My husband works hard to provide for the family—without my help. We have had fat years and we have had lean years. But during the lean years, he always has ways to make up the difference. One of those ways is reselling used goods—antiques, collectibles, or just basic household items. He does this through several channels I’d like to share with you here.
Antique dealers cannot be everywhere at once. Many will go to auctions on their days off; others simply don’t have the time. Those that are too busy rely on others to find things for them. They call these people “pickers.”
Many years ago, my husband bought a vase for 35 cents at a yard sale. Because he was unemployed and I was scraping coins together just to buy groceries, I got a tad upset. Okay, I was very upset and now I can admit I over-reacted; but it was the most hideous looking piece of pottery I’d ever seen in my life. He, however, insisted it was something special and planned to resell it to make some money.
You know, he was right. He sold that vase to an antique dealer for $100. (Lesson learned in trusting your husband.) This sale led to his becoming a picker for antique dealers in our area; and that hobby led to his selling at flea markets.
How often, while traveling, have you taken a short detour to follow the signs to a flea market? Do you, like my husband, have the knack for spying out the special? If this describes you, then perhaps you should research opening your own flea market booth. Finding the right location is important, though. Some flea markets are indoors and others are out. Some require the vendor to remain on location while others employ cashiers to take care of the sales from un-manned booths. You will want to ask about hours of operation, security, advertising, and of course, rent and commissions.
If you think that opening a flea market booth is for you, visit the market you have in mind. Ask questions of the manager; but also ask questions of other vendors. Take a look at their booths. Notice how they display their items, what types of things they sell, and compare booths with each other. You do not want to sell fine antiques in a place full of old pop bottles and broken crock pots.
We have a paper in our neck of the woods with nothing but classified ads. Placing an ad is free. The paper cost $1.55 at local convenience stores. Many people use this paper to unload extra items, dispose of old furniture after purchasing new, or to announce yard sales. But others, like my husband, use it to make a few dollars. If you know what people buy when (like woodstoves in the fall and lawn mowers in the spring, for example), write your ads attractively, and know your product, this can be a lucrative avenue to explore.
Online classifieds are popular now, too. Our local phone company hosts a website for that purpose. Craigslist is another example. With these types of listings, some find a greater sense of privacy by being able to provide an email address rather than a phone number. Uploading photographs is easy. And the best part is that the advertising is free.
So much has been written about yard sales that I don’t want to spend a lot of time talking about it. But if you live on a well-travelled road and are not limited by your municipality to the number of yard sales you can hold in a year, than I would consider it an option to add extra income to your household. Just make sure that everything you have to offer is clean, displayed attractively, and priced, to insure making a profit.
If you have tried Ebay or Amazon and found them too cumbersome to bother with, look for other venues in your niche. Near the end of each summer, I clean out my closet full of homeschooling materials and list those items I no longer use or need on HomeschoolClassifieds.com. I have been very happy with this site and see no reason to switch to another one. However, several other book-selling sites do exist. If you have a thing for crafts or vintage items, check out Etsy; if you sell musical instruments, look up Musicians Buy Line.
Even if you don’t see yourself starting a reselling business, these are all places to sell the stuff collecting in your garage or attic. But if you do find yourself getting excited at the prospect of making extra money on a regular basis, check out these ideas and let me know how you do.
Any other thoughts? Meet me in the comments.