It’s Thrift Store Monday ya’ll, the series where I get rich off the thrift store. Backstory: we’ve moved into our new house, and there’s a space on the deck for the hot tub I’ve always dreamed of having. Except we’re not loaded. So in conjuction with “Thrift Store Monday,” I’ve decided I’m going to “Hustle A Hot Tub” and write about it.
The challenge: Make $5k off thrift flipping and other side hustles. I’ll find Picassos at Goodwill, respond to sketchy scientific studies in the back of the newspaper, secret shop your ass at yo retail job, draw the beauty contest community chest card, and sell handmade jewelry. Not that I make jewelry, but what if making stoneware jewelry is my secret hidden talent?
Maybe there’s an editor reading this, ready to give me a six figure publishing contract. Maybe I have a secret admirer who is independently wealthy. Maybe I’ll find treasure buried in my backyard with my metal detector. Maybe my dog will become a viral sensation.
But for now, I’ll stick to thrifting. As usual, I made it to my spot with about thirty minutes left to hunt, after getting the kids in bed. The employees had already turned off the music and were aggressively power-move vacuuming to signal that customers were no longer welcome.
No time to cruise. I power-walked the aisles looking for quick hits. The store had “Recently Deceased” vibes throughout. The knick-knacks and gewgaws aisle was on fire with a fresh assortment of ceramic dogs with sad eyes and Snow Babies.
Without a lot of time to research and dig, and coming up empty on quick hits, the framed pictures aisle was my last hope. I needed a Picasso, but finding Michaelangelo the Creation of Adam would do. Instead I found a framed Peanuts drawing.
I picked it up, full of iconic characters, vivid and colorful, eye-catching. It looked like an animation cel. But more interestingly, it had a seal on it that said “authenticated by the Peanuts Film Gallery.” I whipped out my phone searching for that phrase.
The first item to come up was on Amazon, listed for $3750. Holy shit. I imagined everything Authenticated by the Peanuts Film Gallery — whatever or where ever that is — was worth that much. Nevermind that I had never heard of it. The Gallery was an important Snoopy institution with gilded halls and professional Peanuts appraisers. I had hit the jackpot. In fact, I had I never known God’s plan for me until this very moment. God’s plan for me was to have that hot tub, immediately. I pictured myself lounging in it by August.
The employees announced a final GTFO over the intercom. At ten bucks, it was a no brainer. Of course, once I got home and did actual research on the computer, I discovered the item was not quite so rare or valuable. It was a “sericel,” sort of a Xerox of an actual animated cel, produced in a limited run in 1994. It’s like a budget collectable. One sold at an auction house for $60, which is not exactly August Hot Tub, but it’s a start.
I still don’t know God’s plan for me, except I guess he wants me to write these dumb things and maybe inspire people. What will you hustle for this summer? I also sold a $15 record on ebay yesterday, which is the official starting point. Only $4985 to go.