eBay Flops – Crap I shouldn’t have bought

Dollar Flipper Ebay Flip 20 Comments

I don’t want this site to turn into a Facebook account that’s missing that authentic vibe so we’re going to bare all today.

Belly Flop eBay

I cannot wait for our community pool to open!

Flop!

Warning: This post is going to be all over the place, but that’s because I have a lot of material that I screw up on! There’s plenty of items that I think will sell for a lot of $$ but end up just being a big fat flop. These mini experiments are great lessons for me, and hopefully I’ll be able to help you avoid my mistakes.

I guess that’s the hard part of this hobby. I want to find the things that are worth a lot of money, but I also want to be safe about it. The key here is to buy low.

I don’t have to like doing it, but it doesn’t kill my profits if I have to re-donate one or two $2 items.

Luckily, we had our community garage sale last weekend and were able to recoup some of the costs but we wary: some of this is leftover crap that people at a garage sale wouldn’t even take for free!

Longaberger

One thing I don’t have a picture of is a butt-load of Longaberger items. For anyone who’s not in the know, these are baskets and little fabric liners and charms that people collect.

They are a multi-level marketing company, and a lot of people have the leftovers in their houses since they don’t sell the stuff anymore.

I have bought a few lots over the years and have done well. The thing is, they don’t sell for much, and they take a good amount of work to identify. They’re super easy to ship but I’ve found that I just don’t enjoy them.

I unloaded about 3 or 4 for $2 a piece at the garage sale and then sold the rest to one guy for $40. This was after picking through and listing the best though, so I’m pretty happy with that money.

Some sell for ~$20 but most them only go for $6-10. This is way below my price threshold, so I’ve moved away from them.

And yes, I could have lotted them together on eBay too but again, I just can’t stand them!

Side note: These are not for me but part of that is one of the town homes we looked at had a Longaberger themed room. We had put in an offer and were having nightmares about trying to remove the basket themed wallpaper. Yeah, you read the right! Let’s just say that Longaberger is leaving a bad taste in my mouth…

Princess Vera Wang
Princess Vera Wang Cardigan eBay

The leaves/hair on it are from being out at the garage sale all day! Or maybe I used it to wipe the floor of our dining room after our daughter eats.

Apparently this is a girls clothing brand, not women’s (hence the princess – give me a break, this is all new to me!). And the women’s doesn’t sell for that much either!

I bought this cardigan a week prior to our garage sale for $1, realized it wasn’t a good purchase, and then tried to re-sell it back for the same price. No dice.

Ended up just donating it. Let’s just say I will NEVER forget that Princess Vera Wang is not a brand that I want to keep selling.

Fabric Lot
Fabric Lot eBay

I saw this box and thought it was my retirement!

I had really high hopes for this fabric. Then I realized that I had a huge moving box full of tons of different types when I had no clue what I was doing. I definitely had my pair of thrifting goggles on when I was at this garage sale.

I had listened to a Scavenger Life episode about identifying fabric and lo’ and behold, listening isn’t the best way to learn about fabric. I think I need to go to Michaels and start feeling all of the different types.

Regardless, there were a lot of moth holes in the fabric (I realized it when I got home after purchasing them), so it really wasn’t worth a ton anyways. A lady had closed up her Etsy store and was liquidating. In the end, it’s OK because I sold a Filson vest for $100 and have a messenger bag up for $150 from this yard sale, so I’ve already made my money back and will make a nice profit in the end.

On top of this, a nice lady was rummaging through the box when we had given up and put a “free” sign out. She was really stoked but would not take the whole box no matter how hard we pushed it.

Vintage Maternity Compression Stockings
Vintage Maternity Compression Stockings

Who wouldn’t want maternity compression stockings from the 90s that require a garter? Pregnant women love wearing garters!!!

These actually do sell on eBay, but not for the $30 tag price. The issue for me is that there were 2 stickers on each one, and I hate peeling off stickers. This is another reason that I’m not into FBA. It’s a pain in the ass, and the goo gone just stinks.

A nice old lady inquired about them, and my wife told her that she could take as many as she wanted for $1. She only took one! They were $2 a piece from the thrift store so this one hurt more than most.

Weight Lifting Belt

This belt was bought a few weeks before for $2. I sold it again at my garage sale for the same price! I’ll take it.

Weight Lifting Belt eBay

This had no brand name. You want to get the vintage Made in USA ones if you’re going to re-sell it!

Lessons Learned

With all of these flops, I think Mrs. 1500 sums it up best with this comment on my Maniac Monday re-cap

Is there any way you can slow down while shopping and really check out the product before you buy?

 

Of course there is. I can sit here and make a ton of excuses why I try to do this but the reality is taking chances is what makes this hobby fun. I’m going to refine the process as I go, just like any other business.

