Thursday, April 21, 2011

Vintage Thursday

I'm learning something new: how to not only buy but also sell on eBay. Some of you, I know, are old pros at this. I have been meaning to learn because I seem to accumulate stuff and I needed a way to de-cumulate (is that a word?). I have a hard time passing up a bargain!

Then there are all these office clothes I have that I will no longer need in retirement. Some are going to Goodwill, but others I think I need to sell to recoup a little of my costs in buying them. So, here I go to eBay.

I found that it's not too difficult to list items, but it does take time. For example, almost everything needs to be measured. I did not include measurements on the first clothing I listed and of course people sent messages, wanting to know them because sizes vary so wildly that they are almost meaningless. Even the vintage dishes I have listed really needed measurements so people could get a good idea of their size. The title needs to be right too--it needs to capture what the item is and have enough descriptive words to attract attention. Here are a few of the things I've listed or will list soon:

A set of papier mache coasters made in Japan, in a matching box,

a set of 8 Candlewick salt cellars,

small moon and stars cannister,

an oval Diamond Point butter dish in its original box,

a pretty deep blue pottery sugar and creamer set,

Michael Simon dress I bought for storytelling--but it's too small for me :(

a milk glass ring or soap holder, and so on. Nothing is too big or complicated to pack and ship, thank goodness. I will also be adding some of my books too, as I have time to take the photos. I won't get rich at this but I'll be clearing out some things I no longer use and that's worth almost as much as the money.

This project is one reason I haven't been blogging every day as usual. As I figure out the ropes, list items, pack and ship sold items I find my evenings speed by--along with trying to keep up with the NaPoWriMo challenge on my poetry blog, Mountain Poet. But once I get the listing process down to a routine, it should go much more quickly.

If you want to see everything I'm listing, click here for a quick look. Nothing earth-shaking, but it's been interesting to learn how to do it, finally.


willow said...

i love the coasters and the butter dish. actually love all these finds! i used to be pretty good at finding items that would sell on ebay and getting a fair price out of them. some things are hard to get rid of. :) i wonder if the collectors market is still good.

Granny Sue said...

I've been a buyer for a long time, willow, so it seemed like time to shift gears. I think the market is still pretty good on eBay although I noticed too that some things don't move. I think it depends on what it is. Right now, Fire King items seem to move pretty fast, the retro movement I guess. Some of my dressier jackets sold quickly for good prices too. I suppose it depends on what you're looking for.

lisa said...

I use to buy and sell on E-bay.. Be careful.. Make sure when someone buys something that you send it with signature required and state that on your item you are selling.. Know many people who have sold on ebay that the person buying said they never received the package and wanted their money back.. And they did receive the package...

When I sold somethings 8 years ago I had no problems.. I loved it and made money..But now a days you have to be careful with not so nice people..

I had one lady who thought she was getting a deal.. I sold my mom's collection of doll house minatures..not kids doll house stuff..I was not into minatures and had no desire but it was all sent to me after she passed on.. I kepted it for 5 years and realized I can't hang on to it anymore.. So I had the listing under doll house minatures and the title was also minature doll house brass bed...The lady thought she was getting a great deal.. it was a full bed minature scale and I also had a ruler beside the bed. She thought she was getting a full size brass bed for $8... even tho minature was all over place..I still crack up about that one.. She had a fit and went to ebay about it..Ebay sided with me and I withdrew the item and started all over...yes it cost me..I wasn't goign to go after her for the posting..Ebay said I should have...Her eyes focused on brass bed and nothing else... And I do that sometimes so I understood... And just let it go...That was my only problem. I had a lot of fun doing..

I'm wishing you great success...Lisa

Granny Sue said...

Wow, Lisa, that's a lot to think about. So far it's been okay--guess I should cross my fingers! I have added tracking numbers but not the signature requirement. I'll do that from now on. Thanks for the good advice.

Brighid said...

I enjoyed buying and selling on E-Bay for a few years. It was great fun, and if I was careful (tracking #'s, signature required, and paypal $ only) I had no problems.
Where I live now my internet provider (the only one available) won't make my curcuit fast enough to upload pic's. So I'm on hold til that gets resolved.
Hope you do well, indeed.

Granny Sue said...

Well, this week it's really slow--maybe because of Easter. I've got more to list, so maybe things will pick up. The clothes sold really well, surprisingly. I'll be adding more of those as I sort winter/summer stuff. Nice thing about clothes--no worry about them breaking. I also plan to list some vintage linens soon too--I have too many and need to clear some space. The advice is well taken and I will certainly keep it in mind--thanks!

Mountainword said...

Hi GSue,

Take it from someone who used to pay their rent/bills with ebay - the smaller and less breakable, the better. I started out selling lots of glass and pottery items, but after a few crashes with broken items being delivered and insurance claims to make, I found it much easier to sell books and things that weren't fragile. I'd suggest phasing out the glassware and other breakable things in favor of wood, plastic (some toys bring a small fortune). I once made $900 selling Lego blocks. It also saves you in packing material!

Susanna said...

That's good advice, Jason. I have a few more glass items to list, and a lot of clothes. I've done pretty well selling books on eBay but might list som on eBay too. I listed my Comstock encyclopedia set on eBay last week--no takers so far. But books and clothes take a lot less packing, for sure.

Mountainword said...

GSue- another hint: If you sell your books on Amazon, you make more money than on I've sold some books on ebay, too, but Amazon is where you make the dough. If you want to save money, shop for books on

That Comstock Encyclopedia is a high-price item. Try listing it around major holidays - like Christmas, WV Day, and the like. I know that big ticket items sold a lot better in the fall and around Christmas time, probably due to the gift giving season. Also, during that time, Ebay has listing sales, like listing items for a penny, which saves you money. Sometimes they have those in the summer too when sales start to lag.

I'm sure I've got more I can tell you about selling on ebay, but I haven't done it in a while so it has yet to come back to me.

Granny Sue said...

Oops! I meant to say I've done pretty well selling on Amazon, Jason. I've been listing books for a couple months there and sell about 3 a week. I have the Comstock set listed there too. It will sell eventually, I'm sure. I just don't need 2 sets.

I may list some of my other books on eBay too, just to see if they sell faster.

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