Feb 16, 2011

How to Jump Vintage Hurdles

The Psychology of selling is a fascinating thing. We've all experienced it in one form or another. The trick is how to master it and get ahead. Take for example, lots. If you were to see 3 pieces of Metlox Poppytrail china in a sale for the right price, you'd snap it up. But if you ran across an estate with 150 pieces, would you? Maybe you would. But I'll bet once you got it home and stared at it awhile, it would lose its luster.

Lot of Victorian Ephemera by tparty
Another example are items that you can't find anything out about. You list it for a price that suits the unique nature of it and it just sits there. You lower the price. Nada. You try to price it so it's a give away. Nothing. You decide you hate it and pack it away for another day. Days, weeks or years later, you discover that the widget you have is a blankety blank and worth bucks! You unpack it lovingly and list it again with total enthusiasm.

Antique Aurora Dater Machine by jenzee09
What about boring items? I mean items that sound good in theory but end up looking very intimidating. Piles of postcards. Boxes of linens. Photographs. You get the idea. Buying those 500 postcards seemed like such a great idea at the time! But now they look daunting as you consider scanning every single one.

Lot of Antique Photographs by FancysVintageStore
So we like what's new and different. We like selling to be interesting. The best days are those when the items in the box are all different, unique & easy to photograph. But that isn't the way it works most of the time.

Vintage Street Sign by TheFancyLamb
I've suffered from these maladies in various guises over the years. All that red and white enamelware was so adorable at the flea market. Now I know why the dealer had such a gleam in her eye!

Antique Folk Art Primitive by birdie1

There are a few ways to master it. One: develop a will of iron and overcome any petty mental issues like fear of boredom, monotony and ironing. I admire you greatly if you can do this. I know some of you are doing it-I've seen your shops. Kudos to you.

Vintage Cow Milk Kitchen Towel by in2vintagecloths

Two: ignore your instincts. Meaning, it makes total sense to want to list like items at the same time. If a buyer comes in that likes one piece of enamelware, chances are they'll buy two! But if you have a pile of thingamabobs staring you down, ignore that instinct. Parse the items out. Tell yourself you'll list x number of them every day, or every other day. Do a little bit at a time and you'll get a great sense of achievement. And you'll also make more progress than you would have.

Vintage Red & White Enamelware by calloohcallay

Three: sell it in different ways. Put the ten best on Etsy, a lot of them on Craigslist and a lot on an auction site. Sell some of it locally. Do whatever you can to break the mental lock.

Vintage Tablecloth by DoadandStelley

Now that I've written all this down, I'm motivated. This week I have committed to washing, ironing and listing my gazillions of vintage linens. If I've inspired you at all, join me. Let's see what we can accomplish!


Susan from The T-Cozy said...

Very inspiring and informative! Thanks for featuring my ephemera lot.

Bev said...

Lots of good thoughts...and some inspiration to move some of those goodies!

Bird-in-Hand, Laurie said...

Thanks for the motivating post! Now if the sunshine would only cooperate so I could get some good item photos. . .
Thank you for including my primitive tree centerpiece base here :)

Callooh Callay said...

Great article! Linens are the things I tend to put off--I have so many with one little stain that I'm sure I can get out, and then there's the ironing. My goal for the coming week is two bedspreads and at least one table cloth--then I can start in on all the little ones.

zenhen said...

a timely post for sure....I know what you mean about those large lots!

I have done the "list a few here" "list a few there" idea and it works~

thanks for a great thread ;)

Fancy Pants And More said...

I cannot tell you how true this is for me. I have been there and done that and your idea to list a few on Etsy, Craigslist and sell at auction are exactly what I do.

I will often even remove things from Etsy that I thought would be HOT, only to find them still hanging around months later. So, I box them up and take the to a live auction.

But speaking of linens, I have a huge box of them I need to get busy on laundering and ironing. ugh

Thanks so much for including my photographs. Also for the wonderful article.

JenZee09's 201Treasures Etsy Shop said...

Wonderful read! Thank you so much for including my item!
I was so inspired that I started going through some of the "old inventory". I came across an old book I had purchased a year or so ago. At the time, I put the book into a "deal with you later, cause Im not in the mood now" box.
Well, it seems that book I didn't want to deal with appears to be worth somewhere between $400 - $850!! WOW!
I need to do a bit more research, but I am sure glad I looked!

doad and stelley said...

Thanks so much for including my shop in your article. Call me crazy but I luv to restore vintage linens the ironing is my fave part.

Anonymous said...

Wow, how did you know I am stuck in a rut! Thanks so much for the inspiration! I love your posts!

Nachokitty said...

We all have SO much in common! We should remember to lean on each other when we need a pick me up. We're not just alone sitting in front of our computers. We're a team!

Sarah said...

As a matter of fact, I just packed away several boxes of ironstone at my shop yesterday! After a year of not selling the sets, I can't bare to look at them another day (always feeling a twinge of "failure" when it doesn't sell as I expected it to). Thanks for the pep talk. I am going to unpack & sell bits at a time. Fabulous advice. Ditto to Nachokitty's comment!!!

Leah said...

true. true. true. great article...and quite frankly, it's good to know that I'm not the only one that suffers with these issues!

janetp said...

Thanks so much...I have so many vintage and collectible items left from closing my store..today after reading this.. I took a fire king pear stackable mug off the shelf and listed it for 10.00..Sold immediately..You da bomb...