Boy Scout Books – Flip and a Flop!

Dollar Flipper Ebay Flip 13 Comments

Today you’re going to get a two-fer! A flip and a flop!

Rocking the flip flops


Man people are dumb.

Being an Eagle Scout, I know that there are a lot of people who are collectors in the scouting world.

Side Note: I wouldn’t have finished my Eagle Scout without my parents. They kept me on track, and I just squeaked by. I would have put it off too long if I was trying to do it without them. My wife (girlfriend at the time) and brother also helped with the execution of the project. Probably the same boat there. You know what? Most things that are good in life are thanks to my family pushing me through it. Thanks guys! 😛

The Flop Side

Vintage 1960s Cub Scout Books eBay

The colors are great. The prices are not.

We have these books from the 1960’s. I bought the set of 3 for $2 at a local garage sale.

I “knew” that some of this stuff was collectible. For $2, it was worth a shot. When I got home, I checked the completed listings!

Vintage Cub Scout Handbook

$8.75 with free shipping… on a $2 buy… womp womp

Major flop.

But, as noted before, it’s not that big of a loss. Sure, I don’t want to take the $2 hit, but in the grand scheme of things, this was a low risk lesson.

It turns out that it’s not really “scouting” stuff that’s collectible. It’s the older Boy Scout stuff. The Cub Scout memorabilia isn’t the same. I’d guess that there’s a lot more of it out there since not a ton of people stick with scouts.

The Flip Side

eBay Boy Scout Vintage Merit Badge Books

No seamanship jokes please.

I bought these from our local Habitat For Humanity Restore.

Side note 2: For anyone who is DIY inclined, you can get some fantastic deals here! Tiles are everywhere, lots of light fixtures. I’ve bought some tools that I know I’ll only use once or twice (I’m looking at you wallpaper remover) but then can still sell for a profit!

The thing is, I priced them high at $150 with free shipping. I saw a couple completed listings for $10 a book, but none had as many as I did in one set.

I even got a message from a buyer telling me that they weren’t worth what I had them listed at!

Well, check out the feedback I received from the buyer after they received the books:

these were ALL awesome !!!!!!!

Hm, I’d say that I priced it right for this guy!

  • Purchase price – $6
  • End Selling Price – $100
  • Fees and Shipping/Handling – $18.55

Total Profit:  $75.45

I listed them for $150 and accepted an offer of $100. I mean, I bought them for $6! On top of that, I think I set a trend. Here are some more recent sales since mine.

Boy Scout Merit Badge Book Lots

I was selling Vintage Boy Scout Merit Badge Books for a huge profit before it was cool!

This flip had a great ROI and was fun and nostalgic for me. They remind me of the times I spent in scouting, and I can only imagine that some collector (possibly even from this specific troop) got an awesome piece of memorabilia. And that makes me even happier.

Lesson Learned: When you make a sale in something (like I did with these merit badge books), you’ll start seeing similar items all over. Just tread water carefully and don’t go in too deep!

And if you’re looking for Boy Scout collectibles, the vintage (think 1st edition) American handbook and original Order of the Arrow stuff is very collectible!

Boy Scout Handbook eBay Sold

I think the technical term for sales like these are “Yowza.”

Image Credit: Ceddie2000

Comments 13

  1. Nice flip! Even the flop made you do some more research that leads to more flips and less flops in the future. I’d say $2 was a steal! lol

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  2. Just because those books were listed at $8.95 w/free shipping means that you have to offer free shipping. I can’t tell you how many times I have listed for the same price but charged shipping. Even 1st class shipping on those would be between $2-3. Not all listings are visible at all times so I would go for the not free shipping. Good job on the older books.

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      Yeah, I definitely could have charged shipping. I just don’t like dealing with the lower profits with the amount of work I’d need to put in. If it were Amazon, I don’t mind a $3 profit since it’s so damn easy to list (no photos either).

  3. Wow. I need to find some boy scout memorabilia.

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      Just keep building your mental list and taking small leaps of faith based on your current knowledge. It’s the best you can do!

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  4. great story! i hate when i get home and something that looked promising turns out to be a bit of a dud. but, i still photograph it and list it anyway, usually at the price i want that’s higher than the competitors. you never know – people buy things even if its not the cheapest, and you never know when the others might sell out and you’ll be the only one left for sale. might take a few months, but better in my opinion to put the few minutes effort into photographing and listing and then forgetting it til it sells.

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      This is always a hard one for me. I know I can make $3 listing the books. But I have 20 things that I can sell for $100 just waiting to be listed. Plus another 100+ that will go for $40+. With so little time, it’s hard to justify listing the books!

  5. Wow, fantastic tips on Boy Scout stuff. I would have just bought anything Scout related so good to know Cub Scout stuff doesn’t sell. Thanks for the tips and congrats on your sales on the merit badge books. I thought the Habitat for Humanity Restore only sold construction items.

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      Nope! Ours has a book and home goods (dishes etc.) in the front. On top of that, they do have a ton of random stuff like furniture and odds and ends. It’s a really neat store!

  6. Pingback: Mistakes on eBay - Not Just for New Sellers - Flipping A Dollar

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