Wednesday, July 22, 2015

In Search of Smalls

I never used to think too much about the size or weight of things I was buying to sell. I bought what I liked, what caught my eye and what I thought I could make a profit. As a result I've got some large items that have been sitting for quite a while waiting to be listed. Staring at me. Lamps, vintage folding chairs, golf clubs, a vintage crib and more. What was I thinking?

Something finally clicked in my brain and lately I've been concentrating on finding good smalls. Why? Several reasons.
  • I've been trying to get my workspace more organized and every time I bring in a big bag of new purchases I think to myself where is all of that going to go? Of course I don't think of that when I'm buying the stuff. 
  • When I'm doing my shipping it becomes apparent how much harder it is to package up large, heavy, bulky or weird shaped items. First you have to find a box that fits. Often you have to cut it down to be the right size. 
  • When I"m carrying a haul from the thrift store to my car and then from my car up the stairs and into my house it's so much easier when it's a nice light bag. 
  • It is usually easier on the pocket book. 
  • And lastly taking pictures of small items is also super easy.  

I find it takes some more digging to find these items because good smalls are usually hidden under other smalls! But it's worth it when you find a hidden gem. Below are some recent small finds that I was happy to come across.

I bought this Beatrix Potter rubber stamp today for .50. I've got it listed for $21. It weighs just a few ounces. It will easily fit in a flat rate mailer or go first class.

I found this cute vintage scottie night light yesterday again for .50. I've got it listed for $25. Again it weighs a few ounces. 

I have this vision that I don't think is realistic but is just a cool dream of only selling smalls. Everything would be neatly tucked away into drawers and cabinets and you wouldn't even be able to tell it was a workroom! Hah! With 1100 items currently in my inventory I don't really think that is possible but it makes for a pleasant daydream. What are some of your favorite smalls? 

Edited to Add: So today I went to a rummage sale. Bought a few smalls that fit into a plastic grocery bag. And then I bought 4 vintage cast iron claw feet from a tub or stove……So starting tomorrow….


  1. I always look for smalls in the bottom of boxes of stuff. Sometimes you can find real treasures like religious medals, casino tokens, miniatures, odds and ends stuff. But aside from the smallest of treasures, here is what I usually keep in mind when I'm out sourcing: "Will this fit into a flat rate padded mailer?" I have two sizes of boxes that slide into that mailer and a lot of items will fit into one or the other including mugs. It's my package of choice. It's great for flatware which is heavy, some clothing, small toys and some smaller size shoes. It's the best bargain as far as shipping goes and I always worry the USPS is going to catch on and stop offering them. I try to limit my merchandise to that size range most of the time.

    1. Hi Lorraine. I was thinking of you when I was writing this post because I remembered you writing at one point how you had limited storage and tried to keep your items small. Great advice about the flat rate mailer. I use it a lot too.

    2. Yes, I had proclaimed that I wasn't going to buy anything that didn't fit into the palm of my hand. lol. I remember that!

  2. The only bigger things I pick up to resell are ones I can flip via Craigslist. Like baby gates, they always sell! Besides small, I also try to look for hard-to-break items. I once sold some flamingo Christmas ornaments and in spite of my best efforts at packaging them, they arrived with all their spindly legs broken. I sold a lot of clothes over the years partly because they are usually easy to ship (but stay away from coats!).

    1. LOL. I have quite a few coats :) Some faux furs that take up a lot of room, some leather jackets. Yeah. Like I said I never used to think about it. That's a good point about hard to break things.

  3. lol. I dream of my flatware/sewing pattern/vintage jewelry/ephemera empire...but in the meantime...i have the rest of my unlisted stuff.....

  4. I love the idea of buying smalls, but I have to say that I never find them. I seem to always overlook them and my eye is drawn to larger things. LOL