Could you please, please do us a favor? I saw on one of your post comments from someone else, you responded saying that you would do a post on how much you bought and sold each item for in a day. Your readers would LOVE to see an outline of what happens in one day, from the time you wake up, to the time you are done working for the day. And what you bought and sold each item for that day! We know that you are super busy, but please, can you do this soon!? I know my husband and I thoroughly enjoy your postings! – Ivana (not her real name)
So here is the play by play of my day yesterday. Sorry it took me so long to get around to writing it.
I woke up around 8:30 in the morning (we were up late), turned my computer on and sat down for fresh, french-pressed Stumptown coffee paired with my usual oatmeal, fresh blueberries and a banana that my sweet wife made for me. Peter, my appliance business partner, has some nice blueberry bushes in his backyard that are full of berries right now.
After eating breakfast I went in to check the appliance section-by-owner for good deals that had been posted that morning. I shot off three of four emails to sellers offering to purchase their appliances at full price or telling them what I would be willing to pay. I followed this up by relisting a washer, dryer and an oven before heading out to the garage.
This past week we picked up a lot of appliances, so the garage was pretty full. First thing in the morning I pull a handful of them out and put them in a nice neat little row in the driveway. Some need to be cleaned and others need to be fixed. After they are cleaned and fixed, I take pictures of them and post them up for sale.
At about 9:30 I got an email back about an oven I had inquired about. They sent me their address and I scheduled to pick it up on the way to the day’s first delivery, a nice stacked Whirlpool washer and dryer. Though I have loaded and delivered these stackable sets before on my own, at 350+ pounds, they are a gnarly beast of a machine to deliver by myself. So I had Peter help me load it into the trailer and come along with me for the delivery.
We left about 10:30 to go pick up a nice oven for $80. After we picked it up, we headed over to drop off the stackable washer and dryer. Though there were only two steps to go up with the machine, I’m not sure if I would have been able to make it up them without Peter’s help. It was much easier with his help. After we got the washer and dryer in place, I collected the $500 cash and we headed back towards home.
After we got home, Peter loaded up the trailer and headed out to pick up a washer and dryer pair for $100. While he was out I went to work posting more of our inventory. It’s always good to spread out your postings on a Saturday, as they quickly get buried under hundreds of other listings, especially in large Craigslist markets. I liken it to fishing. Buyers many times aren’t super particular when it comes to buying one machine over another, but tend to go down the list in the order they were posted. I also sat down and had lunch with my wife. Scrambled eggs with jalapenos, chips and local salsa, as well as a local bing cherries that we got from our neighbors for $1.50 a pound. So far we’ve purchased 30 pounds of cherries from them this past month!
About 30 minutes after he left we got our first call for a $200 washer. I set up the delivery for about an hour and a half out, which would give Peter enough time to get back, drop off his machines and pick up the one to be delivered. The moment I got off the phone with the first buyer, a second buyer called and scheduled the delivery of a $150 washing machine.
After I got off the phone with the second buyer, I went out to the garage and brought the two washers out and set them in the driveway for quick loading when Peter returned. About fifteen minutes later, Peter pulled up, we unloaded his machines and loaded the two washers set for delivery in the trailer. Almost as an afterthought, I figured I would go ahead and load him up with a third washer in the trailer and then try to sell it while he was out delivering the first two. So Peter left with the trailer to deliver machines #1 and #2 and hopefully #3.
Sure enough, about 30 minutes later I got a call from a man who wanted to buy washing machine #3. His limit was $160 and he couldn’t afford anymore. Thinking on the fly, I asked him where he lived and discovered it was somewhat close to where delivery #2 was on Peter’s route. I told him not to worry about it and that we would deliver and set it up for free at no extra charge. (He had no old washer to trade in). I then called Peter and gave him the info for delivery #3.
After that, I headed back into my office to check for new listings when I noticed on my remote video camera that my scrap metal connection had just pulled up in front of my house in his large flatbed pickup truck. I went out to talk to him about the machines he had brought me. It was a nice shape Whirlpool washer and dryer. I offered him $20 cash, 2 scrap metal washing machines, and 4 scrap dryers in exchange for the pair he had brought me. It was basically the equivalent of $100 cash. He said that would be great so we unloaded the washer and dryer onto my driveway and loaded up his truck with my 6 scrap machines. I gave him the additional $20 cash and he was on his way. This one man has provided me a lot of washers and dryers over the past year.
It’s now 3:30, and I quickly took apart the dryer I got from the scrap metal guy and cleaned it inside and out. I then touched it up and plugged it in to see how it operated. After seeing it was good to go, I took pictures of it and went inside to post it for sale. Just at that moment, a man called wanting to buy one of the Whirlpool dryers I had up for $120. I told him about the one I was just about to post and he said that would be great. He then asked when it could be delivered. I needed to be home at 5pm to get ready for a 6pm wedding we were going to, and since Peter wasn’t home, I told him I would bring it over right away.
My reason for doing that is that the longer that someone has to wait, the more you risk their impatience causing them to buy from someone else or back out for any number of other reasons. So I changed out the dryer power cord, loaded the dryer into my truck and ran it over to the buyers house, which was about 15 minutes away.
Upon arriving, I removed his old dryer from his house and brought the new one inside. After hooking it up, I told him what he was going to need to do to prevent his next dryer from going out, which was reducing the length of the ducting behind the dryer. I told him about the basic maintenance things he needed to do to keep the dryer running great, collected the $120 cash, loaded the almost identical dryer as I had just delivered into the truck, and I headed home.
I arrived home right at 5pm and quickly tore into the dryer. I had told the man that I would text him the exact reason his dryer went out when I got back and inspected it. Sure enough, it overheated because of the ducting being kinked behind the dryer, and because it was sorely in need of the vent chute being cleaned. I sent him a picture and explained the cause in a text message.
Right at that moment Peter got back from his three washing machine deliveries and we touched base about the schedule for the evening. We had one vent cleaning to do and a lid switch swap out on a washing machine for one of our customers.
At that point I had to get ready for the wedding, which between it and the beautiful reception afterward shot the rest of my night. So my day was cut pretty short, but it had already been very profitable. We sold 5 machines, and brought in 6 more.
I worked from about 9am to 5pm and made just under $500 profit. Had I worked during the evening and kept posting appliances later in the day, it could have been quite a bit more. Being a Saturday, it was a little busier than weekday’s often are. Business goes up and down and often is fairly difficult to predict.
I hope this was helpful in giving you a better glimpse into what a day of my life is like. Let me know if you have any questions and I will add some of them to the bottom of this post.