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RPS #161 – Selling items on eBay with Cigarette Smell?

What’s going on, everybody on YouTube? Steve, here, Raiken Profit, over at raikenprofit.com, coming back to you with another educational video, and I have been getting some fabulous questions from you guys on Facebook, over at Raiken Profit, Instagram, over at Raiken Profit, and also, my new little questionnaire at raikenprofit.com/question. So if you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me on either one of those platforms.

But I got a question that came in from a girl who said that she was going through some of her old clothing bins. She’s got a bunch of clothing, but all of these clothing bins were stored in a room that I believe her parents are smoking cigarettes in, and all the stuff is smelling like cigarettes, right. So that’s kind of what propelled me to create this video, but I also wanted to take it to another level, and I want to answer the question of, what do you if you come across an item that’s a jackpot item at a thrift store, or at a garage sale?

I’m talking about a jackpot item. Maybe it’s a Kiton … look that brand up if you don’t know it … dress shirt, and it’s $1, but it reeks of cigarettes. Or maybe you’re at a pick or something off of a local deal on Facebook or Craigslist, and you’re in some guy’s attic, but everything stinks of cigarettes, but there’s all these amazing, profitable items, what do you do? How do you get the cigarette smell out? How do you deal with all of that, and …

I’m just seeing what’s going on here. I’ve got some freaking car going crazy in front of me. That was really, really weird. This guy right here literally just shot out like a racehorse. Not sure what was going on there. But what do you do if you’re in the presence of cigarette smoke, so on and so forth, can you sell … This guy is acting bizarre. He’s literally driving in circles. But anyways, what do you do in that situation? Got to watch your back, you don’t know, there’s some crazy people out there.

So first and foremost, if you come across a jackpot item but it reeks of cigarettes, don’t just say no to it instantly. You’ve got to weigh out your options, right. Really, it comes down to numbers. If I come across an item that reeks of cigarettes and it’s only selling for $20 or $30, I’m probably going to pass on it, just because the cigarette smell will infect all of your inventory. I’ve made that mistake before, where I hang it up next to other clothes and then everything else stinks of it.

I’ve also washed it at my own house and it just makes my entire laundry just stink of cigarettes. No offense if you smoke cigarettes. I used to smoke cigarettes, two packs a day. I quit in 2011. But cigarette smell will wreak havoc on your inventory, so you’ve got to definitely be careful about it. But if come across an item, run the numbers. If I find an item that’s maybe selling for 50 or 60 or 70 bucks, and it stinks like cigarettes, then I’m going to follow the steps that I’m going to outline for you, coming up.

First thing you want to do is, if you come across an item that reeks of cigarettes, is the best thing that you can do, well, one of the first things you can do is you can let it air out, outside, for a little bit. This isn’t going to take the smell out completely, but by just leaving it outside for a day or so … not too long, make sure it doesn’t get rained on … it’ll kind of air it out a little bit, so that’s step number one.

Step number two is obviously washing your clothing with some strong detergent. Again, be careful not to wash it with other clothing that you have because it’s going to … the smell’s going to just … it’s going to go all over everything. So I would do it by itself and just know it might even mess up your … might make your laundry kind of stink a little bit for a couple of days, like, the actual unit inside. But that’s step number one, is I would air things out and then I would wash it with some strong detergent.

Now, after that, you may or may not decide to continue selling it, because that item might just stink. It might not go away. The smell, the smoker who was wearing it might have been smoking in it for so long that there’s just no way to save it. In that situation, I would probably just throw it away, right, really, because … I mean, it just depends. It depends what you want to do, right. It depends how much that item is selling for. If it’s obviously a $300 or a $400 rare Levi’s jacket, but it stinks like cigarettes, a lot of people, I would say, who … or, like, a Marlborough jacket, something rare with embroideries, people might be accustomed to smoking in those items, so in that situation, it might be worth it to keep in your inventory, but you’re going to have to disclose, disclose, disclose in your listing, that, hey, this piece of inventory does smell like cigarettes.

You’ve got to make sure to let people know that, because you’re going to find a customer like me, who maybe quit smoking or doesn’t like smoking. If I get an item that smells like cigarettes, that item is going to be getting returned instantly, just because it messes with my allergies, I used to be a smoker, I don’t find it appealing. So that’s definitely one thing that you’re going to want to consider, as well. But if it really stinks of cigarettes, and maybe it’s like a dress shirt, you might want to just consider throwing it away.

Now, you could list it and say, “Hey, this smells like cigarettes. It came from a smoker’s … previous owner was a smoker.” I don’t have a ton of experience selling items like that and putting that in the description, so I would actually love your feedback right now. Whether you’re watching this live or after the fact, let me know in the comments, would you ever sell an item that smells like cigarettes, that’s not accustomed to be sold, like a Marlborough jacket or a Levi’s jacket or something like that, would you sell an item and disclose it? Have
you had experience selling an item like that? I don’t have a lot of experience with that.

But like I said, air out your items, disclose, disclose, disclose, wash your clothing. Getting it professionally washed might even take things to the next level and help you to get that smell out, but remember, when you go to a dry cleaner, it’s going to cost you even a bit more money to do it, so you’ve just got to make sure that there’s enough room, in terms of your margins and profitability, and it’s worth your time to do that, as well.

Another tip, and this is something I’ve done in the past, but you’ve got to be careful because some people have allergies, is you can actually put the item in a poly bag, and tear a little piece of laundry sheet off, and put it inside the bag, and close it off for a couple of days or so. Hey, here’s a good tip, someone says spray it with vodka to get the smell out. That’s interesting. But the laundry sheets, some people are allergic to it, some people don’t like the smell of that, and it’s kind of like going to the doctor to take a pill to fix something. It’s like you’re just kind of masking the problem and the problem’s still there, or maybe you’re just blending the scents in together.

Got another tip, Julie Green is saying cedar chips. So that’s interesting, right there. But, yeah, those are a couple of things to keep in mind. When you go to sell it, some people say, “Does it help if I have an item that doesn’t smell like cigarettes, never came from a smoke-free home, to put in the listing, it came from smoke-free home?” and I would say absolutely. Definitely helps. Another great tip, Kevin is saying citrus. Citrus. So some type of citrus spray might help as well.

But, yeah, there’s a lot of people out there who don’t like to buy items off eBay that smell like cigarettes, so if your item smells real nice, you can disclose this came from a smoke-free home. I see quite a few listings that have that in there. If the item did come from a smoke home, I would disclose it, disclose it, disclose it. It’s going to help with the refunds and negative feedback. I’ve seen quite a few negative feedbacks in the clothing category, where people complained about the item smelling like smoke.

But, really, at the end of the day, it’s up to you. Experiment. If there’s enough profitability in the item, you come across an item that’s maybe selling for 100 or 200 bucks, maybe like a Willis and Geiger jacket, you get for $20, it smells like cigarette, I would still probably pop on it, maybe bring it to a professional dry cleaner, get it cleaned. Even if it smells a little bit, I would probably still keep it in my inventory, just away from everything, and disclose it in the listing, and maybe even reduce the price a little bit. That might help.

So hopefully this answered your guys’s questions, and I appreciate the questions coming in again, on Facebook and Instagram, and on my little questionnaire at raikenprofit.com/question. If you have any more questions, feel free to ask away. But that’s all I’ve got for you today. If you found value in this video, do me a big favor and smash that like button down below. Again, let me know in the comments, how do you handle this situation? What do you do? Will you avoid items that smell like cigarettes, or if there’s enough profit, will you still buy it?

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