“It’s Not What It Looks Like”

 

I just finished another thrift run at one of my favorite Goodwill’s the other day when I had a funny and somewhat disturbing thought.

I’ve been going to this Goodwill for years, basically ever since I started thrift store reselling.  This store has been an absolute goldmine for me  but , unfortunately, it’s also right next door to an adult-themed novelty store; yes, one of “those” stores!  They’re in the same building and they share the same parking lot.

The fact that they’re right next to each other isn’t the story here; after all, the adult store has been opened for several years now.

However, only during this recent visit did I realize just how “strange” and “compromising” this may look to other people who see me walking around the parking lot 4-5x a week.

You see, Goodwill (well, this particular store anyway) doesn’t have branded shopping bags so you’re purchases are placed in an unmarked plastic bag and there’s no way for other people to tell that you’ve actually shopped at Goodwill.

So on this visit I was parked right in front of the adult-store and here I come with bags and bags full of “stuff” and I can imagine just how this looks to someone who didn’t see me walk out of Goodwill.  (“Look at this pervert.”  lol)

This is what the area looks like:

Shopping complex

And it’s not as if this shopping center is hidden in a discreet location where nobody would see me.  No, this shopping complex is right along one of the busiest stretch of highways in O’ahu.  During rush hour traffic, it’s possible that my family, friends, and my grade-school teachers can all potentially see me in this compromising position.

(I actually have a good friend who works at a car dealership across the street but thankfully he knows that I shop at Goodwill so I don’t have to worry about him lol)

Sorry, this really has nothing to do with how to improve your sales on eBay but I thought it was pretty funny now that I think about it.  I’ll just chalk it up as another one of those things that we resellers have to deal with :)

I hope you’re having a great week so far and good luck at the thrift stores!

Meinard

Finds of the Week

 Nike Infact LeBron James

Lebron purple

Item Cost:  $2.99

Winning Bid:  $27.99

Barney’s Suede Coat

Barneys

Item Cost:  $12.99

Winning Bid:  $49.99

Nike Water-Resistant Track Suit

Hydrovoid

Item Cost:  $8.99

( I was lucky to get the whole set for this price, usually they price the jacket and pants separately.)

Winning Bid:  $89.99

Back to School

…textbooks.  I’m going back to selling school textbooks.

No way I’m going back to school.  That ship has long sailed past.

It’s funny because, when I first started this business, selling high school and college textbooks were a major part of my business.  I’ve always recommended that first-time resellers start with what they know, and when I was a rookie myself that’s exactly what I did.

I was in college at the time so I knew firsthand just how ridiculously expensive (but also necessary) these items were.  So when I began seeing some of the same textbooks at Goodwill that I saw at the campus bookstore, I knew that there was some good money to be  made.

In my peak, I was selling multiple books for $50, $60, and even $100+ really quickly (like same-day quick) and you only need to look at the skyrocketing price of higher education to see why reselling these thrift store items online is such a profitable business model.

Here’s a great example:

This book cost $148.31 to purchase brand new and this is just one book!  Some classes require 2-3 textbooks and it’s common for college students to take 4-5 classes a semester.  So do the math and you can begin to understand why students flock to the internet as oppose to their bookstore.

Heck, they’re charging a ridiculous $107.07 just to rent the book..crazy!

As a student, when you’re faced with the choice of buying a brand-new textbook for $140 or buying the same book used for $70, it really is a no-brainer.

Class is Back in Session

This past year was dedicated to expanding my clothing and shoe knowledge, and unfortunately my book sales took a backseat.  It wasn’t a total lost, however; my brand vocabularly exploded this year and I’m selling much better items on eBay.

But I did miss perusing through this section at the thrift store so recently I made a decision to re-commit to reselling textbooks and it’s already paying off.

I found the following books at Goodwill for only $2.99:

Addressing Cultural Complexities in Practice

Sold for $25.07

 

Fitness:  Theory and Practice

Sold for $71.06

 

 

Marketing Management

Sold for $78.03

You also don’t need a $500 book scanner either.  (Check out my Reseller Guide to discover my quick and simple process to finding these valuable items).

