We started SpokanePickers primarily from going to garage and estate sales and re-selling those items. Thrift stores were never part of our strategy until last fall. Guided by knowledge we absorbed from the Youtube picking community and research we did ourselves we harvested an incredible amount of gems from thrift stores this winter. Although it was a great experience, the first few yard sales of the year have reminded us how ‘fun’ these sales really are.
Margins – One of the best things about picking up your inventory from sales rather than thrift stores are the margins. Although unreasonable prices do exist at yard, garage and estate sales you’re much more likely to find an item for dirt cheap that you can re-sell high. Also you can bet if one item is fairly priced at a sale many of the other items will be as well.
Competition – We see much more competition at estate sales than any other place we buy inventory. Often a line of 20 or more people gather at a sale at the designated starting time. Garage and yard sales can also be competitive and always bring out the familiar faces of other pickers, re-sellers and thrift store owners. For me this competition adds to the fun of saling where as in the thrift store it can be exhausting.
People – Along with other pickers we often have a ton of fun with the people running the sales. It’s refreshing to go negotiate and just have an overall pleasant transaction with people who are often very friendly and or knowledgeable about specific items. We also often bump into some pretty odd and interesting characters which makes for a lot of fun. Depending on your personality you may or may not enjoy the saling process but I think because Jake and I have different styles of communicating we are able to get through to a lot of people and have quite a bit of fun while gathering inventory.
This weekend went well, starting out with some great finds on Friday including some vintage lawn chairs, handhelds, a graphing calculator, a vintage starter jacket, a Sony DVD burner, and a Don Shula autographed Miami Dolphins pennant which we gave to our friend, Andy. Saturday we picked up a Little Chief smoker, massage table and chair set, a weedeater, a sony walkman and various misc smalls. Overall it should turn out to have been a profitable weekend.
Thanks for reading, more blogs and videos coming soon. -H