Shop Vintage Online for Profit!
One Easy Technique That Works!
If you're like me, you too could spend all day browsing the internet for antiques and vintage items that you'd love to buy! Well why not earn some cash while you're at it! I have been doing that for years, and have been using a particular technique that works in all of the online markets I've tried. With a little practice, you too, can start yielding great profits!
Personally, I have spent a lot of time at yard sales and auctions and realized that it requires a lot of general knowledge about whether or not the item you run across has value, and resale-ability. Since you never know what you are going to find, it's hard to research this before you buy. That's fine if you love the item that you're buying, and want to keep it , but not so great if your plan is to resell it for profit.
In this article, I define one smart alternative that allows you to do research before buying, puts you in control of what you are buying, and shortens the process of buying and selling, unique, antique, or vintage items.
image credit: mint.com
Hit or Miss Yard Sale Finds. . .
Don't Generate Steady Profits!
Even though you can make very profitable finds at yard sales, estate sales and auctions, you can make more reliable money right here on the internet! As many of us have learned, yard saleing is a fun hobby, however it is often not a very reliable source for marketable items. On top of which, there is a considerable amount of time and energy spent and gas burned doing it. On the other hand, second hand websites are loaded with unique, antique, and vintage items by the hundreds--and can be cherry-picked for profits.
Let's look at the antique wasp traps pictured here. They were found at a yard sale for $2 dollars a piece. A real find, but it took three hours and twenty-five miles of driving to find them. On top of that, the seller now had to clean them, photograph them, upload the photos to their website, research the selling price (say $35-$40), and finally, write up the description. Now, although the potential profit margin is very high, the seller has to sweat blood to get to that point! He has to repeat this routine over and over, to have a website full of, as of yet, unsold items. Here lies your opportunity.
You can pick the items, with which, you feel most comfortable, from his or any number of vintage or antique websites, make a low ball offer, (say $12 each) and skip much of the hassle he has gone through to get it. At $12.00, the seller has made six times his money, and is often very happy to do it, and you now own the wasp trap(s) for which, you paid $12 ea (plus approx $4 shipping). You have very little time invested in 'picking', cleaning, researching, taking pictures, uploading and writing out any descriptions. You can simply use the seller's pictures and descriptions. Why not, they sold you, didn't they? When they sell for $35-$40 each (which they will), you will more then double your money!
The better you get at this , the more $$$ you make. . . and the faster you flip the item! So look at some of those vintage, antique, and second hand websites or booths again with a greedy eye! Try SecondHandJoe on Bonanza That's me, and I love when people low ball me- I'm getting offers and making money!!! Good Luck.
Proof the Method Works! - These Items Were All 'Low Balled' Internet purchasesClick thumbnail to view full-size
Essential Tools of the Trade - for buying and selling antiques and vintage online
Use Ebay for Market Research!
Ultimately, you must become proficient at establishing pricing for both the purchase values and the resale values of your target item(s). Ebay is an invaluable tool for that purpose because of the wide range of listings they offer.
My family are all Antique Roadshow junkies. We consider ourselves participants, in that we all try to appraise the items before the official appraisal. Are you like us? If so. . . then you probably miss by a mile all the time also! Don't let that discourage you! Using Ebay for market research, much of the guesswork of product valuation is eliminated.
Find an item you would be comfortable buying, for the purpose of resale, if the price were right. At first, I wouldn't choose a one-of-a-kind item. You won't be able to find comparative pricing. Through Ebay, or other online stores, research as many examples of that item, that have been recently sold and note their selling prices. The more examples you find, the more confident you can be of its real market value by averaging their "sold prices". Of course in your research, also take into account the specific condition of the item you are considering buying with the condition of the items to which you are comparing it. It will be important when you are deciding to make an offer (low ball, or walk away price) to leave yourself as much room as you can, so you can resell it for a good profit. Remember that shipping costs, Ebay and Paypal fees, must be integral in determining your offer.
All sellers will not be willing to accept your low offers, so be polite and diligent. You will get better at this skill with practice. It is satisfying, to say the least, when your marketing strategy comes together, and your hard work is rewarded with PROFIT!