An Old Gig
I'll admit- I'm pretty excited about this new project because I've done it before. Unlike selling at a farmers market, I know what sells best in my Ebay niche and the best way to sell it. In the past, I've purchased patterns for $5 and resold them for $30. Not to brag, but that's a better return than many weeks at the farmers market.
Why Sewing Patterns?
There are several reasons why I like selling patterns as opposed to other vintage finds.
1. I love them. The only reason I don't keep all of the patterns I find is because I will never have time to use them all. It makes me happy to offer some of these beautiful vintage patterns to the general public on Ebay.
2. I know them. Having sewn for many years, I'm comfortable and familiar with using patterns. When I was still in high school, I used my very first vintage pattern and it was WAY different than I was used to! The pattern came pre-cut, and all of the markings were punched out with holes instead of printed. There was not a drop of ink on the whole pattern. This made it confusing at first, but later I got the hang of it. As I bought and used different eras of clothing patterns, I learned how to read, identify and take care of the pieces.
3. They don't cost very much. If you buy them at garage sales and thrift stores, patterns seldom go for more than a dollar each. Antique stores charge a bit more, but you can still make money if you buy the right patterns. If you know what to look for, you can re-sell them for $5 and up.
4. They don't cost very much to ship. Because they are so light, I offer free shipping on any patterns I sell on Ebay. This often costs less than a dollar, and it attracts more buyers.
My Treasure Box
This Spring, I found an entire box of vintage patterns at a garage sale. Each pattern was selling for $0.25. I could feel my heart rate climb as I snatched up piece after piece. My hands were full when I found the gem- a mid-century glove pattern. Forget this! I said to myself. I'm buying the whole box! After some haggling, the owner sold it to me for $6.00. I knew I could sell one pattern and recoup the cost of the entire box, so it was a great deal. At home I drooled over my finds, and then put them away until winter.
Well, winter is upon us. November is a great time to sell things on Ebay, because Christmas is coming but also because more people have time to work on sewing projects. I'm hoping to make a lot of money on this treasure box. Join me in the following weeks as I attempt to sell as many of these patterns as possible, for the highest price possible.
What will the ROI be on my $6.00 treasure box? Next Monday* we'll start selling.
*All fellow Ebayers probably know that Monday isn't the best time to end an auction. This is true. I'll actually be scheduling my auctions to end on Sunday, so each Monday I'll be able to review what I listed and sold over the weekend. :)