Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Let's Talk Vintage #55: Tools of a Vintage Seller's Trade

Welcome to Let's Talk Vintage!

This week I am taking a closer
look at the tools of the trade for
online sellers. I know my
fellow dealers will know exactly
what I am sharing already!

Before I start, I just want to
mention the four of the most important
items you need to choose before you start:
* How you will get your store online:
Computer, tablet, or Smart phone?

* How will you take your photos:
Smart phone or digital camera?

* How will you edit your photos?
Editing software or online website?

* Where will you sell your items?
A site like Etsy or maybe your own website?

Back in the early days of
online selling... I used to take
photos using FILM and have
 them developed! Oh yes!
Then, a friend scanned
them for me and resized them.
I had to pay to have the photos
uploaded to the internet.
Crazy! Not to mention I was
borrowing my roommates
computer and paying half of
the monthly internet fee.

Fortunately, things have progressed
technically! Now it is MUCH easier!

So, if you're thinking about selling online,
these are some of the basic tools
you will need to make things go smoothly.
Magnifying glass, sharpies, hole punch,
mini screw drivers, pliers, and a measuring tape.
Also, a ring sizer.
I use the sharpies for blacking out
words or symbols on (used) shipping
boxes that I don't want to interfere with the
buyer's destination... and the red sharpie
for writing "FRAGILE" on the
outside when shipping breakables.
In my humble opinion, the boxes
have to used. If I had
to buy them, I'd be out of business.
Screw drivers and pliers are for
anything from a vintage toy
with a battery compartment
to broken jewelry clasps.
The pencil is for erasing marks
that were made inside old books
or for removing old dealer prices.
I use the hole punch for keeping
my copy of the invoices in a notebook.
And speaking of invoices, you will
need a printer and plain old copy paper.
This measuring tape is what I have draped
 around my neck all day long. It
is like my doctor's "stethoscope."

I give measurements for practically
everything I sell. It is one of the top
questions people have when buying online.
"What size is it?"
 I like to place vintage books, ephemera or clothing
 in plastic bags... you just never know
 what the weather is going to be
like where your send your items.
A calculator for when I have
online sales and need to take discounts.
And don't forget weighing packages!
This is the postal scale I use.
We bought it years ago on
Craigslist. This thing has been 
a tough little bugger.
"It takes a lickin' and keeps on tickin!"
(Who remembers what commercial that was for?) 
And of course, now that I've said this,
it will conk out on me!
I can't tell you how many times I use
Windex a week. Clean items are a must!
Jewelry looks better when
placed on a stand... I have
several in white and black.
China plates or smaller framed
prints look great on a plate
holder or easel. Sometimes
I use them when taking
pictures... but also when
selling at an antique show
or flea market.
When a package needs to
be wrapped up ... my
shipping tape holder
is my best friend!
You'll also need things like 
tissue paper, bubble wrap,
shop labels, business cards etc. 

This handy dandy loop is perfect for
finding hallmarks on jewelry.
I will need it soon, as 
the crazy jewelry sale I wrote
about here and here, is coming up.

Also for jewelry:
A scale.
If I need to describe the weight in
grams, I use this.
For taking pictures of long jewelry,
clothing or accessories, a dress form
is a huge help.
I'm looking forward to using my
Etsy reader more...
I haven't done too many shows
but this will be great for accepting
credit cards.
When the hubs and I had a booth
we needed things like Liquid Gold
for cleaning furniture, paint for
updating furniture, fabric for seats, etc.

I've also recently started checking
plastic items to see if they are bakelite
by using Simichrome polish.
Hope you enjoyed a peek into
the tools I use for my trade.
It has been eye opening, even
for me, I didn't realize how
many things I use!
If you are really interested and
just starting out, here is a
list of what I mentioned here
today so you can copy and paste it:
1. Computer
2. Camera or smart phone
3. Printer and paper
4. Magnifying Glass
5. Measuring Tape
6. Postal scale
7. Jewelry Scale
8. Ring Sizer
9. Shipping Tape
10. Shipping Tape Dispenser
11. Used Shipping Boxes
12. Bubble wrap
13. Newsprint Paper
14. Tissue Paper
15. Pencil with Eraser
16. Plate Easel
17. Simichrome Polish
18. Windex or other cleaner
19. Black and Red Sharpies
20. Hole punch and Notebook 
21. Mini Tool Set
22. Dress Form
23. Jeweler's Loop
24. Plastic Bags (various sizes)
25. Business Cards or Advertising Postcards
26. Calculator
27. Jewelry Stand
28. Paint or stain for updating furniture
29. Photo editing software or website
30. Credit card reader

Now you know Rome wasn't built in a day. I didn't start
out with all of these things. They are what I have acquired over the years. Hope you can use any or all of the tips I gave. I still meet people who say they want to sell online but are not sure where to start. May this be a boost to someone... happy selling!

