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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

A-Z Brands

I LOVE reading other flippers blogs. They are so informative and I couldn't be a successful ebay seller without their valuable information. I check out my favorite blogs and websites every night for updates. If you know of a blog I should be reading, please share below. Sadly, there haven't been very many updates lately. Hopefully, that means everybody is busy with sales! Since, I haven't been able to discover new information; I've decided to investigate ebay myself. I'm going to highlight brands for each letter of the alphabet (if possible), for you to be buying and selling. I've decided to not include brands everybody knows like Ralph Lauren, Versace or Gucci. As ebay sellers, we NEED to discover lesser known brands if we want to truly be successful. I'll focus on a brand or two from a letter of the alphabet each day. Hope this helps! 


              Letter of the Day: A


Ariat 

Ariat is a western style company founded in 1990 that focuses on making high quality footwear and apparel for the world's top equestrian athletes. Ariat is committed to people who ride, ranch and work outdoors. It is a high quality American company, which creates high performance boots and apparel for athletes. 

In terms of selling on eBay, boots are at the top of the Ariat food chain. Pre-owned Ariat boots can sell for well over $100 on eBay. Jackets, shirts and basically any Ariat item will sell on eBay. Here are some pre-owned completed Ariat listings: 












Personally, I have bought and sold three Ariat items. I'd advise you to buy any reasonably priced Ariat item. Shirts for $5.00 or less is a great buy. Jackets $6.00 and under is also a great buy. I've never found a pair of Ariat boots, but would probably spend at least $25.00 on a pair in good condition. I haven't found a high priced Ariat item YET, but I'm always on the lookout. Here is what I have sold: 



     Ariat Men's 2XL button down shirt 

                    Cost: $4.49 
                   Sold: $29.99 




     Ariat Women's Fleece Small Jacket

                    Cost: $2.49 
                   Sold: $13.99 




       Ariat Women's Pearl Snap Shirt 

                    Cost: $3.37 
                   Sold: $14.99 





Arc'Teryx 

Arc'Teryx is an outdoor clothing and sporting good company founded in Canada in 1989. Arc'Teryx refers to the Archaeopteryx, the earliest known bird. The logo is based on the "Berlin Specimen" of the bird, the most complete skeleton to date (I know this isn't important to flipping, but I found it interesting. I'm a nerd). Arc'Teryx creates apparel associated with climbing, skiing, snowboarding, backpacking and hiking. They even produce equipment for the military and law enforcement; including the United States Marine Corps. 

When flipping, ALWAYS look for Arc'Teryx jackets. Pre-owned jackets can sell for over $200 on eBay. Shirts and pants sell well also. Honestly, I'd buy any Arc'Teryx item unless the condition was awful or price is crazy. Here are a few pre-owned completed Arc'Teryx listings: 






Personally, I've only bought and sold one Arc'Teryx item. Actually, I sold it yesterday after being listed for three weeks. Praying I find more soon! 



     Arc'Teryx men's large windbreaker 

                    Cost: $2.29 
                    Sold: $39.00



Arc'Teryx and Ariat are almost automatic buys for me. The only way I wouldn't buy an item is if it's in horrible condition or if the price isn't right. Luckily, most thrift stores don't know either brand; so you can usually find the items cheap. 

Has anyone sold Arc'Teryx or Ariat items? How have you done with them? 


Tomorrow: B 
Brioni 


 

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Ties

I never thought about selling neckties until recently. Obviously, I've never worn a necktie and it never crossed my mind. That has changed! Why? Several reasons: 

1. You can find HIGH END designer brands like Fendi, Givenchy, Lanvin, Armani and others at thrift stores. For some reason, the staff keeps an out for the clothing, purses and shoes made by the top designers; but ignores the ties. 
2. They are usually cheap! 
3. They are cheap and easy to ship. I throw them in a small flat rate box, pay the $5.25 on click n ship and I'm done. 
4. They are generally in excellent to perfect condition; unlike other clothing items. 
5. The profit margins are high! 

I'm trying to put the ties into lots according to brand, unless it's a specialty tie. If you sell ties, do you sell each individually or in lots? I'm new to selling ties, so I'm learning as I go. 

Here are some of the ties I've sold or are selling. Check out the profit margins. 




         Lot of 2 Lanvin 100% silk ties 

                    Cost: $1.70
                   Sold: $11.00




      

              Fendi 100% silk tie 

                  Cost: 80 cents 
                  Asking: $14.99




     

          Pendleton 100% wool tie

                    Cost: 80 cents 
                    Asking: $12.99





          Christian Dior lot of 7 ties 

                    Cost: $9.99
                  Asking: $27.00 






       Ralph Lauren handwoven tie lot

                    Cost: 90 cents 
                    Asking: $14.99




    

          Beatles 1994 silk tie

                   Cost: 30 cents
                   Asking: $9.99 




 

       Michigan State Spartans tie 

                    Cost: 30 cents 
                    Asking: $14.99




    

         Harley-Davidson silk tie 

                    Cost: 30 cents 
                    Asking: $9.99 




        Yves Saint Laurent 3 silk tie lot 

                     Cost: $2.10 
                    Asking: $9.99 


If you aren't selling ties....why not? They are EASY money! 

