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.
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.