When we last met, I was explaining the origin story for my current alter ego, The Shopkins Baroness. For those of you too lazy to leave this post and read my last, I’ll sum it up for you.
Late July: Kid gets into tiny toys that are nearly impossible to find, there are over 150 of them.
My late Mom AKA the Toy Whisperer, and I worked with a team of 5 additional grown-assed adults who together amassed a complete collection (over 150 different shopkins) in 8 days.
I was then left with a boatload of duplicates. Faced with mountains of extra toys, I consulted
the late 1990’s eBay. What I found was a wonderland of charlatans, happy to gouge desperate parents for tiny pieces of plastic. Shopkins on average, cost about a buck a piece, and some of these clowns were charging 30.00 for ONE. Naturally, the creeps needed competition, so I started listing.
My prices were not only reasonable, they happened to be the lowest, where most people where charging a premium, I started my Auctions at cost and let the customers fight it out in bidding wars, oh sure, I’ve sold a few shopkins at 30.00+ per, but it was because the bidding started at .99 and were jacked up through the course of many bids.
In a week, I had made enough on Angry Baby’s duplicate shopkins to pay for her original complete collection and then some. My mother came to visit that Friday, and when I shared my sales stats, her eyes gleamed and she exclaimed,”We could make this a business!”
“Already two steps ahead of you, Mims, here’s your cut from this week’s sales.” I handed her a wad of cash, afterall, she was the first person (other than me,) to buy Valor a shopkin, she deserved to be on this roller-coaster ride with me. For years, we’d talked about flipping toys online, and that beautiful August day, it seemed we were poised to partner up, she’d do the calling/locating & I would be the feets on the streets, going wherever she told me. We were beaming as we said our goodbyes that evening, ready to become titans in the secondary toy market, Mother and Daughter, shopkins empressarios.
Sadly, that was the last time I saw her. Monday, 2 days shy of her 60th, she peacefully peaced out forever.
Of course, the next few weeks were filled with dread, sorrow, funeral sh*t, and an ocean of tears. Val had her 4th birthday (where Mom’s presents were waiting, purchased weeks prior,) and then the holidays began to kick off. I still managed to sell a few shopkins here and there, but my heart was not in it. The Sunday after Thanksgiving, I ran out of “stock,” and asked L4L to take V to the toy store to see if they had any Season One Shopkins to swoop and sell online. I recieved a call 20 minutes later, it was my main squeeze, reporting from the front lines.
“They have season two out, Toys R’ Us is unboxing them now, would you like some?”
Ever the villian, I replied: “ALL OF THE SHOPKINS!”
$500.00 later (don’t worry, we left some on the shelves for the kiddos,) I had more stock than I’d ever had before, AND it was of the new Season, a set that wasn’t supposed to be on shelves until Q1 of 2015.
That’s when my empire truly took flight, I’ve been slinging season twos for 3 solid months now, each month more profitable than the last. I’m not one to boast about finances, because Mims taught us growing up that: “There’s always going to be someone smarter, prettier, and richer, no need to brag about such things because it’s a race not worth running,” suffice to say, I’m the Scrooge McDuck of the shopkins game.
Today, I am a “power-selling” ebay force to be reconned with, I still start my sh*t at cost, or at the very least, lower than all the other sellers, and I let the market set my price. Spoiler Alert: The market consists of some blood-thristy, determined, parents who will stop at nothing to make their children’s collections complete.
As you can tell, this story has more twists, turns, and explainations to be told, so I’ll be filling you in with more posts in this series. I will say this, I’ve met an entire cast of characters and had more hilarious hijinx that are sure to entertain you for weeks to come.
Until later, stay plastic my friends!
The Shopkins Barroness (TSB, if ya nasty!)