Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Merchandise Room Tour Take Two + Taking a Long Thrift Fast. Maybe.

For the many who wonder where the hell I put all my thrifted junk, my boyfriend benevolently bestowed me with his house's sun room for storage. Before that boxes were taking over my apartment and my sanity! I'm grateful to have a space where I can see my merchandise on display, it's like having my own little shop.


It's thinned out since you last you saw it, but I still need to de-clutter and sell off much of the merch in this beast. I'll be hosting daily deals on social media and clerancing things out on my Etsy shop and in my booth at Southern Crossing Antique Mall. In the meantime I'm contemplating a thrift fast!


Many a thrifter thinks I'm insane when I suggest a thrift fast but it's to propose when you spend hours organizing merchandise in an un-cooled sun room at the height of Florida's oppressive heat. I emerge from the vault drenched in sweat with a fresh vow to NEVER BUY AGAIN!

What you see in these photos isn't the entire content of the rooms, there's about three full boxes of items I've got set asides to photograph for Etsy before they get re-integrated in the space. Coupled with the vintage book page line I want to get online and in shops and art lines I want to start, I've got PLENTY to keep me busy without going out hunting weekly.


To tell the truth, Monday's Haul post came dangerously close to being a rant post about how I still have trouble reconciling the constant need for acquisition in this business.  That's the retail monster, it always wants moar fresh merchandise and it directly collides with my inner anti-consumerist.  Just being frank and sending that into the universe for other retailers who relate.


Though, the more projects I accomplish and the more I get pedantically organized, the better I feel. So that'll be the priority lately rather than bringing home fresh merchandise. With lots of sales and hundreds of pieces of never-before-seen merch emerging I'm sure you won't get bored! I sure as hell won't! And with this rant and work update out of the way I'm on the way to the flea market for fresh veggies, ironically. I will try to resist bringing any new merch home unless it's super special.

So that's the crazy work update on my front, I almost went crazy last week planning it all but now I'm happy, energized, and ready to accomplish thing! How's it going on your end with business, projects, crafting, blogging, thrifting, or reselling? Do tell.
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31 comments:

  1. Though not an official "retailer", I can relate. Mostly I sell over local facebook garage sale sites. Seems the more I sell, the more I am "driven" to acquire. It IS a delicate balance.

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    1. Very true, it's all about balancing it out. Now that the room has been decluttered again and things are on clearance I feel better. Haven't heard of Facebook garage sale sites, gotta look into that!

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  2. We have a super large bedroom, probably the size of some peoples houses. My bedroom is being used as a storage unit, there are shelves along all the walls everywhere. Probably ten bookshelves that go to the ceiling. The only reason why my husband puts up with it, is because if all that wasn't there taking up space, we would be furnishing that room, which would cost a small fortune, that room is 40'X30", So he puts up with all that storage mess. Living in Fl, I am thankful to have an indoor space to store items. Also I agree with you about the constant need to acquire more items. Its almost like hoarding, except you want to get rid of the items, where as hoarders wont part with them. And its also hard, because truly it is so much fun to go to thrift stores and garage sales. Its like a hobby in itself.

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    1. Awesome to have such a huge storage space! That's what I need, floor to ceiling shelves. I looked into shelving but with even the cheapest options costing a lot I'm just going to keep costs low and continue to browse curbsides for abandoned bookshelves. Found one pictured the other day :D

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  3. Yes, going to sales and thrifts is fun. Can be frustrating too. My Etsy biz is not doing so well. I have more listings expiring than selling. Might have a garage sale with those items. Good luck with your selling!

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    1. You have to stay on top of Etsy and really work it to keep the sales strong. It's become my favorite way to sell, but I'm happy to explore other avenues too. I've considered yard sales and flea markets but with mostly smalls to sell I never do well with them. It's a better investment of my time to spend it listing or marketing instead.

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    2. I feel like I do stay on top of Etsy-- any specific tactics? Maybe you could do a post about that. Would appreciate any tips! And, yes, garage sales usually stink, but I figured anything would be better than nothing at this point!

