Rag & Bone - BOLO Brand

BOLO stands for Be On the LookOut, and this month’s BOLO is Rag & Bone.

Rag & Bone is a New York based clothing brand for both men and women that focuses on making high quality, well tailored wearable pieces. The brand itself is not yet vintage, as they were founded in 2002. They make everyday wear, and by everyday, I mean tee shirts, jeans, shorts, skirts, and shoes. Nothing really sets their pieces a part from any basic mall brand at passing glance, but once you see a piece of Rag & Bone clothing up close, feel it and wear it for yourself, you will understand it’s a bit more special. They make their garments from incredible fabrics, and the stitching is impeccable for even the most basic tees.

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What does this mean for reselling? Why is Rag & Bone a BOLO brand?

Money. This brand is expensive. Hype beast, Supreme expensive. A basic graphic tee that has Love is the Answer on it, retails for $125.00. However, unlike Supreme, no one is faking it, and most thrift stores don’t know about it, so you can get it for a steal. Take for example this pair of Rag & Bone men’s plaid shorts. I bought these from a CHKD for $3.98, after squeeing for a solid five minutes, because I found it in my hometown in Gloucester, Virgina while visiting my parents. I sold this pair of shorts for $34.97 on eBay. After fees of $5.25, $3.97 first class shipping, and initial purchase price of $4.22, I made $21.53 off of one pair of plaid shorts.

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Finding this brand in the wild is very rare, not only at thrift stores, but also retail. Sometimes you can find pieces in TJ Maxx or Marshall’s. This dagger scarf I found in Marshall’s for $29.99. Now I know that may seem like a lot for some of you, but it’s new with tags, and if you zoom in to see the original price, $30.00 is a steal. I sold this piece for $65.97, the day after I listed it. After $9.90 fees, $3.20 to ship it, and $31.79 purchase price, I still made $21.08 and it was a quick flip. If I had found it in the black or gray colorway, I would have kept it, because it was probably the nicest, softest piece of fabric I have ever touched in my life.

If you come across a piece of Rag & Bone either thrifting or in the shops, grab it, because it is a BOLO brand.

Best Offer Can Be Your Best Friend

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I’ve seen a lot of mixed feelings about the Best Offer feature on eBay. It’s no secret that eBay wants you to have it as an option on all your fixed price listings, as it is auto selected in most cases when you draft a new listing. Even if you deselect the option on listing, they will add it for you later, and then send you an email about it. While that may be a little off putting, I actually think the best offer feature is great for your store.

As I stated, eBay wants you to have Best Offer available on your listings, so your listings that do have it enabled will rank higher in their algorithm. Every offer, even low ball offers, count as activity in your store. More activity in your store, the higher your items rank in the algorithm. If someone submits a low offer, you can always counter it. They have up to five counter offers, but each back and forth is, you guessed it, more activity for your store. It’s about 50/50 for me whether or not I will accept a first offer or counter.

I will accept a first offer if it’s only a few dollars off my asking price, because I build that into all my listings. That’s my first tip, to take advantage of Best Offer list your item 20% higher than your base price. If you get it, heck yeah, but that makes it so you have room to negotiate. I’ve also found if you take a Best Offer from someone, they are more likely to leave you positive feedback, because everyone likes feeling like they got a deal. If someone is offering half my asking price, I will counter with something more reasonable. So far I’ve only had one instance where I just outright declined after a few back and forth offers, because they were only upping their counter by a dollar every time.

You can also set a minimum and a maximum offer to save time. You can set Best Offer to auto-decline any offer less than a certain dollar amount, and auto-accept any offer above a set dollar amount. I personally only use the auto-decline feature, because I feel like using the auto-accept could leave money on the table.

My second tip, is to not take it personal. If you receive a low ball offer, don’t take it to heart. All of the items in my store are priced well above what I paid for them, so I keep that in mind when I respond to an offer. I will stick firm to my 20% buffer, and most of the time we reach a fair price for both parties. Try to be kind and professional in your response, and counter them with something more reasonable to you. My go to is, “Thank you for your offer. I would be more than happy to meet you somewhere in the middle, as I do offer free US domestic shipping.” About 75% of the time my counter gets accepted, and the rest of the time, declined. My store gets activity, most of the time a sale, and sometimes positive feedback!

My third tip is to take all reasonable offers. If you use my first tip, please also take my third tip. Accepting reasonable offers, means you are turning over your inventory faster, recouping your initial investment, and building capital to invest in more inventory. People that feel like they got a deal, are more inclined to leave positive feedback, and every offer, counter and sale is activity for your store to appease the algorithm. If you care to look at my feedback, you’ll see the majority of my positive feedback was left on Best Offer buys.

I hope this was helpful, and that you all feel better about taking advantage of this feature in the future. I would love to know your own experiences with Best Offers in the comments below!

Reselling is a Marathon Business

I know a lot of new resellers, come into the business after seeing a viral post on Facebook, or watching tv shows like Storage Wars and American Pickers, or by viewing a video from one of the many amazing resellers on YouTube, like Ralliroots or Crazy Lamp Lady. YouTube and TV are edited versions of what is normally a long process. Take the TV shows I mentioned, they only showcase “expected” sales or profits, rarely actual sales. YouTubers are more transparent, with many of them putting up regular sold videos; however, the time from listing to the time an item sells is almost never discussed unless it’s a fast sale. This can give a false impression that reselling can be a way to make quick cash.

With that assumption, new resellers commonly jump into the business and after the first week, will get very discouraged when their items are sitting and not selling. Some of that has to do with being a new seller and not optimizing their listings, some has to do with possibly not picking the best items for resell, but most of the time it’s because reselling is a marathon, not a sprint business. Let me give an example.

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I listed this Affliction thermal shirt on my eBay on February 23, 2019. I listed it for $17.77, thinking at a low price and it still being cold outside it would be a quick sale. I paid $4.23 at the GoodWill with tax. This shirt sat in it’s bin until April 20, 2019, when it finally sold for full price. The fees for the sale were $2.67, ) $3.85 shipping (I offer free shipping), and after original cost of $4.23, I made $7.02. It took nearly two months from listing to shipping. I’ve been reselling on and off for a decade, and my normal break down is 15% sold within a week of listing, 65% sold within 2-8 weeks of listing, and 20% 8+ weeks.

If you are just starting out, don’t get discouraged if you don’t sell anything right away. Start small but keep at it. Do a little research and see how successful resellers list their items and take their pictures. Make some adjustments to titles and photos. It may take awhile, but if you develop your thrift eye, and list regularly, things will start to sell.