HOW WE MADE MONEY ON A CELL PHONE UPGRADE
My husband and I upgraded our cell phones to BlackBerrys for the same reasons most people do, I suppose: greater ease of texting, streamlined e-mail notification. And OK, I’ll admit it: wow factor.
As it turns out,however, our BlackBerrys had a surprise perk: the ability to make serious money.
A free-for-the-downloading application called Scanlife lets us scan the bar codes of good-quality items we happen across at yard sales, library bookstores, and department store clearance bins. It compares the item’s price to online listings of popular retailers.
The listing we pay special attention to is Amazon.com, where my husband and I have a marketplace account for selling used items when we are done with them. When we notice a bargain that retails for a reasonable price, we purchase it for resale after enjoying it at home.
What have we found, used, and resold? Examples include a $3 CD set that resold for $30, a stack of dollar DVDs that retailed for $15 each, numerous fifty-cent books that listed at more than $10 apiece, and a $5 handheld GPS unit that retailed for $50. My husband will often earn $100 or more on a Saturday morning jog through our neighborhood. We get to enjoy all of the items up front to boot, which is an extra bonus.
Do we enjoy our BlackBerry for all the reasons we expected to? Yes. But we’re certainly appreciating the unexpected returns as well.