Bailey's Yum Collection 1996 Tea Cups

A few years ago I had a meeting in Richmond, VA, and since it was a long distance from where I lived I headed up early in case of traffic. Miraculously there was no traffic, so I arrived at the meeting location with over an hour to spare. Not wanting to sit in my car for a hour, I saw there was a small thrift store across the street. I walked in, and I remember it being set up a lot differently than the big thrift stores for which I was accustomed (GoodWill, DAV, CHKD). I wandered around for a little while, not really seeing anything interesting, when I spotted the most ridiculous pair of tea cups winking at me from the shelf.

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Literally winking at me.

I picked them up and at three dollars for the pair I thought they would be fun pieces to have around the office. I wasn’t reselling at the time, so I purchased them and they sat and were used every now and again in my office break room.

Fast forward a few years to now, where I found this Crazy Lamp Lady on YouTube. I’ve been reselling clothes off and on on eBay for over a decade, but she seemed to be very successful on Etsy with hard goods. I’m a business person, so diversifying revenue streams and branching out on a different platform with a different set of wares appealed to me. Since I specialized in clothes and I wasn’t going to get to the thrift stores again until the weekend, I thought to myself, “how was I going to fill out my new Etsy store?”

Then I remembered the winking cups.

There they were still smiling and winking in my office break room, so for a lark, I started researching them to see if I could find out any more about them. I typed in Bailey’s tea cups into the oracle (Google), and it turns out they are part of a much larger full serving tea set that was a limited edition release in 1996. The full service set had well over twenty pieces, which I didn’t have, so then I looked on eBay to see if a single pair of cups would be worth more than my original $3 price tag.

I saw multiple comps on eBay, so I decided to list them on my new Etsy shop on April 2, 2019. They were my first sale and sold for $24.00 with free shipping the next day on April 3, 2019. After Etsy fees of $2.43, shipping of $11.20 to Washington state, and my original purchase price of $3.18 (with tax), I made $7.19 on my first sale on Etsy!

Don’t worry, my assistants still have plenty of less valuable mugs to drink out of still in the break room.

Jasco Ceramic Mallard Duck Lint Remover Brush

I am fortunate to have multiple thrift stores not only near where I live, but also near where I work. Where I work happens to have the perfect juxtaposition for resell thrift: affluence, retirement communities, outlet mall, and yuppie/hipster college town. Finding high end brands thrifting here is common,many new with tags. Finding vintage items and antiques is common, because of a loved one doesn’t want to deal with the estate of their passed relative. Best of all, having a glut of mall brands is low, due to the college kids picking them up for their own wardrobe. A perfect reseller storm of conditions. It’s for this reason I make it a point to go thrifting at least twice a week, during lunch or after work, once on Monday, and another time midweek.

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It was on one of these midweek trips I found this little ducky. At first, I thought it was just a well loved ceramic with a sizable felted bottom to protect both the ceramic duck and any surface it rested on from scratching each other. However, once I picked it up and felt the texture of the bottom, I knew that was not the case. It felt almost like a hairbrush. I decided at half off of $2.25 ($1.25 with discount and sales tax), it was worth picking up and doing a little research.

At first I reverse image searched on Google, and that was no help. As pretty as mallard ducks are, live birds were not going to help me identify my ceramic ducky’s purpose. Then I did a reverse image look up on eBay. Lo and behold, I found a ton of similar fuzzy bottomed duckies on eBay. My $1.18 duck, was a vintage Jasco Ceramic Mallard Duck Lint Remover Brush from the 1980s. Given the muted colors, the brush material and the trim on the wood that fit the time frame perfectly. I also saw they went for around $14-$15 with free shipping on eBay.

So that’s what I list it for, but on Etsy.

I listed it on Etsy, because there were so many listings on eBay I thought mine might get lost. Since it was a vintage piece, I could list it on Etsy and did. It was a good choice, as it sold six days after listing it for $14 with free shipping. At $14 sale price, I paid $1.41 in Etsy fees, $4.33 to ship it all the way to Washington state, first class USPS, and my original price of $1.25, I made $7.01 off a $1.25 ducky I found on my lunch break at GoodWill.