08/10/2017 at 5:18 am #21602
Hello! I just took a 2-week trip to Riga, Latvia and really enjoyed listening to you guys from abroad. Listening to your stories from European flea markets, I knew that I would have try them as soon as I started traveling. And the ones in Riga were incredible! At the central bazaar, as well as at the biggest separate flea market, they carried so much Soviet memorabilia (passports, military badges, documents, uniforms, photographs, etc et etc) that it turned into a really thorough material chronology of the Soviet Union. I bought some documents, but my largest purchase was about 120 vinyl records. I have been selling Soviet records for about a year at much better prices than regular LPs because there is so little domestic competition, and have been dreaming about finding records by Vladimir Vysotsky, the most collectible Soviet bard. Roughly 60 of the euro-each LPs I purchased were Vysotsky! I’m about the be the only dealer in the United States to be offering any meaningful quantity of his albums; super excited. I made friends with one of the dealers, and when it became obvious that I needed a larger suitcase, I brought my old one to him and traded it for some wartime documents (listed while bored in the airport).
One of the reasons I love eBay is that I am very interested in learning about the dynamics of individual markets, and I’m convinced that eBay offers the most comprehensive market information anywhere for retail goods. While I was down there (Latvia and Estonia) I paid attention to cost of goods in stores, as well the dynamics on those flea markets. I was so surprised that most of their junk (old, dirty clothes and home goods) was reasonably well valued by them, and they were never willing to give me bundle deals like I enjoy at yard sales, where the people are happy to get rid of a bunch of stuff at once. They value each thing, and are willing to put in the time to sell it. Lucky for me, each stand offered at least some Vysotsky album, and no one tried to barter me up.
Something I really wanted to do was to try to bring in some products to sell as well as buying, but I didn’t know enough to form a plan. Having now spent time there, I have several ideas of products I could source through eBay and sell upon arrival at my next visit, probably directly to a store. I wonder whether anyone here has tried something like this. Globalization means they now have most consumer goods available, but I think there is still such price disparity between some goods there and the prices they are available for on eBay, that my idea is viable.
Anyway, cheers from New Jersey!
08/10/2017 at 8:28 am #21604
- Location: Virginia
–I’d love to hear what kind of products you would bring to Latvia to sell. Could they afford your prices?
–How did you ship 60 LP’s home safely?
08/10/2017 at 9:19 am #21607
- Location: Virginia
that’s my question too, how did you bring home 120 LPs from Latvia?
08/10/2017 at 9:39 am #21614
120 LPs, not 60. I knew I would be buying things to bring back, so I packed very light, gave my accompanying light-packing dad a large suitcase, and eventually traded up for an even larger suitcase in Latvia. Most of the weight coming back was the LPs, distributed between two suitcases. Just made the 23kg limit.
We were taking subway and NJTransit from JFK to NJ, so I knew that would a very tough trip; my dad is too old to carry something that heavy, even if on wheels. But inexplicably, they never sent our baggage with our plane, and the suitcases were just delivered last night at 2AM. So LPs got delivered to me 🙂
My biggest idea is ink cartridges. They are a giant scam, and I’m sure you have heard that printer ink is like the most “valuable” retail good there is by weight. They use the same models over there, and you can get cartridges for as little as 10% original cost new on eBay (I know because of so many disappointing sales). My idea is contacting owners of retail stores and trying to arrange to sell to them in bulk. I’m sure there are many possibilities like this one; I just love ink cartridges because they’re so small and light; I could transport quite a lot.
Other ideas are clothing and shoes. They’re extremely into American brands down there, namely Adidas, Nike, Ralph Lauren, and I can get brand clothing in bulk for as cheaply as you can. Something like this would be more difficult to arrange because secondhand clothing isn’t as fluid of a consumer good, but I thought I could make an arrangement with a secondhand shop store or something.
08/10/2017 at 10:17 am #21617
Oh, forgot to mention. I instituted the extended handling time policy. 130 orders waiting for me upon my arrival. I feel Ryanne’s pain.
08/11/2017 at 2:06 pm #21664
- Location: Hell
This sounds like great fun, and the travel is a write-off on your taxes.
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