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    3. Sometimes there are hit and miss months with it too, it can be so unpredictable. For me I've noticed listing/renewing 10 things a day REALLY helps keep sales up and eyes on the page. It's quite a numbers game of listing as much as possible. I also drive a lot of eyes and traffic to Etsy by listing it on social media like twitter, instagram, facebook, and featuring it heavily in blog posts. My blog drives the most traffic to Etsy outside of Etsy itsself and direct traffic.

      Whenever I list items on Craigslist I point them to my Etsy and that brings lot of traffic too. I'll have to do a follow-up, I recently did a guest post of Etsy selling tips for "Handmade Success" and will share the post when it's up.

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    4. No prob, let me know if you have any other specific questions.

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    5. If you have specific items, Diane, maybe start a Pinterest account and pin the items there at different times of day. Tag them with all different kinds of words. That brought me a little odd traffic that I wouldn't have gotten.

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    6. I may have to try that, I feel iffy about pinning my own stuff which doesn't seem to be the intention of the network for meh, everyone does it ;p

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  4. You are very lucky to have the space your boyfriend has offered you to stock all that. I can only imagine if you didn't have that space that you would go bad literally, I know I would! I'm certain I don't have the same amount of stock has yourself, but I must confess I have a lot to process, a lot. I currently only have 25 items listed in my Etsy store, and I have baby due literally any day (this week or next). I'm in a debate with myself to go back and refine and rework those listings so they are at their ultimate before I list more (store has only been open a month). I haven't made a sale yet, which I'm not overly concerned about because I know items are being seen, they're appearing in treasuries, items are getting featured on other people's blogs. From everything I've read, other etsy sellers say it takes time at first. I know my items are priced appropriately against others.

    Either way Etsy will come together and into it's own and I'm on a no more stock buying hold, for a while unless it simple is to good to resist. There are so many other things to work on. The stock in my shop display at my friends florist shop is going well and I'm gaining a lot of interest and sales and I'm being approached through other social media as well about items I have for sale or to list. On the selling front everything has movement happening about it, so I continue to smile and know I'm heading in the right direction and despite how much I have to do I know it's about refining things.

    There are so many other plans and projects on the cards, but for right now I have to stop and slow down baby will be here any day and I need work on the basics. In the meantime there is nothing stopping me from hammering out thoughts, ideas and inspirations for all these other plans in my notebooks.

    Thanks Van for always creating a space here that we are able to talk about what's happening business wise in our little world, I really appreciate it.

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    1. Your Etsy shop is looking beautifully curated so far, excellent selection of perfectly mod items. The melamine cup of the pig roasting the wolf is so morbidly awesome, I love that!

      I'd been gathering valuables for online for years before I started Etsy so I saw sales right away. It's really a numbers game, each item you list is another ad bringing people to your shop. I want 500 items listed by the end of this week!

      I'm always in awe of all that you accomplish (in style) with a baby on the way and a family!

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    2. Thanks Van I really appreciate you popping over and taking a look. The three little pigs cup is oddly wonderful and I do love it so.

      I much the same as yourself in that I have been collecting for years. But I had also been dabbling for years in getting small lots together and selling vintage baby and children's pieces off to friends. It was some serious dealer friends who gave my the push 18 months ago when I was dabbling in sales again to make a go of my overall vision. So I have done just that and I'm so thrilled.

      It's equally exciting that here in Australia that when I'm out on the weekend in market scene in a physical presence people are excited that it's something different when attending vintage curated market stalls.

      I'll keep on moving forward my heart tells me I'm heading in the right direction, and I'll find new inventive ways of making it work with my crazy little family.......soon to be three of them four years and under.....cue the insane laughter.

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    3. Sounds like you're definitely going in the right direction, good luck with it all!

