Restoring a vintage costume bracelet

Vintage Costume Bracelet

I’m in receipt of a collection of vintage costume jewellery including quality pieces worthy of restoration. I’ve started with this lovely bracelet, circa 1980s.

Over 30+ years the shine had dulled but definitely deserved to be reborn. The inner band is brass with a two-tone blood red outer band.

I got to work with my Dremel and set about restoring the bracelet. Using a combination of elbow grease, metal cleaner, brasso and a polishing pad spinning at 15,000 rpm it’s now clean, highly polished with its original shine and ready to find a new home. It looks stunning with lots of credibility.

Restored Costume Bracelet

Ready to be resold I have decided to list on Etsy. I’m struggling to make any Etsy impression and hope this bracelet may attract some attention. I’m asking £9.99 with free delivery packaged in a lovely gift bag.

Wish me luck.

Cheers, Charles

How Much Money Is Lying Around Your House?

In a world where pretty much everything has a resale value, how much money is lying around your house as clutter? Seriously, take a minute.

My mother is a squirrel. She brought home helium filled balloons from a party last week. She wants to keep them… My conservatory ceiling is currently balloon filled. Am I the only one?

Over recent years family clutter has become an issue. The charity shops weren’t open and I wasn’t about to throw it all in the bin. My personal circumstances were a bit extreme but unwanted gifts, grandma’s crockery, clothes, shoes, hats and gloves. Childrens toys and last weeks teenage gaming craze; xBoxes, Nintendo and Ps/?whatevers. Even more ornaments and trinkets, jewellery and old mobile phones. What’s in the attic? The garage? The welsh dresser?

Recycling isn’t just an evolutionary imperative and moral obligation. It’s a jolly good financial opportunity. Clutter is cash.

I’ve read many opinions and prepandemic it was wisely estimated an average household had between £1,000 and £2,000 in sellable clutter. Post pandemic I think it’s probably doubled.

Decluttering isn’t about big bucks; look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves.

I’ve been making £100+ per month on average for 6-months for a hobby I enjoy. And am slowly, very slowly building an online presence under the brand Web Confection. I’m in no rush but enjoying the experience. I love the idea of having multiple revenue streams. I don’t currently want to work 9-5. Like many, I’m a bit disillusioned with life. Post pandemic blues.

Good luck.

Cheers, Charles

Selling Counterfeit Online

I recently became the owner of a womens Moschino Thin Belt and after some quick research discovered it’s an expensive but frequently forged item.

It’s used but in very good condition, no visible blemishes with quality stiching. It could be genuine or maybe not. Is it a cheap imitation made by child labour in China? Or a genuine Moschino made by child labour in China?

I know the previous owner and they were financially daft enough to pay full price, approximately £100. And savvy enough to know better. I have no idea which way they jumped, and I can’t ask.

Presents me with a problem. I can’t in all good faith sell as genuine regardless of my suspicions. Therefore I can’t list the item on Vinted or Depop, both of whom have strict rules. I could probably stick it on Gumtree but decided to take a chance and create a Sunday night, 99p auction with free delivery on Ebay.

I listed the item as a Moschino style Thin Belt and elaborated in the description. Let the customers decide. It’s garnered some interest in the first 24 hours. 7 followers and a couple of bids. It will sell.

Fingers crossed.

Cheers, Charles

Schedule your social media with Buffer

I thought I’d give a shout-out to buffer.com. A cute way to schedule your social media posts in advance.

I’ve recently found my efforts lacking due to other commitments and natural lazyness. That’s one of the ways Buffer can help.

This is not a critique of Buffer or a recommendation over its rivals. Just a heads-up on what’s available.

It was created by a whipper-snapper called Joel and friends when they were was barely out of nappies. Irritatingly talented they’ve been around a few years, and Joel has grown a beard. They have built a market leader and a very slick and easy to use solution. Read their blog. You can connect to Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest and lately Shopify, branching into ecommerce.

Like most solutions they have a free tier that I’m happily using at present. It enables you to connect too three of the six supported media channels and you can schedule 10 posts per channel at any one time.

If you haven’t embraced a similar solution I highly recommend them. Worth a look.

Cheers, Charles

Why I Deleted My Own Shop

12-months ago when I started trying to sell online using extended family belongings I had a simple and easy plan. Build up a social media presence and focus all traffic around my own umbrella website http://www.webconfection.com. Simple. With over 30 years software development experience, 20+ years cloud related what could be easier? Overnight income, 30 years in the making. Boom!

