Retro Rescuers One for the Nostalgia Heads!
I’ve been following Mitchell and Erin from Retro Rescuers for a few years now and totally fangirled one day when I spotted them in one of the smallest op shops in my area. I was not cool hahaha
I love the days they are out op shopping and posting about their trip on Instagram. When I’m doing something dull like the dinner or dishes I can catch up with their op shopping antics and wins.
Thankfully they’ve not blocked me on social media yet and Mitchell was game enough to even answer a few questions about the Retro Rescuers journey. I hope you enjoy the chat.
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Can you tell us a little about you both, Retro Rescuers and how your reselling journey started?
I (Mitchell) started the journey at the end of high school where I would buy retro video games for my personal collection. Eventually that turned into a business where instead of only buying games I needed I would buy anything and everything to on sell so I could then buy more video games.
Eventually that small little hobby started making enough money to pay bills so I decided to quit my full time job and have a crack at running my own small business. Once I moved to Melbourne I met my wife Erin and she helped turn Retro Rescuers into what it is today. It was her suggestion to start sharing my journeys online and it kinda just snowballed into what it is now.
What platform/platforms do you prefer to sell on now and why?
We mostly stick to eBay as we’ve been using it for years and understand it inside out. However we also deal with a lot of people directly through Instagram. I personally like that more. Being able to have a chat with our followers or as I like to call them Nostalgia Heads, is always fun. You get an understanding of why the item means so much to them.
What are you drawn to when it comes to sourcing for Retro Rescuers?
We love a whole different range of things but for me I love Vintage T-Shirts. I don’t care if it’s covered and poo I’ll buy it if it’s cool.
Erin loves finding homewares and toys that are nostalgic to her, at the moment she’s really on the hunt for Polly Pockets.
You buy a lot via private sales, what are you looking for and how can folks get in touch?
We love buying whole collections as we feel this works out best for both us and the seller. We specialise in helping people get money quick when they need it. So if you have a large collection of video games or toys and are looking to move it in one go, feel free to contact us through Instagram or fill in the contact form on our website. www.retrorescuers.com.au
Can you tell us about the amazing “Nostalgia Heads” community you’ve built?
We absolutely love our Nostalgia Heads! I wanted to have a cool name for our friends that follow us on social media and YouTube and I just never felt comfortable referring to them as “followers” or “subscribers”.
Nostalgia Heads are anyone and everyone who loves Nostalgia or anything cool from their childhood. The name caught on after a while and it’s turned into a large group of awesome people who like to hang out and join us on our op shopping adventures.
Where are your favourite sourcing spots in Melbourne?
We don’t really have a favourite spot but we do enjoy travelling outside of Melbourne and discovering small little obscure op shops. I always find the coolest stuff in the shops that don’t exist on google.
Best op shop chain?
If you watch our videos you will know we absolutely love Vinnies. For us they have been one of the only op shops that support and encourage what we do. Whether it’s filming on location or taking random photos in store they are always happy about it.
Sadly the same can’t be said about some of the other chains. They always seem to have a negative attitude towards us when we are filming or showing our Nostalgia Heads the cool items we’ve found. So Vinnies are definitely our fav shop but more so because of their friendly staff and service.
What has been your biggest or favourite flip to date?
We’ve had some great flips this year (2022) but I’d say a highlight for us was finding a sealed TMNT figure figure from 1988. We purchased it from Vinnies for $20 and sold it one day later for over $300 to someone in Germany. It really goes to show there is treasure to be found everywhere.
What has being a reseller allowed you to do that many typical jobs might not?
Our favourite thing is being able to spend every day together with the person we love the most. Erin and I are best friends so that’s easily the best part. In saying that it’s definitely not all rainbows and butterflies.
Running your own business is very stressful at times and money can get very tight during slow periods. But our goal has never been to make the most money, we purely want to be able to just live a life of freedom with no one dictating our lives.
Do you have any advice for anyone at the beginning of their reselling journey?
