Posted in Inventory, Shopping trends, Social Media, Sourcing, Thrift Shops

Sourcing in Appleton, Wisconsin

99 cents a pound, 120 pounds of clothing with several hours of sourcing, ends with one question….

Will it all Fit?

We prepacked our luggage this afternoon, arranged the clothing (along with an IKEA office chair) and it appears we still have room for ourselves and a cooler.  I had a back up option of mailing the items home, but thank goodness it fits.

While sourcing in Wisconsin, we shopped in Illinois.  We’re picking up a TV and Futon up this weekend for the new office.  It looks like the moment we sign the lease, the place will be set up and ready for work by Monday.

Amazing to think that just 6 weeks ago, none of this was our immediate future.  God has a plan and I can’t wait to see what’s up next!!!

 

#JewelsForThePauper

Where everything is fit for a Queen

But

Priced for a Pauper

 

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Posted in Seasons, Sourcing, Thrift Shops

Combining Business with Pleasure

We left our assistants, cats and husbands and hit the highway early this morning.  After a few bathroom breaks and numerous construction delays, we finally arrived at Paradise.

Paradise is an AirBnB located between OshKosh and Appleton, Wisconsin.  A renovated Queen Anne Attic Oasis amongst rolling hills, creeks and trees.  The view is incredible.

The sounds are soothing.  Chickens in a coop clucking, the slow moving creek hitting the rocks and the dairy cattle nearby make a relaxing symphony.

 

After a home cooked meal my sister and I collapsed on the couch.

Windows open, TV on, avoiding any notifications that remind us of work, we should be 100% for sourcing tomorrow.

 

After that, a beach calls our name…

 

Jewels for the Pauper

Where everything is fit for a queen

 

But

 

Priced for a Pauper.

Posted in Seasons, Shopping trends, Social Media, Sourcing, Thrift Shops

Wisconsin – The Official Dairy Item – CHEESE!!

The Wisconsin Assembly, this week, approved a bill that would make CHEESE the official state Dairy Product.  Exciting?  Only if you like cheese and happen to be travelling to Wisconsin on Monday.

The only GoodWill Outlet in the state of Wisconsin is in Appleton, just north of OshKosh.  It has gotten very good reviews.  I am hoping the fact that it’s summertime that people will be attending garage sales, leaving prime inventory to sit at the regional GoodWills.

We found an AirBNB in Larsen, just south and west of Appleton.  A gorgous Victorian Farmhouse, in the middle of nowhere.  The hostess just messaged me about extra linens, food in the refrigerator and the keycode.  Big comfortable beds, comfy couch, wi-fi, trails and dirt roads give me a sense of total relaxation.

Lake Winnebago is not far and boasts 3 beaches.  I forsee a beach chair, sand between my toes and a Kindle Book included in this sourcing trip.

This trip couldn’t have come at a better time.  After Memorial Day and before July 4th.  Ebay Sales slow down (supposedly) and it’s time to focus (believe it or not) on 4th Quarter stock.  Time to source along with time to relax.

Stay Tuned for:

  • Moving into the new office on Main Street
  • 10 Day Family Cleanout
  • Deadwood and Mount Rushmore Trip
  • Going home to Kansas for my Birthday

 

#JewelsForThePauper

Where everything is fit for a queen

but

Priced for a pauper.

Posted in Sales, Shopping trends, Sourcing, Thrift Shops

What I Learned at the Goodwill Bins

During my sourcing trip in Chicago with my sister, we had our first experience at the Goodwill ‘Bins.’.   This one is in Rockford.

  • Bring a huge bag.  I brought one that is actually stores a Christmas wreath.  It is lightweight, has a handle, is two yards in diameter and held 42 pounds of clothes.
  • When they roll new bins out, stop what you are doing, move next to one and be prepared to dive quickly.
  • When sorting through a bin, take full advantage of you are tall, and grab what is furthest away and pull it forward.
  • Grab what looks good and move on.
  • Always get 25# or more, because you get the lowest price per pound.  Ours was 99 cents.
  • Be prepared to meet other resellers.  This was a great networking experience.  We met a Newbie who had sold on Amazon for years that quit his job the week before to be a full-time reseller on EBay.  A partner duo who sold everything from clothes to Nintendo Game Systems.  A 50+ married couple who were full timers.  We all had so much in common, shared ideas and as well as nightmares.
  • Find a nice place in the corner, and go through each item carefully.  While the items are less than what you would pay in a thrift store, you don’t want to waste your money and time repairing or removing stains.
  • Eat before getting there and stay hydrated.  You cannot do your best if you do not feel your best.
  • Bring your keys, ID, PayPal and phone, store them in your front pockets.  Leave the rest in the car.
  • Everyone is there with a different purpose, but I met a guy who doesn’t buy anything there but comes each day.  He checks the pockets of all of the pants and coats for loose change.  By the time he was finished telling me about his awesome finds, I almost began to wonder if I was in the wrong business!

#JewelsForThePauper

Where everything is Fit for a Queen

but

Priced For the Pauper!

Posted in Free Shipping, Sales, Shopping trends, Sourcing, Thrift Shops

Real Men wear Jockey Nylon Briefs

Do I have your attention?  One of this week’s sales sure caught mine.  It’s one of those you laugh about with your girlfriends at lunch, instant message your husband at work, then wonder where you could find more.

I purchased these yellow and orange, synthetic, tight briefs around Christmas.  They lay in a tiny bin of women’s underwear that was priced for a quarter each.  I remembered a YouTube video that mentioned these were a BOLO.  However, I figured I would get home and find that these were the wrong brand.

