I’m a reseller. I’m source beautiful items and I take a big risk that someone else will find them beautiful as well. I want my clients to recognize the value in not having to spend upwards of 20 to 30 hours just on the two days of the weekend hunting around for items, like we do, sometimes hitting big, sometimes losing out, coming home empty-handed and dejected. We do this because we are passionate about every part of this process.
I love that my business is about using what is already in circulation on the planet. I love that my items are saved from a lonely life on a dusty shelf. I then refurbish, clean, restore and adopt them into homes where new families, sometimes several generations, will love and care for them.
I love having a specific person in mind when I find something amazing, and conversely I love when I happen upon an item that’s in my request book and I can make someone’s day with a “I FOUND IT!” photo. I love-LOVE-putting the perfect item into the perfect hands. I am PASSIONATE about helping people avoid mass-produced big box store shopping, and I am passionate about saving and repurposing items from bygone eras that might otherwise be put to death at the local Goodwill dumpster or in someone’s fire pit.
Let’s talk about haggling
I know it’s a common practice to haggle at a garage sale. People at garage sales are often folks that are simply unloading their excess things, and often the prices are marked a little high just to leave room for negotiation. Sometimes I ask for a discount, but often I don’t, because I decide in a split second what an item is worth to me. If it’s worth to me what they’re asking, I’ll pay it. If I’m struggling with a decision, I might come back at the end of the day and ask. Often I’ll buy several things at the asking price and then ask for a discount on something I might have been on the fence about. Today I stood around a hot parking lot for almost an hour trying to decide, at the end of the day and with my last bit of money, whether I would buy an item. In the end, I got the item for half off and several things for free because they were about to drop it all off at Goodwill. But earlier in the day I’d loaded my car from their garage sale, so they felt food about cutting me that deal and I felt OK about taking it.
Resellers are different from your typical neighborhood yard sale. Resellers with etsy stores or ebay stores or booths in the antique mall have overhead, pay commissions and fees, and spend the large majority of their free time on their business. Resellers who use online sales tools to manage their business also must pay taxes on any money that passes through their store. Ebay charges a percentage of the shipping cost as a commission on top of their listing fee and their final value fee, which is outside the PayPal service fee added to any payment processed through paypal.
- Wake up before dawn on weekend days,
- Spend entire days getting in and out of the car in extreme temperatures(we don’t decide not to do our job when the weather is 100 degrees or 30 degrees)
- Put up our own capital in order to stock inventory, clean up, test, and sometimes repair everything they buy
- Stage photographs, take photographs, edit the photographs,
- Research the inventory
- Put sets together
- Put sometimes hundreds of miles in a day on their car, costing wear and tear on the car and gas.
Weekends are not family time, they are 12 hour work days. On NON inventory days, resellers write sexy copy for their ads, create product listings in various online formats , communicate with potential buyers, prepare items for shipping, and make several trips a week to the post office (unless they pay for a postage service, another little overhead charge that’s factored into an item price.)
I’m not saying you should never ask for a discount at a resale store or in an antique market. I’m asking that, when you consider the pricing in a vintage store, that you be sensitive about the process that brought this particular piece into your life.
Yeah you may have seen a particular pot or necklace or picture frame at a yard sale two months ago for 1/2 of what it’s listed at in someone’s etsy store, and my response to folks that have that sort of input for me is that they should absolutely shop around for the best deal they can get relative to the effort they’re willing to put in. I hold no grudges about this. As I said, I am passionate about my business and my business is helping people find items that perfectly fit their lifestyle. Anyone whose lifestyle prevents them from shopping with me is welcome to any and all information that I can share about where and how to find their own amazing deals. In the big picture, the idea is to prevent useful items from being sentenced to death in a landfill.
Let’s do that! We can do it together! if you’d like tips, email me. If you’d like to buy some of my items, check my etsy store which launches next week! (If you’d like to be on a mailing list for the launch, shoot me an email or comment on this post and I’ll send you an invitation and a discount code that you can use in the store.) If you’d like to request a specific item, contact me with a photo and a budget. I will do my level best to make it happen for you.
I find things.
Edit: I forgot that I’d wanted to list some of my favorite online resellers and reseller blogs:
I read Apron Thrift Girl and her advice has been great. She also often lists lovely items on her blog.
If you have a great suggestion, add it in the comments!