Listing Challenge 2017 ~ That’s A Wrap!

Where has the month gone? I know I haven’t kept up with my updates on the Listing Challenge (same as last year) but there are a couple good reasons.  (This post may have affiliate links.)

Listing Challenge Wrap up!First, I don’t think you REALLY want to read all about every minute of my thrifting life and what I’m listing, etc..etc. If I thought you did, I’d just start a Recycleista Facebook group…hmm….
Anyway, I started off thinking I’d update you weekly but that quickly becomes ho-hum reading…and brings me to my second reason:

I’m too busy! Which is the point of the challenge, right? I’ve been listing and sorting and attacking death piles like nobody’s business.
I don’t even have time to complile stats for you because I need to get listing today. I have a rare complete day home with no children for several hours.

When I left you last, I was planning on trying to get things lotted up. And I did! Had some success with it as well. My first lot I tackled was a flatware lot. Flatware?! Yes…I cannot sell all that I buy. It’s true. And some is not worth selling on its own, but is perfectly fine for use.
Some thrift stores sell flatware bagged up and I don’t want everything in the bag. So I made up a big lot of about 250 pieces and listed it for $74.99 with free shipping.

DSC_0001I made it pretty clear that this lot was for camps or churches or other groups that needed solid, usable flatware but it wasn’t necessarily for resale purposes. It all fit in a Medium Flat Rate Box and it sold within a week or 2. Yay!!

Hubby had a few slow-ish days at work and got back into the listing game. Good thing too or else this Thomas the Train stuff would never have gotten listed. Not my thing. He sold a few lots already too, like this one below. This was all train stuff that my boys have outgrown but we thrifted about 98% of it originally.
Thomas-Tank-Engine-Trackmaster-59-pc-Lot-Track-Percy-Mail-Sodor-Ice-amp-Caboose

So the making lots thing worked well and I’ll be doing more of them as I can fit them in. I think I need to do it with some jewelry and sewing patterns next.
The next part of my challenge that I’m proud of is that I attacked a category of items that I ALWAYS put off- clothing. I had about a laundry basket full of odds and ends of clothing. Worth listing but just hadn’t made the time. Clothing is NOT my favorite. Although VINTAGE clothing is mildly more interesting to me. I like seeing other people sell it. I didn’t have a place set up to take photos and that was my first hurdle. Hubby finally rigged it up for me and I attacked it all in 2 days.
The one piece that I was excited about and didn’t really mind listing (because jackets are easy) was this vintage 1967 Big E Levi’s trucker jacket. Vintage denim is SO hot right now.  I have found a jacket with the Big E label before and prices were not that high for jackets. They have definitely gone up.
DSC_0009This sold overnight for $169.99 free shipping. Hubby (again, the Big E whisperer) found this right before our road trip and we just now got to listing it.
In case you’re wondering about the whole “Big E” thing, on the red tab of Levi’s is the word “Levi’s”, right? Well before 1971 the tab looked like this “LEVIS”. The made the “e” lower case in 1971. The size of the letters didn’t really change…the “VIS” is probably technically lower case too they just don’t look any different. So a tab with a “Big E”, if authentic, is a pre-1971 piece of denim.
DSC_0035 Remember my Big E jeans score? Yeah, that was Hubby too. I need to take him thrifting more often. Well, no, maybe not. That’s one reason we have the backlog we do, lol.
And yes, I thrifted. I admit it. I didn’t really slow down all that much. That’ll have to be saved for another challenge.

How did you do? Did you get some older items listed this month? Did you slow down on sourcing? Make any lots? Feel free to comment below!

Listing Challenge 2017 ~ Turn That Stash Into Cash!

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There is just something about November.

I’ve been feeling a bit overwhelmed. I have great things to list. But I keep buying more. I still have a backlog behind all the great RECENT stuff I found. I need to stop adding to the pile until I get more listed and sold. Which means LESS thrift store shopping. No, honestly, it should mean NO thrift store shopping. Ugh. So sad.

I started thinking about a challenge. A no (or less) thrift challenge. A listing challenge. With definite goals and projects. I went back in my blog to the last Listing Challenge I did…it was a year ago in November!! That blog post could be THIS blog post. Oh how things haven’t changed.

See? There is just something about November.

So, are you with me? Are you ready to turn that stash into cash? Remember, it can’t sell if it’s not listed.
So let’s dig into those boxes and bins and Rubbermaid totes. Find the bottom of that “death pile” and pull out a winner.


So here are my particular goals for this first week.

