06/02/2018 at 12:55 am #41530
As I have been processing listings I’ve been thinking a lot about my space and the items I choose. I don’t want to narrow myself but I really need to focus on smaller items due to only have a small bedroom to store my items.
I have ties, belts, and glasses (eye-wear), but I’m trying to figure out what other good “small” items to keep an eye out for. Trinket boxes and jewelry always catch my eye, but unless they are free (or I like them for personal use) I try not to buy them uninformed.
Does anyone have any tips? I would love to expand past what is mentioned above. Generally I’m trying to get away from clothing (but shoes are still my favorite).
06/02/2018 at 10:38 am #41540apertureParticipant
- Location: ARVADA
Great thread idea Ashana.
I have been doing really well lately with patches. They are super simple to list and store. One tip I got from looking at Terminal99 listings is to use flat fee for shipping and charge $1.50 because people will balk at the actual cost of using tracked 1st class. I just make up the difference in the listed price for each patch.
06/02/2018 at 2:00 pm #41549VintageTreasuresParticipant
I too only have a spare bedroom to store my inventory. So I sell a lot of craft kits and sewing patterns since they take up very little space. I’d also love to get into jewelry but I know nothing about it so that would be risky. Also with larger items I try be really competitive with my pricing so those items move out faster.
06/02/2018 at 2:09 pm #41550
I will definitely do this, I have a bunch of vintage cards that need to change to this as well.
I’ve been thinking about creating kits… Especially using stained damaged clothing (you know those favorite mistakes you don’t find until you get home) to create scrap kits. Do you make your craft kits or find them? Sewing patterns are nice idea too, are you picky with the ones you choose? What makes you pick one up if it isn’t free?
- This reply was modified 4 years ago by Ashana.
06/06/2018 at 4:07 pm #41851NancyParticipant
Some of the small things I look for are mens ties, unique belt buckles, vintage leather belts, collectible playing cards, vintage handkerchiefs, vintage scarves, vintage brooches (enamel and the ones with the faux jewels)
06/06/2018 at 4:22 pm #41852JayKeymaster
- Location: Virginia
Do you do well with ties? We avoid them like the plague except for very rare brand exceptions. Even then, we pause before we buy. I feel so few men wear ties these days.
06/07/2018 at 12:04 pm #41904NancyParticipant
Jay I don’t buy many ties because they don’t do well in general. I stick to unique and only buy them if they are super cheap. I know some people though have access to higher end brands of ties and do really well with those. It depends on where you live I guess. The ones I come across aren’t high end brands. But I usually check the tie racks and pick up specialty ties like Harley Davidson.
06/06/2018 at 5:09 pm #41853SharynParticipant
- Location: Central NJ
Ephemera is a good area to explore. You should search in the Blog and find the podcast interview with Popeye’s postcards. One of the advantages he mentions is that postcards are small and easy to organize. People also collect brochures/pamphlets, stamps, labels, boxes, tickets, and so on.
The one issue is that buyers don’t want to pay for shipping with tracking for just a postcard. Popeye postcards will just use a first class stamp, and he doesn’t worry about TRS status.
I will often group up a bunch of similar items and sell them together. I recently sold a group of mostly recipe pamphlets with advertising:
06/08/2018 at 10:24 am #41996pythoneskParticipant
- Location: East TN
Ephemera. 100% silk or wool, cashmere, alpaca scarves, leather or suede gloves. We did really well one time when we found commemorative lucite coasters for the Shriner’s of Hawaii which I sold singly for $50 each. Just today sold a quite small book for $67: https://www.ebay.com/itm/112964597242
06/17/2018 at 1:45 pm #42665
I do feel like just dropping my ties, or finding a new use for them… I just feel like they need some kind of new life… I guess we could braid and knot them together for rope in the apocalypse.
06/17/2018 at 3:02 pm #42666VintageTreasuresParticipant
Hello Ashana, I’m sorry, I didn’t see your question about the patterns & kits until just now. Re: craft kits, I buy packaged name brand vintage ones, like Bucilla, usually needlepoint or cross stitch kits. Some of those can do quite well, but others you can’t give away, so it’s a learning curve.
