The Recycleista Collects….Girls-Holding-Dried-Flowers Figurines. For Lack of a Better Name.

The Recycle-ista Collects ~ Part of the fun of hunting for vintage is what you get to keep!! There’s not much that I collect. I mean, most of what I find becomes inventory and may hang around for a bit. But I don’t really die-hard collect anything. I passed up a mod cat the other day since I don’t need it (turns out I already have it…so phew!). I haven’t really added much to my mod cat collection. It all fits well on the designated shelves so there you go.

But really, part of the fun of hunting for vintage is what you get to keep! And sometimes it surprises you.

My other collection are these vintage pottery/stoneware girl figurines that hold dried flower posies. See? There’s no easy name for them. lol.

Vintage Stoneware FigurinesI’m not sure when I started collecting these girl figurines. I think I picked up a few and sold them on Etsy. I’d find them fairly often and somehow narrowed down to the ones that were girls who were holding small posies of dried flowers. Some just have pots or holes where the dried flower bouquets were long gone.

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Most are Japanese stoneware. Some have stickers or marks such as UCTCI or Fitz & Floyd.
I also have a couple from Sweden and one that’s Spanish.

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Recently, in our moving around and freshening things up for company, my collection had to get moved. Fortunately I had this awesome little 1940s shelf that also had to get moved so they all ended up together.

I decided to thin the collection a bit and so far I’ve listed two. 🙂
Jie Gantofta Sweden figurineI listed my duplicate Jie Gantofta Sweden one. You can find her here in my Etsy shop. She was awesome because she told me exactly who she was and who designed her with stickers on her back:
DSC_0009I also listed this one that was imported by Knobler. Technically I think she’s a candle holder but…I won’t tell if you won’t.

Knobler Stoneware Girl Figurine See her here on Etsy.

I may continue to thin the herd because sometimes it’s time to change what you collect, right? What will be next? Possibly vintage typewriter tins…something about those just appeals to me….hmm…I will let you know!

Join the Vintage Charm party at My Thrift Store Addiction

See You in August ~ Taking a Short Blogging Break

I get to this point every summer! I want to blog but I’m too busy and so I feel guilty every day that a new post isn’t put up. I have posts half written in my head and in some cases half written in drafts.

Tipsoo Lake wildflowers

From the Tipsoo Lake Loop in Mt Rainier Nat’l Park. Photo cred: me 🙂

So I just gotta do it. I’m giving myself permission to be guilt free! 🙂 I am going to take the month of July off from blogging and should be back rarin’ to go in August. There is just too much kid stuff, hiking, family visiting, vacations, etc…etc…to do this month!

I promise, if I have an amazing find or something in the thrifting world…I will pop on here and share. Or you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook for more day to day type sharing.

Thanks for reading and sticking around!

Move It On Out Monday ~ The Great Destash of 2016

About a month or so ago, we decided to have a yard sale. Now, this is a decision we don’t take lightly. Because I. Hate. Running. Yard. Sales. In this venue, I’d much rather buy than sell.

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image from Pinterest

They are a ton of work. Results are not guaranteed. And you have to sell things for super cheap to move anything. We’ve had a few less than stellar ones and have vowed to not repeat the experience.

But things were different this time. I could actually see the need for having one. My family is coming to visit next month and we need to clean out a bit. We had a few bigger things to get rid of as well.

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So we decided to take the plunge. We took advantage of the time to really dig deep into our stash of inventory, listed and unlisted, and see what was worth keeping or what needed to go. As our piles of items to get rid of grew, I knew our decision was the right one. We had too much stuff to just donate.

Plus, we have a big trip planned as a family coming up next year. We have begun saving for it and we all decided that the proceeds from the sale will go towards that. That helped a lot because I knew there was a secondary goal attached to the sale too.

IMG_3529And it was a success! We had the sale in town at a friend’s house where there is great traffic. We had a steady stream of shoppers the whole time. While we sold many items for 25 cents, 50 cents or a dollar…those added up and a bunch of stuff went. Hubby also was able to sell some bigger tools which added to our bottom line.

The rains came around 2pm but we had done solidly before that so it wasn’t such a let-down. We didn’t even need to run it a second day.

All in all, the yard sale was totally worth doing. Yes, it was a lot of work. But what it accomplished was priceless! Take a look:

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~ In the process of gathering and sorting items to sell we were really able to dig deep into our storage areas. We went through stuff that we had hung onto for too long. In some cases, it was items that people had given us. Items that were broken that were “projects”. Items that were not really worth our time to list. In some cases, our niches had changed and we were able to let go of those items that didn’t ‘fit’ us and our online shops anymore.

~ But we didn’t just get rid of stuff. We consolidated bins and had a chance to remind ourselves of some of the amazing stuff we still need to  list! I listed some things as I found them. (go me!) Plus items were put in better places. They are less buried so we can’t forget about them as easily.