If you haven’t tried before, now is a great time to start reselling college textbooks online. It’s Finals Week in campuses all over the US and once classes are done and the semester wraps up you should see an increase in donations at your local thrift stores.

Hope you’re doing well and I hope you’re hearing that sweet sound of “Ka-Ching” throughout the day!

Meinard

Back to Our Regularly Scheduled Program

 

Hey everyone, it’s Meinard again and I’m back (finally) with some good to news to write about after – what seemed like – a LONG week of less-than-ideal holiday buyers.

Thanks for letting me rant about that and I generally don’t like to write or give attention to negative stuff like that but sometimes it just feels good to get it out, you know?

Mission accomplished and I’m definitely glad to move to something better to talk about like some holiday sales!

Bids have been ramping up lately and hopefully you guys are getting similar results.  And with the slew of great eBay seller promos that they keep offering (seriously, why did I open an eBay store again?), now is a great time to list any and everything  you’ve got.

Keep your visits up, keep you eBay store stocked, and let’s ride this holiday rush all the way to the end!

Talk to you soon and have an awesome day :)

Meinard

 Finds of the Week

Adidas Kobe Bryant Jersey

KB24

Item Cost:  $6.99

Winning Bid:  $27.99

Polo Ralph Lauren Rugby Shirt

3xb

Item Cost:  $5.99

Winning Bid:  $33.99

Brooks Running Shoes

Glycerin

Item Cost:  $6.99

Winning Bid:  $39.99

Check out my FREE 2-Week Mini-Course to learn about this great brand.  These boots are RIDICULOUSLY  easy to sell!!

Explorer

Item Cost:  $8.99

Winning Bid:  $69.99

 

This Buyer Left eBay Because of Me…and I Don’t Care

 

Or maybe I should?  I’ll let you  decide, here’s the story:

About a week ago I shared this nice sale on one of my Finds of the Week post:

This is a pair of Nike Air Jordan XII “Taxi” and I was able to sell it for $49.99. This particular model was made in 1996 and it’s extremely valuable because of it’s age and because it was the original release (this model has been re-release several times over the years but collector’s are always looking for the original model).

Nice find at Salvation Army for sure but it was definitely showing it’s age.  A part of the shoe was chipped near the center and there was separation in the midsole.  Despite these flaws, they were still able to sell for a decent price because…well, they’re Jordan’s and sneakerheads have endless supply of cash I suppose.

Now, as some of you may have read in my How to Protect Your Auction post, I like to be as thorough as possible with my description – I think it’s one of the best ways to protect yourself should a dispute arise.  And with the age and obvious flaws in this pair, you can be sure that I mentioned them my description and I provided some accompanying pictures.

Here’s the pics:

So you would think that the buyer would have a good understanding of what she was buying, right?  Wrong!

I get an eBay message from the buyer a few days later and here’s what she wrote:

“I recently bought some Jordan shoes from you and I got them in the mail yesterday.  I wore the shoes one time and the bottom of the shoe came off.  I am VERY unhappy and I would like my money back.”

To which I replied:

“I’m sorry to hear that.  Did you glue them first or did you just wear them”

I was sincerely curious but part of the reason why I asked this question was so that I could (hopefully) get it in writing that she did not read my warnings in the description about the separation in the midsoles.

Not only did my strategy work, but I was also shocked to find out that she didn’t even know that something was wrong with the midsole in the first place !

“I just wore them.  I didn’t know I need to glue them!”

“It says on the description that there was separationn on the midsoles and that you need  to glue them back together.  Did you not read that part.”

“No I didn’t see that.”

She flat out admitted that she didn’t read the description or look at the pictures.

Regardless, being the good and ever customer-service focused eBay sellers that we are, I still offered to provide her with a refund but I needed to receive the shoes back and I wasn’t going to reimburse her the cost of return shipping.  Why should I pay for her mistake, right?!

At this point, she just practically gave up and wrote:

“…I’ll just trash the shoes because it’s too much of a hassle to send them back and wait until you get them.  It’s just all too much.  This is my first and last time on eBay.  I’m just super unhappy.”

I didn’t respond to her after that.

