I’ve written about this before and here’s another example that my vintage Mrs. Grossman’s Stickers on Etsy are cheaper than the limited sets they are selling direct from the factory. I currently have in stock the dragonflies and hummingbirds, but I am selling 40 of the hummingbirds (in larger form) at only $12.95 and 90 of the dragonflies at $14.95. The factory is only offering an assortments of 20 short strips or 76 mods at $40!
And, of course, I have many more vintage designs available. Click on over to my Sticker Section on Etsy and see what you can find!
I sell miles of Mrs. Grossman’s Stickers in my Etsy Store that apparently I’m next to giving away considering the Mrs. Grossman’s Factory recently put out an email that they are selling only ten lots of vintage stickers (just like the ones I sell) for $50 each. The lots only contain 16 different varieties of 3 modules each which equals 48 modules. I generally sell multiple strips of modules numbering 48 and higher from $9.95 for the lots. And they, too, are vintage from 1979-1988. I currently have 137 listings in my Sticker Department alone. Not that I’m considering raising my prices, but if you want a great deal, you don’t have to order from the factory, head to my store on Etsy:
Just the other day I posted “Selling Stickers” detailing how I had gone back out later Saturday morning and found the guy from whom I had purchased stickers what seems like several years ago now. And when I got home and listed many of them and sold almost $200 worth within a few days, I thought, I knew I should have bought more. So what did I do? I emailed the craigslist ad of the garage sale. A day went by and nothing. But the next day I got a phone call. It was the Sticker Guy. Well, really his wife, but she passed me on to him and we set up a time to meet the next day. I was punctual, went on over, and I asked him how much for the whole lot which was about 5 boxes of different sizes. What is shown above is about half. He said a hundred bucks. I tried to hesitate. When he said, “Too much?… There is a lot there…” and I said, “Okay.” I had made a hundred bucks in a day off the first load I bought from him. And I would make $132 the night of listing just a portion of this lot. I asked him if he had worked for the company, which I thought for sure he had. He said no, he had bought a container years ago from the warehouse Mrs. Grossman’s had had in the area. He had had these boxes for years. Everything in them is from the ’70’s and ’80’s. And he was tired of dealing with them. I backed my car up to his garage, he reinforced the large boxes with duct tape, put on his moving gloves and shoved them in the back of my car. I felt like I had won the lottery. Need any stickers? Any specific requests, please don’t hesitate to ask. Most of the above, plus the first lot, are now listed in my store on Etsy:
Last Saturday after I had done my initial, somewhat pathetic, garage sale run, only to return to a busy family, I decided to go back out again and hit a couple I had missed. Why the sticker guy did not put the word “STICKERS” in his garage sale listing is beyond me, because I would have been there first thing. Lucky for me, he still had boxes and boxes left by the time I got there. I began piling up rolls, while the little voice in my head said, “Buy all you can because otherwise you’ll regret it,” while also trying to focus on the sticker subject matter that I thought would actually sell in fairly large quantities. I nabbed all of the Christmas ones I could find that were in decent condition because, mind you, these are vintage rolls from the factory. This fellow was a previous employee and I had been to his garage sale years before and bought all that I could. He was really getting rid of stuff by this point as many rolls were stamped 1979 and from the ’80’s. Most were in some rough shape and I had to put a bit of work in, once I got them home, to cut off the ends that had been stuck with multiple stickers, etc. Then I went to work figuring out a good number for lots, cutting them, photographing them, listing them:
I paid $40 for the lot and in the following few days I had multiple orders totaling $190:
Therefore the lot was then paid for almost 5 times over and everything else will be additional gravy. Need any stickers?
Because I have an extremely strong dislike for the way ebay treats Sellers, I try to take advantage as a Buyer. I choose to sell on
Amazon ~ Etsy ~ Bonanza ~ eCRATER
where I am treated with respect, where I am allowed to conduct my business without much interference and where the customers are pleasant to deal with. While I find amazing stuff at garage sales and thrift stores, I have found that sometimes you can find cheap lots on ebay that you can turn around for multiple times your purchase price. I look for the types of items I already have sold and therefore I know hold value. Here are some of the items I currently have listed that I purchased to resell:
I purchased this lot of Smurfs:
Grouped them on Etsy, per Smurf:
And just recently sold one:
I grouped this Mattel Littles furniture:
into rooms on Etsy:
I divided this lot of Barbie stickers:
into groups on Etsy:
I separated these Mighty Max Toys:
in my store on Etsy:
I found this set of Quints dolls:
And have them for sale on Etsy:
This set of Joan Walsh Anglund pillow cases and sheets:
I divided into two listings, the pillow cases by quantity of three:
These three Strawberry Shortcake Babies:
Are now each for sale on Etsy:
And these two lots are coming in the mail for future listings:
As you can see, I normally focus on vintage toys/items that are easily resold on Etsy because that website is geared toward people looking for vintage items specifically. If you normally search to resell a certain brand or type of merchandise, search for “lots” of the same on ebay and other websites. You, too, may be able to nab a grouping that you can separate and price each piece for what you paid for the lot.
In my fast and furious endeavors to list everything in sight, I thought to myself… hmmm… those stickers I have hiding in drawers… and buckets… they’re likely worth something about now… I should check that out. And so I perused Etsy.com a bit to see that, yes, I was right, ’80’s stickers and the like were getting a bit of attention. And so I thought I might want to think about digging out those rolls of stickers I’ve had hiding for years upon years. Not to mention the sheets upon sheets and other stickers I have stowed away in three drawers of a cabinet somewhere in my home. I figured, if I didn’t know I had it before, good riddance, as long as it makes a tidy profit.
