This past weekend marked my one year anniversary of selling on Amazon. I was curious to download my Custom Summary Date Range Report to let me know how I did. Considering it’s the first year, there’s been a learning curve and one can only hope that things will improve as time goes on. But all in all, I made just over $8,500 for this particular one of my reselling venues. Let’s do my silly math and figure that’s just over $700 per month and just over $23 per day. Maybe more interesting might be my volume from my Custom Transaction Report which runs 1,178 lines, two lines per transaction including the order and then the shipping, bringing me to 589 orders, 205 more (35% more) than I had on Etsy in the year. Silly math again shows me that I’m averaging just about $15 per sale. It may also be interesting to review that I’m paying about 15% in commission/selling fees to Amazon and 18% to the USPS in shipping costs. Looking further, because Amazon sets their own shipping prices that I cannot alter, you’ll see that I was refunded $2,998 in shipping costs (paid by the buyers), but only paid $2,385 in actual shipping, thereby actually making just over $600 by shipping economically. For the year in review, Amazon is a fairly hassle-free (knock on wood) way to resell a large volume where you can profit on your shipping as well as your orders. Here’s to improved sales in the coming year!
Garage Sale Weekend Recap: “The Vintage Beaded Dress, The Huge Hello Kitty & The Littlest Pet Shop Playsets”
It’s a pretty poor garage sale day when I take my “haul” photo inside (or it’s raining). Well, it wasn’t raining. It was just a beautiful October day on which not many wanted to hold a garage sale. Or it could have been that I had to drop my daughter at the PSAT first which fouled up the route which I would have otherwise taken. By the time I made it to my first sale, the big boy scout rummage sale, there were already crowds of people hauling stuff away. I searched and searched but just wasn’t finding anything. I even put some stuff back, ready to leave empty handed when I spotted the Monster High Clawdeen Wolf doll. Then I picked the vintage Ernie and Big Bird cars and the Tech Deck in the package and paid $1 for all of it.
The next had some things I could have bought, but reined myself in, heading to the next were a there were so many customers once again. One lady had already piled up some nice things I would have bought. I spotted some Hallmark ornaments out of the corner of my eye. Getting closer I saw the price tag, “5 Peanuts ornaments $25.” Way too rich for my blood. Everything was priced as it would be online. I only walked a way with a few dollar items including the Snoopy Leprechaun pin, the candles from Holland and the Cottontale Collection Easter train.
Finally backwards to the one I probably would have made first, but no matter, I only picked up the tiny Hummel print for a dollar.
On to another that I hoped would be promising where I found nothing. And nothing at the next. And then finally to another Rummage Sale to which I had been before. There I found the Littlest Pet Shop Playsets, the Pixel Chix houses, the large Hello Kitty, the Hello Kitty Lunchbox, the Care Bears wallet, the Ty Garfield, and the vintage Dynasty Beaded Pink Gown from Hong Kong British Crown Colony. Total: $15.
Because of the weak showing, I decided to head back to one I missed. There I bought the Sil-pin pink rolling pin, the box of vintage figures and the 6 yards of Candy Corn fabric, all for $9.
Total spent: $29. Potential gain: $500.
Strangely, though maybe not that strange, I found nothing at my favorite stop while north to thrift. There were a few possibilities, but I’ve become very strict with my spending considering my efforts to relieve a bit of my inventory. So on I went to the next stop. Where I spotted the two Polly Pockets. I was super excited as they were only a buck each and I know they sell for over $20 at least. Then I found the vintage Dakin Nature Buddies, the Mama & Baby Mouse and Mama & Baby Dog, $1 and $2, both with original tags from 1977 and 1979 and in great condition. Then I saw the rabbit that is from Bunnies by the Bay, a super high quality and detailed stuffed animal for a dollar. And finally, the Eskimo doll with papoose in an outfit made with real fur, also $1.
On to the Goodwill, I spent more time than usual, but only ended up with the purple leather Giani Bernini purse, the Holly Hobbie cup and the Alexander Henry Merry Christmas Santa fabric. I wanted to buy more fabric pieces, but they were charging $1.99 per small piece. Total spent there: $5.
I spent all of $14 and could potentially gain: $240.
When I find a go-to for any necessity, occasion or gift-giving situation, I like to always keep it in the back of my mind and share it with my readers. The other day while thrift-shopping, I found the absolute cutest stuffed bunny. It was dressed in the most detailed “Nighty-Night” pajamas with another little outfit embroidered “Cricket” underneath.
