Thursday, January 13, 2011

Save It For A Rainy Day or Sell It Now?

Part of what I love about eBay is that it enables me to shop all the time. Selling online is my full time job and what a better job then to shop constantly!  However, the problem arises when I shop more then I list.

I call this my Rainy Day Syndrome, however my non-selling friends call it hoarding. You see, I have a tendency to find good items and hold onto them; I consider it my rainy day fund. Sometimes this works but a lot of times it backfires. The selling market can change in an instant, and what is hot now may not be hot when you need to make a quick buck. 

For instance, several years ago my husband's aunt gave me some Marghab linens. I had never heard of them but what I found was unbelievable! They were selling for well over $100 for these small hand towels.  Some were over $200.  I decided to hang onto them for a rainy day when we needed some fast money. Unfortunately my rainy day is now but they are only selling for about $40-$50.  Hmm, I guess the old saying is true, "make hay when the sun shines" aka sell it now while it's hot!

Here are the Marghab linens that I still have to list. I've had photos of them since March of 2007!

My goal is to list them this month regardless of the price that they will bring. I'm also going to list the Medela breast pumps and other items that I've been holding on to for way too long.

Sometimes the gamble of holding onto an item can pay off.  If you know what to collect, then buying it and saving it can make bring big profits!  For instance, in 2007 I was shopping at the Hallmark Store for their after Christmas Clearance.  I bought the "first in series" Beauty of the Birds ornament at half price, which was about $10.  The ornament is a tin red cardinal and although I had no way to know for sure that it would be popular, I knew that birds as Christmas ornaments were popular so I bought it.  I held onto it and would periodically check eBay to see if it was selling.  Every time I checked I would see higher prices.  After holding it for a few years, I decided that last summer it was time to let her fly (sorry for the bad pun) and I listed and sold her for $245!

Here she is, if you see her at a thrift store or yard sale, grab her!

So the moral of this story is to hold only what your are certain will increase in value. Once you see the value increase, sell it so you don't risk the bottom falling out.  Take ivory for instance; many years ago it was very valuable. Today it's illegal to sell on eBay and is governed that you cannot import or export it.  It is harder to sell and not worth the prices it once brought.  And, of course, we all remember the Beanie Babies craze.  Items relating to popular culture can be priceless one day and worthless the next as they are subject to the fickle trends that created them in the first place.  If you decide to jump on the bandwagon when the next crazy hits, remember to sell right away!