Hunting On Dreary Days

February where I live tends to be chilly and rainy and I find myself choosing to stay home more often. I try to make good use of the time taking care of house projects and working on the more tedious aspects of my Etsy store, like listing items from my never-ending death pile. But when I get a hankering to hunt, more often than not I look online. In the past I’ve been able to find good, undervalued items and these buys make up about 20-30% of my store inventory at any given time.

Can You Make Money Buying from Other Online Sellers?

Absolutely!! I’ve made a profit buying off other online sellers as have many others. (And I know folks have bought things from me that they’ve resold for a profit.) Generally it’s about having some knowledge, a lot of persistence and a little luck. Still, in my books it’s worth the effort.

Take these earrings for example. They were hefty Foree sterling silver clip-ons (circa 1980s/90s) made to look like Victorian luggage tags. I placed an opening bid on shopgoodwill.com and surprisingly no one else bid against me. I got them for $25 and sold them for $125. (Alas since then every Foree auction I’ve seen has gotten bid up.)

One of my favorite Brit vloggers Walter of AntiquesArena did a video on this very subject. He has his own antique store but also buys and sells online and is a knowledgeable, humble guy who is able to support his family with his business.

My Recent Online Finds

I got this collection of 1960s/70s Wells sterling silver charms for $22.

My first step before I bought them was to look up the sold prices on Worthpoint. Here are the prices I found:

  • Going Steady charm for $15-18
  • 4H shamrock charm for $11-35
  • crate of oranges for $14-20
  • happy birthday spinner charm for $12-20
  • crown charm for $12 -18

I felt assured that there would be enough profit to make it worth my while to buy this lot. My next step was to look at what’s currently for sale and at what condition and price. For example I found four listings for the same Going Steady charm and all were priced in the mid-to-upper $20s. I chose to list mine at $25 with free shipping.

And so far I’ve only found one other listing for the Wells 4-H enameled shamrock charm at $24.99 plus $3.50 shipping. I decided to list mine at $26 with free shipping.

(While selling charms is not a big business for me, I do sell between 3-5 a month. Hoping to improve those numbers as I add more to my store.)

I love buying art, though my knowledge is weak in this area. I tend to buy more on intuition and what I like. I “watched” this enamel on copper painting for weeks on eBay. I thought it was so charming. Don’t you love the stylized deer? Dated 1959, it’s attributed to a Native American artist. When the seller dropped the price, I decided to buy it. I need to do more research, but I’ll likely hold onto this for a while.

This Gorham sterling silver sugar and creamer purchase was a bit of a misstep. When I was researching sold prices, I saw the prices for the larger version of these and didn’t pay attention to the size difference. Mine are the smaller version and not worth as much. Poop! So not as much profit as I’d hoped, but they are good quality, usable pieces, so no regrets on that front.

What I Look for Online

I have several categories that are always on my search list:

  • vintage sterling silver charms
  • vintage/antique sterling silver smalls
  • intriguing artwork
  • vintage quilts
  • pottery, particularly mid century

Because these are things I am passionate about, it makes it easy to keep learning more about them.

What’s on your list??

As always, happy hunting,

Karen

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