4 Reasons I Love the Thrift Store Bag Wall!

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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!

LISTING CHALLENGE ~ Turn That Stash Into Cash!

Okay, so last post I mentioned the fact that I *may* have a problem with a bit of a backlog of inventory. The thrifting is just too much fun and I can acquire much faster than I can list and sell.

And I know I am not alone. Several of you mentioned in the comments that you’d be up for a listing challenge to help attack those backlogs!

In that last post I showed the items I dug out of a bin. So far I have sold the tartlet tins! That’s $24 (before fees) that is now in my bank account, not in a bin in my storage!

How much more CASH can I make from my STASH?? How much cash do YOU have hidden in those Rubbermaid bins and boxes? That’s the challenge for November! Let’s turn that stash into cash!

Join the Stash into Cash Listing Challenge! Got a backlog of inventory? Do you thrift faster than you can list and sell? We understand!

It can’t sell if it’s not listed…so that’s the first step.

For this first week of the challenge, I want you all to keep listing. By all means keep up with newer items that have come in. But for every ‘new’ item you list I want you to take one ‘old’ item from your stash and list it as well. I am going to do the same thing.

This is November 1st and already Tuesday so we will run this assignment until Sunday. Next Monday we will have another specific assignment for that week…and so on. By the end of the month we will see how much cash we’ve generated from our stash!!

Comment below if you are up for the challenge! Feel free to comment all week about your progress. I will also be running this challenge on my Facebook page so come join me over there! Over on Facebook you can share pictures of items you’ve uncovered and feel free to share the listing links there with us too! If you’re not a Facebook person, no worries…just share here!

How to Find Completed Sale Prices on Etsy

NOTE: This app is currently being worked on, due to some changes Etsy made in the appearance of pages of sold items. We will update you when things are back in action! 

I’m getting a feeling of deja vu here. I’ve written this post before.
But as we know, nothing to do with online reselling ever stays the same for long. The methods I’ve used in the past to find completed sale prices on Etsy either don’t work anymore or are too klunky.

Fortunately I found a fabulous new solution to finding completed sale prices on Etsy!

How To Find Out What Something Sold For on Etsy There used to be a super spy sneaky way of finding out what individual items sold for on Etsy that involved 1) opening the listing you’re trying to research 2) right-clicking on the description and hitting Page Source 3) playing Where’s Waldo in the resulting lines of code to find the hidden price.

I also found another option, but that required cutting and pasting the link to the Etsy listing to another web page. Super slow and klunky.

I always thought…wouldn’t it be nice if you could just see the completed sale price right ON THE ETSY LISTING PAGE ITSELF?

Well guess what?! Now you can.

Thanks to a fabulous new Chrome Extension called ShowSold.
Developed by Chris Green and Jason T Smith, this feature is available in desktop and mobile versions.

How It Works

You find a great little vintage doo-hickey and you’re so excited to get home and research it. You eagerly sit down at your computer and then unfortunately, you hit a bit of a wall. Your item is more unique than you thought!
Then you remember to try to search Google Images. Whoo hoo! There are a couple matches! Clicking through you see that they are Etsy listings and that they’ve sold. Well, that’s good news because it means your doo-hickey is desirable and more than one person wanted one, right?

But the problem is your screen looks like this:

How To Find What Things Sold For On Etsy
No info. What did it sell for? What is it worth? Well you could convo the seller. Hmm. That might work but even if you get an answer, it’ll take time. And you’d really like to get your doo-hickey listed…today…at the right price.

Now let’s consider this same scenario with the ShowSold extension installed.
You click through to the sold Etsy listing and you see this:

How To Find Completed Sale Prices on EtsyBAM! Done! Finding completed sale prices on Etsy couldn’t be any easier!

That is so sweet. Time is money and anything that helps speed up the researching process of online reselling is gold!
And get this…the desktop version of the ShowSold extension is only $39.99 for LIFETIME ACCESS! Or you can pay monthly for 3.99 per month.
And…(yes there’s more!! lol)
And…that $39.99 one time payment also includes Ebay! On Ebay, there are times where a seller accepted a best offer, but Ebay doesn’t automatically show the actual price the item sold for. With ShowSold, you see the actual selling price right on the listing.

Go ahead and click here to check out the ShowSold page and make your Reselling life a little bit easier!

Disclaimer: I didn’t receive any monetary compensation for this post. This post is just my own, honest opinion of a product that helps me and I think will help you! I purchased this extension from my own little vintage change purse and I don’t regret it! 🙂