Saturday, February 28, 2015

Interpret This!

I bought the weirdest fabric ever. I've been having fun trying to figure out what it 'means' and I thought it would be fun to hear what you all think as well. I'll put my thoughts down below so you can take a look at it and have your own ideas before reading mine.




So after much thought my interpretation is called 'the apple of my eye'. A face morphs into an apple with a cigarette in it's mouth which then becomes an apple core. Since the face has one eye I figured the other eye becomes the apple…The pattern repeats all over the fabric. I'm sure it means more than that…or maybe nothing at all! Just seems odd and somehow Dali-ish. Id love to hear what you think. 

Friday, February 27, 2015

The Best Finds of Woolrich and Pendleton Wool Coats

I'd like to start doing some posts on items researched when I'm researching for myself either an item I'm selling or just something I want to know more about and posting some of the results for others to use when out hunting.

This week I was at a thrift that had coats 1/2 off. This thrift store prices their coats high so even at 1/2 off I was looking at $10 and $20. The coats I was most interested in were a couple of Woolrich coats and a Pendleton. I was there right before closing so I decided to leave them on the racks and research them when I got home. The results of my research are below.

For both brands prints are by far the most popular sellers and get the highest prices. Red and black buffalo print is good and southwest style/indian blanket are very popular. I'm glad I did this research because I don't think the coats I was looking at were worth spending so much. Two were solid color and one had a print but not a popular style. Keep your eye out for these. I imagine there will be lots of sales on coats with spring around the corner. I'm hoping to come across one of the southwest style. I love the bright bold colors.

Pendleton 

Woolrich


Sunday, February 22, 2015

My Best Sales This Week

 

Lands End Boots paid $10 Sold for $37.99 plus shipping. I bought these for myself but they ended up not fitting. They were like new.




Vintage Kids Converse Sneakers Paid $3 Sold for $47.50. I learned a new trick with these shoes. The store had written the price in black marker on the soles. Previously I've been able to eraser off the marker. This time it was fading but still obvious. So what I did was I took some sand paper and lightly scrubbed at it until it came off. The soles were well worn anyway so it didn't look out of place. The eraser also worked to fade the black marks on the toe caps. 

 

Vintage Macrame Plant Hanger Paid $7 Sold for $94.99 plus shipping. This was 7 ft tall. I've sold a couple vintage macrame hangers but this was the biggest and most profitable. It smelled very musty when I purchased it but I left it hanging outside for a while and it totally cleared up.


Children's Video Tapes Paid ?? Sold for $33 plus shipping. I purchased these one at a time usually for 25-50 cents. They sat for a long time and took up too much room. 

Scottish Kilt Paid $3 Sold for $45 Best Offer plus shipping

Overall I had a good week of sales. It was very cold here and I didn't really want to go out thrifting so I was glad to keep busy shipping!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

My Trumpet Vine

It's very cold here today. Two degrees above zero. Here are some pictures of my trumpet vine from a few years back. I can't wait for warm weather to come again. These pictures make me feel it's nearish.
My vine has grown bigger since then. It's my favorite of anything in my yard (mostly weeds).



Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Scavenger Metamorphosis Complete



I never thought of myself as one of those people. People who save EVERYTHING because you might be able to use it some day. Balls of string. Rubber bands. Tin foil. I used to throw things out... Yesterday though I was shocked at a new behavior and realized I've been completely overtaken by this scavenger life form.


I was getting ready to list a VHS video tape still in it's shrink wrap. When I picked it up I could hear something moving around inside the tape so I had to open it up to check it out. Turned out the plastic casing was broken and a piece was lose. I threw the tape in my garbage and that was when IT happened. I felt bad putting this new tape in the trash! such a waste as it was new! so I took it back out. I looked at it. There must be something salvageable on it. The first thing I noticed were screws. About six tiny metal screws. I thought those are worth saving.  I'd never taken a tape apart before so it was interesting to see what was there when I took out the screws. I ended up saving the screws, spools and a few little pieces of metal and plastic that looked like they might be usable for some future project (sickness!). I still threw out the plastic case but felt much better about the whole deal. Have you ever done this type of thing?



Ryanne over at Scavenger Life recently made the analogy of our lifestyles of scavenging and the post apocalyptic world you see in movies. I like that analogy (or is it metaphor?).  I think part of the thrill of taking apart the tape was that I was somehow saving bits and pieces that could maybe some day save my life ;) Yeah, ya get weird thoughts working alone.

I come by this behavior honestly. I grew up with parents who were born during the depression. During my childhood my dad hunted and fished and we ate all manner of animals. Squirrel, rabbit, turtle, deer etc. I never realized until I was much older that my dad was also quite a pack rat and liked to 'fix' things with bits of other things he had lying around. I'm sure back then I would have thought it was silly but now I'm quite proud of him and glad that the gene has finally expressed itself in me :) I think the longer I stay out of the normal working world with it's materialistic pressures the more I will become this scavenger. I like that. I feel like I've finally found 'my people'.

So when the end of the world hits and you wonder where to go, head up to my place. I will have saved all kinds of bits and bobs that we can cobble together to re-establish life here on earth. Bring some of your stuff with you. I know you have some and it might be just what we need :)

all photos courtesy of pixabay

Monday, February 16, 2015

My Best Sales This Week - Best Week Ever!

I had my Best Sales Ever this week. Yesterday alone I made $283. Total sales for the week were almost $500.

