I have been selling online since 2002. My husband and I started our Ebay shop, well, that is what I call it, but we do not have an actual shop, that is a thing you can pay to have. It has changed names a few times but is the same shop we started with.
But we started in 2002 selling vintage glass. We love glass and we had a big collection of Early American Press Cut glass we needed to sell. We had it displayed in a built in hutch that had to be removed when we had the foundation on our 1924 house repaired. We made a lot of money on pieces we had bought for almost nothing at yard sales and thrift shops. Two pieces, the latern and a swirled platter, alone made us over 200 bucks. I had paid 11 bucks for those two pieces and we were thrilled. The crazy thing is, a year later, just for fun, I went on Ebay to look up that style of glass and it had all tanked. We made our money, and a year later, you could pick it up for a song. We were very lucky and grateful . That is how the world of reselling goes. Things that are valuable now, might not be in a week, month or year. Sometimes individual listings can sell around the same time for wildly different amounts. It is a really strange thing sometimes !!
We have noticed a trend in vintage items. You will see the market flood with a particular thing, and then just as suddenly, it is gone. But it is not always valuable so be careful when you are buying to resell.
That is where Ebay comes in. If you have a smart phone, get the Ebay app. that way when you are shopping, you can actually look up items and see not only what they are listed for, but how much they have sold for. Keep in mind however, if there are twenty for sale, and only 2 have sold, that is not a good sell through rate, and you probably do not want to buy that item. If on the other hand, two have sold, but there are none available or only one that is priced way above what those sold for, it might be a great buy !! There is a lot to consider when you are looking to buy something.It all depends on what price you can get it for and sell it for.
Keep your eyes open as well for big lots of things. I once bought a box of around 20 embroidery kits , most of them new in the package, for five bucks. My husband was not really thrilled, and asked me why would I buy all that , even for five bucks. I told him to trust me and went on to sell around 12 or more of them for ten bucks each. I sold some others for lower prices but made a great profit. He no longer questions me when I buy a large lot. Another time my best friend and I were at an estate sale, it was half price day and they had 81 sequined appliques on a table, I grabbed them all and should have gotten them for .37 cents each as they were priced at .75 . I knew I could sell them for around two to three bucks each. When she added it all up, she only charged me 8.10 for all of them, a dime each. She gave us both deep discounts on everything we bought. I went on to sell around 65 of them for around 2.50 or so a piece and the ones pictured below, are the ones I kept. Some still in the package, some I took out.
a few years ago I bought a huge lot of vintage soda caps, mostly Coke but some Pepsi, 7 up, Chocolate Soldier and and an orange one that someone bought all I had. I paid 140 bucks and got nine gallon bags full of caps. I have since made all my money back and have been in profit for a while now and still sell them on a monthly, and sometimes weekly basis for 3.75 a six pack. I have my best caps for sale for 4.48 for 6 caps. Not as many of those, but enough to make a decent amount on them. Here is my drawer still full. When all are sold I will have made about 2 grand in profit, but that will obviously take years !! I do use them in crafts and sell a kit that has either a pepsi or coke cap in it to make the key chain.
So, I am always on the look out for a good lot buy. They are not frequent and you have to think before you buy, but so worth it when you can find a good one. You sometimes have to make it happen. With the bottle caps, the antique booth owner had sold a bottle of them I had purchased and years before had sold just a few in a snack bag, two of each kind. So, I seeked her out and finally caught her at the booth and told her I would love to buy all her bottle caps if she was interested. I had left my name and number at the front counter but she lost it before she could call me. So, we made a deal and I have been very happy with the result. My hubby was all on board with that one. He had seen me sell the ones I had gotten in the bottle and he trusts my guy now, he has never seen me lose out on a big buy.
We have big on big jewelry lots on Ebay as well, and we have gotten some great deals, but you have to be very careful when you do that. Make sure you know what you are getting and how much the shipping is as well.We shoot for no more than 3 bucks a piece when you can see the items and they are all good quality, and a buck or less when some of them are good and some are junk but you cannot see them all. I got sets of brand new Easter Wilton cookie cutters recently and bought 12 sets of 4 for 13 bucks free shipping and bought six boxes. I have very little in per set and over time I will make a great profit. It is a very long tail item however but that is okay with me. I can sell each set for 4 bucks and in the end that will be about 200 profit. So, not big bucks, but lots of small things can add up !!
