Sunday, April 23, 2017

How To Sell On Ebay In The Current Market

How to sell on eBay Now

Like many old timers and work-at-home eBay sellers, I am not a drop-shipper nor a big business selling new iPhones, LCD's and laptops; I am just a mom who loves thrifting and trawling garage sales to find items to sell on my listings for a bit of pocket money for the family. I know I am not alone, but I am also aware how difficult eBay selling has become these days so I have complied this guide to help. The old days when it was all so easy...

 Back when I started on eBay, around 1998, I could sell a freezer to an Eskimo (well almost) because collectibles, antiques and vintage items were huge on eBay, buyers were still competing with each other and the market was strong. Before eBay came along, finding collectibles to add to a collection was much more difficult; when it arrived, it was met with excitement because, with a click of their mouse, buyers could find THAT piece that was missing in their collection thanks to a new world with hundreds and hundreds of items.

Before eBay, collectors had to attend shows, antique and thrift stores, belong to collectors' forums and read ads in specialized magazines; when eBay arrived I could go to half a dozen of garage sales over the weekend, haul home tons of stuff that would end up being sold before the end of the week and do it all with no worries because I could start most of it off at a dollar and know I would get the right price after yet another ferocious bidding wars.

That was then...this is now.

 Of course that is all in the past and today Ebay has changed. It is now a much more accessible market with a new look, new consumer base and the negative influence of a new, much worse economy; an economy where buyers are not spending as much to build up their collection because they have a more limited budget and are less inclined to spend money on non-essential items. Buyers should never spend money they need for food and necessities unless they are sure to at least make their money back. In regard to the site's new looks, the front page now looks like you landed on BestBuy rather than a friendly retailer because all the small mom and pop pages, who sell collectibles and unique items thinking “I'll try selling that just in case it's hot” are being viewed as a thing of the past.

New attitudes, such as eBay's new idea not to show all the listings at all times – meaning you pay for your listing but it may not be shown on every related search – have reshaped the landscape and the additional fees have provided that final nail in the coffin for us casual, at-home sellers. Another important point to remember is that the market is ever-changing and things that sold well 10/15 years ago do not perform quite so well in today's bidding wars, either because they are no longer hot or because years of buying and trading has dented the competitive edge.

Among the things that have come to pass, here are a few hot niches I used to make a killing with: In the late 1990's I could successfully sell vintage clothes to those enjoying the current emo trend as well as practically anything with Roy Dupuis, the French-Canadian star of the TV show La Femme Nikita. Even magazines and clippings would go for impressive amounts of money and I could buy a magazine from a news-stand in Canada, put it on Ebay and end up selling it for $25, $50 or maybe even more. Once the early 2000s hit there was a huge craze for Star Wars' Hayden Christensen, where I again sold a few magazines at high mark-ups, and of course this more recently turned into all-things Twilight.

Selling on eBay may have changed but you can still be successful. As a seller, each of the points above is sure to have an impact, so what can you do to avoid losing money when buying items to resell online. Here are a few tips:

 #1 – Know the market. Essentially this means putting in some research so that you know what is currently selling well, and by that I mean items that sell almost every time they are listed. Know what's hot and what's not in a few specific niches. For, example, board games and some very niche collectibles still perform above the current standard, with a sell through rate of close to 100%, and they can be found relatively easily in garage sales. If in doubt, pick an area that you feel comfortable with, one where you have prior knowledge and experience. Here's a great example of a niche that still work well: Rare Board Games You Need To Look Out For

 #2 – Find an area where there is demand. There are some items that are on trend but experiencing a saturated market but there are others where the demand is equally high but supply is limited. Latching onto these more limited niches is a great way to start and should offer much better returns.

 #3 – Buy things you can use and need but that also have a chance to sell. Taking a slightly more practical approach to your selling options could be the best idea for cautious sellers on a budget because if, for whatever reason, they fail to sell, they can still be used by you and your family. A good example of this is kids' clothes; buying nice, second-hand boutique and popular name brands that could sell well are a great idea because if they fail, your kids can wear them instead! The same goes for vintage household items; if you need mugs, glasses or plates then try to find cheap vintage brands and antiques that will look good in your home and have buyer appeal.

