133: Let’s go Fleahopping! – Peggy Losey

Peggy, AKA Fleahopper, loves to travel, loves to flea and loves to sell on eBay to fund her passion. When her daughter moved to Germany, Peggy used that event to springboard a lifestyle of international travel picking. Fleahopper invites you to join in on the fun.

Interesting Notes

  • Peggy has been in the medical field for her entire corporate career. She is a senior quality program consultant in a Healthcare IT world. She enjoys no less than three two-week vacations in a year.
  • Her passion and lifestyle is Fleahopping and calls herself a Fleahopper.
  • A Fleahopper is someone who hops across the world to go to the flea markets.
  • Peggy is a self-confessed flea market addict. She gets to live more her passion in a unique way when her daughter moved to Germany 17 years ago.
  • Her only daughter, Heidi, is a teacher in the U.S. During the cultural exchange, Heidi met a German. The guy works for a Bavarian government. The two got married and decided to move to Germany.
  • It saddened Peggy that she will never see her daughter again. But, she knew that she has to give Heidi the wings to fly. Little did she know that it would open up an amazing opportunity, for both of them.
  • Peggy has been selling on eBay for 15 years then. After Heidi moved to Germany, Peggy ramped up her eBay efforts. She used the profit to fund their family travels.
  • They always pair on a holiday over in Europe. They have been to Paris, Amsterdam, Spain, and Denmark. They went to Tuscany last summer.
  • Every time they go to a new place, they increased their network of friends and colleagues. In the so many places they go, they stay in the homes of their folks. She loves the local culture rather than the big ones.
  • Once she saw a mini October Fest. Attached to the big fairground area is acres and acres of a flea market. She likes the big flea market because it is composed of the common folk — the people who live there. There are some professional vendors too. But most are people from the neighborhood who bring their stuff to sell.
  • She found out that the garage sale culture in the US is a flea market culture over in Europe.
  • Thrift stores and flea markets are pretty much the same. There are some flea markets that are indoors; some are outdoors. The difference lies in the semantics.
  • You can find Peggy's flea market adventures on her blog www.fleahopper.com
  • She is two weeks away from publishing her book about fleahopping. Inside the book is a picture of a flea market in Bavaria during her trip last summer. The flea market was an entire vendor that has nothing but Tupperware. Every old Tupperware lid, container, and glass that you can imagine was ever made is in her book.
  • In all her fleahopping, Peggy only carries home what she can, to list. She packs it inside her suitcases.
  • The most fun and the largest thing Peggy brought home is an antique baby mannequin. She wrapped the mannequin in a bubble wrap and carried it in a duffle bag as her carry-on. The prop-set people on the movie Letter Heads bought the mannequin from Peggy.
  • The oddest item she bought is a big bleached antelope skull. She found it at a garage sale for only $5. She put in on eBay and a guy from Amsterdam bought it. It was the timing of Peggy's trip to Amsterdam. She wrapped the item in a bubble wrap and put it in a box. She takes the box as her carry-on. The Amsterdam guy waited for two weeks for the hand-carry delivery. He paid Peggy in Euro instead of in U.S. dollars and got the shipping fee for free.
  • Peggy has a personal goal, that is, to make more money from eBay. Last summer, she bought a brush roller at a garage sale where she lived. It was brand new and was never opened. The roller is used to curl a hair and can make a French Wool hairstyle. She bought it for a dollar and put it on eBay for $89. A lady bought it and left her a positive feedback that says, “Crazy expensive, but I knew that when I bought it!”
  • Peggy has a niche market. She does well with women's extra large and bigger clothing. She also likes anything vintage. She recently found an amazing small shop around her daughter's area. The shop sells German vintage Christmas. She loaded up her two suitcases with those items last August.
  • She has tried selling some of the BOLO things. She discovered that BOLO things got saturated when those are revealed. One could end up with more inventory than he/she could ever sell or make money on. The price also goes down because everybody is selling it.
  • So, she tries to stick with the vintage Christmas. In fact, she has 20 fun, weird, wacky, and vintage animated Christmas. She has not listed it yet because she wanted to embed the video. She has to learn yet how to embed the video.
  • Her biggest challenge is finding the time to get all her items listed.
  • Peggy never dreamed that she can travel across the world. She came from a middle-class family. She lived in Detroit, Michigan, the motor capital of the world, that goes up and down with the economy.
  • She found ways to make her travels affordable by networking with friends. So, all she pays for is the airfare. She has also found a low-cost airfare through  www.scottscheapflights.com
  • In fact, Peggy was able to get a round trip, nonstop airfare to and from Munich, Germany to Detroit for only 500 Euro. 500 euro is about $625. The trip would be in August.
  • Peggy is phasing out of her corporate America life. She hopes to dedicate 100% of her time to eBay.
  • Her ultimate goal is to make enough money to do the travel that she wants. She wants to visit her daughter and her family and spend holidays together. She wants to continue the lifestyle that she has come to love over the last 17 years.

Quotes

  • “Thrifting is mostly a cultural thing.”
  • “The more I traveled, the more I find out how much more alike we are than different.”
  • “Every woman in the world has mismatched Tupperware lids and bowls.”
  • “Travelling around the world is unbelievably affordable!”
  • “We found ways to make travelling affordable by networking with friends!”
  • “I can't imagine doing a different thing now!”

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