Welcome to my little luxury resale learning space! Whether you are new to reselling or have some experience flipping goods, I am thrilled to walk you through my thoughts on pricing, how I price, and why I believe I am consistently able to sell my items well above market value.
In this first lesson I will introduce the 5 parts of my pricing strategy. I will only be discussing the 1st step today. In the next couple of weeks I will be revealing one or two pieces of the puzzle a week. I hope to open up a healthy discussion about why I do what I do.
Last week’s post about comps and pictures was THE most interacted and engaged post of my Instagram history! I had an overwhelming amount of comments and private messages thanking me for saying this. Ladies, if you have been following me for a while, I have been saying this since DAY 1!
While it is important to understand the current market and use comps as one of many references… COMPS SHOULD NOT BE THE ONLY FACTOR IN YOUR PRICING STRATEGY. And here is the thing, pictures shouldn’t be either. But I believe that pictures play a bigger role in what you are able to sell an item for than comps. (we will get DEEP into comps another week).
The Instagram post was meant to shock you, it was meant to get you thinking. And the truth is, I put more value on my pictures than comps. Why? Because I have been able to prove to myself time and time again that this is the way to maximize the value of an item.
The 5 pieces of the pricing puzzle are, Pictures, Brand Value, Market Value, Condition, and Comps.
Today, I will be talking about my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE STEP… PICTURES!
(I am starting with pictures because I firmly believe you could have all other factors squared away, but if your pictures look like they were taken in a dungeon by your 90 yr old grandma, then it won't matter. )
A GOOD PICTURE IS WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS… AND 2 OR 3 TIMES MORE MONEY
For the next exercise, I want you to become EXTREMELY superficial and judge everything based on its appearance. Channel your inner high school mean girl. Become Regina George! Here we go…
Look at the pictures above. These are all the same exact purse, The Chanel Grand Shopper Tote. It is available for sale on the same platform. I want you to take a good look at all 4 images. Which one, in your opinion, looks the most expensive? Keep in mind this was originally $2900, but it has been discontinued so they become more and more rare as the years go buy.
Which one would you assume is in the best condition and was most well cared for? Which of these bags would you assume might smell like smoke or moldy closet? If you had saved up your hard-earned money and wanted to treat yourself to your first Chanel, or upgrade to one of these… which one would you buy? Which one says “the gift I deserve”?
Here is the thing, none of the questions I just asked you can be proven. All of this is just based on WHAT YOU SEE. We are judgmental little souls. We tend to form an opinion of something or someone within seconds. The fact that we are judgmental isn’t my opinion, there are THOUSANDS of studies on this concept.
Why would we ever think that our customers are any different?
Look at these next images… Based only on what you see (pretend you are a luxury customer looking to score a great deal on designer shoes), is the shoe on the right worth at least 50% more as the shoe on the left? Double? If you had been saving up for a great pair of shoes, an investment to your wardrobe, which shoe would you buy?
The truth is, most people would go for the right one. I am a sucker for beautiful images and presentation. If I had worked my butt off and decided to splurge on a pair of designer shoes, I would much rather go for the pair that looks in excellent condition and gives me high end departments store vibes (without the price tag).
It is not just about the money, ladies. The reason I go above and beyond on pictures is because I think my clients deserve the best service. They work hard for their money, and they honor me by spending it with me. The very least I could do is treat them like the key piece of the puzzle they are.
I sell high end stuff; I want my clients to feel the luxury experience when they shop at my store… and that starts with the pictures. I make sure to showcase my items in the best possible light (while showcasing damage and wear so they know exactly what they get).
Look back at the black Manolo Blahnik Lace Pumps. I bought those for $80 and sold them for $200. Now look at the Manolo Blahnik Metallic pumps. I bought those for $70 and sold them for $190. Do you understand what I am trying to show you? Does this make sense? How was I able to do that?
The shoes were completely underpriced. And the people that sold them did not take time to make them look like the designer items they are. The price I sold them for is still over 70% off retail! The customer gets a beautiful designer piece at a killer price, I am able to at least double my profit. Everyone wins.
TOOLS, TIPS AND TRICKS
So, how do I get my pictures so clean and crisp? I am the crazy obsessive person that photoshops every single picture. Yes, it is so extra, but I actually love doing it, it brings my prices up, and I can do it whilst watching cheesy teen dramas on Netflix (if you have watched Reign, you know).
But you don’t have to be this extra at ALL… there are things that you can do to improve your pictures.
