Lesson Learned This Month: Study your solds (and unsolds) to make better sourcing decisions.
Don't be such a Steiff...
Let's start off with a sale that was actually a bit of a disappointment. I saw this little pedal car being brought out from the back as I was checking out at a local thrift store. I recognized the brand “Steiff” as an excellent German maker of toys and stuffed animals that I’ve sold before and so I snatched it up for $85 before anyone else could. Once I started researching it, I realized that it was wildly incomplete. It is actually supposed to have a large stuffed horse that sits on the front half so it looks like you’re driving a little cart/buggy. Not only that, but the parts that WERE there weren’t in very good shape. We decided to sell it as a Restoration Project or Decoration. It still took almost 6 months to sell which was a long time to wait for our $85 back! We’re still learning!
Do be on the lookout for the Steiff brand (especially vintage jointed stuffed animals and teddy bears) as they can bring excellent money.
The Cocomotion machine was one of the first BOLOs we ever learned about. Since then, we have found and sold at least twenty of them on eBay, including two NIB units which went for $100 apiece! The market is more saturated now but we still pick them up and they still quickly in the $30 range. If they turn out to have a problem, you can also sell the lid and the little inside impeller for $12-15 apiece as replacements.
Hey....wanna buy a watch?
While we normally steer clear of auctions, this lot of watches came out of the bottom of a liquidation box and we couldn’t figure out what to do with them. They looked fine but all had serious functionality issues. If we have a compromised product like these, we like to let the market decide the value. As long as you give a complete and accurate description it’s hard for a buyer to be angry with a price they chose to pay!
This was another boring flip ROI-wise that we just couldn’t pass up because it was guaranteed money. This cartridge was in the clearance section of our local Walmart for $20. It was unopened and not yet expired so I picked it up knowing that it would sell quickly. It took less than a week to move on and get us our money back.
Empty boxes for high-end items (phones, watches, etc) always sell well and this is just the next step up! It is a factory case for a specific Beretta shotgun. It has foam that fits the gun perfectly and came with all the original manuals. There were about 20 different types of these at a local thrift store for $10 apiece. We went through and chose the 3 best ones that were totally complete and in excellent condition and this was the last of them to sell! They weren't all that fun to ship but once you get used to making your own boxes anything can be sent!
Lightly used diapers for sale....
While this is borderline clothing, it represents a whole category of baby-accessories that do very well. Just like all first-time parents, we swore we'd use cloth diapers. They're cheaper (in the long run), better for the environment, etc. I just had no idea how labor intensive they were. We eventually ended up using disposable diapers but no until we had shopped around and found out that it was going to cost us a small fortune to get set up in cloth diapers. From that point on, we have grabbed the cloth diaper covers whenever we see them at thrift stores and they typically sell very well. Just be sure to list the actual brand/model and size as people want to get diapers that match the ones they already have. Also, if you see on there are probably more so keep looking!
This is one of those serendipitous finds that we knew nothing about. It was in one of those clear plastic bags that Savers puts all their small electronics in. It was shiny enough to catch my eye so I typed the model number from the bottom into eBay, saw that it was a good flip, and bought it! That's all there is to it.
I had no idea what this was when I saw it but it looked old, it looked unused, and it looked either military or outdoor work related. It turns out it is an emergency fire shelter for wildfire firefighters! Whey someone wanted an outdated version I'll never know but we're more than happy to provide it for them!
Books are undervalued sellers on eBay and shiny new textbooks are a no brainer. I don't usually make it a point to look for books but I just happened to be standing there when they wheeled out a new cart of books at Savers and just grabbed all the nice looking books I could see. This one was of 4 textbooks we ended up buying.
This decision to buy this bag was easy but deciding what to list it as and how to price was much more of a struggle. It wasn't a super high-quality bag and we didn't really know what it was. So, when in doubt, just describe something! We described it objectively to the best of our ability and 5 months later someone bought it!
Siiiiiiilver and gooooold....
This set is actually a sterling silver plate setting that we won from a Goodwill auction. They were auctioning off around 20 place settings from this same set and we bid on all of them...up to about $70. This is the only one we managed to win and we paid $67 for it. I felt like it was a pretty safe investment as we were able to double our money in less than a week.
We rarely find decent hardgoods at Ross or TJ Maxx but this one was on clearance for $4 and we couldn't resist. Wusthoff is one of the knife brands we keep our eyes open for and this one came new and complete! I had actually hoped to price this around $40 but there were cheaper options on the market and I had no bites at that price. Even at $29.99, it took a couple of months to sell and then we ate a few dollars on shipping. All in all, though, a $20 profit is nothing to be sad about!
How were your January sales? What was your best non-clothing sale?
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