Archive for January, 2010

GET yourself a mannequin! Increase your Ebay vintage clothing sales.

Sunday, January 31st, 2010

vintage red poncho on auction until jan 28

vintage red poncho on auction until jan 28

If you are lucky like me you can find a mannequin at a local estate sale or thrift shop. Keep your eye open at going out of business sales or even craigs list. I finally got myself one for 20.00. I already see a difference in sales—or maybe it’s just a coincidence for now but I think the trend will continue! I always had trouble taking photos of dresses and coats. I either laid them out on the floor or hung them on a hanger over the door. But people like to see what they might look like in a piece of clothing so the mannequin really is a LOT better. Take a look at these and decide!

sold this coat for 15.50

sold this coat for 15.50

didn't sell this one although I think it is nicer. it's listed in my store now

didn't sell this one although I think it is nicer. it's listed in my store now

How to buy at local estate sales–FUN FUN!!

Saturday, January 23rd, 2010

storing my ebay junk before it gets listed

storing my ebay junk before it gets listed

I go to a local estate auction almost every week. I have a few favorites but usually pick the one closest to home, which is about 15 minutes away at a firehouse every Tuesday.

I don’t even need to sign up for a number there because I am number 305 every week and I don’t even have to hold it up for the auctioneer because he knows it! Normally, when you go to an auction though, you need to show your driver’s license or other ID and sign up for a number at a registration desk. You will use that number to bid with throughout the auction. Some people raise the number in the air with every bid, others just raise it once and then keep shaking their head yes (or winking or raising an eyebrow) to continue the bid. It’s best to raise the number so the auctioneer can be SURE that you are bidding.

Try to have an idea ahead of time of the price you want to stop at or you could get carried away just trying to win the bid! I don’t have any trouble with this but some people do.

Plan to stay at the auction as long as you can because you might have to wait hours for something you have your eye on. In the meantime, you can learn a lot from the other items and what they are selling for. I went to many many auctions before I started learning what was a good price to bid on the various types of glassware, pottery, quilts and other antiques that are usually available. Now I know a good deal when I see it!

where I store my junk in the garage

where I store my junk in the garage

I have a strategy at my auctions. I don’t talk much so I can pay attention to the bidding. I don’t take many breaks so I don’t miss anything. Sometimes I wait for certain people to take their smoke break or leave so I don’t have the competition! I bid on a lot of box lots of linens and kitchen tools. When he holds them up for bid, I count how many he has and won’t bid more than 1.00 each (depending on what it is). If there are 10 items in the box, I won’t go past 10.00 because I know I can easily sell them for 3.00 a piece. I don’t bid past 4.00 on any one tablecloth. I don’t bid past 50.00 on any one quilt, etc. I know my limits and there are always exceptions!

I arrive early and check out the merchandise. If I can’t get there early, I still walk around and check it out while the auction is going on—most places allow this but it is harder to pay attention. I usually stay until the very end because that’s when the best deals are—the auctioneer is tired and many people (competition) have already left. I use the Internet on my cell phone to check out prices during the auction if I am not sure of how much to bid. (I don’t see anyone else doing this at my weekly auction –no techies there I guess!)

Here are some of the bargains I got just this week:

A box of flatware 1.00

5 cases of new high quality gel mousepads 2.00 for a case of 10

a pile of sheet music 1.00

vintage sewing caddy 3.00

4 shoe stretchers 1.00

Shirley temple mug 5.00

Box of costume jewelry 5.00

Box of ties 1.00

I only spent 47.00 this week—I usually spend about 80-100$. I had to leave early to go to a meeting :(. I sell these items on ebay or the flea market or the antique shows I frequent.

gel mouse pad by KNOLL

gel mouse pad by KNOLL

It’s a lot of fun and also addicting!

Check out my ebay auctions  HERE!

how NOT to shop at the flea market

Sunday, January 17th, 2010

My vintage foyer

My vintage foyer

ok, I love the flea market, both shopping and selling but here is my opinion on bargain hunters–please be kind! I have lots of regular customers at the merchants square mall in Allentown, PA where I sell every month. My favorites are those who know the price is good–come on, it’s a DOLLAR!–and they will gladly pay it and be happy. My unfavorite customers are those who try to get it for less EVERY TIME! I know, everyone likes to bargain but if the price is already 1 or 2 dollars or only 50 cents, give it a rest!