~ Shop my stash. Much like last year, I’ll be focusing on getting older items listed as well as the newer-ish stuff I’ve brought in. So for every one newer item…I will pull out TWO old “stash” items and get them listed too. I remember sometimes when you dig deep, you get surprised at what you find. It’s like thrifting all over again! I will thrift in my own bins which will help me with my second goal:

~ No thrifting this week. Gulp. Okay, I’m not sure how I’ll handle the fact that I have to return an item to a thrift store that I bought last week. I’ll double check how long I have and see if I can put it off ’til next week.


These are my two goals for this week. Feel free to use them as well, or find your own challenges that fit your situation. But try to push yourself a bit.

Let’s run this first week’s challenge from today, Wed Nov 1 until next Tuesday, Nov 7.

Comment below if you are up for the challenge!! You can also follow the action on my page on Facebook where I will share updates, photos and possibly a video or two!

4 Reasons I Love the Thrift Store Bag Wall!

(This post may contain affiliate links)
Does your local thrift store have a ‘bag wall’? Around here, the thrift store chain Value Village has them. (aka Savers or Unique Thrift..in different parts of the country)
They are my favorite part of the store!4 ReasonsHere’s why.

1). The thrill of the hunt.
You never know what you will find in a bag. They are found in various sections of the store. Bags of collectibles. Bags of housewares. Bags of toys. Craft bags. There may be one item that jumps out at you right away but you have to dig a bit to see what else is in the bag. Fun stuff!

2). Value.
Many items for one money!
IMG_64023). Easy No sticker removal!
The items are all in a bag, with a price tag stapled to it. Remove the staple, open the bag and everything is good to go! No large, pesky stickers on every single item that throw off my listing mojo!!

And lastly, my favorite.

IMG_64044). Hidden surprises!
There have been several times where I have gone after a certain item or 2 in a bag and plan on just donating the rest of the items. Only to take a second or third look at those items and decide to throw them real quick up on Ebay. Guess what sells overnight? That last minute item!
Here’s an example.
I can’t remember what else I wanted in this bag but I remember there was one of these:

DSC_0010Teak Handled Cheese Plane by Spar Norway

This utensil is one of my bread and butter items I sell in my Etsy shop. Not super exciting, I just grab them when I see them and usually have at least one listed in my shop. There must have been something else in the bag…another vintage utensil or something.
But as I was going through the bag, I came across these recipe cards that looked handmade.

DSC_0006

I hadn’t even looked twice at them in the bag in the store. Then I looked at the original sticker on them.

DSC_0008-001I was like…”huh. Williams-Sonoma. Good brand. New in package….why not?”. Took me a few minutes to list…and BAM! no kidding. Overnight sale of $12.99.

Okay, so yeah..not getting rich. But $13 for those, $15-18 for the cheese slicer…and who knows whatever for the other thing I found in there. lol. Let’s say another $10. That’s roughly $35 for a $3 bag investment. Works for me!
That actually would be a fun kind of challenge…can I sell EVERY item out of a bag? Hmmm….What do you think? Maybe we’ll do this in video format.

So what about you? Does your thrift store have a bag wall? Any great scores?

 

Oh February! ~ Catching Up ~ And My Love/Hate Relationship with Vintage Fabric

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Oh February! – Catching Up
What a doozy this year. The PNW has seen more snow this year than usual. Early in February, we got dumped on with 15 inches all at once!! (Picture on left). We usually get maybe 1 snow event per winter, usually just a couple inches. We’ve had several…including earlier this week. My FIL has lived on this property for over 40 years and cannot recall getting this much snow all at once…ever.
The picture on the right is exactly 7 days later. It was in the 50s and most of the snow had gone.
This up and down with the weather totally matched how I felt. I had some doctor visits and so was a little preoccupied with that. I also had some family/home/community responsibilities that took the rest of my attention.
My online vintage selling business definitely took a back seat. I still thrifted…(of course I did) and I still listed some things and I still sold some things. So the business went on…but it was not my focus.
And honestly, that’s kind of how I see the next few years.
Since I wasn’t so focused on vintage or on the whole business…I hesitated to come here and blog…I felt like I didn’t really have anything helpful to say.
I’m afraid I’m at one of *those* points again…wondering whether the blog should remain part of my TO-DO list..or not. I know, I know, you’re tired of reading about my blogging crises..so I won’t natter on. I’m planning on continuing at this point- I just have to see where it fits in with my new online selling plan. More about that another day.

