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I’ve been scarce on the forums for the past few months, but I’m making a point of coming back to bump this thread because I finally sold another one of these freaking widgets. Gray Widget sold for $99.99 on an offer to buyer. Decent enough sale for me. The other three are still just sitting there with a few watchers each. On the other hand, I am still doing well with parting out box lots that I also buy on Ebay. I bought a huge lot of hundreds of paper items that I’m organizing into smaller lots by subject/theme. Each lot will end up being listed anywhere between $25 and $200 or so.
I own a set of coffee mugs with this same rooster motif by a company called Berggren that has a good collector following. It should be marked “Berggren” somewhere. Even if it’s not marked, I’d list it with keywords folk art, mid century, Scandinavian, etc.
Hello – It’s Fili Menegatti – nice find!
I strongly encourage you to keep the scrapbook in one piece rather than dismembering it. Scrapbooks tell a story, and collectors value them for that reason. It’s also not a sure thing that the individual items will sell for more. Well-done scrapbooks in nice condition can sell for several hundred dollars. I have two listed now for $375 and $475. Don’t know if I’ll get that much, but I know I’d be lucky to get $10 for any one of the component parts.09/29/2019 at 11:58 pm in reply to: Scavenger Life Episode 430: Subsistence Scavenging #68412
Total Listings: 232
Items Sold: 11
Gross Sales: $285.01
Highest Price: $50.00 (ephemera)
New Inventory Purchased:$90.99
New Listings: 18
Another great week overall, though there were lots of low-dollar ($15-$25) items. I also did a ton of listing.
As my store and sales have grown in the last few months, I’ve made several unforced errors with shipping. I finally admitted to myself that I need to tighten up my process so I can be more focused and efficient. This weekend I re-organized my work area to be more organized and ergonomic, and I’m practicing a better routine for pulling, packing, and labeling orders.
There’s a great thrift store in my neighborhood that I hit up at least once a week. I’ll go weeks without finding anything there, then hit the jackpot. This week they had a small cache of books and ephemera that were obviously another dealer’s castoffs. I spent about $70 on 13 items, which I’ll price for between $15 and $125. I got over half of them listed over the weekend, and two sold already.
I also had a pretty great week, and can’t attribute it to anything special, other than doing a ton of listing.
Total Listings: 225
Items Sold: 7
Gross Sales: $261.81
Highest Price: $63.40 (NWT Pendleton 49er shirt)
New Inventory Purchased: $0.00
New Listings: 18
I’ve been growing my store aggressively since July. Normally I ramp up sourcing and listing over the summer when sales are slow, and mostly kick back and fulfill orders in fall/winter. However, this year I’m feeling like I’m in a good groove with sourcing/listing, and thinking I might try to keep it up. I sure wish there was a store level between Basic and Premium.
There was a thread recently about other forms of scavenging, with some comments about mushroom foraging. Pleased to say that my family had a successful trip this weekend hunting chanterelles. First time we’ve gone since my daughter was born. She’s now 3, and got a kick out of it. Our haul was 3 lbs of chanterelles. The fancy grocery store in our neighborhood sells them for $20/lb. We’re keeping them all for ourselves, though!
Your hunch is right, it’s supposed to look like interlocking Ferragamo buckles. The buckle style is called “Gancini” and they do use it as a graphic, but like you I’ve never seen this configuration of the logo with four buckles. I’d take that and the lack of other Ferragamo branding as a red flag for authenticity.09/18/2019 at 8:00 pm in reply to: Getting offers when ebay store is off (vacation mode) #67945
Yep, this has happened to me. Same circumstances – my store had been totally locked down for several weeks when it happened. I just messaged the buyer that my store was closed because I was moving, and offered to get back in touch when I re-opened. She was very understanding and bought the item once I was up and running. I actually gave her a slightly better price because she’d been so patient.09/17/2019 at 10:13 am in reply to: Woman's Purse – Is it Leather? Thoughts on Pricing #67867
Vintage bags are totally my thing. I used to have an Etsy store that was 100% vintage bags. Jay and chaoticgood gave you good tips on checking for labels and if it’s leather. It looks like leather from here. What I can see of the construction looks like a higher-quality bag from the 70s. The difference between this being a $20 bag and a $50+ bag is a label, condition, and how fancy you can make it look in your photos. Look for a sewn-in fabric label or a small stamp inside. If you can find that, post it here and I can probably help. I kinda like it!
So, I was literally packing up Arabia of Finland coffee cups during the discussion of Arabia of Finland coffee cups.
Total Listings: 212
Items Sold: 5
Gross Sales: $146.45
Highest Price: $50.00 (ephemera)
New Inventory Purchased: $51.88
New Listings: 11
Below average week numbers-wise, but I had some fun sales. One to a prop department, which is always neat. Then another one to a collector who was super excited and sent me a note about how she plans to display the item in her home. Then one sale to an actual celebrity! I’ve sold lots of stuff to studios and almost-famous folks like indie musicians. But this is a legit famous person – if you’re a horror movie fan you definitely know his work. I didn’t notice at first because the shipping address is a random office suite in Beverly Hills. Then I saw the name on the PayPal account and I freaked out.