The Assumption of Rationale Buyers

And this is a rather HUGE assumption!

Because one would assume that if you were going to give your hard earned cash to someone you’ve never met, who’s potentially hundreds of miles away, for an item that you have never touched or tried on before…that you would (at the very least) read the description and look at the pictures.  Right?! I know I sure as heck would!

Yet, these type of buyers are ALL over eBay and I’m sure you’ve had your fair share of them as well.

So do I feel bad that this buyer is leaving eBay?

To a point.  I mean, I feel bad that there’s one less buyer for you and me.  But that’s it, that’s the extent of it.

Ebay is a marketplace where buyers and sellers come together and that means we all have to meet in the middle for this process to work.  I feel like I did everything in my part and, at the end of the day, that’s all I can do.  It’s up to the buyer to meet us the other half of the way.

Merrier Times Ahead

It’s been a rough start to the holiday season with some buyers but hopefully cheerier times are ahead.  Sales have been trending upwards and I’ve been focusing on keeping my activities up in preparation for the final holiday push.

This is my hopefully my last post about a bad buyer in a while and my goal for the rest of the year is to post nothing but tips and great sales – fingers crossed anyway lol

Talk to you soon and I hope your crushing it with your eBay sales!

Meinard

Music to My Ears

 

“Ka-Ching!”

Those of you who use the eBay Mobile App know that sound all too well and it really has become music to my ears.

In fact, I could listen to that all day and not be irritated by it.  I’ve had that sound interrupt my favorite song while driving (Taylor Swift’s – “Blank Space” – I really wish I was joking about this one) and not be upset.

It woke me up at 2am in the morning on several occasions and I still have a smile on my face.  When’s the last time you said that about your alarm clock?

I even heard it on another sellers smartphone at the thrift store and I get excited for them because I know exactly what just happened!

That “Ka-Ching” sound is basically the eBay seller version of the “Pavlov’s Dogs” experiment.  I don’t get excited about the sale when I see the funds in my Paypal account, I get excited the moment I hear that sound!

If you haven’t done it yet, I highly recommend downloading the eBay app.  It’s a bit clumsy at times but you should download it for no other reason than to hear that wonderfully beautiful “Ka-Ching” sound!

Patience Being Tested

It’s the holiday season so it should be a time of spreading cheer and joy…but some buyers right now are really testing the limits of my patience.

If you’re on my mailing list (you can be a part of it by signing up for my FREE 2-Week Mini-Course) then you already heard about the buyer who returned a pair of jeans that was absolute reeking of cigarettes.

Well, I got another incident that happened a few days ago.  I won’t go into the details in this post (I’ll delve into this on my next one) but I will share that the buyer stated they  will no longer be buying on eBay after purchasing my item and you know what…it’s probably a good idea!

Looking forward to sharing that story but, in the meantime, I hope you’re having an amazing week and please enjoy my latest thrift stores sales!

Meinard

Finds of the Week

Asics Running Shoes

Asics Red

Item Cost:  $6.99

Winning Bid:  $37.99

Nike Youth Kevin Durant Basketball Shoes

KD Youth

Item Cost:  $2.99

Winning Bid:  $37.99

Asos Leather Jacket

Asos

Item Cost:  $12.99

Winning Bid:  $59.99

Enter the Malls at Your Own Risk

 

Hi everyone, Meinard here hoping you had an amazing Thanksgiving feast with your family and friends!

I’m extremely thankful to have a wonderful family and if the amount of food I ate over Thanksgiving is an indication of how much I love them, then it’s safe to say that I love them a whole lot! lol

It was basically eating and football the whole day but man was it good!

Black Friday Madness

I don’t know what it’s like in your neck of the woods, but here in Hawai’i it’s enter the mall at your own risk.  The line of cars trying to enter the mall extends all the way to the freeway so you can imagine what it’s like inside the stores at the checkout counters.

I stood line for 30 minutes twice at Macy’s – one to buy clothes and another time to buy a pressure cooker – but the deals were good so I guess it was worth it in the end.