DSC_0013My Love/Hate Relationship with Vintage Fabric

So one of the things I can’t resist looking at in the thrift stores is the fabric/material aisle. It’s kind of like sewing patterns. I can’t sew a stitch to save my life but I’m fascinated by all of it. Of course, part of it is the thrill of the hunt..I do know what people like and what sells, so I’m always hoping to find some fabulous piece of atomic barkcloth or some Vera Neumann signed fabric.
But when it comes to the actual listing of the fabric, I slow down. I have no idea why. Some kind of mental block. Maybe it’s my lack of good set up for photos or something…kind of like my selling clothing aversion.
Recently I was at Value Village when they were putting out bags of fabric. Usually these bags are just scraps..but I could tell that these had larger pieces. I looked at one bag and discovered the theme of the whole bag was cowboy/western fabric. Definitely sell-able. I ended up buying 3 bags…mostly western fabric and some fly-fishing/outdoors type fabric.
DSC_0027This was one of my favorites..although it was more Fox Hunt than Western. It has a great color. Most of the pieces I got were from the early to mid 1990s and at least 2 yards. The smaller pieces I lotted up into one listing. I made myself measure the pile right away. Half the battle. And then so far I’ve listed the Western fabric.  I decided to list on Ebay although these are perfectly eligible for Etsy.

And I’ve sold 2 listings already! The piece up at the top was a totally random piece mixed in with the Western pieces called “Bow Wow Chow Mein”. I had exactly one yard and it sold overnight. I also sold this one:

DSC_0036Most of the brands in the packs were VIP by Cranston and Alexander Henry. Now, I don’t want you to run out and buy any and every piece by those makers that you see. You will find a lot of it. It’s not all created equal. Theme will also be important. I can get fairly good money even on just 2 yards because the cowboy/western theme is a popular one. Other themes might only be worth it if you can get it cheap and there is a lot of yardage.
So see the Love / Hate part? Lol. Love looking for it. Love finding it. Hate listing it. Love selling it. Love making money on it.
Actually “Hate” is kind of a strong word. Listing and selling is work. Plain and simple. Once I got going..it wasn’t any harder than any other item I sell and the photos weren’t that difficult. So…yes..it’s time to break out those other 2 bins of fabric I’ve been hoarding and just get to work!

 

LISTING CHALLENGE ~ Week Three ~ Turn that Stash Into Cash!

listing-challengeweek3

Well, well. That was quite a week! I accomplished close to NOTHING with my goals. Oh well.

Shake it off.

I did get one listing done that I had been putting off because it was clothing and I didn’t want to figure out how and where to take the picture. I just put on my big girl panties and got ‘er done!

dsc_0001I’m not thrilled with photos, but they are done and this his and hers set is listed!

I can’t even remember what else I listed last week but I don’t think it was much. I never got around to the item I was thinking of last week that I’ve been putting off…besides the clothing item up above. No motivation and my health wasn’t cooperating. Plus it was a short week as we went out of town on Friday.

Hope you all made out better than I did!

So moving forward! Let’s talk about goals this week! I’m already a bit behind as you can see by the fact this is coming out on Tuesday!

Your CHALLENGE for this week:

LOT THINGS UP! Okay, so as you’re going through your older stash items you may come across things that were not so exciting to list on their own and so they got set aside. Or they were not really as valuable as you thought they’d be. Or maybe your minimum list price has gone up since you started thrifting and reselling. Or some items have damage that you didn’t see originally.
If you can find logical ways to lot them up, do it!
For example, damaged silverplate flatware can be gathered up in a “craft” lot. Ditto for broken jewelry.

I’ll give you another example. Years back I was into vintage buttons. I bought big lots and would sift through them. Very therapeutic. I sold smaller groups of them or sometimes single ones! It was fun. I still sell buttons here and there but not like I used to. Lost interest in the niche I guess. I may just go ahead and make lots again. Just to clear some space.
Here’s hoping I don’t get all into the niche again when I’m looking through those buttons!! lol

Here’s another example: Junk drawer lots! Yes, it’s a thing! All those little odds and ends and bits and bobs that you haven’t brought yourself to throw out….lot ’em up! Sell ’em!

So that’s your CHALLENGE for the week. Of course…keep up that ratio of 1 old stash item for every 1 new item…or 2 to 1 would be even better.

Pull out another item you’ve been PROCRASTINATING on!

And keep a handle on that thrifting! You’ll see progress…I promise!

Share your progress in the comments below and / or on Facebook!