In Parts 1 and 2 of our series with the "Thrifting with the Boys" guys, Bryan Goodman and Jason T. Smith, we learned why thrift stores are great places for sourcing products, got some tips for how to thrift, and learned what items are selling well. In this installment, we'll learn much more about their popular Facebook Group.
But you'll see "The Boys'" expertise extends well beyond thrifting. They also put their spin on listing and shipping, and explain how Meetup Group meetings for eBay sellers can actually be fun!
Schepp: What are your most important listing strategies?
Goodman: There are a few things that are most important. Let's start with great and multiple pictures. If you throw up something blurry that's hanging on a closet door 20 feet away, how is someone going to buy it? Great pictures make you stand out.
So do good keywords in the title. So many people put meaningless words in the title, like rare, cool, and LOOK. If you're listing a Red Sox shirt, put Boston in the title, or baseball. Eliminate extraneous words and only use keywords that mean something.
You may not have the best item or price, but if you're willing to ship internationally, your items are more likely to sell
Also, ship overseas. People are still clamoring for U.S. products. You may not have the best item or price, but if you're willing to ship internationally, your items are more likely to sell.
Smith: I once sold a heavy metal T-shirt from Norway. On the back it said, "Smoke crack and worship Satan." I sold it for $25, while another one like it only sold for $8. They didn't have the best pictures.
Schepp: We mentioned your Facebook Group earlier, and have been amazed at how popular and useful it is.
Smith: Members often post items they need help identifying. Sometimes, they do it from the thrift store, and other times they've already pulled the trigger, brought it home and then needed help. Usually within five minutes they will have everything they need to know about the item, and the history of the company. It even amazes me how knowledgeable our group is and how openly helpful.
Schepp: How about your website? What should people focus on there?
Smith: We have a newsletter, but it doesn't have a specific schedule. We get one out every couple of months. We try to put things up there that are empowering to what we're doing. For example, we have the video from our Hump Day hangout with John Lawson. You'll also find pictures from the events we've done, and more about those events.
Schepp: We hear you've started a Las Vegas "Meetup Group and Party." Meetup groups, of course, have been around for a while. But yours sounds like fun! Tell us about it.
eBay selling is kind of a lonely job. A Meetup Group provides a chance to meet other people
Goodman: We just started this because this area is underserved. Our first one was Sept. 19. There's no charge and we'll have them once a month.
Smith: This [eBay selling] is kind of a lonely job. A Meetup Group provides a chance to meet other people. But when you're sitting at a boring Meetup, there's no place to escape. It's awful.
We're making sure we bring in speakers who aren't boring. (Cindy Sorley, who runs a popular cross stitch and needlework eBay store, and is an expert on mobile selling, was the first guest.) We're going to learn, but we're going to have fun. We're doing what's scheduled, but if you want to stand and talk to me all night long, I stand and talk. It's fun and learning all the time.
Schepp: And why did you start a new Facebook Group "Shipping with the Boys"?
Goodman: This is separate from our main Facebook group. One thing we found about that group is that people become so familiar with us and key members of the group, they want to ask us everything. We police the group and try to keep it only about thrifting. Like what you bought that earned money that we should look for. Or what you have and how much it should cost. Strictly advice about buying and selling through thrifting. If you give us a specific item we can give you a concrete answer. It's not really a discussion board but more like a question/answer destination. We want to help people specifically.
We don't hold back, because if you're in a thrift store in Chicago, I can't get there and buy it before you do! So why not be helpful?
"Shipping with The Boys" came out of that. We weren't sure we wanted to start another group, but we now have more than 1,000 members who come to talk and learn about packing and shipping.
We do this to be helpful. All these efforts on Facebook are free. We don't charge anything. We don't want membership fees. We just want to help people with questions about thrifting or shipping. We help people privately, without charge, if you send us a simple question that comes outside of those two areas. We're very strong on eBay. eBay's been very good to us. Both of us have been on eBay probably 30 years, combined. We have a lot of knowledge and experience, and we are happy to share that. We're happy to tell people what to buy at thrift stores. We don't hold back, because if you're in a thrift store in Chicago, I can't get there and buy it before you do! So why not be helpful?
We've heard from people who maybe have had some hard times, medical issues or lost a job. Our motivation is to help people. We first realized this at eBay: On Location in Denver. An older couple said, "Just got to tell you how helpful your group has been to us." Turns out the husband had a bad back, and couldn't work anymore. But he was able to spend about an hour a day at thrift stores. They had 1,500 items listed when they told us.
This is our way of giving back. We don't exclude people. If you're making lots of money on eBay, we'll still help! But the people who are trying to make ends meet, those are who we're really here to help. We see this all the time.
Schepp: Thank you Bryan and Jason!
Visit Thrifting with The Boys to learn more from Goodman and Smith. To read the rest of this interview, click over to Part 1 and Part 2.