Selling Concert Apparel on eBay

Welcome to the first episode of a podcast I’m proud to be a part of.

Introducing my podcast partner, Wayne Jordan!

Wayne has a huge list of experiences. Including but not limited to:

  • Auctioneer
  • Radio Show Broadcaster
  • eBay Seller
  • Author
  • Writer and Editor
  • Musician
  • Website Owner
  • And an all-around nice guy!

He mixes humor with wonderful experiences. I believe we complement each other well and I hope you will agree.

Our podcast would not be possible without our sponsor: WorthPoint has made this all possible and I will be forever grateful for this awesome opportunity. I’ve wanted to do a proper podcast for a long time now and here we are!

I look forward to your feedback. Your comments are appreciated. I want to hear about your thoughts after reading and/or listening. Our first episode was a good “practice run” in my opinion. With that said, your input will help us shape future podcasts.

Tune in – Episode #1 – Concert Apparel

Podcast Transcripts – Episode One – Concert Apparel

Welcome to Flip It or Skip It, brought to you by WorthPoint, the world’s largest antiques, and collectibles pricing and research database. Buy right, sell right, and profit more with WorthPoint. Now, let’s meet our hosts. 

Danna: Hi, I’m Danna Crawford.

Wayne: And I’m Wayne Jordan.

Danna: In today’s episode, #1 of Flip It or Skip It, we’ll be talking about concern apparel.

Wayne: We’ll be finding answers to questions that challenge antique and vintage dealers daily, like is it authentic, or is it a fake? 

Danna: How much should I pay if I want to resell it? 

Wayne: What’s a profitable selling price? 

Danna: Where’s the best place to sell my items? 

Wayne: All good questions. Let’s get started. Danna, what do you have picked out for us today?

Danna: Well, Wayne, I actually have a client. He was a backstage manager for Van Halen, and he sends me boxes of shirts. He told me that at his concerts he wouldn’t necessarily wear the shirts, but he would get all of the leftover shirts, and he would load them up in a golf cart and take them to his truck. 

Wayne: Cool. He got these for free?

Danna: Yes. 

Wayne: One of the perks of working for Van Halen backstage. 

Danna: Yes. So, he has some amazing items and also some odd and interesting items that have been interesting names of bands that I’ve never heard of.

Wayne: Like what?

Danna: Let’s see. I’m going to pull one out here that I listed the other day. It’s called Dick Velveeta and the Velvetones. 

Wayne: No wonder you never heard of them. I won’t even go there with that one. 

Danna: Right. I had such a time trying to research that. The thing was I wanted to get it listed, and so I had to just kind of lookup Velvetones. I looked up Dick Velveeta. Of course, I was getting a lot of cheese. 

Wayne: I would imagine so. 

Danna: Cheese memorabilia. 

Wayne: Okay.

Danna: The shirts have never been worn. I actually have two of them in an extra-large. The cool thing about this type of shirt is it’s very retro. It’s got that aqua blue and the maroon colors. He’s got a cool look on his face. It’s just a really cool-looking shirt. 

Wayne: Judging from the colors, that sounds like it might be the 1980s. 

Danna: That would be my guess because that’s when this gentleman was working backstage at this concert place. He was working with this company, I guess it was. What did I list this at? I can’t remember.

Here it is. I listed it for $75. Whenever I list an item on eBay, I always have auto-accept, auto decline on make offers, so I know how high or how low. How high I would go would be the asking price, and then how low I would go is $45. Hopefully, somebody will come along and pay the $75, but if they make an offer of $50, it’ll be auto-sold at that price.

Wayne: I think one of our podcast listeners is going to say, I can get $25 off of that t-shirt, so I think I’m going to buy it and just offer $50. I don’t spend a lot of time with concert t-shirts.

When I was coming up in the 19– t-shirts were underwear, and they were worn by Marlon Brando and James Dean in the movies. I don’t think concert t-shirts came into style or even were a thing until probably the late ‘60s. There was a concert promoter, rock, and roll promoter, named Bill Graham. 

Danna: Yes.

