Giveaway: Who Supports Your Hustle?

Reselling can, at times, be a lonely business. If you work at it full time at home, sometimes your only interactions are at garage sales or thrift stores…and maybe your friendly neighborhood postal worker. You don’t have co-workers per se and your watercooler conversations happen online via social media.

But most of us have at least one someone who is in their corner. Someone who gets the dream and supports the hustle. This post is a tribute to all those someones. (This post may have affiliate links. See our disclosure page for more details)

In my case, my family (immediate and extended) has always been pretty supportive. They may not have completely ‘got it’ right away but now they do enjoy the flipping stories.

But my main tribute goes to my hubby, Mr. Recycleista. He has been a reseller himself and actually is getting back into the game a bit. He just re-opened one of our Etsy shops selling vintage hardware and salvage type pieces. Feel free to go check out Tahoma Salvage on Etsy.

But more than that, he does so much to support my hustle. (Okay, my hustle is sometimes more like a shuffle.) He is my packing and shipping department. This is huge! He has a natural knack for it so he took on that task early on. He’s quick and efficient and our feedback mentions packaging like 75% off the time!

He also supports my love of thrifting. On weekends and evenings if I need a thriftbreak, he keeps our 2 rugrats busy and lets me have that “mama time”, lol. Important for a stay at home, work at home, homeschooling mama. But he also thrifts with me! Our vacations and weekends away always have thrift stops scheduled in.

He is also indispensable with inventory management. We have a small-ish space and are often shuffling inventory around. Look what he just built me for my flatware:

So what about you? Who supports your hustle? Is it a spouse, a parent or a child? Maybe Grandpa was a wheeler dealer and hustler from way back and gets you.

Maybe….it’s not anyone in your immediate circle. Your family might still be doubtful or even outright opposed. But there are people that you CAN turn to…either in your circle of friends or online. A big role of the Reselling Communities on social media is support. Other people who get it. People who cheer you on, who are thrilled with your flips and can commiserate with the flops. Maybe your hustle support comes from someone online.

Now for the giveaway info.

In order to win this Rae Dunn “Hustle” mug….this is what you need to do:

  1. Leave a comment below telling me who supports your hustle. If you’d like to explain a little, feel free.
  2. For a bonus entry….sign up for my newsletter. Let me know in your comment that you are already a subscriber or that you just subscribed.
  3. Make sure your email you use while leaving a comment is one you check regularly as that’s how the winner will be contacted.

So each person can have 2 possible entries. One for commenting and one for subscribing. The contest will run until Sunday, February 17th at midnight PST. The winner will be announced Monday, February 18th.

Monday Musings ~ My Thoughts on Selling on Ruby Lane

Well hello there! It’s been awhile, but here I am again.
How have things been going? How is the hunt for vintage (and other thrift-astic items) going in your neck of the woods? How’s the reselling biz doing for you? I would love to hear from you! Leave a comment or shoot me an email! (Contact Me tab)

Monday MusingsThings are pretty normal here. Started homeschooling my 2 boys and so I try to work on listing some items in between helping them. I love the fact that online reselling gives me the opportunity to work and teach at the same time.
Here’s the boys’ new work area we carved out. My desk is nearby and I have a little daylight based photo taking spot on this floor as well.

blogpicI just wanted to take a minute to share something new I’ve been working on. I still have the 3 Etsy shops and the Ebay store. I’ve dabbled on Mercari and Poshmark but haven’t really done anything consistently there. BUT. I did start up on a completely new venue.

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Back in August, there was a deal for signing up for a Ruby Lane store. I know, I know…just what I need, another selling venue. But I have always been intrigued by RL and the fact that it is smaller, curated and focused completely on antiques and vintage. What had held me back was the idea I had always heard that it was expensive to get set up and to sell on there. Plus I am not really an antiques dealer and I felt my items were not good enough.

I’ve read up on opinions of Ruby Lane over the past couple of years..and like any venue, some are good and some are bad. I heard from one successful seller (makes her complete living with one Ruby Lane shop) that her fees overall were lower than when she was selling on Ebay. And that her average selling price was closer to $25-30. Not intimidating at all. It got me thinking.

