November 16, 2010

The eBay Life "Score of the Day" is a pair of pink, custom-made men's loafers purchased for $10 and sold for.....

Time to get out the Christmas ornaments!  Last week, Niko's sister and I decorated the house.  (OK.  She did most of the work.)  Every year I hang up the super pricey Pier 1 Christmas wreath I purchased for 80% off at the Christmas clearance sale a few years back.  Check out the vintage Santa at our front door. It's plastic and lights up at night....

I love selling Christmas decorations.  I usually buy them at yard sales in the middle of the summer.  That's when people practically give them away.  Nobody wants to think about decorating a tree when it's 100 degrees outside.

So what types of ornaments are hot, hot, hot?   Well, I've sold funky handmade ornaments covered in sequins and velvet.  (Elvis, anyone?)  I've sold old-fashioned pieces from Germany, Poland, and Italy.  I've also sold theme ornaments - animals, Disney characters, motorcycles.  Ornaments are great because they're inexpensive and easy to find.

A few years ago I even found one made by Swarovski.  It only cost me a quarter.  It came in the box (very important).  Every year Swarovski makes a special ornament to commemorate the holiday season. These sell for about $75 retail.  The one I found was from 2005.  It is currently going for between 50 and 60 dollars on eBay.  Clearly, these commemorative Swarovskis hold their value.  When trying to determine if you've found the real deal, look for the Swarovski insignia (a small, frosted swan).  I didn't end up selling the one I found.  (I collect Swarovski figurines and ornaments and refuse to part with it!)  Here's the 2010 ornament currently being sold on the Swarovski website.  I've thought about buying it to add to my collection, but $75 is a bit pricey.  I'd prefer to pay a quarter.  (I wonder if they take offers....)

Another popular brand to look out for is Shiny Brite.  Shiny Brites are the ornaments my grandma used to hang on her tree -- very old-school.  (I have a few sets listed right now.)  If you do a completed listing search, you will see that sets of Shiny Brites in boxes definitely sell.  They used to be very common at garage sales, but as time passes, I am seeing them less frequently.  The types that feature indents are especially valuable.  This set sold for $83.99.  Amazing!

So what's the best way to sell ornaments?  Ornaments that are incredibly unique and special can sometimes be sold individually.  The same holds true for those featuring specific themes.  For example, people don't usually look for sets of Harley Davidson ornaments, but someone might be looking for that one special Harley ornament  to give to a biker buddy on Christmas Eve.

If you have two or three ornaments that are very similar, sell them as a set.    Until you get a bit more familiar with the different types of ornaments that exist, research any new ones you buy before listing them.  (The tops of older ornaments will often be stamped with the names of the manufacturers or countries of origin.)  It is important to determine whether or not an ornament sells best at auction or at a fixed price. You don't want to make a mistake and give away something that could have helped you pay the mortgage!

Adding ornaments to your inventory is definitely an inexpensive and profitable way to increase sales. 

And now for the "Score of the Day".....................

About a year ago I purchased a new pair of incredibly funky men's loafers in a beautiful muted pink.  They were custom-made in Hong Kong.  I only paid $10.  They weren't marked with a size, so it took me a long time to getting around to listing them.  This summer I had a few men try them on.  I listed them at the beginning of August at $200 with free shipping + a "best offer" button.  No bites.  Eventually, I lowered them by 50 dollars.  Since I have a store, it only cost me 5 cents a month to list them.  Last week I accepted an offer of.........     


Have a great Thanksgiving week, and remember.....

If you're interested in eBay selling secrets or need product ideas, check out The eBay Life blog every week!  If you wear shoes in hard-to-find sizes or need a cool Christmas gift, click on this link to see my eBay store, Blue Frog Shoes. 

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