One thing I've learned quick is that all things Rust and Relics come in waves. Sometimes you may go weeks between great finds. Other times, it seems like everywhere you stop, the rainbow ends in the pot of gold. One weekend you'll go to 10 yards sales a day on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, an auction Saturday evening, and search the Craigslist ads with just a few small items that will barely pay for your gas. You get to an estate sale, and someone is already walking around the sale with the one rare item that you'd LOVE to have. Yet again, you were late by minutes because you chose to go to another sale first that ended up having nothing. The following weekend, all 10 yard sales have some great items that pay your monthly bills and leave you with profit. It can be very cyclical. This business is not unlike a commissioned sales person. You live and die by the sale. Here are some tips and suggestions that I have for you when going through the slower periods.
1. When you are in a good stretch of great finds and great sales, save some money, both for bills and also to have additional picking money. Store some away, you'll be glad you did. Inevitably, you'll eventually happen across a mega-pick, and you'll have just used some money to pay bills. Then you can't afford some of the items of the mega-pick. Then in turn, you won't be able to sell the items from said mega-pick and this just becomes a downward spiral. This is a dangerous spiral that will leave you without inventory money, which is one of the quickest ways to go out of business.
2. During slow times, there is always PLENTY you can do. Work on selling old inventory. Everyone that's been in this business for any amount of time will have plenty of old inventory that hasn't been sold yet. Or you may have items that you haven't researched yet until you had more time...well, now you do. Get this stuff listed. Generate sales and the money that you need to keep going. Also, take time to learn more and educate yourself about many things. Even if you're a specialist, you don't know it all....that I promise you.
3. Don't give up. Don't get discouraged. When the slow times hit, and they will, you'll get to the point of not wanting to get out of your house at 6am on Saturday morning. You look at an auction listing and think "I'd go if there were better items coming up for auction". You can't do that. You must persist. Just because you've been to 50 sales in a row without so much as a single buy doesn't mean that the 51st doesn't have a 1 in a million item. One sale is not directly related to the other at all. It's like playing poker. The cards have no memory. Sure, you may have been sucked out on a pair of Aces in the hole the past 3 times you were dealt them, but you can't not play them the 4th time just because you're "sure" you'll get sucked out on again. Can you tell I lived in Vegas for nearly 6 years and love to play poker? But I digress. To find the rare items, you have to be looking. And let's face it, finding the relics is so much fun. That's one of the biggest (and with the majority of people I meet in this business, THE biggest) reasons we do what we do....the thrill of the hunt. Remember, this is only a spell. This too shall pass. Then you'll find something great and the bad streak will be over and the euphoria from finding it will help you forget the drought.