So in August, when they had an extremely reduced rate for shop set up plus a month of free listings, I decided it was the time to try it out. I was ready for something new, a challenge. ((I just looked and the set up fee is STILL reduced!! And it looks like it’s that way until December 31st – more about that later))

So I set up my shop.

Believe me, it has been quite the learning curve. And…the verdict is still out. I have decided to give it until after the holidays to see what I think. There are a few things that I’m struggling with or that concern me so far:

1) Slow sales. I have close to 80 listings which is not really that much, I understand. I’m just used to getting traction much quicker. Again, this could be part of my learning curve.

2) Lack of feedback. So there’s no real way that I’ve figured out yet to see if anyone is really SEEING my listings. The closest is to see if anyone has put your item in a Wish List. It’s like hearting on Etsy, doesn’t really mean anyone will buy it but at least I know someone saw it.

DSC_0049Faceted Cobalt Blue Glass Brooch

3) Figuring out what to list. It seems the successful sellers (many are long time sellers there…which I’m sure plays a part.) have, if not a specific niche, a certain style or theme. I needed to figure out what this shop is about.  Someone suggested that I stick with my vintage, mid century wares…since it’s what I know and what the site is lacking in. I just don’t know if the demand is there. For now, I have settled on vintage jewelry and silver plated flatware. The silver plated flatware is something I have an abundance of, but have not focused on so much anywhere. And jewelry…I just have so much of it. And even though it’s pretty saturated on Ruby Lane in the jewelry category…it does get the most attention.

DSC_0092Oneida Community Morning Star Dinner Forks

4) To cross post or not to cross post. Ruby Lane is small. Its audience is small and loyal. Many buyers are repeat buyers. Thus I feel the need to have a niche or a theme. I have always struggled with this idea of putting items on more than one site at a time. I’m not the most organized lady in the land, (news flash!) so I worry that an item will sell and I won’t remember to remove it from another site. I also feel that if I’m paying to add an item to a site..I should give that site a chance. To list an item on several sites at once and having it sell immediately on one site, seems a waste of time and listing fees. So another option is to list on one site and after a certain amount of time, list on another. This of course, requires organization. lol.
So my concern is putting items only on Ruby Lane and no one seeing them. They could be good items that will sell quickly on Ebay or Etsy but they won’t because they are only in front of a smaller audience. – I think maybe I’ve answered my own question. Writing this out just gave me an idea. I just need to figure out the logistics.

What I’ve decided to do over the next month:

Research a bit more on Ruby Lane. Maybe there are a few tricks and tips I can track down that will help with views and sales. There is a way to see items that have recently sold…I will study those a bit more, especially in my niches. On the main Ruby Lane page…click “Relax” in the top left screen and hit “What’s Selling?”.

Increase my promoting of the Ruby Lane items using Pinterest, Instagram, etc..I need to work on bringing my own views to my items.

LIST MORE. No brainer. This is true on all my venues. It can’t sell if it ain’t listed.

So, even though I was excited to see that the shop setup fee is still at a low rate….I’m holding off on recommending people set up shop over there.
Especially if you are a newer seller. I think it definitely has potential…but every venue is not necessarily a fit for every seller. I’m trying this as an experiment…and if it requires too much from me to just get mediocre sales…I will drop back to focusing on my Etsy and Ebay shops. I may be spread too thin…and a Ruby Lane shop may require more of a commitment.

I think if you are an experienced seller who is looking for a new challenge, the next few months may be a great time to run your own experiment. Here is the page with a fee schedule.  I do have a referral link if you’d like to try it out. (affiliate link)

I will update my thoughts on selling on Ruby Lane in a month or so and let you know if my efforts have made a change. 😉

The Times – They Are A’Changing

I have been meaning to pop in here for the last couple weeks and give an update on some decisions I’ve made. Figures…I didn’t make it here to sign in..and all of a sudden I get comments all over the place and my email notifications failed me! So if you had left a comment, I apologize about the delay in replying.

