Sunday, July 3, 2011

THE Boots - eBay Success Story 2005

By the summer of 2005 I was learning a lot about selling vintage clothing and accessories on eBay.  I was having fun and spent a lot of my time taking my 6 month old with me to thrift stores all over  the Big Horn Basin (Wyoming) in search of treasures.

That summer "vintage cowboy boots" were super duper HOT HOT HOT in fashion!  All the celebrities were wearing them and one of my least favorite celebrities EVER was wearing a very particular pair of vintage cowboy boots with just about every outfit she wore out of the house.

None other than Miss Britney Spears. Gag.

She was sporting a pair of 1970's vintage Miss Capezio Butterfly cowboy boots and they were actually pretty darn cute!

Did you know that Wyoming is COWBOY COUNTRY?!

I bet you did.  Wyoming to this day is still full of REAL cowboys, that ride horses (not to school), wear spurs, and never walk out of the house without a cowboy hat on their head.

So I was naturally in the best place EVER to start hunting for vintage cowboy boots. Lucky me! :)

I found boots.  Lots of old boots.  And did well selling them BUT I never thought I'd actually find a pair of the boots that were selling for hundreds and hundreds of dollars on eBay...

until THAT day!

It was a hot sweaty day and my 6 month old had just about had it with Mommy dragging her around to thrift stores, antique stores, and pawn shops looking for "old junk"!

We stopped at this dirty old pawn shop that I had never been in before.  It was soooo full and everything was dirty.  It was mostly guns, knives, and other western collectibles.  Outside of the pawn shop was a white shed that had a chain and lock but a sign that said to ask the owner if you wanted to look around inside.

I don't even know what inspired me to ask.  Clearly the shop had nothing that I was interested in.
But I did ask... :)

And like a scene from a movie (I'm not kidding, I swear music began playing) the sunlight poured into the shed full of more dirty old "junk" and just then, to the left of the shed, at the top of a shelf, with just a hint of the sunlight skimming the toes...


I knew.  And I tried not to hyperventilate.

With my baby in one arm, I nonchalantly stepped through the mess and peered up at the shelf.  Could this really be happening?  Could they really be in MINT condition?  I took them down and gave them a closer look.

I was holding an authentic mint condition pair of cream colored Miss Capezio turquoise butterfly inlay vintage cowboy boots and not only did they look BRAND NEW, they were a SIZE 10?!

If you've ever sold shoes on eBay or if you have a size 10 foot like me... you know that is an uncommon, hard to find, yet very desired size of shoe!

I looked at the old man who owned the shop and said,

"These are kind of cute!  I can't believe they are my size?! How much do you want for them?"

His friendly response was $50.

I still can't believe I did this, but I actually said,

"I'm not really a cowgirl... my husband wants me to get a pair of boots (which this was a true story) but I'm not sure I'll even wear them.  Hmmm.  I don't know.  Would you take $35?"

He agreed.  And I tried not to faint.

Fast forward (past me calling every single friend and family member and screaming into the phone about what I had just found) to the final days of the 7 day auction.

I of course had a ton of international inquiries, more watchers than I ever thought possible, and the most fun eBay waiting week ever!

I started the boots at 99 cents and the final bid was for $785.

Seven.Hundred.Eighty. Five.Dollars.

They sold to a customer in Switzerland.
They far surpassed the previous amounts that the same boots had been selling for by other sellers.
By hundreds.

AND according to eBay pulse...

they were the #1 watched item on eBay that week?!

How cool is that.

I love this story. :)


brianandleia said...

Wow! Awesome story, I wish that would happen to me. Happy (bargain) hunting!

Jen said...

Fun story! Love the new blog layout! Hope you are feeling well.

Jen said...

Janessa, that is a really really really cool story! Thanks for sharing it. How crazy is that? #1 watched item that week! You have a gift.

Zombiemommy said...


Nostalgic in Maine said...

This story made my morning :-) What a great find and even better story. You bet I am following your blog now :-)

J to the Nessa said...

Thanks so much! :)

Dude ! said...

Incredible find! Wow!!!

Laura Lofgreen said...

This is the best story ever! I'll check out shoes more often. Thanks so much for sharing.

Susie Q said...

LOVE this story!! Found you through Goodwill Haunting! You're a girl after my own heart!! Good luck with the baby - hope you can get back out there in the trenches soon!!

Laura Lofgreen said...

I hope it's alright I shared this story on my blog. Thanks for sharing.

Candace said...

I just read this story on My Dear Trash, and then this week at Savers I stumbled across a pair for $7.50! They sadly aren't selling for quite as much anymore, but I thought it was serendipitous.