My husband and I bought a bed and breakfast in 2020 that was mostly furnished and chock-full of décor and bric-a-brac (for more information, visit vacationtarponsprings.com). Every drawer was full, and we found everything from post cards to creepy pictures to light bulbs in them. It took time to figure out what we were going to keep versus what we needed to buy, and we were buying and selling through online marketplaces for 6 months. This blog goes a little outside of what I usually post about – personal finance 101, real estate, books, etc. – but I thought it might give readers ideas for the future. Every dollar helped us as we renovated and made the property our own, and if by reading this you get an idea for how to make a few bucks, great!
1. Leftover Roofing Materials: Our new (to us) home is 120 years old. Supposedly, the roof was original. Naturally, it was rusted and leaked, so we had to replace it right when we moved in. We put on a new metal roof and we had some materials left of various lengths. On a whim, my husband listed them, and someone paid us $200.
2. Water Heater: The water heater for the main house was outside leaning against the house covered in a tarp. Not only is this against code, but it was rotting the siding. So, we decided to switch to a tankless water heater. Our contractor was going to throw it in the on-site dumpster, but my husband convinced him to let us list it. We got $10 for it.
3. Original Window: As we remodeled and reconfigured the kitchen, we needed to shrink a window down so we could put the sink in front of it. Because of this, we replaced an original window with a new one. Rather than throwing the old one away, we sold it for $20. A fire fighter was using old windows to make shelves and was very excited to have it.
4. Sinks: We replaced a cast iron sink in the laundry room with a vanity that matched the kitchen. Upon doing some price-checking online, we found that it was worth some pretty good money, even though it needed to be refinished. It sold for $250. The lady that bought it was putting it in her barn. We replaced the kitchen sink when we redid the kitchen, and we sold the old 3-basin one to a day care for $20. Apparently, the more kids you can fit around a sink, the better.
5. Edging and Stones: This might be my favorite one. We were redoing the entire yard, and we had 200 pieces of edging throughout the existing yard. We had a couple dozen pavers and steppingstones as well. We were going to have to pay someone to demo the yard and remove the edging, so I decided to list everything for $0.50 each. Through the next two weeks, people came and paid me to partially demo our yard.
6. A “Pee-Pee Boy” Fountain: One of the couples who came to get the edging asked about one of our fountains. It was a little boy holding his you-know-what. The water flowed from him into the basin. They wanted to buy it. Elated, I sold it for $20.
7. Plants: As I was selling some pots, a lady asked to buy some of our bromeliads. Since we were getting rid of everything, this worked out well too. Everything she bought totaled $200.
8. Paint Samples: This is my husband’s favorite. Our contractor recommended Sherwin-Williams paint, and Sherwin-Williams does paint samples by the quart, which is much larger than other paint companies. There is some debate whether you can just use a Sherwin-Williams paint number with different paints, so we decided to just bite the $9 bullet and get samples from the source. Unfortunately, I’m very bad at picking off-whites. Between those and the reds and blues, we bought about a dozen samples. I was ready to chalk that up to a loss when my husband listed them online. A mom bought them for $25 to do arts and crafts with her kids.
9. Leftover Pavers: You can't really buy the exact amount of pavers you need. We bought a total of six pallets and about 5.5 were used, so we sold maybe 50 square feet of pavers for $100.
10. Antiques Sign: Our house had an “Antiques” sign on the front of it, which led to much confusion about whether we were a home or a business. People would come to the house to look at furniture and ask when we closed! Since we were getting the house painted anyways, we took that sign down and I sold it for $20. Fun fact: the other side said “Mortgages.”
11. Wood Burning Stove: On its side in the back yard was a rusted hunk of metal. We later found out it was a wood-burning stove. Before you get too mad that we sold it, just know that we have a much nicer, barely rusted one INSIDE of the house that we kept. A guy bought it for $40 and planned to restore it. I’m sure it’s back to its old glory by now.
What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever sold online? I hope this post gave you some more ideas. If you’re interested in the renovation we did, head over to my other site at vacationtarponsprings.com/blog.