I have stuff to sell, now what?

 
 

As I become more connected with sellers and buyers in our area and friends begin to refer people to me, I feel it necessary to explain my position in what I do.  The glory of TV and other flipper type shows is all great in theory, but in reality, I work ALOT and do not really make that much money at this point.  I am paying my car through my business which is great, but I take no other money out and reinvest back into new inventory.  It takes me sometimes 6 months or a year to move things so I am very picky about what I add to my stash.  That said, please reach out as I will consider things in my 50s to 70s era but I am not interested in colonial or traditional furnishings.  Mid Century Modern. Danish Modern and other things in that realm are what I look for.  Feel free to send me pics of what you have.  If you would like to know what something you have is worth, I will give you some recommendations on where you can research, but if you want me to do that research for you, I would gladly consider it for a reasonable fee to cover my time. I also would gladly refer you to a local estate cleaner if you need help cleaning an entire property.  I work with a few and yes, there are fees and costs involved but unless you want to pack a truck and sit a flea market all day for months with not much return, take my word for it, the time you save and hassle is much less cutting your losses and getting a professional involved. I have many hours logged photographing, researching and listing my items not to mention the cleaning, restorations packing and fixing I do.  

What can I expect to sell my item for to a reseller?

I cannot speak for every reseller out there, but most of us are looking for inventory in thrift stores, yard sales and estate sales.  Many thrifts are now attaching ebay print outs with their crazy high prices which is one reason that I am staying out of thrifts for most of my buying.  As trends shift so do price.  What is hot now may not be hot a month from now.  I prefer to buy bulk deals.  Make a pile and offer a price for all of it.  For example, I met a person looking to sell off a real nice bar collection.  She offered me a fair but high price (still well under retail in my markets) to buy all of it and I took a risk on it.  I still have some items left but I managed to sell what it cost me to obtain rather quickly.  As a seller, you should not be worried about what I get for your items.  You should be happy that it is out of your life, take the money I pay you and move on.  Too many people focus on the, but this dining set is worth $2000.  It might be, to someone who is looking for it.  But I am focusing on finding that person and you are focusing on clearing out your property.  I always approach buying appointments with caution as I do not know what this person is thinking their stuff is worth to sell.  It causes me some stress.  I try my best to be frank and honest and yes, I will tell you what I think it is worth in my market and also that I cannot pay you half of that because well, I have lots of fees and expenses and the labor to clean, pack and ship your item.  I do not get an hourly paycheck and if I squander my profit away making bad deals I am only hurting myself.  

Researching tips.

If you found something in the attic you think is cool but would like to see what it is worth, your best bet is to check ebay.  Ebay is a national market.  That said, to realize some of the prices obtained, you must be willing to pack and ship said item.  Packing is a responsibility.  If you sell glass, be forewarned that you need to have the proper packing materials like peanuts and bubble wrap and boxes.  If you do not want to invest in these items to make a few bucks, then you need to not ship.  Nothing is worse than receiving a broken item from a bad shipper.  Search by brand or style and see if you find any like yours for sale, make mental note of price points, but then go one step farther by clicking ADVANCED and then selecting SOLD.  This will show you actual prices on closed sales.  This is what people paid for that item.  Asking prices are just that.  SOLD prices are what is reality.  Sometimes you will find a range.  I personally like to be on the lower end of the range.  I do not want to keep this stuff forever.  You can also check other sources like web sites and things but sometimes it really is hard to nail it down.  There are also many copies and fakes out there, especially with furniture.  I pride myself on being well educated in my area of expertise.  I do what it takes to research my rarer items and especially high end furnishings I am restoring.  

I hope my food for thought gives you some insight to what I do day to day to run my business.  I work all the time, pack orders well into the night and am buying on all of my travels.  My vacation this year even led me to spend a few hours researching a sculpture in a museum and I picked up some items on my way home.  It is a way of life I guess and although I love it, it will take more work to make a living doing it.  xo Malissa