For example, out shopping for a tie yesterday at Goodwill for an upcoming wedding and I actually I stopped at the space where you put clothes back on the rack after trying them on to look through my entire cart!

Pro Tip: You can find some really good clothes on the rack outside of the changing booths!

I actually put a jacket back (man it was hard) because of some issues with it. I went through each item to really decide if I wanted to spend the money on it. The jacket was a vintage Mani by Giorgio Armani Wool/Cashmere blend trench coat, but it had tons of moth holes and I couldn’t imagine someone wanting to wear one. This was a hard one because the brand is just so rare and high-end.

Would you have bought the jacket for $6?

Feel free to share any of your flops in the comments!

 

 

Comments 20

    1. Post
      Author

      Yep! The only way I saw it being useful was if it were for a costume. This completed listing sealed the deal for me! I’m glad I didn’t buy it.

  1. First of all, I am glad to see I am not the only one who buys flops that don’t work to resell. Fortunately I have narrowed down my eBay thrifting to only 2 stores for the most part, one where I buy everything for 75 cents each, and one that usually runs no more than $2.00 each. And yard/estate sales. The flops do hurt, but not as much when I pay so little for everything. Also, no I would not have paid $6.00 for that jacket due to the moth holes. But I would have also had a hard time putting it back. I might have paid that much for it 6 months ago when I first started thrifting, but I am learning as I go, and have learned not to buy things that won’t sell, no matter what the brand name on them. Thanks for sharing your experiences with flops and making me feel better about my own!

    1. Post
      Author

      🙂 We all mess up! Rule # 1 is don’t go into debt for this hobby! I only buy with money already in hand.

  2. Had to laugh at the fabric. I’m the same way- absolutely no idea what’s what 🙂 I completely agree on Longaberger baskets, however, I’ve found their pottery dinnerware at GW and garage sales for very reasonable prices and have been able to flip for a good profit.

    1. Post
      Author

      Glad it isn’t just me! I thought it was gonna be a huge score but it just wasn’t worth it to me. Took up too much space and didn’t feel like I wanted to learn it.

  3. Funny, we have some really old inventory buried somewhere back in the basement from when we first started thrifting for resale back in 2011 I think. I went on a buying frenzy and basically hoarded it all! Can’t wait to see what flops we’ll find in there. I’m thinking that when we go through it and find nothing much of value, we’ll take it and hang out at a flea market for a couple of days. I’ve been wanting to do that for quite some time. My favorite part, besides maybe making a few bucks, is the people watching! 😀

    1. Post
      Author

      LOL The piles are the worst. We had some stuff that made it through the move almost a year ago that still isn’t listed. Yikes. Need to get on that! The flea market is a great idea. I just don’t like standing around for that long. I could be out shopping instead!

  4. I got a jacket home and realized it was more pilly than I thought. I just didn’t want to mess with it. Mostly it is getting home and seeing a stain or a hole I hate that. Flops from Goodwill are no problem for me because I do not take that tag off until I am packing it up after it has sold. Then if it has sat forever in my store I can return it since I am GW every week anyway. I just match up my price tags and get a little credit towards some new loot!

    1. Post
      Author

      That’s a really good idea. Goodwill wouldnt know if you got it this week or last year!

      Only question I have is how do you take photos with the tag still on?

      1. Well I just lay the clothes out on the floor so the tag is hidden underneath. Just make sure if last week was purple clearance that you only take back purple tags. 🙂 I wasn’t paying attention and got the side eye one time. I only take bak the right tags now. I don’t take back a whole lot but if something hasn’t sold for a year I usually do.

        1. Post
          Author

          Ah, that makes sense! My goodwill puts the tag right near the shoulder seam (I wish they would just put it on the seam instead, sometimes it pulls a hole in the shirt). I don’t know if I’d be able to hide it but I like your method. I just leave it up forever though. Not worried about it sitting for a long time…

          1. I know sometimes they shoot the tag through something sheer and completely ruin the shirt and I am left just scratching my head on the why of that one… Oh well. Love your blog thanks for all your hard work!

  5. Yeah bro, you made the right call on the jacket. I don’t care what the brand is if insects or rodents have put holes into it, I’ll pass, ha. I feel your pain as far as the flops go, it’s hard to envision flipping something and making nice profit only to end up hoping not to lose too much. But that’s life in business at times, at least it doesn’t sound boring.

    1. Post
      Author

      Yeah, I saw the tag and got super excited. Then I took off my thrifter’s goggles and really looked at the item. The more I looked, the more I said “I can’t justify this!”

  6. At least you are learning to look closer at your sales..Love the blog and reading about in Womans World…Glad you are having a good time with your hobby….Sweet..

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