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For all you shoe dogs out there, I picked up a book on shoes at the thrift store for cheap.
It is by Linda O’Keeffe and was written in 1996. It has some amazing pictures. I have already learned a lot about shoes from the book.
You can find it at:
I can find things to buy most anywhere. But to maximize my time and get the good scores, I concentrate on these vintage estate sales. There is one estate company in my area that specializes in these vintage sales. They are always killer sales and I try not to miss them.
Forgot to say that the rook game was from 1952.
For those vintage sales, I mean that an item that doesn’t look very valuable can be much more valuable than you think at first glance. For example, I was at a vintage estate sale on Sunday. I had been there on Saturday, but everything was half off on Sunday. I saw an old Rook game and tossed it in my bag for $2.50 because I used to play Rook and know that there is still a following. But, what I didn’t know is that the game was brand new in the box and never been used (not sealed). I am sure there are more than several Rook people that would love to have that game. I think I will list it for $50.
So, my point is: don’t rush it at great vintage sales. You may think you know what is valuable, but if you have not seen that item before at that age, take a good look and even look it up on ebay.
One more example. I was at a extremely vintage sale a few years back. They had things from the 1920’s on. I came across some new in the box typewriter brushes (I think it was about 40 of them). I couldn’t really see them on ebay at the time, but I figured “Where else will someone find one of these?”. They have been selling slow and steady for good money. I think I had one sale for a quantity of 10 or so.
<p class=”p1″><span class=”s1″>Craig,</span></p>
<p class=”p1″><span class=”s1″>The sale with the shoes is an annual sale for the private school. I gave been going there for 5+ years and I always get about 30 pairs of shoes and some good sports equipnent. This year was a little better for shoes. They have several hundred pairs of shoes, I just select the best ones.</span></p>
<p class=”p1″><span class=”s1″>About getting to the sale early, that depends on the sale. For this rummage sale with the shoes, i have to be there at 8am when it starts because more than 100 people attend the sale that early – it is a thing here. People know what shoes they like so they can go quickly. </span></p>
<p class=”p1″><span class=”s1″>Most sales dont require that. But if there is a vintage sale with hard to find items, I will try to get there in the first couple hours. If they have stuff like GI Joe, I try to be first or second in line. I went to an estate sale last year like that. I was third in line and got $1300 of GI Joe items. $3000 in all from a house full of vintage items. I first grab the good obvious stuff, then go back slowly so that i dont miss anything. At the vintage sales, some items can be extremly valuable. For example, i went to a sale Sunday that had a whislting yo yo. Didnt think much of it cause i hsve seen yo yos and most dont go for much. But this one was from the 1950’s and i am going to ask $100 for it- paid $5.</span></p>
10/03/21 – 10/09/21
Total Items In Store: 4085 (was 4015)
Items Sold: 18
Total Sales: $ 623.06
Highest Price Sold: $ 75 (Vintage Jacket)
Average Price Sold: $ 34.61
Money Spent on New Inventory: $ 728.46
Number of items listed: 88
Gut Sales Report for the week: It was about an average week of sales for this time of year.
Focus for the week : This week turned into a buying frenzy. I spent $728.46 between 10/6 and 10/10. I got over $7000 worth of mechandice. I bought about 50 pair of shoes at a great private school rummage sale. The shoes were worth around $2000. I paid $2 per pair for the shoes.
Scavenge of the week: I actually didn’t “find” this. I was at the thrift store and the manager who knows me asked if I wanted a pair of Converse all stars that just came in. I took them and I always look for “Made in USA” on them. This pair were Made in USA and are from the 80’s. I will ask $500.
Thoughts for the week: I knew if I wanted to scale my store I was going to need a lot of good items. I went to a few great sales and found more than I bargained for. I am moving a good part of my inventory to a 10 X 30 storage unit this week. I really needed this to keep scaling my store because I am way out of space at my house.
I knew you would get back to killing it.
I would highly recommend that you at least hire someone to take photos for you. I have this and it sets the pace for listing. For example, my pace is 60 items photographed each week. I have to buy, prep, and have 60 items ready each week for my photographer. Then take the photos, I review photos, and then list. Then I keep repeating that each week.
In this way, your photographer sets the pace. You can set the pace to anything you want, but after you do, you have to keep up with it and that is a great motivator.
You can also change it when you need to. In the Summer, when my photographer was not in school, my pace was 100 items per week.
I think that by setting the pace, you hold your photographer and yourself accountable to do what you intend to do. I think it motivates everyone involved to get the work done.
Good to see you back open. That has to feel good. I know how I would feel if I were in your place. Your daughter is a real trooper in all this.
When you get back to full speed, I am sure you will kill it again.
Yes, manpower and storage are key. However, for a part time person, the manpower issue is a difficult one. You can hire out, but you have to make sure they do it correctly. Hiring out for buying in my opinion is not a good idea. I am comfortable hiring out for photography, listing, and shipping. So, I am left doing the rest for now. That tends to make me the bottleneck. Also, you have to be ready to scale. If your processes are not good, you could scale a mess.
09/26/21 – 10/02/21
Total Items In Store: 4015
Items Sold: 21
Total Sales: $ 824.85
Highest Price Sold: $ 165 (Vintage Jacket)
Average Price Sold: $ 39.28
Money Spent on New Inventory: $ 224.56
Number of items listed: 124
Gut Sales Report for the week: This week was opposite of last week. It started out with a bang, but then slowed down as the week went on.
Focus for the week (and this past summer): Trying to get all of my photographed items listed. Even after listing 124 items this week, I still have a backlog of 141 items that are ready to be listed. This backlog came from my push from the summer of 100 items photographed per week and I couldn’t keep up with the listing.
Scavenge of the week: I found a nice Vintage Jantzen Wool Heavy Sweater tucked away in the back of a closet for $3.50. Picked up some old golf clubs for cheap that will sell for a high price (unusual, because most old golf clubs don’t sell for much).
But my best find was some old tobacco advertizing and tobacco cardboard boxes for $20. These are from around the 1920’s, all unused. There are 3 different items with quantities adding up to about 100 total items. The potential on these is over $1600. Probably a slow seller, but I love getting items like this that will just keep selling over the years and eventually reach the potential sales amount. Just another good item in the pipeline as Jay says.
Thoughts for the week: I really feel like I am now better understanding how to scale my business. I think this is what a lot of us struggle with – we can do a few items well, but how do you scale that? Scaling the business is more difficult than it looks. This would be a good topic for discussion – How do you go about scaling your business? I have good help from a contractor and I am finding ways to do things much faster and more efficient than I have in the past. I am trying to scale my store to over 8000 items in the next 3 years. I will probably fall a little short, but I have a good plan in place and I am targeting that goal.
I also have all my listings on Bonanza.
I use Wonderlister. Probably not as good as Sixbit, but it is much cheaper. I pay $10 a month and could not do without it. It has all of my ebay data since March 2017. I use it for my weekly, monthly and annual numbers. I also use it for my taxes. I have also written custom SQL server code for the database that helps.
Here are the comments I just got from someone who bought a nice typewriter from me just a little while ago for a good price:
“Despite the size and weight of this typewriter, it arrived super fast, wrapped in bubble wrap, and in excellent condition. It was so beautiful I cried. I know, completely silly, but I’d been shopping for a typewriter for months and this was exactly what I wanted. And my kids are Fascinated by this machine that uses no electricity!”
Yes, that is what I am trying to avoid with the typewriters.
Not sure if you found this site or not but it is great to find out the year of your typewriter and more information. You just need the brand, model, and seriel number. The site is https://typewriterdatabase.com
It has a lot of great information.