Customers Buy on Emotion

by Tristen & Amy OBrien on September 30, 2014

Do you ever see something that takes you right back to childhood?  That recently happened to me when shopping at Goodwill.  I was browsing the store like I normally do, when I ran into a He-Man record player.  I instantly got butterflies in my stomach and visions of me and my brother playing together raced through my head.  It was a good feeling.  Now normally I would check to see how much something like this would sell for on eBay, but in this case, it was special to me.  I wanted my children to experience the same type of fun as I did with this product.  This brings me to my point.  People buy on emotion.

Think about when this has happened to you.  Was it a smell, taste, or an item that you might have seen?  Since finding the He-Man record player, I’ve been on a quest to find other items that bring back the memories.  It’s fun to sit around as a family and reminisce about toys you use to have, so I did a little research and found a website that not only brings back those memories, but it acts as a “what to look for guide” when you’re shopping for eBay inventory.

The website is part of Reddit and it can be found HERE.  That link will take you to the Nostalgia section, and boy is it filled with items that take you back.  I literally can spend hours on this page finding items that I liked growing up and comparing it to the completed listings on eBay.  This exercise has helped me develop a “good eye” when searching for inventory.  Let’s take a look at a few items that I’ve found on that helped me when searching for items to sell at Goodwill.

1. See Through Phone – I had one of these when growing up, and I thought I was SO cool.  I was reminded of this product HERE and found it the very next day at Goodwill.  They are selling on eBay for $20.

2. McDonalds Changeable Toys – These toys came in the happy meals back in the early 90’s (check them out HERE).  I remember having the whole set at one point.  I have found six of these over the past few months, and they sell as a bundle on eBay for $20.

3. RugRats VHS tapes – I loved watching RugRats when I was growing up.  Looking back, it actually was quite inappropriate for me to watch, but back them, most of the cartoons were.  I never owned the VHS tapes, but I recently found a collection of RugRats VHS tapes at Goodwill.  I was suprised to see that they are selling on eBay for good amount of money!  Check out this lot that sold for almost $50 HERE!

I encourage you to check out the nostalgia page found HERE.  It is a lot of fun, and it’s a great reminder on what to look for when shopping for eBay inventory.  Remember, people buy on emotion, so find items that remind you of your childhood, and more than likely, others will feel the same way.

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Halloween Costumes

by Tristen & Amy OBrien on September 26, 2014

You can tell Halloween is near by the amount of Christmas decorations that are in the stores already.  That was a joke, by the way, but what’s not a joke is the amount of money to be made during this time of year.  Being a parent, I really enjoy Halloween.  I love dressing my kiddos up, taking them to spooky (buy kid friendly) places, and then seeing their faces as they run through our neighborhood collecting candy.

I’m not alone when it comes to being excited for this U.S. holiday.  Matter of fact, people spend a lot of money picking out the right costume.  Starting as early as next week, there will be Halloween parties scheduled, and costume sales will start to rise!  This is where we eBay entrepreneurs come in.  Some buyers will be looking for the generic costumes that can be bought at every retailer, but there will be those who need to stand out.  They need something unique that no one else will have, and they will be willing to pay for the uniqueness.

Time to put on your creative hat.  Start to think about what was popular this year.  It could be something that went viral on YouTube, or even a popular brand.  Think about poplar movies from now and in the past.  Think about toys that you played with when you were a child, or even some toys that your children play with today.  Make a list, and do a little research on eBay to see what’s out there and what’s selling.  Here’s a couple I thought of:

Back to the Future – As you may know, this is one of my favorate movies.  It’s also a cult classic movie, meaning that there is and probably will always be, a large following.  One idea that I have (and sell every year) is a Marty McFly outfit.  I can find most of the items at Goodwill and a few items online, but once I put it together as a unique Halloween outfit, the profit is huge.  One recently sold for over $100!

Breaking Bad Heisenberg Hat – I see these types of hats at Goodwill ALL OF THE TIME.  You usually see them being sold for under $5 and they are selling between $20 – $40!

These are just a couple, but let your imagination flow.  I typically don’t look for anything specific, but as I am browsing Goodwill, I just keep an open mind and things just jump out at me.  If you are able to sew, then you are ahead of the game!  Halloween is coming fast, so I would start now, and just a FYI, the closer you get to Halloween, the more competition you may have!



The Phrase That Pays

by Tristen & Amy OBrien on September 14, 2014


It’s true, we live in the world of DIY.  I know this, not only from personal experience, but it’s also plastered all over the media.  A few months ago, I moved into a home that Amy and I fell in love with.  The lay out is amazing, it’s in the neighborhood that we really like, BUT there was one down side, it needed some cosmetic upgrades.  As we started to talk about what we’d like to change, Amy surprised me by having everything already planned out.  Decorating and organization is a passion of hers, but I didn’t really understand her passion until she showed me her Pinterest account.

If you are not familiar with Pinterest, it’s a virtual inspiration board where you can collect ideas that you have seen online and add it to your board.  Then, you are able to go back and view your board when ever you’d like.  Amy has 7,400 pins.  That’s right, seven thousand four hundred ideas for our home, children, food, and a bunch of other categories (whoa).  Over the years, I’ve heard people talking about Pinterest, but I guess I didn’t realize how popular this app/service was.  “Pin it”, the action of adding something to your Pinterest account, has almost become a buzz word.  When we visit our friends and families, there usually is something at their house that was inspired by Pinterest.  My point is this – Pinterest is a DIY’ers heaven.  The word itself is inspiring when you use it as a verb, and it is allowing others to sell items that would normally be trash.  This is especially true on eBay.

Let me ask you this.  If you were walking down the street, and you saw that someone had an old rusty box spring out for the trash, would you pick it up and take it home?  What about a box of empty toilet paper rolls.  Or even an old rusty rake that is missing its handle?  Those items laying there by themselves may not be appealing, however if you were walking with a friend and they said, “that could be used for a Pinterest idea”.  Then, with that reminder, you may pick it up.  That’s exactly what some smart sellers are doing on eBay.  They are taking normal and bland items, opening the minds of the potential buyers, and reminding them what their item could be.  Let’s take a look at a the few ideas I mentioned above:

  • Click HERE (Old vintage Garden Rake “Pinterest Idea”)
  • Click HERE (Toilet Paper Rolls “Pinterest Project”)
  • Click HERE (Bed Spring “Pinterest”)

These are just a few of the obscure items that I found fascinating on eBay.  It seems as if adding the phrase “Pinterest idea” put’s a vision in the buyers’ head and adds a monetary value that might not otherwise be there.  I encourage you to take a look yourself by clicking HERE.

I myself tested this theory out by posting some rusty items I had in my garage, and boom, half of the items sold.  All I did was added the phrase “Pinterest idea”.  So, test it out yourself and let us know if this tip worked for you!

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