My best sale was a set of artwork. I bought these from an estate sale of an art gallery. They are watercolors. I bought them because I loved them and thought if I didn't sell them I'd keep them (I think that frequently). I paid $5 each so a total of $30 and they sold for $189.99 plus shipping. I believe they are original illustrations done for a children's book. One of them says 'Western' on  it and Western Publishing used to be here in the city I live. They are very cool.


I also sold this Maggy London Jacket. I'd had it a long time. Nice lined jacket. I paid less than $5 and it sold for $38.99 free shipping. I took an offer on it.


Yesterday I also sold this Isabel Bloom eagle. I think I've mentioned Isabel Bloom pieces before on my blog. She did mostly animals and children. They are collectable and I've found several while sourcing. I own a small one myself that I got as a gift several years ago which is how I recognized my first one in the wild. I think I have two more listed in my store. I believe someone must have died and a collection was donated to the thrift because I found five or six in one thrift store over a time period of a few weeks. I paid $3 for him and he sold for $37.99 plus shipping. 


So those were my best sales of the week. All sold yesterday and interestingly all were on sale. I decided to run a sale yesterday, just 5% off. I never see much activity from sales so I was shocked yesterday that all three of these items sold just hours after I started this sale. 

I've been continuing to get stale inventory listed and I'm seeing the fruits of my labors with increased sales the last few weeks. I've got my inventory up to 980. I'm very slowly inching to my goal of 1000. It's like trying to lose that last two pounds after you lose 50 :) 

I'm glad today is a postal holiday because I had two items sell that I can't find…I will need to find those today so they can go out tomorrow.  This happens to me too often and causes lots of un-needed stress. I had to cancel a sale a couple of weeks ago because I couldn't find a book I'd sold. Instant defect. 

I hope you enjoyed hearing about my best week ever. It feels unbelievable. I know other people regularly have days and weeks like this but for me this was a surprise. I'm slowly getting to the place where my income will actually cover my expenses. 


Monday, February 9, 2015

My Best Sales This Week

My last couple weeks of sales has been pretty good with my average sale price up (from $20 to $30) and total sales up. Why? Two reasons. First. I've been making myself list stuff that has been sitting around waiting for me to do the research. Let me explain. I get items that will sell for more but often they are going to take more work to research or prep. So I do all the quick and easy stuff first and the other doesn't get done. So I've been gettin' er done. As a result I've been listing and selling some higher dollar items (I'll show some below in a second).

The other thing that I think is making a difference is I've been putting higher prices on things. On the advice of other sellers mostly over at Jay and Ryannes I see that I need to ask more if I want to get more. I may be undervaluing my items. So I'm starting out higher when first listing something. And things are selling at the higher prices! It's amazing and yet a little scary. I have this fear that people are going to get their item and think they paid too much for it. So along with listing something almost every day I think these new habits are helping my sales.

So here are some of my best sales from the past week.

I bought this set of hand painted bird wall hangings as part of a $1 bag sale. I took a best offer of $40 for them plus shipping. I was asking 79.99 for them. What?! Part of my higher pricing strategy. They took just a couple of weeks to sell.


I paid a dollar for this vintage super bowl hat at an estate sale. Sold for $39.99 plus shipping to an overseas buyer. 



These vintage tv trays were free to me. A friends parent died and these were going to go to the thrift store as none of the kids wanted them. They sat around unlisted for about a year because I was nervous about packing and shipping them. They sold about 1 week after listing for $59.99 plus shipping. I used UPS for the first time to ship them as that was much more reasonable than USPS. Luckily I had a perfect box from a sink I purchased a couple of years ago and some sheets of styrofoam to pad them.  It wasn't the nightmare I envisioned. 


This last sale was a nice little surprise. It's a piece of vintage unfinished embroidery. There were threaded needles still in it. I got it at an estate sale for very little. This was something I bought more out of personal emotion than thinking it was a great find. I'm from the midwest and I just thought it was cool. I wasn't sure how to price it and couldn't find anything quite like it to compare so I priced it at $24.99 plus shipping which I thought was pretty high. It's not very big at only 16" long. It sold within a week! 


So my lesson learned was to push my prices a little higher than what my "instinct" says. And to quit avoiding my trickier inventory and just get it listed. It can't sell if it's sitting and waiting for me to make a 'perfect' listing. 

Do you undervalue your items? or avoid listing weird or hard to photograph or ship inventory? Tell me about it in the comments :)





Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Video Tutorial: Customizing Your Shipping Options



This morning I made a video tutorial showing how to customize shipping options when using GSP (Global Shipping Program). This is my first ever video and I didn't really prepare ahead of time so my apologies for the long hesitations in the beginning. I probably should have done it over again but I'm lazy :) One thing I forgot to mention in the video is you can go into your old listings and change them as well but I don't think you can do it as a bulk edit so it does take a long time to change old listings if you have a large store. I'm not sure why the video is blurry when enlarged. But again I'm lazy so I probably won't be redoing it. I hope it's clear enough for you to tell what I'm doing!

Edited to Add. When you add alternative shipping methods to a country that shuts off Global Shipping Program for that country. 


video

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Another Mystery Buy

I purchased this praying hands metal wall hanging at an estate sale yesterday. I'm curious about the symbols in the right corner. Is anyone familiar with them? The plaque was made in West Germany. The people who lived in the house traveled a lot and the symbol looks sort of asian to me. I haven't googled the image yet but I did search on ebay using 'praying hands' and didn't find anything. Well a quick google image search and I did find it. I have to verify the info but it appears that is an 'A' over a 'D' for ALBRECHT DÜRER an artist who did a drawing called Praying Hands around 1508. Google is amazing! I'll update later with any more interesting information I find out.