Lots of bloggers write posts about their awesome thrift store hauls and they guess how much they are potentially going to make off it. Which is fine, I enjoy reading those articles myself.
I want to cover some of the realities. Most bloggers rarely tell you how long their items took to sell. Or in some scenarios, that it might NEVER sell.
So here is a typical pick for me. These items were purchased two years ago. I purposed waited to write about this. To give it time, to get the the full story.
The local area Rescue Missions had a huge 1/2 off sale day. I visited four stores.
I spend $94.09 altogether, purchasing 53 items.
-1 item – Mug rack went to a friend
-2 items – The mixing bowl and cassettes went to another friend
-4 items – Things for the house
Of the remaining 46 items, 14 have sold to date for $300.39
All but one of those items sold within 30 days of purchase. The one item sold in 60 days.
So only 25% of my items have sold.
I have 31 items remaining. 20 of which are the cups and mugs. I never got around to listing them.
Two are currently listed.
I stand to make $100 off the remaining items. It’s never good to have merchandise sitting around. It can’t sell, if it’s not listed.
So maybe I’ll make a little challenge for myself. How fast can I sell the remaining items?
So a few points:
Research is key
Yes, we all have a smart phone nowadays and can research prices with the touch of a finger.
More research is needed though. You can’t stand in the store and look up the prices of 100 items. You will be there ALL day. You to need to be able to locate items you want quickly and move on.
Know the difference between a vintage item and a modern recreation. Get familiar with a brand, know it inside and out, all of the little details.
Of the above items, I was familiar with most of these items. I may have researched one item. This is why a good chunk of them sold in the first 30 days and how I was able to go to 4 stores in one day. I was familiar with what sells and was able to locate them quickly.
“Bread and Butter” item
As a seller, you have to have a “bread and butter” item. The type of item that you stock and sell the most of. They are something you can find everyday at a thrift store and easily sell. Some popular items with sellers: Name brand polo shirts (Brooks Brothers, Banana Republic, Polo Ralph Lauren), novelty shirts, baseball caps, sports apparel (jerseys, jackets, sweatshirts, shirts).
Whatever you decide on as your item, know it well. You will not retire off selling these items, but they will give you a steady source of income.
Everything must have a home… or so we would like to believe. It needs to go somewhere. Otherwise, you run the risk of overtaking your living areas.
If you have a barn, shed or a huge basement and all of your items are neatly organized, labelled and in totes, you could potentially storage thousands of items.
If you living in an apartment with your significant other, maybe a few cats or a few kids, space is at a premium. In which case, maybe a storage locker would be a best option. Or perhaps buy smaller items that can be tucked away under a bed or something.
Of the above items, 32 items are just sitting around, taking up space. Not good. Fortunately they are smaller items. Remember though, they add up.
Toss and burn
Sometimes, no matter what you do, you have an item that will just not sell. So how long is too long? Depends on your storage situation. Remember, an unsold item is taking up real estate and has money tied to it.
Here are few suggestions:
a) Double check all of your info in your listing. Check for typos, if you have the correct keywords, is your shipping rate correct, which countries you ship to, basically anything that would limit how many people can see your item.
b) Increase the price. Crazy huh? I’ve read many stories from sellers where, after increasing their asking price, their item sold shortly after. Nothing scientific about it and it helps your bottom line. Can’t hurt to try.
I’ve personally have done this a few times myself and have had good results.
c) Try a different avenue for sales. If you sell on ebay, have you tried etsy? Maybe your item is best suited for craigslist? Try a facebook or yahoo group. Or any number of those selling apps like wallapop. Don’t limit your sell to just one area.
d) Round up similar duds and make a lot.
e) Blowout duds at a yardsale, garage sale, flea market, etc.
f) Last resort – donate it or toss it. Cut your losses. It’s not worth holding onto.
Of the above items, I’m going to give them another few months before I donate them. I already made my money. So it’s no huge loss if they are gone. If anything, I will have freed up some space.
Newly listed items:
Store J F M A M J J A S O N D
Ebay 47 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
Etsy 62 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00