As you know I have struggled finding time for this blog. Creating content and making it appealing takes time! Blogging is still a viable way of communicating information these days but we can’t argue with the fact that social media has taken on a bigger and bigger role.

YouTube has spawned a whole generation of vloggers…after all, it’s easier to speak than to write (for some) and many prefer to watch than to read. I personally would rather read than watch…but it IS more time consuming putting together a coherent article.

Back when I started blogging..there were many vintage bloggers. There were link up parties and people were sharing their finds every week. It was fun. Slowly one by one, it’s dropped off and people have replaced that community with Facebook groups, Twitter and Instagram. Instant sharing!! A few minutes to type out a post.

So I’ve decided to use my Instagram account to cover more of the day to day aspects of the whole thrifting, reselling vintage process. Reselling tips, BOLOs (Be On the LookOut items), finds, sales, successes, flops…will all be part of my daily posting on Instagram.


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Follow me there! Here is the link.

If Instagram is not your thing…all of my Instagram posts automatically post over on my Facebook business page too!

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Let me make something clear. I am NOT shutting down the blog. I will still be working on my Selling Vintage A to Z series and have some other informational posts in the works.

But most of the time I feel guilty about not being more interactive with my readers and sharing the day to day parts of being a reseller. That is what social media will be good for.

Hope to see you over on Instagram or Facebook! If you start following me over there…leave a comment so I know you came from the blog! If you do follow me…you may have to make some changes in notifications so that you do see my posts. Or interact! FB and IG definitely interpret who we interact with…so feel free to like and leave comments!

Thanks for sticking with me!

How to Break A Thrifting Slump

If there’s one thing that’s true about this thrifting game, is that there’s not a whole lot of consistency. This can be good for some of us (me! me!) that get bored quickly and don’t do well with routines.
The finds are either feast or famine and the sales seem to go that way too.

IMG_6402I’ve told you about my future plans and my (half-hearted) attempt at slowing down the acquisition end of this business. But I’ve come to a very important conclusion.

I *NEED* to thrift!!

Thrift store

News flash! lol. No, I’m serious. I’ve determined that it’s the thrifting that keeps me going. It’s a reward system if you will. The excitement of the hunt and the find (yay!) carries over to the listing process. That excitement makes me want to get my finds out there and shared!! And hopefully sold!

Without that treasure hunt…I slow down in every other aspect of this business. I lose my mojo.

What I’ve found is also important…is finding GOOD stuff.

In the last few months I haven’t strayed much from my regular thrifting routine. There’s a Goodwill next to my grocery store…so that gets hit at least once a week. Also once a week, I run down a few towns over to my closest Value Village…which also has a Goodwill across the street. That’s generally what I have time for each week. And I love me my Value Village.
There’s one more Goodwill that’s about 1/2 hour away in another direction. It used to be my favorite, but it’s been pretty disappointing lately so I generally only go out there every 2 weeks…or sometimes just once a month.

But I’ve been SO BORED!

Believe me, I manage to find some things. But nothing super exciting. Nothing to get your heart pounding as you approach the shelf or bag wall. I know I can’t have home runs every week…but I was getting tired of seeing the same stuff every week.

I knew I needed to thrift out of my ZONE and see some fresh merchandise. I was plotting and planning and trying to figure out how to get out of town….lol…when the perfect opportunity came up!

We went up north about 3 hours to the area we’d like to move to and spent the afternoon house hunting. But in the MORNING…while the boys were running errands with Hubby…I got to hit another Value Village. I spent about 2 hours there and it was so satisfying. One more Goodwill in the evening and I was flying high. I called it research for moving. Ahem, yes, research.
Just to know that everything in the store was stuff you hadn’t seen before…and had potential…was so much fun.

I can’t say I had any huge home runs…but I managed to find a few things in my main niches.

