I believe you'll find many of us are mostly picking thrift stores, flea markets and yard sales. Living in Maine, I too will not be seeing any yard sales for a few months. So, I'll be hitting thrift stores and indoor flea markets. I've combined road trips with picking. For example, this past weekend my girlfriend and I spent Friday & Saturday picking around Massachusetts. Visit a city near where you live...Pick local thrift stores as your tour the area.
I agree with Jimmy & Oscar about international buyers. Those have been some of my most loyal customers.
Also, Oscar's advise about promoting is very important. Not only for sales but connecting. Facebook, Twitter, blogging, message boards, etc. has been very helpful for me. This site has been extremely helpful! You should definitely set up a storefront on defunkd. I would (I'm sure Jimmy would as well) love to see this become the international destination for vintage tees.
Welcome to the community...
Just checked out your blog...very nice! Nice to see the storefront on defunkd
I live in Indiana (went to Purdue, stayed here). We have three Goodwills and about 100,000 people in the area when school is in, so the stock turns over pretty quickly. We have a couple smaller stores, but the stock takes a lot longer to turnover. Also, our chain of Goodwills just rolled out a Rewards program, so that is nice. In addition to always getting 10% off of every $20.00, there are a bunch of special rewards, too.
I've ditched the "U.S. only" rule. The funny thing is that the Post Office is, literally, one block from my apartment, so I will stop being a baby about that. Ha.
A couple more things...
Do you sell your stock (same items) on multiple sites? For example, Defunkd and Etsy? As mentioned, Defunkd doesn't yet have the audience that Etsy has, so Etsy would obviously reach a wider range of potential buyers. Is that uncouth? What if two people bought the same item at the same time?
I understand promoting... I'm just not sure where/how to promote. I mean I can throw up a link on my Facebook or Twitter, but only my friends are going to see it. Perhaps a separate Facebook page? Even so, who is going to "like" a random page and actually pay attention to it.
3 stores and 100,000 people...my best store in Maine is in a town of about 20,000. I visit this store at least every other week. I always find something. I should set up a photo album of what I've found at this one store.
Couple things I've learned is; It only takes 1 tee to make it worth your time and Never give up on a rack.
Multiple stores - I list on eBay and Defunkd. I signed up for etsy, but I haven't put any time into listing on that one yet.
Definitely set up a facebook page and twitter id exclusively for your vintage. Follow other users of vintage interest. It's all about self promoting and networking. I have fun with twitter. It's been like a game to get mentions and retweets. I've had a few celebrities reply, mention or retweet me.
Also, when I say multiple stores... I meant listing the same items at multiple stores. Like, would it be a bad idea to basically mirror my shirts that I have for sale here on Etsy?
Almost forgot...I've had a local sports radio show mention me a few times lately. The host is the local sports anchor for an NBC Television affiliate in Portland. Not sure if I've got any visits from it but it was still kind of cool.
It's also a joy to NOT have to stand in line at the post office ever again. Automate everything through Paypal and ship them yourself. i just drop everything at the PO or have them pick up.
I need to get on Defunkd myself...
I also try to go to auctions. I haven't found and vintage tees yet, but I've picked up some other antique/vintage estate items.
I can never seem to find any big ticket books, though.
I do think t-shirts are the easiest to find in terms of items you can sell easily/quickly for, at least some profit. I don't think too many people pick shirts around here. If I see a group of college kids rifling through the shirts I think "Good, they are just gonna weed out the garbage." One time, like eight years ago, I saw someone snag an old Anthrax shirt before I got to it, but haven't seen anything like that since.
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