Italian Dress eBay Research Green Ladies

Research Your Item – eBay Process

Dollar Flipper Ask the Reader, Clothing, Process 14 Comments

I kind of have an ulterior motive here. I have no idea what to do with this dress, so I need your help with the research. I think I could list it for $29.99 and sell it, but on the off chance it’s unique, I don’t want to waste the opportunity! So I figured that I could use this time to go over my whole eBay process, and you can see if any of this helps with a final sale!

Here’s an overview of my eBay process:

  1. Purchase item
  2. Research/Prep Item
  3. Measure, Photograph, and Store item
  4. Clean up Photos/List Item (Sometimes this is broken into two parts depending on the number of photographs)
  5. Pack/Ship Sold item

The process people will be aghast with that many “touch points” for one item. The worst part is that there’s a chance that I move it around a few more times in between 1 and 2. Maybe there should be a “Put bag full of items on spot A, move to spot B, bring 3 bags into the house, don’t touch for a week, and then finally move to #2” in between?

Either way, this process works well enough for me.

I like the fact that in combination with Beeminder, which keeps me churning through items, I get to do varied things. I’m sure that I could be more efficient sometimes. This process lets me break the steps up into blocks and work on similar tasks (research a bunch of items all at once). I am basically the slowest moving assembly line ever. I do all the steps above in chunks over different days. Sometimes, I’ll be photographing for 3 days in a row, but then that lets me list for 3 days in a row.

I found that all 5 of these steps can be bottlenecks. I tell myself that step 1, purchasing inventory, could be a bottleneck we all know that it’s not true.

For this series, I’m stuck on step #2. I bought a dress for a $1 at some garage sale, and I have no idea what to do about it. I’ve posted on a few forums for help and haven’t gotten any. I figured that my readers might be able to help!

Italian Dress eBay Research Green Ladies

I’ll take better photos when I list it!

Research Questions that I’m hoping to Answer

I have a bunch of questions about this dress, and they’re all in the captions below the following pictures.

Italian Dress eBay Research Green Ladies 55

Are the numbers dates? They seem like they are a little old for something made in the 70s/80s.


Italian Dress eBay Research Green Ladies Bond

What is the random “e” and “a” doing?

Italian Dress eBay Research Green Ladies Bond Girls

These girls remind me of Bond girls. Any idea on who they can be? La “Fatalisima” – Female serial killers?

Italian Dress eBay Research Green Ladies Pretty

What is with all the sayings? I think this is in Italian, but I can’t be sure. I’ve googled all of the sayings individually and haven’t come up with anything.

Edit: I forgot to add the tag! Here it is. 🙂

Italian Dress eBay Research Green Ladies Pretty Tag

Tag may be important to add…



And that’s where I’m at. As I said above, I think I can get $29.99 pretty easily for this dress.

When I first bought the dress, I thought it was homemade. After I paid attention to the tag, I realized I was wrong with that assumption. The town is in Hong Kong. In general, that dates it as 80s-90s, but it definitely has a 70s feel to it.

This area of Hong Kong (Granville Road in Tsim Shat Sui) is known for its fashion. There’s the off chance that a legitimate designer made this dress. On that alone, I’d rather wait before listing. Most likely, it’s not worth a lot but I’d still like to know what I had in my hands.

I’d love it if you could help me out here and try to help me figure out where this dress came from! Once we have a better idea, I’ll document the rest of my process with this item!


Comments 14

  1. I would love to see the rest of your process, but I have no information for you! Sorry I can’t help more, it is really unique 🙂

    1. Post

      Awesome! I plan on going through the rest of the process in my next couple of Monday posts. 🙂

  2. It looks to me like those are cut up headlines from Italian magazines from the 50s, 60s, and 70s. “tfatalissima” refers to “femme fatale”. If I remember correctly, these were scandal/gossip magazines along the lines of People, etc. The women are probably stars of the day. I can’t see them well enough to recognize anybody. The weird thing is that most of the headlines are cut off in nonsensical places, so you don’t get complete words.
    I might hazard a guess that this was some kind of tailor shop made creation? I used to collect vintage apparel, and occasionally I’d run across an estate sale where the person used to travel and had some pretty great and unusual things from tailors in various Asian cities – Hong Kong being one of them.
    That big pointy collar makes me think late 1970s/early 80s as a date for the dress.
    Hope that helps.

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      This is really helpful! I posted over at Scavenger Life and someone recommended listing high – $90. I’m thinking $100 OBO. If I get $50 or higher, I’d be happy.

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      Oh Etsy. Definitely on my to-do list for an experiment. If it were as easy as co-listing on Bonanza, then I’d definitely do it. I can’t seem to find a cheap solution to do multi-listings though.

      1. We’re having much better luck on Etsy with the funky vintage dishes that my lady friend is flipping… so much so that I’m thinking of moving as much over there from Ebay as possible.

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  3. My process is generally the same, but I oftentimes waste way too much time researching items, especially when they are unique items. When I’m at a sale or store – I gotta grab the unique stuff though! Usually for pricing things like this I start high and if it doesn’t sell I lower the price, as I’m not in any particular rush to sell a “one-of-the-kind” item if I can’t find it anywhere on eBay.

    This, of course, wouldn’t qualify, but I’ve also recently gotten into FBA by Amazon because like you I get bogged down in the many steps that selling on eBay takes. It was nice to put 15 items in a box and send to Amazon warehouse and just wait for the dollars to show up on my account.

    -Fire Guy

    1. Post

      The research is a tough one. I want to get through it quickly but I also want to note any issues and make sure I understand the market!

      FBA is on my list of something I want to try. I really don’t want to touch any of the retail arbitrage though. I don’t enjoy it and I feel like it’s not aligned with my mission/goals.

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  5. Definitely list it high with a best offer. I would just include as many of those key words as possible (from the dress). You never know, maybe someone from email will email you with more information about it. It’s a cool find!

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