When I tell people about what I do and sell on Etsy, they ask me how I do it.
Not to reveal all my secrets (but I am sure you can guess), but I like to go on what I call "hunts". This is where I peruse various locations (thrift shops, estate sales, garage sales etc.) and look for unique and interesting items.
A typical haul from a hunt looks like this:
One step away from the first ever Hoarders/Intervention Double Whammy.
It's important to set your limits. For instance, my biggest criteria (and pretty much only one) is to choose only items that I myself would want to purchase full price! That way 1. I know if it doesn't sell, then I am still getting something I will enjoy and 2. If there are people out there like me (and I know there must be) than I will eventually make a sale. I also make sure that my items are in good condition. This means minimal to no chips, cracks, dents etc. Obviously when shopping for vintage, items won't always be in mint condition. If there is a minor imperfection, that doesn't effect the use, quality or image of the item, I will consider purchasing it, but always remember to list those imperfections.
It's interesting when you go out on a hunt with another person. My boyfriend and I went on a hunt the other day, and saw a set of glasses. He thought they would be a good idea. I wasn't too sure. I'm not a huge fan of souvenir items:
I didn't end up buying them, and now I see that they are selling - and they would have made a good profit. Oh well. It makes me realize that I need to maybe be a bit less discriminating about the items I purchase. Shopping with a fresh set of eyes, one whose tastes differ from yours can sometimes be a good thing. At the end of the day however, I am in the business to make some money, so if I'm not entirely sure, I'd rather not risk it.
On my last hunt I did find a few items that I'm particularly fond of:
Here are the Mushroom Glasses I found! How ridiculously cool is this? Could you imagine serving your favourite cocktail in this? Ok, so they may not be the most classy of items, but there is a sense of irony to serve your guests a classy cocktail, in a mushroom and leaf motif glass.
This is the cutest thing. Ever. It's a vintage fondue pot, however, it can be used as a traditional cooking pot. How can you not love the umbrella motif decorated around the bottom of the pot?
The hunt is the fun part. The part that I look most forward to. Everything else is what makes it a part-time job. It is time-consuming to take the right picture, to get the right light, to get the right angle. It is important to properly stage your image. I'm still struggling with this. I marvel at people's picture taking abilities. Perhaps one of my first major purchases with my Etsy $ is to buy a DSLR camera.
After taking the pictures I have to list every item. Again, time consuming. I have to resize the pictures, inspect the items, describe, title, price etc. All of this can take the better part of an evening.
And then there was one...
After everything is photographed and listed, it gets wrapped back up, and stored for safe keeping.
It's an ongoing learning process to be a vintage seller on Etsy, and I am certainly not anywhere close to being an expert, but I'm enjoying every moment of it!