Wayne: Back in those days. Had the Fillmore East in New York and the Fillmore West, I think San Francisco. Bill Graham started to make t-shirts to promote his concerts and promote his bands. I think that’s when they came into effect. Tell me, when you listed that shirt for $75, how did you arrive at that price?

Danna: I actually have been researching concert shirts in general. I wanted to get the highest price I could that I felt was fair and reasonable. It’s funny, because when I list items, any kind of item, on eBay, people will say, how did you come up with that price, and I won’t remember, because I’m in the zone during the time of my listing. I do a lot of research.

I’ll research WorthPoint. I’ll research eBay, and I’ll take a look at Google. I was looking for Dick Velveeta on Google because I couldn’t find anything on this person. So, I was kind of going everywhere. Then I come up with a style and a price based on my research. I don’t remember next week how I researched the week before. It’s a science.

Wayne: You don’t really have a mathematical formula of say searching a particular item, and then seeing how many of them are on the market and what they’ve sold for, what the asking prices are, what the turnover. You don’t go through a process like that. You just kind of bury yourself in the …

Danna: No. I do that. I do that first.

Wayne: Okay.

Danna: That’s part of the process. Thank you for reminding me. That is part of the process. I was just using research in general, but that is part of it. I personally, of course, do WorthPoint. I’ll go to WorthPoint, and then I look at the highest price. I always go to the highest price first on my search strategy.

Then I go to recent sales, and then I’ll look on eBay, and I’ll look at sold, and I look at current. I look at all of these different places so that now I can finetune it. 

For example, yesterday I was working on a sweatshirt from this gentleman from Deep Purple. Now, Deep Purple was kind of tough to research, because do you know how many things are called Deep Purple? 

Wayne: I can imagine. 

Danna: There are Deep Purple playing cards. I was getting Hot Wheel cars. I was getting everything that you can imagine with the words deep purple. Blouses, dresses. Deep Purple was a challenge to look up. Even if I put in Deep Purple sweatshirt, which is what I have, and Deep Purple shirt, I would get all these ladies ’ and men’s blouses or shirts that were the color deep purple.

Wayne: The color deep purple. Right.

Danna: Yes. Deep Purple’s been a little challenging for me, but I did find one. I did find one eventually, because this is from the Meadowlands Arena, and it’s dated March 9 and 25, 1985. The other thing is John Sharer was the presenter of that concert, and it was a sold-out concert, so I was able to dig deeper.

I’ve actually got it in a draft on my eBay store, so I haven’t listed it yet, because it was so intense. It took a little more. Sometimes you have to dig even deeper, and then what I like to do is hold it in a draft folder, because it’s going to take more than 20 minutes to look something up like that and come up with a conclusion.

Wayne: When you have done your research, let’s take the Deep Purple t-shirt. You’ve researched Deep Purple and made the decisions that you’re going to make. Are you going to a fixed the price, buy it now, make an offer listing, or are you going to list it as an auction? Why would you choose one over the other? 

Danna: It also depends on the research that I’m doing. When I look at completed listings on eBay, I will see what strategy worked best for those people. My motto is to follow success.

If you see someone that sold something for a high amount, and they had an auction, I can go in and look and see what they started their auction at, and then I can decide to go that route or not. Again, it’s part of the science. On my Deep Purple, I’m not done yet. I’m not done researching that one yet, so it’s sitting in draft. 

However, this other t-shirt that I never heard of is a band called Triumph. I honestly have never heard of them. When I looked them up, I was like, oh my goodness. These sell pretty well. I found the exact shirt on WorthPoint.

I can’t remember what it sold for right off the top of my head, but when I find something on WorthPoint that, say it sold for $100 a couple of years ago, that is so helpful to me because now I can take that title. I can take all of that information, and I can add value to it. I can list it on eBay for a couple more hundred because it’s been a few years. I’m trying to look for it real quick. Here it is. I listed it for $250.

Wayne: It’s a current listing.

Danna: Yes. There’s another, what do you call those? Is it an acronym when you have …

Wayne: Initials?

Danna: Initials. I have the initials NOS. Have you heard that? New Old Stock.

Wayne: New Old Stock. Right. 