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Greatest Weakness

It's always important to know your strengths and weaknesses. In selling on eBay I have one MAJOR weakness. Sometimes, I miss condition flaws in the items I try to flip. I purchase items with condition problems; when I shouldn't. Most of the time, I catch the flaws before listing the item. In that situation, I waste money but at least I didn't sell an item with an unnoticed flaw. A couple times I've sold an item with a small flaw before realizing the problem. Unfortunately, the only 3 times I've sold an item with an unnoticed flaw were all this month. My inattention to detail is costing me money and causing my customers to receive inferior products. I need to improve on my weakness immediately. What weakness do you need to correct? 

I've made several sales recently. Here are a few of the sales: 





       Marni zipped women's sweater

                    Cost: $8.00 
                   Sold: $49.99 




 
         LED Zeppelin Blacklight poster

                    Cost: Free 
                  Sold: $29.99




           Wu-Tang Clan 5 poster lot 

                    Cost: Free 
                  Sold: $39.99 





     Tommy Bahama men's shirt NWT 

                    Cost: $4.49 
                   Sold: $15.99




            Sting WCW vintage shirt 

                    Cost: $2.49 
                   Sold: $11.99


How has your week been so far? 

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Evaluating your Inventory

I'm ready to thrift shop again, after taking somewhat of a break. Before diving head first into thrifting, I want to evaluate my current inventory. Here are some of my numbers: 

Number of items listed: 185 
(I only have a couple items left to list) 

Of the items listed: 

40 jackets/sweaters 
36 pairs of jeans 
10 pairs of shoes 
37 other items such as toys and vinyl records 

Number of items in store listed before May: 24 
Number of items in store listed after May: 161 
Number of unsold items since May: 16 
(Those with a lack of interest I ended early and donated for a friend's yard sale) 


The most common brands in my store are: 


1. LL Bean: $18.00 per item avg 






2. Harley-Davidson: $16.80 per item avg





3. Pendleton: $9.50 per item avg 





4. Nike: $16.50 per item avg 





5. Tommy Bahama: $9.75 per item avg 




Looking at the numbers and my store I learned: 

1. My selection is VERY diverse with LL Bean's six items being the highest number. 
2. It's good to buy items you are interested in. I love jeans, jackets, shoes and toys when shopping for myself. My ebay store is packed with those items. Weather we realize it or not, we buy items to flip that we are personally interested in. 
3. It's time to start shopping for the holiday rush! 







Thursday, September 17, 2015

On to the Next Challenge

I find it's easy to stay motivated with ebay, if I break it down into challenges. My August-September challenge was to take Courtney to New Orleans for a long weekend. I made close to $1400 and we only spent $1150....so that's a bonus! 

My next challenge is to pay for the holidays. I want to save for Christmas gifts, my own shopping, wedding gift for my brother, a few birthday gifts and misc. expenses. I expect it to be about $1200 (always good to estimate high). 

I've only been thrift shopping 5 times since May. I REALLY miss it! Yet; I feel good about paying for the trip to New Orleans by selling excess inventory. For my holiday challenge and the holiday selling rush, I will need to start thrift shopping again. Luckily! I'm so excited to take on a new challenge and ready for the best holiday season yet. 

Here are some of my sales from the last few days: 




       J. Press Tweed Vintage Blazer 
We had over 1700 views of this jacket and 12 watchers when it finally sold. If you ever find a J. Press jacket (especially tweed jacket), BUY IT! Immediately with no hesitation. 

                    Cost: $3.00 
                   Sold: $57.00 




     St. John Collection women's sweater 

I don't know if I mentioned this before, but most thrift store employees don't know the difference between St. John and St. John's Bay. You need to know the difference! Buy St. John items anytime you find them. I've sold every piece I've ever found for a great profit. 

                    Cost: $4.00 
                   Sold: $49.99 





      St. John Collection fringe sweater 

                    Cost: $3.37 
                   Sold: $24.99 




           Marni cashmere sweater 

Marni is a HIGH end brand that I've only found one day. My best day of thrift shopping ever I found 4 Marni items, 4 Dries Van Noten items and 8 Harley-Davidson items. NEVER pass this brand by. NEVER. 

                    Cost: $3.37 
                   Sold: $59.99 





       Nat Nast men's linen XXL shirt 

This is the only Nat Nast item I've ever found. Unfortunately. The more vibrant the pattern, the higher your selling price will be. My shirt was pretty calm, so the price wasn't too big; but the interest was very high. 

                    Cost: $4.00 
                   Sold: $14.99 





   South Carolina women's puffer jacket 

                    Cost: $2.00 
                   Sold: $17.00 





     Notre Dame vintage Starter jacket 

The jacket isn't in the greatest condition or it would've sold for higher. I seem to find Notre Dame items VERY often. 

