So what’s it really like owning an online store? I always wondered how did people find things to sell? Well my online selling story starts with a bet. As long as my husband and I have been married we have shopped at thrift stores. Three years ago was not different. We walked down the isles and my husband spotted this velvet painting. It was a child sitting on a chamber pot. Usually we would laugh and walk away. However this time I made the comment I bet I could sell this on ebay. My husband laughed and said there was no way. I looked at the price and thought hmmm. Only a dollar? I bought it took it home and put it for sale on Ebay. To both of our surprise I sold it later that week for $40.00 dollars!
The excitement of the sale gave me a thrill. I looked around my house and at thrift stores and started selling online and haven’t looked back.
About six months into my online adventure, I started an Etsy store. After selling online for over two and half years. I will tell you owning an online store is not for the faint of heart. If you plan on selling vintage on Etsy than this means your items has to be over 20 years. You also have to be prepared to go on treasure hunts pretty often.
Looking for something isn’t as easy as it seems. I have made some flop purchases and I am always surprised when something I consider not in my taste sells for high dollars. Once I find something I think will sell, the research begins.
Knowing what you are selling is helps a lot. I have found things that look interesting and have sat on a shelf for months, waiting until I know what it is. When you are researching your item, you are looking: for 1.brand
Who made it?
When was it made?
How much has it sold for in the past
After the research I start to clean up the object I am going to sale. Most of the time this involves just a soft rag and water. Knowing how to clean antiques can be hard to. My rule of thumb is if it I don’t know how to clean it, than I don’t clean it and leave to the buyer to determine if it needs cleaning.
When the cleaning is finished, the object is ready for pictures. I choose a place where I can use natural sunlight. I than make sure, to take pictures of each angle, and any scratches and dings. My goal is to take pictures pretending that there will not be a description.
Than I upload my pictures and write a description like there are no pictures. This is to ensure the buyer knows exactly what they are getting with no surprises. Once the item has been purchased, I wrap it carefully, and send it to it’s new home. Each object in my store takes 2-6 hours of my time depending on how common it is.
If you plan to sell online it is also useful to have storage available to house your items until they sale. I am super luck my husband built me shelves in a storage room in our garage. This keeps the kids out and gives me a space to work.
I love selling vintage items. It takes time and patience but in the end for me it is worth it. I love learning about new things and the history behind the items I sell. I love my customers, some have emailed me and told me the true value of their new treasured objects. Such as a forgotten memory, or the symbolism it plays for a hard time in their life.
Have you ever thought about selling online? What has stopped you?
If you have a chance stop by my Etsy store :VintageintheBeehive. If you see something you like for the Holiday season put in the Coupon code: Thismommytries for an additional 10% off.