10.17.2010

Stetson Loafers - Irish Green Leprechaun Pimp shoes, Christian Louboutin, Air Jordan

So normally I don't buy clothes to resell, especially after I took such a bath on the lot of jeans I tried to sell.  Not that there isn't a ton of money to be made on clothing, I just don't have the knowledge of what to buy.  It's not my thing.
So I saw these sitting there in a box full of shoes, and she was only asking 25 cents.  They were my size, and I could see that they were good shoes because of the name brand, Stetson.  I figured it was worth the 25 cents just to wear them to work a couple times to get some laughs.  The other really nice thing about this purchase was the condition of the loafers.  They looked like they had been worn just a couple of times.  There were no scuffs or damage to the leather.

With Halloween right around the corner, I listed them as Leprechaun pimp shoes with an opening price of $39.95. The auction ended for over $50, leaving me a very nice profit on my 25 cent investment, not to mention the fun I had wearing them around the office for a day.


Certainly if you know what you're doing, there are other brands of shoes that sell for ridiculous amounts of money.  Here is a fun search: Christian Louboutin shoes!  Be sure to sort the completed auction results by price: high to low, then you can see how insane people are about these shoes!  A single pair sells for like two mortgage payments.  Simply unreal.  I'm not holding my breath that I will find a pair of these at a garage sale or the thrift store, although you never know, right?  When you were a teenager, did your mom throw away or donate any of your stuff that she had no idea about?  Happens all the time.

Another very hot market is for Air Jordan shoes.  For some reason, these have become collector's items and a single pair can easily sell for upwards of $200.  Again, as with the loafers, it is all about condition.  The Air Jordans are a fashion statement, not a basketball shoe.  There are collectors out there who pay top dollar for these shoes.  Remember, a collector likes things nice and neat in original boxes in mint condition.  It is likely that most Air Jordans you find at a garage sale will have seen a few laps up and down the court, so be cautious about spending more than a couple bucks if you don't know what you're doing.  There certainly is the low end of the spectrum where Air Jordans only sell for a dollar or two.  As with any collector's market, knowledge is power, and someone who knows the market can tell trash from treasure when it all looks the same to you and me. 

This is just another reminder for you to keep your eyes open at garage sales, there might be money laying around in all sorts of places!  It is a reminder to me to always keep my mind open to buying and selling just about anything.  Before I wrote this post, I would have never considered buying a pair of used air jordans as a possible hundred dollar score, but as I said, knowledge is power.  Now I know to buy them when I see them, and after I buy, research, and sell my first pair, I'll know even more about that market.

Another pair shoes that I bought to resell were some Birkenstock sandals that were new in the box.  I paid $4 and sold them for $35.  This was a no-brainer for me because I have bought Birks and I know how much they sell for.  And of course if you ever run across a pair of Elvis' blue suede hush puppies, don't be shy.

Do you have any tips about buying shoes for resale?  Any common brands that are good for resale?  Post your comments below!

10.06.2010

Tag-Heuer Dive Watch

I really lucked out on this one.  Tag-Heuer happens to be one of the brands of watches that I liked as a kid. I actually don't wear a watch anymore, but I know from years ago that these watches are fine jewelry and can be very expensive.

One of the things t look out for with fine jewelry is fakes.  I actually bought a fake Tag-Heuer at a garage sale a couple of years ago.  I should have know better.  The big giveaway on nice dive watches is the crown.  On many dive watches, the crown screws into the watch to keep it waterproof.  You have to unscrew the crown and pull it out before you can set the time.

The other thing to know about fine watches is that many of them use a sapphire crystal.  This means that the only thing that will scratch the face is a diamond.  If you think you are holding a treasure with a scratched face, you probably are not.

This watch retailed for over $1000 when it was new, and it currently sells for $200 - $400 depending on the condition.  Mine ends Friday, and the opening bid of $199 has already been met.

I paid $7 for this watch, and it was in the same bin that the "scrap gold buying guy" just finished picking through.  He found some sterling silver, but I know he didn't do as well as me!

The Unknown Banjo

Here again, I will illustrate the importance of getting there early.  I was about to leave this sale empty handed when I saw more stuff for sale on the front porch.  There was this banjo there, and I opened the case to look at it.

Before I go on, I have to confess that I know nothing about banjos.  However, I do know that quality instruments hold their value, and as soon as I picked this up, I noticed that it was heavy, it had mother of pearl inlay on the neck, and beautiful wood inlay on the back.  The instrument was in very good condition.  There was a second banjo there, but it was missing screws and the neck was loose.  I passed on that, even for $5, it probably would have been more trouble than it was worth. 

I asked how much, and she said, "30 bucks".  Normally I like to haggle a bit, but when the price is really good, and there are other people at the sale, sometimes it is best to just pay the asking price and complete the deal before someone else offers full price (or more).

The maker of this instrument is still unknown, I could not find a manufacturer name, only the logo on the headstock.  It came with the case, and it had two sets of finger picks, some spare strings, and an old songbook.

I listed it on Craigslist for $200, and it was gone the same evening.  I had 3 responses within the first 3 hours, which makes me think I should have listed it for $300.  Oh well, I'll just cry all the way to the bank.