Here are some of things we had around here that I had put off listing. Don’t ask me why. 😉

DSC_0002This set of Denby dishes have been in my china cabinet for a couple years mostly because they’re awesome! And mostly because when I first found them and then researched them, I was a bit disappointed at how not in demand they seemed to be. They were designed by Kenneth Clark and have such a great mid century modern vibe. I just went ahead and bit the bullet and got them all listed. They are in my Ebay shop to get more exposure but they may move to Etsy in the future.

Waechtersbach West Germany Dishes with Stencil Font

Waechtersbach Typography Set

This next fabulous set should have been listed long ago. They had some prices written in marker on the bottom which came right off with Goo Gone. So that obstacle wasn’t such a big deal. And while I couldn’t find many others in my research, they are cool enough they just need to find the right buyer. So I got the whole shebang listed too.

We had a stack of games as well. Not really my thing anymore, but I had done the work counting pieces way back when…so I got a couple Risk games listed and took pictures of some vintage games for Etsy. Here’s an RSVP game from the 1960s. It was complete and so I had to get it out there for someone to enjoy. ((But I had fun with it first and made a new Facebook banner with it too…lol..check it out!!))

RSVP Vintage Game from the makers of Scrabble

Vintage RSVP game by the makers of Scrabble

All in all, it was an extremely productive endeavor. I have a clear view of what needs to be listed and where to find it. We packed up what was left at the end of the sale and I had no need to keep any of it. I had no emotional attachment.

We took a load to our favorite little thrift store and donated it all. Now the key will be not to buy it all back!!

How about you? Have you done a big de-stash lately? Does your inventory need overhauling or are you a discriminating shopper?

How To Survive a Sales Slump…a.k.a April Sales Recap

 

Make Money Selling on Etsy. The highs and the lows...what to do if you're experiencing a sales slump

Okay, well then. April. Can’t say that I’m gonna miss you.
I really was prepared for the slow down…but I didn’t really expect that it would last the whole month.
April generally has some slow spots. It’s when income taxes are due so all the procrastinators (me! me! me!) are scrambling to finish up and if they suspect they owe anything, they may be a bit more careful with their spending.
Plus they are just distracted for awhile.
I know that happened with me. Even though I was pleasantly surprised with a refund…the act of doing my taxes took up my brain power for more than a week or so.
And my listing pace suffered as a result. It affected my sales as I explain in this post. 

So, let’s look at the numbers of our main shops and then talk about how to cope.

In my main Etsy shop, The Recycleista’s Retro Shop, after such a stellar March (28 orders $717 in revenue), sales went down by more than half in April.
The Retro Shop: 17 orders $322 sales revenue.
Ouch.

In Hubby’s shop Metal and Tweed, we see a downturn but not as sharp. The reason for that is related though, to the reason I posted above. Hubby went from being an employee to starting his own business in January. Obviously, then, the time he has to dedicate to the online shops is limited. So in March, M & T had 10 orders with $312 in revenue. (higher price points in that shop :))
April was lower but not as dramatic.
Metal and Tweed: 8 orders $226 revenue

So yes…very painful to consider when you see it in black and white. Sales in our 2 main Etsy shops were HALF of what they were the previous month. And our secondary shops….it’s not even worth talking about them. lol. And eBay?? Ridiculous.

What to do? Here’s how I coped and continue to cope since things aren’t bouncing back miraculously.

How to Survive a Sales Slump

Dory - Just Keep Swimming during a sales slump
1) “Just keep swimming“. Don’t despair. Realize that these slumps are just that. Temporary downward swings and that they naturally have to swing back up. They won’t swing back up though, if you do nothing.
So keep listing. Keep promoting. Keep doing what you’re doing and when the peeps come back…you’ll be ready.

2) Hang with a like-minded selling community. I’m part of the Got Vintage Shops group and The Thrifting Board on Facebook. I don’t mean go to those groups and start complaining and whining about the lack of sales. That doesn’t help you or anybody. But you’ll get an overall feel if the sales slump is widespread or just your shop and you maybe need to fix a few things.
I personally was very comforted to read several threads in the GVS group that sales AND views were down overall in April. I knew I wasn’t alone and that there was a bigger issue going on that was out of my control.

3) Use the time during the Sales Slump to explore new sales venues. I’m a firm believer in not putting all your eggs in one basket. Because I have shops on Etsy and Ebay and a few items on Amazon….my trickle of sales this month at least added up to something. I also sold some items directly in Facebook groups. I could have worked those harder and that would have helped beef up my Paypal account. But I was busy…with taxes..did I mention that? lol. And this blog.
I also did some research on Poshmark. It’s a clothes selling app. I don’t sell a ton of clothing online anymore, but I have a few pieces leftover and find things occasionally. Plus I have some vintage jewelry that I could try listing on there. It’s worth a shot. I haven’t had time to list anything yet but I will report back how it goes. If you’d like to try it out, feel free to enter my referral code: JLDDH According to the app, you will get $10 for downloading the app and using my code. I will receive $10 only once you’ve made a purchase. (affiliate disclaimer)

4) If you have time between listing new items, you can also spiff up your older listings. Not satisfied with the photos you took 3 years ago? Just redo the main item photo. Quick fix. As you look over those listings, you’ll probably find some other little errors or oversights that you can fix. I find wrong tags all the time on my older Etsy listings. When I use the “Copy” feature to make a new listing for a similar item I’m listing…sometimes I forget to delete all the tags that are not relevant to the current item. It happens.
On eBay, I’ve been weeding out older items and adding Best Offer to some listings. Just whatever I can do to refresh things.

