At the beginning of December, our Etsy shop had its first anniversary. I was going to write a post about it back then, but the funny thing is, December’s actually a really busy month. Turns out that January isn’t so un-busy either. But. For better or worse, today’s post is a one year-ish summary of Selected And Collected.
It started out as an outlet for the overflow of stuff that we’d accumulated and has turned into a full-blown part-time job. Today I thought we could take a look at some of the things that have come & gone through our shop. Just for fun. This could get long. Sorry.
Some things we’ve sold are so bizarre that we don’t even know how to price them at first. Check out this guy (below) – a space-y terrarium that’s roughly three feet tall. It’s a good example of a rare piece that is so iconic it will always have a following. It sold for around $200 in our shop (just to give you an idea of value).
We like finding stuff like this.
One thing we learned pretty fast is that anything paint-by-number related (that’s PBN for those in the know) is a guaranteed sell. So if you’ve got any of those hanging around your house, just don’t throw them away (like my mom did). Someone somewhere wants them.
Anytime I ever see vintage lights (that are in good condition and look interesting) for sale, I snap them up if the price is good. My first thought is always, “is this for our house?” which is almost always followed by “I’m so selling this sucker.”
Lighting is one section of the shop that is pretty profitable, and really good vintage lights can be super hard to find for remotely reasonable prices, so I’m always looking.
I think I said something about this before, but oooohhh my woooord bar carts. This is another profitable section of our shop. We’ve sold six and still have two ready to go. I think at one point we had five bar carts in the house. Not including the two upstairs that are mine.
They take work to ship, because they are usually disassembled before shipping, but it pays off in the end. Which is the whole point of it all, is it not?
After about six months of being “in business”, we were pretty surprised by how well our shop was doing and by the variety of things that people buy. We decided to venture into furniture a little bit when we came across a couple pieces that we couldn’t pass up.
The good thing is, selling furniture is profitable, and usually worth the extra effort it takes to process/list/store/package/ship. The bad thing is, when there is too much of it at once, one of us has meltdowns. I’m working on it. Meltdowns or not, I can’t deny that buying & selling these pieces has been a good thing.
As far as shipping goes, some things have been picked up at our house (my favorite) and some things have been shipped via Greyhound. A couple of pieces we’ve delivered across the state or to Chicago. It’s a little different every time.
So those are some of our biggest item categories, but we’ve also sold some pretty bizarre things. Pictured below, we’ve got a hot pink wig head form, some vintage straw beach mats, mini faux deer mounts (these things sell so fast), faux-wood paneling wall paper, a giant red plastic fish, and the best piggy bank I’ve ever seen. So random, right?
As of the time I’m writing this, we’ve had 162 sales (on our Etsy shop, but sometimes we sell things through other channels). Our shop (and the items in it) have had over 30,000 views. We’ve shipped things (even furniture) all over the world, but mostly to NYC (hey Brooklyn!) or various places in CA.
This past year has taught us a lot about what types of things to look for and buy, and I’ve got a couple of goals for this coming season. The first is to focus on things that I can make money on. Duh, right?? I’m setting a mental minimum of a $10 profit per item, because by the time you factor in the time it takes to buy the item, photograph it, list it, and ship it, $10 profit is a good minimum as far as I’m concerned. I’m also going to focus on quality over quantity, and really hone in on the “special” stuff. So probably no enamel cookware.
Even though I’ll never be totally caught up on listing every. last. thing. in. the. basement. this shop has turned an interest into an income, & it’s been a fun ride! Every now & then people ask us questions about this little shop of ours, and if you have one that I didn’t address, feel free to ask away..
If you’re local and you know of a source for big (think wall art big or appliance big) cardboard boxes.. Or packaging peanuts.. Or bubble wrap.. We’re always looking for more!
And.. If you haven’t looked it up before, here’s our Etsy shop. Not that you have to care, but if you made it this far, you must at least have a mild interest. Or you’re really bored.