KEEP IT SMALL. I live in about 500 sq. ft of space with my husband and it’s just enough room for the two of us. I am keenly aware of our limited space and this means there isn’t a lot of room for storage. For this reason I keep my inventory to pretty small objects. My personal interest is in vintage jewelry, knitting, crochet and I dabble in jewelry/accessory making. For my etsy store RIVER HOME GOODS I focus on knitting and crochet supplies that I procure during my much loved estate sale & resale store hunts. I make time to knit or crochet items as well so this is a good way to keep up with hobbies while making some extra cash.
SIT n SELL. There are some items that I have had in my store RIVER HOME GOODS since it went live over a year ago. These are vintage clip earrings and similar sized stuff. These items are the smallest of the small so I don’t have too much of a problem investing the money to keep them listed. I’m careful about how many items I choose to do that with though. In general the smaller the item the more time I will give it to sell. Aside from knitted/crochet items, if an item is about coffee cup size I give it a super short shelf life (maybe a month) then it’s time for it to move out of our tiny house.
KEEP YOUR EYES AND EARS OPEN. I’m still learning the ropes on what works for me in terms of marketing and getting the word out on my store and the treasures I procure/sell. I try not to be too spammy and I pay close attention to tweets and re-tweets as well as “likes” and “favorites” that are marked on the things I sell. Some of those vintage clip earrings I mentioned are the most liked items in my store and even though they haven’t sold I like to look at them as a sort of advertising. I will tweet the listings on occasion and I notice it always brings in new people to check out my store. If there isn’t any commentary or “likes” on something, I will go ahead and put that in my pile of “To Go” items after the listing expires. I make sure to get anything that doesn’t sell physically out of the house. It really is all about space and making sure I don’t clutter it.
UTILIZE LOCAL CONSIGNMENT/RE-SALE STORES. Once I have a gathering of items that haven’t sold I take them to a few of the local consignment/re-sale stores for cash or trade. Depending on the item I sometimes do actual consignment but in general if i can get more for in store trade I’ll go that route as well. I also know a few individuals that I like to trade with and that’s fun in itself. LASTLY DONATE. If I have anything left over that isn’t taken for cash or trade I donate these items to a local thrift store that takes donations. It’s my hope that everything that passes through my hands finds a new home at some point along it’s journey.
PACKAGING. Packaging can get really expensive. I use the free boxes from the post office as much as possible. I also re-use boxes and envelopes that are sent to us. I didn’t think that long about “professional looks” on what I mail out because ultimately it’s torn up in the opening process by the recipient. I want to save money of course and I also want to get as much use as I can out of any packaging I encounter. Aside from the occasional envelope/box that we get I have also found a great resource in a local place called SCRAP located in Portland, Oregon. They carry all sorts of craft/DIY stuff that is donated to them. Their inventory is constantly changing and I usually can find a great selection of used large padded envelopes for my shipping needs at a great price. I can also find old stock bags, boxes and other packaging at incredible savings. The big bonus? Shopping at SCRAP for my needs means I’m part of the re-use/sustainable movement that is important to me on a personal level. Scrap has classes for creative projects and they’re non-profit organization with great community outreach. They fit well as a resource for how I like to operate my business.
I’m sure I will still be developing and growing as time goes on. These are the bare bones of what I’ve developed for myself. It’s been a lot of two steps forward one step back and it’s now starting to feel more fluid. The most challenging thing has of course been our tiny home space. I have enjoyed the challenge though – it’s fun for sure.