5) Set some goals. Despite my periodic moments of despair this month “OMG…NOTHING is selling!!! No one will buy anything from me ever again….”  I almost immediately bounced back with determination to work harder. I have high hopes for May and hope to add at least 75 new items to my main Etsy shop. That’s a lofty goal considering the other venues I want need to work on as well. But if I shoot high and miss…I’ll at least end up higher than if I hadn’t set a goal at all.

Okay, your turn! Please tell me how you deal with sales slumps? What philosophy keeps you grounded? What do you keep busy with when sales aren’t pouring in? Please comment below!

Five Reasons I Love Thrift Store Shopping

Five Reasons I Love Thrift Store Shopping...and yard sales, and estate sales....

So we did manage to make a quick trip away this weekend and as is our custom, we hit our usual thrifting stops. Our finds will be the subject of a future post, I promise!

It got me thinking…why do I love this thrifting life so much? Why do I make time for thrift store shopping, even on a vacation?

Yes, it’s socially responsible. It’s green to buy pre-owned items. The world already has so much stuff and so much of it still has tons of life left. Thrift stores (garage sales, etc…) do a great service in that respect.

But I figure there’s more to it. So I came up with my personal top 5 reasons why I love thrift store/yard sale/estate sale shopping.

RackedVintageDress
Vintage 1930s Poa Dot Dress by RackedVintage on Etsy

1. It gives you a chance to create a totally unique look.

I don’t know about you, but I’m not thrilled with the idea of wearing something that everyone else is wearing. Sure, it may not happen often, but you know that feeling when you’ve scoured the mall and finally happen on that one perfect dress, (or as perfect as it’s gonna get) and get to the event, wedding, whatever and BAM! There’s your dress. On someone else. Whether it looks better on them or you…we’re not even gonna go there.
But now shopping at a thrift store…now that’s a different story. You now have a chance to see some items that originally came from a store out of your price bracket, out of your area or even from another country! Plus you have a chance to happen on some happenin’ vintage! So old it’s “IN” again!
So mix it up! Find your unique style! All possible by thrift store shopping and buying secondhand.

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2. I have two boys.

If you are a mother of boys (actually girls too, if I remember correctly), this should be ’nuff said’. But if you aren’t, let me enlighten you.
I buy clothing for my children.
In a blink of an eye…or at least one week, it looks like this:

DSC_0055I swear the 8 year old just looks at his jeans and holes appear in the knees.
So, after throwing my little hissy fit, I pack those boys into my car and off we go thrift store shopping to find replacement clothing. Can you imagine the hissy fit I would have if I had paid FULL PRICE at a retail store?? Paying 3.99 for a pair of jeans for my boy even justifies my not being the-crafty-housewifey person that would have patched the holes or something involving a needle or…something.

That kind of leads into #3.

IMG_12243. You can’t beat the value. 

I mean seriously. A whole outfit including shoes and purse for under $50?? Yes. It can be done. Yes it takes time..and some determination…but have you been to a mall lately? It takes me forever. And I still don’t find what I like. And if I settle…it costs me more money!
And it’s awesome when you come across things you didn’t even know you needed. Ha!
This past summer while we were in Montana, we were doing some thrift store shopping (of course!) and Hubby found me a down jacket by Marmot at a Goodwill. It was 3.99. In the men’s section. But it was Womens. (happens a lot…bonus thrift store tip, there ;)) I was not really in the market for one, but Hubby couldn’t resist. Plus it was resellable (of course!!) if it didn’t fit or I didn’t like it.
But I have worn that baby almost every day this winter. It is amazing. And I have no need to shop for a casual winter coat next year. And maybe the year after that.
I could go on and on with the steals and deals we’ve found, but you get the idea.

4. The thrill of the hunt.

Now, this one may be unique to myself..but I kinda doubt it. You resellers and thrift store/yard sale/estate sale junkies can probably relate.
I get this indescribable buzz when I approach the doors of a store or the driveway of a sale.
What will I find today? Will I find a Bucket List item? Will today be the day to find a cathrineholm Lotus pattern bowl? Will there be vintage Scandinavian flatware? A Jere wall hanging? Or something new that I have never even knew existed.
It’s just so exciting!! Go ahead..try it out.
IMG_28885. Cheap entertainment and education.

Believe me when I say, if you thrift long enough, you will see things that you have never seen before. Things you will not believe. You will forever be left with the question “Why?” and “Did someone really pay money the first time for that?”
It’s quite entertaining.
By thrift store shopping, you will also come across art and collectibles and fashions and styles that are not common in your area and so it will expand your mind. Take it a step further and do some research on the stuff you see. You’d be amazing at how much you’ll learn.

Okay, so that wraps up my top 5 reasons I personally love shopping thrift.
What are some of yours??

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