front porch trash

front porch trash

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


When friends and family find out you sell online they ask all sorts of interesting questions.
For instance:
How do you know what to buy?
How do you price things?
Where do you keep your inventory?
Where do you buy your inventory?

Let's see if we can answer a few of these questions.
How do you know what to buy?
Research, lots of research. Something you have purchased in the past is not necessarily going to sell today as well as it did last year. It pays to keep up with what is popular on ebay. There are services available that will tell you what has sold in the past weeks, days or months and how much it sold for. These cost $$ but they are worth it. Ebay also has a way to look up things that have sold in the past month. This is what I use along with massive amounts of research and that ever popular GUT feeling. Quality sells on ebay. If you can find it at the $$store or Wally World, don't try to sell it on ebay because everyone else can buy it there also.

How do you price things?
In US currency!!
After I research my items I want top dollar for my stuff. Does it measure up to the best selling items?
Is the item, set, whatever, complete? If the answer is yes go with the top dollar buy it now price. Don't even look at auctions. Auctions are where a buyer looks to get a bargain. You can always go lower when you relist after 30 days. Why should I sell an item on a 7 day  auction for $9.99 when I can list it for 30 days and ask $39.99. You have to be patient for the right person to come along.

Where do you keep your inventory?
I have a house. I have storage everywhere!!  I mostly keep the things I have listed in plastic totes or a closet in my upstairs that I devote to ebay. The problem is the stuff waiting to be listed. It has a tendancy to collect everywhere. The table, the couch, the laundry room, and some of it even ends up in the ebay room.

Where do you buy your inventory?
I love thrift stores. I love thrift stores that have coupons or sales. Goodwill in our area does not have sales at all...never ever.  They don't have a bathroom either, but that is another story. They also have started to price things that they know are high priced on ebay at a higher price than their standard prices. My favorite thing is to find a really great item that someone missed.   Makes my day. And yard sales are great because most of the time people just want to clean out their house and get a few bucks in return.  Ch-ching!! Estate sales are good for certain things. I tend to stay away from estate sales unless it's a hoarder estate sale, and then watch out and get out of my way.

Now here is a test. Would you buy these items for resale?

An "ugly" blue plush monster?

A red rubber grinning man?

A sweet, but dirty, baby doll?
Would you buy the blue monster plush? Did you know he is Sulley from Monsters Inc?  Made by Disney?
If you checked the sell through for Sulley he sells for $15-20 on average. A good buy for 50cents.
But be careful and check him carefully.

Someone gave him a haircut!!
And someone cut his tag. How do you prove it is Disney without a tag?

How about the red rubber man? He is Vac Man, the arch enemy of Stretch Armstrong. He came with his own vaccum pump so you could stretch him into shapes and suck the air out of his body to make him stay this way. Good buy? Well probably if you had the pump (I don't) and you didn't leave him on the chair overnight and the cats decided to step on him. Now he is holey Vac Man. Not good. But still not a big loss at 50cents. Without the holes and no pump, maybe $10 at best. But he is heavy and shipping would be high.
How about the dirty little baby doll? Who is she? Is she valuable? If you flipped her over and saw the big round knob and you turn it, her head moves slowly like a "real" baby. She is supposed to have a crier, it doesn't work. But the best thing she had going for her is she had her original satin tag pinned to her chest.
Who is she? Thumbelina from 1960. Even ones in the condition of mine bring $25-45. She also has an original dress that was in the wash when I took pics. I can clean her and fix her hair and wash her clothes. She was a bargain for 50cents.

So be on the lookout for the bargains. They are out there. You just have to be informed, carry your cell phone with internet access and look it up!!

And if you do sell on ebay be prepared to work 24-7 because there is always something to be done.
Cleaning, taking pictures, listing, packing up to ship, running to the post office and the best part of all
finding the bargains that make you big bucks!!!

Happy Hunting...


  1. I usually will buy all the sulleys I find if they are reasonably priced. There was a small one today at GW but they wanted $1.99 Too much for my cheap self. I have had a microbead sully in my store for almost a year. Not sure why he won't sell.

    I would have passed by the rubber doll thing and I never look at baby dolls. Perhaps I need to start

  2. I picked up Sulley and didn't check the tag, mistake #1. I figured after I found out about the tag I could lower my price some, but the haircut sealed his fate!! I hesitate at plush for anything over $1, and then it has to be super duper good. 25-50cents is more my comfort zone!!
    I picked up the Vac Man and instantly knew he had to be related to Stretch Armstrong but couldn't find him online. I took a chance. Just should have put him up so the cats wouldn't have "checked" him out.
    I love baby dolls. I knew this one was old and I vaguely remembered the face, but when I saw the tag I knew she was worth something. Now to get her cleaned up and ready to sell.

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  4. I realize that this is an old post, but I'd love to see your Thumbelina doll all cleaned up and dressed! I had one when I was little from the time I was a toddler until at least fifth grade (my dad duct taped her legs and arms on several times!) Her name was Sherry and she was my baby. :)