So, they sat in my death pile until a few weeks ago.  Cash Money, lying in a bin, begging to be listed.  My sister (the one that sells her first item 24 hours after opening an EBay store.), took the pictures while I got the information ready for the virtual assistant.

The virtual assistant listed them on St. Valentine’s Day and by that evening I had some low ball offers.  I never thought, in my wildest dreams that I would be drinking my morning tea , and hear two Cha Chings in a row!

Let me re-word that.  I didn’t think I would sell vintage nylon underwear at full price within 24 hours of listing them.

So here’s to early morning sales of vintage nylon pastel underwear …. it makes you feel good all under.

Wait, wrong brand.

#JewelsForThePauper

Where everything is fit for a Queen

But

Priced for the Pauper

 

 

 

Posted in New Year, Sourcing, Thrift Shops

Need to Get Away?

Yes, I do!  My sister and I are going on a sourcing trip and staying west of Chicago.  We had decided this a month ago but firmed the plans last night.

We live in rural Central Illinois, so we don’t have The Bins (Goodwill outlet) or Savers.  This will be our first time. We are ready to spend 4 days and 3 nights sourcing  and relaxing until we run out of money.

I have a list of things I must do and a list of what to bring.  I have compiled it by watching many YouTube reseller haul videos.

Things I must do:

  • Change the oil and have the car checked for travel.
  • Transfer all cash to my PayPal and leave the purse at home.
  • Record all mileage during the trip.
  • Keep all receipts for purchases, dining, gas and anything else we do.
  • Give the two virtual assistants double the number of listings so I fresh listings while I am gone.
  • Change my handling time.
  • Remember to relax.

Things I must bring

  • The most comfortable layered clothing I have in my closet.
  • My most comfortable shoes.
  • A fanny pack.
  • Ikea bags
  • Rubber Gloves
  • A small first aid kit
  • Energy Bars
  • A water bottle

The Air BNB we are staying (not pictured) is an A frame mother-in-law apartment next to a lake.  There is a boat dock and the view is spectacular.  It has a wood burning stove, comfy furniture and wi -fi.

I wasn’t sure about this place because it is a distance from the places we wanted to source at.  However, the owner contacted me and said there was a Good-Will and several Thrift Shops within a 5 mile radius.

Lake, wood burning stove, AND thrift shops close by?  SOLD!

#JewelsForThePauper

Where everything is fit for a Queen

But

Priced for a Pauper!

Posted in Sourcing, Thrift Shops

Searching for Treasure

If I had written this a year ago, it would have been a much longer read.  At that time I was trying out all sorts of categories, until I decided my niche would be clothing and books.  I would spend a lot of time in these stores and my only plan was to make any profit.  Now I have a plan, a treasure map, which is dependent on the types of clothing that are trending and what I am lacking in my stores.

As with any sort of shopping, I make sure I have eaten and am hydrated before I get there.  I dress in comfortable layers no matter what the season.  Some thrift shops do not have carts, so I bring my collapsible IKEA shoulder bag.  Last, I make sure my phone is fully charged and I have all relevant apps loaded (i.e. Google, EBay and Amazon)

When I enter the store I check when they will be closing, their color of the week, and what their daily special is.  I also check to see where their restroom and water fountain are.

This all may seem quite silly but you are on a mission to make money; and, you do not want other things distracting you which will lead to making bad choices.

The first section I go to is the Women’s Jeans.  It has been my experience that size 14-28.  Petites and Talls are something I look for as well.  I am brand conscious for the most part with Levi’s being my favorite.  Other brands that have been selling well have been Rock & Republic, American Eagle, Lucky, Lane Bryant and Talbot’s.  I do stay away from Faded Glory, with the exception of finding a size 28 Petite last week.

Next I shop the shoes.  I don’t try to keep up with trends or brands because I just don’t believe I will find a pair of genuine Prada pumps.  I look for quality and wear.  I only buy leather.  I have seen leather that looks ready for the garbage, instantly transformed with shoe honey or saddle soap.  The soles must have very little to no wear.  Take the time to clean them.  Comfort and Diabetic shoes are good resellers as well as formal pumps and winter boots.

Next, I will check out Plus Size Women’s tops.  I know there are resellers who tend to shop brands in this section, but I feel that since these sizes are hard to find in a store that the condition is more important.  Make sure the tags are still attached and not faded.  Look for holes and stains as well as yellowing, especially in the armpit area, neck and sleeve ends.  Check for pilling and avoid anything you will have to spend any time on.  Time is money and money is time.

Last, I will go to Men’s suits.  This is a section that is much like buried treasure and may be hard to find.  I look for silk, cashmere and wool content.  Next I check for Big and Tall sizes.  Last, I look for European or American made.  Last, I check for holes, stains, missing buttons or fraying.

I stay away from purses because of the problems we have with forgeries.  For instance, just last year I listed a purse on EBay.  No where in the title or description did I give a brand name.  I stated that it was a brown canvas shoulder bag with leather trim.  It was quickly removed by EBay because I could not prove it was an authentic Fossil purse.  I have heard on YouTube, stories of suspended accounts from listing a forgery.  It is not worth losing your store over a $2 thrift store find.

I steer clear of any type of kid’s clothing.  I am sure there is a way to make a profit but I haven’t figured out a way to make it worth my time.

Before leaving I try to find a quiet corner of the store that is brightly lit, so that I can look at each piece one more time.  Be realistic.  Is this something I would be proud to have in my store or is it a return waiting to happen.  It is true that the more you list, the more you selling only if the are quality items.

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#JewelsForThePauper

Items Fit for a Queen

But

Priced For the Pauper.