I’d probably describe myself as creative and ill disciplined. I like to dream but I’m also lazy when left to my own devices. A bit paranoid I’ve spent 20+ years trying to reduce my easily available digital footprint.

My problem with plan A? At this stage an online shop is more hassle than it’s worth and I have no social media presence to speak of. I need to focus on (re)building a digital footprint and selling across multiple 3rd party channels such as Ebay, Vinted, Amazon and more.

To that end I am now redirecting all webconfection.com traffic to my incredibly boring blog. Gone but not forgotten. I still own the domain and emails will continue to work. I have also taken receipt of some branded Web Confection cards to be included with every package I send out. An effort to raise the name but not the domain.

Ecommerce

Initially focused on the following platforms. More than enough.

Active on Ebay with irregular sales, maybe 3/4 per month. I’m at a loss as to how to attract followers and I’m not paying £20 per month for a shop. The auctions are great fun and great value when selling high-end items.

Active on Vinted, my most popular and profitable channel. Trying to focus on cheaper items, under £15 moving forward to encourage bundle buying. Designer shoes at £50 a pair garner lots of interest but no buys.

I’m still a Depop virgin. Turned down a few offers but yet to complete a deal. All advice and experience appreciated. Am I just an old fart on a teenage platform? Should I change my profile picture and hide my face?

Slow going on Etsy and the focus of my next project. I’ve purchased a Dremmel plus workstation and have been polishing old currency. Quite the gadget, a must have. I’ve had lots of silly ideas and suggestions from fridge magnets to keyrings and a traditional lucky present for the blushing bride.

Have an amazon account, jumped through the initial hoops and listed a couple of products. But waiting for the right product. Don’t envisage using it for unique items, I need a supply. Lots more to do, I have deliberately stayed away whilst pursuing smaller more immediate goals.

Gumtree is boringly simple. Based on experience include the words “Collection or P&P”. Items will get a lot of immediate exposure but if it doesn’t sell quickly it probably won’t sell. Great for local sales of items not easy to post. I have about 20 listed.

Social Media

My achilles heel. How to promote my company profile without raising my personal profile? I don’t want to pretend my life is interesting, give regular updates and comment on others. I’m boring and happy.

The only social media solution I’m comfortable using. Web Confection on Twitter has 40 followers and I often repost links. I need to do a lot more to garner any interest.

I find Facebook invasive. It’s not a conspiracy theory, I just prefer to be non-contactable on that platform. I’m not trying to make a statement. It’s also a double-whammy because I’ve lost the the social media and marketplace solutions. Do I need to rethink my position?

I have created a Web Confection placeholder on LinkedIn, just not used it. I’m not comfortable promoting on a platform where my contacts know me as a software developer. They’ll be very surprised.

Again, Web Confection on Youtube exists but never made a video. You’ll notice it’s a reoccuring social media pattern with me. But Youtube has more appeal than Facebook or LinkedIn. Quick 60 second restoration videos perhaps? Before and after when selling items.

Conclusion

I use many more online platforms than listed. Many on a daily basis. And many many more I need to embrace. My own ecommerce solution was an unhappy marriage and an overhead of time and money. I’m not ready.

I don’t need or want my own online shop.

Cheers, Charles

Should I clean my shoes?

I recently noticed a pair of Kickers, Kick Hi boots for sale on Vinted. A great deal at £15 but I was surprised at their condition. Listed with the comment will look great after a polish, I thought, polish them you silly cow. Sorry, sad but true. They looked scruffy and dirty as advertised. According to the official website their RRP is £90 although you can get them cheaper on Amazon.

I’m not complaining about a good deal but it got me thinking, how much effort should you put into selling such an item?

To-date, I have only been selling unworn shoes, new in box. Spontaneous and unused purchases. But I have a large collection of preloved shoes including a pair of Kickers, Kick Hi.

I dug them out of the attic and as expected the leather was dull and dusty, the white laces were soiled and frayed and the rubber soles mucky. I threw the laces in the bin and invested £0.40 on a new pair of 120cm laces from my favourite discount store, Home Bargains.

After wiping down the leather both inside and out, a bit of shoe shiner and ten minutes scrubbing the soles with soap, warm water and an old toothbrush I hope they are reborn and ready for the next big adventure.I’m asking a cheeky £25 average across my usual sales channels. It varies depending upon the platform. But the best deal is Depop because I’m still a fustrated Depop virgin.