In short, the image and attitudes of eBay and its listings may have changed significantly over the years, and it may seem as though simple at-home sellers like us are no longer welcome, but by following these tips and understanding the new market it is possible to succeed.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Sunday's Yard Sales Finds March 12th 2017

Toys and more toys! Good deal overall. Bought several My Little Pony, a bunch of Littlest Pet Shop, plenty of Playmobil. Most were in bags/lots and were mixed with random toys. These no brands toys will be sold in lots on local ads. I'll also unload the LPS structure and low value pets locally. Also bought a bunch of epiphany feves (tiny porcelain figures).


I spend around 25$ for everything. Should be easy to make a profit. I'll sell the best stuff individually and make lots for the rest.

Playmobil dog and pony show
Littlest pet shop lot and accessories
some MLP

The feves sells ok, I did nicely before Christmas with the French epiphany creche/santon ones. These little tiny porcelain figures are quite collectible.


French epiphany feves




Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Update #2 on the Big Toy Haul And Some Recent Finds

Some of the recent finds come from either charity shop or other online venues.


I found some interesting bed sheets, some toys, a few necklaces (Scooter Paris brand) and little knickknacks. I have to admit that I look forward to the warmer weather that rhymes with more yard sales. But still, charity shops do hold some treasures and scouring online shops and online auctions can also worth the time (but the deal are usually not as good because of the shipping part, so one needs to make sure the total will still be profitable). 

Just a few pictures of recent finds, no everything is included. Note that I already have sold the vintage Tom & Jerry flat bed sheet for $88. Haven't list the rest yet.


Vintage French Disney Bed Sheets Bambi Snow White
Vintage French Disney Snow White Bed Sheet & Vintage French Bambi Bed Sheet

Vintage smurf mustard glass
Vintage 80's The Smurfs Glasses (Amora and Maille mustard brand)
 
scooter paris necklaces
Some nice Scooter Paris Necklaces

 
Vintage Rare Tom & Jerry Bed sheet
Vintage Tom & Jerry Bed Sheet

 

A recap of the big toys haul I bought a few weeks ago (see post here: http://www.myyardsalefinds.com/2017/02/2017-ebay-toys-haul.html)?) 


Since my first recap (here: http://www.myyardsalefinds.com/2017/02/update-on-last-week-big-toys-haul.html)  I sold $254 more so I am up to $401. Still a few toys to list and some I listed haven't sold yet. So yes that was a nice buy.


Friday, February 24, 2017

Vintage Fisher Price #952 Yellow Family Playhouse

The Vintage Fisher Price #952 Yellow Family Playhouse.......FINALLY I found one!! In a charity shop for 6$ on Tuesday. I had one when I was a little girl and been looking for one for years. eBay has them often but with the shipping to Europe it was pretty expensive. Patience paid. I wanted one just to ring the bell (I remembered the sound!).

BUT now that I have it, should I keep or sell. Big question. My daughter will play with it until I decide.

Here's what I wrote a few years back about that playhouse:  The Fisher Price 952 House

fisher price 952 yellow house
Fisher Price 952

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Update on Last Week Big Toys Haul

Remember my big toys haul from 10 days ago (see post here: http://www.myyardsalefinds.com/2017/02/2017-ebay-toys-haul.html)?

part of last week haul


Well I have already made some sales on eBay. I still haven't list everything (although I did quite a good job of trying to not let the "not listed" pile growing) and I haven't sell everything that I have listed, but so far I sold for $135 worth of toys from that haul. Including a few ELC, some of the vintage Star Wars figures and a few LPS and Playmobil. Still many things to list and some of what I listed have not yet sold.

Very happy so far with this bunch of toys. Oh and I haven't told you yet what I found in a charity shop yesterday. You'll have to wait tomorrow for it. But I can tell you it's yellow, it's Fisher Price and it's vintage. Anyone want to make a guess? It's something I had when I was a kid and I have been dying to get one but they are quite expensive on eBay (especially when you factor in the shipping cost to Europe). Make a guess....

Monday, February 13, 2017

2017 eBay Toys Haul

Good weekend! I went to a few sales on Saturday and Sunday.

Saturday didn't start too good. On the 2 sales I went, only one had a few interesting things. One was organized by a school and they were selling some of their older material, including old furniture. I decided not to go there first because my chance of finding small things I could resell easily were small (not to mention that it was most likely attracting lots of antique dealers). So I went to a community sale organized by school kids parents in hopes to find some good toys.

