Time to Limit Buying…for a Season

The start of a new year always presents a wonderful opportunity to make changes and shake up the status quo…so that’s what I want to do. For my business, I’ve decided to start with a change that’s going to be hard, but necessary.

Here’s the story…

Most folks who resell online and/or have an antique booth end up with piles (and piles) of purchased items that languish and don’t get listed. Sometimes there are good reasons why stuff doesn’t get listed or put out right away. I know I’ve got a few reasons:

  • more research is needed and I’ve hit a wall
  • it needs to be washed, ironed, cleaned, fixed or polished
  • it needs to be modeled
  • it’s out of season

But whatever the reason (good or bad), I hate having piles unlisted inventory. They’re unsightly and financially (let’s face it) stupid. And despite making progress whittling away at my piles this past fall, I’ve decided it’s time to drastically reduce my buying till I get fully caught up. (I’m allowing myself one hunting expedition a week.) I want a tidy, functional work area this year.

This photo is from August 2018 and it’s only marginally better now.

So I’m five days into 2019 with no trips to thrift stores or estate sales. This included the fabulous first-of-the-year sales I normally would have gone to. And I’ll be honest, I’m having withdrawal pains! I keep thinking I’m missing out on goodies. Which I am, but that’s okay. Yesterday I spent the morning listing items from my piles which included several lots of vintage hankies and two sets of quirky matryoshka dolls.

Bible story and Alice in Wonderland nesting dolls.

The day before I had listed jewelry, scarves and spoons. All things I had already spent good money on weeks, months and yes, years ago!

This is an Echo silk scarf made for the Virginia Museum of Fine Art.

A few items also got put into my re-donate pile, like this vintage English pewter mug. It’s not a bad item. In fact I think it has a simple, handsome appeal as a flower jug. (Picture it with a handful of wildflowers.) It’s just not worth much $ or the trouble/time it would take to sell online, particularly as the shipping cost would rival the cost of the item. (Any local friends want this??)

I’m limiting online purchases too and so far have only bought one thing this year for my store using some of my eBay Bucks (accrued store credit from previous purchases). After perusing various eBay categories trying to find good, undervalued items to buy with my credit I ended up using part of it to buy a set of four sterling silver cocktail stirrers with small turquoise finials. (This is one of the listing photos.)

I love these. They are marked “Packards, Sterling, J. Suina.” It turns out Packard’s was a jewelry shop and trading post in Santa Fe, New Mexico, that closed in 2013. The store owners had worked with “authentic Native American and Southwestern artisans” to secure quality items since 1944. Cool! So these stirrers were handmade by J. Suina. Can’t wait to receive them. (I still have almost $20 eBay credit left that I need to use in the next few weeks before it expires…what a fun problem to have!)

I’ll be honest it’s slow going working through the piles. And not fun. But it is satisfying getting more things listed in my Etsy store and seeing the piles dwindle. The end result will be worth it. 🙂 I’ll keep you posted.

How about you…any piles getting in your way??

As always, happy hunting…and happy listing,


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