As far as the virtual checkout line on eBay, it’s been a great week so far.  Impulse buys are in the air so be sure to utilize as much Buy-It-Now auctions as much possible and, if you get a chance, be sure to visit your local thrift stores.  I’m sure they have some sales going on right now as well.

Talk to you soon and be safe out there!

Meinard

Finds of the Week

 Herbalife Active Shirt

herbalife shirt

Item Cost:  $4.99

Winning Bid:  $10.99

This isn’t one of my best sellers but this is the third Herbalife shirt that I’ve sold recently.  I previously sold two Herbalife cycling jersey’s – one sold for $62.00 and another for $45.06.  If you see this brand at your thrift stores it’s worth a pick-up, there seems to be a lot of interested buyers.

Adidas New York Red Bulls Shirt

Adidas Red Bull

Item Cost:  $3.99

Winning Bid:  $31.99

Vtg Youth Air Jordan

This particular pair of Jordan’s was creased, had gum and dirt stains on the bottom, had sock lint around the ankles, and the midsoles were starting to separate.  All that, and it’s the same ‘ole story with Air Jordan’s:  the demand is unbelievable!

If you’re not selling them, then you truly are missing out on some great profits!

taxi

Item Cost:  $2.99

Winning Bid:  $49.99

Asics Running Shoes

kayano

Item Cost:  $6.99

Winning Bid:  $71.00

The Reseller Guide Affiliate Program – Earn 50% on Each Sale!

The Ultimate Guide to Thrift Store Reselling Affiliate Program

eBook cover 174  261Welcome current and future affiliates!

I know that many of you have already referred my Thrift Store Reseller Guide eBook to your family and friends.

And sadly, in the past, all that I could offer you in return was my unending thanks and appreciation.  (Seriously, THANK YOU SO MUCH!!)

But now that’s all about to change!

I’m happy to announce that – in addition to my gratitude – I can also now offer you something a little more tangible: cold, hard cash!!

Yep, I’ve partnered with Clickbank, the Internet’s largest and most trusted retailer of digital products, and you can now earn a whopping 50% commissions on all sales  of my eBook; that means you can make almost $15 per sale! 

That means that several of you would’ve already earned well over $100  if I had started the affiliate program when I first released the eBook!

Clickbank processes all transactions, and they’ll send you your commission check twice a month.

Affiliate Resources Page

Plus, I’ve made it really easy to get started.

You have access to FREE  plug and play affiliate resources such as banners, eBook covers, email marketing templates, and sample product reviews that you can simply copy and paste on your website and emails.

Check out my affiliate page to access these FREE resources.

It really couldn’t be any easier.

Your unique Affiliate URL will then direct traffic straight to my sales page:

http://thriftresellingtips.com/learn.html

Getting Started

Here’s how to get started:

Step 1:

Join Clickbank to get your unique Affiliate ID so you can track your sales.  If you haven’t joined Clickbank already, you can do so here.  It’s FREE and it only takes a minute to join.

Step 2:

Go to my affiliate resource page to access the banners, ebook covers, and other free resources that you can use.

Here are some sample resources at your disposal:

Reseller Guide eBook Cover 174 261

 

Reseller Guide Banner 300 x 250

 

They’re also available in different sizes and dimension so you can select the option that’s best for you.

Your unique Affiliate URL will then direct traffic straight to my sales page:

http://thriftresellingtips.com/learn.html

At that point, Clickbank will handle the rest – they’ll track all clicks and sales and they’ll also process all the affiliate commissions.

Here’s the link again to the resource page:

http://www.thriftresellingtips.com/affiliate-program.html

Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.

Cheers to your success and thanks again for all your support!

Meinard

“There’s Always Next Season”

I’ve been a sports-fan for as long as I can remember.  In fact, when I was younger I remember waking excited on Saturday mornings because Michael Jordan and his Chicago Bulls had a game against Penny Hardaway and the Orlando Magic.

Old habits die hard I guess and I still get excited whenever there’s a good game on TV (although I did swap Jordan’s Bulls for Kobe’s Lakers as my favorite team).

If you’re looking for a niche or a hobby to sell on eBay, I would definitely take a long, hard look at selling sports gear.  Whether it’s shoes, jerseys, or t-shirts, it doesn’t really matter.  They’re all good!

