I Never Buy These Brands for Resell

 

There are hundreds of brands I absolutely never buy when I’m out thrifting. High quality, name brands that you and I both have in our closets because they are affordable and stylish. But when I see these brands at the thrift store, I pass over them without a second thought. Why?

Market saturation and low demand.

So let’s take an example:

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This is a Target dress, branded FLYING TOMATO, size small, originally priced at $34.99. Let’s say I was out shopping one day and found this at a thrift store for $5, new with the tags still on it. (If you’re skeptical, don’t be. Target regularly sells their overstock to Goodwill, with tags attached).

I do something STUPID and buy it without doing at research on my smartphone. Listing it for $17.99 (50% off a brand new item? what a bargain!), I figure it’s a solid sale. But it just sits. And sits.

Finally, I look it up on the Target website and find out the size small is on clearance for $6.48. I check other ebay listings and find out there’s 20 other sellers with the exact same listing for varying prices. Sold listings show me similar dresses have sold for less than $10 with free shipping. There went my profit–out the virtual window with ebay fees and shipping costs.

The brands I list here are carried by Walmart, Belk, JCPenney, Kohls, Target, and similar stores. There are over 7,300 of these stores across America carrying millions of dresses, tops, pants, suits and skirts. Most of these stores also have sales and reward programs– like Kohls cash or a Target Cartwheel App–which cut prices even more. Savvy buyers can find these brands in store for less than it costs me to list and ship it.

So what was that thing we learned in highschool Economics class? Oh yeah, when supply goes up and demand goes down, the price has drop too. With these brands, the supply is way too high and the demand for these items on the secondary market is way too low.

Here’s the exception: plus size. If you find a plus size item in terrific condition that is on trend, EVEN IF it is one of these mass produced brands, you will rise above the over-saturated market of size smalls and mediums. The demand for plus sized clothes is high, and supply is low. Therefore, you’ll probably get plenty of traffic and good prices for plus sized clothing. Just make sure you’re not overpaying for your inventory.

A Starter List of What Brands NOT to Buy:

alfred dunner
alyx
ambrielle
a.n.a
belle+sky
bisoubisou
blacklabelbyevanpicone
gloriavanderbilt
iheartronson
ijeansbybuffalo
lee
lizclaiborne
madeforlife
nicolebynicole miller
stylus
worthington
xersion
Target
walmart
CharlotteRusse
Forever21
Rue21
Maurices
Aeropostal
OldNavy
Gap
George
FadedGlory
WhiteStag
FruitoftheLoom
Dressbarn
Sonoma
LizLange
Motherhood
DuoMaternity
Byer
Axcess
Mossimo
Xhiliration
Merona

ps–Yeah yeah, I have some of these brands listed in my store. I got them for free from my mom/sister/random stranger. I’ll make very little money and probably end up cursing and swearing about what a waste of time it was to list them since they’re not making money.

 

Hot Resale: Vintage Wedding Dresses

What better way to have “something old” than to wear a gorgeous vintage wedding gown?I love finding vintage wedding dresses at thrift stores because retro themed weddings are very popular right now. Featured about is a dress I sold recently:

Purchased: $20 +tax

Sold: $59.99 + $7.99 shipping

This was a bit more than I wanted to pay for the dress, but the profit was over $20 so I went for it. In my title, I used “vintage” “steampunk” and “short” because those are popular search terms for wedding gowns right now.

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I marketed this gown towards 1950s style wedding themes using terms like “1950s” “short” “retro” and “full skirt”. I think this dress would have gotten a little more had it been a larger size (I think it fit a modern size 6).

Purchased: $5 + tax

Sold: $39.99 + $5.99 shipping. 

And here’s another!

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Purchased: $4 + tax

Sold: $39.99 + $6.99 shipping

Here’s what I look for in wedding gowns:

  • Excellent condition with no defects (or easily fixed problems, like minor stains or mendable tears)
  • Interesting details like high necks, long sheer sleeves, trains,  full skirt silhouettes, short dresses, or beautiful beading and lace.
  • Well known designers, of course. If you actually find a vintage Dior dress, grab it immediately!
  • Larger sizes. Without a doubt, it’s easier to sell a size 14 than a size 2.
  • Reasonable prices. A wedding dress takes time to properly display and special care to ship, so make sure your profit margin is decent. Find a good deal that will be worth the effort.

Happy thrifting!

 

 

 

The Holdout: A Vintage Bikini That Wouldn’t Go

I had this listed for ever. FOR EVAH, PEOPLE. We’re talking Spring 2015 I put this high waisted vintage La Blanca Bikini on my Ebay site with hopes of seeing $40-$50 come into my paypal account. I got those numbers from some ebay sold listings (that featured a hot model and great photography). But this swimsuit sat. And sat. Through summer and fall and winter. I priced it up, I priced it down. I think at one point I had it at $10.

I finally sold it February 3 2016.

Purchased: $5 + tax

Sold:$19.99 + 4.50 shipping

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So what took it so long? Here’s my hypothesis:

  • Small size–Let’s face it, there’s more size 8-10-12 ladies out there than size 2s and 4s. My resell market was significantly smaller since this was a vintage size 8, which fits more like a 4-6.
  • Lazy photos–I could have put this on my mannequin and improved its visual appeal  but I was too darn lazy. Those high comps that I found in sold listings were no doubt a result of the incredible marketing and live model.
  • Bad luck. There’s that. I could have just posted it at the wrong time, when there was plenty of other vintage bikinis available. But at least I didn’t give it away for bottom dollar. I knew by August my chances of selling it high were slim to none, since most women have done all the swim suit shopping they want to do by then. So I stuck with $20 and waited for Spring.

Lesson learned? Make those listings look as good as possible and don’t back down from a reasonable price. It will sell–eventually.

Ebay Score: Reselling Bloch Flats

 

I recently purchased this pair of Bloch leather ballet flats from another Ebay seller. It was a bargain since style of Bloch flats are $150 retail. They were also in wicked great condition showing very little wear.

Alas, they were a smidge too big for me. So I relisted them in my own Ebay store.

Purchased: $22.94

Resold: $56.98

Why did I get $30+ more than the original Ebay seller? After reviewing their original listings I found:

  • Photos in poor light
  • Typos in the title
  • Auction based listing

I searched sold listings of other Bloch ballet flats and found BIN (Buy It Now) listings commanded a higher price. I used the average sold price, set it as a BIN, and took photos in better light. I also made sure my listing was free of typos.

And then I tweeted and tweeted these bad boys to make sure my listing received plenty of traffic.

Sure enough, they sold within 48 hours and gave me a tidy profit of $21.35 after shipping costs and fees. Not bad for buyers remorse, huh?

 

 

 

Thrift Score: Vintage Tadashi Gown

 

Sheer accents have been a longstanding fashion staple for subtle sexy. Or if you’re Rihanna, not so subtle. I’d had good luck selling Tadashi items in the past, so when I spotted this Tadashi I grabbed it, even though it was priced higher than I’d usually pay for a dress at a thrift store.

This dress was probably made in the 1990s or even early 2000s. It was in fantastic condition and showed almost no wear.

Purchased: $20 +tax

Sold $99 +$4.99

I started this as an auction, just to test the waters, but I didn’t get any takers. I relisted as a Buy-It-Now and it sat for a couple weeks. Just when I was thinking it was overpriced (or undermarketed), it sold!

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I especially love the satin cuffs and wide bateau neckline. The fabric had just enough stretch to hug all the right curves. I’m so glad this showstopper found a home. 🙂