Jewelry
This Value Village had TONS of jewelry. And most of it was out and available…not locked in the case.
DSC_0102Here’s what I found. A few of the names: Monet, Samuel Huang (the totem looking earrings…not the best buy…my memory failed me on that one…but you win some you lose some) Mizpah, Jorgen Jensen (the cuff links!), Bergere, Deauville, some 80s wonders. The bow shaped earrings inside the red Monet necklace are marked KJL: Kenneth Jay Lane. And the heart earrings just below that are Givenchy believe it or not.

Sewing Patterns

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Again, nothing super exciting. Some bread and butters. This was the thrift store that I found the Simplicity Jedi costume pattern that sold for $145.

Sigh. The moments we live for.

So. Nothing so exciting this time but we live ON these types of finds and sales.

Flatware

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Yay! I found flatware. My thrifts have been fairly dry in this department…not that I NEED more flatware to list…but again…I need the thrill to get me listing flatware again! I found one nice biggish bag that has some Oneida Twin Star flatware pieces and some good Ikea pieces. (Not all Ikea is great to sell…but there’s one pattern I keep my eyes out for and this bag has a few).
What I’m planning on doing in my next post is unbagging these flatware finds and letting you see exactly what’s there and how I’ll probably list them. Sound like a plan?

So as you can see, I did stay in my niches for the most part…Here are 2 of the outside-the-niche items…but the fabric can nicely get added to the bins of fabric I procrastinate on listing and the cheeky Starbucks mug is a super easy list.

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Oh and I almost forgot! I found this necktie. It’s from the late 1930s and it’s practically already sold through a Facebook group. Isn’t it lovely?

DSC_0030So how about you? How is the thrifting in your area? Do you hit slumps?
How do you handle them? Ever do a thrifting road trip? Comment below!

An Invitation to My Readers

I’ll be honest with you. There have been countless times in the last few months (of not blogging) that I’ve told myself to just come here and put a “sign” up on the blog saying “Temporarily Closed. Come back in the Fall”.

But something held me back. I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I’m not sure why. It certainly would have been more polite than just ignoring y’all for months on end.

MtRainier(obligatory blog photo cuz just text is boring -it’s Mt Rainier, btw)

Let me just (briefly) give you a rundown of what’s been standing in the way of me and this blog. Not exactly excuses, but maybe giving you an understanding of what my brain has been full of.

1. Let’s just start with normal life that all of us deal with. Kids. Homework help. Cooking. Cleaning. Laundry. Budgeting. Everyday life. You get it.

2. Volunteer work. This is a major part of my week and makes me happy. It gives me purpose and so I gladly sacrifice other activities to be a part of it. It takes up about the same time as a part time job.

3. Online selling. I’m still selling online on Ebay and Etsy. Still have 3 shops on Etsy but I’ve downgraded my Ebay shop to just a Basic level one. Since I’ve ramped up my volunteer work, I have done less selling and less sourcing but it’s still a major part of my week.

4. HealthFirst off, our family finally found a dentist we like and we’ve been catching up on things we’ve put off too long. I had a tooth pulled and will be dealing with an implant soon. All these appointments take time and affect my stress levels.
Second, I’ve had some health issues come up. Some of them female related and some related to just things being out of whack. I’ve basically come to the conclusion that the cure for them is changing my diet and adding exercise.
Definitely easier said than done. Cutting sugar and carbs requires thought, planning and time. Cooking and food prep is definitely NOT my forte and so it stresses me more than the average bear. It’s been a roller coaster ride with this…hoping to get better at sticking with it.
But also comforting, in a way, to know that some of the things I’ve been battling…lethargy, depression, anxiety, etc…are symptoms of my health issues and so there’s hope of getting better!

5. Impending changes. Okay, so on top of ALL that, we’ve decided we are ready for a move to a new area (about 3 hours away) and in conjuction with that, are looking into buying our first home. We are just at the beginning of this process so there’s still a long way to go.
Another change is that next fall we are going to start homeschool both of our boys.
Okay. Enough. I’m exhausting myself just reading this. lol

What This Means and What Is This Invitation of Which You Speak?