So I dug them out, organized them by Etsy Vintage (pre-1994) and barcode or Amazon worthy. Then I grouped them into sellable groups of approximately $9.95-ish each. If you’re going to bother, bother for what’s worthwhile. Then photography, each grouped in a nice display. Then the listings. Nevermind I had a million things to do that day so that my listings happened in the evening per usual. But here’s the funny thing…
As I listed all of my vintage stickers on Etsy, the little “CHA CHING” sound was going off on my Etsy iPhone App. Which meant I was making sales. And this was happening within minutes of listing some of the stickers. Which of course made me think I had listed them for far too little. Even though I was up to $155.00 within minutes of listing. But as a good soldier, I continued on…
Until I was inundated with Etsy “conversations” from multiple ’80’s Sticker people asking me what I actually had in inventory and what I was willing to sell it for… I had stumbled upon a potential goldmine.
If you’re like me and you have a super stash of sticker cash hiding in your house, dig it out and list it. You, too, could be hearing the “CHA-CHINGS” of the Etsy App or the email notification that a sale has been made on Amazon. Unless they’re proudly displayed in your albums from back when you were 12 (like mine are) the rest can go to people who will cherish them. You’ve lightened your load and brightened someone else’s day!
My Etsy Stickers
I started out in a Coast Guard Housing neighborhood, really quite a wonderful place with old Spanish buildings. Though most of them have been boarded up now. I reminisced about how I used to come to their community-wide sale when every house was full. Those were Garage Sale Weekends to write posts about. Nevertheless, I did find quite a few things at the sporadically placed sales around the ghostly neighborhood. Included in my finds were The Wedgwood Peter Rabbit set, new in the box for $2 and the new Winnie the Pooh Baby Book for $1, The Barbie Stables and Fold out playset plus Fisher Price Crawling Doll plus Furreal Friends White puppy plus Fisher Price Roll-A-Rounds and Peek-A-Blocks all for $5. Then the 5 Starbucks mugs, each a dollar and well worth it, plus the little Disneyland Souvenir of the Haunted Mansion for 50¢. At another stop, I found the Kurt S. Adler Barbie Ornament and the Lalaloopsy Doll & Dog for $3 total. One more stop and I found the Hello Kitty wallet, the Littlest Pet Shop animals and the Toy Story Bulls Eye Horse all for $3. That was the end of the nieghborhood and I was off to more populated pastures.
Stopping at an out of the way sale that I had been to before and was hoping would be better, but wasn’t, I got the set of 222 Fifth tall Latte mugs for $2 and a whole bag full of stickers for $2.
At a sale that sounded better than it actually was, I found the Ikea Cheese Grating container which is a great idea, for $1, and a box of candles for $1. Around the corner at a block sale, I found the My Little Ponys and the Perfect Petzzz St. Bernard for $5 total. Off to mid-town, I found the Tommy Bahama Shirt for $3. Down the road I found the pretty paper box from France with Mother and baby, the white frame, and the Fiesta Ware Gravy boat, all for $7. Then on to a massive outdoor estate sale where I had to buy the painted glass vase, a 50¢ Starbucks mug and the Pokemon collection, total $9. I went back the next day and got the Madame Alexander Cinderella for half-price of $7.50.
At a daycare’s parking lot sale, I found a pile of clothes, $1 each that included Ann Taylor pants, Patagonia Tops, Gap Trousers and Gap Body nightgown, plus a few other tops, shorts, a jacket, a bag, some cowboy boots, some Clarks Indigo Clogs and a crystal wine glass, total $14. By that time I was called to an early lunch but knew I could head out again for several Sunday morning sales.
Where, as I mentioned, I found the Madame Alexander. And at one other sale I wound up with two NAO Lion Family figurines, a Mickey & Minnie Mouse Figurine, a Lenox Tweety Bird, Lenox Dolphin and Lenox Swan. I paid $30 for all of them because they are worth that and more, plus the poor saleslady told me how she was losing her home and needed money for security deposits at her new rental.
Total Spent? Somewhere around $87. Possible Profit? Somewhere around $500. Subtract expenditure and get somewhere around $410. Subtract fees and get somewhere around $370. And if I get my son on the job of researching all of the Pokemon cards, who knows, I could be doing better than I thought.
While deciding whether or not I was going to keep the massive rolls of Mrs. Grossman’s stickers I scored at a garage sale the other week, I came across the other rolls of Mrs. Grossman’s stickers I had stockpiled from garage sales years ago. However, the older ones are amongst the ancient designs of the teddy bear, the rubber ducky and the big red heart (if you’re reading a post about stickers, you probably know what I’m talking about).
Anyway, in the same black firkin bucket where I store these in my living room (don’t ask, it’s useful and decorative at the same time), I also found two ziploc bags I had filled to the brim with unopened sticker packages from the 1980’s, shown in the top photo, some of them made by Ambassador like these below:
But crazier than that, I was researching the Mrs. Grossman’s Duck stickers I had recently procured. I have two large rolls. Getta loada this:
For FOUR stickers! Let’s see, if I sold four stickers each week at $2.69 x 52 weeks (but I can probably keep this going for a few years), that’s $140/year. Okay, I know it’s not a mint, but it’s not too shabby when you consider I have several rolls of several different vintage designs. Multiply that by ten plus and we’re starting to talk money that’s worth the trouble.
And then we get to the Hallmark stickers. Whether in the package:
Or out of the package:
You’ll find that the three drawers of stickers I have might be worth a small fortune.
And just for kicks, boy was I sad when I saw this:
Because I probably totally would have bought it. Not that it probably isn’t exactly like my own sticker albums from the same time period. Pound for pound, though, it’s well worth it. So if you have any packs, sheets or rolls of old stickers lying around, dig them out. You may have another source of at least a little bit of income.