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Monday, April 4, 2016

Mermaids: a Fun Theme that is Collectible

Among the things I look for when I am thrifting, yard sailing or browsing online sales for things to flip, is mermaids. Popular collectible, mermaids come in all sort of shape and forms. I look for whimsical items or unusual enough to pique curiosity. Mainly vintage or antique (although you may have success with modern decor pieces as long as it is original/unusual enough and not mass produced in China).

Here are a few of my finds that have sold:

Vintage tin box with mermaids
Vintage tin box with mermaids
Mermaid hand held mirror
Mermaid hand held mirror
mermaid cast iron trivet
Signed cast iron trivet by Deville

These were all bought online to flip and they were all successful flips.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Never Accept a Buy Now Offer On An Ebay Auction

I have been selling on eBay since 1998 under various "niche" accounts and stores.

I sold anything from:  

Vintage clothing: This was a very hot niche for me in the late 90's to the mid 2000. I did especially well in the "EMO" style niche. But when I moved to France I pretty much dropped that niche because at the time the French postal service were not offering any cheap small packet rates. Now that they have been fined a couple of millions euros by the European Union for this aberration, and are now offering small airmail packet rates I guess could go back selling vintage clothes. But for what I see the market is not as strong as it use to be. So I still offer the occasional vintage t-shirt or French designer piece, but that's pretty much it.  

Collectibles: all sorts of collectibles and small antiques. Stamps, coins and paper money as well.  

Magazines and books: especially French magazines and rare French books

Now back to the "never accept a buy now offer on an Ebay auction" AKA "you know you got a winner item when....": If you list an item up on auction and within a few hours you got messages asking if you would sell for a fix price, it pretty much mean you hit the jackpot.

Never accept any offer for a buy now. Even if it sounds attractive. It just mean the buyer KNOWS it will go high and he tries to get a deal. Even if the offer sounds attractive (like 10 times or 20 times your starting price).

 I had this happen often: One time it was a vintage Iron Maiden t-shirt. Within a few hours I got 3 offers ranging from 50$ to 125$. I refused them all and the t-shirt sold for over 300$ to a Japanese buyer.

 Another time it was a very "ugly" advertising display for some sort of drinks. Some plastic sculpture of a guy holding a tray of said drink and the display would be illuminated by a light bulb. Ugly. I paid 2$ at a garage sale (I mean for 2 bucks, the risk of loosing money is almost nil). Same, got a bunch of offers, turned them all down and end up selling the thing for 500$ to someone who's dad had a bar in the 50's with the same ad. He wanted it as a tribute/souvenir of his father.

So if you don't know what it's worth, let the auction run its course. On eBay or elsewhere!