Thursday, February 24, 2011

Cari Cucksey of Cash & Cari Answers Your Reselling Questions

A couple of weeks ago I was invited to participate in a Q&A with Cari Cucksey of Cash & Cari. From our conversation I learned Cari is not only the real deal and a consummate professional, but also just as passionate of a thrifter and hunter as the rest of us.


What do you see as future trends in collectibles?

I'm observing that more and more people are buying vintage and antique books. More trends - retro & kitschy kitchen items are hot and will continue to be hot. Vinyl albums and turntables...I can't keep vintage audio equipment in stock or at estate sales for very long. Tools and old musical instruments are popular. People are also looking for silver, clocks, lamps, vintage clothes and anything art deco.

What age group makes up the majority of your customer base?

The people who come to my estate sales and my RePurpose™ store vary in age from 30-somethings to middle aged and more "seasoned" collectors. The state of the economy has been a factor in the increased number people looking for deals on quality used furniture, dishes, etc. Moms and Dads are looking for pieces to help furnish their kids college rooms or a first time apartments.

 Then we have the "green" and "repurpose" minded couples who see collecting and furnishing their homes with antiques as good for the planet. And, of course we have collectors who want to add to their collections and dealers who are buying things to resell. We also see an increased number of younger women looking for vintage clothing.

Can you tell us about your success with online sales?

With the increase of home computers, laptops, iPads and Smart phones, more and more people are buying online and research shows this increases each year. Many people do much of their shopping and price comparisons online. This includes looking for deals on antiques, as well as, searching for collectibles and items that can be resold for a profit. Online shopping saves them time and money and with today's current gas prices, it helps them save even more money.


Any advice you may have for some fellow hand re-crafters looking to open shop would be great!

Start small! Listing things on craigslist.org, kijiji.com or Ebay.com. A booth at local antique mart or shows. Research prices on line, subscribe to magazines, like Country Living, Martha Stewart, Victoria, etc. as publications like these tend to drive styles and trends.

What do you do with “leftovers” from estates?

We give them to local charities, like Salvation Army, Purple Heart, Goodwill and Habitat for Humanity.

What was your largest ticket item?

Largest ticket item I've ever sold is a limo that was shipped to Russia....$42,000.

What's your favorite aspect of reselling?

One of my favorite aspects of reselling is learning the history of pieces, their value and their story. I also love the twinkle in customers eyes when they find a treasure they have been hunting for.

I love to RePurpose and then resell...RePurposing items, and giving them new life is the ultimate green. Each piece has a story and I love the fact that something used in the past can find a new life in the present. It is also rewarding to be able to help people make money by selling their things and on the flip side, help a buyer add to their collections or find something they can resell to keep the cycle going. It's a win-win-win! I like to say, "RePurposing is my purpose!"


I know you started reselling at 12, but when did you become a full time professional re-seller? How hard was it to become one?

Even though this is my passion, and it may look glamorus, it is hard work. Like any business, it takes time and energy for success. I started part-time online and kept my day job and did research on trends, and the items I was drawn to.

Is there any advice you have for reselling beginners?

Do your research and learn from an established seller. Ask questions. Start small, subscribe to trade publications. I have just begun work on an e-book - RePurposing and Estate Sales from A-Z which will provide insight based on my own experiences and success. More information about that will be posted on my website - http://www.repurposeshop.com/.

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Part II for this Q & A with Cari of Cash & Cari will be coming up next week. Thank you everyone who had questions for Cari via Thrift Core's Twitter, Facebook, and e-mail

You can interact with Cari on her HGTV Website, Business Website, or Follow her on Twitter.
Daily thrifting updates, information, & Inspiration: Follow Thrift Core on Twitter and Facebook.

12 comments:

  1. My only issue with Cari is that she seems to have no knowledge (from the shows I've seen) of mid-century items. She's more into the Victorian, Art Deco stuff. She loves to price little stuff, but I've never seen her with anything "special". Oh well, maybe it's me.

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  2. I've noticed that too - not only with Cash & Cari but with American Pickers, Pawn Stars, etc. They tend to like or know about the older stuff. I have a feeling that they do know about midcentury,but just don't feature it as much. But I guess, I'm sort of OK with that - other than the show not featuring items we're more into. Because, I'd rather they didn't hype up all the stuff we're looking for! =)

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  3. Well, she supposedly does appraisals on the HGTV website, but she only does little things, glass things and stuff like that. She never touches MCM or modern stuff. She says "kitchy kitchen" stuff is hot, yet she never shows it nor appraises it - at least so far. Oh well. I would love her job though. Like a treasure hunt every day.

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  4. You would think with today's estate sells she would run into a lot of MCM things. I have seen alot of mid century things while I am out at estate sells and I have only been going for a few months. What I do not like seeing is how they "re-do" things that look good "as is". But I guess she knows what sells in her shop.

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  5. Great interview! I enjoy her show and would LOVE to ultimately get into the estate sale part of the business. I do agree with DFW in some of the re-dos. That turquoise fold out table from a few weeks ago was fab with the original chippy paint! I would have left that baby alone!

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  6. Thanks for doing the interview, Van! Very interesting, and I look forward to seeing the second half.

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  7. On the episode where Cari is selling her grandparents items, there was a dish set, called "aristocrat imperial ware" nothing is said what it sold for or how many pieces there was, I have some of this pattern, that has been priced in 1988 at $1000 per item, so it would seem that there are a lot of items that Cari is still not aware of the real value, wonder if she will be kicking her self for not checking into it further. The dishes were originally from Canada, city of York, now Toronto.

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  8. I love CASH AND CARI AND TRY REALLY HARD NOT TO MISS IT. I THINK CARI DOES A GOOD OF KEEPING A PERSONS INTEREST IN THE SHOW AND SHOWING THINGS THAT ARE GOOD TO LOOK FOR AT ESTATE AND GARAGE SALES. KEEP UP THE GOODE WORK CARI.

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  9. Very informative post. One thing people don't realize is that in this business it's impossible to be knowledgeable about everything - the sea of collectibles is vast. Resellers have areas that they specialize in and focus on that are profitable for them. Cari probably has associates. she consults with for areas out of her expertise.

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  10. I have an 1800's great condition pump organ works is small for an organ anyone know the value?

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    Replies
    1. I'm not Cari, you can ask her questions on Twitter. @CariCucksey

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  11. very informative; great interview, Van; thanks!

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I love reading your comments. Thank you for adding to the discussion! I always reply to any and all questions.

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