And while each sport has a “season”, at this day and age of 24/7 non-stop ESPN marketing, it matters less and less.  There’s coverage year-round so there’s always excitement being generated even though there’s technically no games being played – for the NFL especially.

Next YearThis isn’t some fad that’s going to go away either.  Seemingly every year it seems like the sports-industry and the fan base keep getting bigger and bigger.

And regardless of how their team is doing, these fans keep coming back for more because, as those eternal optimists always say, “there’s always next season.”  That’s the reason why sports-league keep coming back stronger and more profitable year after year, and that’s why sports items continue to be one of my favorite and most profitable niches on eBay as well.  It’s actually what I started selling on eBay when I first started and I see no reason why I should stop anytime soon.

It’s NFL and NBA season right now so be on the lookout for jerseys and basketball sneakers in particular.  For the time being, I would focus my attention on the NFL since it dominates the headlines.

However, starting January and February, I would definitely start to transition to basketball gear as the NFL season winds down and the NBA playoffs start getting closer and closer.

In the meantime, I hope you enjoy this weeks sports-inspired finds and, as always, please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions, comments, or if you just want to say “Hello!”

Cheers and good luck at the thrift stores!

Meinard

Finds of the Week

Reebok Colin Kaepernick NFL Jersey

 

Item Cost:  $6.99

Winning Bid:  27.99

Nike Youth Kevin Durant Basketball Shoes

 

Item Cost:  $2.99

Winning Bid:  $33.99

Vtg Karl Malone Utah Jazz Jersey

 

Item Cost:  $4.99

Winning Bid:  $37.99

Vtg Baltimore Ravens Baseball-Style NFL Jersey

 

Item Cost:  $6.99

Winning Bid:  $39.99

Welcome Home Sales plus a $150 Belt!!

 

Should I use the auction format or should I use the Buy-it-Now option?

This is probably one of the most common questions that I’m asked and one that you’ve probably faced yourself on several occasions as an eBay seller.

It’s not an easy question and I feel bad that I can never give a straight answer.  Because the truth is that there’s a lot of factors to consider when deciding on the format i.e. your preference as a seller, the item your selling, your expected profit, the timing, etc.

Personally, I like to use a combination of both and, at any given time, my auctions have a ratio of approximately 70% auctions and 30% Buy-it-Now (BIN).

And while this post isn’t about settling this classic debate, I did want to share one of the reasons why I’m still a big fan of using the auction format:  Timing the end of the auction.

I think this is a HUGE advantage with auctions because it allows you to anticipate a nice influx of cash on an set date.

I’ve used this strategy with success on several occasions.  For example, if I’m leaving for a trip and I need some spending cash, I would schedule all my auctions to end a week before my trip.  That gives me enough time to receive the payments, ship my items, and open any unpaid item cases before I leave for my trip.

Or if you have an item that coincides with an upcoming event and you know buyers will be looking for it, you can use the auction format to end right before the event and take advantage of the hype and hysteria that builds.

MannyAlgieriI just used this strategy on a Nike Manny Pacquiao jacket and it worked like crazy!  His next prize fight is on November 22nd and I have no doubt that this factored in to the final sales price of the jacket.  Scroll down to check out the results.

This strategy is flexible (you have 3, 5, 7, and even 10 day auctions available) and you can basically cater it to any situation you need.

I just used it a few days ago and, again, it worked as expected.  As I mentioned in my previous post, I recently returned from a trip to Las Vegas and this strategy allowed me to really hit the ground running after my trip.

I scheduled it so that all my auctions ended on the day that I returned.  Not only did I return home with payments received in my Paypal account, but this strategy also allowed me to gain momentum quickly and, as a result, I’ve been making some great sales since I returned.  Scroll down to check out the belt I just sold!

Hope you’re having a great week and I’ll talk to you soon,

Meinard

 Finds of the Week

Henri Lloyd Jacket

henrilloyd

Item Cost:  $6.99

Winning Bid:  $24.99

Sign up for my FREE 2-Week Mini Course

to Learn about this Great Item!