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  5. When I get overwhelmed with a bunch of small items in a category that have been hanging around for a while (a box of owl figurines, misc. coffee mugs, ashtrays, etc.) sometimes I just put them on eBay in a lot. I might not get as much for them as I could individually but it's a great shelf-clearer. And surprisingly sometimes they sell for more together. Then I can go out and get more goodies. :)

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    1. I've been doing some groupings on Etsy but no big lots yet. Many things may be moving to eBay soon. I have a box of my old "nerd goods" (action figures, comic books, DVDs) destined for eBay. Already read, watched, and enjoyed them. Time to pass them on to fellow nerds. :)

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  6. Oh my gosh, that lamp in the left corner of the first pic, with the rocking horse and little blocks...totally just got that "Holy shit, I *had* that!" feeling that I've just started getting with stuff.

    I'm finally old enough to experience nostalgia for decades I actually lived in. Hahaha.

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    1. Same here :) I LOVE actually seeing bits from my childhood. Extra bonus points since most bits from my childhood were second-hand, too.

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  7. I'm new into the reselling, but have to admit I've already let myself get discouraged. I sold 2 things the very first day my booth opened, and that made me set my expectations high. Then the next day, nothing. And it was nothing for the rest of the week until finally Saturday rolled around. I don't know if those ups and downs are normal, but it got me sad and made me want to lay off of thrifting for awhile. Or at least cut back.
    I don't have too much stuff around my house to resell yet. Thankfully, I have a big bedroom, so there's room for storage in there when I start building my collection. I really want a big expedit unit to put things in. My dream would be to find one on the curb... but for now, all I've found is a little white bookcase.
    I don't know if I could ever completely quit thrifting though. Heading to the antique mall my booth is in, I pass about 4 thrift stores. And I always stop. Mainly because I'm paranoid that if I pass them, wonderful things will be inside and I'll miss out! Plus, thrifting is fun! Even when I end up with nothing, it's always enjoyable to see the weird and wonderful things out there.
    And I do have to say, oh my goodness! You have so much stuff! I would give anything to search through all your shelves!

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    1. I hear a lot of people say the same thing and even use the same word, "paranoid" of passing up treasures. I've never been like that since I know thrifting is unpredictable and there's always plenty to go around. You'll find the goodness even if you take a break to reaccess. Also, high and lows are completely normal with selling online and in antique malls, but it really helps to keep things fresh and at least rearrange your booth once a week. Especially adding new merch once weekly helps. Everyone I personally know that does well at reselling has a stockpile to work with. Don't feel discouraged, persistence is the key to success.

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    2. Thanks, Van. I needed encouraging words! I've decided not to go on a thrifting fast just yet, but a thrifting diet instead!

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  8. I did a thrift fast this summer. I'm pregnant, and I was sick as a dog for two months, which really helped with not going anywhere or buying anything. I'm thinking of holding a giant yard sale and getting rid of as much of the 1-6 dollar stuff as possible. Putting a decent price tag on some of my truly collectible items, which I'll keep online if they don't sell. My house is FULL and I am completely overwhelmed by it.
    I, too, have the feeling that I'm missing out on awesome items, but I've sort of let that go, because I have been sick. I'm wondering what will happen now that I'm feeling better...

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  9. Glad you're feeling better! I like to purge via my Southern Crossing booth and donating, feel so good to clear out as much as possible!

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  10. How I deal with the 'retail monster' vs. the 'anti-consumerist'--- I consider it 'environmentally sound redistribution' in my mind... Somebody somewhere needs the goods and I provide them with the alternative from having to purchase NEW. You're welcome world!!! ;)

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    1. That's a good attitude to have with it :)

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  11. Van, just think of all the merchandise you have right now will be selling once fall hits and everybody is thinking about the holidays. I've already seen an upswing in sales now that people are getting ready for back to school.

    As for me and my projects - things have been selling, and I am in the process of getting more merchandise listed after taking a hiatus to work on my blog (which is going well; I'm having a ton of fun with it) and craft projects, including an ornament idea that I want to try selling at craft fairs and hopefully on Etsy.

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  12. I've been lucky, outside of June sales have been excellent. I'm excited to list like crazy and plan for Christmas sales. Now's the time to get prepared!

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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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