With sewing patterns, I’ll buy out of print (older) unused Vogue patterns and some other brands of vintage women’s patterns IF they are completely unused and uncut. I stay away from cut/used patterns – if one pattern piece is missing the pattern is unsellable, plus it’s a real PIA to count the pieces to find out if it’s complete.
Be aware that pattern size measurements were a lot smaller back in the day so check the measurements listed on vintage patterns, not just the size number. Old pattern sizes don’t match up measurement wise with current day pattern sizes. Many sizes won’t work at all for the larger sized people we are today.
06/21/2018 at 11:06 am #43017BookHawkParticipant
- Location: Westminster (Denver)
I buy small because I only have a closet so I look for ephemera, salt and peppers in animal shapes, small kitchen utensils, mugs (not to many!) some figurines, pens and small toys. And always books. I can get a lot in that closet.
06/21/2018 at 12:36 pm #43033BigSallyParticipant
- Location: Washington State
Does anyone sell Belt Buckles? I’m interested, trying to get smaller, but have no knowledge-
06/21/2018 at 1:05 pm #43043pythoneskParticipant
- Location: East TN
Oh yes, we have several belts and buckles listed and they sell well for us. Look at “BTS brass” on ebay. I don’t know all of the makers and maybe the maker doesn’t matter. Good keywords in your title is probably more important.
06/22/2018 at 6:02 pm #43230Anonymous
I think of it as value density: $/cubic ft. Vintage pens, and lighters can be worth a lot and are often overlooked at estate sales, etc. The thrift stores I go to practically give away great Bakelite, lucite and other vintage bracelets. I stand at the jewelry counter chanting “ABC”–Amber, Bakelite, Coral.
07/25/2018 at 8:29 am #46092ChristineKParticipant
Swimsuits/bikinis are small and sell well, but you said you are getting away from clothing so not sure you’d want to sell those. What about pins? I’ve done well selling various vintage pins, especially ski pins and military pins. Sometimes I find those at the Goodwill bins, pinned to old parkas and jackets. I just take off the pins and buy those, so the investment is next-to-nothing and they are small to store. Most thrift stores have baskets of pins up front that are always worth looking through.
07/25/2018 at 9:38 am #46094bcfol440Participant
Re: upvoting ephemera. The Auction Prof on YouTube talks about this extensively and ephemera of all kinds. I really like his channel and have learned so much.
Ties that have sold for me are bow tie / cummerbund sets, very special Ralph Lauren ties with rare patterns/prints. Highly suggest bundling ties by brand, color or pattern and unloading for $20 or whatever. Suspenders do very, very well for me. They are slow, but I sell a pair anywhere from 20-50. Leather braided suspenders, silk do well. They need to be sturdy.
Re: Needlepoint kits. Agree w/ the Bucilla brand is good, check solds. I bought some duds, so I bundled 5 together and sold.
10/22/2018 at 4:51 pm #50570mercutiojbParticipant
- Location: Minneapolis
If you can find it, expired film. Most sizes (35mm, 120, etc) are very small and the market is pretty good.
And usually when you find it, you find a lot of it
10/23/2018 at 4:16 pm #50618Antique FrogParticipant
- Location: Leicester
High-quality blank cassette tapes (e.g. chromium (CrO2) and C90 length).
Film was often stored in refrigerators or deep freezes in bags; might be a selling point if you come across a stash stored like that. There’s also Polaroid instant film and the Fuji equivalent.
Collectable pens and pencils seem to be hot in South Korea at the moment!
Beads: massive collecting base, and plenty of repros and forgeries. Good quality millefiori beads, mid-20th century Chinese enamelled beads.
There’s also a number of collectors of sand and soil in small containers (or at least there were a few years ago). Not sure whether that can be monetised or is just swapping.
London Underground maps- this can be quite profitable. Early ones sell for a lot. Whether this is true of other systems I don’t know- the tube is constantly being extended or tinkered with so there’s a new map issued at least once a year.
Bits of old electronica. A friend bought a Russian core memory thing off eBay (square with lots of tiny wires) and had it framed. Looks quite attractive.
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