How do you sell your T2T's?

junkyardgirlDecember 3, 2007

I'd love to have a side business selling some T2T's, but I wouldn't know where to start. How do those of you who do this sell them? I can't use Ebay. There is only one consignment shop in town, and you have to rent a whole booth there, which is too expensive.

Does anyone use Craigslist, and have you had any success?

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Hi, I don't know what kind of area you live in, but have a few suggestions. Let your friends know that you sell things. Don't be tempted to sell to friends so cheaply that you lose money on the deal.
Street fairs and festivals
Antique stores
Local restaurants
Plant nurseries
Produce stores
Hardware stores
Greeting card stores
Many privately owned stores like to sell unusual things. Everyone seems to have the same old stuff anymore made by that famous artist 'China', lol.
If you have trouble pricing your stuff, my rule is to charge what I would pay for something if it was a perfect gift for someone. Have your prices figured out before you take the item to sell. Remember, the store needs to make a profit. It never hurts to ask when you visit a store if they'll sell things for you. Don't be afraid to charge what the market will bear. If your item is selling at a Beverly Hills boutique, your price would be far higher than at a gas station in a small town. It helps to have samples or photos of the items. If you live in a small town, go to larger towns and try there. Your stuff will fit somewhere. It can't hurt to donate items to charity auctions, etc.
If I were looking for a nice handmade item, Craigslist wouldn't enter my mind. As for selling there, I wouldn't want strangers coming in my house from a classified ad of that type.
Think of the ways you buy things. Most of us shop the same ways. I believe that most things are purchased as impulse buys. People see things they like and buy them. Just my opinion. Good luck. Linda

    Bookmark   December 4, 2007 at 1:15AM
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I've put some of my more "normal" unusual things on Craigslist and done well with them. Things that I make out of weird items and turn them into furniture, I sold a garden trellis made out of a headboard, etc. It just depends on what kinds of things you have!

I owned a consignment shop for years, and while that is a great idea for selling things you don't is kind of hard to get in the door selling things you want to make a profit on. Most consignment stores (at least in our area) have a 60/40 split. They keep 60% of the total sales price (minus tax, delivery, etc.) and you only get 40%, and THEY set the price, not you!

I think you would be better off with some of the places that lindasewandsew listed above, depending on what you were trying to sell. Gift boutiques, for unusual items...plant nurseries would be great if you make garden accessories, I have sold handmade jewlery to a "higher-end" used clothing store that we have in town. They didn't charge me consignment rates, since they were different than the clothes the normally sell and they bought outright from me, I set my price, then let them charge what they wanted for them. It worked out really well.

Street fairs and festivals work well, but you can lose money on those. I had a "craft fair business" that I ran for 2 years with a friend. We had shows that we did great (we paid on average between $125-$200 for a booth at the bigger shows - and we are in a small midwestern town, so I don't know how the rates compare) and we had shows were we lost alot of money. I remember a few years ago, we did an outdoor show, and it was miserable all weekend. Middle of August and it was 40 degrees and raining the whole time! Needless to say, we were miserable and no one showed up because of the weather, so we barely sold anything!

We also did a Christmas show each year for 3 years and some years thing sold and some years they didn't. I specialize in country snowmen. The second year, I sold out all of my snowmen items (I had about 120 items) in the first 4 hours. (I literally had to go home and make snowmen all night, so I would have more the next morning). So, the next year, I was prepared and had 3 times as many, and barely sold any of them! So you just have to prepare yourself. If you do craft fairs, I suggest you hit all the craft fairs in the area for a few months before commiting to one. Talk to the crafters, find out how they are doing and if it is worth buying a booth locally. They are a close knit community and most of them have been doing it for years and know everybody in the local scene. They are usually happy to welcome a new crafter to the group, and they really will give you the scoop on which shows are better than others!

