Using Renewables as A way to Pay for the BIG Up-Front cost of Renewable Energy....

billjustbill Posted By billjustbill, Jan 3, 2011 at 5:24 AM

  1. billjustbill

    Member 2.

    Dec 26, 2008
    Garage sales, Flea Markets, and Sterling Silver Jewelry have been my way to pay over 95% of $10,000 toward a 3.5kw solar panel system.

    Going to garage sales, you never know what you'll find for yourself, your family, or to be sold for a profit in your next garage sale or flea market....

    I began in April of 2010 with my first time to set up at a flea market. I'd found Sthil chainsaws at garage sales that I repaired and cleaned up. Selling something worthwhile after being repaired, they started with one or two pulls and six working chainsaws, plus one sold for parts, were gone before 10:00 a.m. Other items, from glassware, old collectible tools, newer benchtop and portable power tools, and tool boxes were good sellers and great profit margins. For a Saturday and Sunday, after paying $50 for the two-day rental fee, I cleared just over $1,500 in sales. Buying low and selling for what the market will pay, I averaged more than doubling my money on 2 our of 3...

    As I go to garage sales, I look for the ".925" marking on jewelry being sold in little plastic baggies for .25-cents to $2.00. "Sterling" must be stamped on tableware and hollowware like tea pots, forks, spoons, etc. Depending on how heavy the piece is, the worth of silver is a great markup considering it's at $30 an ounce. In easier terms to compare, if a single large paperclip was made of .999 silver, it's worth $1.20 !! Except for 13 pieces of sterling silver tableware I found for $8 about 2 years ago, I collected silver jewelry from Jan. 2010 to December of 2010. The refinery pays 90% of market value of silver on the day it arrives at their door. For a cost of $335 in buying the jewelry and sterling tableware, in November I got a check for just over $2,000. That's about 88 troy ounces at $25.30.

    Attending 8 to 10 garage sales each weekend during the year, there have been four times I found 10kt or 14kt gold mixed in with costume jewelry. ALWAYS carrying a small magnifying glass, I can find the tiny stamp on the catches of bracelets, necklaces, and the earring posts. I do metal detecting, but in the 10 years of that hobby, just this year, I've ten times what I've found while detecting by going to garage sales..... Some of the bent gold rings found while metal detecting and the garage sale gold got me another check from the Refiner for $2,400 just a few weeks ago when gold was at $1,375 an ounce.

    With 3 times of selling at the flea market, and 3 garage sales, plus selling silver and a little gold, I've paid for enough solar panels, an 80 amp controller, a 3500 watt inverter, and for a 48 volt system, all these ways also paid for eight large 6-volt, "L-16", 440 amp hour deep cycle batteries that cost $1,748.00, just for them. Deduct the 30% solar tax credit, the profits from my garage sales and flea market sales, and I will have spent under $500 from the home budget.

    I'm in the process of taking all the equipment, copper wire and heavy cables (found on sale or at Garage sales), and will begin making a 10-panel tracker array and the rest installed on fixed mounts on an outside building's South facing roof.

    As people are relocating, down-sizing, having living estate sales, and moving back home, they are selling things that gives them money and at a price that can make you a nice profit.

    It appears that Metal detecting, Garage Sales, and Flea Markets should be consider "Renewable Resources" as they "Recycle" things, and being almost neverending, they are different each time you attend one...

    Hope this will get you enough dollars to pay most of your next energy saving project.


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  2. PastTense

    Member 2.

    Sep 18, 2010
    eBay would also be a good selling venue for some of the things you find. Some jewelry is worth more as jewelry than as gold/silver.

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