Here are this week's features:

Pat, of French Country Style from the
Foot of the Rockies, took us along with her
to the antique capital of Colorado...
and to quote Pat:
"Its like Disneyland for people like us!"
Yes, indeed!

Brenda over at Unique Junktique has a ghostly mirror to share with us for the spookiest week of the year... getting goosebumps yet?

Rita of Panopoly shared these
 awesome flapper girl treasures
 with us. Read about the special
 bond she has with her sisters.

and Look at this! How creative...
Tuula of Thrifty Rebel Vintage
shows us how to make a
pumpkin out of teacups!

You all never cease to amaze me.
Remember, if you were featured,
be sure to grab this button to
place on your blog.
Now it's your turn:
Let's Talk Vintage!

Linking with:


Melissa said...

Oh my gosh, looking at all of this... I'm just realizing how much stuff I use too! Wow!

The Speckled Hen Cottage said...

Thanks for hosting! That tea cup pumpkin is terrific!!! Lots of fun ideas out there.

Rita C at Panoply said...

Jill, first of all, thank you so much for the feature, which never fails to excite me (or give me credence in this crazy love we all have of vintage, which is it? Btw, I love Pat's statement, "It's like Disneyland for us!"). I've already noted the feature on my post.
Oh yes, that bag of tricks you have is essential, and I bet you have a few other supplies, like bubble wrap and/or plenty of filler papers of sorts for packaging. Wondering if you use any sort of light box for online photos? I never had one, but always used either a black or light drape for items, and sometimes a coin for size reference in the photos. For what my sisters & I do, we always keep blankets in the car - always - and will haul totes & bubble wrap if we know we're heading to pickup (like an auction, or a buyout, or estate sale). Good post.
Thanks for hosting the party, love being with my crazies who know my kind of crazy.

Sandi Magle said...

Jill, thanks so much for hosting this, and your expertise. Your post is excellent...and I wish I was just as organized as you are. I have lost my good photo program when I upgraded my computer, so now my photos are really only half edited.

I really appreciate your posts, thanks so much! Sandi

Debbie-Dabble Blog and A Debbie-Dabble Christmas said...

Thanks so much for hosting!! And thanks for this wonderfully informative post.
I used to sell my crafts on Ebay but that became another full time job and I already had one full time job so I did not need another one!
I am taking a hiatus from being a Craft Vendor at local Craft Fairs too. I will wait until Joe retires in a year and then I will have him to do the lugging around of things should I chose to go back to being a local vendor.
I may consider selling on line again. What do you like better, Etsy or Ebay?
Also, if you use the Unites States Post Office for shipping, you can order brand new free boxes from them, print your labels online and then notify post office on line to have your mailman stop by to pick up your packages. I was doing this about 5-6 years ago when i sold on Ebay.
Thanks again!!


My thrift store addiction said...

Thanks for the party Jillian!

Have a Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson said...

Thank you for the party Jill!

Donna Wilkes said...

Jillian,great tips for selling online. I have to have a bin to hold all my necessary items. Next do a post on where you store everything you are selling. That is my biggest problem! Thanks for the party. I invited some Etsy team members to come over and try out the party.

Deanies Stash said...

Jillian, that is a great post on the items needed to sell online. When ebay first came online we sold and became power sellers. Then there were no tips like this so this is a good place for newbies to start and to remind veteran sellers. Nice to have all the info in one post. Fun features! Thanks for the party.

Hope your week is great.

xo Dianne

Joyce - Quilted Nest said...

That was fun! The Simichrome polish is a good tip. Haven't used that... Thanks!

Diana said...

Great post, Jill, and such a help to those who are new to selling on line. Thanks so much for hosting, as always :)

rush said...

"It takes a lickin' and keeps on tickin'!" belongs to Timex.

Jillian's Bella Rosa Antiques said...

Thank you all for the kind comments! I loved hearing your extra input and the suggestion to do another post with where I keep it all is a good one. :) I will update new tips we learned from all of you. Thanks so much for your input!

Julia @ Vintage with Laces said...

I don't have a shop but this sounds like great advice, Jillian.
Thank you for hosting!
Have a wonderful day!

RobinfromCA said...

I don't sell anything (I just get stuck at the buying part) but this was really interesting! Thanks for sharing!

Betsy@My Salvaged Treasures said...

Thanks for sharing all your helpful tips at Vintage Inspiration Party!!

Tuula @ Thrifty Rebel Vintage said...

Hi Jill! I just got back from a road trip vacation to find my teacup pumpkin featured at your fabulous party. Thank you so much!

Unknown said...

Lovely comprehensive list!!

Sharon @ Blue Willow House said...

Jill, thank you for sharing your tips at Vintage Charm. I don't sell online but keep considering it. I use most of the same items as you for my booth.