Searching for the tag, I found that it was made by Bunnies by the Bay. Who were they, I asked myself, and quickly googled to come upon their website. They have been around for 28 years, founded by two sisters in Anacortes, Washington. They offer baby clothing, blanket animals called “Bye Bye Buddies,” books, toys, etc. The next time you’re in the market for a baby gift, go to http://www.bunniesbythebay.com where you will find the perfect thing.
I made a direct bee line for a repeat sale where I always find awesome stuff. Problem is, I think I’ve bought most of their awesome stuff at their previous sales so this time there wasn’t much left. I picked up the leopard FurReal Friends, the Blues Clues radio, the Pirates of the Caribbean handheld game, the Harry Potter figure, The Night Before Christmas Pop Up Books, the Fisher Price Animal 2×2 game, the Storm Trooper Helmet and what’s left of a Hummel Tea Set. All spent? $9.
Then I made another direct hit hoping the next sale was the same sale of a Toss Designs employee that I had been to in the past. As I approached, I saw the neighbor hauling off a bunch of Toss Designs bags, which peeved me, but there were still a few left along with several pieces of Toss Designs clothing, some striped tops, dresses, skirts and a tan quilted vest. All spent: $20.
Next I followed some signs to a sale not on my list. There I picked up all of the ornaments for a dollar each, two Hallmark pins and the entire box of Wolverine Pink Toy Kitchen Furniture/Appliances – $20 for the box.
Then over to the regular Stagers’ Sale where I was 45 minutes late and they had been pretty much cleaned out if they even had that much in the first place. So I swung around the corner and found the two pairs of Toms, red and gray polka dot for $5 each.
It was then time for the Senior Center Flea Market. These happen about once a season and I have my go-to stands. But as I arrived I noticed there were far fewer booths and I didn’t quickly spot my favorite people. I was immediately drawn in by a mom and her son who were selling all of the son’s Legos, Bakugan, etc. I quickly began quite a pile to the point I had to ask her if I could leave it there while I looked around the rest of the market. Which is when I found my peeps, a bit late, because other peeps were reaching over me to take stuff. Nevermind, my guy whipped out a shopping bag and started helping me load up my wares, complete with a 1981 E.T. doll, Copper from The Fox & The Hound, Fievel from An American Tail, bags of Power Rangers minifigs, action figures, Star Wars and Batman figures, etc. I finally stopped at $24 worth. And from another nice lady I scored an 18″ vintage Paddington Bear for $5.
After that haul, I ventured over the hill to find some great pieces of clothing from J.Crew, Banana Republic and even some fancy Burberry & J.Crew Shoes. I also picked up a German Christmas Candle Tower for myself and a bunch of storage bins that didn’t quite make it to the photo.
By then I was about ready to call it a day, especially seeing as I had to get to an Oktoberfest. All spent: a more expensive day at $124. Potential gain: $1,900.00 minimum…
It has been several months now since I went full steam ahead with listing all of my resale and consignment clothing/handbag/shoe/boot/jewelry/accessory inventory on both Threadflip and Poshmark. And over that time I have experienced a huge growth with one and a huge failure with the other.
At first, I thought the “smart phone only” listing process with Poshmark was tedious and imprecise. I’m so used to using my fancy camera to take photos and sitting down at my computer to do my listing. Doing everything from my phone just seemed… too fast. Not precise. But then again, when you list with your phone, once you do it, it’s done. You can’t really save it for later. You take photos using their condensed viewer, add a few important details, and then list. And now they’ve even added an “Offers” option since everyone was already making offers anyway. Poshmark is primarily a resale shopping site but most secondarily a social site. Everyone comments, likes, and discusses your stuff with you. Which you will have to get into the swing of if you want to make some sales. And along with that go: offers. “I’ll buy it for $25 right now.” “Okay, price changed.” “Okay, purchased.” But usually with seventeen more interchanges. Or not. And you gain followers. Who share your stuff with their followers. And therefore your listings snowball. The more followers, the bigger the audience you have, the more you sell. Simple.