Danna: NOS. Honestly, I had to research that myself. New Old Stock. That’s what these shirts are, new old stock, but in that category, in the vintage category, you can’t choose condition new or used. So, you want to use that acronym in your title.

Then, of course, in your description. I always try to remember to put what it means, because not everybody will know what that means. This Triumph shirt has never been worn, so that’s another bonus. I have it listed for $250, so we’ll see how that goes. 

Wayne: Good luck with that. I’ll tell you what, let’s pause right here for a message from our sponsor, and we’ll be back in a flash.

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Wayne: Okay. We’re back. We are discussing flipping concert apparel. Danna, you trust the person that sent you these shirts, so you’re pretty confident that they’re genuine. You know what their provenance is. Suppose you had gotten some shirts like that from someone that you didn’t know, how would you check out those shirts to see if they’re the real deal?

Danna: Before I accept items, especially items like this and Louis Vuitton or any high-end item, I’m going to ask for some history from the person. I want to get some history. Now, if I go into Goodwill, which when I run low on inventory I like to do occasionally. I call it therapy. It’s fun to go into Goodwill, and I’ll go right to the men’s t-shirts, and I start at the largest size possible, because in my experience the larger the shirts sell better. They sell faster. 

The nice thing about Goodwill is they’re color-coded. I love that. Their shirts are all in black, so I go straight for the black t-shirts because they have fewer stains and damage. I’ll start at the highest size, which is usually 3X, and I’ll start there. Then I just work my way through. My wrists will be so sore from thumbing through the shirts. Then I look for anything to do with concerts or music. 

Now, Walmart and some other companies have put out some Pink Floyd. They’ve put out some shirts that honor the bands, but they’re not actual concert shirts. You have to pay attention to the label, the clothing label. Jersey’s can be deceiving because they could be from a local shop, or they could be an actual concert.

This gentleman did bring me some t-shirts that have Jersey’s on them, but I trust him. I know his experience and where he gets his shirts. However, if I find a Jersey shirt in Goodwill, I may question it. 

The other thing is you can kind of tell if something’s off. Kind of like in a Louis Vuitton where the stitching is off. You can tell the quality. I quit counting at 30. I’ve been to 30+ concerts. I love concerts, and I always bought t-shirts. T-shirts were my thing.

I had to have a concert t-shirt from every concert. I’m so glad I did because it made me a ton of money when I first started on eBay. I sold everyone. I got the most money for Frank Zappa. I think it was $800. Good concert, from what I remember, but we won’t go there. 

Concert shirts are challenging sometimes when you find them at thrift stores, because just for the reason that I said. They could be copies. They could be some bootlegger out front of the concert printed out a bunch of shirts in honor of the band and is just on the cheapest t-shirt material possible and is out in the parking lot selling them for $5-$10, while the indoor proper concert shirts are going to be $30 on up. 

Wayne: Right. I always wonder about that when I see situations where it appears they’ve just taken an album cover and scanned it. It just seemed to me like it’s too easy to fake that kind of thing.

Danna: I have one here that’s the Monkees, and the Monkees is from their 20th-anniversary tour that only has the three of them, David, Mickey, and Peter, in 1986. It’s a lightweight. It’s by a company called Signal, and it’s a very flimsy lightweight shirt, but the other giveaway on these vintage shirts are they call the collar a ringer, where it’s that wide band around the neck. Then most of these are sleeveless, like muscle shirts. 

Wayne: Right.

Danna: That was the thing. Did you wear muscle shirts, Wayne?

Wayne: I never had any muscles, Danna. 

Danna: I don’t believe you. 

Wayne: I weighed 130 pounds when I graduated from high school. Never wore muscle shirts. No.

Danna: Okay. One of these ones that made me laugh when I got to it was a Lover Boy. It’s a Lover Boy, and it’s a crop top, so it’s funny. The vision that I had when I first saw this, it says Lover Boy at the Meadowlands, September 2, 1983, and it’s a shorty shirt. That’s what a crop top is. I could just picture a man wearing this with headphones on and rollerblading. 

