The long version: I found the decorative tree on the side of the road in a pile of trimmed branches. I was on my way to my mother's house when I happened to stumble upon it. So, I stopped my car and shoved it right in to my little 2012 Honda Fit. The 6' tree came with me all the way home, straight to my garage, and I flipped it for $25 dollars.
Money may not grow on trees,
but you can make money from them, even if they're fake!
How much time and work did I spend on the decorative tree? Counting minutes: Maybe 25? This includes cleaning, listing the item on Craigslist (which was hardly detailed at all), and the transaction in my driveway.
How long did you wait until it sold? I listed the tree on 5-30-15 and it sold on 6-4-15. 5 days total just letting it sit in my garage.
What did you use to clean the tree? Lysol and paper towels. This removed all the dust and any other grime left on the leaves from sitting on the side of the road. Plus it had a wonderful lemon scent! Vinegar is a healthier cleaner and is recommended if you are sensitive to chemicals and other cleaners, including citrus.
If you do own silk plants, here is a more detailed site to help you clean them:
How to Clean Silk Flowers, Foliage, and Artificial Plants
How did you know these plants sell? I used to spend a lot of time in local auctions and observed what others were bidding on even if I might not have gone home with any specific items. After seeing the tree, I just so happened to remember more people were interested in purchasing silk plants.
How did you come up with a price? On my Craigslist post, I noted to research what others are posting the same item for. I noticed my plant could go for a higher price, but I wanted to flip it quickly, so I listed it for $35.00 and had a couple interested people. One lady came by and I lowered the price because both of us were getting a great deal regardless.
Below is a screen shot of how simple my post was. As you can see, I barely tried to create it.
You never know what opportunities are going to present themselves. It's up to you to determine if they're worth going after and what you do with them. Keep an open mind wherever you go, even if it's down the street. This lady did with an Apple Computer!
Other opportunities I could have done with this plant:
Used it on my back porch
Use it as a decoration for photos
Place a curb alert on Craigslist so someone else can grab it
Re-purpose it by tearing it apart
Use it as a prank
Use it as a base for hide and seek
If you're feeling squirrely, turn it in to a tropical Christmas tree!
I know some of these ideas were a tad out there, but you get the point that this tree was simply not trash. The world is your oyster. Be as creative as you want! I highly recommend this post as motivation to try something new and challenge yourselves to be successful with any object placed in front of you, including those fake silk plants!