If you’re familiar with Gary Vee (Gary Vaynerchuk, Head of VaynerMedia), then you have probably seen one of his numerous social media productions called Trash Talk. It’s a series of videos about Gary running around town on a Saturday morning and checking out garage sales. Now, if you know anything about Gary, you know he’s one of those people you could drop off at any street corner in any city with empty pockets and he would end up owning a business by the end of the month and making a comfortable living. He just does it. It’s in his nature. So, he hits up these garage sales and he knows what to look for.
He has an eye for rough market value and trendy items and, more importantly, he does his research. On one trip, he found a collection of Olympic pins. The seller wanted a dollar each. Gary offered him twenty bucks for the set. The seller took it. When Gary went back to his car, he had over two hundred and forty pins and he ended up selling them, individually or in small sets, for a total of several hundred dollars. He bought a box of matchbox cars the same day for forty bucks, researched them online, and sold them individually or in small sets for a total of over a thousand dollars.
A Few Items which Tend to Do Well
- expensive text books
- name brand sneakers, NIB (new in box)
- certain collectible toys and plush dolls, in great shape, better with original tags
- name brand watches, NIB
These are examples of some of the mark down items you may want to seek out for resale. The idea is simple. You are taking marked down items from a local market and placing them on a global market for a higher price, where there is a much larger audience and more of a likelihood that someone will pay your price for it.
Now, Gary Vee doesn’t need to be doing this for income. He has already built quite the empire and substantial wealth. He does Trash Talk for the same reason he does all his social media. He is always trying to help people understand that building a business can be done from scratch if you just get up and do it, if you just do the research and dig in and make it happen. And his basic tenants are that you build a brand and everything else is built around it. Build a good brand, reputable, reliable, honest and understand that you work for your employees, not the other way around. You are there to give your employees everything they need to their job and they will take care of your business for you. It sounds fresh and simple, but if you live it like Gary lives it, you can really see the results. I mean, check out Gary Vaynerchuk. You’ll see what I mean.
So, What’s the Point?
Having said all this, I come to say: It appears a certain portion of Gary’s followers have followed Gary’s Trash Talk idea and extended it to their own purposes in their own territories. You should see the number of YouTube videos there are out there of people with Bluetooth bar code scanners connected to their phone out there scanning merchandise in any kind of store from GoodWill to Ross’ (Dress for Less) and Target, Belk’s and J.C. Penny. They wander through the aisles with bar code scanner and bar code scanning rings, hooked wirelessly to their phones, and checking the results in anhy of a number of apps designed to let them know what that items is currently selling for on Amazon. Closeout on on Nike’s in Wal-Mart? A quick scan will let you know whether to go grab a shopping cart and fill it with boxes and head to the check out. And, yes, they do it with books.
There are folks who do their own fulfillment and others who pay Amazon for fulfillment and ship all their product off to them. Be careful if you pay a third-party like Amazon or anyone else to do fulfillment. If your product doesn’t sell fast enough, you are left with storage fees which could eat any potential profits.
That amazing array of unique coffee mugs you acquired from years of estate and garage sale hunting? You may have some winners in there but don’t let that inventory sit if it doesn’t sell. It will cost you. Make wise choices. Do your research. Know that what is selling right now may be a dead item six or even three months from now. Expensive text books tend to be profitable. Trade paperbacks are typically not.
At any rate, I mention it here just to let you know: It is one more of the myriad of means by which people make ends meet. It can be fun. It can be risky. It can be quite profitable. And it can break you bank if you don’t pay attention. So, it’s basically just like any other entrepreneurial experience.
Have a great weekend and, as always, keep the momentum.