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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Know What You've Got!

Back in December, I found a pair of Salvatore Ferragamo shoes at a Salvation Army for $7.99. That's a little higher than I usually pay for shoes, but these were in really good shape, and I thought I remembered hearing that that was a good name. Besides, they were a size 14, so I figured once the right buyer came along, I could sell these for a pretty penny.

I shined these up a bit with some neutral Meltonian Shoe Cream, but there was nothing I could do about the soles. They had the price written on the bottom, so I just scribbled over it with Sharpie. Very professional, no?

I researched this brand and was surprised to discover that they retail for an average of $600. There are even some styles that go closer to $1,000! For SHOES!! Now, many of you know me and my thrifter's mentality. I suffer from pretty severe sticker shock most of the time. I just can't grasp the concept that someone out there, somewhere, is willing to actually PAY these prices! But, as long as they're paying ME, who am I to question them?

So I optimistically priced them for $249.99obo. Within 12 hours, I had an offer for $100! I was so excited - I had only paid $7.99, remember? But I decided to let the offer sit for a day and see what happened. The next morning, I had no new activity on them, so I sent a counter-offer of $150. The buyer never responded, but I knew that was ok. It was very early in the game, and I knew the right buyer would come along eventually. I only pay 5 cents per month for my listings, so even if they sat for years, it would have been worth it to get a better price.

My shoes sat for 2 months with only 1 watcher. Now, I try not to put a whole lot of stock in my watcher count, because they rarely turn into buyers, and all that does is add to my frustration, wondering why they aren't just buying instead of watching. But then, about 2 weeks ago, I finally got another offer ... for $90. Blech. That was even worse than my first offer! I sent this buyer a counter offer of $150 as well, but again, never heard back from him. What if I had made a mistake in not accepting that $100 offer? I started to second-guess myself.

So I gave myself a pep talk. I had done the research. I knew they would sell well. Salvatore Ferragamo is a highly sought-after brand, and size 14 shoes are difficult to come buy. I just KNEW the right buyer would be along (am I starting to sound like a broken record?).

Then I got my Kelly's Sole Dressing in the mail from Tina. I decided to give it a try, and boy am I glad I did! Check out the difference!

So I took new pictures and updated my listing. I did make sure to mention in the item description that the soles were treated with sole dressing, just in case that might make someone NOT want them. Within 2 days of changing the pictures, I got an offer ..... for $180!!

That was $30 MORE than I had been willing to take earlier! My buyer paid that night, I packaged (and insured!) them the next morning and sent them on their way. He should be getting them today or tomorrow, so hopefully they're the right size. That's my last hurdle :) I'd hate to have to refund that $180, especially since I just spent it last night.

So what's my point? If I hadn't researched these shoes when I got home that day, I'd have probably listed them for $99.99 and been happy with that price. But I researched, I KNEW they were good, I KNEW the size was good. I aimed high and stuck to my guns. Yes, $100 for a $7.99 investment would have been grand, but isn't $180 even moreso?

ALWAYS know what you're selling, folks. If you try to research something and can't find anything about it, set your price super-high and let your buyers decide the price. I can't imagine a bigger eBay bummer than finding out too late that you let something go too cheap. Research, research, research!

Where's the best place to start your research? At our eBay Underground Facebook group, of course! There are so many people there who know about so many things - chances are good that someone will be able to help you out, or at least point you in the right direction. Stop on by!


  1. Great post Jess, it sure pays to research!

  2. I really need to start looking at shoes :-)

  3. I just picked up a New pair of Johnston & Murphy Men's Leather dress shoes in a size 18!! They are so big. I'm hoping someone out there is needing a large size. Any ideas on pricing. They came with their box which has a tag on it for $180+, but.....there are also sale stickers and writing on the box to mark the shoes down. So I'm thinking of just listing them NEW with out the box. What do you think?