                    Cost: $1.14 
                   Sold: $11.99 


September is starting to pick up. I LOVE the Fall! 

Monday, September 14, 2015

Hello from New Orleans!







Hello from New Orleans! The images above are why I scrape gum of shoes, look through racks of jeans and clean clothes. They are why I take countless pictures and list for hours. Without ebay, I would never be able to afford an amazing trip to New Orleans or anywhere. Where has selling on eBay taken you? Share your stories, please! 

Whenever I go out of town, ebay always heats up. Here are a few of the items I sold this weekend: 



   Fitzwell women's slipper shoes size 12

                        Cost: $0 
                    Sold: $29.99 




    Snoop Doggy Dogg vintage poster 

                     Cost: $0.00 
                    Sold: $11.99





      1980's Disney Epcot Sweatshirt

                     Cost: $2.00 
                    Sold: $16.99 




     Larry Fitzgerald Reebok 2XL jersey 

                     Cost: $3.00 
                    Sold: $11.99





  Nick Anderson vintage Champion jersey

                     Cost: $3.00 
                    Sold: $13.99 




     Vintage Garfield sweatshirt 1976 

                   Cost: 5 cents 
                    Sold: $11.99 


How was your weekend? 


Sunday, September 13, 2015

Helping Those In Need.....

A major part of my ebay business involves helping others in need. We sell items for people in desperate need of money. We keep a certain percentage of the profit; with the amount determined by the person's need and how much work is involved. 
For instance; an elderly family friend goes north every summer. Last summer, she asked me to work on her house and sell whatever items I found around the house. Now, this woman is a HOARDER! I found food from the 90's! Luckily, she is a pretty clean hoarder. In fact, I don't think she is technically a hoarder. She is a shopping addict, who buys stuff then forgets about it. She is physically unable to organize her house so it had become out of control. I spent at least 150 hours working on her home. See the pictures: 




The before and after pictures of her formal living room! Every room was packed like the living room or even worse. See the bedroom: 


I couldn't even open the door when I started. Here is after a little work: 




For most thrift flippers, the hunt or chase is their favorite. Cleaning/organizing my friends house was the greatest treasure hunt ever! I found a Tonka truck from the 1960's still in the box, vintage toys and vintage clothes still with the tags on. I found sealed vinyl records, vintage shoes, electronics and collectibles. I even found 1970's Hanes underwear still in the package (which I found out sell for big money). So far, I've sold 116 items for my elderly friend. She was in great need of money and was grateful to have a clean home. I enjoyed the process and felt really good about helping her. I'd love to finish the project one day. 

Due to the amount of time I spent cleaning the house, finding the items, cleaning the items and listing them; I split the profits 50/50. So far we've each made $795.00. Plus, I still have 21 items listed for a total of $320. Here are a few of the recent sales I've had from my friends house: 



Vintage children's clothing lot 70's & 80's

                    Sold: $38.00 




Vintage Polo Ralph Lauren boys swim trunks from the 1980's. New with tags. 

                    Sold: $10.00 



Golden Books twin tape pack from 1979. We didn't make much on it, but the person who bought it said: "I had this set as a child. Thank you for selling it." I love hearing feedback like that. 

                    Sold: $4.99 



I sell for another friend, who is in GREAT need. My best friend and mentor is a disabled woman, who survived a near fatal car crash and six months in a coma. In the last 18 months, her mother and husband passed away. Then, in February she lost her part time job. Now, Social Security Disablility has ended her benefits because they claim she made less than $100 more than she is allowed in one month in 2014! My friend keeps getting punched on the chin, but never gives up. She is AMAZING! 
I organized a yard sale for her from the left over ebay items I didn't sell and items I collected from friends. 



Hopefully, the yard sale can help her. When it comes to ebay, I have a different agreement with her. I give her about 90% of the profit. I know that doesn't leave me much money, but helping a friend in need is priceless. So far, I've only sold 12 items for her for a total of $214.50. It's not much, but it will keep her lights on for a couple month. Currently, I have 16 more items listed for a total of $160. I'm thinking about starting a GoFundMe campaign for her if anyone would like to help let me know. Check out the videos of her being fired on YouTube under: Disabled Lives Matter. 

Here are some items I've sold for her recently: 



    Talbots heels: new without the box

                    Sold: $24.99


 
          Chaps by Ralph Lauren skirt 

                    Sold: $7.99 




     Steve Madden leather moccasins

                    Sold: $11.99 




If you don't sell for other people, why not? I love to sell for other people. What are the benefits: 

1. Help other people in need. 
2. Learn about products/items you never knew about. I didn't know vintage men's underwear were so valuable until helping my friend sell items from her home. 
3. Opportunity for additional income at NO cost to you. 
4. Opportunity for additional feedback. 


If you don't sell for other people, I would suggest you try it. People are always asking me to sell something for them. Why turn the opportunity to help someone else and yourself?