front porch trash

front porch trash

Thursday, January 3, 2013


Thrifting has been good to me this year.

Last year I was just getting started in my ebay store and learning what to sell. I am still learning and I fear that it is an ever evolving process. Trends change,tastes change, and customer demographics change. Also, what I can buy depends on what other people donate or sell at yard and estate sales.

I had a great December. I had a very good year. I was able to go shopping and I had the opportunity to sell some wonderful things. Along the way I learned some valuable lessons. Some good, some not so good.

Valuable lesson #1: Not all people are honest.
As much as we want to believe that all people are good, tell you the truth, and do the right thing, that isn't always the case. I sold quite a few pairs of shoes this year. Most sales were completed without any problems. I have learned that you need to mark your items so that when someone returns a damaged item you can be sure it is yours. For example, I received a pair of Dansko shoes back that were damaged. Dansko shoes have molded vinyl or wooden soles with rubber treads. I can't imagine what type of thing you would have to do with your foot to break a pair of Dansko soles like this.
Both shoes cracked  and chunks out of the heel.
The innocent "I've only worn them once" just doesn't ring true in this case. If the buyer did only wear them once, what the hell was she doing that would cause this type of damage!?

Valuable lesson #2: Go with the gut (after you check ebay completed sales).
Ever see some things when you are thrifting that you just KNOW are going to be a good sale? Me too. But the gut sometimes is not as accurate as checking what sales have been on ebay. And then again you can't just use the completed sales to figure out whether or not to purchase. It takes time and practice to figure it all out. I'm still working on it just like most sellers on ebay.

Valuable lesson #3: If you can grab a good item out of the cart at GW, go for it.
We all know the rules. Don't touch the stuff in the cart. You must wait until it is on the shelf before you dive in. was busy that day and there was only one salesperson on the floor and the cart was just sitting there and IT was cute and IT was marked and IT was a great price and no one was watching....

Now on to the YEAR IN THRIFT
I did very well this year, especially November and December. I have had very few days (knock on wood) that I have had no sales. My yearly average has been around 3 sales per day. Not too bad considering that I have only been doing this for 15 months full time.

It's no secret that I love my favorite thrift. They have bins that are (were) 25 cents per item!!! I have picked up some wonderful things. They also have a wonderful free area. I have picked up some wonderful things there also.
My very best super duper 25c item was

A women's First Gear Motorcycle riding jacket. Not new and not in perfect condition, but still a lot of wear left in the jacket especially if you are just learning to ride and want protection from the pavement. Sold for $45

My very best item from the free bin:
It sold and I deleted the picture but it was a Cow Lovey. A blanket for a baby, black and white spotted with the cutest ever cow head. It was brand new, never washed, no spots and in perfect condition. I couldn't believe that it sold so quickly, and for $50.

My very best item I sold for someone else:
My daughter, SmartA**, sometimes has me sell things for her. We split the proceeds, after expenses, 50-50.
I do all the cleaning, photos, listing and shipping. She picked up a bunch of vintage role playing games from the 80's for $1 each. The best one that sold was DragonQuest. It wasn't complete, but had most of the instructions and almost all of the game pieces. Sold for $215.00

My most surprising sale:
This was a tie between a vintage textbook and a plastic Pringles container.
I had read that Pringles containers (the plastic two piece single serving lunch box size) sold well. This was a lime green single serving Pringles container that I paid 15c for and sold for $10 in a matter of hours after listing.
The book that sold was "The Perception of the Visual World", a 1950 textbook. Not in perfect condition so I listed it at $142.00. When I listed there was another, better condition book on ebay for $300. Took 9 months to sell but received full price.Purchased at my favorite thrift on buy one get one free day for 42c.Sold to a bookstore in San Francisco, so you know the price was marked up when my buyer sold it to his customer.

My best sale ever:

A vintage 1950 Kay Bojesen teak dog. An original, not a reproduction, in excellent condition and marked correctly. This was my item removed from the cart at GW that I spotted and just had to have. When I saw the name, and it was marked Denmark I thought I could get $100-200 for it. Mid Century Modern, Denmark and Teak!! Didn't bother to check ebay completed, just grabbed the dog.When I did my research I found out that the last original one sold on ebay for $757.00. I held on to it and listed after Thanksgiving so that it would end just after Christmas. Listed for $899.00 and never expected to get that amount. Just wanted someone to "get a bargain" and offer me less. Had several offers and no one wanted to pay a fair price. Lowball offers of $250 to $500. After listing ended (about 15 minutes after the listing ended!) a buyer that had bid earlier contacted me and offered $750.00, which is what I originally thought I could expect to get for the little guy. I relisted and he purchased. Originally paid $4.

Now, I don't expect to find another Kay Bojesen dog next year. But you better believe that I will be keeping my eyes open for one. And for Pringles chip containers!!

Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season and that ebay sales were fantastic.

My first New Year's Resolution is to be a better blogger. I hope that I can get caught up with everything and get back to blogging.

1 comment:

  1. Wow..that teak dog was something else. That's awesome..good for you. I think my highest item was like $150.

    Margaret @ Live Like No One Else