Sherpa3

Item Cost:  $8.99

Winning Bid:  $46.00

Nike Manny Pacquiao Jacket

NikeManny

Item Cost:  $6.99

Winning Bid:  $86.00

I’m not sure I would’ve sold this jacket for this price if Manny didn’t have a fight this Saturday, November 22.  Timing was crucial for this sale!

 Louis Vuitton Leather Belt

Louis Vuitton

Item Cost:  $5.99

Winning Bid:  $150.00

 

Thrift Store Reselling in Las Vegas

 

Location-Proof

You won’t often hear too many complaints about living in Hawai’i from yours truly; I mean, with all the sunshine, blue skies, and beautiful beaches everywhere, you really couldn’t ask for more as a resident.

But as a reseller?  Well, that’s a different story.

All those wonderful island attributes aside, one of the drawbacks about a reseller living on an island is that…well, you’re living on an island.

There’s only so many Goodwill’s, Salvation Army’s, and Savers thrift stores that you can visit.

To be fair, business has been good with the selection that I have hear but once – just once – I would love to go on a multi-state thrifting road trip just to prove to myself what I’ve long suspected about thrift store reselling which is:  it’s basically location-proof.

By that I mean you can do this just about anywhere there’s a thrift store.

I guess I really don’t need more proof since I’ve done some thrifting in California and even as far away as Europe and still I was able to find some amazing stuff at their stores.  Plus, since I started this blog I’ve met some great people all across the country – California, Seattle, New York, Florida, Texas, Maine, Georgia, and so on – who’ve been having some great success.

In light of these facts, I’m fairly certain that you can do this just about anywhere.  But still, I would love to see  with my own two eyes.

So when I got a chance to visit a Savers on a recent trip to Las Vegas, I was a very excited to say the least.

Looking for Ramen, Found a Savers

My girlfriend and I rented a car for this trip which gave us a chance to explore the city a little bit.  Usually we would be confined to The Strip because taxi fares can add up rather quickly when you start venturing out.

We we’re actually on our way to eat some ramen when I noticed the Savers sign on the side of the road.  Not sure how I noticed it really, I guess I’m just trained to spot them lol

So after we ate some ramen (delicious, btw), we made a quick visit to the store and man was I glad we stopped by.

I spotted a pair of Jordan’s the moment I walked in and I found some other Nike’s and Kobe’s soon after.  This place was packed with great stuff which made me wonder if there are any other resellers in the area.

Here are some of the finds from Vegas:

 (I listed these yesterday and I already received a $24.99 bid)Elite

Military

Gravity

Plus, the shoes were in the $4.99 – $6.99 price range!  There were so many other jackets and shirts that I wanted to buy but my luggage space was limited and I didn’t want to buy another luggage and pay any additional fees at the airport so I decided to leave some stuff behind.

So if you’re ever in the area (I’m not sure what the address was but the store was located on South Decatur Boulevard), you should definitely stop by the Savers there!

The opportunities really are limitless with thrift reselling.  I mean, this is just one store, in one city and I was able to find some great stuff with just a quick 15-minute visit.

Imagine how many other thrift stores there are out there.  It’s crazy really and I wish I could visit all of them.  I’m confined to an island so my options are limited.  But if you’re not, I would suggest you take advantage of opportunity that you have.

If there’s a store that you haven’t check out yet, stop by.  If there’s one on the way while running your errands, stop by.  If a small, independent thrift store, stop by anyway.  You just never know what you’ll find!

Playing Catch-Up

We were in Las Vegas for almost a week and it’s always fun to unwind and take some time to relax.  I definitely feel ready to tackle these last few weeks of 2014.

I’m still trying to catch-up with everything since I arrived back so I apologize if I’m late with replying to many of your questions and emails, I’ll definitely get back to you though.

Welcome Home Sales2I also planned it so that a bunch of auctions ended on the day that I returned so it feels great to hit the ground running when I got back.  Plus, payments are still coming in so I have some packing that I still have to do.

So it’s been a little chaotic but at least I have some great sales to share on my next Finds of the Week that I’ll be posting in a few days.

Until then, have a great day and good luck!

Meinard