So, those are some things you can do to buy a lot of one thing at the same time. It helps because you only have to list once and then it relists automatically as they sell. Yard sales and estate sales are the best way to find those deals, but occasionally you can find them in another place, like my cookie cutters and my bottle caps !!
So, once you have some items to sell, what then ? Ebay or Etsy, or somewhere else ? I can only advise on the first two, I have heard of many others, but have not used them. Posh Mark, Amazon, Shopify, Facebook marketplace, Big Commerce, ebid, Craiglist, Bonanza , Ruby Lane,Zibbit, and I am sure there are many others. I did try Art Fire once , when I was selling hand made jewelry, but I did not like it as much as Etsy . I will investigate it more and do another post and video about all the selling platforms and what they offer. Might be time for me to branch out a bit as well.
But what you have to sell, that can help you decide where. Etsy is much more limited than Ebay where you can sell most anything . Etsy is limited to vintage items, craft supplies, handmade items, but you cannot sell modern jewelry, modern art , now both of those are allowed in YOU made it. You can sell your handmade items on Etsy. Now if you have broken modern jewelry you can absolutely sell those in lots for crafting. Junk jewelry lots do well both on Etsy and Ebay. You can sell crafting supplies, art supplies, sewing notions and so on. Those do not have to be vintage if they are supplies. Most anything can be a craft supply. Game pieces, broken jewelry, old lace, paper for ephemera , so much you can sell !!
Ebay offers you more ways to sell. Auctions, set prices, set prices with a best offer option . Etsy only lets you sell at set prices. No Auctions, no offers as part of the platform. So, you can decide which is best for you. Do you love the idea of an auction where your item could maybe go way up ? Or do you like to research , set a price and not worry about it.
Etsy costs you 20 cents to list, and each listing lasts four months. Ebay currently gives me, and I believe anyone, 50 free listings a month, but you pay all the seller fees. The final value( seller) fees once sold are about 10 percent of the sale price . This listing fees after the 50 free are .35 cents per listing, more than Etsy and they only last a month if they are not an auction . Not sure if the auctions or any listings there cost to renew, it seems to me no, but I could be wrong. Like I said, I will do another blog and video talking more about the differences and some of the other platforms as well.
It really is a personal thing as to what you want to sell. Where you want to sell and how you do !!
Many resellers do well with clothes, shoes, jewelry, games, video games, electronics, housewares, glass ware, and many specialize in one category and many do a lot of different ones . If you pick one you love, than it will be fun to shop and sell. That is the key to enjoying your resaling experience.
One thing I discussed in my video is how I will be moving away from smaller sales, not the coke caps, those will stay. But instead of selling one Vintage key for 2.50 , I will sell four for ten. You might wonder why ? What does it matter. Well, it really does. For one, think about making ten sales . You have to pack them up. You have to take them to the post office and you have to use shipping supplies. Also, when you get charged final value fees, there is like a 30 cent pay pal charge per sale, so at 2.50 that is a big chunk of your sale, at 10.00 not so bad. Etsy charges a similiar fee for their payment too. So, that is something to think about. I have sold a lot of smalls, and moving forward, I will probably always have some, but most stuff I will try to make into bigger lots for larger sales. Would you rather go to the post office with ten , ten dollar sales, or ten two dollar sales ? I know which one I prefer !!!!
One example I have good luck with is sequins. I sell vintage sequins for 1.48 a bag but love to put big lots of ten to twenty of them for a buck a bag . My customer gets a deal and I still make amazing profit. That is another HUGE lot we bought . Over two thousand bags of vintage sequins on Ebay for $260.00. 13 cents a bag . Like the bottle caps, we have been in profit for a long time with those and I still have a big plastic tub full. I kept quite a few of those for myself as well. I need to make more sets up and get them listed !! Sequins are a passion of mine and I use them for many projects on my channel. I collect them as well as sell them, so it makes it a fun thing to sell in my shop.
Well, I hope I have given you some information you can use. I plan to talk more about this soon. I did put up a video but did not put as much info as this post. Just a quick talk . The blog is for the details !!
Thanks so much for stopping by , as always I really appreciate it !!