Wednesday’s Flip of the Week- Vintage Buttons

I had to go back a bit in time for this week’s flip. Nothing super exciting happening in the auction world for me lately. But I’ve been having fun with Etsy. This week’s flip involves vintage buttons. I love them. I collect them. I have too many.
My husband puts up with the obsession to buy, buy, buttons because I’m willing to sell them…well, some anyway.
I’m not the type to collect buttons and put them on cards and go to clubs and all that. I just like to find an unsorted lot of old buttons and spend an evening going through them. It’s very relaxing. Kind of like thrift store shopping at home.
I bought a tin of buttons from a woman on Ebay. She was local so I saved $10 on shipping! I paid about $10 for the tin as I recall. Well look at the beauties that were in here! These are Bakelite!! Carved with a metal rim!! Gorg-e-ous!!! I put one on Etsy for $5.50. SOLD! Immediately. “do you have anymore?” i was asked. Yes!! I had 6 different sizes. $20 says I. SOLD! All in one day. To the same buyer.

LOVE it!! The best part is that I doubled my money with 6 buttons!! And there were/are 100s remaining. Here’s another picture of a super large button I sold for about $4.

I’ve learned a lot in the last few months since I’ve started buying and selling buttons.
Click here to find an inexpensive way to tell if your vintage buttons (or any item for that matter) are Bakelite.
Click here for ideas on how to organize them!!

Why You Should Shop Thrift Stores in the Upcoming Weeks

I have a two word answer. Tax write-offs. That’s right..2009 is winding down and so is the opportunity for making a charitable donation that can be deducted on this year’s taxes.

I read an article about it in today’s paper. People are lining up to make those donations. Plus, people are cleaning out to make room for their Holiday gifts.

It all adds up to a wonderful opportunity to find some great things at the thrift stores in the next couple weeks. Happy thrifting!

Vintage Cashmere

Was listing on eBay today…trying to catch up from the backlog…and listed this gorgeous vintage cashmere sweater. It was a recent thrift store find. I am so tempted to keep this. But alas, we need the money more than I need a new sweater. I haven’t even tried it on, just in case I really like it!
By the way…cashmere is definitely an item to keep your eyes open for at thrift stores if you’re like me and need to supplement your income with some online selling. I found a Banana Republic cashmere sweater for $2 at Goodwill and it sold for $35. Even sweaters with small holes will sell for something…people will either repair it or I think they reuse the yarn for their projects. Just remember to be up front about the existance and location of the holes. Pictures are helpful too.
Happy selling!

Wednesday’s Flip of the Week- Oneida Silverware

Here’s another area of the thrift store to not overlook. I started getting into silverware a few years back when I sold some silverplate flatware. After it got harder to find silverplate I started researching stainless steel. Oneida flatware is a good seller. Selling in lots is a good idea, but if the pattern is in demand, breaking it into smaller chunks can work too.
I recently found this lot at a thrift store…the pieces are 29 cents each at my local Goodwill, so I spent about $8. I researched and found out the pattern name. Click here to for tips on how to do that.
I discovered that this pattern is not in very high demand so I decided to forgo an auction and put the lot straight in my eBay store. As you can see, I got $30 for it through a Best Offer.
Silverware can be a bit time consuming to research and list, but the profit can be worth it! And if you happen to enjoy detective work…lots of fun!

Vintage Hanky A Day Mother Goose Book

What can I say about this beautiful thrift store find? The pictures just have to speak for themselves….ok, no I have to say some stuff. I got this for less than a dollar at a Value Village! No joke. It was in with their regular books..near the ‘collectible’ shelf. But it didn’t have a separate price so I got it for a regular children’s book price.

I opened it and realized that all the hankies are still there! One for each day of the week with a super cute graphic and poem.

Although I love this’s not in my line of collecting so I want to share it with someone who would really appreciate it! I’m not sure how, though. I could sell it on Etsy, or on the bay. Research has yielded that someone sold one in better shape (without the tear on Mother Goose) for $60. But I don’t know how long it sat in the seller’s shop before the sale happened. Haven’t seen another one like it…except on another blog.

What to do, oh what to do? But I’ll enjoy looking at it while I have it and share the lovely pictures with you!

Wednesday’s Flip of the Week- Vintage Scuba Gear

I debated writing a blog post about thrift store shopping with your spouse–the rewards and the challenges. Then I realized my story involved a flip…so it became this week’s Wednesday’s Flip of the Week.
First I must say, I’m very fortunate my husband LOVES thrift store/yard sale shopping. He never minds stopping at one…in fact sometimes I have to curb it…so our spending doesn’t outpace our selling.
At the moment my husband is very involved, since he hasn’t found work since our cross-country move. He’s been helping me take pictures, measure things, figure out shipping and he even started listing!
The other great thing is that he sees things at thrift stores I would NEVER look at.

For example, the items in these pictures. This vintage scuba gear was spread out throughout the store and found on 2 different days. He had a feeling and went with it. Total investment: $4.50 and as you can see before fees we made over $60.
Would I have bought these? No. Turns out they sell because people not only collect vintage scuba gear, there are clubs who dive using ONLY vintage dive gear. Who knew?

Another advantage is hitting more of the store at once. He’s learning brands, so he hits the men’s side…the shirts, shoes and neckties while I hit women’s and kid’s.

Plus he usually takes the rugrat with him. Makes me hope he doesn’t find work soon! Almost.

Coffee Mugs…Not Just For Coffee Anymore

No! They’re also for….beer! No just kidding. What I was thinking was they’re also for making profit! I know many of you have heard of this, thought of this, or have done this yourself, but it’s something I want to revisit.
The Moose Drool mug in the picture was one of our own..but purchased at Goodwill of course! My husband grew up in Montana and we had enjoyed a glass or 2 of Moose Drool when we visited his family. I saw the mug one day and thought my husband would like it. In our quest to sell anything and everything, my husband came up with this mug.
We listed it and as you see, my $.29 investment yielded $13.50.
That’s the great thing about mugs. They are in plentiful supply and generally are only $.25-.50….maybe even less at yard sales.(unless your thrift store has caught on, like mine did and priced all Starbucks mugs at $2 or more!) They cover all sorts of subjects and people like to collect them.
My problem in the past had been that I only tried to sell mugs at auction. I’d run it for a week…and if the right ‘John Deere’ aficionado didn’t happen to be browsing, the mug wouldn’t sell. I’d say…oh well and try to unload it at my next yard sale.
But having an eBay store changes everything. For a lower cost, my mugs can sit and wait for the right buyer to come along!
What’s your input? What successes have you had with coffee mugs? I’d love to hear!