additional $50,000 from that same dumpster for a grand total that exceeded $72,000.

Every time you see something that someone else does not want ask yourself this question….How can I make a decent profit from this item in a short amount of time with minimal effort?  Who do I know that would value this item or items more than me?  What specific steps can I take to find and notify that person that my item is for sale?

Here’s the bottom line, there is an opportunity is everywhere around you.