Wayne: Do not want that picture in my mind, please. Let’s spread out a little bit then, if you don’t mind. We’re talking about concert apparel. What else do you have in the box from your friend?

Danna: He sent me a lot of David Bowie stuff. One of the David Bowie items was a jacket. The gentleman, his name’s Frank, when you opened up the jacket, inside there was a white area where David Bowie signed to Frank, because he was the backstage manager.

He got a lot of signed items, and this jacket was one of them. I had it up for $2,000. I think it was $2,300. I had it up for almost a year, and I started dropping the price. I had offers of $1,000. Then finally I sent out offers. Have you ever heard of that on eBay?

Wayne: I’ve never done it. Can you explain how that works?

Danna: When you have watchers on your item, you can actually shoot out an offer to them while they’re watching it, and it gets their attention. I sent out an offer of $1,500, and one person took it. I was thrilled that I finally sold that. I shipped it off.

It included also the program from that concert, so that was pretty cool. Right now, I have two Van Halen. I have a black leather Van Halen jacket and a wool jacket with black leather sleeves. It’s like gray wool. Some people may call them bomber style. They just remind me of high school, my letter jacket. I have those listed right now for over $1,000. The jackets are pretty cool.

I sold the Rolling Stones. I had the Steel Wheels Tour. I sold that one that he sent me. I have got Rolling Stones t-shirts that I haven’t listed yet, and they’re all from the Steel Wheels Tour, so that must have been his tour that he was working with the band. 

Wayne: Good stuff. 

Danna: It’s so interesting. It’s funny when you first started talking about Bill Graham because I have a client from Canada whose her mother was friends with Janis Joplin, and she sent me a ton of handbills that we’ve got to talk about in another episode.

Wayne: You talked a little bit about going into Goodwill and buying things, looking at t-shirts. How do you decide when you’re looking at an item that you want to buy for resale, is your process for determining the price any different than it would be if you take something on consignment?

Danna: Absolutely. If I’m out at Goodwill, the good thing about their t-shirts, they’re all the same price. They’re $4.99. The other great thing is I’ve got my iPhone with me at all times. Sometimes I even bring my iPad, and I set it right up in the shopping cart. I don’t care what people think.

I have it all set up right on my purse so that I can look stuff up quicker on my iPad. I will search WorthPoint and eBay and try to get a quick answer from the price guide to what the selling price is. If I start seeing they only go for $10, I’m not going to bother purchasing it at Goodwill for $5. It is important to research when you’re out in the field. 

On consignment, I ask people to send me a list that I can look at ahead of time. It’s important to do your research before you take a consignment item, and it’s important to do your research before you spend money. I call it to develop an eye for what to buy so that you know what kind of profit margin you’re going to look at online.

Wayne: When you’re buying things on your own to resell, do you have a particular price point that you’re going to shoot for? I know I hear a lot from dealers, who’ve told me that if they get double what they pay they think they’re doing okay. I think they’re nuts. I don’t think that’s quite enough, no matter how you’re selling. Do you have a benchmark that you shoot for?

Danna: If I’m going to double my money, and there are not very many listed, I may be okay with that, as long as I have higher items that are going to blend in. I don’t mind a few lowball items, and I think it all complements each other at the end of the day. Those lower items are going to attract people. They’re going to bring people in, and hopefully, they’ll take a look around at your other items. 

Another handy tool to speed up the process is while you are looking things up, and you decide I’m definitely going to list that, click right on sell one like this and put the price in that you’ve just decided it’s worth, while you’re in the store.

Then save it as a draft. I hate doing double work, so if I look something up, and I say this could sell, I could get $300 for this, I’m going to click on sell one like this and put the price in there immediately, and then save it as a draft.

Wayne: Then you don’t have to repeat what you’ve already done. Good plan. Danna, that’s it for this episode. Any closing thoughts for our listeners?

Danna: When you find that shirt, should you flip it?

Wayne: Or skip it?

You’ve been listening to Flip It or Skip It, brought to you by WorthPoint.com, the world’s largest antiques, and collectibles pricing and research database. Buy right, sell right, and profit more with WorthPoint.

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