Threadflip is the sit-at-my-computer-and-add-my-fancy-photos site. Which I’m used to as it’s similar to every other website on which I sell. But they are extremely limited in the designers they offer for you to add in your listing, defaulting to “Independent Designer,” which I think must hinder searches immensely. Also, the photo quality given once you’ve uploaded your fancy photos, tends to look far less than stellar. It’s as if they picked the “poor” setting, if their was one, on uploading photos. And their Shipping pricing is very convoluted. While Poshmark has a simple $4.99 the Buyer pays no matter what for which the Seller can ship up to 5 pounds, Threadflip asks if you want to pay for shipping all on your own, if you want to pay for Threadflip’s $7 shipping label ($2 more than Poshmark’s) or you want the Buyer to pay $7 which then adds $7 to your carefully researched price. Poshmark also simply emails you your shipping label which you easily print out and with Threadflip you have to create the label yourself if you have chosen to pay for shipping on your own. Threadflip, however, has always had the “Offer” option, though I find fewer people engaging in comments or socializing, probably because they’re not on their phones like they have to be if they’re on Poshmark.
Threadflip, unlike Poshmark, offers a “Full Service” option, whereby you request a shipping bag and ship them clothing that you would like them to list using their photography, mannequins, expert opinions and professional pricing. If your items that they choose to list run under $75, you will be paying 40+% in commissions, rather than the 20% you pay above $75 and the 20% you pay to Poshmark no matter the price.
After I wrote about these two websites the last time, I received a tweet from Threadflip suggesting that I try their Full Service option. So I did. I requested a bag. And waited. After 2 weeks, I still hadn’t received one. (Let it be known they’re located not that far away from me.) So I contacted them. They said the bag had gotten lost in the mail and they would send out a new one. Which I received after another week. I promptly filled it full of higher end, nice brand dresses and shipped it off. And waited. The website says you should wait 2 weeks for the bag to be processed once received. But I hadn’t even been notified that it had been received. So I contacted Threadflip Support. They couldn’t locate my bag. After about a week, they said they had it and would expedite it. Another couple of weeks went by and they still hadn’t listed any of my items. I contacted Support again. They said that they had mistakenly checked in the second bag that they had shipped me (which they had never received and I still had in my possession.) Which means that someone manually decided to check in the bag that they never received and the bag that I actually sent in was still unaccounted for. Finally, Support Personnel said they had my bag and that, again, it would be expedited. I waited and waited. And finally I saw new listings appear. All of my dresses were totally wrinkled and photographed in very poor lighting. None were priced above $75 for the 20% commission – in fact most were insultingly priced at $74, $1 below 20% commission requiring 40% commission. And they didn’t accept two dresses from my lot and sent me an email requesting a $15 payment to send them back, after I had waited 9 weeks for my items to be listed! Personally, I could have done so much better listing them on my own and I would have had it done nine weeks earlier.
Check out the wrinkles:
Funny thing is, I sell a lot on both websites. I sell items on Threadflip without much effort and interchange, even with the poor photo quality and poor search quality, lack of an easy reference system for my inventory, etc. Stuff still sells. For my personal self, I should only list items myself on Threadflip as I naturally have to do on Poshmark. Perhaps the Full Service Option works for some people on Threadflip. Perhaps people with more provenance or experience get preferential treatment and don’t have to wait the nine weeks like I did for their dresses to be put on a mannequin in a wrinkled state for 40+% commission with no flash or natural light. But in my experience, I believe the listings I create myself are proving to be the better sellers on both websites. Regardless, thank you Poshmark and Threadflip for creating a viable option for reselling clothing, shoes, boots, handbags, accessories and jewelry!
At my first and favorite stop, I found the Mickey’s Toon Town Puppet Theater for $2, the Mermaid Doll Making Kit for $1.50, the Gepeddo Halloween Katie Kitty Porcelain Cat Doll, The Folkmanis Rabbit in Hat Puppet for $1, the vintage Monchichi for $2 and the Bakugan case with 3 Bakugan and some Lego minifigs for $1.50. $9 total spent.
On down the street, I found the FAO Schwarz Patrick the Pup for a dollar. We had bought our daughter the massive version when she was a baby back in Boston. I’m not sure what happened to it, but she’s now upset she no longer has it. So I thought she might be happy with this one.
On to the Goodwill, I had an usually successful day, finding the Fitz & Floyd Elf Trim a Tree Pitcher for under $5, the Anthropologie Dream Daily Maxi Dress for under $3, the Talbots Blue & Green dress for under $3, the JW Los Angeles Brown Embroidered dress for under $3 and then a bevy of scarves. The scarves were all $1.99 a piece. I found a Jitni Made in France Turquoise with Purple Polka Dots, a Beige Cashmink by V. Fraas made in Germany, a Purple & Orange Pashmina and a Gap Blue Leopard print cotton. Total $25.
