2 ways for you to sell:
The Short Story
Sell4Value.com is part of our family owned business. We pride ourselves in providing great customer service. We buy collectibles from the public offering fast payment at a great price.
Our resale business started in the 1990's when we purchased several beanie babies and resold them on eBay for a small profit. Back then it was enough money for a dinner date.
We continued selling online and over the years have had as many as 10 full and part time people helping us sell items including coins, Lladro, Hummels, Louis Vuitton, etc.... and of course Ty Beanie Babies.
The Beanie Baby craze made for about four absolutely unbelieveable years. We grew at a very fast clip and were servicing hundreds of stores and maintaining an inventory of over 300,000 beanies in our warehouse. Our crew was still working the retail online sales, but to a lesser degree due to time limitations.
Today we still buy about 20,000 to 40,000 beanies monthly through our website www.buyingbeans.com. We have expanded to include Disney and Warner Brothers in addition to Ty.
This year our goals include upgrading and developing all our websites to expand our collectibles business. We will be adding more detailed information on items we purchase. Thank you to all who have already allowed us to be of service over the past years. We hope this will help us service our customers at an even higher level.
The Long Story
Our story begins much like many other businesses ... in a strange way! I was part of a family business and began working for my Dad when I was about 8 years old. My Dad had a tool & die business which he started in his garage in the middle of the suburbs. He had a punch press, lathe, grinder, etc. I was very young at the time and so don't remember a lot about this part. At some point Dad moved the business to the inner city of Chicago. I remember seeing the Brach's candy factory and the railroad tracks across the street from our business. It was very much a dangerous area. Several times the police escorted us out of hte area. As a kid, I was not sure why other than that there was something going on.
Fast forward about 20 years and 6 moves (I hate moving)... I was still working for my Dad as a tool & die maker. By this time I was pretty good at what I did. By myself, I would have three wire edm machines, a cnc mill and a saw running and I would call my wife and tell her I was shooting baskets. (I had a basketball hoop in the shop.) I thought this was my life's career and I actually liked it.
When we were first married, my wife worked for a major insurance company. Working all day with people who had just had an accident, office politics, and being told 3 review in a row that she was very close to a promotion, prompted her to make a career change. She joined the family business :)
I smiled at her and said she would never again make more than me. I tried several times to make more than her ... even just a penny, but she refuses. Since she does the payroll, she wins. Oh well.
Dad convinced both of us to go through the Tool & Die Institute to get a formal tool & die education. Dad must not have had the same opinion of my skills as I did. After 3 years of night school, with my wife being the only girl in the class, we did it! We now had Tool & Die Certificates to add to our college degrees.
They say if you want to make God chuckle, just tell him the plans you have for your life. We went from working with steel and oil manufacturing automotive parts to buying & selling collectibles.
The Unofficial Beginning of Sell4Value.com
The Ty Beanie Baby craze ... Ty began making them in the early 1990's. Once we had kids it was kind of fun to buy stuffed animals for them. Then my wife decided to start her own collection, so I though I would be a good husband and go look for them over lunch. One thing led to another and I thought, hmmm is there a way to make money with this?
One of our first memories of reselling was a group of 6 Congo the monkey beanies. We bought them and sold them on eBay for a small profit. We were excited to sell enough beanies to pay for a dinner date. Its kind of embarrasing how little I made for the number of hours I worked at the time.
I was still working 65-75 hours a week with the tool and die company as well as an automotive parts manufacturing company. We named the new business Treasure Keeper, Inc. and for several years ran all the businesses in the same space. Steel, oil, automotive parts and stuffed animals. What a mix!
Treasure Keeper just exploded. We had no idea what was about to happen. It started innocently enough. My wife was trying to find the best pricing she could for food to be donated to a local food pantry. She contacted a local store manager who was kind enough to sell the items at cost. While at the store, I noticed some beanies for sale there. I asked my wife if she thought they would consider buying from us. She said no. (She did not want to be a pest.) I followed up anyway and this is the only time in many years of marriage that my wife has been wrong.
The store manager agreed to give it a try and WOW they flew off the shelf! Within months we were serving several stores and eventually about 500 stores. Our inventory grew to over 3000 beanies, and since we have never had an association with Ty, Inc., we were kept very busy finding collections to buy.
Of course we continued to run the tool & die business, but buying & reselling collectibles was taking more and more of our time. We've had milllions of ups and downs over the years. Amazing people we've met and friendships developed. Made money, lost money, ... we could write a book ... but suffice it to say, life has always been hard, but good.
We survived Y2K, but between the cost of imports, steel tariffs, and a suffering economy we eventually closed the automotive and tool & die businesses. In the mean time we developed the resale business and Sell4Value.com. When Ty started selling directly to our customers, we focused more on retail and less on wholesale. We were able to slow down and cut our hours to 40-50 per week. It was great in that it allowed us to spend more time with our kids, vacation and find more balance in life.
Today, as always, I love my business. It's hard work, but we never know what is going to walk in the door. Designer handbags, Lladro, Precious Moments, Lalique, coins, Ty Beanies (we still buy tons of these, Disney bean bags, watches, and more.
Now we are working to figure out the internet thing. We want to expand and provide jobs for more people while still keeping balance in our lives.
We are very much a family business. Not only do my wife and I work together, in the summer and occasionally on breaks our kids come and help out. They have helped with office work, sorting and organizing projects such as our Disney items and Precious Moments, and more. We play together too. We love attending the kids sporting events ... golf, karate, gymnastics, diving. We also love when they bring friends from school and youth group over to hang out at our home.
THINGS WE BUY:Pictures of some of the items we have bought.
Designer Handbags & Accessories: Coach, Louis Vuitton, Burberry, Gucci, Prada, Botkier, Dooney & Bourke, Tod's, Hermès, Michael Kors, Salvatore Ferragamo...
Figurines: Lladro, Armani, Hummel, Dept 56, Precious Moments, B&G, Royal Doulton, Wedgwood, Disney...
Crystal: Swarovski, Lalique, Baccarat, Crystal World, Fostoria, Rogaska, Waterford...
Coins, Bullion and Precious Metals: U.S. Coins, Gold, Silver, Coin Albums, Graded Coins, Mint Sets, Foreign Coins...
Time Pieces: Rolex, Movado, Pocket Watches, Cartier, Elgin...
Plush Toys: Ty Beanie Babies, Disney, Warner Brothers, Coca Cola, Steiff...
Jewelry: Engagement Rings, Gold, Silver, Class Rings, Broken Gold and Silver Jewelry...
Dolls: Barbie, Madame Alexander, American Girl, Lee Middleton, Ashton Drake, Seymour Mann...
Cookie Jars: Glenn Appleman, Fitz and Floyd, Star jars, Puritan, McCoy, Hall, Shawnee, American Bisque, Acme, Radko, Metlox, Goebel, Hull, Warner Bros, Disney, Treasure Craft...
More: Railroad items, Cookie Jars, Trains, Antique Toys...