SPLURGE VS STEAL
Here are the most important things we use that I recommend adding to your business at some point:
ESDDI PHOTO STUDIO LIGHT BOX, MINK OIL SUEDE TREATMENT, RING LIGHT KIT, PATENT LEATHER CLEANER, BUST FORM, HANDBAG STAND
Lightbox: This is the exact box we use. ESDDI PHOTO STUDIO LIGHT BOX 24"/60cm
It is the single best and most important investment I made for my business. We own two of this right now and I would not trade it for the world. It is on the pricier side, but I do not skimp on business tools. I will invest in anything that will guarantee more money and bigger profits.
There are many lightboxes out there, some are smaller, some are less expensive and are built of plastic walls. You can experiment with whatever works for you. The reason I LOVE using this big one is because of its sturdiness, the brightness of the light, and its size.
I love that you can fit any accessory in there, tops, skirts and shorts, swim, and even folded jeans. In my opinion, this is the best one out there. We have had ours for over a year now and have never had an issue with them. I highly recommend this tool if you are ready to take your pics to pro level.
White Foam Board: This is a cost effective alternative if you are not ready to take the leap. You can find a way to attach them at a 90-degree angle and voila! You have yourself an all-white set up.
Cons: The cons of this method, and the reason we don’t use it, is because you are limited on shooting times. You must shoot during the day (unless you own photography lights, and even then, the outside lighting will affect the color of your image). You also depend on the weather. Your pictures will have different lighting and color to them depending on whether it is sunny or overcast outside.
When you shoot in the light box, pictures will be exactly uniform every single time.
Ring light: We own one of these and it has been a game changer for one of my girls. One of my GCC girls lives in a very open, well-lit apartment that literally gets magical white light all over the house until pretty much sunset. My other girl lives in a beautiful house with very dim natural light no matter what time of the day it is. It was nearly impossible for her to get clothing shots unless the conditions were perfect.
The second we got the ring light; she was able to shoot at any time during the day! It was life changing for her because she could process her shoots no matter what was happening in the weather or world outside. Time is money. I would rather pay to make sure that we can be as efficient as possible.
I do not do well with limitations. I will pay to make sure that productivity can increase without outside variables.
This is the exact ring light we own and love: RING LIGHT KIT:18" 48cm
Here are a few other little knickknacks that we use to stage certain photos or pieces that need to be held in place etc.…
- Large Thin Wooden Board: This has also been a life saver. The same girl with the ring light has light blue/gray walls. It was very hard to get the true colors on the pictures to pop. Once we got her the board and the ring light, it was like she was shooting in a photography studio. This is the exact board we use, and she just props it against a wall.
I don't have a link for this because I just went to Home Depot and bought it. It was about $30 and I had it cut down slightly smaller because it was massive.
- Handbag stand: I actually just ordered this item this week and it made me question my intelligence… why did I wait until now? We have been shooting handbags on the wall and in the box, but they don’t all stand on their own. This is the tool I have needed for the past 2 years! This is the exact one I ordered: HANDBAG STAND
- Shoe Acrylics: These are for shoe styles that either lace up or need to be held in place. The difference with these is night and day. They help you showcase the true shape of the shoe… the way they will look when on. These are the exact shoe acrylics we own: SHOE ACRYLICS
- Bubble Wrap: Bubble wrap has a few different uses within my business, but we use it to stuff handbags. There is nothing worse than a limp, lifeless bag. I like our bags stuffed to a mid-point; I want my customers to see what they will look like in real life with stuff inside of them. Have you ever walked into ANY high-end store and seen an unstuffed bag in a display? NEVER!
- Leather Cleaners: I make sure that our items look the best they possible can, and most of the time that can start with something as simple as leather cleaners! I know most of you are familiar with the DR. MARTENS WONDER BALSAM for leather! It is a lifesaver. It literally brings shoes back to life! We absolutely use this product daily... but what about suede? or patent leather?
For suede, we use ANGELUS MINK OIL. It does the same thing for suede as Dr. Martens Wonder Balsam does for leather. It will bring it back to life.
For patent leather we use MONEYSWORTH AND BEST PATENT LEATHER CLEANER
Well ladies, this is the end of the road this week! I hope you got a glimpse into our picture strategy and how I use this to sell my items above market value. Do you now understand why comps are not as important to me as pictures?
Thank you again for your time, ladies! See you next week to talk about.... THE IMPORTANCE OF BRAND AND MARKET VALUE.
Hold on a second there! This is important!...
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Hi Isa, I listened to you talk today about how you started and built your business on a podcast with Danali while driving from North Carolina to Massachusetts. I listened to it a couple of times because it was very powerful. So much of what you said really hit home and made me rethink how I view my reselling business. I’m a full time systems analyst and always thought of reselling as my hobby, but after today, will be reimagining what is possible and reaching for more. Thank you so much for the content of this website and your openness about your business.