Full Steam Ahead

The first item I listed for sale on eBay was an all-in-one printer I had purchased in the throes of thinking I was going to become a mobile notary.  Yeah.  Didn’t happen.  Anyway!  I listed the printer one night and told myself not to get too excited because it might take a while to sell.  I woke up the next morning ready to look at my listing and chanting, “don’t be disappointed . . . don’t be disappointed . . . ” because deep down I was really hoping for a sale.

IT SOLD!  I look back now and see that I underpriced it, but I was glad to get anything back out of this still-in-the-box printer.  I started casually looking around the galactic interwebz for information about selling on eBay and I came across people who claimed to buy stuff at thrift stores and resell them.  I was a disbeliever for a long time – not that I thought these people were lying, but that there were reasons it wouldn’t work for me.  How many endeavors never begin because of the things we tell ourselves?  “Yeah, but they live in a large metropolitan area and I don’t!  I’m sure the Vegas area would never have cool stuff in thrift stores to resell!  They probably don’t have a full-time job like I do!”

I’ll save the details of getting past that for another post.  Today, I will address the question I am asked most about my eBay sales:  How do you know what will sell?  The answer is multifacted, and sometimes the answer is – I don’t!

  1. My parents drug me to antique stores throughout my youth.  I remember my mother frequently showing me things and exclaiming, “This is Blenko!” or “Look at this Wallace Nutting piece!”  So I’ve heard brand names that people (or least my mother) value throughout my life.  I’ve thanked my folks many times for bestowing this knowledge upon me.
  2. I subscribe to Suzanne A. Wells’ eBay blog, on which she frequently relates information about hot-selling items.
  3. I rely heavily on my mobile phone to search eBay sold listings to get a feel for how frequently an item sells and for how much.

The times when I don’t know if something will sell is when I rely on number 3.  The item below is a perfect example.

Mamod Miniature Steam Engine
Mini Steam Engine

I saw this at a Savers store and thought it looked cool and may appeal to steampunk aficianados.  I knew it was vintage-ish and it had a prominent brand name, so I whipped out my cell phone and pulled up eBay to search on the brand name Mamod and look at sold listings.  That’s when I discovered this is a miniature steam engine and they sell pretty frequently and for more than the asking price!  So I snatched that baby up!

So even without antique-mad parents, one can make money reselling thrift store buys on eBay!  Look up every brand name you see on quality-looking items, and soon you’ll get a feel for what people want to buy.  Or you’ll run out of battery.  Or both.  More eBay advice to come in the future.  I’d love to hear your questions and comments.  Thanks for stopping by!

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