I always suggest not going full time with it unless you 100% know you can commit wholeheartedly. For me reselling is a great way for families to make a little extra money to help with holidays and bills so I’ll always suggest keeping it small and fun.
I don’t think people realise how much extra work goes into doing it full time. I know a lot of people will be very sad once they get a letter from the tax man asking for their money.
Tell us about something you’ve invested in that has made your reselling journey easier.
My answer may be a bit weird but discipline is by far the best investment. Get yourself extremely disciplined and organised. No amount of expensive equipment will help your business grow if you can’t even function in day to day life.
I was very unorganised and undisciplined up until my late 20’s. It was then I realised I had to kick my own arse and get myself organised if I had any chance of a successful business. We live in a time where everyone is telling us to “take it easy” or “be kind to yourself”. Sometimes you need a solid slap on the face and a reminder that no one is here to help you besides yourself. GET TO WORK!
Are there any big mistakes you’re game enough to share about your reselling journey?
Oh god, we make mistakes every month HECK, probably every day honestly haha.
Nothing really stands out at the moment but we just make lots of tiny mistakes where we over pay for certain items or don’t do the proper research.
Actually, recently I made the mistake of getting a customer to leave the items we purchased off them at their front door to collect. Sadly some scumbag stole the box before we could get to it. That was a solid $500 loss. So we no longer tell people to leave goods at their front door for us to collect, lesson learnt.
Quick Fire Reselling Tips
- Postage & Packaging – use recycled boxes for your parcels. We’ve saved literally thousands of dollars taking boxes from Bunnings or asking neighbours to give us their cardboard boxes.
- Photography – Phones are all you need these days. I’d invest in a decent lighting set up and forget about the expensive cameras
- Finances – Get a good accountant.
- Sourcing – You need to be sourcing all day every day. Once a week or twice a week just won’t cut it if you’re looking to grow. Also op shops alone will not be enough.
- Processes – keep it simple.
- Customer service – I suggest everyone read the book “How to win friends and influence people”. This book alone helped me realise all my mistakes in building relationships. This will also help with not only customers but networking with other business owners who can help progress your own business.
- Organisation – I’m pretty bad at organising so I suggest finding a wife who will kick your butt if things aren’t done properly. It helps me.
- Death piles – We don’t have a death pile … We have a death shed haha. It’s hard to keep up with the stock but just remember to stay calm and do a solid amount each day. It will eventually dwindle down.
- YouTube – Be yourself and be Entertaining. If you can’t be either of those just focus on the business.
- Social Media – a great place to help build awareness of your stock and buisness. Try be personable with your page, don’t just post things for sale. Show the followers who you are as a person. Sell yourself not just things.
- Community – Be respectful and encouraging but also don’t lose who you are.
Tell us about your YouTube channel and how you incorporate it with your love of nostalgia and thrifting.
Erin and myself are entertainers at heart and we absolutely love creating fun content for people to watch.
It was easy for us to make YouTube content as we didn’t have to think too much, just simply record ourselves doing what we do every day on a regular bases. We love being able to focus on things from our childhood and share stories with our Nostalgia Heads.
Personally my fav episode so far has been when I stumbled upon some old McDonald’s happy meal boxes which unlocked a memory of mine from when I was a child. Be sure to check that episode out to see what I’m talking about.
What are you most proud of that you’ve achieved so far with Retro Rescuers.
Just having a large group of individuals care about what we do and find entertainment in our content is what we are most proud of. Ending up on A Current Affair was kinda cool. It was a pretty big deal for us at the time and we were extremely proud of that.
Do you have any plans/goals you’d like to share for 2023? (I’d love a TV show!)
Yes a TV show is definitely one of our big goals. It’s obviously super hard work to achieve something like that but we are hopeful.
Do you have any other resellers/YouTubers you’d like to shout out?
There are a bunch of awesome YouTubers out there.
Thank you Retro Rescuers!
Make sure you go check them out in the following places.