I only found some ELC Happyland fairy sets. Not a big deal, but I'm sure to net a small profit. I also bought a nice women Zara top that I will list on a specialized site. Then I went to the school sale, nothing interesting left by the time I got there. I decided to hit some charity shop to help paying for train/tram/coffee fees. The more I find the more I make especially when I have to pay around 25 euros of train/tram and food. Yes I usually add the coffee and snacks to my fees.  At the charity shop I found some Littlest Pet Shop houses with pets and a bag of Fisher Price little people. These where like blind bags, I couldn't see the figurines inside the LPS houses, but I figure that selling the house alone would net me a profit anyway. Upon opening, I found a kitten and some accessories that will sell ok. Houses and less interesting pets/accessories will sell locally for pickup.

ELC Happyland Fairies ebay
LPS houses and ELC Happyland Fairies


On the way home, I bought a France Starbucks mug at the local Starbucks. They usually sell, not fast but I like to carry some in my store.

Sunday I went to a local community sale and I score some good stuff. A guy was selling little baggies of toys for 2 euros each and they were good. Some nice LPS, some more Early Learning Center figures, some Playmobil pieces and figures, vintage early Kenner Star Wars figures and some Fisher Price stuff. Good stuff really, I'll need to research the Star Wars pieces a bit, haven't sell any since I sold my brother collection about 10 years ago. I know the market is not as good as it was, but at the price I pay it's still a great deal. I also bought a table cloth that I may sell or keep, not sure yet, and a few things for the kids and myself.

lot of vintage star wars figures
Vintage Star Wars Figurines


I spend a total of 77,30 euros (around $82). That includes train, tram and coffee/snack, and exclude things I bought for myself (a top and a scarf) and for my son (Pokemon cards) and daughter (shoes). Also not in the total is the new Starbucks mug. As of tonight Monday, I have listed 9 Pet Shop, 1 lot of Fisher Price and 1 lot of ELC figures for a total of 147$ Still tons of stuff to list, the pile haven't even start to shrink! Have the fairy sets to lost, Star Wars stuff and lots of playmobil, as well as the LPS houses and many more accessories and pets!

ebay toy haul
Big toys haul for ebay





Friday, February 10, 2017

Best & Most Interesting Finds of 2016 Part 2

Part two of some of my favorite 2016 ebay sales (part one here in case you missed it)


A Mickey Mouse Disney's Duvet Cover (European Release) sold for $58. Paid 3 euros (around $5). I have good success selling bed sheets, duvet covers and the likes. I stick to kid's stuff. I may need to expend!


This fantastic piece of french architecture sold for $48. Not a big huge profit because I paid 33$ for it but I had no use for this one (bought two, kept one) so off it went.


A fun and cute Snoopy t-shirt, vintage, European release. Sold for $13, paid $2

 This old Edwardian dress clip sold for $16, paid a bit less than $2


These The Art Company Shoes sold well for $55 (I paid less than $5). This is a brand that I look for (along with my other favorite brands of shoes to sell on eBay)



 Biche de Bere necklace. A brand that always sells well for me. I buy this designer whenever I can find some pieces. Paid 15 euros (around $20) and sold for $110


 This pair of typical French Pastis tall glasses sold for $18. Paid less than $0.50 each


Another bed sheet. From the 70's with all the favorite Disney character (Mickey, Pluto etc). Paid less than $2 sold for $58


This hard to find international exclusive My Little Pony sold for $32. Paid around $1 for it.

 And one last because this one is by far my favorite find of the year. An absolutely fabulous vintage fitted sheet with Disney's beloved Snow White and her prince. Sold for $125. Paid less than $2

Thursday, February 9, 2017

First 2017 Finds

It's been quiet in January, but I still managed to hit 2 sales. One was a collector's sale with the usual array of stamps, postcards, coins. I did end up buying quite a lot of French epiphany feves. I realised just recently that they do sell and not just to French collectors. I sold quite a few nativity pieces before Christmas as well as some themed ones. So from now on I'll buy them if I find pieces that can appeal to collectors and if the price is right.

