Okay, my mother’s voice is ringing in my head, and I know I shouldn’t end a sentence or question with a preposition. So, I should have correctly titled this post, “For what do I look?” Now that I’ve got that grammar guilt corrected, I wanted to share some things that I usually keep my eyes open for when out scouring garage sales, thrift stores, and estate sales. I’ve been seriously reselling now for just over two years, so I know I still have a lot to learn and a lot of treasures have passed my eyes unnoticed. But here are some things I have cataloged in my noggin and other pointers:
Vintage items galore, particularly mid century modern and Scandinavian items. Often times people just look at these items as old so sell them cheaply, not knowing there’s a market. Vintage games (video & board) can also sell well.
Christmas and holiday items I have a shelf in my hall closet just for this that I collect throughout the year to sell during the holidays. I especially look for ornaments. Vintage indent glass ornaments do well. I once bought some interesting ones with liquid filled glass bubbles in them for less than $1 at Goodwill, and quickly flipped them for $75.
Pottery (I see if I can find and read a signature or mark)
Name brand clothing (I need to get better at this, since I often overlook things because they’re not my size, forgetting that I can resell clothes and they’re easy to ship)
Fragrances (I recently sold some vintage French perfume to a well known music conductor in New York). I also keep my eyes open for Bath and Body Works and other modern fragrances. These often go cheap and they can make a decent profit
Books (I really need to get better at this as there’s a HUGE market for books). I have found some great books and they usually sell for cheap second hand. Just today I sold a book for $40 that I only paid $.50 for. <—-there we go with another sentence ending with a prepositional phrase. Thankfully my mom doesn’t read this blog! :-)
Dishes These also go for cheap, and some discontinued ones go for quite a bit as people need replacements, especially large plates. They can be a bit difficult to ship so I try to be careful to see if the amount of profit is worth it.
Purses and wallets I have found quite a few great purses and wallets second hand! Vintage Coach, Fossil, and Dooney and Bourke all sell well and I find them quite regularly. I recently bought some Thirty-One and Vera Bradley bags for cheap and was able to flip them quickly since they were “retired” patterns. The hard thing with this is that I like to often keep them myself!
Nostalgic toys Vintage toys can be highly collectible, especially since they bring back childhood nostalgia. For instance, old Fisher-Price Little People does really well. I have quite a few that I’m keeping for my daughter until she’s done playing with them. Vintage Barbie, of course, is great. Back in January I bought a box full of 1980s Jem dolls for just a couple of bucks, and netted around $500. Modern toys such as LeapFrog do well, too.
I always have my eBay app on the ready on my phone. If something looks interesting that I’m not familiar with, I’ll look it up under “completed listings” on eBay. I’m constantly learning new things, and can apply that to my future outings. I also consider shipping. If it’s difficult or expensive to ship, I consider if the profit is enough to justify buying it.
Reselling is certainly fun earning a little extra money (I’m not rolling in the dough here), but I think the most fun is finding “treasures” for other people, knowing it was just what they were looking for.