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« Keeping the Castle | Main | Thrift Share Monday - May 9 »

May 05, 2011

Comments

Shara

I too am looking at changing things up--I cannot stand clutter so leaving stuff on the table is easy for me, but I have problems getting what I do buy listed & much of the time end up donating it!

I decided this morning to only buy things that are easy to ship. Shipping is my least favorite part of reselling so the easier to ship...the better. I cannot wait to see all the valuables you find!

teresa

Hi Selena - I see no need to let go of your "saving vintage" ideals, but maybe a restructuring of how you handle items when they first come into your house. Perhaps do a quick lookup and sort them into flea market bins (for the under $10 things, say) and etsy/eBay/littleshop etc bins when they first come home. You can at least price the flea market things right then-and-there as they go into the boxes - then you don't handle them so many times. Also, you might consider letting your son (or daughter) help you with other tasks that interest them. For example, my 9-year-old daughter LOVES staging items and taking photos and I told her I'd pay her to help me. This should help cut down on some of the prep time (she's really very good!). Then, she can also help with packaging which she also loves (and I think you said your son does too). Your kids might also like to put on their own rummage sale with items you'd consider donating. I think if you keep a few different streams of income open, you can dove-tail it all together and have consistent money coming in, at the same time teaching your children more about the SELLING part of collecting vintage (they are already great little shoppers!). You could also focus on grouping smaller ticket items together for a bigger total price tag(for example, a set of mugs with a set of napkins, or a fondue pot with some potholders or placemats, or holiday ornaments with candles, etc). In any case, I COMPLETELY understand about inventory taking over and overwhelming you, but I also know that I really enjoy buying and selling a VARIETY of items (spice of life, right?) so I want to think creatively about changing my selling instead of my buying...for what it's worth...teresa
PS - still working on getting my blog up and running!

Livvy

Hi Selena,
If it's any comfort, you should know that multi-million dollar companies face the same question about business lines, clieht size, etc. In the corporate world, I learned that culture often determines the business model and client size, and the whole business became geared to becoming customized to the new model. So allow me to ask you these questions:

1. The $10 business
Let's supposed that you decided to specialize in $10 items. That while you'll be happy to sell at $250 item, you've determined that you have a competitive advantage in finding and selling $10 items. How would your business change? Would you:
1. Specialize in $10 items that are easier to store?
2. Find a different way to sell $10 items (other than auction or etsy).
3. Create a "repeatable process" for finding and selling $10 items -- would you hire a contractor to go to the post office every day, or use Stamps.com? Would you hire a kid in a college photography class to take pictures? What about someone to upload pictures to an auction site? How would you change the process so that you could sell tens of thousands of dollars of merchandise a month?

2. The >$10 business
How would you create a repeatable process that would allow you to locate and sell those items? Same questions as above.

3. The multimillion $ business
Let's go big. Let's say you are really going to buy that million dollar+ house. Is reselling going to get you there? Or is it writing about reselling and publishing. Again, think about the repeatable process.

Often, the right solutions come from "turning a question upside down and inside out." Use this time to really question what you're doing and how you're doing it. Best of luck.

Leah - MoxieThrift on Etsy

lovely post. we too are dealing with this exact issue. every time i go out to buy i have a hard time saying no to some things...but i HAVE been able to say no, and that in itself is progress! and for now, any steps ahead means one thing: they are aren't steps behind!

Vicki K

That Ronald Davis print is really interesting - will you let us know how it does on resale?

Joy

http://irondavis.com/index.html Hi Selena! I found this link to Ronald Davis when I read your comment; "I don't know what it is"...that sold for $4000!! His website includes an index of all his artwork!

Now...about change & abundance...having just watched "I Am" (which I recommend) at the theatre...listening to my heart may be the smartest thing I can do! Researchers at HeartMath Institue are proving the heart literally is smarter that the mind! So, going with one's heart will always be the right move!

Ann

Hi,

I can't stand clutter. I used to sell exclusively on ebay, but have cut-down quite a bit. I decided, instead, to rent a small space in a cute vintage shop. By doing this, I am able to get my inventory out of the house. I also get to talk "shop" with the owners and other vendors. I think you mentioned in a previous post you were considering a similar idea? Good luck.

shannon

Again, all familiar sentiments! And familiar backlog. I think it's a natural progression to go through. Buying at .25 and selling at $10 is tons of fun at the beginning. But buying at $10 and selling at $100 is even better! Yes, you go through the smaller items to build confidence on the bigger ones.

But now that i have a taste of the bigger ticket items..I have to remember to let go to those smaller flips. Just because something CAN sell, doesn't mean it's worth my time to do it.

My MIL just signed up for a booth at a small antique store in our little town...for both of us. Fairly decent traffic. I'm glad it's small..it's our first attempt. Guess where my $10 stuff is going?? lol

stampindamour

Good posting and very inspiring! I can relate to being overwhelmed with too much inventory...picking up this and that with the intent on ReSelling it, but ends up in a pile somewhere.

I got so burnt out with selling on ebay and thought, why am I selling these piddly little low cost items that take up more time to pack and ship to the Buyer? So, I pulled them all off ebay, loaded my car, and placed them in my Antique Mall booth...and started advertising their existence on Craig's List.

This also started to clear up my office...so, I can focus on one thing at a time. It's a work in progress for sure.

Thanks for your honest and down to earth posting, it's refreshing to know that others share the same frustrations...& burn-outs of ReSelling! :)

Jen

I'm at the point where I'm still thrilled to get $10 for an item! But then again, I still have a lot to learn about what is valuable and what to look for. I'm always surprised at what great things you find each week which gets me super psyched to go to more sales, but them I'm disappointed at what I find. One of the more recent sales I went to had used mens underwear and used deodorant bottles for sale. Really??

Annie/Helen Hartman

Thinking about this kind of thing, planning AND dreaming are huge steps in making it a reality. Keep dreaming, and doing!

Lara

I love this post Serena (as with most of your other musings!!!) I too have been reflecting on many of the same issues. It's nice to have lower price items in the shop to renew listings & drive traffic...but sometimes it's not worth the time to photo & post based on the profit made. I've been watching so many of the "Auction Hunter" type shows...and where they succeed is immediately finding a buyer for their items & turning a profit, even if it's not quite retail. I too am debating turning a few of my items over to an auction house or dealer. If only it were easy to come across these valuable items on a daily basis :-) Good luck with your continuing journey & thanks again for all of the wonderful insight & honesty on your blog.
Cheers ~ Lara

Alexandra

This is one of your best posts...such a familiar, chatty tone...wonderful. I read the other comments and most of them started with a compliment for the post. Excellent done! plus the topic is vital: with or without a REselling business we all have the tendency to buy and buy some more, and to fill out houses that there is no more space left to really enjoy life....I have been talking myself into changing it for so long....

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