Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Get a Clue - Get a Deal

Picking yard sales, flea markets, and auctions is fun and a great way to find items for resale. An equally fun and sometimes easier way to get stuff is on line.

Craig's List is a great place to snap up under priced goods made by misinformed sellers. Mistakes are routinely made on both ends of the scale.

If you scroll through the antiques section, it won't take you long to find the beat up antique trunk worth 50 to 100 bucks grossly over priced at 400 and a 1950s mahogany furniture low end Duncan Phyfe style dining set with loose joints and scratches sold as 1800s antique furniture along side the mislabeled and low priced better stuff.

The over priced far out weighs the deals by a pretty large margin and there is a ton of crap on there no one should own for any price.

The following are examples of sellers reaching for he stars when pricing and should be avoided.

Budweiser Classic Label Bar Mirror - $100

These can be found on Ebay for 20 to 30 bucks any day of the week. I don't pay more than 5 bucks for them. Yeah, 5 bucks...They are hard to sell and were made by the thousands.

Here's Some Cookware being sold as "Antique Bed Warmer" 30.00

The short handle, heavy awkward design and the newer hardware reveals this item was made in the 1980s and wouldn't be practical as a bed warmer. They are found on Ebay and thrift stores between 5 and 10 bucks.

Here's a "Vintage Jeweled Wall Art -Velvet Peacock" $95.00

I call this stuff "Couch Art" It falls in the same category as bad paintings of sunsets, palm trees, houses and domestic house pets. Aunt Agnes found a frame and a piece of velvet and went to the crafts store. You get the idea. She may have enjoyed making it, but stay away from this type of eye sore. No one buys it and will just end up at your next yard sale or donated.

The wins.
It's worth it to look in the General listings when searching for profitable items.
 "Lamp and Office Chair $25.00"

Not exactly antique. The lamp was junk but the chair turned out to be a Herman Miller Aeron chair that retails between 600-700 new and 250+ on the secondary market.
Always take a good look at the image to see what's next to the item for sale. Often times there will be stuff in the back ground or next to the intended sale item that you can ask about when you call the seller.

It helps if you search for vague and generic descriptions.

"Old Lamp", "Wood Dresser" "Old Bed" "Silverware" even misspelled words
"Neclase" "Jewelrey" I don't know if it's a typographical error or illiteracy, but it happens and a lot of the time they don't know what they are selling.
look for "Silver Tea Sets"
These were common house warming and wedding gifts in the 50's and 60's. Most of them are silver plated. I always call on these sets and ask about to see it if they are close. Often times they have the sterling flatware in the china cabinet they didn't advertise. I have bought several flatware sets simply by asking for it while I'm looking at the tea set or dishes they had for sale. 

Yard Sale Section:  Look for desperation in the titles.

"Clean sweep sale MUST sell by this weekend" or "Everything Goes Sat and Sun ONLY!"
This usually indicates the family is liquidating the contents of a relative's estate and needs to move it quickly in order to sell the house and get back to their lives.
It's a great place to leave your phone number and lowball offers on items you want.
Sometimes at the end of the sale, if they couldn't get the 600. for the bedroom set, your 200 looks a lot more appealing as opposed to moving the set into storage.
Be respectful when doing this. Some people are easily offended with low offers. You don't want to insult them. Try something like:
"I know you're asking price of 600. is fair and I like it alot, but I could only afford to spend 200. on it. It's a standing offer if you want to sell it after the sale. If not, I understand"
Some times they call.

Do your home work.

When you identify a good deal, you must be decisive. You've done your research, you know there is a profit in it, DON'T take a long time to make your mind up because there are other shrewd collectors and dealers just waiting for these ads to emerge.
If you're not certain, do a quick Google or Ebay search on the item and call them immediately. It's best to go right away if you're within 15 miles of it and you have the time of course. Good deals don't last. Snatch them up. 
It's a great feeling walking out the door with  a deal while she's answering the caller on the phone "Oh no sorry,  I just sold it..."

No comments:

Post a Comment