Kirra Thomas is a Garage Sale Trail Ambassador for 2020 and a self confessed re-selling addict. Garage Sale trail is on this weekend and although Victorians and now, South Australians have had to pivot to online sales only due to Covid-19, sale numbers are still at an all-time high.
Kirra told Nextdoor that although buying and selling in the circular economy is a lot of work and isn’t easy, it’s something that she is super passionate about, “I have also been a paramedic for twelve years, approximately 5 years of those have been part time. Like so many paramedics I struggle with night shifts so another goal of mine was to be able to supplement my income with reselling in the hope of not having to do night shifts in the future.”
“I started reselling for a multitude of reasons but my main one is I absolutely love the thrill of the hunt. It truly is an addiction. Nothing compares to that feeling of when you find something rare and worth a lot of money for a bargain price.”
Kirra grew up shopping with her family who would regularly got together and made a day of it, so for her, nostalgia and good memories are associated with op shopping. She started selling at the local Adelaide markets and then ventured into eBay. She launched her first official store in January and says she can’t believe the success she’s had…
She started her Instagram account The Reselling Enthusiast to document her reselling journey and found Australia has a great community of resellers and says it is definitely an industry on the rise, “It’s also something anyone can do. You can learn a lot online and through other resellers who are more than willing to help others. You don’t need to invest a large amount of money to get started and you can source products so easily through Nextdoor, Gumtree, Facebook, Garage Sales, Markets, op shops and even retail stores like Big W or Kmart.”
We sat down with her to garner some tips and inspo for this weekend.
What are your plans for Garage Sale Trail?
Well I have just found out as I am writing this that Adelaide has just gone into lockdown, so sadly I won’t be attending this year’s Garage Sale Trail, which I am devastated about. I look forward to this from literally the end of each sale every year, I count down the days! Before I knew about the lockdown though I had already planned my day out.
I went onto the Garage Sale Trail Website and picked an area like South Adelaide and searched for sales with the map function around that. I plan my route of garage sales one by one for the entire day. I generally also look for group sales as that saves on traveling times. I make sure I have snacks, water, coffee and lots of small bills to buy items with. I am out all day on both days of the sale and plan them thoroughly to get the most out of the day and my time. I was obviously going to look for items to resell like vintage electronics, DVD box sets, book set lots, anything brand new and sealed. I also was planning on hosting my family for Christmas eve this year and was hunting for Christmas presents and decorations.
What are some of your top tips for finding a great item?
Be consistent, go regularly and don’t give up. Sometimes if you don’t find anything at the first few sales it can be disheartening and discouraging, but keep going and don’t stop. I see a lot of people stop after visiting a few sales, but honestly the more you go the more likely you are to find gold.
What items do you think will trend this year and why?
Face masks and hand sanitiser for sure. Vintage 80s/90s Band T-shirts are always a big seller and are very on trend right now. I think that vintage clothing will continue to trend upwards with the economy in the state it is. I think that people will be looking at penny pinching measures and reassessing if they need to purchase that $400 dress for example. I am hoping that people start to realise the financial and environmental benefits of shopping second hand more. With this in mind hopefully second hand will be the thing that will be on trend this year.
Without giving away all of your secrets, what are your favourite thrift stores in your hometown of Adelaide?
We are the city of churches and any church op shops that still sell items for under a few dollars are always my favourite. Savers are always good due to variety and the large volume of stock, although the prices are much higher. I can’t give store names though otherwise my honey holes will dry up 🙂
Why is buying second-hand important?
The world is struggling right now. There is a pandemic crisis and also a climate crisis. Fast fashion is a horrible contributor to climate change. I think the obvious answer is reusing and recycling, but it also allows you to fill your home with or wear such unique and vintage pieces. Knowing that an item has been loved before you and lived this whole other life is comforting and I think such a beautiful thing.
Why is knowing your neighbours important?
This has been such a huge reason for my success so far. Having a community of like minded individuals supporting you every step of the way has given me such confidence and reassurance. I know I would have felt so alone, isolated and stuck so many times in my business without knowing my neighbours. I have bounced so many ideas and asked so many questions of people who are in the same line of work as me, reselling. From shipping, sourcing to customer service advice, I honestly couldn’t have solved some of these problem areas of my business without support from my community. As much as your loved ones try to understand and want to be there for you it can be taxing and wearing. Having neighbours who are just as passionate about the same business as you has allowed my business to grow much faster than it would have solo. With social media to online resources like yours it is much easier nowadays to engage and immerse yourself within a community.
What do you think are the secrets to building a kind and welcoming community?
I think ignoring the haters and not involving yourself with negative people is huge to personal, community and business growth. I think just surrounding yourself with like minded people who have the same goals as you is easy when you make these clear to other people. I have always tried to be 100% open and honest with people on my social media and Instagram and I think what you put out into the universe is what the universe delivers to you. I have put myself out there which hasn’t always been easy, but I think if you are just true to yourself and who you are that kind of community and people will be drawn to you, as corny as that sounds.
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