Now before we start, this is a judgment-free zone. I’ve learned through my sales on eBay that people will buy almost anything. There’s a lot of weird stuff out there, and generally, the stranger it is, the better it sells. While I may not understand others’ interest in some of these items, these are the type of items I love to find on my thrift shopping trips.
This flip really isn’t that strange or weird per se, but it definitely falls under what I would consider “eclectic.”
Vintage Electronic Chirping Ornament with Box
Because I think it sums things up pretty nicely, I’m going to quote what I said from my listing:
“The ornament has been tested and works. I plugged this in, and it is a very acquired sound.”
Not on the level of nails on a chalkboard, but man, no self-respecting parent would EVER want this thing blaring for more than 3.7 seconds. It doesn’t take a break. Just chirp chirp chirp chirp non-stop! On top of the fact that it doesn’t have an off switch, it doesn’t even sound good. I think “chirp” is a very generous term for the noise this thing makes. In my opinion, a screeching ornament is more like it.
Let’s just say that that electronic chirping ornaments are not for everyone!
But, that’s the joy of this. I’m not in the business of selling to the masses. I’m looking for that special someone. If you do some research on eBay completed listings, you’ll see that these things are actually pretty popular! This is especially the case with the holidays coming up.
Important things to note about the ornament:
- It’s still in the box! These suckers do sell without the box, but the box definitely adds value. It also lets the buyer assume that it’s been well taken care of.
- The price on the box. This is always a tough one. When someone sees a vintage or antique item with the original price on it, you’re worried that they’ll expect a price close to it regardless of inflation! For reference, that $3.79 in 1980 dollars (I’m not positive of the year for the item) is $10.74 in 2013 dollars! In this case, it’s old enough where the price doesn’t really affect the value of the item.
- Color – There are gold or silver ones. Depending on who you talk to, one is prettier than the other. Just make sure you include the color in your description so they can purchase whichever their favorite.
- Quantity – I found a second one of these about 3 months after I bought the first one. I wasn’t surprised the first one hadn’t sold but was sure that they both would sell before Christmas. In fact, they both did sell and went to the same buyer, which saves on shipping!
- Free Shipping – When you’re selling multiples of the same item and a buyer wants more than one, it’s best to offer free shipping. That way, they don’t get to ask for a reduced price for shipping them together! When you break it down, $10 free ship for each of these two items totals $20. If you went the other route, $5 for the item + $4.99 s/h for two items is most likely going to get you somewhere in the $17-$18. I know it’s only a $2-$3 difference, but they add up quickly, especially when you are on the lookout for $1 items to sell in the future!
Let’s get to the numbers:
- Purchase price – $1 for both!
- End Selling Price – $39.98
- Fees and Shipping/Handling – $9.52
- Stupidity factor – $9.99 (I’ll explain in the next paragraph)
Total Profit: $19.47
Available Cash to go out and buy more: $20.47
Of course I’m happy with this flip. Buying an item for $1 or less brings the risk level to ridiculously low levels. But then again, we’re talking about every $ mattering. I screwed up here, which brought my profit down. Let me explain…
Remember how I said I found a 2nd one a few months after purchasing the 1st ornament? Awesome, right! I just went into the listing and upped the Quantity from 1 to 2. Easy. Done.
Well…. I never actually compared the two ornaments side by side. I just figured that they were the same thing. They looked the same from what I could remember – I mean, really, there aren’t a lot of ornaments that are shaped like this and are “chirping” ornaments. Well, it turns out that the 2nd one I bought was actually smaller than the first one by about half.
I didn’t realize this because I don’t have a good storage system. So, I didn’t dig through my items for the 1st ornament and compare the two. This caused me to freak out a little bit when I tried to pack them up and discovered the size difference.
I sent the buyer a message explaining the situation. Since she wouldn’t be getting the item described, I offered 50% off on one of the ornaments. This is a discount for what I attribute as my stupidity factor. Her response?
“It’s ok. I was wanting one to send my brother in Cali! Fond memories of this one in our grandmas christmas tree every year. If they are similar and one is just mini, I will take them both. :)”
Here I was freaking out, and her response was so understanding! Just goes to show you that if you’re a decent person on eBay, people will treat you well in return! And to think I judged the type of person who would buy two of these god awful sounding ornaments. She just wanted to bring back memories of her grandma’s house during the holidays. Now I feel like the weirdo!
Till next time,