Real Life

How this Aussie couple make $120k a year from other people’s RUBBISH

Everybody loves a bit of nostalgia

Here, Erin Miletic, 32, from Melbourne, Vic, shares her story with Take 5…

My eyes lit up the second I saw all the old Disney VHS tapes.

“Look at these!” I cried to my husband, Mitch.

We’d visited an op shop in Melbourne hoping to find heaps of retro treasure and, low and behold, there they all were – video copies of Aladdin, Pocahontas and other favourites from the ’80s and ’90s.

There were several times when I had to pinch myself remembering that going out hunting for old-school treasure like this was all in a day’s work for us.

We run a business called Retro Rescuers, where we find valuable collectable items and clothes from the ’80s through to the early ’00s and resell them all online.

In our time we’ve found everything from Tazo collections through to Barbie and The Simpsons paraphernalia – the sort of stuff most people grew up with but haven’t seen for decades.

It all started back in 2017 when I decided to try my luck at online dating.

I was so shocked to find a set of old-school Disney tapes. (Image: supplied)

Soon after downloading Tinder, I matched up with Mitch, whose passion was retro video games.

When we met in person, we got along so well I knew he was the one – we spent a lot of time reminiscing about playing Mario Kart and Nintendo 64!

Mitch had only recently moved to Melbourne from interstate and had three big tubs of games sent down.

“You must really love gaming,” I joked.

We’d hang out at op shops where we spotted lots of old games being sold for just a couple of dollars each.

“These must be worth a lot of money,” Mitch said. “Maybe I can try and sell them.”

Just days later he sold his first game for $50 – a lot more than the few bucks we’d paid for it.

We make $120k a year re-selling retro gear. (Image: supplied)

We soon realised that there was some serious cash to be made, and so over the next few weeks, hunted down more prized items to sell.

The most expensive item we’ve sold was a Sydney 2000 Olympics Mambo Opening Ceremony Jacket.

We picked it up in a second- hand shop for $75 and sold it for $5000.

“Wow, I’ve been searching for this item for so long,” many customers have told us.

While the money was great, what was even better was connecting someone with possessions that they’d been desperate to find.

And, having Mitch on the ride with me has made the whole experience loads of fun for us.

After two years together, we had our first business trip to Far North Queensland to collect a bulk purchase of a rare pop vinyl collection.

We’d stopped for the night at a hotel in Goondiwindi and were having dinner at the local McDonald’s when Mitch went over to his bag and pulled out a ring.

“Will you marry me?” he sweetly asked.

“Yes!” I squealed.

We tied the knot in 2020.

Mitch and I both love 90’s and 00’s goods. (Image: supplied)

I honestly feel like the luckiest person in the world to be able to spend my days searching for bargains with the man I love.

We make $120,000 a year all up – and it’s from things that people have decided to throw away.

Running this business together has taught us that someone’s trash really can be someone else’s treasure.

I can’t wait to find out what retro gems Mitch and I discover next!

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