If you know any store owners, in stores that you to them first. Most will be willing to help you out and give your stuff a try. If you don't know anyone, start frequenting some local shops and start talking to the owners/employees. Get to know them and find out how they get their things and if they'd be willing to give you a shot. More than likely, you'll be able to find an outlet to sell your goods!

Sorry this got so long. I just wanted to share what knowlege I had after running the business' that I have run!

    Bookmark   December 4, 2007 at 10:12AM
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Thanks for the suggestions. I'm going to take the plunge and try it next year. I'm going to specialize in "curb shopped" things, since I live in an area with a lot of rentals where people move a lot, and get evicted, sadly. There are always piles of things on the curb that I think I could do something with, but I have hesitated in the past.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2007 at 9:40PM
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Hi, Picking up curb stuff and selling it is a good way to make money. You can still make stuff from it to sell, but it's nice to make some money without doing much work. What doesn't sell can be put on your curb for someone else. A lot of people who get evicted have nowhere to take their belongings and often leave a lot of good stuff. Deals could be made with landlords to clean out the houses or apts. when evictions happen. They have to do something with the stuff, and usually only care about the property, not the junk that gets left. Here in So Cal, there's no end to 'stuff' being thrown out. DH and I make things to sell, but have no problem just selling the stuff too. We have 2 large yard sales a year and sell at a junky swap meet pretty often. Linda

    Bookmark   December 7, 2007 at 4:16AM
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I wish I could have started today! I just saw two big piles of stuff on the curb, but I have no room for it until I get rid of some of my own clutter.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2007 at 10:37PM
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Hi junkyardgirl, One good thing about junking is that you can start anytime. Just like the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow, at the end of an eviction, there's always a big pile of 'treasure' that someone has to haul away, lol. It seems like there's stuff everywhere. There are lots of junk collectors here in So Cal, and of course junk can be collected here year round. There never seems to be any shortage of it, in spite of so many collecting it. I've helped with probably 20 estate sales over several years and can tell you that whatever the stuff was you saw on the curb, you'll see again and again. We all seem to have the same crap. Just remember, every day is trash day somewhere! Good luck on your business. Keep us posted. Linda

    Bookmark   December 10, 2007 at 11:54PM
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Hi - I owned and antique and vintage shoppe for only 2 years. I love love love re-doing old things BTW. Sadly I have to let the shoppe go because not enough people in my area are into the vintage/junk thing like we all are here. It is really hard to sell things. I didn't do consingment or buy under the roof of my shoppe because I always ran the place by myself. (I didn't want to deal with it or keep too much money/checks laying around.) Also my landlady just drove me up the wall.
Anyway, I'm stepping away for now and I hope to one day buy a house down the street that I can set up shoppe in. My parents also live on this road and I think about building a shoppe on their property. It feels like such a waste to pay rent. That was my experience so far.
I don't think it's worth putting things up on consingment unless it's a high end shop. I never did any craft shows because they're so expensive here at the shore. Auction houses are great if you pick something up for free. You never really know and you can get lucky/unlucky doing anything. It's the kind of thing you do best as a hobby.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2007 at 8:44PM
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Well, it's been awhile since I first posted this, and I've been through a lot in the last months, including a shoulder surgery and recovery. I think I've finally decided what to do.

I'm also starting a backyard nursery, so what I'm going to do is turn my garage into a junk shop of sorts. I'll advertise and put out ads here locally for the plant nursery, but not the junk. I'll just sell it at yardsale prices until I can build up a clientele. I work full time, and often work all weekend, so craft shows are out for me, at least for right now.

With the economy as bad as it is, this has become a trash pickers paradise, so you have to jump fast to get the good stuff. People are just picking up and selling junk to survive.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2008 at 3:45PM
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Junkyardgirl - check out "Robolady" (a/k/a Margo) website. She makes tons of things and does sell them. Maybe you could send her an email and see what she has to say.


    Bookmark   May 18, 2008 at 7:27AM
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