Less Is More

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The main goal of a repurposing business is to do less and reap more. You want your profit margins to increase, and your spending of time and money to decrease. Some large items will pay off, but most things (especially just starting out) will take much time and energy and won’t bring in the profit you were expecting. Granted, you could make more by setting up in some rich town but you still have to spend money in getting to that location, and extra wear and tear will happen to your items along the way. If you have enough to fill a booth at a market, there is generally a booth fee, plus you will need a truck, trailer, chairs, tables, money for gas and for buyers that need change. And you have to be prepared for those who will try and talk you down on your prices. Come to an event like this knowing what the lowest you will take is and still make a profit. I keep a list of all the expenses per item and from there figure out a price.

Before going to flea markets and craft shows you need to start off small and smart. Find things free as often as possible. Yes, that means be prepared to dig. Trash day is great, so many people throw out things that could be fixed and sold, or even just cleaned up and re-painted. Yard sales aren’t bad either if you know what to look for. Never get your items at an antique store or high-end flea market. They are most likely selling their items at the retail price. You want to try for win-win scenarios and use the money to build up your business and spread your name. Also, you must strive for excellence. Having easier items to begin with, will make this goal more attainable. You can’t really screw up on painting but you could on items that involve a lot more work and detail.

Notice what sells, I started off pouring so much time into something that wasn’t selling fast. I had to discover what it was that people wanted, and what people would buy from me and reshift my efforts accordingly. I’ve sold more small items that took less time than large items that took me days. People are just more willing to buy smaller lighter items than something so big they would have to make room for it. If you are creating something big, make sure it has a function. This will increase your chances of selling something large. For example, don’t make an old door into wall art, put a bench on it and some coat hangers and you have made it functional. Turn the door into a shelf or end table and suddenly art has become something more valuable.

Just be flexible, learning to change and mould to meet the desires of your buyers. Be unique and try new things, there are a lot of people repurposing and selling antiques, do something they haven’t done. Pinterest is great starting out, you want to know what’s popular, but in the long run, you don’t want to be a copycat. You can change the style of an item and make it unique and fresh. Whatever you like online think of simple ways to add to that item, or change that item. Make it yours.

Hope this helps! God bless you and the work of your hands!

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