What do happy meal toys, broken Bionicle pieces, loose Mega Bloks, Mardi Gras beads, and wrestling figures with missing limbs have in common? If you guessed things that you can find in the loose toy bin in your local Goodwill then you are correct. If you guessed things that make you want to take your clothes off then you need to speak to a therapist.
A few months ago I ventured into one of the many local Goodwills in my area looking for anything that I could hopefully find for my collection or make a buck or two to spend toward the collection. I went to my normal destinations in the store: the glass case, the media shelves, the electronic section, the bathroom, and then the toy section. *Don’t judge me. Thrifting has been known to cause overactive bladders.*
Like normal the only things I really found were too many copies of Madden -insert year here-, overpriced shoes in the glass case, a ton of off brand printer toner, and a mixture of the smell of urine combined with a feeling of needing a shower. At this point I still hadn’t made it to the restroom, I had only walked down the aisle with used bedding linens. However once I got to the the toys I was in for a nice surprise. I saw a few vintage G.I. Joe figures sitting in the bin of loose toys. So I proceeded to rip off a bag from a dispenser that mistakenly made it from the produce aisle of Wal-Mart to the back corner of my local Goodwill. I then began to dig through all of the usual garbage that fills these bins in the hunt for more figures.
After scouring the ,poorly avoiding a plethora of sticky and broken garbage labeled as toys, I was lucky enough to walk away from that loose toy bin with a bag stuffed full of G.I. Joe figures, weapons, and various accessories. I made my way to the counter and waited in line behind the guy buying 40 lbs of random shoes and kitchen ware while my anticipation continued to grow. I paid for my bag of excitement, $3.99 plus tax, and I continued on my way to the other destinations of the day.
*Fast forward a few weeks later*
I went through all the figures and found that two of the figures were mail-in exclusives. I had two Steel Brigade figures for you G.I. Joe enthusiasts. Not only did I have the figure, but I also had the backpack that game with each figure, his weapon for each figure, and a patch for one of the figures. I made the decision to sell those two figures separate and list everything else as one large lot. I would have made more money by piecing everything out, but sometimes the extra money is not worth the time and effort of listing every single thing.
All of the G.I. Joes took less than a week to sell. After fees and shipping I was able to make $57.74 off of the two Steel Brigade Figures and $58.06 off of everything else that was listed in the lot. After my initial investment of $4.26 I was left with a nice profit of $111.54.
To put that in perspective a trip to Goodwill, a 6$ investment for the bag of toys and the bottle of hand sanitizer that I needed after digging through the toy bin, and the gas to get there was converted into a brand new PS4 controller, 3 PSVR games, and a few extra bucks to spare for my meal the next time I went out thrifting.
I also want to say that I am not super knowledgeable about G.I. Joe figures. You don’t have to be either to figure out what figures you actually have and which ones are worth money if you come across some G.I. Joe figures for a good deal. I used http://www.yojoe.com/action/ and Ebay to research what I had. As long as you have strong enough eyes to get the date off of the figure you can use the site I just mentioned as a visual guide to find what you have.
For you thrifters out there. Just because you have checked those toy bins a 100 times and you haven’t found a single item worth your time don’t stop checking. A quick glance at the bin only takes a few seconds, but could pay out big in the end.
If you have any cool loose toy bin finds let me know in the comments section below!