What this means is that I’m taking a look at my online businesses and where I want to go with them. Do I want to pack up and move my inventory? What exactly do I want to source and sell? How do I work smarter and not harder with so many demands on my time? How can I maximize income since we will soon have more expenses?

A lot to think about. So like I said, I thought to just put the blog on hiatus and come back when the dust settles and let you know how it all turns out.

But I think that’s a mistake. I think I need to bring you, my readers, on the journey with me. Maybe you’re in a similar spot or maybe you have some insight or advice to help me.

So that’s my invitation: Don’t give up on me!

I am always brimming with ideas for blog posts and of course I have the Selling Vintage A to Z series to continue with.  I am going to attempt getting more organized and actually scheduling time for working on the blog…even if I feel like I should be listing instead.

As I was taking notes on this post this morning, I got a message through my blog from a reader…before this was even published….that just blew me away at its timing. It made me feel like I’m on the right track. In a day or so, I’ll share that with you.

Listing Challenge 2017 ~ Week Two ~ Turn That Stash into Cash!

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Well, the first week is done. How did you do? Did you turn some stash into cash? Or at least get some of it out there where it can be purchased…instead of sitting on a shelf or in a bin? (This post may contain affiliate links)

I’m pretty happy with how the week went. I felt like the challenge made me push myself a bit more and gave me a bit more of a focus.

Maybe you saw on Facebook, one of the groupings I started with is pictured here:

IMG-9400If you remember, the challenge I was focused on last week, was to grab 2 stash items for every 1 “newer” item I was intending to list. The stack of books in the back is called Value Tales and I’ve sold them before on Ebay so that’s where this stack went. I picked them up a couple weeks back at the thrift store.
The other 2 “stash” items up front are Dymo Label Makers. Old school fun!!
The Dymo Slimline is fairly rare but I’ve actually found and sold one before so it was a quick tweak and relist. The Dymo 1570…I’ve sold a few of those without the case and extras so that was an easy list as well.

DSC_0104So why were they on the stash?? Well honestly it was because I wanted to add extra rolls of tape and we couldn’t find the bag o’tape we’ve collected. Hubby knew it was around but I just had to wait until he unearthed it. So into the stash they went. Well he found the tape a few weeks ago so I knew my time had come.
DSC_0113And guess what? After being listed a couple days…they both SOLD! To two different people on two different continents…but within 3o minutes of each other. Isn’t online selling fun??
The Slimline sold for $46 and the Dymo 1570 chrome model sold for $54.

STASH INTO CASH, BABY!!

So that did help motivate me a bit more. I pushed a bit harder, worked later into the evenings and decided what to pull out and work on ahead of time. With my increasingly busy schedule and reduced time for working, this was essential.
One grouping was these craft kits.

IMG-9409((sorry for the wonky photo…I’m way too tired to fix it right now..lol))

Some I had just thrifted recently but the others were in my bin of craft stuff. Some listed, some unlisted, some used to be listed but who knows what happened. I got about half of it listed in various venues but I’m still working on it. I’m a slow lister. 🙂

Another motivating factor is that Hubby re-opened his Etsy shop! Having someone else listing some of the backlog just takes so much of the load off. Plus, he can do the pesky stuff I was really putting off. Honestly, some of it were things HE thrifted so I’m glad he’ll take care of them. 😉

Check out his shop here: Metal and Tweed.

Well, I can’t put it off any longer. I’m sure you’re dying to know how I did with the second half of my goal. The *gulp* NO THRIFTING part.

I failed. But I failed stupendously. Because I scored this Bakelite bangle stack…just hanging there at Value Village with the other plastic bangles. I have it in my Mod Cat Treasures jewelry shop. You can see it here.
DSC_0001 (4)I’ll just say, remember I had to return a pair of jeans? So that’s really why I set out. And…and…Hubby was home listing…and thrifting is therapy…and…and…I didn’t buy much…and…and…dang it. I have no self control.

Oh well. There’s always next week.

Speaking of.

Here are my challenges for this upcoming week. Nov 8-14. Wed to Tues. 
If you care to join in, I’ll be trying to continue to pull from my stash while whittling away at the newer acquisitions.

