Used Item Restoration

restoring watches

Used item restoration increases profits when reselling on eBay. We will discuss some commonly restored items items and how to restore them. This is the bottom line.Do whatever you can to improve the quality of the product that you are offering for auction. Just make sure that you don’t do the opposite, and end up further damaging your item.

Before we go on, make sure that you have read the information in the Restoring for Resale webpage. YOU MAY WANT TO BOOKMARK THIS PAGE. THERE IS A LOT OF SPECIFIC USED ITEM RESTORATION INFORMATION, AND WE WILL BE ADDING CONTENT REGULARLY.

Used Item Restoration: Item List

  • Used Books: For older cloth hardcover and leather hardcover books, a SLIGHTLY damp cloth will collect dust and dirt off of the cover. Do NOT USE CHEMICAL CLEANERS. They will take the surface right off of the book. You can use a good eraser and take light pencil marks from the interior pages. For books with mylar dust jackets, you can wipe the outer covering. For older paper dust jackets, you can take the jacket off, and use clear tape to tape splits ONLY FROM THE INSIDE OF THE JACKET. Not the side that you can see from cover. Price stickers on covers are always tricky. The bright gaudy stickers look terrible if you are listing them on eBay. They should be removed if they can be taken off without taking the surface of the cover with them. Start peeling slowly. If the surface starts peeling, push the sticker back down, and leave it on. Broken binding hinges can be professionally repaired. Do not tape bindings. Just list the book and note the condition issues.
  • CDs and DVDs: Test the CD/DVD to see if it plays. If it does, take a FastWipe cloth (Available Below) and wipe the surface gently to remove fingerprints and dust. Wipe the outer case. If there are price stickers on the case, peel them off. Use nail polish remover to take sticker residue off. You should start collecting good CD/DVD cases, as you will find a lot of CDs with broken cases or hinges, then you can simply swap them out with your spare cases. If your CD skips, you can repair many issues with a CD repair kit. After trying multiple cleaning systems, we have had excellent luck with the DiscDr repair kit (Available Below). You can also buy empty CD and DVD cases to replace broken cases. You will use these often in used item restoration.
  • Vinyl Records: Some vinyl records are high value collectibles, so treat them with care. If you are going to sell records, you should have a quality record cleaning kit with a brush and cleaning fluid for used item restoration. We use the . It has a high quality brush and good cleaning fluid. You will also need some spare interior slips. many records will not have the original slips. If they do not, you will need to use a spare slip. Records SHOULD NOT BE SHIPPED WITHOUT AN INTERIOR SLIP (Available Below) The outer jackets should be wiped lightly with a damp cloth. Peel any stickers that will come off easily. Cardboard jacket seam are often 50 years old, and they will often be split. Some collectors will tell you that sellers should not repair seam splits, but I feel better providing records that look good, so I repair seam splits neatly. Simply take a piece of clear packing tape, and line up one edge of the tape with the border of the jacket one one side of the split. Hold the split closed and flip the record over. Pull the tape tight and push it down on the other side, closing the seam. When done correctly, you can barely see the repair. Used item restoration complete.
  • Storage Cases: These sell great on Amazon, especially the large CD cases and spinners ($20-40). You may have to make an item page with your Seller Account, as there are only existing listing pages about 1/2 the time. I wait until they sell, then peel any price stickers off, and run them through the dishwasher (Ta-DA!). You may have to take the upper rack out of your dishwasher for large spinner cases.
  • Hot Wheels / Matchbox Vehicles: These often get sand and dirt up inside them from playing, making their wheels tight or locked up. Soak them in a bowl of hot water with dish soap for a while. Pat the outer surface dry, and then rove them back and forth rapidly over a towel to catch the sand. Do this several times. Put a drop of lubicating oil on each tire the last time and do the sale thing.
  • Used Clothes: Most can go through the washing machine, then lay flat on a towel. For vintage suits and dresses, you may have to take them to the drycleaners, but some are worth the effort. Do your research, these can sell for excellent money on eBay after used item restoration.
  • Board Games: Many of these sell well on Amazon. We have sold many rare games for over $20. Even common games can sell for $10-15. Check games out before you buy them. Make sure you look to see if they have all of the pieces! We collect pieces, dice, and instructions from games that don’t sell, or from free boxes at garage sales. You can also often find games for .25, which are worth buying even just for the parts. It’s common to have to add a dice or two or a player piece. Many are very similar for different board games. If you have to add a player piece that is not exactly the same, make sure you note that in your item description. If your game has the paper instructions – great! Make sure you list that in your item description, as they are often missing. That makes your game more likely to sell if if has the original instructions. If it does not have the original instructions, you can find many at the board game company’s websites. You can print out the instructions, and include them, or note in item description that the instructions are ‘available at Milton Bradley, and provide the web address.


Please Provide YOUR Used Item Restoration Tips!

Do you have some great TIPS for used item restoration that would help other garage sale, flea market and thrift shop resellers?


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