Thank goodness February is over.
Between snow, the threat of snow, the rain, the threat of rain, bitter cold, the lack of sales, and the lack of good thrifting opportunities, February 2014 is simply a month to forget.
It’s time to march on, pun intended.
When I started selling online seven years ago, I had several goals, not the least of which was to avoid becoming Fred G. Sanford of television’s Sanford and Son fame, with matching cluttered house.
Today, I am dangerously close to that level of accumulated chaos due to my penchant for buying stuff to sell, and never having quite enough time to get it all listed. I’m sure some of you can relate, and while I know misery loves company, I’m getting quite tired of zig zagging through our great room around piles of unlisted stuff, and not being able to open my supply closet due to boxes and totes in front of it.
I am also fed up with having a chest full of vintage postcards; boxes and boxes of collectible Star Trek books; and long boxes full of comic books gathering dust, giving me no return, or even potential return, on my investment.
It’s also disheartening to have inventory in both vehicles because there is no room in the house yet to bring it in.
Both Ella and I have kidded about opening a thrift store in a vacant building near our house, but I know that’s a pipe dream. Still, the idea of having an off-site selling location is alluring, given that it would be another source of potential income, and would allow us to off-load some of our inventory items that are impractical to sell on any of my current online venues.
So, after watching countless YouTube videos, and reading both horror and success stories, we picked out a booth at the Big Peach Antique Mall. The mall, which features antiques, collectibles and basically anything but flea market tacky (i.e., used kitchen stuff, non-collectible clothing, etc.), is directly off Interstate 75 (the major highway that stretches between Michigan and Florida), and is literally just minutes from our house.
The rent is fairly reasonable, with no commissions, and the lease is month to month. It seems like a good idea, with no downsides, other than the level of effort and cost involved in getting it up and running.
Since we have inventory, the biggest issue right now is getting the infrastructure in place to hold all our stuff. Target had a sale on five-shelf bookcases last week for $25 each, so we bought three, and got a rain check for two more. Since a portion of the existing booth structure is peg-board material, I also bought some appropriate hardware and shelving. In addition, the local DVD rental store was selling surplus metal rolling DVD racks for $25, so we bought one of those as well.
One of the tips from the YouTube videos was to have a sign clearly stating booth name and number. We had been brainstorming names all week, and finally settled on Barry’s Bonanza. It’s semi-catchy, and not only ties the store name to my online ventures, but also the word “Bonanza” is both literal (a large amount of something valuable) and figurative (a throwback to Ella’s love of the popular Western TV show of the same name). Late Saturday night, Duc designed us a simple sign.
On Sunday morning, Ella and I priced and tagged our first load of stuff to put in our booth. Later, after Ella merchandised the booth, and I tweaked the shelves and hung the sign, it was very apparent that we have a long way to go. Here is the metamorphosis of our booth so far:
|The first thing we did was remove the hideous and dirty green rug. |
Also, the ugly black bookshelf on the right belongs to the other booth.
|We still have a lot of work to do!|
Aside from the booth, it was a fairly busy and good weekend of thrifting. We went to two consignment sales, a Saturday morning’s worth of yard, garage, and estate sales, and the local Saturday night auction. I actually ran out of money while paying my auction bill, and had to borrow $10 from Ella’s brother, who fortunately was at the auction as well.
Sales also have picked up over the last week. Amazon has been steady, and Ebay, while not spectacular, has provided several good cha-chings on my phone.
|Not a big sale, but not a bad ROI on 50 cents|
|Ditto. I've starting giving caps a closer look while thrifting|
|I accepted a best offer of $25. I love vintage software|
Back to the booth, I honestly hope that I am not spreading myself too thin with the addition of Barry’s Bonanza to our repertoire. Thankfully, Ella will take the lead in the paperwork, as well as the merchandising and organization. Still, my already over-crowded dance card just got a little more hectic.
Who needs sleep anyway?