SO, there is this one lady who works at another booth in the mall. Here she comes–she picks up 2 or 3 items that might add up to 4.00. She hands me 2 dollars and doesn’t even ask if I will take it–she just expects me to!! If she tries to do this on a Friday when I am setting up, I won’t take it–if it’s near closing time, no problem. She does this every month. There is a man who comes every month too and does the same thing but at least he asks. There is another young mother who comes every month and has 2 babies in the stroller and buys about 5-10 items and for each item she asks–will you take 1$ (if it’s2$) will you take 50 cents (if it’s 1$) will you take 1.50 (if it’s 3$). Now, she is not as annoying because I can see she is buying for her children and she asks for every item and she buys a lot–quantity discounts are fine.

This kind of bargaining, will actually work against you. It makes the seller want to raise the prices because he/she knows that the cheapskates will still ask for a discount, even when it’s already a steal! I like what one of my friends says when asked about a 5.00 item “can you do better?” He says, “Sure I can do better, you can have it for 6.00. Better for me!”

Bargaining on larger items like at an antique show is fine! The item might be 10 or 20$ and sure, there is room for a discount. Most sellers expect to lower a price on a larger item by maybe 20%. But at the flea market when it is already CHEAPER than dirt–I even have people ask me to take 25 cents when it is 50 cents and even had (I think once!) a person who asked if I would take less when IT WAS A QUARTER! What do you want it for, free?? I have to pay rent you know. And gas to get here and plenty of time and effort buying and setting up and eating lunch…

So, I hope you are not one of my UNfavorite customers! I give my favorites a discount even without asking so it pays to be kind!

CHECK OUT MY EBAY STORE!

I sell lots of these vintage wooden spools!

I sell lots of these vintage wooden spools!

My 3 FAV vintage finds this week that sold for (how much?) on eBaY

Tuesday, January 5th, 2010

Let’s start with the shoes! I bought 2 pair of vintage shoes at the local auction a few weeks ago. They were brand new in the box. I paid 1.00 each. The first pair was by Colorifics and they were full of gold beads. They sold for 4.00, my opening bid. The second pair was by Vera Cruz and they had leather soles and suede sides with fancy lacing. They sold to a person in South Africa for 15.50 plus I had to charge them 18.00 for the postage. Not mind boggling but a pretty good investment for 1.00!

gold beaded shoes

gold beaded shoes

Then there was the box of lace I bought for 1.00 the entire box. I just started to sell this. So far I sold 70 yards of white lace for 8.76, and 11 yards of eyelet lace for 5.50. The ribbon trim didn’t sell so I will list it in my eBay store. I have about 10 times more lace left in the box. That should add up nicely for my (once again) 1.00 purchase.

lots of trim--still for sale!

lots of trim--still for sale!

How about a brass doorknocker featuring a Scottish man in kilts with a bagpipe? I had 2 of these, exactly the same. I took them to an antique show and they didn’t sell for 6.00. I took one to my booth at Zionsville Antiques and it didn’t sell for 6.00. Then I listed one on eBay. It sold for 5.75 right before Christmas. I listed the other one and it just sold for 29.00 right after Christmas. You never know!

vintage tablecloth on auction until jan 12

vintage tablecloth on auction until jan 12

VISIT ME AT  EVERYTHINGVINTAGESTEPH.COM

CLICK HERE for one of the best ebooks about buying and selling vintage items from thrift shops!! I use the cheat sheets and ideas in this book all the time!

Selling at the flea market again! Lots of bargains!

Sunday, January 3rd, 2010

Sold at the same flea market today that I wrote about last month. It was really PACKED! There were so many customers that I had people in front of my tables almost constantly. Sometimes they were 2 and 3 deep, looking over each other’s shoulders. I had one lady with a large walker “parked” in front of the jewelry for about 5 minutes and I could tell others were annoyed who wanted to look at the jewelry.

I only had 4 tables this time because I gave one to my son to sell stuff. He sold about 25$ and I sold about 170 $ just today. There is still tomorrow. I sometimes waited on 2-3 customers at once. Some people take a lot of time getting out their $$ so I just stick out my hand to take someone else’s 50 cents or 1.00 while I am waiting and then I might have 2 people digging in their purses for their money! It can get crazy but that is how I like it!

The Christmas items were still selling pretty well. People were buying purses and books and bottle openers and dolls and all kinds of knick-knacks. I had Barney back packs and tablecloths and a box of old paper for 50 cents a piece. People love to look through the pile.

If you live anywhere near Allentown, PA, check out merchantssquaremall.com and come on over!

neat vintage bedspread selling on ebay until Jan. 8 click on photo

neat vintage bedspread selling on ebay until Jan. 8 click on photo

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