On this planet of classic, not solely are there collectors and followers but in addition resellers, reminiscent of on-line reseller and thrifting guru Misty Pate. The mission of a reseller is to hit up classic outlets, vintage malls, flea markets, and storage gross sales to seek out stock they’ll then “flip” or resell. Many resellers will then flip their finds by way of on-line marketplaces, and it’s this circle of shopping for and promoting that makes a major affect on the financial system.
In accordance with NARTS, there are greater than 20,000 used merchandise shops within the US, with a mixed annual income of about $15 billion yearly. Thrift retailer business stats show that roughly 16 to 18 % of People store at thrift stores, and 93 % of US consumers buy used items on-line.
WorthPoint spoke with Misty Pate—also referred to as Thrifter, Junker, Classic Hunter—about her experiences as a full-time classic reseller, the traits she sees within the enterprise, and the way newbies would possibly need to begin their very own hunts for classic finds.
MEET MISTY PATE
WorthPoint: How did you get began within the thrifting/classic business?
Misty Pate: My mother and father had been vintage sellers. I grew up touring throughout with them, on the lookout for stock. I grew up in an vintage retailer and simply by no means knew any completely different. I assumed everyone did this. My father would inform me to search for small collectible figurines or kitschy gadgets like salt and pepper shakers, which weren’t very costly if I dropped them.
WP: How do you handle the logistics of storing, transport, and managing your stock of thrifted finds?
MP: I’m lucky to have a brick-and-mortar area. Till Christmas of 2019, I had a store of my very own, nevertheless it was a facet enterprise to my full-time job, and it simply turned an excessive amount of work, so we closed, hoping to pivot to a web based store. When the pandemic occurred a number of months later, I arrange in my constructing. I’ve a station for transport and a station arrange for filming my auctions, and I exploit it as a workshop of kinds.
SALES STRATEGY AND MARKETING
WP: How do you determine the place to buy your stock? Do you might have a particular journey calendar?
MP: I dwell in Indiana, so I keep inside a two-hour radius, principally between Indianapolis, Indiana, and Louisville, Kentucky. My husband and I drive, so two hours every means means we are able to do most thrifting journeys in a day. We’ve got often gone on longer journeys, so I’ve to consider airfare or resort costs. I be sure longer journeys are to locations I do know I can supply merchandise with a great revenue margin and the place I can shoot a number of weeks’ price of content material.
MP: The net reselling area is fairly saturated, and advertising is essential. Similar to a brick-and-mortar location, sellers should know how one can “maintain folks within the room.” Everybody has their favourite collectibles and their favourite sellers, so the content material is an enormous assist on-line as a result of it provides you entry to followers, lots of whom flip into prospects.
WP: On the enterprise finish of reselling, how do you identify pricing, revenue margins, and whether or not or not one thing you discover in a store is price buying for resale?
MP: It’s partly about expertise. I’ve been doing it for lengthy sufficient, and I grew up within the enterprise. I’ve gotten to know rather a lot about manufacturers and the historical past behind loads of classic gadgets, however there are loads of sources obtainable now. I exploit WorthPoint in my analysis. The Price Guide tells me how a lot one thing has bought for lately, and it helps me determine what I would purchase and what I can go away behind.
WP: Are there sure occasions of the 12 months when one thing will fetch a better worth?
MP: Positively. If I’ve Halloween stock, that may promote for extra in late August. If I’ve Easter décor, that gained’t deliver a excessive worth till a month or so out from the vacation. What I put up on the market varies from month to month, and the time of 12 months positively impacts what I select to deal with with every sale.
CURRENT VINTAGE TRENDS
WP: Do you promote solely gadgets from a particular time or style?
MP: I really like mid-century fashionable and kitsch, perhaps as a result of that’s what my dad would all the time ship me to search for after I would journey with him after I was a child and occurring shopping for journeys. I think about myself a “dwelling décor fanatic,” so my stock is normally very blended. I’m not a fan of the whole lot matching. I put the whole lot from classic dolls to espresso pots round my area as a result of having an eclectic mixture of random gadgets is a glance I like.
I encourage my subscribers to decide on issues they like for his or her area and put them wherever they need. If I needed to decide what most of my stuff is, it’s kitsch décor from the mid-century interval, however every now and then, I’ll discover one thing outdoors that area that has to come back dwelling with me.
WP: What traits are you seeing now in classic gross sales?
MP: Effectively, costs are dropping a bit, however general, it’s a rising market. After I’m thrifting, I maintain a saying I heard in my head: “If it’s brown, put it down.” Large, heavy items of furnishings, heavy frames, or different wooden décor items aren’t transferring in any respect.
The place I store, the primitive, farmhouse look remains to be common, so I can discover MCM gadgets, kitsch décor, and different items for good costs as a result of completely different kinds are extra on pattern proper now. I believe Nineteen Fifties kitsch goes to make an enormous comeback, although.
WP: What about networking? How can resellers discover communities of different sellers?
MP: That’s the factor about on-line gross sales; you aren’t restricted to a geographic space; you possibly can attain different sellers by way of Instagram, WhatNot, YouTube, and so on. Coming collectively on-line to share concepts is a good way to succeed in out.
There are additionally in-person teams. I simply hung out at BOSS Reseller Remix in Las Vegas, and I bought to be a part of some panels and meet different sellers. It’s all the time a good suggestion to seek out individuals who do what you do.
WP: Is there anything our readers ought to learn about your corporation or reselling basically?
MP: I’ve lately created a web based promoting platform for classic gadgets. It’s known as VAMP, for “Classic Vintage Market,” and patrons and sellers can get hold of particular gadgets, put up questions for different sellers, and study traits within the business. It’s a terrific place to start out if you happen to’re new to classic or classic reselling.
For newbies who need to attempt to get into the area, I’d recommend beginning with gadgets that aren’t intimidating. Delivery ceramics, crystal and glass, and different breakables may be daunting, so begin with simpler or smaller gadgets. Proper now, ephemera goes effectively; classic magazines, postcards, and photographs are a wonderful style to start out with.
Linens are additionally actually scorching, like placemats, tea towels, pillowcases, and sheets. I typically break up a set of sheets and promote the pillowcases individually as a result of they have an inclination to go for greater than sheets. Placing gadgets collectively in heaps is one other method to create curiosity and promote stock that individually may not transfer as quick.
WorthPoint companions with many resellers and public sale homes within the business, and we love to speak with thrifters and followers of antiques and classic about their companies. We encourage patrons, resellers, sellers, and pickers to study from one another, and we make it a purpose to teach our neighborhood of subscribers. Our Price Guide, Dictionary, Marks database, and Blog are full of knowledge for sellers, patrons, or simply followers of classic. Allow us to assist you keep knowledgeable so you should purchase and promote with confidence.
Are you part of the reselling area in vintage, classic, or collectible gadgets? We’d love to listen to from you at email@example.com.
Brenda Kelley Kim lives within the Boston space. She is the creator of Sink or Swim: Tales From the Deep End of Everywhere and writes a weekly syndicated column for The Marblehead Weekly Information/Essex Media Group. When not writing or strolling her snorty pug, Penny, she enjoys yard gross sales, flea markets, and badminton.
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