$35 total spent. $380 plus to gain.
Latest Thrift Store Trip: “The Manitou Sorels, the H by Halston Blue Suede Shoes & The 1963 Eegee Doll”
I continue to pare down my daily hauls as shown here in the photo above. I nabbed a few grab bags at the onset, finding some Peek A Blocks and cute little figures which I wasn’t quite sure about. When I got home I read their feet to find the labeling “1985 Fabrizio George Good Corp.” They are Bumpkins from the ’80′s, vaguely familiar, but again, I learn something new everyday. As I did a few loops, I also picked up all of the ornaments in one grab bag and the Coca Cola boxed ornaments in another. Each was either 99¢ or $1.98.
In the stuffed animals, I found the nice Ganz Cocker Spaniel, the Lamaze Emily Doll, the cloth/rag doll, the Furreal Friends Kitten and Rabbit and then the Eegee Co. 1963 Spanish Dancer doll. All were 99¢ or less.
And finally, in shoes, I spotted the white Sorels. Always a hot item, I figured I would get a good price for them. So I paid up for both the boots and the H by Halston Blue Suede Shoes/Heels, each under $5.
$26 spent, $10 of which on the two pairs of footwear. I could make $250.
It has now been a year that I’ve been selling on Etsy. I would say that most of my sales happen on Amazon, but looking at the stats, a good portion also happen on Etsy. And seeing as this is just the first year, one can only hope to grow with time. Strangely, my “Stats” page says I had 354 sales, while the little “Shop Info” box on my store’s left sidebar says I had 385 sales. Nevertheless, that’s pretty much one sale a day. I can only hope that the revenue number might be wrong and it’s actually higher ;-), but let’s go with it, divide it by my orders and say that I’m making $22.25 per sale per day. Add that to my other sales on other websites and hopefully I’m on my way to a more steady stream of profit. Meet me back here in October 2015 (knock on wood) to see how Year #2 went!
Garage Sale Weekend Recap: “The Vintage German Child’s Tea Set, the Vintage Handmade Christmas Egg Ornaments & The Scrimshaw Whale’s Tooth”
The first couple of sales had zero which made me feel that the fact I was driving my convertible was having an affect on the day’s eventual outcome. Without much storage room, I couldn’t buy too much or anything very large, but as the day progressed, I finally found a few things. My first purchase was at a sale not on my list where I picked up the White Tignanello Leather Sling Purse, the Tokidoki for LeSportsac bag and the Shirley Temple’s Storybook, each a dollar.
At the next, a lady had the nicest stuff. I woulda shoulda coulda bought more, but stuck with the Jessie Grimes California Pottery Girl vase, the German Beyer & Bock Rudolstadt Child’s Tea Set and the Muffy Vanderbear Pilgrim with Turkey, all for $9.
Across town to a sale with some amazing vintage stuff like the old plastic light-up Santa Claus, the handmade real colored egg ornaments – set of 18, hollowed and decorated, The Vero Nutcracker, the vintage Boy and Girl Candleholders, the Hallmark Thanksgiving Pilgrim Bird pin, the Strawberry Shortcake candle, the vintage baby shoes that were the older woman seller’s when she was a baby, the mini Mexican nativity, the Costa Rican Carreta, the mini Scottish Bagpiper Figurine, the Fisherman carved from a Whale’s Tooth from Hawaii, and the vintage Blue and Red Pin Ornament. Drumroll. All for $9.35!
A couple of quick stops brought me the Calico Critters Cozy Cottage and Fisher Price Record Player, each a dollar, and the Mickey & Minnie Salt & Pepper Shakers, also a dollar.
At a later stop I spotted the corner of a table covered in Littlest Pet Shop. These young girls had written some heftier prices on each little baggy filled with animals. I asked if they would give me a deal if I bought all of them. They said $15 for all. Deal. Afterward, I counted them up and found that I had ended up with 32 animals, which is under 50¢ each instead of the multiple dollars they had written on the bags. Good deal indeed.
And at the final sale of the day I nabbed the Nine West Purple & Pink Boots, my size, I may keep them for fun, $2. But then again:
All spent: $49. Potential gain: $1,180. Not bad for a Saturday morning.