My main challenge will be to LOT THINGS UP. Sometimes this is just the fastest way to move things. Selling things individually does make more money, but it’s slower. I think I will look at my different niches and see if I can make a lot for each one.
I have started a flatware lot. Stainless flatware. I have a box that I throw flatware in as I sort it out at the time of purchase. Mostly stuff that it still in great shape but is just a lesser known brand, unmarked, or not worth my time to list separately. These lots sell to camps, church groups, etc…I’m trying to make the lot of fairly good quality but clearly not really a resale lot. I have needed to do this lot for a long time…it’s overflowing…so this is the week!
But I think I’ll lot up some sewing patterns and maybe some jewelry. Sometimes it just feels good to move some inventory OUT.

Can you think of anything you can lot up this week? Let us know how your Listing Challenge is going!!

What’s Been Selling – A Follow Up to the Listing Challenge

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(This post has affiliate links.)
Wow, do I have some catching up to do or what!? There seems to be a few times in every year where my blogging just slows to a crawl…or more like a standstill. Summer. And December.
Quarter 4 is generally the best online selling season and around November and December I’m just focused on shipping and listing.
In November, (along with some of you) I tried to focus on listing some of my backlog of inventory.  The Stash to Cash Listing Challenge was fun…although I started out stronger at the beginning of the month…then life got busy! I’m sure that was true for most of you too. But I hope it inspired you to at least get some older stock moving.

It worked pretty well for me too. I dug out some older items and some of them sold. Of course, I wasn’t very disciplined about NOT thrifting but I managed to stay on top of those newer items pretty well. Some of those sold. And then just the increased activity in general led to some items that had been listed a long time finally moving on out. Here are some examples:
dsc_0032This set of billiard balls has been hanging around way too long. I won’t link to the Ebay listing since the link won’t last very long. But it sold for $75 and I got positive feedback so all is well. See that? $75 just sitting on my shelf. *shakes head*

dsc_0047-001This vintage cookbook by Esquire magazine is for the “pioneering male” and “for the woman who wants to be the perfect hostess”. It had fabulous illustrations by Charmatz. You can see some of them in the listing here. It went for $25 to an overseas buyer fairly quickly. Again, it was a book I picked up that I knew was awesome but for some reason just stuck it on a shelf.

dsc_0007I don’t remember where or when I picked up these copper measuring cups. But they needed polishing and things like that tend to slow me down and hold me up. lol. But I got Hubby to work on that for me…I got them listed and within a few days they were gone. Here’s the listing. Copper kitchen stuff sells well for me.

dsc_0052Speaking of copper, this match holder went super quickly as well! I just need to look for copper items I guess! It wasn’t too long ago that I picked this up but I didn’t list it right away. Finally did and it sold for $20.

dsc_0038-001This fabulous tile trivet is decorated with a design by Bjorn Wiinblad and again was an item that I dug out of one of my bins. One of those items that I thought “what? why in the world is this still in here?”. It was like thrifting all over again. 🙂 It also sold quickly (yikes, do you sense a pattern?) for $34.
Some of the other things that sold that I listed as part of my listing challenge were:
Walt Disney book and record lot.
Three vintage safety razors. They were in bad shape..I sold them as-is and they sold overnight.
An Avon tennis bracelet on Ebay. (more about jewelry in an upcoming post)

There’s a sampling about how beneficial it can be to attack that stash!! I’m glad I did. And I’m trying to continue to do so as well. How well did you do?

So a few of our upcoming topics on the blog. I hope to shoot out a couple more posts before the end of the year and then hit it harder in January again.
~ How many Etsy shops do you need?
~ A Vintage Education ~ Syroco products
~ Some fun thrifting finds!
~ And another Meet the Vintage Seller feature. Those are always fun!

Any other types of posts you’d like to see? Leave a comment!

Oh and as a side note, if I missed a sale price in one of my mentions or there are other Etsy sale prices you’d like to see, check out my post “How to Find Completed Sale Prices on Etsy”. It’s easy-peasy!