For this month’s Focus on Friends feature we are casting our spotlight on our very good friend Tom James AKA Tom The English Picker. Nic & Tom met online about 3 years ago when Nic first started to make YouTube videos. Tom had been uploading videos to YouTube for 3 years at that point, focussing mainly on Antiques, Coins, Gold and Silver. Having met up a few times Tom has become a great friend and someone we chat to daily. We asked Tom to answer a few questions for us….
1. How long have you been reselling and what got you started?
On and off for 12 years, full time 6 years . I was self employed selling part time and working for someone making furniture. Working through a cold winter in an unheated workshop nearly broke me and I thought sod this, so just went for it. First few years I lived because of my overdraft but thankfully things go better.
2. Is there a particular item that you enjoy picking up?
I have always loved buying Gaming stuff even if there isn’t much money / profit in it. Give me an excuse to play / test it.
3. You were one of the first UK reselling YouTubers… tell us a bit about your channel? Do you have any plans for the channel in the future?
I got into YouTube because basically I bought a meta detector to find nails in reclaimed wood I was using to make furniture, and then started watching detecting videos. Then decided to make my own, and then after getting into reselling it was a natural progression to start videos about them. It was never really about people watching my videos it was more just me documenting the cool stuff I found. My videos these days are a mix of pick ups and rant videos. I have taken a gap in making videos because they were getting in the way of my business and my personal life. However I plan to make more chat videos and rant (DHOTW) videos soon.
4. What changes have you seen in reselling in the time you have been involved in it?
Big changes have been markets getting oversaturated and prices dropping. Also big changes in how Amazon charges you for storage, both of which have affected how and what I sell.
5. What advice do you have for someone thinking about trying reselling?
Start small, build up and pick quality over quantity. Also it’s too easy to be a hoarder. Which I am very guilty of being!
6. You sell on both eBay and Amazon, what would you say are the pro’s and cons of each platform?
eBay is great and even with brands having issues it’s still a Wild West of selling & you can sell so many different things and use your creativity to make up bundles or find niche items . Downside for me of eBay is it’s much slower to list on there but I find I get less scammers. Amazon is very robotic and big money can be made but with big risk. Not something for a newer seller and they can chew you up with paperwork. However if you hit it right with the must have item you can make mental money. However, it’s bad for returns or scammers.
7. Your wife isn’t a reseller. Is she understanding of your reselling lifestyle?
I got married last year but we have been together years and she hasn’t killed me yet, but we have been close! She has a professional job and is a very ordered person so our house has had to be a sanctuary with no stock in the main living spaces. So that means I’ve had to rent extra storage. She understands what I do but would never want to be part of the business sadly.
8. Where do you see your business in 5 years time?
In five years time I’d like to be like Scrooge McDuck diving into piles of money. But realistically I’d like to be in a place where I could have all my stock listed and a process set up so items get listed quicker. I don’t want to employ people but if I can sub contract professionals to do some parts of my business I would. Mainly I would want to be more stable and less boom or bust.
You can find Tom on YouTube here:
Thank you to Tom for taking the time to chat to us 🙂