Of course, “bummer” also adequately describes the state of my business right now, thrifting-wise and sales-wise. Thanks to an unusually wet summer, yard sales have been widely scattered, much like the thunderstorms that seem to hit every day. Sales, too, have been widely scattered, which I also blame partially on the rain since I can’t acquire fresh inventory.
And in an ironic juxtaposition, the thrift stores have been dry of good sellable inventory.
So, I’m calling this season the “summer of my discontent,” to paraphrase Shakespeare very badly.
Despite my literary whining here, though, I have stayed busy. I still haven’t completely listed everything that I got from the retired teacher, plus Ella and I are both listing, sorting and storing the western memorabilia lot. We’ve even attended several auctions, hoping to chance upon that rare collectible that will either let us retire, or at least help tide us over until the next Amazon disbursement.
In the midst of this economic downturn, I’ve also hit upon an idea, thanks to some timely inspiration from Ella, that potentially could increase our profits next year when we have a vendor’s booth at the Memphis Film Festival. It requires some further research, though, and, unfortunately, a sizable outlay of capital when our balance books already are tipping precariously toward the red.
Ella keeps saying that you have to spend money to make money, and while I don’t disagree, it’s hard to watch the money go out without an equal amount coming in, or at least a steady stream, or, heck, even a noticeable trickle. This unequal distribution of assets almost makes me glad that my Star Trek lot buy apparently has fallen through. Almost.
Despite the dark clouds hanging over Georgia lately, both figuratively and literally, there have been a few rainbows (OK, so I’m stretching my rain metaphors), both in sales, and in semi-lucrative finds.
I finally sold the crown jewel of my inventory, my first edition Billy the Kid book. I couldn’t find another copy online anywhere, so I had listed it high ($1000) with best offer. Despite running different promotions, it has languished in my special collections bookcase for several years. A few sellers have made silly best offers ($5), but I finally got a serious offer yesterday, and negotiated a bit higher. Sadly, the final selling price wasn’t near my original asking price, but it will go a long way toward the aforementioned “sizable outlay of capital.”
In the “Ella finds a gem and doesn’t let me forget about it” department, she grabbed this new Harry Potter Clue game at a recent yard sale. Despite not having the low price, I’m confident that it will sell.
Speaking of which, I know that low price sells much of the time, but lately I’ve been thinking about the concept of “best value.” At my day job, we compete for contracts from the Government, which stresses that low bid doesn’t necessarily win the job. The Government bases their decision on several factors, including cost, experience, and risk. I think that concept translates well into our selling world, as many consumers are willing to pay more to sellers with better descriptions, better pictures, and, of course, better feedback. There’s simply less risk involved, even though it may cost a few dollars more.
As for this weekend, Ella and I again are trekking north to pick up the last load of our western memorabilia. Ella also has researched some yard sales and flea markets in the area, so Saturday promises to be a very long day.
Have a productive weekend everyone.