What are these "feves" you ask? The feve (broad bean) is a little figurine (usually porcelain, sometimes plastic) hidden in the French epiphany cakes (King cake). "Tradition holds that the cake is “to draw the kings” to the Epiphany. A figurine, la fève, which can represent anything from a car to a cartoon character, is hidden in the cake and the person who finds the trinket in his or her slice becomes king for the day and will have to offer the next cake. Originally, la fève was literally a broad bean (fève), but it was replaced in 1870 by a variety of figurines out of porcelain or—more recently—plastic. These figurines have become popular collectibles and can often be bought separately. Individual bakeries may offer a specialized line of fèves depicting diverse themes from great works of art to classic movie stars and popular cartoon characters." (cf: King Cake article on Wikipedia)

You can see some French Feves here:


I also went to an indoor community sale and bought a few playmobil and Littlest Pet Shop. Not a big profit, but I have good success selling Playmobil, either as custom sets or for replacement parts. Also bought a stunning necklace, heavy and beautiful, by Scooter Paris. I'll list it on ebay or Etsy.

And last, yesterday I went to a charity shop and score two nice vintage bed sheets... you'll have to wait until a bit, I'll take some pics and show later this week in a new post . Also looking forward to hit a few sales over the weekend!

Monday, February 6, 2017

Happy New Year / Top 2016 Post / Best 2016 eBay Sales Part 1

Happy New Year to all, I know it's a bit late for the wishes, but better late than never!

I hope 2017 brings you and I good sales, cool finds and huge eBay hauls!

2016 most popular post on Yard Sales Finds Sold on eBay


This year again, to most popular post on this blog was.... yes that's right: Fake Littlest Pet Shop Sold on eBay by Chinese Sellers ! Rather sad and telling. Not that it's not just Littlest Pet Shop that is affected by this influx of counterfeits and knockoffs unfortunately. It's getting worst and worst everyday. And it's bad both for the collectors and sellers of genuine products.

The LPS market is almost destroyed. So many buyers got scammed that they don't return. And legit sellers are getting buried in search by Sellers from China selling fakes for 0.99$ free shipping. And eBay? Well I doubt they make a lot of money on a 99 cents sale, especially when the real deal can fetch anywhere between 4$ and 30$ + shipping (ebay does money on shipping too). Most products/collectibles that are popular and in demand are most likely being fake by the Chinese. I am always surprised when I check ebay to see the amount of counterfeit. And it's not just the expensive stuff. Collectables and toys that sells well in the 5/10$ range are getting counterfeit.

Rule of thunb: do not buy ANYTHING from China sellers. Of course that doesn't mean you cannot get fakes from other sellers (some sellers do buy their stock from Alibaba and Alibaba is the biggest maket of fakes and counterfeits. You can buy ultra cheap toy brand knockoffs such as Disney's, Hasbro's and Mattel's. But buyer beware on eBay and for us sellers it means less sales in some categories.

Some of my Best and Favorites Sales on eBay in 2016 Part 1

part two is here

 

Pair of Red Glass Kugel Antique Christmas Ornaments Etched With Mistletoe Leaves
Paid 5 euros each sold the pair for 85$ in January. Also sold a similar pair in blue later that month.

Saint James Nautical Wool Sweater French Mariniere Striped 
Sold for 70$ in January. Paid a bit less than 8$ for it.





This one was very cute and shabby, sold for $35 : Antique French Enameled Cast Iron Trivet Pink Timeworn Shabby Cottage Decor. I paid 9,5 euros for it (5 + shipping). Not huge profit but still, these are usually safe sales for me because this cute French antiques often brings out the "oh so cute, I want" in buyer



Sold for $65, paid around $35 (29 euros) : French Mermaid Cast Iron Trivet Signed by Deville Timeworn Blue Enameled. Again this one was not cheap when I bought it but I was 100% sure it would sell for much more. It was just so unique and original



Paid around 10$ for it: Vintage French Provencal Sewing Box Fabric Covered Bright Red Green Yellow . Sold for $35



I paid 3 euros (about 5$) for this in Limousin during a local fair and brocante. Sold for $36: Old French Handmade Basket Harvest Gathering Wooden Basket 



Paid around 1$ in a charity shop, sold for $20 



Snoopy bed sheet paid less than 5$ at a yard sale (hubby's comment: you are not going to buy THAT are you?! Well yes I am!). Sold for $48 

Part two will follow later this month! Also soon pics from the first two community sales of the year. Not much to show, but still...