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Traditionally, this is the time of year that our sales start to slow. The summer slump seems to start early for us, and we fight back by trying to ramp up our number of items before our sourcing budget starts to dwindle. In the past, stocking up on hardgoods has been one of the best ways for us to weather the summer doldrums. While summer-specific clothing still moves, our clothing stock is more focused on jackets, sweaters, jeans, etc.
Our store is still made of 75% clothing, but we are trying to source at least 50% hardgoods when we thrift – so the balance is slowly shifting!
Old intercom systems (and most other functional old technology) are always a great seller. We only pick them up if we can find two or more together, because then you can test them and sell them as a functioning set. Single units (that the sellers were unable to test) were selling in the $12-15 range, but we managed to move ours in less than a month!
If you see a strange looking shoe at a thrift store, you better be looking it up! Nearly every strange product has a small but cult-like following who swears that nothing else will work for them. Z-coil shoes are no longer produced, and some bring much better money that even these did. Just make sure the base plate is solid and there is no separation!
I went down the aisle where this little camp stove was and totally missed it. Thank goodness for Kirstie! I was standing about 5 feet from it going through my cart when she waltzed over and picked it up. This stove was super tiny (about 5″x5″) though, so I didn’t feel too bad about not seeing it. As with the intercoms, functional vintage sells! Maybe it’s nostalgia?
We’ve written before about finding the same thing again and again. This was the 7th typewriter of this model we have found and sold. 3 new in the box which sold with 2 minutes of listing, and 4 others in various states of used (all functional). None of them lasted more than a week! We normally don’t pick up typewriters because they’re a pain to ship, but this one is still in use in business places today, and when people need replacements, they don’t have many options. Interestingly, 6 of the 7 we’ve sold have been drop-shipped. We got the routine “Hey this is a gift, please don’t include any price or invoice and let me know when you ship it….” meaning they’re sending it blind to a customer. We have no problem with that since we made our money, but it does make us wonder who they’re selling them to and for how much!
I hate selling purses. Well, that’s not true. I hate not selling purses…because they typically don’t sell well. We have a shelf full of purses that we just can’t seem to move. The secrets to finding purses that do actually sell seem to be: Good brand (duh), know the model name, take great pictures, and then wait!
We didn’t have any fancy set-up to take this picture. The bag is stuffed with paper, sitting on a piece of bent poster board, and I’m holding the straps up with an upside down hanger with one hand while I take a picture with the other. All that matters is the result!
This guitar was the bane of my existence. I bought it for $16 but when I got it home, the electronics didn’t work. I fixed them ($20 for parts) and got it listed. I couldn’t take it to our storage unit though because it gets too hot there and heat wrecks guitars. So it kicked around my picturing room for 6 months or so until it finally sold. I had to make a custom box for it and we had to eat a bit on the shipping cost since it ended up being both larger and heavier than expected. The day it arrived I received an angry message asking “How in the world is this a Les Paul?! It doesn’t say Les Paul anywhere on it!!” I had to explain to them that Les Paul was both a brand and a style and, if they wanted a Les Paul brand guitar they needed to be looking in the $500+ range for a used one. I admitted that I made a mistake with not saying “Les Paul Style“ in the listing though. They never messaged me again despite my attempts to reach out to them so I assume everything ended up fine. Was all that worth $90 in profit? Ehhhh…maybe.
This pack was super beat up. I guess the words “broken in” sound more attractive, but it had several holes and someone had sloppily sewn patches over them. However, it was a great brand and outdoor peeps will often pay for for a beat up used item from a brand they love and want to rep, rather than getting a brand new item from a different brand for the same price.
This is one of our great secret BOLOs! Vacuum parts and accessories are money in the bank. People become very loyal to their vacuum brands, and when they’re discontinued, turn to eBay to replace lost or broken parts. I’m not even sure what vacuum this was for, but we didn’t need to know to sell it! Some of the most recognizable vacuum accessories are from Dyson, and we usually get $30-40 for a set.
We found these boots at an Antique Mall and they still had the $14.99 sticker from Savers on the bottom. No, the seller was not asking $14.99 for them… I can’t knock their hustle though, and since these were made in the USA I knew there was still room for profit! I ended up getting them for $30 (he was running a 50% off sale to clear everything out), and thoroughly conditioned the leather before getting them listed. I always condition the leather on old boots – as it softens it, cleans it, and brightens up the color! Just make sure you do it 24 hours or so before taking pictures, as the color can take a while to settle as the conditioner dries.
Brand sells! We grabbed this Tumi bag at the Goodwill outlet after it was thrown back by someone else. There was a huge tear next to the zipper along the entire top of the bag, but we figured some enterprising soul would want to fix it. We paid right around $4 for it and just made sure to describe and picture everything well!
One of the main reasons this sold so well was that it was a backpack duffel (yes, we misspelled it in the title…) Travel bags with backpack straps sell extremely well and we always make sure to pick them up.
Since we live in an area with a church on every corner, we find expensive-but-slightly-dated sound equipment on a pretty regular basis. Anything that is still functional still has value to someone who is trying to set up a sound system of their own. A lot of the audio items we sell go to individuals who could never have purchased a $2,000 audio piece when it was new, but wants to build a personal system – and will happily pay for a high-quality used item.
This holster took forever to sell and ended up going for much less than we originally expected. Because it is a fairly rare item, we couldn’t find a list for the guns that actually fit it. So we could just list it with the information we had and hope for the best. We originally listed it at $110 and had a lot of interest, until a nice fellow messaged us and said that we had it listed incorrectly. We asked for more info and he gladly told us what he knew! After we listed it the right way, it took about 8 months of us dropping the price for it to finally sell.
One day when we were checking out at Savers, I was making small talk with the cashier. Somehow or another we got on the subject of people who “go out to the car to get their wallet” and never come back to pay for their stuff. The cashier mentioned that this had happened just the day before with a guy who was trying to pay a bunch of Metallica tapes. Wait what?! Metallica tapes? Are they back on the shelf? We ran over and grabbed these 7 tapes and another 8 Iron Maiden tapes. Moral of the story: It pays to be nice and talk to people!
This was one of Kirstie’s finds. Unfortunately, the Goodwill we were at split everything up and she had to dig through all the linens in the store to find what she did. We didn’t end up getting the fitted sheet, but we got everything else!How was your April? Is the summer slump hitting you yet?