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Friday, August 6, 2021

This couple adopted their two children by selling vintage toys on eBay

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John and Denise Davis began selling vintage magic cards online in 2013 as a means to raise quick cash for their adoption fees.

“We were doing private adoption, which was very expensive, so we started selling anything that wasn’t nailed down,” said Denise, 42, who works in telecommunications in Utica, Michigan.

“One of my friends gave us a duffel bag full of magic cards and seeing how we were able to make money off of it, we branched out into vintage toys,” added John, 43, a former Marine Corp corporal and retired sheriff’s deputy.

The cards quickly raised around $1,500 and within about six months they had sold enough toys to pay the $30,000 they needed to adopt their first child.

They now have two adopted kids: John, aged seven, and Talia, three.

The couple now makes around $90,000-a-year by selling My Little Pony, Smurfs, Transformers, Star Wars figurines, G.I. Joes, and any vintage toys, comics, and games that they can get their hands on.

“We started it to raise money for the adoption and because that was so successful and John really enjoyed it we just kept doing it,” Denise said.

“How can you not have fun selling old toys?” asked John, who spends much of his time searching for vintage toys on Facebook and Craigslist.

“I enjoy finding the toys and learning about them,” he said.

“I’ll buy a collection and go through it and find something that I totally forgot about.”

Recently, they bought the contents of a house and discovered what John called an “80’s time capsule” of vintage toys worth about $40,000.

“We found 90 vintage Star Wars figures that had never been opened,” he said.

“They were still in the bags.”

While he loves what he does John said running the business isn’t as easy as just finding and selling toys.

“Is it as hard as being a rocket scientist? It’s probably a little harder,” he joked.

“It’s not as easy as you think though because you have to source the stuff, know what you’’re looking at and make sure you give people fair prices.”

Last August, the couple bought an old novelty shop with plans to open a brick and mortar store this summer to transfer their business from strictly online to in-person.

While selling vintage toys helped them expand their family, one of John and Denise’s favorite parts of the business is bringing memories back to people.

“It’s really neat to be able to find this stuff and get it back into the hands of people who remember having it when they were kids,” John said.

“Something you had that brings you back to when you were a kid, that’s things people like.

“People get very excited about what they remember.”

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