I was feeling burned out at my day job and decided to take a spontaneous day off on Friday. I went on a full-day thrifting trip and came up with 11 items. Feel like I should have had a better haul, but it was nice to have a day to myself regardless. All but one of them got listed over the weekend, and one sold yesterday.
Total Listings: 211
Items Sold: 6
Gross Sales: $159.13
Highest Price: $69.85 (vintage skirt)
New Inventory Purchased: $31.74
New Listings: 15
Pretty average week. 15 new listings in a week is a ton for me, since I do this so part-time. Most of it was ephemera. Whenever I list a bunch of ephemera, there always seems to be one item that sells overnight to whomever was waiting for it to pop up, and then the rest of has to wait for its perfect buyer. Kind of like with the 1910s photo mentioned this week, some of it is so specific that I’m blown away when it actually sells.
After about a month, I am calling my free shipping experiment a success. Anything that can go first class, media mail, or Priority FR envelope is now free shipping – that’s now about 2/3 of my store. I raised prices to offset as needed, and if the item was under $30 I took off best offer. I used to hate the idea of free shipping on principle. I’ve come around because I’m suddenly selling lots of low-end stuff I’ve had around forever. 3 of the items I sold this week had been listed for well over a year with no offers and few watchers. My theory is that buyers are turned off by seeing something listed for $15 with $7 shipping, because it seems too high relative to the item. They would rather pay $25 for the item and $0 for shipping. I don’t get it, but I’m not gonna argue.
My next experiment is cross-listing some of my free shipping items to my old Etsy store, which I just re-opened after several years. Cross-listing has been annoyingly manual but I’ve gotten faster. I’ve sold one item so far; we’ll see how it goes over a couple months.
Well, congrats on selling almost all your items, in any case! Like you, I don’t enjoy having so much capital tied up in these items. Thanks for playing along and good luck with your other sourcing strategies.
Haha…Thank you for asking, but I have sold zero of my widgets since the first one. So all the sellers I bought them from have made their fast nickles, and I’m waiting on my slow dimes. Not surprising – as I pointed out above, if it took 10 months to a year to sell them all, that would be normal turnover for me. I will remember to bump the thread again when I finally sell something.
Maybe IndySales is doing better?
I’ve also started buying box lots of vintage paper goods and parting those out. With the first lot, I made a tidy profit as soon as I started listing stuff. The second lot didn’t have any hidden gems, but I’ll make money sooner or later. I will probably buy another box lot soon. It’s working OK so far, and it’s a very efficient way to source.
dbo, if you have the flexibility at work, you could use some downtime to research the categories you’re interested in. What I did: browse new listings, put a watch on things that catch my eye, and then go back and research each one: Look up sold prices; check active listings to see how many others are listed and what the prices are; and check a couple other non-Ebay resources. Then I’d decide if I thought I could make money. I will say I probably considered over 50 items for each one I actually bought. Researching tons of items was a great way to build knowledge, and I got more efficient as I learned about the market. I still haven’t hit on the right approach to keyword searching for deals – it’s just too huge a category – but I am following some good sellers who do lots of auctions.09/02/2019 at 12:56 am in reply to: Scavenger Life Episode 426: Our Financial Lives Are Tied To The Mysterious Whims Of A Website #67228
Haven’t listened to the podcast yet – looking forward to it!
Total Listings: 204
Items Sold: 6
Gross Sales: $141.43
Highest Price: $45 (Eileen Fisher jacket)
New Inventory: $52.79
New Listings: 1
*Some of the stuff sold this week has been listed forever, before I kept good COGS data, so this is low.
Kind of a meh-to-average week for my little store. I would have liked one more $40+ sale. I’m still doing free shipping on most items under $30, and saying goodbye to lots of old, dead stock. One of the items that sold this week has been listed continuously since 2016!
Didn’t get much listing done. I’m going to pick up the pace this week and try to hit 215 items or so.
I thrifted some pottery, and bought another box lot of ephemera on Ebay. This lot didn’t turn out as juicy as the first one I bought, but it’s still a good pipeline and I’ll turn a profit eventually.
I went thrifting with my mom while she was in town. She has always been one of those slooooooow thrifters who looks at every item on each rack. I got through the whole store and she still wasn’t done with the sweaters. She used to take me when I was a little kid, and it’s still a fun thing to do together.09/02/2019 at 12:38 am in reply to: Sending offers to watchers experiment (with numbers!) Month #1 #67227
This is very consistent with what I’m finding. I haven’t kept track closely, but I think I’m in the ballpark of 1 out of 20 offers to buyers accepted. All have been under $25 and most have even been $15 or less. It occasionally helps me move out old, low-dollar items, so I keep doing it.