They look great and are timeless streetwear. At a 3rd of the retail price and looking like new I’m hoping for offers. Has my small investment of time and money been worth it? Only time will tell. But for 40p sterling and 10 minutes GMT it’s worth the effort.

Kickers, Kick Hi – Depop

Kickers, Kick Hi – Ebay

Kickers, Kick Hi – Gumtree

Kickers, Kick Hi – Vinted

What is your saturation point?

I’ve been playing with the concept of saturation points and exactly what I mean by it. After a few beers I have decided upon…

The number of active adverts needed to create a desired income.

I currently sell items on a weekly basis. Usually two or three items a week and sometimes two or three items a day, but It’s not enough. I desire a livible income.

100% of items I currently sell are recycled and have unique properties, for example; When selling a pair of shoes I need to find a customer who loves the shoes, can afford the shoes, and the has same shoe size. Reducing the price does not guarantee a quick sale. It can take time to find your target audience.

If I am willing to accept items may take months to sell, even when hugely discounted then how many items do I need to be selling to generate my desired income?

It is a moving target and dependant upon many factors. Here are two of quick thoughts.

Sales Channels

You can measure saturation at any level. At time of writing my ecommerce presence is loosely as follows:

Depop

36 items for sale.

Ebay

22 items for sale.

Etsy

4 items for sale.

Gumtree

6 items for sale.

Vinted

69 items for sale.

Stock for Sale

The more generic a product, for example makeup, the faster the likely turnover. However, clothes, shoes and anything where size matters may take longer.

Conclusion

I am committed to increasing my 130+ adverts across all channels to 200+ within 4 weeks. Special attention to Depop, Gumtree and Etsy.

Keep watching.

Cheers, Charles

Ecommerce is mobile first

The more involved I become with trying to develop multiple revenue streams, recycling and earning online the more mobile focused I become.

I have a relatively modern Samsung smart phone. Maybe 2 years old I’m probably about due to renew my contract and get another freebie. And over the past few months I’ve installed quite a few apps including Vinted, Gumtree, Twitter and more . I’m even trading stocks and shares whilst on the road.

My desktop experience with multiple monitors is becoming a luxury experience. I can’t carry it around in my pocket. Whether buying or selling I now realise my mobile is my primary user experience. I’ve been living in the past. The world has rapidly changed, the mobile experience is paramount. I’ve even thought of focusing solely on the mobile experience and changing the tagline of my blog. But I’m not ready. There are still desktop opportunities to explore.

That said, I probably need to learn how to build a mobile app. My own creation Web Confection needs a mobile focused solution.

Cheers, Charles

Can I really recycle Doggy Diapers?

That’s right. My efforts to try and recycle pretty much everything whilst making money is plummeting new depths.

I am a proud big brother to a elderly, 4-legged, blind, incontenent pooping and peeing machine called Sasha. Nobody walks around my house in their bare feet. But as long as her tail is wagging and she has quality of life we will support her. Recently found with a packet of crisps on her head, her appetite is as good as ever.

To help matters my parents bought her a 3-pack of large, black Avont female doggy diapers at a cost of £21.95 on amazon. But after trying them on were forced to admit they had bought the wrong size and Sasha didn’t like the colour.

Sashas backside, whilst very active isn’t very big. My parents should have read the smallprint.

They appear to be a quality product. So, anybody else sharing their home with a female pooping and peeing machine and want to try some discount washable diapers?

I’ve listed them on Web Confection to begin with. Can’t see them selling on Vinted or Depop. Maybe ebay next. Anyway, discount washable doggy diapers on Web Confection.

Wish me luck.

Is my Rolex fake?

I have a beautiful ladies watch I picked up in a house clearence. I nearly crushed it under foot amongst all the mess. It was just lying on the floor in the corner of a bedroom. Issue is, it think it’s a fake Rolex, 75%. And with the owners consent I am planning to sell online but would like to be certain of what I’m selling. It is worth £50 or £500?

In need of a clean but otherwise mint condition. Replica or otherwise it’s still a beautiful time piece with new batteries and in perfect working order. A Ladies Gold Rolex Geneve, Cellini watch. I’ve googled around and cannot find an exact match and prices vary greatly.

I’ve been googling for a definitive answer to the question, is it fake? And I can’t with all certaintity be sure. Somebody maybe about to get the bargain of the century but it’s probably just a nice watch.

Now listed in the Web Confection watches catalogue I hope it finds a nice new home.